Top 100 Books Of All Time (I Can’t Read) November 23, 2013Posted by Richard Foote in Richard's Musings, Top 100 Books.
And now for something completely different.
David Bowie recently revealed a list of his top 100 books. It was a really interesting list, especially considering that being such a huge David Bowie fan for so many years, I had only actually read 2 of the books on his list (“Nineteen Eighty-Four” by George Orwell and “A Clockwork Orange” by Anthony Burgess). So as an avid reader, this got me thinking, what would be in my list of top 100 books and thought it would be a bit of fun to compile and share my own list.
Well after lots of consideration and much dwelling back into my distant past, I’ve come up with a list of my favourite 100 books of all time. I’ve tackled this a little differently in that I’ve tried to view this from the perspective of my feelings and impressions of when I actually first read a book, rather than how I might view a particularly book now. So for example, it was the joy and excitement of a nine year old Richard Foote reading “Comet In Momminland” over a couple of dark winter evenings in Manchester that has an equal vote to the somewhat older current version.
I also decided to treat a series of books as being the one logical book, a “partitioned book” if you like, but only when such a complete series deserves credit (for example “The Lord of the Rings”) but not so if the series doesn’t hold up as a whole (such as with the “Dune” series and the less inspiring follow-ups after the brilliant original novel).
Getting to the 70-80 mark wasn’t actually too difficult but deciding which books get to fill the remaining slots was really quite tricky with various books and authors being in then out then in again. Then I remembered an important book or two which meant something else had to go. But in the end, I think the final 100 I’ve selected is a pretty good overall reflection of what I considered to be a really good read at the time.
Finally, the books are ordered alphabetically as it was just a task too far to try and order them in order of preference. However, there is one notable exception as I do have a clear favourite, that being J. R. R. Tolkien’s classic “The Lord of the Rings”. I remember as if it was only yesterday having a week off school, sick in bed with tonsillitis, when my parents bought me “The Fellowship of the Ring” to cheer me up. Not only did it cheer me up but my introduction to the land of Middle-Earth in many ways changed my life as so many fantasy based novels in my list will testify. It’s also about the only book on the list that I’ve repeated read over the years.
I guess that’s why all the books ultimately made it on the list, having helped in some way (some more than others) to mould me into who I am today. That and considering them a damn fine read at the time of course.
So here they are, my top 100 books of all time. I wonder how many you’ve read :)
1 ”The Lord of the Rings” J.R.R. Tolkien 1954-1955
2 ”The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People” Stephen R. Covey 1989
3 ”The Adventures of Tintin” Herge 1929-1976
4 ”Alias David Bowie” Peter and Leni Gillman 1987
5 ”Animal Farm” George Orwell 1945
6 ”Asterix the Gaul” Rene Goscinny and Albert Uderzo 1961-1977
7 ”The Axis Trilogy” Sara Douglass 1995-1996
8 ”The Belgariad Series” David Eddings 1982-1984
9 ”The Bitterbynde Trilogy” Cecilia Dart-Thornton 2001-2002
10 ”The Book of Words Trilogy” J. V. Jones 1995-1997
11 ”Casino Royale” Ian Flemming 1953
12 ”The Cat in the Hat” Dr Seuss 1957
13 ”Charlotte’s Web” E. B. White 1952
14 ”The Chronicles of Narnia” C. S. Lewis 1950-1956
15 ”A Clockwork Orange” Anthony Burgess 1962
16 ”The Complete Tales of Hans Christian Andersen” Christian Anderson 1835-1845
17 ”The Complete Tales of Mystery and Imagination” Edgar Allan Poe 1839-1943
18 ”The Da Vinci Code” Dan Brown 2003
19 ”Dali” Max Gerard 1986
20 ”The Dark Tower Series” Stephen King 1982-2012
21 ”David Bowie – The Pitt Report” Kenneth Pitt 1983
22 ”David Bowie Black Book” Miles 1980
