Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Online Office Suite

ThinkFree offers 1GB of storage for their online word processor, spreadsheet, and presentation tool.

There are quick and full editors. Any formatting will need the full editor, which runs in a jvm. The full editor allows saving to PDF.

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

What's On My PC

February 2006 we received a zv6000 laptop from HP. 15.4" monitor, AMD x64, lots of built in hardware, and running XP Home. This is the software I have installed and updated.

First go to MS Update and get patched.

Get the CPU information with WCPUID. Depending on power settings, this AMD will throttle down and show significantly fewer MHz.
A couple alternative browsers: Opera and Firefox.
Winamp music player.
Real player. Deny the TkBellExe browser help object.
OpenOffice office productivity.
ClamWin virus scanner.
Protect from spyware.
X-Ray displays running process information to allow removal of removal of spyware. This is for more advanced users.
X-Cleaner free version does a reasonable job finding and cleaning malware.
Hosts file changes to reduce advertisements while browsing.
Site Advisor installs in Firefox or Internet Explorer and rates the safety of web sites.
Adobe Acrobat reader.

Power archiver works on TARs.
SFTP client
===== Some others. =====

Check the prices of gold and silver.

For those supporting remote machines, try Real VNC to forward a screen.
PuTTY is a telnet and ssh character-based logon tool.

Thursday, April 06, 2006

Uncommon Oracle Startup Errors

An installation running Oracle 9iR2 databases in production had non-typical messages in the alert.log. The databases had been installed on a fresh OS install, so there were no upgrade issues. The databases had been running for over a year.

During startup, non-default parameters are listed in the alert log. There were several messages about deprecated mts_ parameters. The installation DBA had taken favorite Oracle 8i settings and dropped them into Oracle 9i. The DBA had English as a second language, and did not investigate the meaning of deprecate. The alert.log message did not include an "ORA-99999", so the DBA ignored the message.
Simply setting the values to zero did not remove the messages - the parameters needed to be removed from the spfile. From alert.log:
Deprecated system parameters with specified values:
End of deprecated system parameter listing

The next alert.log message was, "Oracle instance running on a system with low open file descriptor limit. Tune your system to increase this limit to avoid severe performance degradation."
This message did not include an "ORA-99999", so this message was also ignored. The solution for this issue was to increase the operating system file descriptors. In the case of HP-UX 11.11, query the OS kernel to check the open file limits:
$ /usr/sbin/kmtune |grep files
maxfiles 4000 - 4000
maxfiles_lim 4000 Y 4000

Wednesday, April 05, 2006

Oracle EXP-00091, Exporting Questionable Statistics

When performing an Oracle export, you may receive error, "EXP-00091: Exporting questionable statistics."

The first thing to do is gather a little more information with "oerr" on the command line:
$ oerr exp 91
00091, 00000, "Exporting questionable statistics."
// *Cause: Export was able export statistics, but the statistics may not be
// usuable. The statistics are questionable because one or more of
// the following happened during export: a row error occurred, client
// character set or NCHARSET does not match with the server, a query
// clause was specified on export, only certain partitions or
// subpartitions were exported, or a fatal error occurred while
// processing a table.
// *Action: To export non-questionable statistics, change the client character
// set or NCHARSET to match the server, export with no query clause,
// export complete tables. If desired, import parameters can be
// supplied so that only non-questionable statistics will be imported,
// and all questionable statistics will be recalculated.

Then search Oracle's documentation:
The precalculated optimizer statistics are flagged as questionable at export
time if:
* There are row errors while exporting
* The client character set or NCHAR character set does not match the server character set or NCHAR character set
* A QUERY clause is specified
* Only certain partitions or subpartitions are exported

The NCHAR setting often causes this message, and the message will often be avoided by setting the NLS_LANG environment variable to match the database setting.

Questionable statistics are ususally a minor inconvenience, because after the import it is easy to re-analyze. Additionally, you may set "statistics=safe" on the import to skip importing questionable statistics.

Oracle Role Insufficient For User's Procedure To Compile

Roles are useful, though there are a few limitations. This is one limitation of Oracle roles.

Table owned by userA. UserB has "select any table" and creates SQL that sucessfully runs in sql*plus. When userB tries to put the SQL in a package, there is ORA-00942 compile error.
The solution is to directly grant the userA.table_name SELECT privilege to userB. It's not enough to have a role that allows the SELECT permission.

Create package header with no problems, then try to create package body:

Warning: Package Body created with compilation errors.

SQL> show err

27/7 PL/SQL: SQL Statement ignored
72/29 PL/SQL: ORA-00942: table or view does not exist

-- In another session, directly grant SELECT on table_name to this user.

-- In this session, re-submit package body.

SQL> /
Package body created.