Older blog entries for fscked (starting at number 6)

Monday

Loooong day. Things are a wee bit brighter though. Not too much anyway. Up at 8:00, off to university for my first Data Structures class this semester, analyzing algorithm complexity (constant, linear, logaritmic, quadratic, cubic and so on). Came home to have lunch and again off for a further two classes, Math Analysis and Algebra. It did go quite well but I'm a bit knackered as a side effect.

Back home at 18:00 and today was mostly a non-technical day. Nothing really important going on so I just stuck around organizing my cds which were in a bit of mess as of lately. No kernel hacking, no reading, no nothing *sigh*

And tomorrow is a new day.

Sunday

Didn't do a whole lot. Same problems as before. This is supposed to get easier to deal with but it isn't. Saying farewell to our loved ones is such a difficult and painful task especially when we know it's a one way trip. And the anxiety of waiting for the final moment disconcerts me.

Anyway, even if the mood is far from ideal, read a bit of `The Scar'. Otherwise didn't do a lot. Had to write up my CV so I can send it for some job openings I'm looking for.

The weekend is over so back to the apartment, arrived less than half an hour ago. Well, it's the beginning of another week but honestly I don't know what to expect. I'll have to be prepared for the moment when the phone rings. It's just the way things are, I guess.

Saturday

Very rough day. No need to mention what's troubling me. It wouldn't do any good. Wouldn't help either. For all it's worth, the only thing I'd like to point out is that Portugal's health system sucks. Enough said. So I'll just resort to my friend's hint: "the trick is to keep breathing".

That's exactly what I'll try to do.

4 Oct 2002 (updated 4 Oct 2002 at 22:32 UTC) »

Friday

Up at 9:30, this is getting to be a habit. Took a shower and went to uni despite no classes being scheduled this morning. Met with a course mate to exchange a couple of books. He's been teasing me to read China Mieville's sci-fi books and I honestly think I should. It seems the books are simply amazing, at least according to his and the general public's opinion considering they have won major awards as well as a few other nominations. The one I borrowed from him is "The Scar" (sorry dude, didn't use the associates url, wasn't too sure how to do it ;) which is no more no less than a huge hardcover tome of about 600 pages. I'm eager to start reading it but I'm afraid I must be in the correct mindframe. Something that doesn't usually happen at night especially when I'm tired. Like today. On the other hand, lent him Linus Torvalds and David Diamond's "Just For Fun". A book I *highly* recommend not just for Linux enthusiasts but for everyone interested in computers. Well, for everyone really. Linus is much more than a computer hacker.

Had my first Mathematical Analysis (or something along these lines) class this semester. Arguably one of the most difficult subjects of the course's first half. Today we were given a somewhat brief introduction to functions and set theory. Let's see how this goes from now on. Only class today considering there's no Data Structures practical classes yet. So got back at around 16:00, checked email and caught up on linux-kernel. Eventually packed my stuff and hit the road for the usual ~130 miles back home for the weekend. Got home a few minutes after 19:00 and not much else got done. Pissed off because a movie I wanted to tape started too early, before schedule *grumble*.

dyork: Sorry to hear about your friend's sister. It's that kind of cruelties that we can only wonder why, oh why. I know the deal considering I've had people in my family in the same situation before. It's not fair. May your friend still have hope till the last moment. Even though I don't know any of you, I'm always touched with these situations especially in a place like Advogato where, fortunately, almost everyone seems so close and transparent. So my thoughts are with them.

On another note, for all it's worth certified movement as Master not only because he certified me but also for all his work on the kernel and of course in oprofile.

And to end today's entry on a high note...

List:     linux-kernel
Subject:  Re: Sleep
From:     Andrew Morton <akpm@digeo.com>
Date:     2002-10-04 2:26:27

On Wed, Oct 02, 2002 at 09:48:15PM -0400, linuxguruguy wrote: > Do kernel hackers ever sleep

Only in illegal contexts.

I mean, honestly, this is top-class-linux-kernel-humour. Which reminds me that you may aswell check some other nice lkml quotes in my homepage here. It's funny. Laugh.

Thursday

Up at around 9:30 again. While having breakfast, a mistaken bite reminded me that wisdom teeth are around to give me a hard time. Fortunately it was nothing serious, not worth an emmergency visit to the dentist, anyway. I'll have to make an appointment sometime soon though, been a while since last time.

No classes in the morning so stayed in, checking email, news, websites, generally trying to stay on top of things. Gave yet another try to the test machine but eventually decided the disk is really terminally ill. Good news is that one of the in house mates has a small spare disk to lend so by monday, if all goes to plan, I can start testing kernels as planned. This is especially important considering the feature freeze is rapidly approaching, October 20 according to Linus himself, so the focus is then on bug chasing.

