Wednesday Jun 15, 2016

Silence for some weeks?

You may wonder why I haven't posted many things in the past weeks. Or why I haven't replied to your comments yet. The few posts were pre-written - and I took off for a few weeks and traveled on the West Coast of the US from San Francisco towards the north.

So while I'm writing new content and answering your comments and building up a new hands-on lab for our upcoming workshops let me share some pictures with you - fully off-topic of course :-) 

Plenty of clouds in Northern California

Coast north of SF

Redwood NP


Mnt Hood

Crater Lake NP 

Oregon coast

Crab - Oregon coast

Another kind of RAC(k) Attack

Portland - great city!!!

Mnt St Helens

Starring at the clouds ... or on my backpack ;-)

Seattle Pike's Place market

Seattle - also a great city

Updates and replies to the comments will follow soon.
Thanks for your patience!!!


Wednesday Jan 13, 2016

Have an Excellent Start into 2016!!!

Roy and I and the entire Database Upgrade Team would like to wish you a very good start into 2016!!!

And thanks for your confidence in our work in the past year(s). The Upgrade Your Database - NOW! Blog had over 440,000 hits in 2015 which is quite a surprise as neither Roy nor I do update the blog full time. But the many mails and comments we consistently get demonstrate your interest. 

Upgrade Your Database - NOW! Statistics 2015

We will continue to report about things related to upgrades and migrations and performance and testing and the cloud and ... and ... and regarding Oracle Database 12c in 2016 - I promise :-)

Thanks for your support and all the helpful emails and comments.
We learn a lot from you folks out there!!!

Have a great start into 2016! 


Friday Dec 25, 2015

Best Albums in 2015

Yes, from time to time I write something fully off-topic.

If you look for tech stuff please scroll down just a bit ;-)

I love listen to music. Every day. Especially when I travel my two friends (Pono Player and B&O H6 Headphones) are always with me. And at home I have a decent stereo system in my man's cave. But this blog post is not meant about gear, it's meant about music released in 2015.

When I look at "Best Record of the Year" in terms of popularity or sells I always get a bit scared. So please take the following list as purely based on my own views and likes. And let me say that I bought all these records or CDs as real media

2015 - A Vinyl Year 

For me 2015 was a true vinyl year. I purchased more than 75 LPs, some new, some from Used Record stores. I never sold my record collection as some of my friends did, I just kept it in good shape - and since this year I owe also a record washing machine which allows me to refresh especially used examples quite easily. I have a fairly good British turntable with a almost 10 year old Dutch cartridge mounted to it. One thing you'll recognize immediately when listening to music on vinyl: you don't skip songs. No playlists. And you'll discover hidden gems on records you haven't listened to for many many years. 

But be aware when rushing down the road to your next record store. A lot of the oh-so-popular reissues settle on digital transfer copies, sometimes not even from the original master tapes but from a second sourced copy. Positive examples are the recent editions of Simon and Garfunkel and the huge Queen box. But others such as the Roxy Music collection or - the worst of the worst, shame on you, Klaus Meine and Rudolf Schenker - the 50th Anniversary Scorpions box and re-editions. Terrible sound. No dynamic at all. Luckily I have my copies of "Love at the First Sting", "Virgin Killer", "Blackout" and "World Wide Live" in good shape from the past. 

Vinyl has another great aspect as well besides sounding often a bit better and warmer than CD:
I can read the lyrics without looking for a magnifying glass ;-)

If you miss Adele, well, she has a great voice, no doubt. But I can't really listen to deadly compressed music anymore. It makes me feel sick as all dynamics, all transparency gets completely lost. And music lives on things such as dynamics ... if you don't believe me look up Adele's "25" CD edition in the Loudness War DR Database. Then you'll see what I mean - the CD version will sound only well in your car or on an iPhone - but on a real stereo system it sounds like a dead fish ... If you still don't believe it come by and bring your "21" CD and we'll compare it to my "21" vinyl edition (which is not a good pressing in terms of quality either).

Enough said. 

