Kevin Kempf's Blog

November 30, 2009

Tethering a Blackberry 9630 with Data via Bluetooth in Linux (Verizon Wireless)

Filed under: Blackberry, Linux — kkempf @ 1:54 pm

To begin with, this post is pretty focused, and probably irrelevant to most Oracle DBAs.   I’m going to detail how you use Bluetooth to tether a data capable Blackberry 9630 (via it’s internal modem) to your Linux (RedHat/CetOS) machine running Gnome so that you can use the Blackberry’s modem as your internet connection.  This information is a collection from various sources, most notably here but none of the places really seemed to present the information in a simple, beginning to end, usable manner so that’s what I’ll attempt to do here.

Before you go further, know a few things about tethering a Blackberry.  First, it’s not free.  You have to pay for the data plan from your provider, and I believe it’s to the tune of $40+ per month.  Fortunately for me, my employer takes care of that.  Second, you need to be sure data tethering is enabled on your account before you try to do any of this.  It’s hugely frustrating to go through all of these steps and try to troubleshoot a correct setup, when in reality all that’s wrong is that your wireless provider is denying you access because your account isn’t set up right.  Finally, ensure your PC has a Bluetooth adapter.  Seems like a no-brainer, but in my case I had to install one on my Dell D820 so it’s not a given that all notebooks come with one, much less desktops.

I am no Linux guru.  I would like to think I fall somewhere between a novice and an advanced user.  So that’s the level I’m writing this at.  As usual, if I’m technically wrong in some way, or you have a suggestion on how something could be phrased better, I’m all ears, please leave a comment.  With that, I should state the standard “Proceed at your own risk” clause.  In other words, it worked for me.  Might work for you.  You need to use root a lot.  Be careful.  Very careful.

Check Linux Package Requirements

Before you begin, see if you have the required packages.  From the command prompt:

$ rpm -q ppp

$ rpm -q bluez-utils

If either or both are missing, do a yum install ppp or a yum install bluez-utils to correct this.

Pair the Blackberry to Linux

Pairing is the one-time process of establishing a “trusted” relationship between 2 Bluetooth devices.

Check the “icon tray” in the bottom right corner of your Linux machine.  You should see an icon which looks like this .  If you don’t see it, perhaps the service isn’t running (as root, type service bluetooth status); if you still can’t see it, refer to Bluez.  Right click on the icon, and ensure discoverable is checked.  This allows your PC’s bluetooth adapter to be “seen” by other bluetooth devices, in this case for purposes of pairing them.

Determine your two Bluetooth MAC addresses; for the PC this is easy.  As root:

#hcitool dev

which returns:

Devices:
hci0    00:1D:D2:E1:2C:EB (your address will be different)

hic0 is the Linux PC’s Bluetooth device, and it’s MAC address is what follows the word hci0.

For the Blackberry, from the main screen, use  Options->Bluetooth, then the menu button, then options.  From the  Bluetooth Options screen, you need to ensure it says discoverable “Yes” and write down the MAC address at the bottom of the screen where it says Device Address: 00:26:FF:B3:33:22 (obviously your address will be different).

To actually pair the devices, from the blackberry go to Options->Bluetooth, then the menu button, then add a device.  Select Search from the next menu.  Select Computer from the next menu (if you get this, my discovery found 3 devices: two blackberries and a computer).  It then asks for a numeric passkey for the computer name.  As far as I can tell, this is a one-time use key which has to be entered on both devices, so I entered 1111 and followed the prompts on my Linux host:

Linux Sees the Blackberry attempting to Pair

Linux Sees the Blackberry attempting to Pair

Enter the passkey

Successful Pairing!

