Josef “Jeff” Sipek


So, yeah. I finally forced myself to write one of these blog entries. Woohoo! I’ve been quite busy for the past two weeks (doing some cluster building, and then slideshow making - I leave for OLS in only 4 days!) I must say it should be interesting - the presentation, the impromptu stackable filesystems BOF.

I just found this very bizarre image (mirror) (too wide to include it here) which explains rather humorously Wikipedia article: RAID.

Rotary Cellphone

I found a great link, where someone built a Portable Rotary Cellular Phone. I have to say, I’d love to have one — just walk into a room, put the phone down onto the table, and just let it sit…until someone calls. :)

Truly Random

Today, after playing Enemy Territory for about an hour, two people I know and I were chatting about quite a number of things. I can’t help but put the whole thing here; I tried taking excerpts, but it didn’t really work…so, either enjoy reading this, or just ignore it.

WARNING: Rather silly things ahead…

The names of same indidviduals and places have been changed to protect the innocent.

Person A entered the room.
Person B entered the room.
Person B: yes?
Person A: I’m guessing you’re done with the game
Person B: yep
Person A: considering I haven’t seen anyone for a while
Person B: it kicked me again
Person A: why?
Person B: punkbuster
Person A: ah
Person A: weird
Person B: complained about modified pak0
Person A: hmmm
Person A: well - anyway, I did reasonably well
Person B: but I have a feeling that it has to do with my parents making me inactive
Person B: yep
Person A: I got a Killing Spree first time out
Person B: oh?
Person B: make
Person B: nice
Person B: :-)
Person B: wrong window
Person A: and I got promoted to Pfc.
Person A: later, I got a pair of binoculars and improved battle sense
Person B: yep, those are fun
Person B: but mostly useless on the sniper server
Person A: Person C was a dog and TKed me
Person B: heh
Person A: I stopped playing because I neither saw nor got seen for some time
Person A: I was at a position where I saw most of the Nazi side, and any self-respecting sniper would have shot me, but nobody did
Person B: well, it is getting late
Person B: the game is usually empty around 2 am
Person A: aha
Person A: how many XP do you have?
Person B: 56-ish
Person A: haha, gotcha beat
Person B: but I wasn’t playing for 15 mins…
Person A: I had 81 at the end
Person B: nice
Person A: so yeah, let me know whenever you’re doing this
Person B: actually..
Person A: or even better, let’s get Person C in the FSL and play together
Person B: do you want to play on normal server (non-sniper)?
Person A: naah, I’m done for today
Person B: ok
Person A: my brain is fried from 95% concentration over a long period
Person B: the paper or ET? ;-)
Person A: ET
Person B: hehe
Person A: the paper, I can get up and get some water
Person A: ET, I cannot
Person B: :)
Person B: evil, isn’t it
Person B: it makes you think
Person B: that’s why I like it a bit more than quake
Person A: no, not really, actually
Person B: well, it is more about strategy
Person A: All I have to do is find a good spot to snipe from
Person B: especially on the normal servers
Person A: then find a spot to approach it from
Person A: then crawl from point A to point B
Person A: then snipe and hope Person C doesn’t get bored
Person C entered the room.
Person C: hi
Person A: hey
Person A: How was it?
Person C: how was what?
Person A: The sniping
Person C: I got a couple of kills
Person A: Cool
Person C: never saw Person B :)
Person A: haha
Person A: I think I shot him twice
Person C: I found another good sniping point on the allied side
Person A: yeah?
Person B: oh?
Person C: on the roof
Person B: which one?
Person B: the one where you exit the window?
Person C: yeah
Person A: I tried that one towards the end
Person A: saw nothing, unfortunately
Person C: so if you go to the left corner there you’ve got vantage on the point there the nazis access the bridfge
Person C: I gout a couple of kills there
Person C: it would rock if people are trying to cross the bridge
Person A: yeah
Person A: the only infiltrators we had to worry about for most of the game were… ahem… ALLIES
Person C: hehe
Person A: “I was bored…” worst excuse ever
Person B: you should then play some of the real games…where the other side _must_ cross a bridge to win the game
Person C: all the DM people were too busy talking
Person C: oh speaking of excuses… “I thought it was suppose to heal you” wins, I think :)
Person A: haha, that was the l4m3st thing ever
Person A: what the fuck am I carrying a needle around for, if not to heal people with?
Person A: I must say, though, I got a good laugh out of that
Person B: :-)
Person C: well the needle is supposed to be fore when you sneak up on people
Person C: it’s good for when you are in disguise
Person A: Oh… it’s like the gauntlet
Person A: “Humiliation!”
Person B: nah..that would be the knife
Person A: oh
Person B: virtually silent
Person C: my favorite activity lately has been playing maps with lots of close combat, finding a quite spot and sniping away
Person B: hehe
Person B: the best thing is…you can’t be called a camper
Person B: since you, as a covert ops, are _supposed_ to snipe
Person C: yeah… people actually don’t seem very hostile to snipers in this game
Person C: I’ve never heard anyone call anyone a sniper :)
Person C: I mean camper
Person B: which is awesome :-)
Person B: the only time they would get angry, is if you were sniping them right after they spawn
Person B: but even then, they would be more pissed of if you just panzerfausted them :-)
Person C: that would be awesome
Person C: especailly given that losts of people tend to spawn simultaneously