23 ”David Robert Jones Bowie: The Discography Of A Generalist, 1962-1979″ David Jeffrey Fletcher 1979
24 ”The Day of the Triffids” John Wyndham 1951
25 ”Dune” Frank Herbert 1965
26 ”Effective Oracle By Design” Tom Kyte 2003
27 ”Ender’s Game Series” Orson Scott Card 1985-1996
28 ”Far from the Madding Crowd” Thomas Harding 1874
29 ”The Far Side Gallery Series” Gary Larson 1984-1995
30 ”The Farseer Trilogy” Robin Hobb 1995-1997
31 ”The First Chronicles of Thomas Covenant” Stephen R. Donaldson 1977-1979
32 ”The First Law Trilogy” Joe Abercrombie 2006-2008
33 ”Footrot Flats Series” Murray Ball 1975-1994
34 ”The Foundation Trilogy” Isaac Asimov 1951-1953
35 ”The Gap Series” Stephen Donaldson 1991-1996
36 ”The Grapes of Wrath” John Steinbeck 1939
37 ”Great Escape Stories” Eric Williams 1958
38 ”The Green Mile” Stephen King 1996
39 ”Greg Mandel Series” Peter F. Hamilton 1993-1995
40 ”Gulliver’s Travels” Jonathan Swift 1726
41 ”The Hamlyn Children’s Animal World Encyclopedia in Colour” 1967
42 ”The Original Hardy Boys Mystery Stories” Franklin W. Dixon 1927-1979
43 ”Harry Potter Series” J. K. Rowling 1997-2007
44 ”The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy” Douglas Adams 1979
45 ”HMS Ulysses” Alistair MacLean 1955
46 ”The Hobbit” J.R.R. Tolkien 1937
47 ”The Hound of the Baskervilles” Arthur Conan Doyle 1902
48 ”I, Robot” Iasaac Asimov 1950
49 ”The Importance of Being Earnest” Oscar Wilde 1895
50 ”Inside Out – A Personal History of Pink Floyd” Nick Mason 2004
51 ”Islands In The Sky” Arthur C. Clarke 1954
52 ”It” Stephen King 1986
53 ”James and the Giant Peach” Roald Dahl 1961
54 ”John Lennon – The Life” Philip Norman 2008
55 ”Jonathan Livingston Seagull” Richard Bach 1970
56 ”Killers of Eden” Tom Mead 1961
57 ”Life on Earth” David Attenborough 1979
58 ”Lord of the Flies” William Golding 1954
59 ”Magician” Raymond E. Feist 1982
60 ”The Midwich Cuckoos” John Wyndham 1957
61 ”The Millennium Trilogy” Stieg Larsson 2005-2007
62 ”The Mists of Avalon” Marion Zimmer Bradley 1983
63 ”Moby-Dick” Herman Melville 1851
64 ”Moomin Series” Tove Jansson 1945-1970
65 ”Mordant’s Need” Stephen Donaldson 1986-1987
66 ”The Name of the Wind” Patrick Rothfuss 2007
67 ”The Night’s Dawn Trilogy” Peter F. Hamilton 1996-1999
68 ”Nineteen Eighty-Four” George Orwell 1949
69 ”The Observer’s Book of Birds” S. Vere Benson 1972
70 ”Of Mice and Men” John Steinbeck 1937
71 ”Optimizing Oracle Performance” Cary Millsap and Jeff Holt 2003
72 ”Oracle 7 Database Concepts Manual” Oracle Corporation 1996
73 ”The Original Shannara Trilogy” Terry Brooks 1977-1985
74 ”Pigs Might Fly. The Inside Story of Pink Floyd” Mark Blake 2007
75 ”Practical Oracle 8i – Building Efficient Databases” Jonathan Lewis 2000
76 ”The Pythons Autobiography” The Pythons 2003
77 ”The Rain Wilds Chronicles” Robin Hobb 2009-
78 ”Rainbows End” Vernor Vinge 2006
79 ”The Saga of Pliocene Exile” Julian May 1981-1984
80 ”Saucerful of Secrets: The Pink Floyd Odyssey” Nicholas Schaffner 1991
81 ”The Second Chronicles of Thomas Covenant” Stephen R. Donaldson 1980-1983
82 ”The Silmarillion” J. R. R. Tolkien 1977
83 ”The Silver Sword” Ian Serraillier 1956
84 ”Soldier Son Trilogy” Robin Hobb 2005-2008
85 ”A Song of Ice and Fire Series” Gearge R. R, Martin 1991-
86 ”The Stand” Stephen King 1978
87 ”Syd Barrett – A Very Irregular Head” Rob Chapman 2010
88 ”The Tale of Peter Rabbit” Beatrix Potter 1902
89 ”Tales of the OakTable” Various Oracle Experts 2003
90 ”The Thirty-Nine Steps” John Buchan 1915
91 ”The Time Machine” H. G. Wells 1895
92 ”Tinker, Tailer, Soldier, Spy” John le Carre 1974
93 ”Treasure Island” Robert Louis Stevenson 1881
94 ”The View from the Mirror Quartet” Ian Irvine 1998-1999
95 ”Void Trilogy” Peter F. Hamilton 2007-2010
96 ”The War of the Worlds” H. G. Wells 1898
97 ”Watership Down” Richard Adams 1972
98 ”The Wheel of Time Series” Robert Jordan 1990-2013
99 ”Where Eagles Dare” Alistair MacLean 1967
100 ”The Wind In The Willows” Kenneth Grahame 1908
OTWUK13 (Battle For Britain) November 14, 2013Posted by Richard Foote in OTWUK13, Richard's Musings.
