Resolving the “ORA-12514: No TNS Listener” error with Oracle XE

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:

    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 – Production
    System parameter file is C:\oraclexe\app\oracle\product\10.2.0\server\NETWORK\AD
    Log messages written to C:\oraclexe\app\oracle\product\10.2.0\server\network\log
    Listening on: (DESCRIPTION=(ADDRESS=(PROTOCOL=tcp)(HOST=hostname)(PORT=port)))

    Alias                     LISTENER
    Version                   TNSLSNR for 32-bit Windows: Version – Produ
    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…
    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…

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!

Recording MP3’s from online radio stations for free!

Here's an easy free way to record MP3 files from online radio stations using the fantastic free recording tool Boombox Internet Radio Player. The tool even cuts every song into its own MP3 file saving you from any messy splicing and dicing.

  1. Download and install the Boombox Internet Radio Player.
  2. You can browse for radio stations by category or search for a specific one using the manual search option:
    boombox radio search
  3. Double-click to select a radio channel from the results list. This will open it in your MP3 player (WinAmp recommended).
  4. Once the radio stations starts playing, click on the menu Recorder > View Recorder to bring up the recorder.
  5. Press Record to start recording the songs and you're all set! Each song gets recorded into its own MP3 file too!
    Boombox Recorder

Disclaimer: Please check for the legality of using this tool in your area.

Setting up a Prismiq Media Player to show a VLC media stream

I recently spent so many hours getting a video stream enabled from my PC to my Prismiq Media Player that I want to spare the agony for any of you who want to try it yourselves:

1. Enable the remote media agent

Telnet to your MediaPlayer. Login as 'root'. By default, no password is required.

Edit the following line in the configuration file magent.conf (in the 'etc' directory):




Restart the MediaPlayer by typing 'reboot' from the Linux prompt.

2. Connect to the media agent by telneting to port 2253

3. Setup the MP to listen for the multicast:

set video_layer 1

4. Stream the media from the VLC server:

Install VLC from and fire it up
Open File or DVD or Network Stream.
Check 'Stream output'.
Select 'Settings…' next to 'Stream output'
Check 'UDP' and set the IP and port to the same values set in the Prismiq Media Player (e.g. 1234)
Check 'MPEG TS'
Check 'Video codec' and select 'mp2v' and bitrate (e.g. 3072 kb/s)
Check 'Audio codec' and select 'mpga' and bitrate (e.g. 128 kb/s)
Click 'OK' and 'OK' to finish -Enjoy your video

 VLC Stream Settings

For a complete listing of the Media Agent commands, check out the Media Agent Control Interface documentation.