Here's my top 5 list of records in 2015

5. David Crosby - Croz (Vinyl)

Good ol' David Crosby has still a marvelous voice. No idea how he could keep it when you read what he has to say about his crazy years in the 60s and 70s. It's a miracle that he survived it. And his 2015 record titled CROZ is a very good collection of laid back folk and rock songs in the tradition of CSNY. The vinyl edition has an extra goody on side 4: a audiophile pressing at 45rpm of "What's Broken" (with Mark Knopfler on guitar) and "The Clearing". Plus it contains the digital download codes for WAV files. I'd wish other record companies would follow this outstanding example and deliver WAV or FLAC/ALAC files and not MP3 with their records.

4. Kamasi Washington - The Epic (CD)

So many things have been written about this jazz record. Most likely because it's hip and cool and very unusual. People who are usually not into jazz can enjoy this 3 hour mammoth piece on 3 CDs. I'd say the critics overrated it a bit as if it was the only good jazz record in 2015 (which is not true). But actually all the jazz records I bought in 2015 where from the years before with Marcin Wasilewski Trio's "Spark of Life" from 2014 or Stefano Bollani's "Stone in the Water" from 2008.

Nevertheless, Kamasi Washington's "Epic" is worth to listen. It's fun. It's fresh and old fashioned and funky and full of soul. It's available on vinyl as well but when I purchased it the vinyl was not yet available. People rumor that the pressing should be quite good. You may read on here in my favorite US Audio magazine Stereophile.

3. Anathema - A Sort of Homecoming (Vinyl) 

My favorite Rock band - from Liverpool, England. They started their career 25 years ago as a Death/Doom Metal band - and when you listen today you won't realize this. A Sort Of Homecoming got recorded in 2015 during their anniversary show in Liverpool Cathedral. A have seen Anathema live some years ago in Munich. And I would say it was one of the 3 best concerts I've ever been to. And I have been to many concerts so far. I have almost all of their CDs. For me Anathema is one of the best Rock bands on the planet. If you ever have the chance to visit one of their shows spend the €30-40,- and you'll be amazed.  

I bought the concert on vinyl on 3 records. But for those who prefer visual impressions and have a decent surround system the 5.1 mix of the BluRay is supposed to be excellent. They play the entire show acoustic with many of their die-hard fans in the audience. I wish I would have had a chance to be there as well.

2. Bruce Springsteen - Album Collection (Vinyl) 

Bob Ludwig remastered all the first 7 Springsteen albums. And I had to get it as many of Springsteen's LPs never got a decent remastering treatment. "Nebraska" did not sound any good - given the circumstances under which The Boss recorded it this was expected. But the remastering let it sound way better than any version I've had heard before.

Before I write too many things you may read what Michael Fremer from wrote about this awesome edition:

Bruce Springsteen: The Album Collection Vol. 1 1973-1984 Reviewed 

Springsteen Complete Album Collection

The only real caveats are:

  • The download code allows you to download only 320k MP3s - who needs that? 
  • A bit more space in the box would have been better.
  • Two of my copies were warped.
  • The included "book" is more or less unreadable as pictures are generally overlapping the text.

But the overall sound quality is very good compared to the original editions.


1. Steven Wilson - Hand. Cannot. Erase. (CD, DVD-A)

This is THE album of 2015.

Not only for myself. But also for many magazines.

You may have never heard of Steven Wilson as he's not present usually on your regular radio station. But for almost everybody interested in prog rock he's called the "God of Prog" for reasons. He is/was the mastermind of Porcupine Tree, he runs many side projects such as No-Man and Blackfield - and he recently did awesome remasters of some of Jethro Tull's, Yes' and Gentle Giant's classic records. No idea when he finds time to sleep because he seems to be on tour almost half of the year.

I've seen him live several times, with Porcupine Tree as well as with his recent line-ups supported by guitar hero Guthrie Govan and drum legend Marco Minneman. And I'll see him again in January 13, 2016 in Munich. He's fantastic. Concerts are more a celebration of rock played at perfection levels but with a lot of energy and full of heart and passion.

Just as an update:
The show happened last night in Munich at the Philharmonie Classic Concert Hall - a quite unusual and suboptimal setting for a prog rock show. But it was truly awesome. Fantastic band (with Dave Kilminster from Roger Waters' Wall tour band replacing Guthrie Govan and Craig Blundell replacing Mario Minneman). Wonderful 2.5 hours of fantastic prog music ...  

