jump to navigation

Resolving the “ORA-12514: No TNS Listener” error with Oracle XE May 14, 2009

Posted by exertia in Software, Tech Tips, Technology.
192 comments

I faced this particularly nagging error with a personal install of Oracle XE (Oracle Database 10g Express Edition) on my Windows XP laptop:

ORA-12514:No TNS Listener

The SQL Command prompt that came with Oracle XE would work but none of the other tools like Toad, SQL Plus or even the Oracle XE Database Homepage which would open in a browser window would work.

The final resolution after a lot of research seemed to be painfully simple:

  1. Run the LSNRCTL.EXE program from the BIN directory of your Oracle XE install (default: C:\oraclexe\app\oracle\product\10.2.0\server\BIN). You should even be able to run it from any command prompt since the BIN directory is generally added to your PATH environment variable by default.
  2. At the LSNRCTL> command prompt, issue the STOP command. It should say:

    Connecting to (DESCRIPTION=(ADDRESS=(PROTOCOL=IPC)(KEY=EXTPROC_FOR_XE)))
    The command completed successfully

  3. Now, at the LSNRCTL> prompt, issue the START command. It should return:

    Starting tnslsnr: please wait…

    TNSLSNR for 32-bit Windows: Version 10.2.0.1.0 – Production
    System parameter file is C:\oraclexe\app\oracle\product\10.2.0\server\NETWORK\AD
    MIN\listener.ora
    Log messages written to C:\oraclexe\app\oracle\product\10.2.0\server\network\log
    \listener.log
    Listening on: (DESCRIPTION=(ADDRESS=(PROTOCOL=ipc)(PIPENAME=\\.\pipe\EXTPROC_FOR
    _XEipc)))
    Listening on: (DESCRIPTION=(ADDRESS=(PROTOCOL=tcp)(HOST=hostname)(PORT=port)))

    Connecting to (DESCRIPTION=(ADDRESS=(PROTOCOL=IPC)(KEY=EXTPROC_FOR_XE)))
    STATUS of the LISTENER
    ————————
    Alias                     LISTENER
    Version                   TNSLSNR for 32-bit Windows: Version 10.2.0.1.0 – Produ
    ction
    Start Date                14-MAY-2009 01:24:49
    Uptime                    0 days 0 hr. 0 min. 5 sec
    Trace Level               off
    Security                  ON: Local OS Authentication
    SNMP                      OFF
    Default Service           XE
    Listener Parameter File   C:\oraclexe\app\oracle\product\10.2.0\server\NETWORK\ADMIN\listener.ora
    Listener Log File         C:\oraclexe\app\oracle\product\10.2.0\server\network\log\listener.log
    Listening Endpoints Summary…
    (DESCRIPTION=(ADDRESS=(PROTOCOL=ipc)(PIPENAME=\\.\pipe\EXTPROC_FOR_XEipc)))
    (DESCRIPTION=(ADDRESS=(PROTOCOL=tcp)(HOST=hostname)(PORT=port)))
    Services Summary…
    Service “CLRExtProc” has 1 instance(s).
    Instance “CLRExtProc”, status UNKNOWN, has 1 handler(s) for this service…
    Service “PLSExtProc” has 1 instance(s).
    Instance “PLSExtProc”, status UNKNOWN, has 1 handler(s) for this service…
    The command completed successfully

That’s it! That should resolve the problem. Verify by running “tnsping XE” or “tnsping dbname” at the command prompt. It should return OK.

All your tools like Toad, SQL Plus or Oracle SQL Developer should be able to connect to the database now!

Fixing the double-letterboxing effect in Windows Media Player… September 19, 2008

Posted by exertia in Media Players, Movies, Personal Computing, Software, Tech Tips, TV.
3 comments

To resolve the double-letterboxing effect when playing a widescreen (16:9) movie encoded as fullscreen (4:3) on a widescreen laptop: use Videolan.

Videolan is a freeware, open-source media-player that can help to resolve this problem by providing zoom and crop features that are easily accessible with a right-click while playing the video. If you have an older version, check out the newly released 0.9.* (Grishenko) release – it’s really cool!

