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

Traditional Programming Language Job Trends

Robert Diana:

Unsurprisingly, Objective-C has the most growth, but the growth has slowed since our last update. C# growth is solid, hovering around 100% for the past 3 years. Visual Basic and C++ continue to decline. Perl and Java are still showing signs of life, but the growth is not very significant. What does all this mean? First, it is clear the iOS development is hot as is all mobile development. However, mobile development does not seem to be affecting Java or the growth of mobile is offsetting the decline of Java in the enterprise space. Why does Java and some of the others show relative growth, but not strong growth in the trend graphs? Basically, we are seeing that while some of the languages are still showing increasing job postings the relative growth chart, the percentage of postings is less than before. So, other languages not in this list may be increasing in demand quicker than these traditional languages.
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Women as Programmers

Yolande wrote:

The lack of women in programming is in part a cultural issue that differs from region to region. In developed countries, very few women work as programmers whereas in Brazil and India a lot of women pursue careers in IT. Women in developed countries perceive the field as isolating and very few young women graduate in computer science. This perception of isolation was based in reality decades ago, but that is no longer the case today.

Well, you may be surprised to learn that the earliest computer programmers were women and that the programming field was once stereotyped as female.

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Save up to $33,520.47 Per Year Per DBA by Using Oracle Database 11g Rather Than Microsoft SQL Server 2008

This study [PDF] shows that Oracle Database 11g holds a substantial advantage over Microsoft SQL Server 2008. More specifically:

  • DBAs can perform typical administrative functions in 41 percent less time when using Oracle Database 11g compared to Microsoft SQL Server 2008.
  • Oracle Database 11g requires 43 percent fewer steps for the same set of standard RDBMS tasks than Microsoft SQL Server 2008 using Edison’s metric for complexity assessment.
  • Benefiting from increased DBA productivity due to lower complexity and higher efficiency cited above, businesses could save up to $33,520.47 per year per DBA by using Oracle Database 11g rather than Microsoft SQL Server 2008.
  • In the case of backup and recovery tasks, Oracle Database 11g offers architectural and functional capabilities beyond those offered by SQL Server 2008. Oracle Database 11g took 53 percent less time and 60 percent fewer steps than Microsoft SQL Server in backup and recovery tasks.
  • In the case of performance diagnostics and tuning, Oracle Database 11g demonstrated a significant 87 percent savings in time.

The study concludes:

What is clear is that both Microsoft and Oracle have provided their customers with efficient tools for management of their respective database systems. But when the cost of operations is analyzed, Oracle Database 11g can provide organizations with 41 percent annual DBA-related cost savings over Microsoft SQL Server 2008.


3 Comments | Filed in Oracle, Technology | Tags: ,

5 Tools That Make You a More Productive Computer User

The following software utilities and tools will help you work faster and make you more efficient at using your computer.

enso_launcher Enso

Enso is a free application launcher, but it is also more than just that. Enso is similar to Ubiquity, however, Enso works at the Windows operating system level, not just inside your browser. It is available to you in any application you’re using. On the other hand, Ubiquity is open-source, Enso is not. Enso is also similar to Quicksilver on Mac.

Walt Mossberg of the Wall Street Journal explains:

Enso is dead simple to use. You just hold down the Caps Lock key and type an Enso command, which is displayed in a translucent overlay. Once the command is typed, you simply release the Caps Lock key to activate it, and the overlay disappears. If you type fast, it all happens in a flash. For instance, to launch the Firefox Web browser, you just hold down the Caps Lock key and type "open firefox." To look up the meaning of the word "proclivity," you just hold down the Caps Lock key and type "define proclivity."

Other launchers: Launchy and Colibri. Google Desktop can also be used as an application launcher.

clipboard CLCL

CLCL is a freeware clipboard caching utility. It allows you to stack things (text, images…) on your clipboard in one batch then bounce once to the destination and paste them all in the appropriate places, one at a time.


Other clipboard enhancers: Jumpcut and iClip for Mac.

autohotkey2 AutoHotkey

AutoHotkey is a free, open-source macro tool that allows you to automate almost anything by sending keystrokes and mouse clicks. You can write a mouse or keyboard macro by hand or use the macro recorder. Using AutoHotkey, virtually any key, button, or combination can become a hotkey.

autohotkeyOther macro utilities: TextExpander and Typinator for Mac.

powertoys Virtual Desktops

Microsoft PowerToys for Windows XP have many useful (and free) “toys”, but one of the most useful is the “Virtual Desktop Manager”. It allows you to manage up to four virtual desktops, each with a taskbar controller, unique wallpapers, and hotkey support. Virtual desktops provide an excellent way to kill distractions, stay focused and concentrate on the task at hand.


On Linux, both GNOME and KDE have virtual desktops built-in. The Leopard version of Mac OS X added this feature, called Spaces.