Hand.Cannot.Erase. is inspired by a real story. In 2001 young London based Joyce Vincent died - but got found only more than 2 years later. Nobody noticed her disappearance. And this concept album is not only about this woman but also about isolation and our society not taking notice on anybody else. My favorite songs are Happy Returns and Perfect Life. But the entire album is full of great songs. It's an awesome piece of music.

It's actually the album I have listened the most often when being on the road.

If you'd like to read more:

Happy New Year :-)


Thursday Oct 01, 2015

Some Seoul Impressions - 09/2015

A very intense week in Seoul, Korea, is over - and Roy and I both returned a bit sick ;-) The pleasures of traveling ...

But thanks to all our colleagues who did all the orga work, to everybody who traveled from near and far to our 2 day internal workshop (and I still remember many names :-) - it was great fun to spend those two days with all of you) - and of course the the customers and partners we've had the pleasure either to visit or come to our workshop. Upgrade is in your hands now - just do it

Finally some Seoul impressions - and even though it was my 5th visit to Seoul I'd realize still haven't seen a lot of the city :-( Next time ...

Roy and I ended our trip again - our usual ritual - with a visit to the Best Bar on the Planet :-) 

Seoul 1

Seoul 2

Seoul 3

Seoul 4

Seoul 5

Seoul 6

Seoul 7

Seoul 8

Seoul 9

Seoul 10

Pictures were taken in the Bongeunsa Temple, and in and around the COEX Center.

CU soon again!


PS. Forgot to mention this one here ... looks a bit like row-organization inside ... :-)


Tuesday Jul 14, 2015

Just to remember what happened on July 13, 2014

Just one year ago on July 13, 2014 in  Estádio do Maracanã in Rio De Janeiro... :-)

Germany World Cup 2014 Goal Argentina Mario Götze



Tuesday Jan 20, 2015

Some Tokyo Impressions - January 2015

Just some impressions from our week in Tokyo, Japan in January 2015.

Tokyo 2015

Tokyo 2015

Tokyo 2015

Tokyo 2015

Tokyo 2015

Tokyo 2015

Tokyo 2015

Tokyo 2015

Tokyo 2015

Tokyo 2015

Tokyo 2015

Tokyo 2015

Tokyo 2015

Tokyo 2015


Wednesday Dec 31, 2014

Happy New Year 2015!!!

We would like to wish you and your families a Happy and Peaceful New Year 2015


PS: The picture doesn't show Roy and myself - these are Lilly and Bonzo! 

Tuesday Jul 29, 2014

Today the Upgrade Blog has its Fifth Anniversary :-)

Not sure if 5 is a lucky number :-)

But in fact today the Upgrade Blog "Upgrade Your Database Now!" has its fifth anniversary.

Well, there's not an update every day - and there are spans of silence for weeks when I'm either too busy (traveling most likely, writing etc) or when I feel there's not much important to say.  

So it's time to say THANK YOU to all our visitors and readers. I can't say exactly how many people have visited the blog so far as I have put up the Flag Counter only less than 3 years ago. And it does not count people logged into the Oracle network as our IT folks have blacklisted the Flag Counter for whatever reason (opened tickets never get a response). Guessing that we've had over 500,000 hits within the past 5 years. And almost 40,000 downloads of our "Upgrade, Migrate and Consolidate to Oracle 12c" deck. That it impressive. And the new version with new layout, new content and some corrections and enhancements will follow soon. 

So thanks to all of you for stoping by, coming back, commenting, sending mails, discussing and downloading our stuff - and we'll do our best to keep you updated on Database Upgrades and Migrations in the future, and serve you well with useful tech slide decks :-)


Monday Jul 14, 2014

Deutschland ist Weltmeister!!!