Person B: the problem with that is..
Person B: you are invincible for few seconds after you spawn
Person B: to prevent things like that
Person C: crafty bastards
Person B: hehe
Person B: which maps do you prefer?
Person C: there was one I played for the first time today… it’s got a big blue river flowing throught it
Person C: I don’t remember the name of the map though
Person C: one of the teams actualyl starts in the water
Person B: hmm
Person B: I never played that one…
Person B: I like Fuel Dump a lot..
Person C: I don’t recall that one
Person C: I usually prefer outdoors maps with lots of distance
Person B: allies must dinamite fuel depot
Person B: yes, it is very open
Person B: outdoor map
Person C: cool… I’ll look out for that one
Person C: 1944_beach is cool too
Person C: although the mortar guys are a pain there
Person B: true
Person A: Is that supposed to be from the Normandy invasion?
Person C: I believe so
Person C: I can see why so many allied soldiers were cannon fodder at normandy :)
Person B: :-)
Person A: yeah
Person C: I tried being the engineer that builds the invasion ramp
Person C: invariably someone has their mortar aimed right at that point and is raining down shells
Person B: being an engineer is fun
Person B: because everyone is nice to you :-)
Person B: and you can just ask for escort :-)
Person B: on the other hand..
Person B: a covert ops can be lots of fun as well
Person B: for example..
Person B: fuel dump..
Person B: if you have one covert ops and one engineer
Person B: you can win the game (on the allied side)
Person C: they ought to have generals… that way you can ask for escort, tell epople what to do, stay safe in a bunker and then claim credit when it’s all over if your side wins :)
Person B: you need to get the covert ops to steal a uniform
Person B: hahaha
Person C: is Person A still ehere?
Person B: then the covert ops can sneak into the fuel depot
Person A: Yes, I am.
Person B: tell the engineer to come to the main doors
Person B: then the covert ops opens the door and lets the eng. in
Person B: few seconds later
Person B: the eng places the dinamite at the fuel tanks
Person B: and 30 seconds later game over
Person B: if done early in the game, the nazis don’t expect anything, and the nearest one is at least 40 seconds away :-)
Person C: you don’t have anything t ocontribute to this fascinating conversation?
Person A: nope, considering that today was my first time playing ET for any length of time.
Person B: oh
Person A: All I can say is that I pwnt Person B :)
Person B: hey
Person B: I got kicked
Person B: twice
Person A: I don’t think you ever killed me
Person C: haha
Person C: well I killed you
Person A: And I killed you at least once, and I believe twice.
Person A: You bastard, you don’t count.
Person C: lol
Person C: I enjoyed watching you stand up look around lie back down stand up again and realize you were dying
Person B: hahaha
Person A: I was wondering where the hell I was being shot from, considering I was in a really good spot!
Person C: haha
Person A: I found some really sweet spots, and both times I was in one of them I got shot by someone on my side of the river.
Person A: Once by that BurningChicken guy or something like that
Person C: and then you poked someone with the needle?
Person A: They had weird nicknames - they seemed an incestuous bunch: BurningChicken, BurningTurkey, BoundlessTurkey, CharredChicken
Person C: lol
Person A: I thought it was just one guy being an ass
Person A: that was at first
Person A: but then I realized these were all different people
Person A: l4m3rz
Person B: hehe
Person C: yeah… it;s funny hearing these people talking about practice and so on
Person B: haha
Person B: it would be fun to start a clan..
Person C: they take their clans seriously
Person B: =FSL=
Person B: or some such
Person C: =={FS|MN}L==
Person B: yeah
Person B: just like that
Person B: awesome
Person B: and once in a while, just go onto a server en mass
Person C: yeah… all… um.. three of us
Person B: we could get more people
Person B: I htink
Person B: think
Person A: Well, you’ve seen Dave and how seriously he takes his raids
Person A: online gaming is serious business
Person C: true
Person C: but I’ve never seen any kind of teamwork in these games really
Person A: in any case, I still prefer killing people I can go and laugh at afterwards.
Person B: Person A: play on some other servers
Person C: at least not on the level of the raids the WoW people conduct
Person B: WoW is not made to be individual
Person C: neither is the normandy invasion
Person B: but, in say the normandy invasion..
Person B: you are either one of the guys that tries to run up the beach
Person B: or
Person B: you on the “clif” shooting everything you see
Person C: I wonder if the allied engineers really could rapidly build stuff like that with just a pair of pliers
Person B: heh
Person B: of course
Person B: and as they were building, the soon to be built object was a translucent outline
Person C: we’ve lost =={FS|MN}L==Spyffe==== again
Person A: haha
Person A: I’m working on my paper
Person B: ah
Person A: and besides, what am I going to say about Normandy?
Person A: wasn’t there :)
Person B: urgh
Person C: unlike me
Person B: have you ever heard of thought experiments?
Person A: hmmm… Axis or Ally?
Person A: India would have been British at the time
Person B: or purely theoretical research?
Person A: Also, I prefer you to refer to my full nick:
Person A: ={FS|MN}L=SpyffeChicken=
Person B: hehe
Person A: wow, my grammar is going down the tubes
Person C: hehe
Person B: ={FS|MN}L=LastActionHero
Person B: Hastala vista, baby!
Person A: haha
Person A: have you heard the history of that nick, Person C?
Person C: surely you mean


