About

This blog is intended to primarily be about Oracle techie type subjects, although I may occasionally wonder off into some other area that interests me. Among those interests are (in no particular order):

Guitars, music, boomerangs, basketball, pocket knives, how people think, rocks, caves, fencing, technology, wood working, and anything that can be done in or near an Ocean, but mostly I intend to write about Oracle stuff.

A brief synopsis of my background is probably in order here. I started my career in 1982 as a starving student who got a part time job as a FORTRAN programmer for a large oil company. The company had a copy of Oracle (version 2) and when I graduated a year later with a Geology and Math degree, they hired me as a “Computer Geologist”.

My first assignment was to upgrade Oracle to V3.  I was mostly a programmer my first several years doing OCI with FORTRAN and C, then the Pre-compilers, then Forms when it came out. It was a pretty cool job. We were doing some pretty neat stuff – spatial with lat/long data and lots of graphics for mapping etc… This was back in the hey day of the oil business when it was like printing money (kind of like it is again these days). Anyway we had 2 of everything. Most of our production systems were VAX clusters but we had a couple of Crays and some of the first Unix boxes on the market (I remember a big Convex machine that no one used but me – just to play around with). Over time I became more interested in the system side of things and as often happens I started having little run ins with the system administrators and so talked my boss into sending me to class to learn how to be a system administrator on VAX/VMS. That was a huge help to me in my career. I firmly believe that a strong systems background gives DBAs a huge advantage – both in their understanding of how the database operates but also in their abilities to deal with sys admins.

Sadly the oil business crashed hard in the mid 80′s and so I went to work for a software development company that sold their products to hospitals. They had an IBM mainframe running Oracle. That was weird – IBM didn’t even have a C compiler at the time so we had to “borrow” one from Oracle. I wrote a bunch of stuff in Pro*C for them. Unfortunately that was too “cutting edge” for hospitals so I had to re-write it in Pro*COBOL, yuk! After about a year I went to work for an oil and gas software development company. While working for them I got to write a mixed language Pro*FORTRAN and Pro*C program that ran on a PC. This was back in the mid 80′s still so 640K limit – using memory mapping utilities to get an extra couple of hundred K – with Oracle running on the box as well. I used to have to do demos for potential customers and I’d cross my fingers every time I hit the enter key hoping that I wouldn’t get a stack dump.  …some fun…

Meanwhile people are calling me for Oracle help and so I start doing after hours “consulting”. Pretty soon it’s more than I can keep up with and so I get a couple of buddies that are between jobs to help out and before you know it we have a real company. Database Consultants was incorporated in 1987 or thereabouts.

Blah, blah, blah…

In 2004, Wade Nicolas and I started Enkitec. It’s an Oracle focused consulting firm based in Dallas, Texas. Our very good friends at Hotsos, Cary Millsap (now at Method-R) and Gary Goodman, did the incubator thing for us, allowing us to share office space with them and throwing some work our way. I got to do some of the coolest gigs of my career under the Hotsos banner. They even let me speak one year at the Hotsos Symposium. I am forever in their debt for their support.

More to come later …

22 Comments

  1. Sue says:

    Hi Kerry — Found your blog today and was happy to discover many useful tidbits of knowledge. :-)

    Sue (DCI-Austin 1997-2001)

  2. osborne says:

    Thanks Sue. Good to hear from you.

  3. Jerry Carlisle says:

    Pretty cool picture

  4. Paul says:

    Hi, found your site/blog today. Seems very interesting blogs you write. I always admire Tom Kyte for his extensive measuring of what goes on in the database, that distinguishes a good DBA from a not-so-good/less experienced one. You seem to have to the same approach. Bravo!

  5. Matt says:

    Kerry — Cool stuff. I will be reading for sure! I can always learn more and it never hurts to see what we all like to do when we are not hitting the Oracle pavement.

