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Learning things

So today, I attended Doug Burns’ “10g/11g Performance Analysis – How I learned to love pictures” presentation at work today. Very interesting; I want to get my hands on Grid Control now, and play around with the pretty graphs! It’s a shame that our area’s DBAs are both absent (one’s on holiday I think, the other is unfortunately unwell), so it’ll be a while before I get my grubby little paws on it!

I really enjoyed the presentation – it really didn’t feel like an hour had gone past, but it had *{:-( He kept threatening to keep going until 4 or 5pm on the subject, but I could have quite happily stayed and listened (and learnt!) for that long!

One interesting fact that I wasn’t aware of that cropped up, is that CPU’s only process one instruction at a time. Or at least, that’s how Oracle views it (oh, probably a highly simplified view of things there, but I read the wikipedia article on CPUs and a couple of other pages and I thought it best to stop before my brain leaked out of my ear!), in the case of the multi-instruction per CPU (ie. that just counts as X CPU’s).

I vaguely thought that CPU’s automatically handled several instructions at once, thereby serving several processes at once (ie. the concept of a CPU being 60% busy would be true). Instead, it’s either busy or not busy, and anything that arrives whilst the CPU is busy is put in a queue – akin to going down to the post office and joining the queue. “Please go to window 3 -> -> ->”!

Just goes to show how woefully lacking my general computing knowledge is! It took Doug a while to work out what I was asking about, because that’s such a basic, fundamental thing to know! Still, at least I know now! A day in which you learn something is never a waste!