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I’ve been fortunate to attend and present at many Oracle conferences over the years but the one I would love to get to one year is the UKOUG conference. It always seems to have a great line-up of speakers and I’ve heard lots of positive feedback. Unfortunately, it’s a long long way from home, but it might be a good way to get to also see my beloved Crystal Palace football team live in action
For those attending this year, there’s a extra treat in that running in parallel literally across the road will be the OakTable World UK 2013 conference. It has a fantastic line-up of speakers including:
Christian Antognini (now the latest Oracle ACE Director)
The event is free to all those attending the UKOUG conference but you need to register here first.
Maybe next year I’ll finally have a crack at getting to the UK and attending …
1,000,000 Blog Visits (How I Made My Millions) April 30, 2013Posted by Richard Foote in Richard's Musings.
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Things have certainly been busy lately so I haven’t had much of a chance to get back here for a while. Busy at work, busy at home, busy at play and even busy with a new David Bowie album to enjoy !! And yes, “The Next Day” is an absolutely stunning album by the great man
While answering a backlog of questions today however, I noticed the blog has recently just passed a rather significant milestone. A little like driving the car and being too busy listening to David Bowie on the stereo to notice that the odometer has just passed 200,000 kms (yes my car is getting on a bit), I missed out on seeing the blog visit counter go past 1,000,000 visits. I kinda get excited by these milestones, see how I was when I passed 10,000, so I’m a little sad to have missed the party. That said, 1 million is quite a number for a humble little blog that doesn’t discuss Lady Gaga or religion (very often).
So thank-you to everyone that has visited and contributed to all the various discussions over the years.
The good news, I have a couple of new articles that will hopefully make an appearance in the next few days so the drought is nearly over But first, I have a new episode of Game of Thrones Season III to get through
It’s been quite a while but I’ve recently been asked to present my Indexing Seminar in Europe for Oracle University and at this stage, all the planets seem to be aligning themselves to make this a distinct possibility.
Seminar details are as follows:
Location: Bucharest, Romania
When: 17-18 June 2013
Cost: 2000 RON (approx. 450 EUR)
Enrolment: Follow this link
This will be a unique opportunity as I just don’t get the chance in my schedule to present this any more, to learn some rather interesting and useful information on all things to do with Oracle indexes. Note there are currently no plans to schedule other events in the foreseeable future, this is it.
Hopefully you’ll get the opportunity to attend and I’ll get to meet you in beautiful Bucharest
5 Year Anniversary (5 Years) December 20, 2012Posted by Richard Foote in Richard's Musings.
It’s just occurred to me that I’ve just recently past the 5 year anniversary of when I started this humble little blog !!
My first real post on Invisible Indexes was written back on 11 December 2007. Some 256 posts later and I’m still here, posting occasionally on Oracle Indexes with as many David Bowie references as I can manage
There have been roughly 923,000 page views in that time and more importantly some 3,000+ comments in total, some of them driving shall we say “interesting and lively” debates. The entry with the most comments is this one on how execution plans can suddenly when the statistics remain unchanged, although this one on rebuilding indexes every Sunday afternoon was up there as well.
