Sunday, September 17, 2006

Radio Free...

I'm in Europe, so it seemed like an appropriate title.  I was reading around and hit this page.

That is exactly the reason I bought into XM Radio.  The same songs on FM (over and over and over and over).  The mega amount of advertising - which the radio stations seemed to have coordinated (have you noticed that if one station is doing a commercial - they all are?).

I would have a 25 minute commute and many times I might hear 2 songs on the entire trip home.  Now I hear what I want - when I want it.  News (anything other than Fox), comedy (makes the drive go faster sometimes), music of any genre.

At my desktop - I listen to XM radio streamed over the network (doing that right now in the hotel).  On the road, I have my XM Inno (when my charger works anyway).  I have it record some 8 hours of broadcast every night for airplane trips and what not.

I simply do not listen to "real radio" anymore.  I hardly watch broadcast television in real time either (and not too much on Tivo really either).  I find I get most all of my news from the newspaper and yahoo news/google news. 

Things have changed.  Just mentioned this to my wife Friday - she dropped me off at the airport and 30 minutes later we were instant messaging, I was mentioning I forgot my camera battery/charger.  She wanted my payslip from work (they do not come via email).  I said "hold on" - VPN'ed into work, pulled it up, used primo pdf (if you do not have primo pdf, just get it - you'll use it a lot) to "print it" to pdf and emailed it.  Disconnected from VPN and said "this Internet thing might catch on someday....".  Go back ten years ago - this last paragraph would have been "fantasy", stuff of sci-fi.  Instant messaging, connecting into work from anywhere, having access to any application from anywhere, emailing to anyone anything... 

Now, I'm just waiting for electricity over the air - just like we have "Connexion sans fil" (wireless connection).  That would solve my last large remaining problem - batteries :)

Here is a quick shot of where I spent the morning:


If you do a weekend in Paris, I recommend staying in a hotel right by the Arch de Triumph.  You can walk anywhere from there.  I walked down towards the Louvre this morning, across the river Sienne.  Then headed back up towards the Eiffel Tower, back across the river and down the Rue Victor Hugo back to the Arch.  Nice big loop.  Third time in Paris, first time to the Eiffel Tower close up.  It looks stormy in the picture but the rain held off all day.  Pleasant for walking.  Paris is really pretty good for walking - big sidewalks in crowded places, the signs are large, maps everywhere (on bus stops), pedestrian lights on most crosswalks (and people seemed to stop when they should).  Easier to navigate than say New York City.

Did a late lunch at a sidewalk cafe.  The people next to me were in winter coats with scarves!  They obviously have never summered in San Francisco where the temperatures we were having (it was about 67F/19C) would be scorching hot.  I thought it was pleasant - bit windy but pleasant.

Busy week coming up - Monday and Tuesday I'll be doing a seminar from 9-5, Wednesday morning fly to Zurich and do a customer visit for 4 hours, then speak at the Zurich Oracle User Group.  Thursday and Friday - another two days of seminar.  Throw in a couple of meet and greet dinners at night as well...  Looking forward to next weekend (when I should have my camera back in action) as I'll be visiting Vienna Austria for the first time...



Blogger Phil said....

Ah, Vienna. If you can manage it, get thee to an opera or some other musical event. The guys in the Oracle office there are quite friendly and can probably hook you up with a good show.

Sun Sep 17, 04:11:00 PM EDT  

Anonymous Mark A. Williams said....

Just a bit jealous Tom - long ago I lived just off the Place Trocadero on Ave. Paul Doumer... not far at all from that shot of the tower...

[/nostalgia off]

- Mark

Sun Sep 17, 06:02:00 PM EDT  

Anonymous Anonymous said....

I never hear radio adverts. No XM, either. NPR -- in DC area WAMU-FM: 88.5 or WETA-FM: 90.9. has a neat station finder by city and state. I find most of their am and pm drive programming most entertaining and enlightening. On longer commutes I like books on tape/cd. Many libraries have pretty decent collections these days. In fact books on tape made it very easy for me to switch from flying to driving. Now -- especially with the increased hassels of air travel -- I will not fly if I can make the trip in one day by car (or train).

Sun Sep 17, 06:29:00 PM EDT  

Blogger David Aldridge said....

I'll see your NPR and raise you an IPR -- independent public radio. My local station is KCME 88.7FM and aside from the occasional regreatable lapse into jazz on a Saturday morning (why do book stores assume that if you like books then you also like jazz? It's driven me from a few in my time. Anyway, I digress ...) they have as eclectic a classical output as you could wish for. If 100% classical music can be called eclectic, that is. Which it probably can't. They do broadcast digitally, though.

I wonder whether a purchase of Business Objects by Oracle would put an end to the two week training trips to Paris that new BusObj folks get?

