Nov 162015

When you are a developer, you probably know this problem: you need to send mails from your application, but you cannot just use your company’s mailserver for developing/testing purposes. So you end up using Gmail or even installing a mailserver on your development PC.

When you’re using Windows, you probably don’t need to. There is this great *free* tool that enables you to receive mail via SMTP. It does not send mail, but you can view what the mailmessage was, including a option to view the headers etc. It’s called Papercut. It hides conveniently in your system tray. Go check it out!

Oct 292015

Yesterday my server, or to be exact: my domain, was unavailable. I completely missed the expiration emails I received, and did not renew the domain on time. That results in the domain being put in quarantine. But I choose DirectNIC for a reason: they are professional and they are quick. So after contacting them and explaining the situation, paying the neccessary fees and boom….within two hours (including the email exchange and lifting the quarantine status and paying for the whole shebang) my domain is back up again.

Thank you DirectNIC. I’ll be more careful next time (next year!).

In the meantime, when the stress levels were at a peak, I bought two other domains, so now you can reach me on and (!) as well.

Oct 252015

This week I bought StarCraft II: The Complete Edition. Did some campaign in Wings of Liberty and Heart of the Swarm, had an Archon session with my colleague, and today I finally won a 1VAI game, albeit a “very easy” one. But that’s my level at the moment.

To get better, I need to practice. A lot. It’s not like Diablo3 in which your heroes get more powerful by getting better gear, it is me that has to improve. What do I need to build. When do I need to build it. When can I attack. What do I do when I am under attack. And most of all, I need to do that by keyboard preferably, not by clicking around in the build menus.

For now I like the Zerg the most, but I’m warned that it is a difficult race to deal with. One of the advantages is that the larvae can mutate into just about anything, but overall Zerg needs a lot of (micro)managing.

So….practice, practice, practice. And set realistic goals. Play 5 times per day is realistic. Win 5 times a day is not.

Update: just had another win. Ultralisks are nice creatures.

Sep 102015

The default Oracle 12c database installation (that a lot of developers will use without going into the advanced setup) is a bit strict. For instance you can’t just create users that don’t comply to the user naming policies. But what about “sys” or “system”? They don’t comply either!

Add the following to your script:

alter session set "_ORACLE_SCRIPT"=true;

Things should work now. Basically you’re acting like you’re an Oracle supplied script now. And we know the rules don’t apply to Oracle, right?

 Posted by at 14:26
Aug 262015

With ulimit -n you can see what the maximum number of open files can be. As superuser you can change that -per session- with the ulimit command, but an ordinary user can not do that. Therefore, you need to change the /etc/security/limits.conf file. For instance:

* soft nofile 10000
* hard nofile 10000

Meaning that the hard and soft limit are now increased to 10000. I didn’t know that this does not change the limits for the superuser. The asterisk (*) is not intended to change superuser limits. Instead, repeat both lines, changing the asterisk to the word root. You might need a reboot for that, but that’s all.

I needed this for Neo4j and was surprised to see that normal users could have more open files than the superuser. No more, I say, no more!

Jul 302015

Today (well, technically yesterday) was the release day of Windows 10. I could have waited until Windows update would pick it up, but I forced it by downloading the Windows upgrade tool by Microsoft. The upgrade itself takes some time to complete, please be patient. On my laptop the process was smooth, and after a couple of restarts I was greeted with “Welcome back Reginald”. Nice touch Microsoft.

As far as looks go, nothing much changed since Windows 8.1 except for the start menu that made its comeback. In a good way. I like it.

Windows 10 also makes it possible to stream your gaming from the XBox One to your PC. And it works like a charm. Good work guys!


 Posted by at 00:16
Jul 242015

While searching for a way to find records in a table that best match what I’m looking for, I just discovered (Google is your friend) Oracle’s sys.odcinumberlist and sys.odcivarchar2list. Very nice functions to create in-memory tables.

SQL> select * from table(sys.odcivarchar2list('a',null,'b','c'));



Never too old to learn new tricks….

May 242015

Early this month I bought an XBox One. Basically to play the updated version of Diablo 3, since the XBox 360 version is “old” and won’t be updated anymore. A big sum of money, just to play one game, but I thought it was worth it. And….judging by my playtime on the PC (practically zero) it is.

Recently I bought Destiny (a game by Bungie) as well. Wow. What a beautiful game, but for a longtime PC gamer, doing FPS-like stuff on the controller is hard. Very hard. But still the game is playable, so I’m progressing albeit it slowly.
It’s quite different from what I ever played. Gear has levels (its levels up), so as you progress, your same gear can get better stats or abilities! Very nice. No need to trade in that trustworthy gun :-)
Bungie seems to have cancelled the crossplatform gaming, but even without that, it’s a brilliant game. There’s a trial, so why not check that out?

Destiny | Official Site