The most views on any given day was back on March 13, 2010 with 3606 views, when this entry on block and tree dumps was particularly hammered. The most popular blog entry of all time however goes to this one on the change of behaviour of dbms_stats with 10g, with this one on the differences between an index rebuild, coalesce and shrink a very close second.
My all-time favourite blog entry however is this April Fool’s one on my retirement announcement and plans to work in the adult film industry. Some of the comments on this one are just classic
A very sincere thank-you to all my loyal readers and to everyone who has contributed to this blog over the years, I hope you’ve learnt something new along the way. I certainly have !! With the Oracle 12c database due for release sometime in 2013, I’m sure there will be lots to write about for a while longer yet
“Pushing through the market square, so many mothers sighing, news had just come over we had 5 years left to cry in“
250 Posts !! October 5, 2012Posted by Richard Foote in Richard's Musings.
WordPress reported that my last post on Exadata Storage Indexes was my 250th !!
Who would have thought …
Back At Oracle Corporation (The Return Of The Thin White Duke) November 30, 2011Posted by Richard Foote in Richard's Musings.
I’ve been very quiet on the blogging front lately, so apologies for that.
One of the main reasons is that after a period of nearly 10 years, I’ve decided to take up a position back at Oracle Corporation as a “Principal Solutions Consultant” in sunny Canberra. So things have been rather hectic, finishing up in my previous job and starting up afresh at Oracle. Things have certainly changed a lot over this time, with new offices and a much larger workforce than worked in Canberra previously. Some things haven’t changed such as I’ve still got my old email address and the same employee number (2020) as before. I’ve got that feeling of being really excited again at work which I’ve missed recently so I’m really looking forward to my many new adventures to come at Oracle.
The good news is that I’ve been given the green light to continue on with my blogging activities so expect action on that front here again soon. I’ll still be keeping it technical (unless there’s a new David Bowie album or Pink Floyd Box-set to discuss of course) and I’ll still be talking mainly about indexes as there’s heaps that I’ll still like to cover such as Secondary Indexes on IOTs as promised previously, as well as looking at more “exotic” indexes such as those for Spatial, XML, Oracle Text etc. There are also a few “rumours” regarding not needing indexes with Exadata which might potentially become full-blown myths if I don’t do something about it
I’ll also get back to answering the various questions that have been building up over the past few weeks.
So stay tuned !!
The Dark Side Of The Moon Immersion Box Set September 4, 2011Posted by Richard Foote in Pink Floyd, Richard's Musings, The Dark Side of the Moon.
It’s Father’s Day here today in Australia and because I’ve naturally been a really really good Dad all year, my family have given me a real treat for my present this year, the Immersion Box Set of the Pink Floyd classic, The Dark Side Of The Moon (although unfortunately, I have to wait a couple of weeks for it to get released until I can get my hands on it).
As the days of actually having a physical format for music (be it record or tape or CD or whatever) to hold and hug are fast disappearing in this age of digital downloads, Pink Floyd have decided to re-release their back catalogue in physical format one last time with some style.
All their albums are being re-released in new digitally remastered formats, but three of their very best albums (The Dark Side Of The Moon in late September, Wish You Were Here in November and The Wall in February 2012) get the special treatment with the release of Immersion Box Sets.
So what do you get in TDSOTM Immersion Box Set ?
The answer is heaps !!
In a very large box (naturally), you get:
Disc 1 , a CD containing a digitally remastered version of the album
Disc 2, a CD containing a previously unreleased live concert at Wembley dating back to 1974.
Disc 3, an audio DVD containing various 5.1 Surround Sound and Quadraphonic (as originally released in 1973) mixes of the album
Disc 4, a visual DVD containing various live performances, documentaries and all the original concert screen films (makes me want to go out and buy a circular TV !!)
Disc 5, a Blu-Ray containing both audio and video highlights of what I’ve listed already
Disc 6, a CD containing previously unreleased material, including demos and the various live sequences that didn’t quite make it onto the final album.