Linux Setups

As root, execute the following command and make a note of the Channel number of your device:

#sdptool search DUN

Inquiring …
Searching for DUN on 00:26:FF:B3:33:22 …
Service Name: Dialup Networking
Service RecHandle: 0x10002
Service Class ID List:
“Dialup Networking” (0x1103)
“Generic Networking” (0x1201)
Protocol Descriptor List:
“L2CAP” (0x0100)
“RFCOMM” (0x0003)
Channel: 3
Profile Descriptor List:
“Dialup Networking” (0x1103)
Version: 0x0100

rfcomm.conf

Using your favorite editor (vi!) edit /etc/bluetooth/rfcomm.conf as root (it would be wise to create a backup of the file first)
You can just paste this in and make edits.  Device is your Blackberry MAC address, channel is derived above, and comment is for your own clarity.

rfcomm0 {
bind yes;
device xx:xx:xx:xx:xx:xx;
channel 3;
comment "Blackberry 9630";
}

Restart Blackberry Service

As root, execute the following:

service bluetooth restart
Stopping Bluetooth services:                               [  OK  ]
Starting Bluetooth services:                               [  OK  ]

Launch KPPP

Personally, I prefer a GUI to make my connection.  I honestly don’t recall if kppp is installed by default in a Gnome desktop environment; if it’s not, it’s a part of the kdenetwork package; I believe by installing this you will get kppp available under Applications->Internet from the desktop menu.  When you launch KPPP you will be required to enter the root password.

You’ll need to configure your connection before proceeding.  Hit “Configure…”, then there’s 2 things we need to set up.

Account

Under the accounts tab, hit “New”.  You will want to set up this screen as follows:

Dial Properties

Under DNS

Verizon Specific DNS settings

Note that there are 2 items here which I believe to be Verizon (my wireless provider) specific:

  1. The dial up number #777
  2. The DNS entries shown above

In other words, I can’t speculate on how these will need to be adjusted for another wireless carrier, but I also imagine this is something which they should be able to readily tell you.  When I do a whois against the DNS address I have, it’s clearly Verizons:

whois 66.174.95.44
[Querying whois.arin.net]
[whois.arin.net]

OrgName:    Cellco Partnership DBA Verizon Wireless
OrgID:      CLLC
Address:    180 Washington Valley Road
City:       Bedminster
StateProv:  NJ
PostalCode: 07039
Country:    US

NetRange:   66.174.0.0 - 66.174.255.255
CIDR:       66.174.0.0/16
NetName:    WIRELESSDATANETWORK
NetHandle:  NET-66-174-0-0-1
Parent:     NET-66-0-0-0-0
NetType:    Direct Allocation
NameServer: CARKDNS.VZWDOMAIN.COM
NameServer: NJBRDNS.VZWDOMAIN.COM
Comment:    ADDRESSES WITHIN THIS BLOCK ARE NON-PORTABLE
RegDate:    2001-10-01
Updated:    2005-11-16

OrgAbuseHandle: ABUSE716-ARIN
OrgAbuseName:   Abuse
OrgAbusePhone:  +1-800-770-1779
OrgAbuseEmail:  abuse@verizonwireless.com

OrgTechHandle: MGE16-ARIN
OrgTechName:   George, Matt
OrgTechPhone:  +1-908-306-7000
OrgTechEmail:  abuse@verizonwireless.com

# ARIN WHOIS database, last updated 2009-11-29 20:00
# Enter ? for additional hints on searching ARIN's WHOIS database.

Modem

Under the Modems tab, hit “New”.  You will want to set up this screen as follows:

KPPP Configuration

Time to connect

Note: The first time you connect, your Blackberry device should ask you “Accept connection request from <pc name>?  Check  “Don’t ask again” before hitting “Yes” so you don’t have to remember to answer this again later…

KPPP Main Screen

Note Verizon doesn’t require a Login ID or Password…. Hit Connect…

You're cooking!

That should be it!  At this point, it should connect, and stay this way until you kill the connection via the KPPP icon in your icon tray:

Success!

