Technical Blog

Oracle Instant Client and TNS on a Mac

Oracle’s Instant Client is a valuable tool allowing anyone on a Mac to connect to Oracle databases, and is a prerequisite for installing SQL Developer, SQLPlus, or OCI8 (for PHP connectivity). However, Oracle’s documentation for installing Instant Client is very light. There are multiple ways to install it, and although most of them work, some are better than others if you want to avoid downstream issues. This article describes the method that I finally settled on after trying several other variations.

Downloading the install packages from the Oracle Instant Client download site is the first step. However, rather than a single install, you get a choice of library files and versions. Read More...

Configuring an Oracle VM on a Mac

Last month, when I got the new Mac Mini, my key reason was to set it up as a small home-based server to support my Oracle development and education. Since my workplace isn’t great at staying up to date with the latest products, I wanted a sandpit to try things out for myself - even when they don’t relate to my current projects. The Mac Mini seemed like an ideal home server - as its small, discreet, and doesn’t draw much power. And, as per my previous post it doubles as my media server. Although Oracle don’t ship or support any native server-based or database products for the Mac, Oracle’s pre-built VirtualBox VMs are a great way to trial new products and configurations hosted within a Linux-based virtual machine. This means less time playing with configuration and upgrades (unless I want to). As newer products come out, I just download and substitute the latest VM, and if I mess things up then I can just revert back to the original VM. However, as with all things, the first time setup takes a little research and planning - as changes to some configuration settings, and other customisations, may be required depending on what you want the system to do. Read More...

Building a Media Server on a Mac Mini with Plex

With the advent of the new 2014 Mac Mini, I took the plunge configuring one as a lounge-based server (I’d previously toyed with the idea of the brilliantly retro C64x, but my family would never have understood). There’s no need for a screen or keyboard with the Mac Mini since as I can connect to it remotely from my Macbook via OS X’s in-built screen sharing … although I admittedly needed to book time with the Genius bar of my local Apple Store so I could use one of their screens/keyboards for the initial setup.

My real intent was getting a small server to run apache along with various VM images to support my development projects. Usage as a media server was really just a happy bonus, and a more tangible reason for buying the server that I could explain to my wife. Read More...
© 2015 Andrew Mercer