Sunday, 26 July 2009

HTC Touch HD + Opera + Facebook = crash + auto reboot

I've got one of the slightly newer releases of the HTC Touch HD on Orange UK. Since around may every time I try to sign into Facebook mobile the phone freezes of a bit then reboots itself. Not found much on the issue. I have not applied any updates to the phone or the browser and not really install a much on there. So current theory is that a Facebook change + a browser bug is the cause. Three of my friends have the same phone and at least one of them purchased around the same time - so same/similar firmware etc. - and they do not have this issue.

Anybody else have/had this issue? Got a Solution?

I really cannot be asked to call Orange to get this sorted. Might just carry on using Internet Explorer till the new HTC Hero comes out and then just upgrade.

Wednesday, 15 July 2009

Next generation database technology H-Store / VoltDB Project

I was catching up on the latest on Google Reader today and came across the H-Store / VoltDB project (from It Must be Crap on Databases Week > NoSQL? > Mike Stonebraker Call for the Complete Destruction of the Old DBMS Order). Most of the presentation reads like a dump from my brain on the topic. I never thought i was the only person having these problems, obviously. At the same time bitching at the big boys like Oracle and Microsoft for charging us lots of money and trying to convince us that the Relational Database is the solution to all problems. They really need stop trying to con us and admit that they need to start from scratch again, there are a new set of requirements. I'm not saying there isn't a place for relational databases, rather there are a whole new set of problems that they don't solve very well at all.

Take a look at the H-Store / VoltDB project paper and presentation slides, see what you think.

Friday, 10 July 2009

Entity Framework Oracle Provider using

For some time I have been keeping an eye on Entity Framework providers for Oracle as we are migrating over to Oracle Database 11g. A provider that wraps is the requirement. is the recommended access client after all right! There has been next to no word from Oracle on this, not in the mind set to pay for third party providers at this stage, and not finding an open source project I had it in the back of my mind to attempt writing one.

Around Aug 2008 Microsoft published a sample Entity Framework provider for Oracle which uses the Microsoft OracleClient - which has been deprecated in .Net4.0. As Microsoft folk were nice enough to do half the work for us it was a good time to give this a shot. I've converted the project to use 11.1.

The project EFOralceOdpProvider is hosted on Codeplex - of course. So far it has been subject to very little testing. Please do send any feedback and if you would like to contribute to this project please drop me a line and I'll add you to the project.

Update 14/04/2011: In Feb 2011 Oracle finally release a beta version of their official Entity Framework Provider. Download is available here

Thursday, 9 July 2009

Windows Mobile.. What happens now!?

... it's too little, too late. MS should really start from scratch.

The guys at says it perfectly.

My Comment: What is the most powerful social networking tool you use?

My Comment:

For me there are 3

Facebook: For personal networking. I have friends all over the world with out FB no chance. Also without FB I would not have got back in touch with so many school friends, uni friends, and kids that used to live on my street.

LinkedIn: For professional networking. Wasn't so useful on this front 6months ago but as more and more people have been signing up (in the UK) I'm finding it increasing useful in engaging with colleagues, peers, suppliers, vendors etc. Also the application has improved quite a bit.

Twitter: For professional networking and research. Again in recent weeks months twitter I've been giving twitter a go and finding it increasingly useful in finding people using technology I am interested in, and following what people may be doing right now with such technology. Again more and more people are giving twitter a ago. In summary all of these tools are only as useful as the user base that is relevant to me. And how much they interact. It is probably worth mentioning that I have been using online social apps such as IRC, internet chat rooms, IM, and forums since around '94/'95 - geek!. I could chat all day about why Facebook is better than Hi5 or MySpace but that's for another time maybe.

Tuesday, 7 July 2009

You are assigned the position of IT Manager in a new company. You don't know the business or the developers you'll be managing. What are the first...

Understanding the obvious about the business is a given - as covered above already. Understand the business culture and in doing so identify the people that shape this culture. Also identify the people who are the actual decision makers and drivers of the business. Understand them as people as well as their approach to the business.

Spend time chatting to the developers in different environtments, one-on-one, down the pub, over lunch, as a department, as teams. And gain an understanding of them as people, their skills, talent, and experience - although this will all become very clear very quickly through their work. Also gain their tech view on the business. Earn their respect.

Get an undetstanding of the technology you will be responsible for. Dig into code, look at how apps are deployed etc. and find out the reasons/thinking behind the way/approach that has been taken.

I would do all of this in parallel as much as possible.

My Comment: Linking Clouds Through Cheap IP VPNs Instead of Private Lines

This article is a bit confusing. Is this about being able to link Clouds together using IP VPN i.e. over the internet with WAN/LAN like characteristics? and then saying because this is possible it is reasonable to throw away WAN links between private data centres and replace with IP VPN? What type of WAN solutions are you talking about?

It isn't clear how it has been concluded that IP VPN over the internet is cheaper, just because some bit companies are doing it?? Are we talking metro, national, or international ? What kind of bandwidth? at least at national level i do not think this IP VPN is a sensible option to replace a WAN link. At least in the UK MPLS/VPLS type WAN solutions are actually a lot cheaper than "top tier" internet bandwidth. Install costs are about the same per end, extra nodes can be brought in the same way as IP VPN, and bandwidth is more than 50% cheaper - IP VPN needs a bunch of not so cheap stuff on top of this. Unless you are talking about a complete outsourced IP VPN solution then the modern MPLS/VPLS based WAN is a much simpler setup (low admin overhead) no VPN devices, no WAN optimiser/accelerator etc.

So if we are talking about cloud then by today's definitions a public cloud is only connected to the internet so IP VPN is the only way. Depending on what type of WAN solution you refer to this may also hold true, older point-to-point solutions might be more costly than modern Ethernet based solutions. Also depends on what countries you are talking about as cost is based on maturity and the current stage of the comms market.

WAN optimization kit have a place but a lot of the time used by network people as a bolt on fix to problems in software. And this is not always the smartest approach.