You also get a whole bunch of other goodies, including colour booklets, a photo book, Storm Thorgerson artwork and cards, a set of 9 coasters, a scarf (just in time for our Canberra summer), Pink Floyd marbles (of course) and replicas of various memorabilia.
I can’t wait !!
I’m almost pitying the neighbours already as I fully plan to sit in the middle of my surround sound system and play all this as it was intended. REALLY REALLY LOUD !!
If you want more details or you’re interested in buying this as well, simply click on the picture of the album artwork above.
This will definitely make my Recommendations Page
A Few Random Notes June 18, 2011Posted by Richard Foote in Richard's Musings.
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Just a few random notes.
Jonathan Lewis has an interesting quiz on Oracle Indexes in answer to a question from the OTN forums:
“If I delete 90% of the rows from a table which has a few indexes, without rebuilding or coalescing indexes afterwards, will this improve the performance of index range scans ?”
Check out his Night Quiz blog entry for an excellent discussion on how things might be better, worse, unchanged or possibly all three in answer to the question.
I’ve received quite a number of emails and blog comments regarding errors in trying to access some of my older demos. There appears to be a problem with later versions of WordPress not supporting plain text files. I have on my to-do list the task of converting these files to PDF format so they can be generally viewable again. I hope to complete this thrilling task in the next week or so. Will keep you informed.
Finally, I had my paper on “10 Things You Possibly Don’t Know About Oracle Indexes” accepted for this years InSync11 Conference, to be held this year on 16-17 August 2011 at the Convention Centre in Sydney. As usual, there’s a great array of presenters including Tom Kyte, Connor McDonald, Chris Muir, Tim Hall, Graham Wood and Marcelle Kratochvil to name but a very few. Follow the link for the Full 2 Day Programme. Looking forward to it already and the opportunity to catch up with a lot of folks.
For those of you wondering, my negotiations with Manchester United, Barcelona and South Cooma Over 45′s Second 11 are still ongoing
The Best Goal Ever !! (Fearless) June 12, 2011Posted by Richard Foote in Richard's Musings.
Australia (and Canberra specifically) had recently been suffering from two very long and difficult droughts.
One had been a severe lack of rain, which left dams at record low levels. After many years, this ended earlier in the year with rain aplenty and with local dams at long last back at 100% capacity.
The other drought however only just ended last week. That being for nearly three very long and difficult years, I had not managed to score a single goal for my local football team, the mighty Lanyon United. Well at long long last, this drought was also finally broken last week with arguably the best goal in the history of the game (well OK, perhaps I’m exaggerating just a tiny bit with the quality of the goal).
Here it is !!
I can neither confirm or deny rumours that I’m currently in negotiations with several leading European football teams
Time (Hanging On In Quiet Desperation) !! September 14, 2010Posted by Richard Foote in Richard's Musings.
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UPDATE: My first presentation at OpenWorld on Sunday “Session S318615: “IOUG Oracle Indexing Tips, Tricks and Traps” is now FULL. Hopefully you have already pre-registered although sometimes with these things, the presentation might be moved to a bigger room.
For those of you who may have been wondering why it’s been so quiet here lately, no, while driving home from work one dark evening, I haven’t been taken by aliens on board their mothership, to a beautiful but mysterious galaxy far far away, to be experimented on and mind probed into why earthling indexes in Oracle databases need to be rebuilt so infrequently …
I’ve just been really really busy !!!
The InSync10 Conference in Melbourne last month was excellent, a really good 2 days and it was nice to catch up with lots of my Oracle friends such as John Bushell, Tom Kyte, Connor McDonald, Mogens Norgaard, Debra Lilley, Kyle Hailey, Penny Cookson, Jeannie Dobney, Tony Jambu, as well as meeting lots of other nice people as well. My talk was well attended (considering the stiff competition) and seem to go well considering the nice feedback I’ve received.
However, the biggest thrill of all was catching up with Stanley the ACE vest again. You can just see the excitement on my face in this picture of me with Stanley !!