From what I could see, and mind you that my kernel knowledge is _nothing_ compared to the gurus that actually come up with new ideas and code them in, I think the kernel has seen some major improvements and got added some neat features. A few days ago there was quite a lot of discussion as to whether the next stable release should be called either 2.6 or 3.0. But I'm not even going there. In the end it's just a number. Of course there's always the marketing implications (3.0 is indeed much more appealing than 2.6) but it's useless to discuss. Linus seems to be more inclined to go for 3.0 and I don't argue. Nor should I :) In fact many things got at least partially done, like the rewrites of the block and IDE layers, lots of VM bits including most of -rmap, new O(1) scheduler and other important things from Ingo Molnar, preempt by Robert Love, you name it. Maybe the sum of the parts actually give way to a 3.0 release. We'll just see :)

On another note, decided to stop by the university's library to check if there are some books I'm willing to read. Came across Silberschatz's Operating Systems Concepts and it's indeed very nice reading. Planning to keep reading it. Together with Understanding the Linux Kernel (which could do with a reviewed and improved version) and Linux Device Drivers, 2nd Edition, I think it can be a good study base for me to learn more about this field of computer science. Afterwards, the first class of Computer Architecture after yesterday's introduction. Basically the professor gaves us the layout of the semester's subjects. Here's a short overview for anyone enough curious:

- Performance Analysis
- Architecture's Instruction Set (for MIPS)
- Building an Arithmetical Logical Unit
- Building a complete processor for MIPS arch.
- Performance improvement using pipelining
- Memory systems: caches and virtual memory
- I/0, network and other bits

I confess I'm especially attracted by the memory systems. Really looking forward to this.

Got home at around 18:00. Switched to non-productive mode. Oh wait, it was already turned on.

2 Oct 2002 (updated 2 Oct 2002 at 23:28 UTC) »

Wednesday

Got up at around 9:30. Wandered off to Uni to attend the first Computer Architecture class of the semester. Basically just talking about the program, the project work and setting up test/exam dates. Looking forward to this, it's a matter of particular interest to me. Oh yeah, for all of you interested in odd archs, let me tell you we're talking about MIPS here.

Today's highlight was a Linux documentary being aired on portuguese news channel. I don't know what's the standard in other countries, but Linux and Open Source get few to none attention from the mass media here in .pt. Even when it gets spotlight, it's usually crap. Today, however, was a delightful surprise. Insight was provided by very well known and respected hackers such as Linus Torvalds himself, David Miller, Eric S. Raymond, Alan Cox, Richard Stallman and a few others. Needless to say, I taped it. Very inspiring stuff.

Afterall, the test machine has really gone tits up. Well, the hard disk has anyway. Oopses quite a lot and gives out some crc errors randomly, especially upon booting. I'm very pissed off about it considering the machine ain't mine. I wouldn't be this pissed off if it was actually mine. This means I didn't get around to muck with contest afterall. Will probably do tomorrow anyway, using my workstation.

The new apt colleague has arrived. I hope you don't take me for a dictator but the poor fella only had Windows installed. Not good. Obviously that bit is already taken care of. He's now happily running Slackware 8.1. I hope he settles in just fine ;)

2 Oct 2002 (updated 2 Oct 2002 at 00:14 UTC) »

Tuesday

First entry. Or maybe not.

Woke up at 8:30. Not much to do on the outside, university is still before warm up phase, fooling around with freshmen and stuff so got home at around 17:00. Sunk in front of the tele watching a re-run of Fight Club.

Spent most of the night reading (lkml) mail which kept me from investigating further on Con Kolivas' contest. This is a benchmarking application designed to test different kernels under different workloads (no load, process load, memory load and i/o load). It seems senior kernel hackers are delighted with this. So worth checking out.

Had to juggle a bit with the router machinery which has to leave its headquarters since the new guy in the apt will be arriving soon and I don't think he'd be happy to sleep with a couple of fans and a couple of hard drivers buzzing on his ears. Considering there's not much (closed) space in the place, decided to put it in the living as much hidden as possible. However the noise is decidedly inconvenient, even if we get used to it in a while. I'll look out for silent fans anyway.

Set up a stale machine which had been lying around for a while (well, it's not really mine) to serve for kernel testing/benchmarking. Disaster strucks when rm'ing a couple of files, a nice oops ensued and a filesystem goes bye bye just like that. I think it's the first time I've thrashed something with such efficiency... I'll have to see what I can do/recover tomorrow, cuz honestly today I'm a bit too tired to investigate.

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