Keyboard Shortcuts

Almost all operating systems and applications that run on them have keyboard shortcuts. There is a reason why they are called shortcuts, it’s because once you master them it takes shorter time to perform a task using keyboard shortcuts than using the mouse. The following is a list of common and useful shortcuts:

I have been using the above tools for a while. I can now do things on my computer faster than I’ve ever been able to.

Other than the ones mentioned above, what tools or tips do you use that help you be more productive using your computer?

4 Comments | Filed in Technology, Tips | Tags: ,

Virtual Machines Are Your Friends

VirtualBox, Virtual PC, VMware Workstation and a few other software packages help you create and run multiple virtual machines on your desktop or laptop enabling you to run multiple operating systems simultaneously on a single computer.

My personal favorite is VirtualBox (recently acquired by Sun Microsystems), not only because it is freely available as Open Source Software and runs on Windows, Linux and Macintosh but also because it has great features and supports a large number of guest operating systems.

Last Saturday I used VirtualBox to create a new virtual machine (VM) running Windows XP Pro and Oracle Database 11gR1. First, I created a “base” VM with only Windows XP pro SP3 installed. I then detached the virtual disk file (VDI) from the VM. I ended up with a VDI file that I can clone as many times as I want eliminating the need to install a new operating system every time I create a new VM.

Cloning a virtual disk in VirtualBox is done using the command line. For example, to clone WindowsXP.vdi as a new virtual disk called WindowsXPProOraDB11gR1.vdi, you would issue this command:

VBoxManage clonevdi WindowsXP.vdi WindowsXPProOraDB11gR1.vdi

You would then assign WindowsXPProOraDB11gR1.vdi as the virtual hard drive of a new virtual machine.

The installation of Oracle Database 11gR1 on a new Windows XP VirtualBox VM on my laptop went very smoothly, but I had to troubleshoot a couple of things on the VM: A missing loopback adapter and a 100% CPU usage.

My laptop and the newly created VM do not have a static IP address. Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol (DHCP) is used to assign dynamic IP addresses on the network. According to the documentation, before installing Oracle Database onto a computer that uses the DHCP protocol, you need to install a loopback adapter to assign a local static IP address to that computer. I followed the instructions found in the Oracle Database Pre-installation Requirements document to install the loopback adapter. After that, the database installed without any issues.

Now that my WinXP VM and 11g Database are up and running, I noticed that the oracle.exe process was consuming 100% of the CPU. I waited a few minutes, but the CPU usage did not go down, it stayed at 100%. After a quick search, I found these two forum posts: post 1 and post 2. Since this is a test database, I did not hesitate to follow the instructions in post 2 and was able to bring the CPU usage down to a normal level.

Virtual machines are a great way to learn and try new software and applications without the need to buy new hardware or messing up your existing computer. You may even have fun embarking on some virtual adventures.

2 Comments | Filed in Oracle, Technology, Tips | Tags: , , ,

iPhone and iPod Touch Version of

Last Sunday the geek in me wanted to learn something new. So, I went ahead and got started with iPhone development. I wanted to build something simple yet useful. I started at 4:30 PM and by around 8:15 PM an iPhone optimized version of was born.

The following is a short video demonstration of OraNA on my iPhone, which should also work on the iPod touch:

To browse OraNA on your iPhone, visit

Quick tip: If you want to always browse a specific category, you can bookmark the category page.

This is just the beginning. I have a few ideas for more iPhone goodness. I just need to learn some advanced techniques and of course find the time to do it.

2 Comments | Filed in Oracle, Technology | Tags: , , ,

FriendFeed Invites and Six Cool Twitter Applications

Thanks to Jake, I now have a bunch of my “Web 2.0 accounts” aggregated into one place at FriendFeed:, Flickr, Google Reader, Google Shared Stuff, LinkedIn, YouTube and Twitter.

You can subscribe to my feed here. FriendFeed is great. I like it. It is currently in private beta testing. However, if you’re interested, just leave a comment below and I’ll send you an invite.

Speaking of twitter, I’m starting to like it more. You really have to pick the right friends you follow, otherwise you’ll be overwhelmed by useless chatter. Too bad my employer has blocked twitter, but that’s not a problem. I use:

  1. twittermail to post tweets by email from work
  2. itweet to read and post tweets from my iPhone
  3. twitbin to read and post tweets from my Firefox sidebar from home
  4. twittergram to post voice tweets from my iPhone (or any phone)
  5. jott to convert my voice into text tweets from my iPhone (or any phone)
  6. twitterfeed to publish any RSS feed to twitter.

I use twitterfeed in many different ways, like for example posting photo tweets from my iPhone to Flickr->twitter. I also publish my blog feed to my twitter account. Moreover, OraNA, Oracle and OOW twitter accounts use twitterfeed as well.

There are many other twitter applications, but the ones above are my favorites.

8 Comments | Filed in Technology | Tags: , ,

The Smallest Database Management System Is Just 359 Kilobytes


As you may already know, Google recently released Google Gears, an open source browser extension that lets developers create web applications that can run offline using JavaScript APIs.