Since then it’s been non-stop. I’ve been on Oracle training courses, I’ve been finalising my presentations for OpenWorld, updating my seminar materials for the upcoming seminars in Europe next month, in heavy training trying to overcome various injuries so I can compete in the football final series (we managed to make the grand final again this year only to be beaten by Canberra FC 0-1), helping kids with their homework revision (I had forgotten just what fun maths and simultaneous equations can be !!), trying to learn and experiment and pick up as much 11g release 2 knowledge as I possibly can at work ready for our upcoming upgrades, and on and on it goes.
So unfortunately, my poor little blog has been rather sad and neglected lately as a result.
Things don’t appear to be slowing down anytime soon with my packing nearly done for my trip to Oracle Openworld nearly upon me !! I’m again really looking forward to catching up with lots of people in San Francisco, should be another excellent experience. Received an email recently from Oracle marketing to say that my first presentation on the Sunday is filling up fast, which is nice to know. My agenda is:
Session S318615: “IOUG: Oracle Indexing Tips Trick and Traps” – Sunday September 19, 12:30pm Moscone West L2 Room 2005
Session S319069: “Oracle Indexing New Features In Oracle11g R1 and R2″ – Monday September 20, 2:00pm Moscone South Room 303
“Unconference: Oracle Indexing Q & A With Richard Foote” Tuesday 21 September, 10:00am Hotel Parc 55 Mason Room
Hopefully, I’ll have the chance to catch up with a lot of you in the coming week at OpenWorld. To gurantee a place in the first two sessions, I would recommend booking ASAP via the Scheduler Builder facility.
A sad thing about going to Oracle OpenWorld this year however is that I’ll miss my local rugby league team, the Canberra Raiders playing a home final against the Western Tigers. I’ve a feeling this could finally be our year and I’ll miss on most of the final series while in the US. Go the mighty Green Machine !! Hopefully, I’ll be back in time to watch them win the grand final.
Finally, just want to quickly mention the Michigan OakTable Symposium 2010 Conference that’s on this week. I would dearly love to go but my schedule made it impossible. However, it’s a fantastic conference with a truly quality list of speakers and if you have the chance to go, I would strongly recommend grabbing that chance.
Hoping to write a few blog posts in the coming days, to complete my little series on block dumps, to write a few things from OpenWorld, cover some of the nice little goodies from 11g that are index related and review the fantastic deluxe re-release of the classic David Bowie album, “Station to Station”.
But for now, it’s back to the packing and making sure I have enough undies for the trip to OpenWorld
World Cup, Insync10 and Coming Index Block Dumps July 12, 2010Posted by Richard Foote in InSync10, Richard's Musings, World Cup.
Well after a month of watching the World Cup during these long cold Canberra nights, my beloved Spain have finally, at long long last, after years and years of bitter disappointment and despair, have deservedly won the World Cup !! Iniesta, you legend, you will never have to buy a drink ever again, whenever or wherever you walk into any bar in Spain !!
Life now just isn’t going to be quite the same again …
My dream now is for Australia to both host the World Cup in 2022 and to win it one day as well.
With Cadel Evans now leading the Tour de France, perhaps I have a few more weeks of sporting late nights ahead of me still …
For those of you in Australia, just a reminder that the InSync10 Conference in Melbourne is fast approaching. I’ll be both attending and presenting this year and will be joined by a host of great speakers including Tom Kyte, Mogens Norgaard, Debra Lilley, Steven Feurestein, Connor McDonald, Kyle Hailey, Guy Harrison and Penny Cookson to name but a few. Should be a great event and I strongly recommend making it to Melbourne if you can.
My session on “Indexing New Features in 11g R1 & R2” is in Room 106 on Tuesday, 17 August 10:00am-10:45am.
I’ll soon be posting a series on Index Block Dumps, discussing how to read and interpret them and how they can be incredible useful in learning not only how Oracle indexes actually work and behave but also the internals to many core Oracle concepts such as row level locking, concurrency and read consistency.
But for tonight, a long night’s sleep finally awaits. Buenos noches …
Collaborate 2010: Here I Come (Red Money) April 15, 2010Posted by Richard Foote in Collaborate 2010, Richard's Musings.
Just a short note to say I’ll be attending and presenting at next weeks Collaborate 2010 Conference in (hopefully) sunny Las Vegas.
