Older blog entries for jmg (starting at number 83)

Yeh, I know it's been a long time that I've written a diary entry, but things have been a bit interesting in my life. I don't even have the excuse of not enough time since I was unemployed most of last year (almost 8 months), and am again unemployed this year.

First, it's been a yera and a half since my last confession^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^Hentry. The big changes in my life is that I've visited my girl friend in Thailand three times, and have now asked her to marry me. So, at the begining of Feburary, I'm going to be heading back to Chiang Mai, Thailand to get married. I am very happy about this. It'll be good to finally get things worked out, but I'm dreading handling all the visa work the US Government requires. It's a headache.

Second, as everyone knows, SBC Pacbell sucks. I tried to order DSL from sonic.net which resells/provides Pacbell DSL service. The line was suppose to be installed on Dec 12th. No dice. I talked with Pachell on Monday (the 16th) and find out that they hadn't even hooked up my line (they didn't recieve any readings on my line). The night I ask my girl friend to marry me, so I realize that I don't need DSL if I'm going to be moving in a month and a half. I call up sonic.net to cancle my order on the 17th. Pachell decides to wait a week and not cancle the service till the 24th, and tries to charge me for a week and a half of no service. I just filed my complaint today, so we'll see if I get my money back. Don't they know that simply maintaining the network doesn't make them God? If you run a business you have to provide service.

Third, as alluded to above, I'll be back in the job market , looking for either work I can do remotely, or for when I get back from Thailand, probably around May.

Hmm, that's all for now, just ignore me, might be a while again before I post.

Oh, did you know that CNN has redefied that 1 kilogram is equal to .45 pounds instead of the normal 1 kilogram is 2.2 pounds? Check out the article 32 years since a 'giant leap for mankind' where it says:

Six missions brought back valuable data and about 400 kilograms -- 181.8 pounds -- of lunar soil and rock.

When will we learn basic math?

SourceForge is anoying. I submitted a request for a project, and had it promptly rejected (like 2-4 hours after I requested it). They give you no reason why they reject it. If you want to know why they rejected it, you have to submit a support request. It's been two days since I submitted my support request and haven't heard back from them yet. I hadn't requested a project before and didn't really want to because they only have a web interface (not that I expect them to have another interface). So, I'll probably just keep going how I am with my "little" libraries that I've done.

Also, it seems strange that a project like mine would get rejected when there are so many projects that have existed for a while but yet to contain any content. It's anoying searching for a project on SourceForge because you'll think you have this project that you can use, but then find out that it has exist for the past year, but there hasn't been anything done with it.

Oh well.

olandgren:
Coding takes many years to do right. Even I can't get stuff to look decent in a few hours. I've spent a few hours on a 150 line Python script that does freqency counting, and the code lay out looks like crap! I've only been doing Python for two years now, and am no where near being good at it. I have been doing C for 10 years, and it took me a good 5+ years before I considered myself fluent. You don't get good over night, you have to spend many hours working on different projects just doing what you want to. You'll learn to code better as time goes on. Also, don't forget to read other peoples code too, you'll get ideas on how to better do stuff this way too.

gary: Yes, there is work on NFSv4. Last year at Usenix there was a presentation by one of the engineers on Sun and I do believe that they are working on making nfs a "secure" network file system. That means certificates and all that jazz. So, you can dig around on the Usenix site, or even take a look at Sun's site for something like: Sun Microsystems Gives Key Component of Network File System (NFS) to the Open Source Community it provides a nice link to NFSv4 Open Source Reference Implementation which says that they want to have a IETF complient NFSv4 system running on the Linux kernel by the end of the month. Hope that helps!

I was about to say it's been a few months since I last posted an entry, but I notice that it hasn't even been a month. Oh well, things are about normal, besides having Netscape 4.76 (Solaris) grow to almost 500megs eating up all the swap and memory. That's about the most exciting thing that's happened.

Does anyone know of a program that adds/edits the EXIF info on JPEG files? I've seen libraries used to read them, but I haven't seen any to write them. I resize my photos and then I loose that information which can be useful. It'd be nice to keep that information will the picture. Maybe I should finally get around to writing my own JPEG image library. It'd be fun to learn all the nasty details of the JPEG file format, and the things you can do w/o having to decompress/recompress the image.

Guess I'll be headed home so that I can go to martial arts class.

When I was at home over the weekend, I saw the book that was the third book I couldn't remeber. It is Ringworld Throne by Larry Niven. It was ok, I liked the earlier Ringworld books better. I just didn't get into it.

Oh well, it's interesting dealing with Sun Enterprise stuff if you haven't ever delt with it before. Learning about disk trays and all that fun jazz. Do they ever take a LONG time to POST too.

gregf:
Interesting article on Thailand's sexual reputation, though I think that not all of it made it. Could you post the rest? or email it to me? Thanks.