Upgrade issues with Norton Antivirus June 26, 2008

Posted by exertia in Software.
add a comment

Here’s what to do if you’re trying to upgrade to Norton Antivirus 2008 and getting the dreaded error message: “Setup has detected that LiveUpdate or AutoLiveUpdate is running. Setup will now abort.”:

  • There is no easy way to kill the LiveUpdate processes or services once started. The only way around this is to prevent them from starting in the first place.
  • Go to Start > Run, type services.msc to bring up the Windows Services.
  • Find all the services that start with “LiveUpdate…”, “AutoLiveUpdate…” or “Symantec…” and right-click on each one of them and go to “Properties”.
  • Set the “Startup Type” to Disabled.
  • Restart your computer and the upgrade should go smoothly this time.

If you find a better way to do this, be sure to post it here for everyone’s benefit!

Google launches new Shakespeare site June 15, 2006

Posted by exertia in Books, Search.
2 comments

ShakespeareGoogle has launched Google Shakespeare – a site that allows readers to browse / read all 37 of the Bard's plays. Readers can even plug in words, such as "to be or not to be" from Hamlet, and immediately be taken to that part of the play.

Google Book Search, the Google product which houses the Shakespeare site, allows users to view books or parts of books through their Web browsers if the copyright has expired or a publisher has given permission to do so.

Google’s latest tool syncs your browser settings and favorites June 12, 2006

Posted by exertia in Internet, News.
1 comment so far

The newest addition to Google LabsGoogle Browser Sync – allows you to sync your browser favorites, cookies, passwords and more between different machines. This is one tool I personally have been looking forward to for a long time…

Unfortunately for IE users, GBS currently works only on Firefox. It offers various options to restrict the data you want to share and can also encrypt it if needed. Go check it out and while you're there, check out the other cool stuff they have for Mozilla Firefox users!

Google Spreadsheets: taking aim at MS Office June 6, 2006

Posted by exertia in Internet, News.
add a comment

After offering an online alternative to Word by acquiring the online word processor Writely, Google has now launched Google Spreadsheets as an online rival to Excel. NYTimes reports:

  • It would make it possible for as many as 10 people to simultaneously edit a spreadsheet document online and chat about it using Google’s instant messaging program.
  • The new service will be able to handle several hundred formulas used to manipulate data in Excel, but not more complex functions like macros.
  • The ability for many people to collaborate was quite different from the standard method of e-mailing files back and forth.

It allows uploads of existing Excel or Comma-separated values (CSV) files and your work can be exported into Excel, CSV or HTML formats. The service currently lacks charts functionality but one can imagine a creative mind at Google linking up the Spreadsheets with Google Gapminder (covered in an earlier post) to create professional charts.

These tools can really open up the vistas for online collaborative working especially between people in different locations / countries. Also, the startup costs and installation efforts are minimal (zero!) enabling mass adoption in developing economies.

Finance Brings Value Discipline to Strategy Execution May 30, 2006

Posted by exertia in Finance, Management.
5 comments

Interesting comments from Costco's CFO Richard Galanti in the report "Finance Brings Value Discipline to Strategy Execution: Different Paths to One Truth" from CFO Research Services, in collaboration with Deloitte Consulting LLP:

“We tend to be arrogantly simple.” When planning a new store, Costco is willing to trade off academic sophistication in favor of practicality. He explains, “We use a very basic cash-on-cash, return-on-investment calculation. One might argue that the rate in a new market should be a little different from that in an existing market, where we have a high degree of predictability. But from our viewpoint, keeping it simple is more important.”

"… No matter who you are in the company, one-fifth of your bonus [is tied to] inventory shrinkage. Low inventory shrinkage indicates a clean operation because shrinkage is not just pilferage. It includes things that are damaged, get stale, or lost. It can be caused by paperwork problems in accounting due to discrepancies between the actual shipments and billings. So low shrinkage is indicative of a clean operation in our mind, from many operating perspectives.”

