Free 2 Day Oracle DBA course

For those of you interested in learning more about the Oracle database system, we have a free 2 day course available for you in our IT resource center.

In this course you will find detailed information on the tasks outlined in the chapters of the Oracle 2 Day DBA manual, including step-by-step instructions.

List of Lessons

  • Introduction (No additional materials complement this chapter)
  • Installing Oracle and Building the Database
  • Getting Started with Oracle Enterprise Manager
  • Configuring the Network Environment
  • Managing the Oracle Instance
  • Managing Database Storage Structures
  • Administering Users and Security
  • Managing Schema Objects
  • Performing Backup and Recovery
  • Monitoring and Tuning the Database
  • Managing Oracle Software

Note: The OBE lessons in this series can be performed on either Windows or Linux.

This course comes directly from Oracle, so you don’t have to fear for your privacy. You can sign up for this course right here.

Our portal also offers numerous other free IT publications, whitepapers, courses and downloads. Check it out!

Hi-Can fidelity canopy is the ultimate geek bed

Hi-Can fidelity canopy

A geek dream come true, the Hi-Can fidelity canopy is a bed / home entertainment hybrid that will let you listen to music, surf the web, watch movies and play games, all in the comfort of your own bed. Designed by Italian designer Edoardo Carlino, the Hi-Can is truly an object of beauty that will complement any rich geek’s bedroom quite nicely. No word yet on pricing or availability. Additional pictures and video after the jump.

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Spying or safety measure? TimeSnapper does both.

If you have children who browse the Internet daily, I’m sure you impose some type of restrictions upon their computer usage. Kids are very good at ending up in places they should not be and excel at installing spyware and viruses on your beloved system.

As parents, it is our obligation to monitor their activities on the Web, and even if we can’t look at everything they do all the time, we should at least check their browsing history once in a while. Having a resident program take a few screenshots periodically might also be a good idea, and that’s why you will want to take a look at TimeSnapper, a small application that automatically captures (at customizable intervals) screenshots of what is displayed on your computer’s screen.

Here are a few of its features:

  • Screenshot intervals are completely customizable
  • JPG, GIF, PNG, TIFF, EMF and WMF formats are supported
  • Customizable screenshot resolution
  • Archive mode allows you to keep pictures for a certain number of days or set a maximum space allowance

When you are done capturing what your kids (or spouse!) was doing on the Web, the software lets you play back all screenshots taken in chronological order.

All in all, TimeSnapper is a very useful little tool that could be used for good or for bad, so use it judiciously. Also, don’t forget that the application’s icon sits in the taskbar’s tray, so you might want to hide it if you’re dealing with someone who knows his way around Windows.

FPS Vest: Want to know what it’s like to get shot?

The FPS Vest

People spend thousands of dollars when it comes to getting the most out of their PC games, but at the end of the day they’re still staring at a screen; completely out of touch with what is actually going on in the 3D environment of their favorite First Person Shooter.

The FPS Vest from TN games hopes to change that by creating a more realistic gaming experience wherein the wearer can actually feel events such as the impact of a bullet or the recoil of a large gun. This innovative peripheral uses small air “bladders” which quickly inflate to create a sensation based on what is happening in-game. A total of eight bladders can apparently simulate entry and exit wounds. It clocks in at a hefty $170 and isn’t supported by many games as of yet; TN Games is making their code widely available so that game developers can easily take advantage of its functionality

The system consists of a USB vest combined with a small air compressor used to inflate the pouches. As of right now only the vest is available however, they expect to have a full suit of force feedback gear shortly.

Check out the included video and try to ignore the annoying chick asking all the questions.

[Via TechEBlog]

Five sci-fi scenarios that will come true

By Mark O’Neill

An interesting little article has cropped up on PC World about “five sci-fi scenarios that will eventually become true”.   They are :

The most intriguing one in my opinion has to be the holodeck.   With programs such as Second Life becoming more and more advanced, the possibility of a fully-fledged holodeck can’t be that far off.

The biometric stuff is already partly with us to a certain extent with the biometric passport.    But according to the article, “in a few years, we’ll be using fingerprint, voice, iris, or retinal scans to log on to Web sites and make purchases.”   Is it just me or does this sound downright scary?   I’d much rather just stick to typing in a password.

Geek Lair: Accessorize your setup – Part 2

After procrastinating for the past few weeks I guess it’s time to let you guys in on the latest installment of Geek Lair. Today I’m going to take a look at –and review!– some cool stuff which will increase productivity and snazz up your desk. Some of the great items in my last feature might have been somewhat unattainable to myself and most of the people who read this site however, if you’ve got a few thousand to throw into a chair, be my guest.

This time we’re going to look at the more affordable devices which will really make a difference when it comes to pimping out your computer setup.

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Simple tricks for doing arithmetic in your head

Some of you geeks probably have a slide-rule in your head — there I go dating myself again (and we all know that dating yourself isn’t sexy), I should have said “math processor” or “calculator”.  Anyway, I am personally much better than average at math, but I still can’t do some of the bigger problems in my head.

Via Mercola, I found this list of 10 Easy Arithmetic Tricks to save you the trouble of getting out a calculator for solving some math problems.

The “11 Times Trick” is one I hadn’t thought of before, but it makes perfect sense.  To multiply any two-digit number by 11, you add the digits together and put the result between them, adding any excess digit to the first digit.  It makes sense because multiplying it out long-hand you get (for any two digit number mn):

    m   n
X   1    1
     m   n

m   n

Some of the tricks are a bit obvious, like the multiply/divide by 5 and how to compute a 15% tip (a lot of places are starting to expect 20% now anyway).  But all the tricks are good exercises for understanding how numbers work.

Here are a few more tricks that I learned somewhere along the way for determining if a decimal integer is a multiple of:

  1. Duh.  Of course it is.
  2. Is the last digit even?  Another easy one.
  3. Add up the digits in the number.  If the result is a multiple of 3, then so is the number.  If the sum of the digits is too big for you to know whether it’s a multiple of 3 or not, recurse.  Add up its digits and see if that’s a multiple of 3.
  4. Take the number formed from the last two digits.  If that’s a multiple of 4, so is the number.  Why?  Because 100 is a multiple of 4.
  5. Is the last digit a 0 or a 5?  Too easy.
  6. Is the number a multiple of 2 and 3?
  7. Double the last digit and subtract it from the number formed by the remaining digits.  If that result is a multiple of 7, so is the original number.  If you can’t tell, recurse.  For instance, take 357.  Double 7 to get 14, subtract that from 35 and you get 21.  Since 21 is a multiple of 7, so is 357.
  8. Take the number formed from the last three digits.  If that’s a multiple of 8, so is the number — because 1000 is a multiple of 8.
  9. Add up the digits in the number.  If the result is a multiple of 9, then so is the number.  Again, you can recurse if you’re not sure.  It’s no accident that this rule for 9 is the same as the rule for 3.
  10. Does it end with a 0?  Now we’re back in elementary school.
  11. Add up all the odd digits to get one number, then add up all the even digits to get a second number.  If the difference between them is a multiple of 11 (zero included), then so is the number.  If you think about it, this is really the “11 Times Trick” reversed.  Let’s take 26719 as an example.  2 + 7 + 9 = 18, 6 + 1 = 7, 18 – 7 = 11, so 26719 is a multiple of 11.
  12. Is the number a multiple of 3 and 4?

Looking at this list, the relationship between 3, 6, and 9 is obvious — as is the relationship between 4 and 8.  The unique characteristics of 7 and 11 are intriguing, don’t you think?

What other arithmetic tricks do you know?

Turn your IM client into a domain checking tool

By Mark O’Neill

imifiednetlookup.pngI’ve previously posted about Imified but I have recently noticed a new tool of theirs that you can add to your IM client. It quickly becomes very useful if you are a heavy IM user and you also do a lot of domain checking.

Once you have added Imified to your IM contact list and opened up a free account, you’ll see a bot on the site called NetLookup.    By adding this to your Imified menu, you can perform a variety of domain-related tasks directly from your IM client.

As you can see from the menu on the left, you can ping a domain, perform a traceroute, get Alexa domain information, perform a WHOIS check and also carry out an “enum” search (I’m not sure what this is – can anyone explain?).

The results are fast and it is extremely convenient.   A worthy addition to any IM client.

Burn calories in your hot tub with the AquaFit 19DT

Progress never stops. The proof? This all-in-one gym/hot tub hybrid that allows you to exercise and relax in the comfort of your own home.

AquaFit 19DT

The Aquafit 190T is a gigantic tub divided in two parts. The largest one is a mini-gym in which you can do cardiovascular activities such as rowing, running or stationary swimming. The second side, which can be set at a different temperature and features adjustable hydrotherapy jets, will allow you to relax after your calorie-burning exercise session.

As far as I’m concerned, the only setback is the price: $40,000 + installation fees. A bit too pricey for a modest system administrator, like myself!