Person B: hehehe
Person A: ah, yes
Person B: the text is supposed to be colored, not the background
Person A: well, if you can change the background
Person C: our clan is different
Person A: that’s even l337312
Person C: we;re the reverse clan
Person C: nalc if you will
Person A: emal si taht
Person A: dnuora yaw thgir eht sdrow ym referp I
Person A: brb… going to heat up some Vindaloo
Person C: ok
Person B: wtf?!
Person C: ???
Person B: it was few letters
Person B: aaaaaaaaaaaaargh
Person B: clan name color scheme
Person B: :-(
Person B: red =
Person B: black {
Person B: blue FS
Person B: black |
Person B: green MN
Person B: black }
Person B: purple L
Person B: red =
Person B: the nick
Person A: spammer
Person B: red =
Person C: someone kick him!
Person B: blame AOL
Person B: I tried to send a nice color coded message
Person C: I’ve heard this guy’s got a history of being kicked from servers
Person B: one line
Person B: and it refused to send
Person B: aaaaaargh
Person A: Person B’s just getting back at me for 0wning him in the sniper map
Person B: urgh
Person B: no wonder I was getting kicked…
Person B: Person A’s ego was to big
Person A: my ego has a separate nick
Person B: oh boy
Person C: haha
Person A: I’m listening to a weird song
Person A: “Dort tanzt Lulu, ahaha, uhuhu”
Person B: which one?
Person B: ok
Person A: Dort tanzt means “There dances”
Person A: “Und ich guck zu, ahaha, uhuhu”
Person A: “and I watch…“
Person C: omg… this conversation is almost starting to sound like the ==DM== conversation
Person C: one of them was even reciting lyrics
Person A: Jawohl!
Person A: Affirmative!
Person C: Firing for effect!
Person A: mmm, that was some good vindaloo
Person C: I’m rather pleased with how you can just right-click an ISO image and say “burn” and it just works in gnome
Person C: things have come a long way from having a long Linux CD burning HOWTO
Person C: ping
Person B: we still have that!
Person B: and it is awesome!
Person B: pong
Person C: have what?
Person B: linux cd burning howto
Person C: well yeah… but you don’t actually need it anymore
Person B: true
Person B: I just remember the commands :-)
Person A: haha
Person B: cdrecord -vv speed=16 dev=/dev/hdc file.iso
Person A: doesn’t cdrecord just do the right thing?
Person A: yeah - was about to say
Person B: I like the very verbose output
Person A: you would
Person C: installing my new DVD writer was very painless
Person B: I also like to say which device and what speed it should use..even tho it can autodetect at least the max speed
Person B: same here
Person C: even though I had to change the way my IDE drives were connected because of cable constraints
Person A: cool
Person C: it even automatically reconfigured my software RAID array automatically
Person A: damn - that’s nice
Person C: windows, of course won’t boot anymore
Person A: the horror!
Person C: lol
Person B: heh
Person C: because of the way the drive letters magically form, if you were relying on NTLDR to boot you’d be SOL
Person C: fortunately, grub can move device IDs around before it calls NTLDR to fool windows into not being retarded
Person B: heh
Person B: NTLDR is retarded
Person B: Grub just hides the fact from NTLDR
Person C: yeah
Person C: isn;t dave a windoze fan?
Person B: not a fan
Person B: but he tolerates it because of games
Person A: He’s not Rakesh
Person C: aah I knew it was someone in FSL
Person A: and he’s certainly not cut from the same block as many of the other SBCS people
Person B: true
Person C: and Person B was trying to convince me that FSL is cooler :)
Person B: when around the SBCS people, Dave is obviously pro-Linux
Person B: Person C: at least we don’t have cubicles
Person C: we’re getting 30” apple displays
Person A: I was talking to a guy from the ECSL the other day
Person A: he used to play guitar in a band
Person A: I told him to bring his guitar in sometime
Person B: is that, what’s his name…
Person A: he said he couldn’t imagine something like that happening in the ECSL… all they do there is work
Person A: Michael
Person C: yeah
Person B: cool
Person A: Then he said that from what he’s heard, anything goes in the FSL :)
Person A: we have a reputation
Person C: oh god it must have been the snowballs
Person C: did you go on a rampage yesterday given that we had the first snow of the season?
Person A: oh, he meant it in a positive way
Person A: naah, I just walked home trying to catch snowflakes in my mouth
Person A: that actually went pretty well till the wind picked up.
Person C: just stay away from the russians
Person A: I am not going to throw any snowballs at Alexey this winter
Person A: I have decided that if he wants to ignore me, I will return the favor