I’ll be presenting my latest version of Oracle Indexing Tips, Tricks and Traps which was a big hit when I presented it recently at the Hotsos Symposium. Details are:
Session ID: 302
Date: Monday, April 19
Location: Surf D
As with all good presentations, the room is filling up fast so make sure you book your seat early :) Hopefully, I get the opportunity to meet some of you at the conference. Please stop and say hello.
I’m really looking forward to spending some time again in Las Vegas, meeting up with some other Oracle ACEs and taking the opportunity to catch a few shows.
If plans go well and Black 26 finally pulls through and gives me a break, who knows, I might yet retire afterwards …
New Additions To My Blogroll January 24, 2010Posted by Richard Foote in Richard's Musings.
Thought it was time to update my blogroll with a couple of new additions.
They’re also both co-authors in a new Oracle book I’m keen to get my hands on- Expert Oracle Practices: Oracle database Administration From The Oak Table.
My next series of posts will look at how Oracle implements row-level locking and achieves the magic that is read consistency.
For the point of view of indexes of course !!
Coming soon, after I’ve finished writing and updating a few new presentations and white papers while watching the Australian Open tennis.
The CPU Costing Model: A Few Thoughts Part V (Reality) January 13, 2010Posted by Richard Foote in CBO, Multiblock Reads, Oracle Cost Based Optimizer, Richard's Musings, System Statistics.
There’s plenty more I could talk about regarding the CBO CPU costing model and system statistics but I’ll make this my final little comment on this subject for now.
As previously discussed, the CPU costing model basically takes the time it takes to perform the all necessary I/O related activities and all the time it takes to perform all necessary CPU related activities and adds them together to get the overall time to complete a task. The CBO then takes this total and divides it by the average time to perform a single block I/O so that it expresses the overall costs in units of single block I/Os.
There are two advantages with expressing CBO costs in this manner.
Firstly, it makes the move from the old I/O costing model a little easier in that the “units” of cost under both CBO costing models is very similar.
With the I/O costing model, the unit of cost was also basically the number of I/Os. It’s just that the CBO made no (automatic) distinction between the I/O costs associated with single and multiblock reads. The cost was simply the expected total number of I/Os for a given execution plan, with single block and multiblock I/Os being consider the same (unless the optimiser_index_cost_adj parameter kicked in).
With the CPU costing modelling, the costs are expressed specifically in units of single block I/Os. However, the CBO automatically takes into consideration and differentiates the relative costs associated with multiblock I/Os (and CPU operations) and incorporates them automatically into the final cost.
The other nice advantage is that one can use the actual cost values as an indication of how long an operation or execution plan is likely to take. The overall execution times of the plan are divided by the average time of a single block I/O when using the CPU costing formula. Therefore by multiplying these cost values out again by the average time of a single block I/O (SREADTIM system statistic), one can have an indicative idea of the overall expected execution time.
The overall execution times as estimated by the CBO using the CPU costing model is therefore basically = cost of execution plan multiplied by SREADTIM system statistic.
Using my previous example with the FTS where the overall cost of the execution plan was 70, and the SREADTIM system statistic was 5:
the overall execution time as estimated by the CBO is approximately 70 x 5 = 350 ms.
Now this of course is only an indicative value. As all system related statistics are simply averages, there could obviously be discrepancies with how long specific I/Os take to actually perform, the size and number of specific multiblock read operations, etc. There may also be caching characteristics of objects that may influence the actual number of physical reads and associated wait times, it doesn’t take into consideration time taken to actually return data to the “client”, etc. etc. etc.
However, it provides one with a rough “ballpark figure”. If the actual executions times in the above example were (say) 20 seconds, then it’s a strong indication that the CBO may have got it wrong, that it may have calculated the wrong cost and maybe as a result the wrong execution plan. Somewhere, something such as the segment statistics, the system statistics, optimizer parameters, etc. may be inaccurate and is causing the CBO to get its costings incorrect.
The CBO cost value doesn’t compare well to reality and so is perhaps worthy of further investigation.
The cost values associated with CPU costing model is not some random, ambiguous, mysterious number but a value that can often be derived and which can be most useful in determining and resolving problematic SQL statements and execution plans.