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Retirement Notice: My Work Chair

August 3rd, 2015
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The base of my home office chair bent beyond repair last week and I finally had to replace it today. It has supported my rear through the following:

Employers – netNumina (who gave it to me when they bought new furniture), FYW, Jupiter Media, Keane, Quin Street Publishing, BEA, Oracle, Primitive Logic

Locations – Charlestown, Cambridge, Manchest-by-the-Sea, Fort Mill, and Oceanside

Customers – CholesterolCare.com, Fidelity, Johnson & Johnson, Pfizer, Jonesco, Sullivan Real Estate, O’Neil Machinery, Dunkin’ Donuts,  Iron Mountain, US Government, Bank of America, VMWare, Northern Trust, GNMA, Sempra

Linux, Firefox and WebCenter Sites, Oh No!

August 2nd, 2015
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If you use WebCenter Sites on Linux with Firefox, you may have hit the nasty issue where the lastest Firefox update disabled your tools. These are the steps I followed to get it working again:

  1. Locate your Mozilla installation plugins directory. In the example below, it is at /usr/lib64/mozilla/plugins
  2. Locate your Java home. In the example below it has been set as the system variable JAVA_HOME
  3. Go to the plugins directory and sudo as root
  4. Create a symlink to the Java plug in
  5. Important! Exit root before performing the next step or the plug-in will only be enabled for root.
  6. Run jcontrol and sites you need to run the plugin to the security exception list

Example commands:

[myusername@ol6vm]$ cd /usr/lib64/mozilla/plugins
[myusername@ol6vm plugins]$ sudo su
[sudo] password for myusername: 
[root@ol6vm plugins]# ln -fs $JAVA_HOME/jre/lib/amd64/libnpjp2.so libnpjp2.so
[myusername@ol6vm plugins]$ $JAVA_HOME /jre/bin/jcontrol

Port Forwarding from Windows 7 Host to Oracle Linux Guest with Virtualbox

July 22nd, 2015
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A link to my LinkedIn post to a blog with the how to is https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/blog-mash-up-virtualbox-port-forwards-windows-7-oracle-scott-nelson.

In short, go to advanced networking and add the port to the Virtualbox instance settings then go to the Firewall control in Oracle Linux System Administration menu and add it there, too.

One of those things that took hours to figure out and moments to explain.

Self-Examination before Exaggeration

July 21st, 2015
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In nature, animals only puff themselves up when they feel threatened. While there are valid situations to exaggerate to make a point, ask yourself who you feel threatened by before you do. If the answer is “no one”, stick to the facts, or you may end up needing to defend your claims.

What Does an Enterprise Portal Architect Do?

July 13th, 2015
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The Enterprise Portal Architect helps the business decide: “Do you want to adapt your organization to the vendor tools or adapt the tools for your enterprise?”™

Thinking about Key Drivers to Architecture Approaches

June 21st, 2015
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For a solution architecture to be of utmost value it must address the target business capabilities in a manner that is maintainable, extensible and scalable. Solution Architectures follow unstated core drivers that influence the focus of the approach. The most common of these drivers are (in order): Initial Cost, Vendor Capability, Total Cost and Business Capabilities. These drivers are not mutually exclusive, and the key driver will be what each of the other drivers are weighed against in the solution. Each driver has value to the project and the enterprise as a whole.

In my opinion, Business Capabilities is the best key driver to have. Business Capabilities are what support growth and sustainability and contribute the most to the enterprise. The other drivers should not be completely sacrificed, but when they are given priority the result is frequently a gap between actual need and provided solution. They are driven by agendas that are secondary to the overall enterprise needs and better kept in the corresponding secondary priority.

This is not to say that every business capability requested by an individual or group is valuable to the enterprise as a whole. The business capabilities to focus energy and resources on needs to be carefully chosen by the business, and once identified as a core need of the enterprise should take its place as the key driver.

Compact Virtualbox VDI Image to Save Space

June 15th, 2015
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Takes me forever to find this StackExchange post every time I need it, so I’m copying it here for ease of reference:

  1. Run defrag in the guest (Windows only)
  2. Nullify free space:

    With a Linux Guest run this:

    sudo dd if=/dev/zero of=/bigemptyfile bs=4096k
    sudo rm -rf /bigemptyfile

    With a Windows Guest, download SDelete from Sysinternals and run this:

    sdelete –z
  3. Shutdown the guest VM
  4. Now run VBoxManage’s modifyhd command with the --compact option:

    With a Linux Host run this:

    vboxmanage modifyhd /path/to/thedisk.vdi --compact

    With a Windows Host run this:

    VBoxManage.exe modifyhd c:\path\to\thedisk.vdi --compact

    With a Mac Host run this:

    VBoxManage modifyhd /path/to/thedisk.vdi --compact

This reduces the vdi size.

Creating the WebCenter Sites User Account on Oracle XE

May 20th, 2015
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The documentation uses OEM to do this, something that Oracle XE does not have. Has a non-DBA, I find installing Oracle EE tedious. Thanks to waslleysouza.com.br, I was able to find the right script to execute with XE. For the DB-disabled like myself, here are the full steps to do this on a Linux host:

  1. login to linux as a member of the dba group or sudo as same
  2. # echo $ORACLE_SID
  3. # echo $ORACLE_HOME

if either is blank:

# set ORACLE_SID=XE (or your service id)
# set ORACLE_HOME= (Eg: C:\oraclexe\app\oracle\product\10.2.0\server)
  1. #locate sqlplus
  2. run [RESULT FOUND PATH]sqlplus / as sysdba

# /u01/app/oracle/product/11.2.0/xe/bin/sqlplus / as sysdba

  1. execute the following (replace values inside [brackets]):
GRANT CREATE session, CREATE table, CREATE view TO [csuser];

Speeding Up JDeveloper 11gR1 on Windows

April 24th, 2015
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Here’s a tip sent to me by Songpol Siengvisuth:

By default JDeveloper was installed with Oracle Look and Feel and while it looks nice, a customized Look and Feel like that actually consumes more memory hence worse performance. We can switch to use a simpler Look and Feel like Windows Default by following these Steps:

  1. In JDeveloper, Go to Tools > Preferences
  2. Select “Environment” and Look for “Look and Feel” dropdown, you will find “Oracle” is selected
  3. Change to “Windows” and Click OK
  4. Restart JDeveloper to active the new Look and Feel
JDeveloper Prefrences

JDeveloper Prefrences

After the restart you will find JDeveloper look much plainer but the improved performance is noticeable.

SSH NodeManager Headache Solved

March 26th, 2015
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For the longest time I could not get the ssh NodeManager to work on my VirtualBox VM I use for proving out approaches. It was not a big problem to use the command line start, so I did, until recently I needed to precisely replicate the start up process used in production.

After much thumping of forehead on desk (and steering wheel, and pillow, and…) I found this nugget at http://www.pythian.com/blog/why-was-sshd-refusing-my-key/:

…In our environment, we are not using SELinux so we disabled it by setting SELINUX=disabled
in /etc/selinux/config and rebooted the system….