Timothy E. Archer

System.out.println("Hello World!");

I usually use VirtualBox as the virtualization solution for a simple way to create basic test machines on my desktop computer. This post is about how to clone a virtual machine which doesn’t have any snapshots. It’s short and sweet, and mostly for my own reference so I have the command handy for doing it in the future.

You CANNOT just copy the .vdi file(s) to a new file and create a new VM using that disk image. If you do so you will get UUID conflicts when trying to point a VM at the copied image on the same machine. Yes, I learned that the hard way.

Instead, you need to use the VBoxManage command line utility to do the cloning which will properly change the UUID.

To do so it looks like this:

"c:\Program Files\Oracle\VirtualBox\VBoxManage.exe" clonevdi "sourceimage.vdi" "destinationimage.vdi"

"c:\Program Files\Oracle\VirtualBox\VBoxManage.exe" clonevdi "d:\VirtualBox VMs\Win2008Server_1\Win2008Server.vdi" "d:\VirtualBox VMs\Win2008Server_2\Win2008Server.vdi"

Today I was trying to apply the updates to my Windows 7 desktop. The update labeled “Definition Update for Windows Defender – KB915597 (Definition 1.101.1291.0) kept failing in the update process.

There really wasn’t anything helpful in the error messages to help diagnose what was going on. All I had was a “Code 8007051A Windows Update encountered an unknown error”.

It turns out that the Windows Defender service was not running on my computer. I went to the control panel to open Windows Defender and upon clicking the icon received the message “application not found”. Weird…something’s obviously screwed up here. I suspect I may have messed up some paths when migrating all of my programs to a newly added D: drive and changing the registry around so that new programs will automatically install to my d:\program files directory.

The fix ended up being fairly simple: continue reading…

Have you ever hosed up your memory parameters such that you cannot get Oracle to even enter the startup nomount state?

Here I’ll do just that by setting sga_max_size to a value less than sga_target, and then trying to start the database.

First a sanity check so you can see the memory parameters. In this case I am using ASMM (automatic shared memory management), and not the new 11g AMM (automatic memory management) features.
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Recently I had to fix a linux system whose root file system was allowed to fill up. Not having much knowledge of the system, I needed a quick way to find out which files were consuming the most space to see if any of those could be purged. The likely culprit was some huge log files, but how to find them?

du and sort to the rescue!

This simple command dumped out the sizes of all files on the system:

du -x / | sort -rn | more

Let’s pick it apart:
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Tonight I ran across the following piece written by Isaac Asimov, and felt is was worth sharing:

What is intelligence, anyway? When I was in the army, I received the kind of aptitude test that all soldiers took and, against a normal of 100, scored 160. No one at the base had ever seen a figure like that, and for two hours they made a big fuss over me. (It didn’t mean anything. The next day I was still a buck private with KP – kitchen police – as my highest duty.)
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Recently, in an MBA class I was taking (Human Resources Management), I came across the 6 rules Jack Welch lives by.

For those who have no idea who Jack Welch is, he was Chairman and CEO of General Electric between 1981 and 2001. He practiced some unique leadership strategies during his tenure at GE, and increased its market capitalization by over $400 billion

I felt that the 6 rules are worth sharing with the the world and am publishing them below through this blog. By the way, I just finished the program and earned my MBA degree! Yay for me!

The six rules are:
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Recently I added a fraud alert to my credit report to see what exactly it does.

I went to http://www.experian.com/fraud and added an Initial Security Alert (90 days) to my credit report. Surprisingly, this was very easy to do, and only took me about 10 minutes. In any case, I got a free peek at who’s been viewing my credit, what accounts I have open, etc. I was able to verify that there are no other accounts in my name (thankfully, there were none), and I even submitted a dispute that a card that I am no longer an authorized purchaser on is still listed in my credit. Within 2 weeks that card was removed from my credit report. It is important to note that you will not be shown your FICO score when submitting a fraud alert. You can pay a small amount to have it displayed though.

After submitting the fraud alert, I also received a confirmation in the mail from Experian, TransUnion, and Equifax that they have put fraud alerts on my file which will last 90 days. It seems Experian notified the other big credit bureaus on my behalf. This was a nice bonus.
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So you keep extending your Oracle datafiles, but do you know what objects are the true space hogs? I use the query below, to look at the size of the objects in a specific tablespace.

SELECT owner,
       segment_name,
       segment_type,
       tablespace_name,
       bytes
FROM DBA_SEGMENTS
WHERE TABLESPACE_NAME = 'DEVELOPMENT'
ORDER BY bytes desc

This will give me a list of my tables, indexes, and other objects in the specified tablespace in order by their size in bytes. The largest objects will be displayed first based on my sort criteria.
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From the expect man page:

Expect is a program that “talks” to other interactive programs according to a script. Following the script, Expect knows what can be expected from a program and what the correct response should be. An interpreted language provides branching and high-level control structures to direct the dialogue. In addition, the user can take control and interact directly when desired, afterward returning control to the script.

At the institution for which I work, I am responsible for our Sungard HE Banner ERP system. One of the development tasks that I was presented with was to automatically run a binary file at 10pm every night. The challenge was that this program was interactive and required the user to input answers to prompts. This sounded like a perfect use of the Unix program expect.
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Today I had a slight crisis…I had to reinstall QuickBooks 2006 on a new computer and restore the backup file that QuickBooks creates with the “.qbb” extension.

Everything worked great, and it was literally as simple as popping in the QuickBooks CD, installing the software, launching the program, and then following the steps from the “File->Restore menu”.

However, once I went into the Loan Manager to make a loan payment, I discovered none of the loans that I setup were there. I learned the hard way that the Loan Manager data is not backed up with your QuickBooks backup file. I really did not want to re-key in my loans, figure out what payment number I was on, determine principal and interest components, etc…Needless to say I was a little sad and looked for a way to get my Loan Manager data back.
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