Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Moving Beyond Sight

'Dialogue in the dark' - was inaugurated few months back at Inorbit Mall, Hyderabad.

One fine evening, got a chance to get into the colorful, decently decor-ed reception of - 'Dialogue in the Dark'. A polite, courteous man greeted us warmly, and helped us understand more about this venture. He said, with conviction, that this 45 minutes long walk in pitch darkness would be an unforgettable experience! It was impressive to know that this concept was started in Germany, way back in 1986 and  has its presence in over 30 countries worldwide. Hyderabad is its only centre in India.

Before we entered the dark tunnel, we were handed over long white sticks to help us guide our own way. We were also told that there would be crew members inside, for our help. And then, came out an unexpected, interesting fact - 'The crew members, were visually impaired'.

Lost inside the darkness, I felt helpless. With no idea of which way to go, it was tough to take even a step forward. I strained my eyes, expecting my retina to expand and let some light in. But all in vain! My eyes, seemed so useless! Tapping the stick here and there anxiously, I managed to take a few steps forward.. but what next??

Just then, came our savior --- A Voice.

"Hello Ma'am. Welcome to Dialogue in the Dark. I am Farhana, and would help you walk through this journey. We would go ahead together.".. It said.
This cheerful, polite, female voice was a ray of hope for me, in that depressing darkness!

Me: Hi Farhana! Great to have you here. Its terribly dark and we have no clue which way to go!
Farhana: Sure Ma'am. I would help you move ahead. Can i please hold your hand?

And, the journey began...

As we walked through the park, the bridge, the bus stand... darkness took a back seat. It became easier, to touch, smell, and sense things around us. Each time, we identified an object or managed to find the correct way, there was a sense of achievement, which we shared with our guide - Farhana.

Me: Where are you from Farhana?.. Hyderabad?
Farhana: No Ma'am. My family is in Bangalore. Finished my graduation and came here for work.
Me: Oh..So you live alone out here! In a PG or a hostel?
Farhana: Yes. I live in a hostel at Madhapur, with my friends.
Me: Nice..So what do you do apart from work? Any hobbies?
Farhana: I like to hang around with my friends, love reading books, surfing internet and listening to music.  Sonu Nigam is my all time favorite.
Me: Yeah.. I like his voice too! He is an awesome singer!

I have had a similar conversation, so many times, with youngsters, living away from their families. Farhana's hobbies and interests were not extraordinary, yet not easy for me to digest! Probably, because i did not expect her answers to be this simple! After all, Farhana was visually impaired. Being in her shoes that time, i was struggling to put even a step forward. But she, sounded just like any other normal independent young girl, enjoying her life.

As the conversation continued, she explained, how she surfs internet and reads e-books with the help of software especially designed for blind. As we walked together, we cracked jokes, sang songs, laughed, and then came the biggest relief. Yes, we could see some light at the other end!

We headed towards the light, and I felt like going back to my own world. However this time, I could not share my joy with Farhana. For her, the world was still dark. Finally, we could see the face of the cheerful, polite voice, that guided us all the way through.

Farhana, is an independent girl, with strong convictions. She knows, how to find her own way and live life to the fullest. The dark world where she lives, is not poorer..it is just different!

Monday, May 30, 2011



Saturday, May 14, 2011

For reference - one of nawk usages

Nawk is basically nothing but an updated version of awk on solaris systems.
Was supposed get total available space of all filesystems under ORACLE.
We can easily get the available space on any mount point from df -h command.
However with around 50 such file systems, summing the available space of each is something we would obviously not do!

We have many ways to do the same. Loops is obviously one option.
However this one line did the same perfectly.
df -h |grep ORACLE |awk '{print $4}' |sed 's/[A-Z]//g'|nawk -v s=0 '{s=s+$0; print s; }'

Would use nawk more often now.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Simple and silent upgrade of Oracle database

The regular manual method of upgradation of the database, includes series of prechecks, followed by catupgrd.sql and post tasks, depending upon the upgraded version.
Oracle provides detailed documentation for the same.
However, if you want to get away from all the hassle and keep upgradation simple enough, you can use the following command for silent upgrade to any oracle version.

Following example upgrades the database 'demo' to version.
Please note that before we execute the command we need to ensure that binaries have been installed and the init.ora file for the database is present with upgraded parameters in $ORACLE_HOME/dbs directory. Also, the DIAGNOSTIC_DEST directories mentioned in the init.ora files should be physically present on the server.
Once the above mentioned basic things are taken into consideration, run the following command..sit back..and enjoy!

dbua -silent -dbname demo -oracleHome /opt/oracle/product/ -sysDBAUserName sys -sysDBAPassword  mysyspwd -recompile_invalid_objects true

It completes all the necessatry pre-checks, upgradation, and post tasks.. with proper log files and leaves the database back in open state.. all upgraded for you!