Person C: I think he’s decided to ignore everyone
Person A: OTOH if I see Michael…
Person C: just make sure he’s Michael not Mikhail first :)
Person A: It would be the crowning experience of my life if we got an FSL vs. ECSL snowball fight going
Person B: hehe
Person B: Person A: if you were to die valiantly in the snowball fight, could I get your desk? ;-)
Person C: at least till he respawns
Person A: hahahahaha
Person B: ~
Person A: lol @ the both of you
Person B: /red_respawntime 36000
Person A: don’t worry, I’d probably jump off the map
Person C: you can’t laugh at fellow clan members
Person A: or into the lava
Person B: umm…there is no lava at stony brook
Person A: haha
Person A: that’s what you think
Person B: and no clifs either
Person A: I’d find some.
Person B: hehe
Person C: im sure if you dig deep enough you could find some lava
Person B: yeah, but do I look like I want to dig ?
Person A: no no
Person A: I’d do it
Person A: :)
Person B: heh
Person C: you’re not the one who wanted to jump into the lava either :-P
Person B: hah
Person B: a
Person B: oh
Person B: did I tell you that I have a cut down version of Doom running on my calculator?
Person A: oh, you got that working?
Person B: yep
Person A: do the monsters move?
Person B: and the new firmware is awesome
Person B: no :-(
Person B: but..
Person B: actually
Person B: it is possible that the latest version has moving monsters
Person B: but I found only source to that
Person B: no binaries
Person C: what calculator?
Person B: HP 49G+
Person A: wow
Person A: I just caught myself navigating a document in vi by searching for the word I wanted to jump to
Person C: huh?
Person A: well, I was on the same line as a word I wanted to edit
Person C: lol
Person A: so instead of jumping forward the required number of words
Person A: I instead searched for the word
Person B: heh
Person C: I do that sometimes
Person B: I do that sometimes
Person B: hehe
Person A: hahahahahaha
Person A: lol @ both of you
Person C: it’s not quite as lame with the way emacs’ search work
Person C: s
Person A: how does emacs’s search work?
Person C: as you type it jumps to the first matching location
Person B: vim can do that
Person A: how?
Person B: no idea
Person B: but dave uses it
Person C: maybe he uses Emacs emulation mode :)
Person B: I doubt it
Person B: no one in the lab uses emacs, except Person D
Person C: ha
Person C: losers
Person A: Person B: set incsearch
Person B: ok
Person C: there’s a better way
Person A: what?
Person C: ln -sf /usr/bin/emacs /usr/bin/vim
Person B: eh?
Person B: replace vim with emacs symlink?
Person A: yeah
Person B: oh
Person A: I actually did put emacs on Galatea
Person B: the search thing
Person A: because it’s fun building it against Motif
Person B: hehe
Person C: you have strange ideas of fun
Person A: Oh I certainly do
Person B: Person C: he’s a solaris user
Person A: yesterday, my idea of fun was building 64-bit Perl, Apache, and mod_perl
Person C: ah good point
Person B: I was just going to say that
Person C: you need to get out more :)
Person A: particularly tricky since I already had a 32-bit
Person B: hmm
Person B: I really tempted to write some program for my calculator
Person C: I used to have an HP 11c
Person C: RPN fun :)
Person B: yep :-)
Person B: that’s one of the reasons why I got it
Person C: I enjoyed watching people when they asked to borrow my calculator and then tried desperately to find the = key
Person B: hehe
Person A: I wish I needed a calculator :/
Person B: this calculator can do both RPN and algebraic
Person B: and it has an enter key
Person B: doesn’t say =
Person B: but it is obvious that it is it
Person C: you kids and your algebraic computers
Person B: it is kind of a shame that HP changed the enter key from a 2 keys wide button above 9 and x to standard TI-like enter
Person C: hmmm
Person A: so tell me
Person C: no
Person B: hahahaha
Person B: I just tested a program
Person B: it is awesome
Person A: actually, nm
Person B: you give it two geographic coordinates
Person A: I tested a program once.
Person B: and it calculates the angle above the horizon, and minimal velocity for a missle to reach the target from the starting point
Person B: it unfortunatelly, ignore friction, and assumes instantenous acceleration
Person A: “minimal velocity?”
Person A: surely “initial velocity”
Person B: minimal initial vel
Person B: it also makes the assumption that earth is a sphere
Person A: if you gave a projectile a higher vel than the minimum, it would not hit the target
Person B: I am tempted to modify the program
Person B: to do things right :-)
Person C: I personally would recommend fixing the earth
Person A: What are you going to do, make the Czech Republic a nuclear power?
Person A: that could be accomplished with nuclear weapons, too.
Person C: it would take a lot of nukes to spherecalize the earth
Person C: spherify?
Person B: not particularly…
Person B: 1) minimize the spin
Person B: 2) whatever you do, make it symmetric
Person A: spherily I say unto ye, sphere my your spheeches
Person C: it takes a lot of nukes to stop the earth from spinning
Person B: you can do that in some other ways…
Person A: I might even go so far as to say that it is not possible to stop the earth from spinning with nukes.
Person C: why not?
Person A: unless you can somehow make their blasts directional.
Person C: dig a hole and plant the nukes in there
Person B: haven’t you seen Armagedon?
Person A: oh, I see
Person A: clever
Person B: that would blow the planet into peices
Person B: and it wouldn’t spin…
Person B: because it wouldn’t exist :-)
Person C: yes it would
Person A: the galaxy is made up of (relative) dust, yet it spins
Person C: unless you counteract the angular momentum somehow, the system of asteroids formerly known as earth would still spin
Person B: but it wouldn’t be Earth!
Person C: but anyway…. the point was the make the earth spherical
Person B: Person A: it is relative spining…
Person C: destroying the earth is not a good way to start
Person B: how about scraping few km of the crust near the equator?
Person C: what would we do with all these nukes then?
Person B: well..
Person A: I disagree
Person A: I think destroying the earth is a great idea
Person A: then, when the cloud of dust collapses, it will pack tightly, into a sphere
Person B: I’m sure there are plenty of third world countries that would love to receive a gift…food, medications, nukes
Person C: no it won’t
Person A: the reason the world isn’t spherical is because of spin and tectonics
Person B: it won’t if it rotates
Person C: there’s also the little matter of the moon
Person A: if it is initially spherical, we can build a sufficiently hard system of girders that will keep the equator at its proper size
Person A: or, if we lack the means to make girders after the Earth has been destroyed
Person A: we can use masking tape
Person B: I like the girders idea
Person C: I could see earth’s production facilities being affected somewhat by being vaporised
Person C: OTOH, the core is mostly made of iron, so there should girders ought to be super-cheap them
Person B: we could give them 2 weeks notice
Person C: then
Person B: along with a map of the moon
Person C: but the moon is also responsible to deforming the earth slightly
Person C: it must be destroyed and assimilated into the Earth v2.0
Person B: oh…
Person B: I know..
Person B: we give them 2 weeks notice, they move to the moon
Person B: then
Person B: we dustify the earth
Person A: that’s a good idea
Person B: then, we adjust the orbit of moon
Person B: to be in approximately the same place as old earths
Person A: here’s an idea
Person C: cant we blow the moon up into a ring?
Person B: then we build gigantic girder ceiling over all the surface of the moon
Person A: we could cut a chunk of the moon into a shape like a cheese grater
Person C: I’ve always been saddened by the fact that we don’t have a ring
Person A: then, when we’ve dustified the Earth
Person A: we shoot that chunk through the blob of molten iron that is the Earth’s core
Person B: and then, we put all the old earth dust onto this ceiling
Person A: out will come grated iron, and we have our girders
Person C: lol
Person B: heh
Person A: so I hate this:
Person A: typedef long word_20
Person C: huh?
Person A: static word_20 jumpmasks[] = { 0xffffffff, … }
Person B: or how about this…
Person B: we take the moon
Person B: dig out the center
Person B: expand the crust to the radius of old earth
Person B: and fill in the center with old earth dust
Person B: the old moon stuff can be turned into a disc
Person B: /ring
Person C: that would never work
Person B: why?
Person C: a crust made of cheese wouldn’t be strong enough
Person B: ah..
Person B: but the crust would be supported by girders
Person C: we’re building planets here, not making giant pizzas
Person A: expose it to some hard radiation, and it too may become hard
Person A: actually, nm
Person A: it has already been exposed to such
Person B: oh..
Person B: I know
Person B: what makes chese go bad == hard
Person B: exposure to air!
Person C: ah ha!
Person B: there is no atmosphere on the moon now..
Person B: so, we just need to release air
Person B: and wait a week or two
Person C: althought what actually makes cheese go hard is the moisture drying out
