News, views, tips and tricks on Oracle and other fun stuff

The History of the @ Symbol

William F. Allman, Smithsonian magazine:

Tomlinson’s eyes fell on @, poised above “P” on his Model 33 teletype. “I was mostly looking for a symbol that wasn’t used much,” he told Smithsonian. “And there weren’t a lot of options—an exclamation point or a comma. I could have used an equal sign, but that wouldn’t have made much sense.” Tomlinson chose @—”probably saving it from going the way of the ‘cent’ sign on computer keyboards,” he says. Using his naming system, he sent himself an e-mail, which traveled from one teletype in his room, through Arpanet, and back to a different teletype in his room.
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5 Interesting Things You May Have Missed On This Aug 16, 2010

  • A guide to database performance for developers
  • A simple, yet a powerful IDE for Oracle databases. Instead of reinventing the wheel, VoraX relies on the well-known SqlPLUS which is actually used to connect to the database, to execute and to get the results back. However, this interaction is hidden from the user who just uses his/her Vim environment without knowing that, behind, a SqlPLUS process does all the work.
  • Different ways to write Top-N SQL and the performance implication of each.
  • Various techniques for querying and manipulating LONG columns.
  • Different ways to create a database link.
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6 Interesting Things You May Have Missed on 2010-07-28

  • On July 27, Oracle completed the migration of all non-obsolete content from,, and BigAdmin to a completely re-architected, re-designed Oracle Technology Network site. This site – which offers different entry points for Java Developers, Database Admins and Developers, System Admins and Developers, and Architects – reflects the full diversity of this huge technical end-user community.
  • Larry Ellison, founder and chief executive of software maker Oracle Corp., topped the list of best-paid executives of public companies during the past decade, receiving $1.84 billion in compensation, according to a Wall Street Journal analysis of CEO pay.
  • Code reviews are very important in any software project. More often only "superficial" reviews happen, the types where you get review comments like, "You know the documentation for that method doesn't have the version number", or "this variable is unused", etc. Although this is an essential part of any code review, it doesn't cover the subtle aspects of a real code review. It takes more than just a static code analyzer to perform a good code review. In this article the author shares a few points on how to make code reviews really effective.
  • Before there were VPNs, there was ssh. And when you don’t have access to your VPN or can’t set one up, you can still get most of the functionality over ssh.
  • Firebug is one of the most famous extension for the Firefox web browser. In the past years, the functionalities offered by this plugin alone sold Firefox as the platform for web development over Internet Explorer (besides the respect of W3C standards that characterized Firefox). Then, Chrome had not been invented yet and when it was released, it incorporated some of the innovations of Firebug like a functional JavaScript console.
  • Partition Alignment, Choosing a file system, Optimizing ext3, Enabling Huge Pages, Using Async and Direct IO, Tuning Swapping Priority and more.
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The Hello World Collection

“Hello World” is the first program one usually writes when learning a new programming language. The first Hello World program appeared in chapter 1.1 of the first edition of  The C Programming Language, in 1978. Since then, Hello World has been implemented in just about every programming language on the planet.

The Hello World collection includes 428 Hello World programs in many more-or-less well known programming languages, plus 63 human languages.

Can you name the programming language based on its Hello World syntax? Take this quiz and let us know. (via)

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Top 25 Most Dangerous Programming Errors

The 2010 CWE/SANS Top 25 Most Dangerous Programming Errors is a list of the most widespread and critical programming errors that can lead to serious software vulnerabilities. They are often easy to find, and easy to exploit. They are dangerous because they will frequently allow attackers to completely take over the software, steal data, or prevent the software from working at all.