Google Gears provides three key features:

  • A local server, to cache and serve application resources (HTML, JavaScript, images, etc.) without needing to contact a server.
  • A database, to store and access data from within the browser.
  • A worker thread pool, to make web applications more responsive by performing expensive operations in the background.

Apart from the coolness and usefulness of Gears (I can now read my Google Reader feeds offline), what also caught my attention was its use of a database to store and access data. After all, that’s what databases are good at, data storage and management. I was curious to know what type of a database Gears uses. Well, according to its database module API, Google Gears uses the open source SQLite database system.sqlitelogo

SQLite is a small C library that implements a self-contained, embeddable, zero-configuration SQL database engine.

SQLite is really interesting. There is no set up procedure to initialize it before using it. Databases need minimal or no administration. There is no need to maintain a separate server process dedicated to SQLite. It supports ACID and is thread-safe.

SQLite supports a large subset of SQL-92 data definition and manipulation features. You can create tables, indexes, triggers, and views. You can manipulate stored information using INSERT, DELETE, UPDATE, and SELECT SQL constructs. However, some SQL-92 features are not yet supported.

SQLite stores an entire database in a single, ordinary native file that can reside anywhere in a directory of the native file system. Any user who has a permission to read the file can read anything from the database.

sqlite3What’s also interesting about SQLite is its size. The whole code footprint ranges from 224KB up to 513KB depending on what compiler optimizations are used. I downloaded the pre-compiled SQLite binaries for windows, it is just one 359KB file, sqlite3.exe.

sqlite3 is somewhat similar to Oracle’s SQL*Plus. You can use it to enter SQL commands. For example, from the DOS command prompt, the following creates a database file named eddie.db:

C:\Users\Eddie\Documents\sqlite>sqlite3 eddie.db
SQLite version 3.3.17
Enter “.help” for instructions

Now, let’s do some DML and DDL:

sqlite> create table tbl1(one varchar(10), two smallint);
sqlite> insert into tbl1 values(‘hello!’,10);
sqlite> insert into tbl1 values(‘goodbye’, 20);
sqlite> select * from tbl1;
sqlite> CREATE TABLE tbl2 (
   …>    f1 varchar(30) primary key,
   …>    f2 text,
   …>    f3 real
   …>    );

Does SQLite have a data dictionary? Yes it does, and it’s only one table called sqlite_master:

sqlite> select * from sqlite_master;
table|tbl1|tbl1|2|CREATE TABLE tbl1(one varchar(10), two smallint)
table|tbl2|tbl2|3|CREATE TABLE tbl2 (
   f1 varchar(30) primary key,
   f2 text,
   f3 real

Interesting. Going back to Gears, if you are wondering where the location of the database file is, it basically depends on the browser and the platform you are using.

If you are wondering what can SQLite be used for, of course, you have Google Gears as a perfect example. But, there are other appropriate uses as well.

By now, you may be thinking about Oracle Database Express Edition as also being an entry-level, small-footprint database, but hey, SQLite does not even come close to Oracle XE. Each one serves and is suitable for different types of applications. Moreover, do you really think that a 359KB RDBMS can put a dent into a 165MB RDBMS?

Comments Off on The Smallest Database Management System Is Just 359 Kilobytes | Filed in Oracle, Technology | Tags: , , ,

Have You Heard of Tumblelogs?

I’m not a big fan of blogrolls. A blogroll is a collection of links to other blogs. I believe what’s more interesting and useful is to have a a collection of links to other blog posts and web pages, or a linkblog. Some bloggers use the shared items in Google Reader as their linkblog. Robert Scoble uses this approach for his famous linkblog.

But even a linkblog can be limiting. What if you want to blog not only links, but also photos, quotes, dialogues and video, quickly and easily. Well, there is a special type of blog, called tumblelog, that does exactly that. Unlike blogs, there is no commenting on tumblelogs.

I like this tumblelog idea. So I set up one, Eddie Awad Randomized (feed). I’ll be posting interesting, educational, useful or just plain fun tumbles, Oracle and non-Oracle related. I also set it up to to automatically import my shared items in Google Reader. But unlike Google Reader’s shared items, I can search my tumblelog using any known blog search service.

Eddie Awad Randomized is powered by tumblr, a free and extremely easy online tool for creating tumblelogs.


Note: I’m writing this blog post using Windows Live Writer, I like it. 

5 Comments | Filed in Links, Oracle, Technology | Tags:

Oracle Technology Network (OTN) is the Largest Developer Community

According to this SDA Asia Magazine article:

OTN has reportedly bumped pass the four hundred thousand member point making it the largest developer community for Oracle in the Asia Pacific region and second largest worldwide… OTN’s new position in the India market also translates to an increase in Oracle’s total online community in the country – comprising customers, partners, students, developers, technical specialists among others – to almost seven hundred thousand members.

Even though the article does not list the source for this information, judging from the increase in the number of Oracle related websites and blogs, the online Oracle community is indeed expanding.

By the way, is MSDN the largest developer community?

2 Comments | Filed in Oracle, Technology | Tags: