Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Exadata: It really works!

For the past three months, I and a small group of people in the creative department at Oracle have been working in secret on the HP Oracle Database Machine that Larry just announced in his OpenWorld keynote. Our group has been writing scripts for demos and videos, designing branding elements, shooting photos, and art-directing Web and print pieces. But we had no access to any REAL information about how the product was doing in real-world tests.  

Then at an Oracle Magazine lunch on Tuesday I sat next to a beta participant for the Oracle Exadata Database Machine.  Once we had established that I was on the inside of the project, he shared a story that made me look forward to the announcement even more.

Without ever mentioning the product by name, the beta participant told me that the first time he used Exadata, he and his team thought they had made a mistake.  The query came back too fast. They spent two hours on the line with Oracle trying to fix the problem. But there was no problem; Exadata was simply faster than anything they had experienced before.

I look forward to watching the the development of this technology in the real-world.  And I’m glad the months of silence and code speak are behind us.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Mix Profile - Ode to Gus

A friend of mine is a magazine illustrator and when the editors want to publish his profile he often just jots down what he's eaten that day and maybe something about where he's been and sends it to them. It's often the most entertaining and informative profile in the magazine and I'll tell you why: you learn about people from the details of their lives and the small choices they make.

In every beginning fiction class students are asked to create a character by showing the reader small details about the characters life, "what's in his fridge?" the teacher will ask, "what kind of shoes does she wear?"

So in honor of Gus and my creative writing teachers, I wrote a new profile for Oracle Mix. (It's not as cool as the ones Gus writes because I do have specific information I am trying to impart to colleagues. )

Jeff Erickson eats oats and fruit every morning in the Oracle Plaza building and then sits down to write a story for the Database Insider or the Fusion Middleware newsletter. Or he might work on a news story for Oracle Magazine or on his Oracle community column, Up Close. Throughout the morning he will fret about updating his blog. Then it’s off to the gym at lunch where he straps on his shoes for a run along the bay with friends. Except on Wednesdays when he meets the Oracle Speakers group in Building 300. After downing a sandwich at his desk, he’ll spend the afternoon lining up interviews or writing scripts for Oracle Demos or for his new show, One Minute Oracle. Throughout the day Lawrence Leung peppers him with requests to review updates or write short tech features for Then he hops on his bike for the trip home and frets a little more about updating his blog.

Update: The character count in the Oracle Mix profiles is quickly eaten up by html links, so you can't publish link heavy profiles like this one. I've asked them to fix this.