19 Jun 2000 johnsonm   » (Master)

Wow, it has been a long time since I wrote one of these. That's because I was working on IA-64 (Merced, Itanium, whatever) and wasn't sure what Intel's NDA allowed me to say about what I was doing. Fortunately, that's all changed. I did have fun doing the IA-64 work; the process was (as one might expect) similar to what I experienced when I bootstrapped early Linux versions (0.03, 0.10, etc.) on the x86 platform.

I then disappeared off to The Netherlands for nearly two months while my wife attended a short school in symbolic dynamics (her area of mathematical expertise), and I worked remotely on ACPI again. I discovered what it is like to have a metered internet connection, and came to value the U.S.'s flat rate local calling areas. While I was there, I kept a rather detailed diary of my work and play. This includes a few photos; I have hopes that some time I'll have time to go through and add more photos from my collection.

I've discovered that I have fairly naturally slipped into the role of an interface person between the kernel hackers and the user-space folks here at Red Hat. Sometimes I answer questions myself, and sometimes I play traffic cop and direct people towards the right other people to answer their questions. One of my strengths is knowing the difference between questions I can answer and questions I can't answer... I also tend to be the one asked to find slack to do one-time tasks that desperately need to be done. That suits me.

As my other tasks allow, I am still working on ACPI. There are some interesting problems here, many of which involve internal politics within the companies that own the ACPI "standard". ACPI is incredibly broken; if there were any other option I would be campaigning to throw ACPI away. I could write (indeed, have written) screeds explaining how broken ACPI is. However, the two important things that keep me going are that there is no realistic hope of replacing it, and that it is better than the alternative in the power management space (APM).

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