[1] 346 CWE-79 Failure to Preserve Web Page Structure (‘Cross-site Scripting’)
[2] 330 CWE-89 Improper Sanitization of Special Elements used in an SQL Command (‘SQL Injection’)
[3] 273 CWE-120 Buffer Copy without Checking Size of Input (‘Classic Buffer Overflow’)
[4] 261 CWE-352 Cross-Site Request Forgery (CSRF)
[5] 219 CWE-285 Improper Access Control (Authorization)
[6] 202 CWE-807 Reliance on Untrusted Inputs in a Security Decision
[7] 197 CWE-22 Improper Limitation of a Pathname to a Restricted Directory (‘Path Traversal’)
[8] 194 CWE-434 Unrestricted Upload of File with Dangerous Type
[9] 188 CWE-78 Improper Sanitization of Special Elements used in an OS Command (‘OS Command Injection’)
[10] 188 CWE-311 Missing Encryption of Sensitive Data
[11] 176 CWE-798 Use of Hard-coded Credentials
[12] 158 CWE-805 Buffer Access with Incorrect Length Value
[13] 157 CWE-98 Improper Control of Filename for Include/Require Statement in PHP Program (‘PHP File Inclusion’)
[14] 156 CWE-129 Improper Validation of Array Index
[15] 155 CWE-754 Improper Check for Unusual or Exceptional Conditions
[16] 154 CWE-209 Information Exposure Through an Error Message
[17] 154 CWE-190 Integer Overflow or Wraparound
[18] 153 CWE-131 Incorrect Calculation of Buffer Size
[19] 147 CWE-306 Missing Authentication for Critical Function
[20] 146 CWE-494 Download of Code Without Integrity Check
[21] 145 CWE-732 Incorrect Permission Assignment for Critical Resource
[22] 145 CWE-770 Allocation of Resources Without Limits or Throttling
[23] 142 CWE-601 URL Redirection to Untrusted Site (‘Open Redirect’)
[24] 141 CWE-327 Use of a Broken or Risky Cryptographic Algorithm
[25] 138 CWE-362 Race Condition


Posted via web from

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If You Have These 5 Attributes, You’re an Expert

An expert is:
  1. One who has tried, who has practical experience in a field.
  2. Conversely, one who has been tried has a few wounds to show for it. If you don’t have a glorious failure or two under your belt, you’re probably not ready to be an “expert” for others hoping to avoid the same thing.
  3. One who has acquired comprehensive knowledge and continues to learn about a field.
  4. One who has authority as appointed to them by the community for having demonstrated they know their stuff.
  5. One who experiments – taking the field further. I call them thinkers and tinkerers.

via Conversation Agent.

Some interesting comments:

DJ: I personally don’t love the word expert. After all, experts are usually wrong more then they are right.

Taylor: I typically assume that an expert is not open to embracing ideas which challenge their “expertness”.

Carolyn: A cynic once told me that an expert was someone who knew more and more about less and less until they knew absolutely everything about absolutely nothing!

Gavin: I guess we’re all experts in something!

Well, I can tell you one thing: Believe in proof not experts.

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Can You Read This?

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Twitter Updates for 2007-12-28

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Twitter Updates for 2007-12-27

  • Hello everyone. I’m back from my Orlando vacation. I Arrived home today at 2:30 AM after a 3 hour delay at Chicago O’Hare. Glad to be home. #
  • Even though we had fun in Disney World, we wasted hours just waiting in line. There was a line for everything, even the restrooms. #
  • Next time I go on vacation it is going to be somewhere that very few people know about. But I doubt such a place exists. #
  • @bigjim Thanks for the tip Jim. I figure anytime other than official holidays is the best time to take a vacation. #
  • I have just activated Twitter Tools, a WordPress plugin, on my blog. Now my micro-blogging will be nicely digested into my normal blogging. #
  • @Radu43 Yes I missed Twitter. Disney gets -2.0 with all the lines. Waiting in line with two kids is not fun 🙁 #
  • I have to go and make up for lost sleep. You all have a good night and sweet dreamzzzzzzzz. #
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Quick Posts from Twitter – 2007-12-22

  • and the vacation continues. Now in MGM studios watching The Fantastic with…oh…50000 other people. #
  • it’s very hard to twitter or blog while you’re on vacation. I’ll be resuming my normal online activities after Xmas. Have a merry one. #
  • @mkrigsman thanks. I will. It’s 80 here during the day. Oh, the show is starting now. Later. #
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