Monday, October 25, 2010

AWOL: DBA Turned Gardener Temporarily, but Still Obsessed with Transaction Log Files

After 10 Years, a Move Closer to School and Work
Wow, how moving house interrupts life. I can appreciate we have not had to move about more frequently! Background: Starting at the beginning of May, a month prior to moving, my sage wife Victoria insisted we start the packing of boxes progressively – and thank God we did! It took a good five days to transfer everything over from the Plateau to the Town of Mount Royal. Now that all the boxes, more or less, with exception of books, are gone, and the weeds in the grass are finally almost all pulled out (average sized, but a painfully neglected lawn) and my wrists have recovered from months of intense production DBA work, and thanks to the labour of reseeding the lawn and dumping sixteen bags of ‘Magic Mix’ dirt/manure on it, I can manage to contribute to the Database Hive again.

Obsessed with Transaction Log Files – without them you really aren't taking a complete backup.
Another reason/excuse for being a wee bit AWOL, is not only the change of house, but that there is never a dull moment fighting the Caisse de Défauts (QC Deposit and Investment Fund) most importantly, and quite satisfying it is to hear other major consulting firms had sounded the alarm when I did also (see PriceWaterhouseCoopers' comments on the lack of risk management),  to see that my awesome government defence lawyer from the Working Standards Commission, make her final arguments on June 11th at the Commission des relations du travail (Workplace relations commission), and to this day I am stunned how much the opposition lawyer Maître Unhappy went on and on about attacking my integrity (the victim never seems to get any lack of verbal abuse, financially, and psychologically throughout this legal process, even twisting an example of volunteer work into a negative point), while committing perjury not once, but four times (buy hey, that’s that the standard of professionalism I have seen from the CDPQ all along, so at least they are constant! Our Gracious Commissaire’s amusement at the end of the pleadings left me with quite a sense of relief. I cannot wait to explain this coming Fall how I strongly believe that Financial Institutions cannot claim to fully complaint with law unless the databases used for financial reporting (attestations financieres) are set to use the Full Recovery Model – to do otherwise would be nothing less, in my opinion, that an example of involuntary fraud.  Of course, one can claim that even if they do not backup a transaction log (where Simple Recovery translates into only the Active portion kept, not all the activity between Full backups, read here why), they still have Full Backups to rely upon for Auditing. But as even a layman on this subject commented and explained to me recently, having only a cross-cut of a database in time (because that is all a Full Backup is – a slice in time), principally one that is in constant flux (like those with values related to investments and surely operational financial databases usually are, would not be considered a complete backup, but only a crosscut backup.

Improvements to Home Infrastructure and Work Environment
Once again, I’ve setup a Wifi N network (D-link Claims Wireless N-Extreme Dual Band) but I am still not able to say, step out of the house in the back to make serious use of the wireless internet connection. In the office, which now has four walls and a door (open concept a little harder for writing concentration, and dampening the noise), I can achieve 130Mbps, but I am still waiting to fix the CAT 5e cabling that exists in the walls, after diagnostic tools are begged for, borrowed or stolen
After several years using a squeaking annoying, back-ache inducing chair, I splurged (sorta) on a decent lumbar support included office chair. It seems like you need to drop about $250-300 to satisfy these needs. It’s not so comfortable that I drift off to sleep either and obviously great for writing.

Short and Long Term Goals
Study and take Oracle exams to pass what is required to become an Oracle Associate.
Add a couple of more draughts to the up and coming article for Simple-Talk, which should be ready for newsletters and site by August, after the next round of proof-reader commentary.

Reference regarding lack of risk managment at the CDPQ:  (Konrad Yakabuski of the Globe and Mail had revealed this about a year ago, so they are a bit late...)

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