Category Archives: Professional

Off Topic: I miss casual Fridays

Working from home, and at client sites, I don’t get the chance to enjoy the “casual Friday atmosphere” at software companies.

Someone sent me their office winner of the Ugly Shirt Award for Friday, March 10th. 🙂

Reader comments are open… Ugly, Classy, or Who Cares?

Off Topic: Two G's

UPDATE: Some people have emailed asking if everything is alright. Overall the changes are very positive but thanks for all those concerned!
UPDATE 2: My 95% figure was apparently, grossly incorrect. Assuming you are an IT making more than 35000 GBP, or 62000 USD, or 52000 EUR annually you are in the richest 99% of the world. Once again… we are so very fortunate, collectively. Happy to update and correct it here! 🙂

My life is changing… some professional aspects and personal aspects. Emotions are a part of life and I’ve been facing rational and irrational emotions and thoughts about change. I’m excited and anxious all at once…

And you want to know what? Gratitude and genorosity are the most POWERFUL soothing emotions.

Grateful that you have a roof over your head, food in your cabinet, health, loved ones, and the opportunity to chase dreams professionally. The human condition longs for wanting more, but being thankful for what you have is a powerful idea. Humbling and potent!

Genorosity, or giving with no thought of return, speaks to us all as human beings. Giving some time to strangers in need, random acts of kindness, etc.

So… if you’re reading this blog you are likely an IT professional interested in Oracle, Data Warehousing, Business Intelligence or Open Source; you are better off financially than 95(99)% of the people on planet earth. Consider taking 30 seconds that you spent reading this blog and explore the things you are grateful for. I bet you’ll feel better with that knowledge than any OWB trick or Open Source BI insight you could have grokked in the same 30 seconds.

And now… we return you to regularly scheduled programming.

Five Tough Questions, HA!

I received an email for an online webinar on ESB (Enterprise Service Bus) products. The email claims to be a “tough as nails” get to the details type of webinar (usually good in my mind). They even listed the five tough questions they’re gonna grill the vendors with:

The Five Tough ESB Questions Will Get Answered!

  1. How do ESB architectures work with existing infrastructures
  2. What are ESB’s most popular features
  3. Can you show us some real-world user cases
  4. Please tell us about ESB Best Practices
  5. How are ESBs helping define SOA roadmaps for many firms

What a bunch of softballs! Tough Questions yeah right!

My favorite is number 2. That’s right, we’re going to grill you! What is your biggest selling point and why do users just LOVE your product. Puhhhlease.

US Mobile Companies are ridiculous

I’m not sure I have to convince anyone reading this blog of this, especially if they live in the US. What, you ask, prompted now as a time to blog about it?

Had a look at the details of my most recent Cingular bill and was amazed at the amount of things considered taxes, surcharges, etc. It’s a stretch to regard regulatory fees for operating your business as a special tax. What blows my mind is that Cingular is passing through their Washington State “B and O” tax that are assessed to the BUSINESS and making it sound like some regulatory surcharge. The “B and O” surcharge. The Washington State “B and O” charge is the “Business and Occupation” tax; Washington state has NO income tax (business or personal) and the B and O is really just a unique “income” tax for business (based on gross receipts). In other words, in Washington, B and O is rougly equivalent in practice to corporate income tax.

So, here is a company passing through the cost of operating their business (renting airwaves) AND their taxes (B and O) and we have no choice but to accept this deceptive pricing scheme because of the oligopoly of mobile carriers.

Consider this: Would Amazon.com be in business today if when ordering, customers were to have the following “taxes” added to their orders?

USD 01.25 Sales Tax (1.5%) (yeah… ok, I get this)
USD 02.25 Amazon Utility Manddatory Surcharges (water, electric, and coffee delivery service to headquarters)
USD 01.72 Regulatory and Compliance Surcharge (we don’t want to pay taxes so we’ll pass our tax bill on to you so our prices look lower)

What is the net net? Companies that have to actually compete can’t get away with crappy, deceptive pricing and billing. Companies that don’t, do not (usually).

gotomeeting HUGE VALUE!