No tech stuff this morning :-)

I'm still so exited. It was a true thriller yesterday with 127 minutes of suspense, fights and even blood - and chances on both sides. But overall I think Germany was the better team not only yesterday but throughout the entire tournament. Last time when Germany became Weltmeister (World Champion) in Italy in 1990 I was in Turkey on after-school-vacation celebrating a win over ... well, Argentina :-)

And this time I watched the match again with friends in an Italian restaurant in Munich - and the best team of the World Cup 2014 won over ... well, Argentina again :-) I'm still so exited :-)

And obrigado also to all the wonderful people in Brazil. In previous world cups often matches such as Honduras vs Switzerland had just a small crowd of people in the stadium. This time it seemed like a huge party :-) Obrigado, Brazil!


Monday May 26, 2014

Boat Successfully Arrived at Oracle HQ

Wondering what you can transport with a Sikorsky S-64 SkyCrane? For instance you could fly a Trimaran from the Bay to Oracle's HQ and park it in the lake :-)

Credits go to Cindy Lim for the picture - and you may watch the entire arrival via this link:


Wednesday Feb 19, 2014

Thank You for flying with "Hello Kitty" ;-)

Yesterday Roy and I flew directly after the workshop in Seoul to Taipeh in Taiwan. It's our first time in Taiwan - and the flight to Taipeh with EVA Airlines was quite surprising ;-) I didn't took a picture in the bathroom ... 

"Thank You for flying with Hello Kitty!".


Tuesday Feb 18, 2014

Some impressions from Austalia

Being again in Australia was - again - a great experience. If only traveling to Down Under wouldn't take this long ... :-) But thanks to everybody who showed up - and sorry to those which got a "Sorry, it's sold out already!" message. It was pure fun to talk to you and we'll hope to get a lot of people to move onwards to Oracle 12c as soon as possible. Don't forget: 11.2 will go out of Premier Support in less than 12 months from now on. Of course we'll return one day - and certainly our colleagues from Oracle Australia will be able to assist you as well regarding your upgrade and migration efforts.

Please feel free to grab the slides via this link:
Upgrade, Migrate & Consolidate to Oracle Database 12c
[30MB PDF]

And here are some impressions from a RAINY weekend in Sydney ;-)


Friday Feb 07, 2014

Airfare Pricing vs. Oracle Multitenant for DBaaS?

I'm currently evalutating flight options to and from India for the 3 workshops in March in Mumbai, Delhi and Bangalore.

As everything at Oracle is fully self-serviced I've got stuck in our booking tool for over an hour now just wondering ... wondering ... wondering ...

For instance I wonder why an Economy class ticket with Lufthansa and Swiss to Mumbai and return from Bangalore will cost over EUR 5000 (no joke!!!) even though Swiss is a 100% subsidiary of Lufthansa.

whereas I can fly a slightly different route with Delta Airlines only from Germany to the US and back to Amsterdam and then further to Mumbai for less than half of the price - even though this includes different airlines as well (KLM and Delta) and will take more than twice as long and almsost triple the distance:

Roy (kudos!) and I had this great idea if YOU as a customer would match airline pricing strategy to your internal Database-as-a-Service (DBaaS) strategy?

  • First of all you make the price dependent on the time frame one odered a fresh PDB
    • The earlier the cheaper - except for the last week before a fixed date as now you'll have to max out allocated resources
  • Second you will have to make it completely intransparent so nobody will be able to proof against your pricing strategy being insane
  • Third you should make the price also depend on the process somebody used to order a PDB
  • Furthermore you should introduce some extra components such as "serviced by a lead DBA" will make it more expensive
    • Same for "served by another companies expert" - even though you own that company as well
  • And don't forget to include some components which will give yourself perfect flexibility such as "The enegery prices climbed up this week so unfortunately we'll have to make the provisioning and operation of a PDB more expensive" - and never take back this price growth (or if you do so then just by a portion of it)
    • Or tell people they'll get a special price with the only downside that the department working with this PDB will have to get up to work now at 3:40am in the morning and the PDB won't be accessible after 9am anymore

Wouldn't this be a wonderful pricing model?

Of course you read my irony and sarcasm. You know the answer: You'll be in real trouble if you'd offer such a service and pricng internally to anybody. But I'll never understand airline pricing models ...


Tuesday Apr 02, 2013

Long time no update ...

