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Issue of September 2003 

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Performing with Six Sigma

The best thing about Six Sigma is that it can be applied to any process. It can help you streamline your processes to get benefits like cost reduction, productivity improvement, customer retention and so on. Don't let terms like 'black belts' and 'green belts' scare you away from Six Sigma. This is where this book can guide you. It contains detailed explanations of the system and how to go about implementing it. Some of the topics include identifying core processes, defining customer requirements, measurement, and improvement. The Six Sigma Way is a good book for getting familiar with this quality system. It provides all the information you need to know about Six Sigma. People who are implementing Six Sigma can also use it as a reference.
Title: The Six Sigma Way: How GE, Motorola, and other top companies are honing their performance

Authors: Peter S Pande, Robert P Neuman, Roland R Cavanagh
Publisher: Tata McGraw-Hill
Pages: 422
Price: 250

Tweaking the 9i

It seems like almost anybody can install Oracle 9i. However, getting the best out of it is a different matter altogether. Especially if you are a beginner or at the intermediate level. Richard Niemec's book might be helpful in this direction. The book starts off with an introduction to the new features of Oracle 9i. Targeted at the DBA and developer communities, the book provides many best practices and in-depth details. The section on Statspack (helps tweakers use system tuning scripts), is very useful. In addition to this, the book also covers Enterprise Manager (helps you graphically tune the system). The verdict is clear. This is a good book for the 'wannabe' tuner and the intermediate levels.

Title: Oracle 9i Performance tuning: Tips & Techniques
Author: Richard J Niemiec
Publisher: Tata McGraw-Hill
Pages: 823

Internet Humour

Some useful definitions:

  • BACKING-UP - Mythical ceremony, often discussed, but rarely encountered.
  • DECISION SUPPORT - Special software package which includes business plan, darts and blindfold.
  • GATEWAY - Ingenious and expensive upgrade that allows PC users on a local area network to switch from easily corrupting each other's data to easily corrupting the data on a mainframe computer. See LOCAL AREA NETWORK.
  • HIGH RESOLUTION GRAPHICS - Reasonable-quality full color charts and graphs.
  • LOCAL AREA NETWORK - Electronic means of allowing multiple users to destroy data files simultaneously.
  • NO SITE LICENSE - Method by which suppliers respond to corporate users who want discounts on software. "NO".
  • PAPER FEED - Standard, chewy diet of dot matrix printers.

Support blues:

Your helpdesk will feel thankful about their jobs after reading this.

Tech Support: "What operating system are you running?"
User: "Pentium."
User: "I am getting an error on my computer"
Tech Support: "What kind of error?"
User: "It says I have a corrupted file on my hard drive, and I should run 'Check Disk'."
Tech Support: "Ok, we need to call in a ticket, and someone will be down shortly."
User: "Can you make sure you bring some extra Check Disks, because mine does not work."
Tech Support: "Uh. We're out of stock right now, but I'll order some."

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