Thanks to anyone that can help.. I'm not sure how many out there are into this... What I'm trying to do is set up a test database in Oracle 9i so I can begin to querry it via SQL and eventually use PL-SQL, as I'm learning it (or want to begin at least) now. When connecting with a good userid/pw, I get the following error: 'ORA-12154 could not resolve service name.' Now everything I search online points me to the tnsnames.ora file to be sure everything is entered correctly. Firstly, it sets that up on its own when creating the db through the database configuration assistant and second, I dont know enough about this to know if anything is out of place, as in, I dont know if there are guidelines to the name and SID id of the database etc. edit: nevermind... i got a good pdf on oracle 8i that will be good enough.