“We’re not going to explain the capital asset pricing model to a buyer … We try to keep things basic and simple—much like our business itself. We sell 4,000 items, not 200,000 items. We don’t advertise. We cut out a lot of the complexities of the retail business and by cutting out those complexities and those costs, we can sell goods at prices lower than anybody else out there—and that’s what makes us successful.” So instead of explaining arcane financial economics, Galanti reduces things to the essential elements that managers need to execute strategy effectively. For example, reduction of inventory shrinkage through theft, loss, or paperwork inconsistency is a metric that goes into the incentive pay of everyone eligible for a bonus. The beauty of the metric, Galanti says, is that everyone can do something to influence it. Buyers can make sure that easyto- pilfer items arrive in hard-to-pilfer packages.Warehouse managers can minimize losses by running a tighter ship. Even accounting personnel can impact the metric by keeping a close eye on the paperwork.

Fun with trends, time-series and stats! May 30, 2006

Posted by exertia in Economics, Research, Trends.
add a comment

If you love trends and making sense out of statistics, check out Gapminder whose vision is “making sense of the world by having fun with statistics!” [via Google Blogoscoped]. Check out the Human Development Trends 2005 report that they have on their homepage.

They have collaborated with Google Co-op so you can add them to your subscribed links and your future Google results which have relevant keywords will also have a direct link to their charts.

Also worth checking out are Trendalyzer – free software that turns boring time series into attractive moving graphics – and interesting providers in the Google Co-op Directory whom you can subscribe to.

Incentivising employees to put theories into practice May 29, 2006

Posted by exertia in Management.
3 comments

“What do you think is a good incentive to help people think through theories that show evidence in practices or outcomes?” asks Dr. Ellen Weber of the Brain Based Business blog, commenting on my earlier post on talent management. From my experience (as a participant) in the talent management initiatives of some well-managed organizations, this is how I think the process can be formalized:

  • Participants in a talent development course, say a 6-sigma course, are first asked to formally note down their understanding of the subject matter, say Quality Management and 6-Sigma concepts before attending the course.
  • Before the course starts, they are to note down their expectations from the course and how they plan to translate it into results. For key courses / audiences, this could be quantified – say, in the number of hours or dollars they expect to save by using the inputs from the course.
  • At the completion of the course, participants are to again note their key learnings from the course as also any additions / changes to the benefits they can think of having completed the course.
  • These objectives can then be formally tracked at the completion of set timeframes, say 1 week, 1 month and 1 quarter from the completion of the course – how many objectives were practically achieved? Of the objectives that couldn’t be achieved, analyze the reasons for further process improvements.
  • In the annual / periodic performance appraisals, track against each performance objective how much the courses attended earlier contributed. If possible, attach dollar values to the value added attributable to the courses.

Thus you have metrics to measure the benefits derived from each course as also a ranking of the attendees who were the best at putting the theories into practice – something which can be further incentivized in the form of recognition and/or rewards.

Online page design tips May 29, 2006

Posted by exertia in Blogging, Internet.
1 comment so far

Eyetrack has some interesting research findings and tips on Article-Level Page Design:

  • When readers encountered a story with an introductory paragraph, 95 percent of them read all or part of the introductory paragraph.
  • Those who spent time carefully reading the introductory paragraph of a story on article-level pages typically spent little time with the full story. Those who gave the intro paragraphs little time usually spent even less time with the story text.
  • Shorter paragraphs encouraged testers to continue reading.
  • Story text in one-column format was read more extensively than story text presented in a “newspaper-like” multiple-column format.
  • Subheads in online stories had little affect on how much of the first or top portion of the story was read when the reader’s interest was strongest. However, subheads increased reading for “skimmers” and for those whose attention in a story was beginning to wane.
  • When readers got to an article-level page, they seemed to be there to view the text. Overall, participants’ eyes fixated on the story or other text elements before the accompanying image.

They also have detailed results on everything from eye-viewing patterns to headlines and font size. Useful resource!

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.