  6. Gaye Tibbets says:

    Should be working, but stumbled across your post about going to grocery store with Jill and could not stop reading it. In my mind, I am seeing the look Jill gave you at the grocery store when you asked to check the list to see if you forgot anything–though in my mind you and Jill are 30 years younger–still, I am betting it is the same look. Will you send me her email address? Then I read the Cary/Kerry/Kevin/Jeff post. Good stuff. Thanks, Gaye

  7. George says:

    Hi Kerry

    Thanks for your beautiful articles :-) !
    Sometime I find references to scripts
    e.g.
    ———————————————————-
    trace_on.sql – 10056 on current session
    remote_trace_on.sql – 10056 on another session
    enkitec_logon_trigger.sql – 10056 trace via logon tigger

    trace_histogram.sql – gen’s
    ———————————————————-
    Where can I find them?

    Thanks
    George

  8. osborne says:

    George,

    Thanks for your comments. I try to provide links in the text to non-trivial scripts, but occasionally miss one. Sometime I just turn echo on in the examples so you can see the text. But many times I don’t because the scripts are often pretty ugly and that makes it a little harder to follow. Fortunately, the search feature finds the references in the text that link to the scripts so it’s easy to see if I posted the script in a previous article (by searching for find_sql.sql for example). You can also search for a string like “@find_sql” to see if I may have run it in an example with echo on. But sadly there are just some that aren’t there. I am planning to add a page listing scripts I’ve used soon so they will be a little better organized. I’m interested in where you came across the ones you listed though as I can’t find reference to any of them except the trace_on.sql which I used in my last post. (I’ve modified that post to rectify the problem now by the way) The other scripts you mention are ones that I use so I’m assuming you must have found reference to them in a presentation or white paper. At any rate, watch for the scripts page which will be forth coming and thanks again for the comments.

    Kerry

  9. George Sheppard says:

    Kerry,

    I am glad I got to work for you during the period described as blah, blah, blah. I learned a great deal from you and others at your company and thank you for the opportunity. I stumbled across this blog while researching log file sync waits. Glad to see you still love the technical work.

    George

  10. osborne says:

    George,

    Good to hear from you. I thought at some point I would expand the “blah, blah, blah” part, but so far I haven’t had the time.

    Kerry

  11. Don Dazey says:

    Kerry,
    I’m another participant in the “blah, blah, blah” part. I never got the chance to thank you for all the opportunities you brought my way. I’m still doing Oracle consulting work, this time for a company larger than DCI. Found this blog trying figure out SQL Profiles. Thanks for the tip!

    – Thank You for everything!

    Don D.

  12. Keith Wilcox says:

    Love the info about creating sql profiles and how to pull one from AWR. My team at Epsilon has use this for multiple projects (we were previously using outlines). Great info. Thanks.

  13. Mark Rogers says:

    Kerry,

    It was good to speak with you at the recent Exadata CAB.

    Thanks for your blog entries – these are realy helpful and interesting!

    Mark Rogers (Garmin)

  14. Is that a North Dakota hat? Go Sioux!

  15. John Mullins says:

    A friend of mine (and former Austin band mate) at Informatica passed me a link to this blog and asked if you were a former Men About Town band mate. Of course I said heck no, I don’t know that weirdo. Actually, I told him you are a great guy and if he needed Oralce advice/info, you were the guy. If you get down to Austin anytime soon, let me know.

  16. osborne says:

    Hi John,

    Good to hear from you. I make it to Austin only once in a great a while. Hope things are going well for you. Still playing the guitar I assume? Drop me a line and let me know how the family is doing.

    Kerry

  17. César says:

    Would you like some help yours, implemented the ODA, but I’m having problems of slowness in the application and generation of several events between the two nodes:

    gc buffer busy release
    gc buffer busy acquire
    gc buffer busy block busy

  18. Reiner Zimmermann says:

    Kerry, thanks for coming to our event this week and supporting our program. Great to get you known!

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