Sun Sep 17, 10:52:00 PM EDT  

Anonymous Anonymous said....

Just like I am , I believe you are awed by technology advancements in the last decade !!

Sun Sep 17, 11:35:00 PM EDT  

Anonymous Anonymous said....

Hi Tom,

Have you ever travell to India. If yes, then when and for what occassion. If No, I advice you to please visit. Its great.

Neeraj Bhatia, India

Mon Sep 18, 07:10:00 AM EDT  

Anonymous Neeraj said....

Hi Tom,

Have you ever travell to India. If yes, then when and for what occassion. If No, I advice you to please visit. Its great.

Neeraj Bhatia, India

Mon Sep 18, 07:13:00 AM EDT  

Anonymous Anonymous said....

Energizer has a new external battery pack. Don't know if it would help any/all your devices. (warning, link is to a flash page).

Mon Sep 18, 08:45:00 AM EDT  

Anonymous Raj said....


I work just couple of miles away from your office. Just wondering - When will I get a chance to attend your speech in NOVA area.

- Mark

Mon Sep 18, 02:03:00 PM EDT  

Blogger Joel Garry said....

"Chargers are really the popcorn at the movie theater."

word: yuybsjoa

Mon Sep 18, 03:55:00 PM EDT  

Anonymous Olivier said....

good evening Tom ...
This was a very interesting first training session, especially "To bind or not to bind" .... Last but not least, i was very impressed by your humility considering the amount of knowledge you have and share with all of us. Thanks a lot for being so kind.
Best regards,

Mon Sep 18, 04:39:00 PM EDT  

Blogger Thomas Kyte said....

I work just couple of miles

I've spoken at the NATCAP (national capitol area) Oracle User Group more than once. Look for me there perhaps in the near future (or the Richmond OUG meeting nov 2nd)

Mon Sep 18, 05:22:00 PM EDT  

Anonymous Tom Fox said....

For the price of the XM gear and the subscription, I'd just get an iPod. I've had mine for 3 years now and love it.

Nothing beats 3 weeks of music without a repeat (more if I had more music).

Mon Sep 18, 09:19:00 PM EDT  

Anonymous Anonymous said....

Sorry to be pick but surely its either "Arc de Triomphe" or "Arch of Triumph" but not "Arch de Triumph"

Tue Sep 19, 03:28:00 AM EDT  

Anonymous Steve said....

Gee thanks Tom, I'm getting married a week on Saturday and there you go posting a photo of the place I proposed last August.

I came to work today hoping for a break from thinking about wedding preparations...! ;-)

Tue Sep 19, 08:24:00 AM EDT  

Anonymous Olivier said....

I want to thank you again for this second and last training day in Paris. Things about Oracle seem so easy when you explain them ;)
Have a nice european tour.
best regards,

Tue Sep 19, 05:34:00 PM EDT  

Anonymous David said....

Hi Tom,
I was at the seminar the last 2 days. It was great to see you and get direct information.

I hope you enjoyed your stay in Paris.

Thank you

Wed Sep 20, 05:35:00 AM EDT  

Anonymous Anonymous said....

Hi Tom, I was at your seminar in Paris and I said in a bad english than mathematical coprocessor format was 10 bytes.
Please, have a look to that link
Regards Jean-Luc

Wed Sep 20, 06:55:00 AM EDT  

Blogger Thomas Kyte said....


right, the hardware might look like that, but we software guys see it as a 4 byte or 8 byte element (32/64 bits)

Wed Sep 20, 09:02:00 AM EDT  

Anonymous Sokrates said....

when in Wien aka Vienna
don't forget to visit the
Bestattungsmuseum (funeral museum)
(cmp. )
for it is for sure unique !

Wed Sep 20, 10:17:00 AM EDT  

Anonymous Yves said....

hi Tom
thanks for your great seminar in paris.
I really enjoy this.
See you soon for a next session.

Wed Sep 20, 01:49:00 PM EDT  

Blogger Noons said....

Vienna is for me the nicest city in Europe.
Make sure you get some spare time for a serious walk around the old centre, there are some truly amazingly nice spots there.
St.Stefan is just an outstanding church.

Right next to the Opera house the Hotel Sacher: where the Sacher torte was invented. Don't miss it, your taste buds will never forgive you!

If I ever was given a choice of a place to live in Europe, Vienna would be first. Followed by Madrid for the food and Brussels for the beer.

Enjoy your visit.

Thu Sep 21, 09:16:00 AM EDT  

Blogger Jeff Moss said....

I can certainly agree with all this new technology making life easier today...I've just changed by car insurance policy over the web and then emailed the PDF of the certificate of insurance to the car dealer in order for him to tax my new car ready for tomorrow when I pick it up...all from the office 100 miles away. Marvellous.

Fri Sep 22, 08:11:00 AM EDT  

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