I deeply apologize for not updating the blog for some weeks now. I'm still working for Oracle, still in the same group - but due to some other things going on in preparation for Oracle Database 12c I had either no time or simply nothing to report at the moment. I didn't want to bore you with Oracle Database 11.2 stuff as the slides don't get changed right now. Oracle Database patchset should be available sometime in early summer with a good bunch of fixes included.

Roy and me had delivered the first internal only Upgrade, Migrate and Consolidate to Oracle Database 12c workshops in Redwood Shores and Colorado Springs mainly to Support and Development colleagues. That was great fun as we did include 3 nice parts for hands-on as well. And we've got so much good and valuable feedback.

In the near future Roy will come over to Europe and end of April we'll deliver the workshop again in Paris, Munich and Reading. South Africa will follow in May - and maybe Orlando in the US. As soon as Oracle Database 12c will get released we'll be ready to go for customer workshops as well. So stay tuned for upcoming dates and events.

- Mike

PS: This happens when you'd like to fly back home from Denver, Colorado, in late March I know what a Blizzard feels like ... and the picture isn't blurry ... it's simply PLENTY of snow ...

Denver Blizzard

Tuesday Jan 01, 2013

Happy New Year!!! And my top ten 2012 songs ...

Happy New Year

to all of you, your families and friends wherever you live on the globe :-)

And - similar to last year - here's my list of the best 2012 songs based on the CDs or LPs I did purchase that year - and I didn't buy much music this year but did focus on older stuff I had on my iPod for quite a while or just started listening. For instance I did get two UFO compilations, The Chrysalis Years and the The Decca Years, after listening to Try Me in the best bar on the globe.

But back to my top 2012 releases and best songs.

Anathema - Weather Systems

This is my true number 1 album of 2012. I know Anathema from Liverpool since 1996 and had the chance this year in early November to see them live for the first time. And even two months after that concert I would still claim that this was the best concert I've ever been to. Period. Just by they way: this album became also the 2012 critic's choice of UK's Prog magazine. And there's a reason for that ;-)

Listen to:
Untouchable Part 2 and The Gathering Of The Clouds

- Dead End Kings

Similar to Anathema Katatonia do exist since the early 90's. And back then their style was way harder than today. Bought this CD at Rasputin Records during OOW in San Francisco and did listen to it almost every second day since then. Don't get distracted by the strange cover - some bands need to have such an artwork.

Simply listen to these two songs:
Lethean and Racing Heart

Steve Wilson - Get What You Deserve - Live in Mexico City

Very rarely I buy DVDs or BluRays as I like more listening to music than watching it. But this one is an exception (and it has the full concert on a double CD included as well). Steve Wilson is the mastermind of Porcupine Tree, one of my true favorite bands. And he seems to sleep just 3 hours per night if you look at all the projects he had done in the past 3 years. This DVD/CD/BluRay is the entire concert of Steve Wilson's solo project after releasing Grace For Drowning in 2011. And sonically as well as visually this concert is really great.

Listen to Harmony Korine and Part of Me

Baroness - Yellow & Green

Baroness 2012 release is my "almost" number 1 album of 2012. Actually it's two albums, Yellow and Green combined into one release. I did purchase that after reading a review in German magazine Der Spiegel a while back in July 2012. The author called it The Album Of The Year ... in July. The band is based in Savannah, Georgia, exists since 2003 and had been already on tour in the past supporting Metallica. I got really touched by the variety of styles, the rough rawness and power combined with sweet harmonies - wow! Some songs simply blew me away :-)

Listen to:
Take My Bones Away and Twinkler and Psalms Alive

Die Toten Hosen - Ballast der Republik

Just a month ago a documentary in German TV did show the entire career of Die Toten Hosen now spanning over 30 years. They started as a punk band in Düsseldorf in 1982 but today they are playing true rock music. Plenty of their songs were frequently played some 20 years ago at our school parties. It's still not their best album ever (that's Ein Kleines Bisschen Horrorschau, the German interpretation of Clockwork Orange with Hier kommt Alex)  but I did listen to some of their songs very often when walking through San Francisco this year at OOW - and I have them on heavy rotation in my car for longer drives (sometimes there's no speed limit on German Autobahns) ;-)