Person C: so exposure to vacuum would be even more effective
Person B: hmm
Person B: true
Person B: but
Person B: the moisture goes into the air
Person C: so that proves that the moon isn’t actually made of cheese!!!
Person B: now, we’d need to keep the air at room temperature
Person B: it is either too cold or too hot for the moisture to be the way it is in a fridge
Person A: brb
Person B: ok
Person B: oh…
Person C: ok
Person B: maybe the chese (==moon) is already dried up!
Person C: that’s true
Person C: we should ask Neil Armstrong
Person B: yeah
Person B: we could ask Rob Pike (or whatever his name is) in CS to contact Armstrong
Person C: who?
Person B: someone from the CS department
Person C: I don’t get it
Person B: he worked on the ACG
Person B: AGC
Person B: the computer
Person C: aaah
Person A: hate to break it to you
Person B: just to explore all posibilities…say, Neil is too busy…would Lence suffice?
Person A: but Rob Pike isn’t in our CS dept
Person C: no?
Person A: yeah, surprising as that may be
Person C: what about neil armstrong?
Person B: well, say Neil Armstrong is too busy to answer our question
Person A: Not even Lance Armstrong
Person B: hmm
Person C: that’s disturbing
Person C: can you send me a comprehensive list of who isn’t at our department?
Person B: ah.,,
***Person B feels stupid
Person B: no Pike
Person B: but Kelly
Person B: but Pike should know as well…
Person B: afterall…
Person B: O_O
Person B: O_o
Person B: o_O
Person B: o_o
Person B:
Person A: o.O
Person A: <.<
Person A: >.>
Person B: ok..this is not funny:
Person A: yeah, I read that
Person A: he makes some good points
Person B: hmm, actually, I read it a while back too
Person C: ha
Person B: that paper always makes me want to write a few new OSes just to prove him wrong :-)
Person B: well
Person B: that wouldn’t do it
Person B: but still
Person C: well that would just prove his point
Person A: you’d need to get them into OSDI
Person B: not SOSP?
Person C: I think there’s a fundamental flaw in his thesis
Person C: he seems to confuse maturity with stagnation
Person C: just because new operating systems haven’t been proposed doesn’t mean that things have come to a standstill
Person B: but you don’t see papers saying “this is better” and then you see that the radical new idea sucks a lot
Person C: ??
Person A: yeah, that last sentence didn’t parse for me either
Person B: ignore it then
Person C: ignore Person B. got it.
Person A: I just don’t think the problems are significantly different that we need a different software infrastructure.
Person A: For better or for worse, Kernighan and Pike designed a really forward-looking, kickass OS back in the 70s
Person A: and that has lasted for a long time
Person C: yeah
Person B: yep
Person A: When the applications need a new software layer, one will come.
Person A: But actually, I suspect that UNIX will be sitting under that software layer, because it does a really bang-up job of managing hardware.
Person B: sure?
Person C: I mean the applications we are using today are certainly very different than they were just a few years ago
Person B: yep
Person C: so the fact that the underlying system is the same is unimportant
Person B: my thoughts exactly, it’ll just be a new daemon or library
Person B: but nothing significantly different on the systems level
Person A: I actually think that the trend to Embedded Linux will continue
Person B: linux is growing into a monster….
Person A: that eventually the kernel will be pretty bare-bones, and that most of the functionality users see will be in libraries
Person B: lots of things are now happening in userspace
Person B: kernel detects the presence of a PCI card, but a userspace daemon decides which module to load to get the device online
Person A: yeah, I think IPC and that sort of stuff are de facto moving out of the kernel
Person B: the nice thing however is..
Person A: Not the basic mechanism, but the methods
Person B: you can make a kick ass minimal system
Person B: without any advanced autodetection, etc.
Person A: like Ingres: it sets up a bunch of servers, and sets up kernel shared memory for them to talk to each other
Person B: but who needs that in embedded applications?
Person A: I don’t mean that the applications will be embedded
Person A: just that the kernel will be small
Person C: maybe someone should get around to finishing HURD :)
Person B: hehe
Person A: oh God
Person A: not HURD
Person A: not Mach
Person B: whenever they have something working, they decide to change the whole thing
Person B: btw, HURD has a UNIX interface
Person A: L4 is much preferable as a kernel
