No Longer Lord Of This Domain


If anyone is interested I’ve decided not to bother renewing the following 2 domains:

The first one seemed like a good idea at the time but it takes too long to type :). The second is probably too true to keep!

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Sir Professor Mike Stratton (or quite possibly Professor Sir Mike Stratton)*

Professor Mike Stratton has been knighted.

This guy is the main man at The Sanger Institute. An incredibly intelligent, inspirational and passionate advocate of Cancer Research who without doubt deserves this recognition. Congratulations Sir Mike! Click on the picture for more details of the man himself.
Picture ‘borrowed’ from The Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute website and owned by the Wellcome Library – hopefully they won’t mind  :-\

* ..but definitely not Professor Mike Sir Stratton.

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Sanity Prevails In The US of A

Another chapter in the ongoing saga of patenting genes. The US Supreme Court seems to have its collective heads screwed on as it rules that genes cannot be patented. No doubt we’ve not heard the last of this yet though.

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About Time For Another Free Book


This is from those nice guys at Redgate again. This one is a particularly good read and I’ve learned quite a bit from it. Let me know what you think. Or not.


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Saving Desk Space – Two PCs One Monitor

First up, an apology – this post has nothing to do with PCs or DNA. Mind you it may make your life easier and/or save you a few quid if you work with multiple PCs so perhaps I shouldn’t apologize after all. 🙂

I know, it’s old hat – KVM switch boxes have been around for donkeys years and I’ve even owned a few of them. They’re pretty cool and froody and are an elegant solution to the problem of having too many monitors, keyboards, mice and even speakers piled up all over the place ..complete with the inevitable rats nest of cables that goes with it.

A few years back (when the only tablets were those that could be swallowed with a glass of water) PC connections to monitors were a lot simpler. Generally everything was connected up using VGA (aka D-Sub) cables with maybe the odd DVI cable. Nowadays we’ve got a mix of VGA, DVI and HDMI.


The above picture was taken from an article that you may want to read – it will explain more about the different connection types, in case you are curious.

This is all well and good until you start shopping around for switch boxes. You might get by using various adapters (possibly reducing the quality of your video in the process) but there’s another option.

If your monitor has several inputs you might be able to use them together, having one PC connected via VGA, another via DVI and a third by HDMI. This will work but switching the active input will involve using the menu on your monitor, which quite frankly is a pain in the butt ..and I often get it wrong by pressing the wrong button. 


There’s a better solution, however. Download This utility (I refuse to call it an app) Switch Off LCD and copy it to each PC- this will allow you to disable output to your monitor from your PCs without needing a switch box. You’ll still need something to control your other cables but a KVM switch box can handle that. Something like this will do (it’s what I use).


Hopefully nobody is using PS2 mice or keyboards but if you are you can still buy switch boxes for these.

The utility is also very handy for disabling screen output for notepad devices and the like which is what I think it was originally designed for so check it out if you’re interested in this too.

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Patently Ridiculous

Thank goodness. At last there is a challenge to pharmaceutical companies patenting our genes. How on Earth can a company patent any of my genes – I had them way before any multinational conglomerate claimed them! I’ve always found this notion particularly distasteful so let’s hope sanity finally prevails.

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Another BASH

Not a linux shell this time, but an alternative to ASH (and S-ASH).

Where I currently work I don’t have the luxury to work with The Oracle Diagnostic and Tuning Packs. It’s perhaps not that surprising as they are a bit pricey but I really miss them. I’m not able to access the AWR report and I don’t get any nice pretty pictures of the load running on my databases.

Until recently, however, I’ve managed to get some of this functionality by using S-ASH . It’s pretty neat and I know that a lot of Oracle DBAs use this.

However, now there’s another alternative – BASH by Marcus Mönnig. He also has a wonderful tool called Mumbai that you should look at too. Seriously. If you don’t have the Oracle Diagnostic and Tuning packs, check out his blog. Here’s the kind of thing that you can get, and  for nothing! (taken from Marcus’s site):


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DNA Fingerprints

Some time ago I went to a presentation by the people who ran the DNA fingerprinting service for the police. It was all very interesting and at the end they asked for volunteers to give them samples of their DNA so that they could use it to help develop a new procedure. They promised not to keep the data so I thought that I would give it a whirl.

Well they’ve finished with my spit(!) now and I’ve received a nice picture of my particular DNA fingerprint now. I might just bung it on my wall.  Unfortunately I’m a teensy bit paranoid so I’m not going to upload it here, sorry :-P.

I noticed that not that many people were keen to give a DNA sample. Would you have done? And if we’re that worried about people getting hold of our DNA fingerprints how much worse will it be when our entire genome can be easily sequenced..?


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Another Freebie. More SQL Server.

I need to find me some more Oracle freebies.
Meanwhile, here’s another freebie from Redgate. More on the SQL Server Optimizer.

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Quadruple Stranded DNA

I’d never heard of this before.

Pretty as well as pretty interesting!

Quadruple Helix DNA

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