words and words and words
Clarification (about procrastination)

In my local newspaper I read an article about laziness. Being lazy at work, because your employer wants to make a profit out of you, anyway. And you should do the same, be the first.

I might be the exception, i think i am not, but i actually like to work hard, to do the job as good as i can. Procrastinating has nothing to do with unwillingness to work. It is just sometimes, i feel blocked, creatively, which somehow pushes me toward procrastination.

I am not lazy, i like to work, i take pride in what i do, i want to earn my living earnestly and honestly. In the article there were 10 rules to follow as an employee. How to be lazy succesfully. In short : lay low. Don't be noticed. One rule i would like to mention though :

Rule 9 : always be nice to contractors, on a fixed-time contract, because they are the only ones who really work.

Aaaaah, yes ! At last, recognition :)

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Weird how things go. On my private website, i have written a review on the book "A whack on the side of the head", by Roger Von Oech. Which is a great book, about creativity, about how a whack to the head might get you started, and how you could whack your creativity, without hurting yourself.

I have been whacked, recently. My contract has been ended. Which was a bit of a surprise. But it also got me started again. Got me thinking about my carreer, how i would want to progress. How i would go about accomplishing this. Learning again.

And then suddenly, opportunity comes along, with a totally new and different road. And I like it. I hope it works out ! Wish me luck ;-)

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Uncategorized bde borland oracle
Oracle 10 Troubles --continued

We had more than a few troubles migrating to Oracle 10, in our production environment. We are using a clustered server, with 3 nodes, so it should be blindingly fast. I'll sum up our biggest issues (we had) :

  1. Sequences : we used a sequence to make sure the messages we send, can be ordered. Somehow our sequence was set to NO ORDER, but in a single-node environment this always works. In our environment, we suddenly go gaps, leaps, depending on which node you were connected to. This seemingly unexplainable behaviour (sequences are always in order, so the error must be something else), was luckily quickly discovered (are they really?), and easily fixed.
  2. ORA-01483 : all our c++ server software, running on NT, is built using C++ Builder and BDE. We have had troubles like hell with "max open cursor" problems. So, fix, or workaround : count maximum open cursors, if this approaches the database maximum, re-connect to the database. Dirty, but it works. So, in Oracle 8, we had upped the SESSION_CACHED_CURSORS to 250. When we did the same in the Oracle 10g, suddenly, out of the blue appeared the ORA-01483 error. Whammo !! It took us quite a while to figure out what exactly caused the errors. Resetting the aforementioned to its default value fixed that problem.
  3. Database drop-out : every night our database just crashes, hangs. This is related to "open cursors problem". Our applications count the amount of open cursors using the v$-tables, which apparently after a while causes Oracle to hang.

Here is the query which correctly counts the open cursors given the program name :

select distinct a.value, s.sid, s.machine, s.program, s.inst_id, s.server
  from gv$sesstat a, gv$statname b, gv$session s
  where a.statistic# = b.statistic# and = 'opened cursors current'
    and s.sid = a.sid and s.inst_id = a.inst_id and upper(s.program) like '[program-name]%'
order by 1 desc

The query we used before, was :

select count(*) from v$open_cursor where sid=:sid

To solve this, i changed the server-process causing the database to hang each night, to use DOAinstead of BDE. Apparently this also alleviates our open cursor problem. I did notice that open cursors, using DOA, are only really closed in Oracle after a commit. This is taken into production tonight, let's hope it will finally improve our databases up-time.

For the moment we manually stop and start our database twice a day, in a controlled way, in the hope our database can keep up for the rest of the time. Oracle are looking into our case, i am not quite sure why our setup is different than the rest of the world.

It has been a very hectic two weeks. Finally we are reaching a somewhat stable environment, although it still requires a lot of manual intervention to keep it running smoothly.

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Welcome! Welkom op de website van DIXIS bvba. Kijkt u gerust even rond :)

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About DIXIS bvba

DIXIS bvba is a one-man business, founded by Nathan Van der Auwera in 1997 and located in Antwerp, Belgium. DIXIS stands for Design and Implementation of compleX Information Systems.

During my professional career i have been involved in the design and implementation of complete/complex systems, mostly being part of a team. I use the word system, because there exist multiple layers and processes that need to interact, always strongly database-oriented. Communication could be synchronous (RPC) or asynchronous (messaging). Most of the times there was a large legacy system to fit in to.

Since 2009 I made the logical progression to webdevelopment, but always in a wider scope, interfacing to different applications and/or processes.


  • analyst-developer with more than 20 years of experience
  • main expertise: started with C++, moved to C# /.NET(via a very short java-stop), now Ruby on Rails
  • Ruby on Rails devotee
  • strong analytical skills: translating the user wishes/requirements to code and database
  • strong architectural focus (code should be beautiful)
  • strong focus towards creating user-friendly/intuitive user-interfaces (more UX than UI)


DIXIS bvba is een eenmanszaak, opgericht in 1997 door Nathan Van der Auwera en gelegen in Antwerpen, Belgie. DIXIS staat voor Design & Implementation of compleX Information Systems.

Ik ben steeds betrokken geweest bij het ontwerpen en implementeren van complete systemen, meestal in teamverband. Met systeem wil zeggen dat er verschillende lagen en processen met mekaar communiceren (messaging, RPC, ...) , multi-tier, sterk database ge-orienteerd; meestal in communicatie met een niet te onderschatten of te vervangen legacy-systeem.

Tegenwoordig, sinds 2009, hou ik vooral bezig met web-ontwikkeling, maar ook hier steeds in een ruimer kader, met interfaces naar andere processen.

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