Sunday, June 30, 2002

Stranger In A Strange Land

So Kirsten managed to convince me to put a windows partition on my machine (well, actually a separate drive, but whatever), so I could play Neverwinter Nights.

So I went out and bought a copy of Windows XP Pro (contrary to what the box tells you, you can upgrade from Windows 95 (the only Windows CD I had left) to Windows XP), and now I've got it up and running.

First impressions: XP doesn't seem to suck as much as previous versions of Windows. The default Look and Feel is pretty much a bad imitation of Mac OS, but once you change it back to old style windows (which is ugly, but not hideous), it's usable. I had it crash once, when starting Neverwinter Nights the first time, but I upgraded my graphics drivers and now it works fine.

Neverwinter Nights itself is damn cool. Even with my year old graphics card it looks nice, and it seems to pretty accurately recreate D&D. I'll have to see what it's like when I'm playing multiplayer, but that will have to wait a little while.

While I'm living in windows land, I decided to give the Windows build of Subversion a try. It seems to work quite nicely. The installer depends on cygwin binaries for diff.exe and diff3.exe, which is a bit irritating, since I prefer not to install such things on my Windows machine (when in rome, etc), but that will likely be solved in the near future. Other than that, it seems to work just fine.

Wednesday, June 26, 2002

Back To Work, Take 2

Well, I spent the last few days out on Cape Cod with my family. It was our semi-regular family reunion, where we rent a bunch of cottages, drink a lot, play loud irish music late into the night, and generally have a good time. I enjoyed it, but I wasn't able to stay for the whole week, as I've already missed way too much work lately.

Now I'm just trying to get back in the swing of things. The stuff we worked on last week STILL isn't in production yet. Well, my stuff is, but Oren's side of it is still waiting for some changes. He needs to work out some of the issues with 'old client' -> 'new server' combinations first. It's annoying being all the way out here so I can't really help very much. I'm still trying to chase down the random segfaults we're seeing. I'm almost certain it's a memory corruption issue, but I have no idea where it could be. Hopefully my boss will come through and get us a license for purify and that will shed some light on the issue.

Kirsten's coming to visit this weekend, which should be cool. It's been a while since we've had a chance to really hang out.

Thursday, June 20, 2002

Back to Work

Well, after a week and a half away, I'm now officially back to work at good old first stamford place. It looks like my boss is very happy with the performance gains Oren and I were able to come up with on monday and tuesday, so modulo a few small issues, which we're working on now, we'll be able to roll out the new stuff really soon.

Unfortunately, since I was out the beginning of this week, and I have so much stuff that should really get done, I'm skipping the Solaris training we have scheduled for today and tomorrow, which sucks, but I'll deal. On the bright side, odds are I probably did much of what they're doing last week in the Solaris Internals lecture I went to at USENIX, so it's no huge loss.

Anyway, back to work...

Sunday, June 16, 2002


So I finished up USENIX and headed up to Cupertino with Louis yesterday. He took me on a tour of Apple, which was really cool. Lots of macs, as expected, plus some really cool people. It was fun.

Today, we hung out with Chris a bit and I got to meet some random people who work at Apple who I had previously only known as email addresses on Darwin mailing lists. That was really cool.

Then, I spent an annoying amount of time trying to rent a car, and ended up having to call the American Express travel people and have them work it all out, because I, being underaged, was not able to rent a car from the few places I called. Fortunately, it turns out that National lets you rent cars for like 10 bucks extra if you're under 25, which still sucks, but I was able to bill it to work, which is better than nothing.

Now to help set up Subversion for Louis.

Friday, June 14, 2002


Well, USENIX continues on, and just gets more fun every day.

Yesterday was the BSD BOF session, with talks from representative of all 5 BSD operating systems (NetBSD, OpenBSD, FreeBSD, BSD/OS, and Darwin), and that was really really cool. I got to see Theo de Raadt (from OpenBSD) arguing with Kirk McKusick (of CSRG fame), who happened to be sitting right next to me. Kirk is a really nice guy, and Theo really does seem to be just as abrasive as everyone says he is, but then again, there's something to be said for someone who's willing to tell absolutely anyone that they are full of shit, and I'm glad he's around.

After that, Jordan Hubbard installed Castle Wolfenstein on the imacs in the terminal room, and people played it until like 4AM (although I crashed around 2).

This morning was a talk on Scheduler Activations in NetBSD, which was really neat. It was kind of amusing when Julian Elischer, the guy who's doing the FreeBSD KSE project (which is pretty much the same thing as Scheduler Activations), started asking questions after the talk, and had to stop half way through because he had too many questions and they ran out of time... I forgot to ask my question though, which was how he felt about the fact that FreeBSD and OpenBSD are spending a lot of time working on multi-level threading libraries, while Solaris, which has had a multi-level threading library for years, has just switched to a 1-1 model because they've concluded that the complexity isn't worth it on modern hardware. Oh well. Maybe I'll get a chance to ask him later on.