Person B: that’s why you can get Debian Linux and Debian Hurd
Person A: I would love to have a VM running L4 and some basic userland
Person B: is it x86?
Person A: L4 is x86/Alpha/MIPS
Person C: well you can really get Debian anything that has a POSIX interface without that much trouble
Person B: well, make one :-)
Person C: you could probably make a Debian Cygwin
Person A: I actually have built and run L4 on a VM
Person C: if you had a lot of time on your hands and nothing useful to do with it
Person A: I just haven’t built a proper userland for it
Person B: POSIX == glorified UNIX standard for late 20th and early 21st century
Person C: what’s your point?
Person B: Cygwin is, in a way, its own distro
Person C: yeah
Person C: but the essential part of cygwin is just a few DLLs that provide the POSIX layer
Person B: but sure, you could take the core/“kernel” and make debian packages with everything
Person A: hmmm - I actually have a bootable L4 floppy
Person B: heh
Person A: I think the kernel is actually not the hard thing
Person A: there are plenty of kernels
Person A: the trick is writing a new userland
Person A: it’s really fricking hard
Person B: yep
Person B: that’s why everyone implements UNIX compat layer of some sort
Person A: I mean, let’s say you were to write your own crt0.o
Person A: how the hell would you even go about doing that?
Person A: I mean, I was working near that group at Apple so I have a little bit of an idea
Person A: but still - it’s insane
Person B: lots of systems work is insane
Person A: yeah
Person A: I love being a systems grad student
Person C: anyway… since we’ve moved away from practical and useful things like spherizing the earth to make Person B’s program run more accurately….
Person A: we do the coolest stuff in the world
Person C: to impractical thigns like desigining new userland code
Person B: anyone running 2.6 kernel on ARM, celebrate, a fix has been commited few seconds ago
Person C: I’m going to bed
Person A: yeah, sorry that I started drawing pies in the sky
Person B: heh
Person B: ok
Person B: night
Person B: hmm
Person A: good night, Person C
Person B: pie
Person C: good night
Person A: don’t make me hungrt
Person A: hungry
***Person B is going to get some to eat
Person B: yummy
Person A: damnit!!!
Person C: you just at my vindaloo!
Person B: Person A: here…have some pie
Person B:
Person A: that was back at 11:50
Person A: you joined this conversation at 11 last night, Person C
Person A: and Person B and I kicked it off at 10:45
Person A: I think I have legitimate cause to be hungry.
Person B: and before that, we played ET
Person B: …ET phone home…
Person A:
Person B: O_o
Person C: haha
Person C: ok… gnite folks
Person B: night
Person C: the next time we speak I’ll probably be on another continent :)
Person B: enjoy
Person A: yup, enjoy your flight
Person C: thanks
Person B: I was saying enjoy India
Person B: but yeah..the flight too
Person C: being squished in an economy class seat for 18 hours… yay
Person B: fun
Person C: how could I not enjoy that
Person A: take a good book
Person B: I prefer train
Person B: takes longer
Person A: hmmm,
Person B: but you can get first class seat
Person B: with electricity
Person B: == lots of fun
Person C: the train… why didn’t I think of that
Person A: NY -> Toronto -> Vancouver -> Juneau -> Vladivostok -> Harbin -> Lahore -> New Delhi -> Bombay
Person B: I did the NY -> Toronto
Person B: it took about 12 hours
Person B: but that’s because of customs
Person C: lol
Person A: actually, not Harbin->Lahore, Harbin->Beijing->Darjeeling
Person A: Lahore’s very much out of the way
Person C: I think I’ll just fly this time around
Person B: well, next time..
Person A: there’s always next time
Person B: think about the alternatives first
Person C: when we’re done blowing up the earth maybe we can have pangea again
Person B: hmm
Person A: nah, we’ll just live on an orbital ring
Person B: sounds good
Person B: oooh
Person B: fun
Person A: we’ll have really really fast trains
Person C: awesome!
Person B: or..
Person A: specifically, a portion of the ring will be stationary
Person A: and you will take a train to “catch up” to it
Person A: get on
Person C: I’m going to invest in Amtrak and short Boeing and Airbus stock
Person B: we could just have these subways cut through the earth’s core
Person A: then hop on a train when you reach your destination, and the train will slow down
Person C: ok…. I’m really going now :)
Person C: gnite
Person A: Good night, Person C.
Person B: night :-)
Person C left the room.
Person B: I’m going to get food
Person B: yummy
Person A: shut up and go
Person A: brb myself, in point of fact
Person A left the room.