Listen to Altes Fieber and Tage Wie Diese

Friday Apr 13, 2012

The best Bar on the globe is ... in Seoul/Korea

As you know already sometimes I write about things which really don't have to do anything with a database upgrade. So if you are looking for tips and tricks and articles about that topic please stop reading now :-)

Actually I'm not a lets-go-to-a-bar person. I enjoy good food and a fine dessert wine afterwards. But last week in Seoul/Korea Ryan, our local host, did ask us after a wonderful dinner at a Korean Barbecue place if we'd like to visit a bar. I was really tired as I flew into Seoul overnight from Sunday to Monday arriving Monday early morning, getting shower, breakfast - and then a full day of very good and productive customer meetings. But one thing Ryan mentioned catched my immediate attention: The owner of the bar collects records and has a huge tube amp stereo system - and you can ask him to play your favorite songs.

The bar is called "Peter, Paul and Mary" - honestly not my favorite style of music. And I even coulnd't find a webpage or an address - only that little piece of information on Facebook.

But after stepping down the stairs to the cellar my eyes almost poped out of my head. This is the audio system:

Enourmus huge corner horn loudspeakers from Western Electric. Pretty old I'd suppose but delivering an incredible present dynamics into the room. And plenty of tube equipment from Jadis, NSA Labs and Shindo Laboratories Western Electric 300B Limited amps from Tokyo.

And the owner (I was so amazed I had simply forgotten to ask for his name) collects records since 40 years.

And we had many wishes that night. Actually when we did enter Peter, Paul and Mary he played an old Helloween song. That must have been destiny. A German entering a bar in Korea and the owner is playing an old song by one of Germany's best heavy metal bands ever. And it went on with the Doors, Rainbow's Stargazer, Scorpions, later Deep Purple's Perfect Strangers, a bit of Santana, Carly Simon, Jimi Hendrix, David Bowie ...Ronnie James Dio's Holy Diver, Gary Moore, Peter Gabriel's San Jacinto ... and many many more great songs ...

Of course we were the last guests leaving the place at 2am in the morning - and I've never ever had a better night in a bar before ... I could have stayed days listening to so many records  ...

Thanks Ryan, that was a phantastic night!


Saturday Feb 04, 2012

Nuremberg Sausage???

I'll try almost all food wherever I am in the world (except for Scorpios-on-a-Stick, Sheep Penis and such stuff). But I didn't try this in our hotel in Rio:

No offense - but Nuremberg (or in German: Nürnberg) is my hometown - and Nürnberger Bratwürste look a little bit different. If you'd ever visit Germany and you'll have to chance to see Nürnberg you might order "Drei im Weggla" (three [sausages] in a bread bun) and every Franconian will understand you ;-)

But still Roy and me had some fun at the breakfast buffett ;-)

Monday Jan 09, 2012

Happy 2012 - and my music top tens ;-)

Dear All,

thanks for all your feedbacks, for visiting our workshops, for working together with us on upgrades and migrations, in reference projects, in escalated situations, thanks for all your respect and your support. We had a wonderful 2011 together with you and we all wish you a very Happy New Year 2012!!!

Thanks a lot!!!
Roy and Mike

P.S. As I never leave the house without my iPod or my iPhone and a pair of headphones here is my personal list of Top Ten Songs from 2011 - not only according to my listening stats iTunes is displaying ;-)

  1. Steve Wilson - Deform to form a Star
    Steve Wilson
    If you ever ... ever ... really ever in your life have the chance to watch Porcupine Tree (or Steve Wilson solo) live then grab this chance. I've seen so many concerts in the past but Porcupine Tree a while ago in Munich was one of the most impressive concerts I've ever been to. Their music is simply from somewhere outer space ...

  2. Anathema - Summernight Horizon
    Anathema got founded in 1990 in Liverpool as a Doom Metal band - but changed in the later 90s with their album Judgement to clear vocals and athmospheric sounds. I did listen to Judgement many many times (ask my good ol' Oracle support buddies - they will tell you ;-) ) in the past. But this year at OOW in San Francisco I passed by Rasputin Music near the cable car stop in Powell St. - and apparently had two Anathema albums in my hands. Summernight Horizon is just an example of the excellent We're Here Because We're Here album - mixed by (guess?) Steve Wilson from Porcupine Tree ;-) And yes, the album got released in 2010 but I did listen to it since October almost every second day.