Personal:
Well, I haven't written a diary entry in some time. I can't claim that I've been busy, because I really haven't, though I have started a new job a Azanda Network Devices. I'm now their CAD Tool Manager. They are a startup doing QoS on silicon for OC192 and OC768 speeds. Things are going well, need to decide how much of a job I want to make this into, but my experience at my last job, Credence is definately helpful.

I've also read a few books. Most recent is Enchantment by Orson Scott Card. A very good read. I read it over the weekend. Previous to that I read Memoirs of a Geisha which helped me realize how many misconceptions I had about geisha. I forget the book I read before that, but it wasn't as good as the previous too, so I don't feel to bad about not remebering it.

technik:
Thanks for the link to the OpenSource PKI Book. I've been thinking of bring up a site where instead of passwords, I use certificates. The only problem is that I had issues with getting pyCA to work, and none of the documents out there tell you how to take the public key generated by Netscape (by using keygen) and create the required document for import into Netscape. There's plenty of other documentation, but they seem to think you should already know how to do it, and completely ignore it. Oh well, I haven't made any progress on the site in the months since I decided to start working on it, I'll probably just end up having to use crappy username/password for it.

schoen:
Also, don't forget that if the decks get too out of order a person will likely compensate with a longer run, so you have to add in a compensation for how many cards are remaining. As an avid card player (and one who hasn't developed a perfect shuffle), I have a decent idea on how it works. Also, don't assume that you'll always have a run of at least one card. Plenty of times a person messes up and skips a card between two runs of the other deck. So, I'd add a modifier to p depending upon the difference between the two remaining decks. Just my thoughts.

8 Mar 2001 (updated 8 Mar 2001 at 10:45 UTC) »

mobius:
Thanks for pointing out Bridge Builder. It's a great game. I don't have the egineering background you have, so it's quite funny to see how I finish the levels. I managed to get past 10, but my bridge still collapsed. If you get the train far enough across the bridge before it collapses, the front part of the train can pull the last car off the bridge and complete. I think they should probably include a spec that the bridge must be intact to complete the level. The budget on 10 is just too darn low.

I was impressed with my abilities on level 7 and 8. I only spent 75% and ~62% of my budget respectively. Now on to playing level 11.

Finally got past level 15 after reading the hints and then realizing, counter-weights, duh! After seeing the 1st and 2nd place bridges, it made me be able to build my level 10 bridge w/o having it break. Decided to send in my level 10 bridge that breaks, but works to the authors. I think they need to add in a new parameter, weight of the bar. Right now I think they only add a constant for each point as apposed to how much "material" is there. Oh well, at least I get to say I completed the game, and would give my right arm for a copy. (Can't give my left arm, as that's the arm I write with!)

Code

Been a while since I've written in my diary. Guess I just haven't had much to write about.

Last week I got a bit bored and decided to improve upon ffsrecov. As of yesterday, I released a new version of ffsrecov, version 0.5. The source is freely available. I originally wrote it for FreeBSD, but it will probably compile under other *BSD's w/o problems. I also recently got it compiled under Solaris, but I haven't tested it with any file systems.

The new version adds a lot of new support, like support for >2gig file systems (previously I mmap'ed the FS), using raw devices to extract files (if you have read permissions to the root raw device, you can grab the password database off it), among other things. For a more detailed list of changes/improvements, check out the FreeBSD port commit message which I detailed most of the improvements.

Over the weekend I started working on my B-Tree code, hoping to provide some more performance improvements to it. My last generation of B-Tree code would spend about 50% of it's time moving keys and nodes around as it inserted and deleted keys. It is also very apparent from the benchmarks of my B-Tree code, that main memory should be treated as secondary storage. Due to cache size granularity, you can find the proper node size where B-Tree code performs best. Increase or decrease the node size from this, and you won't get optimal performance.

Hmm, I think I should write a paper on B-Trees with all the work that I've been doing with them.

Life

Saturday was dwhite's birthday. So we went up to SF with a few other people to celebrate it. I was late getting notice about the movie because I went for lunch and didn't bring my cell because it needed charging. I did manage to get over to his place in Mountain View from San Jose (Burbank district) in 11 minutes. We headed up to Metreon to see the Mexican, and then after that headed over to Cha Cha Cha's in the Mission. Always expect a couple hour wait trying to get seated there. Had some good food and then headed down the street to Doc's Clock. I ended up being the designated driver for Doug, and we didn't get back to his place till 4am.

Long night, but the next morning I did get to see Clockwork Orange. That movie was quite interesting. I really didn't feel like I was watching an old 1971 film. Maybe it was because they remastered it for DVD and it looked nice and new. Definately want to read the book now that I've seen the movie. I'm sure the book will be much more interesting and have a lot more philosophical statements to make. It'll be a while, as the book I'm reading now I pretty long, and I'm only on page 200 of about 600 right now.

    Whee!

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