November 24, 2009

Opatch: This patch is not suitable for this operating system

Filed under: 10g, Bugs, Linux, Oracle — kkempf @ 9:17 am

An imposter

Last night I was applying the October 2009 CPU/PSU to a bunch of development databases and application servers when I hit a bug which I hadn’t seen in a while.  The system was a Red Hat 5 32-bit install, nothing special there:
uname -a
Linux localhost 2.6.18-164.6.1.el5PAE #1 SMP Tue Oct 27 11:46:58 EDT 2009 i686 i686 i386 GNU/Linux
Still, during the opatch napply step of patch 8874205 for AS 10.1.2.3, I received this error:
OPatch detects your platform as 23 while this patch 8447875 supports platforms:
46 (Linux Intel)
226 (Linux x86-64)
OPatch detects your platform as 23 while this patch 8447875 supports platforms:   46 (Linux Intel)   226 (Linux x86-64)
This patch is not suitable for this operating system.
Please contact support for the correct patch.
ERROR: OPatch failed during prerequisite check.
What’s sad is that I remembered seeing this before, and just needed a refresh on the syntax to fix it.  As I recall, you can also go into the patch and change some script, but the simplest fix if you hit this is as follows:
$ export OPATCH_PLATFORM_ID=46
$ opatch napply
Worked great after this, opatch completed and the patchset went in fine.  A word of caution.  I’m sure this is a Linux specific error, and My Oracle Support confirmed this.  I’m also sure it’s there for good reason: an idiot-proofing check to make sure you’re not applying the HP-UX patch to RedHat Linux, or the like.  Before you do what I’ve shown, be extra certain that your OS is what you think it is (including whether it’s 32 or 64 bit) and also that the patch you pulled is for this same corresponding platform!

November 18, 2009

My Oracle (Still) Sucks.. but today I can log in

Filed under: Oracle, Support — kkempf @ 2:04 pm

Faster Problem Resolution... Slower Site

My frustration with My Oracle Support hasn’t changed.  While I’ve moved beyond being unable to log in to the site, there seems to be no end to the bugs I’ve hit.

I’ve opened several non-technical SR’s to complain about bugs and problems.  Typically, they are responded to in about 2-3 days, by which time the problem is often either irrelevant or fixed.

One particularly curious issue occurred last week, when I opened an old doc (401561.1) it was missing an entire section (number 4).  I can’t make this kind of thing up.  Of course, it was the part I needed, and it jumped from section 3 to section 5.  The hyperlink at the top of the doc for section 4 simply failed to do anything.  Everything else in the doc seemed fine.  By the time an analyst looked at it a few days later, it was magically fixed.

Today I was trying to perform a knowledge search on a rather explicit error message a user had received in iProcurement.  I put the quoted text in the box, and after spinning itself dizzy for a minute or more, it came back with the following error.

 

 

 

I don’t know what this means…

 

so I was going to do the right thing and open a feedback SR to tell them about it.  Except I can’t upload files from the flash site, so I had to log out and log back in supporthtml.oracle.com, go to the feedback SR, and attach the screenshot so they could fix it…. except when I hit Upload files I received an error:

I can’t help but think that this whole endeavor was a cosmic failure for Oracle.  If you google My Oracle Support and look for forums, blogs, or media articles not owned by Oracle, you will see a lot of similar sentiment in places like this, here or maybe a forum like this one.

I don’t honestly believe Oracle can “back out” MOS and return Metalink at this point.  With the amount of money I see my company pay annually for support which continues to get worse, it makes me wonder what it will take to change things there.

November 12, 2009

My Oracle Support – Non-Flash Version

Filed under: Support — kkempf @ 3:57 pm

noflashFor anyone as sick as I am of the slow flash interface for My Oracle Support… I have good news. Click here for the url to the non-flash (limited) version of MOS. Thanks to R Roth for the tip on this one.

November 11, 2009

My Oracle Sucks

Filed under: Support — kkempf @ 9:21 am
metalink

Faster Problem Resolution... Slower Site

Well it’s day 3 of the My Oracle Support mandate, and if anything my experience has gotten worse.  On the plus side, at least today I can log in.  That’s about all I can put in the plus column so far.   Instead of making generalized disparaging comments about the new site, I’ve decided to begin citing major flaws in the new version.

The Basics

Everything is slower than Metalink was.  That’s largely because of flash.   But I stumbled across an even bigger annoyance.  You can’t use the “back” button in the browser.  This seriously sucks!  I noticed this when I typed in a series of patch numbers under patch search and got a million results.. you can’t go back.  At least in Firefox 3.5.  Hit it, nothing happens.  Hit refresh, you get the login spinny circle thing pictured to the left here.

Patches

Easily accounting for 50% of the reason I’m ever in Oracle supports’ site, I spend a lot of time reading about patches and downloading them.  Just for fun I checked the ftp site:

ftp updates.oracle.com
Connected to updates.oraclegha.com.
421-*********************** Downtime Notice ************************
421-
421-This service was retired as of November 06, 2009
421-****************************************************************
421

In administering 11i, I’ll paint a common scenario.  Some rollup or family pack is required, and I have to research all the prerequisites and determine which have been applied, which are not applicable, and which I need to download/stage.  For a typical family pack, this probably amounts to at least 5-10 patches.  With the old ftp site, I could at least log in, have a list of what I needed, change directories to the applicable patches, and “get” what I needed in fairly short order.  There appears to be no simple way to do that in the new patches section.  I timed it, and waited 26 seconds after clicking download before the dialogue box came up to save it to my PC.  Upon completion, I’d have to click back and search for the next patch, apparently.  Add to this that upon completion, I’ll have to sftp the files from my PC to the staging server, and I’m betting this new and improved system doubles the amount of time it takes me to stage a family pack.

Another odd thing I found was the “facebook factor”.  For example, I’m allowed to make comments about a patch, presumably so others can see it.  I don’t know why I would ever do this, but even if I did, what would I say?  “Great patch!”?  “Smooth, but not as good as 3460000”?  “Awesome binaries in this one!”?  I don’t get it.  Being the eternal cynic, I don’t know why I’d trust the opinion of some anonymous MOS user, though they probably know more than the average level 1 tech support guy.  Another facebook feature is “number of times downloaded”.    How do I use that information in a vacuum?  I have no clue how many customers Oracle has on my products, so what value does this add?

Screenshot-My Oracle Support | Patch & Updates - Mozilla Firefox

The patches tab has some kind of  patchset plan to save.  Looks like some kind of logical bundling of patches, interfaced with OCM and EM.  Too bad OCM is required; it never has all the right information from all my servers.  From their own documentation, any patch can be added to a plan.  When I typed in a known patch (and received a result in every language on earth… another step backwards from Metalink) all it let me do was download or rate it:

Screenshot-My Oracle Support | Patch Search - Mozilla Firefox

I see you chose English as your language when you logged in. Would you like your patch in Turkish, Hebrew or Slovak?

 

 

Knowledge

Screenshot-My Oracle Support | Knowledge Home - Mozilla Firefox

Melvil Dewey is rolling over in his grave

Apparently DOC ID’s went the way of the dodo.   Now it’s just “ID”.  Just an observation.  When I click on the knowledge tab, there’s so much irrelevant information on my screen, I can’t decide if I’m going to throw up or have a seizure.   After a minute on this page, there’s still a spinny circle trying to render the “recently viewed” pane.  I’m not holding out hope it ever comes back.  How about the tiny search bar?  That’s the #1 most important thing I use in Oracle support, and it’s smaller than the random system error below it!

Community

The only good thing about hitting this tab was that I could see the face of the man responsible for my frustration right now.

Screenshot-My Oracle Support Community - Support - Mozilla Firefox

The future is here! Be very afraid!

Certify

I truly did save the best for last.  Somehow, certify fell under the “More” tab.  When I clicked on it, I decided Oracle’s goal in MOS must be to keep people from ever logging in.  It’s just awful.  I have no idea what to click on, or why certain choices are or are not available.  I guess I’ll just call them to confirm certification, because I don’t see how I’ll ever find them in here.  Used to be, Certify was hard to navigate, but all the information was in there if you dug around long enough.  I just don’t even know what to make of it now.  I put in Oracle E-Business Suite for the Product Line, and checked only Application for the Tier.  It came back with no certifications.

Any last requests?

November 9, 2009

SEOUC 2010

Filed under: Uncategorized — kkempf @ 4:17 pm
header

Please don't punish me for swiping your logo!