As a consultant working with companies and people throughout the world I need easy ways to connect with people to be effective. Presentations to potential customers, collaborators on open source projects, and of course day to day work with customer staff to do things “together” albeit offsite.

I can honestly say the 50 USD charge for the gotomeeting.com service is money WELL SPENT and I never look upon as anything but good value. It’s a quick, user friendly, and relatively robust meeting software that allows me to screen share with up to 10 people anywhere in the world within about 30 seconds. Their pricing is awesome, and allows for unlimited meetings (included phone conferencing) for just 50 USD.

I highly recommend it for anyone working with disparate groups of collaborators and organizations (ie, not all at the same company using the “corporate” eMeeting software) or any consultant on the national or international basis.

Comments off…

I’ve just had to turn comments on the site off, because of a (insert your favorite word for spammer here) who thinks people on my site like Viagra, Cialis, and shady financial offerings.

Suppose I’ll have to upgrade and see if there’s any word verification plugins for Movable Type. Know of any? Send me an email at “ngoodman” at the usual.

HAPPY HOLIDAYS!

Blogs without Comments are SUPER LAME!

It’s been more than 85 blog posts that my readers have been forced to read my partially useful, mostly correct, blah blah blah without a voice. That’s right, readers have been forced to accept what I write as gospel because I’ve been afraid to open it up to the masses that will correct me. Errr…. that, or I’ve been “crazy lazy” (that’s a technical Oracle term) about getting a couple of nice Comment Templates setup in my blogging software.

Well, enough is enough…

I’m leading a revolt of my own blog readers! Leave a comment below telling me just how much you’ve loathed me for not allowing comments. Or, you can just say HI! I leave it to you… 🙂

Rambling aside, comments are VERY MUCH welcome and many many apologies for my template lazy-ness.

Has it been that long?

My start page is my blog… Every time that Firefox launches there’s the bayon blog either
a) verifying that it’s still up, I’ve paid my domain fees, my ISP hasn’t crashed, and that everything is 5×5
-OR-
b) I haven’t posted anything of any consequence lately, my google page rank is lower, and overall I’ll feel like a slacker because I haven’t posted for a while

Unfortunately the past 6 weeks have very much been the latter instead of the former. My last post, on 8/7/2005 marked the starting week of a new “Paris” DW project that has kept me VERY busy (almost too busy). I’ve been queuing up several articles that just need the proper amount of time to take screenshots and write up… Here’s what I’ve got skeletons for:

  • CDC Expert for 10gR2: I’ve built an Expert that generates a Change Data Capture set of OWB objects (tables and mappings). I’ll release it publicly as soon as the preview release “hits the shelves” but ahead of that I can post some screenshots, etc.
  • OWB 10gR2 Transportable Modules: Using Data Pump and Transportable tablespaces one can do ETL at the speed of “copy”
  • OWB 10gR2 Real Time Data Warehousing: I had a customer wanting to do some “message based” integration with their BI system so I have some screen shots from a demo I did for them.
  • OWB 10gR2 What the Heck?: There some gotchas that could potentially break your OMB scripts, cause some of your perfectly valid 10gR1 operators to become invalid, etc. I’ll just post some of the gotchas I’ve found
  • Code Generation for Data Warehousing: I’ve been thinking about this a lot lately, and think there’s more opportunity here then most people think. I recently had a customer drop a spreadsheet with 300+ “master table” fields in front of me and asked what it would look like in a proper reporting (ie, Dimensional) model. I used OMB to generate 32 Dimensions (levels, keys, scd types, attributes) 8 cubes and all their corresponding measures and FKs in about a day. There’s opportunity to do more here…

Email me and let me know if you’d like to put a request a particular article… And check out the rittman.net article on Data Profiling!