It's really cool to be able to place some faces with the email addresses I've been seeing on the lists for so long. Check out this and this for some pictures (not mine, since my camera's battery died, and I left the charger at home...).

Monday, June 10, 2002

USENIX and Slow Compiles

So I'm sitting here in the USENIX terminal room, waiting for my laptop to finish compiling and testing a patch to subversion, and it occurs to me that despite the fact that I really like the ibook, I'm not sure I'll be able to justify one next time around, just because of the speed issues.

I guess if I can get an acceptable speed mac in the same form factor when I get motivated to upgrade, I'll do it, but if not, I'll go for a similar size PC laptop running FreeBSD. I don't particularly like the idea of going back to a PC laptop, but these compiles are killing me.

In other news, USENIX is a lot of fun. I spent today in Kirk McKusick's FreeBSD Kernel Internals tutorial, which was really cool. He's an interesting speaker, and I'm really annoyed that I have to go to the Solaris Internals lecture tomorrow instead of the second half of his.

The only thing that sort of annoyed me was that his tutorial was a bit dated, as it covered the 4.X series of FreeBSD, but since the 5.X series is still in very rapid development, I don't think I can really fault him for that, and he did make a point to mention when things were different between the new and old versions.

Wednesday, June 5, 2002

Money + Family = BAD

So I talked to my sister a few days ago, and she asked me if I could co-sign the lease on her new apartment, since she doesn't have a job yet, so she can't pass the credit check at the moment.

Well, actually she asked me if mom and dad had told me I was co-signing the lease. Apparently it was just assumed that I would agree to this little plan.

Now I didn't have any problem with doing this, so I said yes, and she faxed me the forms.

Today, I get the forms and look at them, and they seem awfully odd. They aren't designed for a person who's co-signing a lease, they're designed for someone who's leasing an apartment, so they ask for a lot of information that they don't need for a credit check. The forms also don't have a lot of information that one would expect them to have, like how much the rent is for example.

Since I'm a little leery of filling out a form that looks a bit wrong, and I'm a lot leery of filling out a form that says I'm financially liable for some amount of money when I don't even know how much money it is, so I call my sister to ask about these things.

Then she gets all pissy because I'm asking these questions, like I'm supposed to just smile and nod and sign the papers.

Money and Family just don't mix. That's all I'm going to say.

Tuesday, June 4, 2002


So I should have moved the rest of my stuff out of my old apartment tonight.

But instead I went to dinner at sundown with Ben and then came back here and played with scsh, which is turning out to be pretty cool. I should learn more scheme, it's a neat language, and I can barely read it, let alone actually write anything useful in it.

Work was odd today. My boss asked me to make up a list of all the things I work on at work. I guess someone higher up asked him for some kind of 'justify the existence of your group' sort of thing.

I'm going to try not to let that bother me, since if something bad is about to happen, I can't do anything about it anyway.

Anyway, time to get some sleep...

Monday, June 3, 2002


So the cable guy actually came when they said he would, so now I have bad TV and an internet connection, which basically means I'm moved in to the new apartment.

I still have to get the last remnants of my crap from the old apartment, and I really need to go buy a bed so I can stop sleeping in the living room, but other than that, I'm all set.

Gotta get used to the new channels on cable though. Different cable company here, and I actually need to remember the channels since I don't have a TiVo.

Sunday, June 2, 2002


So I'm -><- this close to getting all my stuff over to the new apartment.

My parents and I moved all the larger bits of furniture today, and now I've just got a crapload of smaller stuff I need to move.

The place is actually looking pretty nice, now that it actually has some furniture in it. The cable guy will be coming tomorrow afternoon and hooking up cable and the cable modem, and after that all I've got left to do is get a bed (since the futon is moving into service as a couch).

But I must say, I'm damn tired, and I will be very glad when this is over and done with.

Saturday, June 1, 2002

Fun with Mac OS X

My friend Louis wrote a paper on advanced kernel synchronization for SMP and Real-Time.

He's pretty smart, so you should go read what he has to say.

I mean you've gotta like a guy who once told me: "It's not brain surgery, it's just kernel code."

Now That Just Sucks

So I'm at my parent's place (I guess I have hit the point where it's no longer really home), and their default web browser is netscape 4.7. It's really really amazing how much the css implementation on this browser sucks. I mean if it doesn't work, why bother even including it? I had to turn it off completely in order to even read this site.

Just another reason that I am grateful that my job doesn't involve doing portable web development. Or web development at all for that matter.

I can't wait until mozilla hits 1.0 so I can justify installing it here.