May 20, 2009
A quick note regarding instant messages...

I got a random IM from someone I couldn't identify by screen name today, asking what weapon I'd choose in a zombie attack. The thing is, while this is exactly the kind of question I expect to get from friends of mine, I had no idea who this person was. I could be some random crack head playing Left4Dead and sending random IMs to people about it. The point is, I have no idea. And I have no time for random people.

If you know me and want to contact me via instant messenger, please do so. But also make sure to say who you are.

If you know me and have sent a random IM my way and suddenly find yourself blocked, please don't take offense. It's just that I don't have time to put up with random people, which you would seem to be. If you aren't a random person, send me an email and tell me your screen name. I'll unblock you.

P.S.: In case of zombie attack: always take the shotgun.

Posted by ed at 10:19 AM
May 08, 2009
mod_perl DBD::Oracle and OCIEnvNlsCreate errors

To try and save the sanity of future generations (and my own when this happens to me again) I am summing up a host of issues I had getting DBD::Oracle and mod_perl to play nicely together.

In your mod_perl startup script do this:

BEGIN {
    $ENV{ORACLE_HOME} = '/path/to/your/oracle/home';
    $ENV{ORACLE_SID}  = 'YOUR_SID';
}

Make sure if you load modules in your BEGIN block (like DBD::Oracle) they come after setting those environment variables.

Next, and this is the most annoying of all, make sure the web server user (nobody, www, whatever) has read access to the Oracle lib directory. In my case I added the 'www' user to the same group as the Oracle user. If the apache user can't read the oracle libs DBD::Oracle won't be able to connect and you get OCIEnvNlsCreate errors.

Hopefully this helps others avoid the hair pulling I went through trying to get this all working.

Posted by ed at 12:17 PM