Seems like I’m always blogging about poor experiences with Oracle these days… thought I’d change gears a little.  Received a card in company mail from SEOUC 2010, which I was happy to see.  It’s the Southeastern Oracle Users Conference, held in Charlotte, NC this coming February 24th-25th.  This notice was just a call for papers (and I really wish I had one ready as I want to do this someday, almost did, but that’s another story) but it got me thinking that I should share what a refreshing resource OAUG and in particular this regional groups is.  Last year’s conference was like a mini-OpenWorld.  There were vendors, a keynote, and breakout sessions about various topics.  All told, you can’t beat the bang for the buck: 1-2 nights accommodations in Charlotte, and a paltry $285 to attend all of the main conference.  If your organization is not a member of OAUG, I’d encourage you to look.  I can’t honestly say I’ve gotten a lot out of OAUG proper so far (as opposed to the SEOUC conference, a derivative of OAUG), but I am also hoping to attend Collaborate 10 to see how it compares to Open World.    I was swapping stories with a non-techie about Open World, and threw out my gripe that Open World seemed like an Oracle cheerleading session at times.  She told me that OAUG can seem like an employment conference for consultants.   Time will tell..

I thought slow My Oracle Support was bad..

Filed under: Oracle, Support — kkempf @ 11:33 am
upload

We don't want your uploads. Thank you.

So Oracle made the cutover to My Oracle Support this weekend.  Being the cynic that I am, I immediately went out and tried to upload a file to an existing SR.  This is something I know has been broken since April but they promised (twice) would be fixed before go live.  Result is to the left… sigh.

I will say that the feel of MOS had changed slightly, and now there’s a different category (radio button selection) under Service Requests for technical vs. non-technical support.  This is nice, because there were options like media request and problem with site on the menu for the non-technical support cases.

Later this morning, I went to log in to see the status of the non-technical SR I opened and I received this message; probably not a good sign.

login

All circuits are busy

November 5, 2009

I can’t make this up (dripr)

Filed under: Oracle, Support — kkempf @ 3:16 pm

Time to make fun of support again.  In the process of doing setup for iProcurement, I was asked to execute a stored procedure for the functional lead; it errored out as such:

ORACLE error 20000 in FDPSTP
Cause:  FDPSTP failed due to ORA-20000:  Exception at ICX_POR_INTERMEDIA_INDEX.create_index(200):

ORA-20000: Oracle  Text error:

DRG-10516: failed to perform DDL operation due to an Oracle  error

DRG-50857: oracle error in dripr

Nothing on Metalink, no idea what it meant, so I opened an SR, and this is the exact except, though the names have been changed to protect the incompetent.  The analyst was actually asking me to tell him what the error meant!

30-OCT-09 19:57:57 GMT
UPDATE
======
Hi Kevin,
Acknowledging your last update to this Service Request.
Please confirm what “dripr” references?                  
Thank You,
Global Customer Services
STATUS
======
@CUS – Waiting for customer response
30-OCT-09 20:01:16 GMT
kkempf: Sorry – do you mean like when it says: DRG-50857: oracle error in dripr?
30-OCT-09 20:33:57 GMT
UPDATE
======
Hi Kevin,
Acknowledging your last update to this Service Request.
Yes
Thank You,
Global Customer Services
30-OCT-09 20:37:04 GMT
New info : kkempf
You understand that’s an Oracle generated error right?
30-OCT-09 21:00:16 GMT
UPDATE
======
Hi Kevin,
Acknowledging your last update to this Service Request.
This error generally signifies an issue with the database. What I want to know is what on your instance “dripr” references. “dripr” is not an Oracle reference
Thank You,
Global Customer Services
30-OCT-09 21:07:03 GMT
New info : kkempf
DRG-10516: failed to perform DDL operation due to an Oracle error
DRG-50857: oracle error in dripr
I can assure you, that “DRG-50857: oracle error in dripr” is no custom error message. I’d suggest asking someone familiar with the program I’m executing.

Create a free website or blog at WordPress.com.