Yet Another Google Maps Application

I think this is the coolest use of Google Maps API so far…It is a game of Risk played on nothing other than Google’s earth satelite immagery.

I Had a Dream

Few days ago, I had a dream that I was in my high school’s auditorium. I was walking toward the stage, and someone appeared. He was not quite human. I recognized his was Weyoun. Then the auditorium changed into a football (the real one, not the american one) field in a wooded area. It was a nice day, sunny, but not too sunny. There was a path all the way around the field. I was standing next to the path near the centerline. Interestingly enough, there were highschool-field benches only on the short sides of the field. On each side, they were divided into three sections - the end two slightly rotated to face the field more directly. For whatever reason I decided to run along the field (on the grass), not wanting to interrupt the game, and then I started to climb up the seats. The benches were stacked up about 15 to 20 rows..enough to make the last row about 10 meters off ground. About half way up, they started to just collapse downward. I kept on climbing, until the middle section was completely collapsed. I saw a path that went all the way around the stadium, and it seemed like a good place to keep running. And so I did. I made it all the way back to where I met Weyoun; he was gone, but two or three friends of mine were walking around the field on the same path I was running on, I said something like hello, and kept on running. About 20 meters later, I passed someone who was walking a dog on the same path. It was…John Kerry. Yes, the guy that lost the presidential election not so long ago. I stopped running, and started chating with him. I don’t know what we talked about, but it was interesting.

That’s it, I woke up after that.

The President's visit

Now that I think about it, I remember that I had a very strange dream last night. I was driving to school on Southern State Parkway, and there was no one around me. The parkway was deserted. For whatever reason, I was going about 15-22 km per hour (10-15 miles per hour) in the left most lane. Then, I saw this roof-less car (similar to what JFK got shot in) and George W. Bush was standing there waving at his supported that were piled up on the bridge that I was approaching. He was still on the other side of the bridge, when I realized that his car was going the wrong way. It was going against traffic (which consisted of only me) in the right most lane (from my point of view). I didn’t think much of it; we both were going those 15-22 km/h. Interestingly enough, when we passed each other it seemed more like we were doing 3km/h. Anyway, he waved at me, and I felt this "cool the USA president waved at me, and I didn’t even want the wave"-type thing.

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