  3. Bon Iver - Perth
    Bon Iver
    My album of 2011 - Bon Iver's self titled second album. Bon Iver is mainly Justin Vernon, a hermit from Wisconsin - and this CD is something you'll have to listen more than once. This music is full of open spaces - and I can't decode the meaning of all lyrics. But this isn't really important ...

  4. Bon Iver - Calgary
    --- see above ---

  5. Sólstafir- Fjara

    This band with the strange name (Sólstafir means Crepuscular Rays) is from Iceland. That's a really small island in the very very north-north-west of Europe with a small number of people, dramatic landscapes ... hey, and volcanoes ;-) Thanks Iceland (by the way!!). Anyway, this band got formed in 1995 and I have never heard anything about them until I've read a recommendation at my favourite news page They've played at Wacken Festival in 2010 - this is the largest Heavy Metal festival in the world in a small small town in northern Germany. And their 2011 album Svartir Sandar (meaning 'black sands') touched me from the first track to the end. Another great tune is Djákninn

  6. Mogwai - Death Rays

    I know Mogwai from Glasgow, Scotland, quite a long time. And their 2011 album Hardcore will never die, but you will (great title!) is simply outstanding. I did listen it for instance when walking through Stockholm in the night before my 2011 workshop. It's like a soundtrack for something which you see through your eyes with music tunes by Mogwai.

  7. It's all amazon's fault ;-) You know the recommendations "People who have bought this did buy as well ...". When I was listening to Bon Iver's self titled CD on their algorithms did recommend "Fink" to me. I've never heard of Fink before. And I simply did ignore it. But just a few days later a friend sent me an email asking 'Do you know Fink?' telling me about the great songs, lyrics and the wonderful voice of this guy. The same night I did order Sort of Revolution - and a few weeks later the 2011 album Perfect Darkness ...

  8. Girls - Vomit
    Sorry for this strange title (not my idea) but this is cool song, a cool video - and it was a recommendation of one of my favourite music pages in the web, They Shoot Music, Don't They from Vienna, Austria ;-)

  9. Feist - Caught a long Wind
    From Feist's 2011 album Metals recorded on a huge ranch at Big Sur in California. Great album, great song ...

  10. Coldplay - Paradise
    I own all Coldplay CDs. But their last one with the strange title Mylo Xyloto has been discussed very controversial in the web and the media. And I fully agree - it's somewhat a mediocre Coldplay album. And I've sold my copy right before christmas on ebay - but kept a copy on my iPod. I like to listen to Paradise and Charlie Brown but I've deleted other tracks such as the duet with Rhianna. I'd bet Chris Martin and his colleagues sell again millions - but if you'd compare this album to Parachutes or Rush of Blood ... ouch ... ;-)

    Happy 2012!!!

Wednesday May 25, 2011

Off topic: Travel and presentation equipment

For those you are purely interested in Oracle stuff only please skip this entry ;-)

For everybody else an update on this blog post from last year regarding my Shure In-Ear phones and my Logitech presenter. I always carry my 160GB iPod with me containing mostly Apple Lossless converted music files. "Only" 5485 titles fit on this device once you convert them lossless. But I like to listen to music in decent quality. Therefore my Shure in-ear phones did quite a good job. Especially when I sleep on airplanes (which I had to do quite often last year) it's easier with in-ear phones. And they don't require an extra battery for noise cancelling but still shield quite well from external noise. 

Last year both cables close to the headphone drivers broke because the cables get twisted behind the ear to eliminate microphinic effects transported via the cable to the ear. That's a good concept but they did last only two years :-( I fixed them temporarily until I found new headphones. And the trouble of choosing in-ear phones: In most cases you can't try them on  and listen before you have to buy them. I was pretty sure that I don't like the super-grumpy lows of the US brands such as Koss or Bose (at least Bose let you try their in-ears in the Bose stores). And I wanted to get new ones with an embedded microphone to use it on my cellphone as well. Shure offers an extra device to plug your headphones into it. But this extends the cable length and is just another part to fail.

