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Create database fails on package STANDARD

While scripting the creation of an Oracle database, I somehow kept getting errors during the CREATE DATABASE:

ERROR:
ORA-06553: PLS-213: package STANDARD not accessible

Very weird. Until I realized I was using a generic scripting function that issued a SET SERVEROUTPUT ON. It turns out that Oracle can not cope with that until you have loaded catalog.sql and catproc.sql.

xs4all VDSL with the Vigor 130

I am back on a slowish VDSL home connection. After getting used to high-speed fibre, this is quite a set back. My provider is xs4all. They provide a Fritzbox 7360 v2 modem. It used to be that you could set these to bridge the VDSL signal to your ethernet, but this is no longer possible for recent firmwares.

Talking to Grid Control

And suddenly, Firefox did not want to connect to Oracle Grid Control anymore.

The error message displayed was Cannot communicate securely with peer: no common encryption algorithm(s). (Error code: ssl_error_no_cypher_overlap). Google was not immediately useful (suggesting things like turning off SSL).

Trouble in libreoffice Calc

I recently started to experience strange behavior in Calc. When I copied cells and pasted them, it sometimes did not work correctly. Worse, when I tried to do a second paste, formulas consistently got lost and I got only the cell values.

It turns out xfce4-clipman is the culprit. This is a plugin that keeps a history of your selections. According to the manual, it is a good idea to check the option Sync selections. Turning it off, though, seems to solve this problem.

MySQL limitations

I am writing some queries and stored procedure on MySQL these days. Coming from an Oracle background that can be somewhat frustrating at times. Some query constructs are not available, but also the procedural language is quite limited compared to PL/SQL.

I must say, most limitations are well documented. That means that at least you have some closure when things do not work out. Examples I encountered are:

Trying to contribute

One of the nice things about Open Source programs is that you can squash the bugs that bite you. Of course, not everyone is able to do that, but still. And though there is no obligation to do so, it is nice if you share your patches with the rest of the world.

Sometimes, though, the sharing part just does not work out. I recently encountered two such cases, where I tried to do the right thing but my patches will probably never be used.

Certificate headaches

Creating and managing PKI certificates is always tricky. A small list of what went wrong today when following my own guide for importing your own Oracle Enterprise Manager certificate:

Tag clouds

It is quite hard to find a good tag cloud for Drupal 7.

I had hoped to find a views based solution, as that would be the most flexible. Or, at least, it should be able to filter on content type (as I have one vocabulary for two content types).

Virtual Debian

I have been trying to get old versions of Debian to run as virtual machines. Most of it works without trouble, but there are some things you should be aware of, if you want to try it yourself.

My host is a Debian Wheezy machine running Linux kernel 3.11 and Qemu/KVM 1.1.2, using Virtual Machine Manager (virt-manager) 0.9.1.

Releasing old software

After a long, long time, I decided to release a new version of psiconv. That is tooling I wrote between ten and fifteen year ago. In those days I owned a Psion 5 (and later the upgraded model, the Psion 5MX), a small PDA with keyboard running EPOC (also known as EPOC32, a precursor of Symbian).

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by Dr. Radut