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Name: Brian Warner
Member since: 2000-04-14 07:59:09
Last Login: N/A

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Homepage: http://www.lothar.com


I've been working on a few projects lately that have finally seen the light of day. I wrote a Linux driver for the Keyspan PDA USB serial adapter that made it into 2.3.x. I also wrote EGD, a perl replacement for /dev/random, so folks can use GnuPG on Solaris and other systems that lack in-kernel entropy collection. I'm also handling the GnuPG side of MailCrypt. Most of my other projects haven't made it off the workbench. But I enjoy them anyway.

Recent blog entries by warner

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While in a costume store over the weekend (shopping for Burning Man stuff), I saw a woman in a clown suit yelling at her daughter for something, basically for having too much fun in public. Hmm.

Working on a new MailCrypt site (moving it all to SourceForge), mostly an excuse to play with blender. Also getting back into my dusty-with-neglect project to build a hardware GPG decryption/signature agent. It should be on a JavaButton eventually, but I may stuff it into a USB microcontroller board I have lying around first.

Got a few driver bugs fixed; now my vaio can play sounds without locking up again. Yay. Also found a way to hack the cpuload stats so that kapmd doesn't appear to be keeping the CPU out of idle mode (basically the task structure acquired an extra bit that says "don't contribute to sys time", and kapmd is the only thread with that bit set).

Stopped by the Debian booth at LWCE and saw Joey Hess with a vaio picturebook, camera working and everything. Man, I like this world.. six months ago folks were in despair about the fact that Sony wouldn't give out any docs on the camera chip. Today it works perfectly. And soon it'll be in a nice standard V4L kernel driver, removing all the fuss. Nifty.

Ugh, I'm doing 12-14 hour days at work again, which leaves very little time for anything else. Helping a friend by shuttling his daughter from daycare to T-Ball games while he's busy.. boy, this is why I don't have kids.

The Keyspan USB driver has some problems that stem from my poor understanding of sleep-vs-interrupt issues in the kernel, with the probable result that sometimes it could just panic. Sigh, time to crawl this learning curve along with everyone else.

The EGD-vs-Solaris7or8 fix seems to be working well, so there should be a new release as soon as I incorporate some brief docs about using it with OpenSSH and OpenSSL. Neat to see your code used in places you'd never thought about using it. It even got mentioned on the Darwin mailing list, although I'd have to agree with their feelings that it would be better to implement /dev/random instead of shipping EGD.

Built a new GPG key since the old one is about to expire. You can pick it up here.

Saw someone mention FF8. My god, they made more?!? There is something bigger than FF7? I'm doomed...

Caught Frenzy. Darker, very 60s, but still Hitchcock. Last weekend included that Julia Roberts film about industrial pollution. We agreed that it made us more inclined to forgive her for her career, but that Pretty Woman was still beyond apology...

Incidentally, the Stanford Theater in Palo Alto (which does all the old movies) has an incredible pipe organ that they play between shows. I had a deviant thought involving a MIDI accordion driving the organ which, well, was just too evil for words. But maybe some day if I have a billion dollars I'll buy the place and put on accordiorgan concerts for myself :-)

Lost more time to FF7 than I care to admit. When it creeps into your dreams, you gotta take off and do something else.

Trying to get NetBSD installed on a Qube2 that I inherited from a friend's startup that grew out of it. It was to get Debian/mips but I realized that I've already got 3 Debian boxes around here and could use some variety. Besides I need to learn more about it for some workstuff. Does anyone know offhand how to do the disklabel stuff from under linux/i386? I basically intend to mount the drive on the linux side and install everything there. I suppose if that doesn't work then the preferred method is netboot it and use an NFS root, but I don't generally run NFS around here and wouldn't feel like making it all work just for this project.

The Keyspan USB driver in 2.3.99-pre5 has an Oops whenever the device is inserted. There's a patch in pre6-3 to fix it. The big TODO on that driver is to get unlazy in the 8051 firmware code and send down the device strings properly (workaround a silicon bug). The other remaining items would be stuff like HW flow control, and making sure that the driver can do weird things like handle the iButton adapter properly (more RTS/CTS games than usual).

Turns out EGD has a bug in the way it uses select (when reading from a pipe for which the other process has shut down, sometimes you get both readability and exception status on that fd), which caused it to slowly drop all entropy sources. It only seems to happen on Solaris 8 and one release of Irix. There's a test egd.pl on ftp.lothar.com/linux/ if you want to try it out.

Watched Psycho and The Trouble With Harry tonight. Old films rock. And then proceeded to burn about 3 hours with Final Fantasy VII. Really, I don't get into RPGs at all. This is just a brief infatuation and I'm sure it will pass soon. Just as soon as I finish the blasted game... :)

Spent more time hacking on an EZUSB widget for an LED sign I'm trying to set up at work. It kept flaking out for no apparent reason, and I'm inclined to blame sdcc. Managed to crash linux -pre5, some kind of descriptor bug (in the external USB device) triggered an interrupt lockup. I'll have to see if I can reproduce it and find a way to throw it at the more knowledgeable USB stack folks.

And in the "projects to do" file: I was looking at both FreeAmp and XMMS, thinking that FreeAmp looks much nicer (and doesn't trigger the trident 100% CPU bug in the latest kernels), but XMMS works much better and has far more flexible plugins, and has a wonderful remote interface (for which I'm planning an emacs mode, muhaha). The code in both makes my skin crawl (some projects seem destined to be primarilly influenced by Windows code, dunno why). But I was thinking about how to make XMMS look prettier, and it got me thinking that we could use libskin.a, something to combine XML, PNG, buttons, images, libart, gdk-pixbuf, all kinds of goodness to make it easier to customize apps that don't require a lot of standardized widgets (menus and lists would be hard). This is basically how the FreeAmp skins work except without as much flexibility and a serious windows bent (.bmp everywhere). Anyway, something to play with next weekend if I can just manage to lose that damn FF7 CD..

visited here enough I decided I should stay..

I like the meta-discussions that have been taking place here. They've resonated nicely with some chats I've had at work on the overall Software process and how to herd developers into doing the Right thing instead of the short-term expedient thing. Evil thoughts like rigging the compiler to produce random errors when they do things I want to discourage (e.g. large variables on the stack), so as to build up this culture of fear that keeps them in line without silly stuff like code reviews or coding guidelines.

Of course, then I realize that would be evil, and I back out my changes. But I can always dream.. :)


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