Hey, and finally a few weeks ago I made my choice (takes always quite a while with tech gear - must be a techie thing ;-) ) Tatatata ... here they are: Beyerdynamic MMX 100

Beyerdynamic MMX 100
Beyerdynamic MMX 100

Just in case you've never heard of Beyerdynamic that's a relatively small German company not this far away from Stuttgart in Heilbronn. They build stage and studio microphones, headsets - and HiFi and HighEnd headphones as well which used to sound very good and last very long. You can get the MMX 100 in Germany and Switzerland with a coupon for your local hearing aid equipment store and they will build you customized and fitted silicone pads for an extra 100 Euro . But I've choosen the "simple" ones with 3 different silicone pads included and they work well for me. Actually the speciality compared to other in-ear phones are the huge drivers. The bass is phenomenal deep and still dry and not muffled. The phones sound warm but clear. And they work well with nearly all types of mucis. There's a huge difference between them and my old Shures. So THESE are my new "friends" during travel - and the mic is helpful as well ;-) The best in-ear phones I've ever tried out so far

For those who speak German: Spiegel Online has tested them a few weeks ago and c't did a very detailed test I believe two years back. Recently Beyerdynamic has revised them and released the MMX 101 - and there's also a version available without mic called DTX 100/101 ... and I neither get payed by Beyerdynamic nor did I get them any cheaper for writing this blog entry.

Logitech Presenter R800Well, my gold old Logitech Presenter died completely after 5 years frequent usage as well last year (obviously not made in Germany ;-) ...). The new device again has become a Logitech Presenter R800. The huge difference to my old one: the batteries don't last this long anymore and the laser spot is not red but green now. And the slip case has still no extra pocket for my set of exchange batteries. So I have to squeeze them in - and once I unpack the device the batteries usually "jump out" as well ... always a big fun to search for them on the dark colored carpets in conference rooms.

We'll see if it will last 5 years as well ;-)


Monday May 09, 2011

Blogs got migrated

Dear Readers,

as you can see the blogs from and the former SUN blogs got migrated last weekend. There was a content freeze the whole week before. And as you might already have found the design has changed a bit. But with the design change everything I did customize on the blog's right column to download slides, access workshops dates or links to some other useful blogs has been erased completely. Even the "About" section hasn't been migrated (which was a default template). I'd recommend that YOUR migration strategy is a bit more careful in your environments ... actually I'm pretty sure that your strategy will be more careful as your users won't be amused by such a result.

Anyway, for those who'd like to download the slides of our workshops: and please put in the keyword in the only empty field on this page tagged with the German word Schluesselwort: upgrade112

Please allow me a bit of time to make your next visit more pleasent ;-)

Thanks, Mike

Friday Dec 31, 2010

Best Of 2010

Hi there,

in Australia, Japan, Singapore and many other countries it's already 2011 - but in Germany and the US it's still some time until midnight :-) To round up the year you'll find a few off-topic pictures from 2010. You might click on the pictures to get a better resolution.

Enjoy ...



Moscow - Red Square


Tokyo Train - Cell Phone Mania


Great Chinese Wall near Beijing


Hong Kong by Night


Yearing Station Winery, Yarra - Victoria, Australia


Dublin, Ireland - during the ash cloud


- no comment -




Sometimes it can be foggy in SF ;-)


Singapore Opera


Stockholm - Gamla Stan


Unbelievable white beach at Camps Bay, Clifton, Capetown


Words fail me ...



Tuesday Nov 30, 2010

R.I.P. my little Logitech and Shures

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Sunday Oct 24, 2010

Japanese Food :-)

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Tuesday Oct 19, 2010

Candy??? Who's Candy?

[Read More]

Monday Aug 09, 2010

Windows CE, dog food and similar experiences ...

[Read More]

Mike Dietrich - Oracle Mike Dietrich
Master Product Manager - Database Upgrade & Migrations - Oracle

Based in Germany. Interlink between customers/partners and the Upgrade Development. Running workshops between Arctic and Antartica. Assisting customers in their reference projects onsite and remotely. Connect via:

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