Flashback! Its November 2007; I am just about three(3) months into my new Job as a DBA; and one of the few things I am tasked to do is babysit an OLTP system with 256GB RAM, a 15TB sized Oracle database and 32 multicore processors –an HP Proliant, a beast, nothing quite like anything I have ever worked with. The system basically maintained the Prepaid subscriber lifecycle process –dynamically computing daily subscriber additions and churn figures by making use of RGE events. So thirty(30) minutes after arriving at the office, I accidentally truncated the table that stored historical details of all churned subscribers, from as far back as 1998 (9 years worth of data). We had a very rudimentary backup mechanism at the time –daily Oracle exports of “critical” aggregated tables. I spent the whole day trying to figure out what to do and I never told anyone what I had done 😉 The good thing is I managed to restore the previous day’s hot backup and then performed a very primitive roll-forward of all transactions for that day. Continue reading “Backup, Replicate& Multiplex – Redundancy Helps”
International calls in South Africa are insanely expensive, and funny enough, local voice calls are no exception either. It gets even better though, International calls are so expensive that it is 5 times cheaper for someone from home (Zambia) to call me than it is for me to return the favor. One would wonder why that is the case, especially that the interconnect rates are the same between two interacting mobile operators *SMDH* And did I mention SMS is not spared? It appears I found myself in a place where the basic laws of economics do not apply. But thank goodness for VoIP (look over here for options)and the Internet! I can make calls at a shocking ~500% cheaper rate. Yes! 500% less… I did complex Mathematical Number Theory (Mathematical Methods+Numerical Analysis) at versity so I am really good at maths 😀 I even contemplated pursuing a career as a mathematician –but I took the wrong turn 😉 Continue reading “Cheaper International Calls with Google Voice”
I decided to call this post “Time Management: Rebirth& Pursuit for Nirvana” because it coincides with my birthday; my biological clock is fast ticking and very soon I will pass on to the world beyond. Seven(7) months ago today, I –as my western and capetonian comrades would put it– grew myself some balls and decided to move on with my life. Little did I know that moving on would be both a painful and trying phase. My reasons for moving on would strike the average human being as an act of madness and I will not talk so much about that. What I would like to do, however, is to share with you the difficulties I have faced these past seven(7) months. In particular, I would like to focus on time management and self discipline. Continue reading “Time Management – Rebirth& Pursuit for Nirvana”
So a couple of weeks back, I was faced with a chronic productivity drought. I mean I am either at home or at the laboratory and just could not figure out why I could not be productive. It turns out I spend a significant amount of my time on social networking sites (Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and LinkedIn) –I have since started running a series of controlled experiments on myself (results will be published in future publications). I decided to stay away from Facebook, however, most people from back home inbox me with important information –most of whom I need to contact immediately. The huddle though is that I have an Ultra Low Cost Handset (ULCH) that is not GPRS enable –it only has basic SMS and voice GSM capabilities. Continue reading “Facebook Posts via SMS”
I stumbled upon this beauty a couple of days back and thought I should write something about it; it’s basically an Open Office/Libre Office extension. It basically synchronizes documents your are currently working on periodically with googledocs using the googledocs API.
If you’ve lost data before, then you know this is important; I mean I backup all important files on my Laptop on tonnes of servers (I synchronize data with Ubunt One, two servers I have access to at the Department and also on my computer back at the Laboratory).
So here’s how you go about installing the extension; Continue reading “OpenOffice.org2GoogleDocs Extension”