Older blog entries for klevin (starting at number 139)

It's all pretty much dead on my end. I think I need to get out of the house, as I'm finding that I've developed a tendancy to sleep till noon and still be exhausted by 8PM. No work yet. I'm thinking about taking some savings and going to Ireland with my brother (if he can scrounge up the money). Sceptre Ireland is running some rather interesting specials for travel through the end of March.

Noticed Alan Cox's comments about the mess that was I2O. I can truly sympathise. I spent far too much time sludging through the 400+ sheets of double-sided 8.5"x11" printout that made up the I2O specification. Fortunately, the company I worked for decided to ditch I2O (too much hassle, and the customers started developing nervous twitches when our sales people said "I2O"). Instead, we rolled our own company-wide wrapper for storage and network controllers. From the comments of several former co-workers who had been on the various I2O committees, I2O started out as something cool and then got bogged down in the committees. Design by committee rarely produces anything good, something that is all too easily forgotten.

dayta: You're not alone in this complaint. One of my former co-workers used to whine at me about this every month or so (I was the defacto "Linux/Free Software/Open Source" person in the office and was thus considered an appropriate target). It seems he had had occasion to take a few swipes at the Linux IPv4 stack and a few bits of network related userland code while working on his Master's project, and had a bad experience with the almost complete lack of documentation and the use of cryptic variable/function names.

Considering that one of the main points of free software is that it is "open to many eyes," it seems to be a little off that so many of the prime examples of free software make little if any effort into making the code more understandable.

I, myself, had more than one occasion to grumble about the crypticness of the network stack while at my previous job.

Went to day one of two days of an "outplacement services workshop" paid for by LSI. Not my usual cup of tea, but necessity makes for strange interests. First day consisted of talking about how everyone was feeling in regards to being RIF'd, doing "accomplishments" and strengths inventories, discussing a systematic method for networking (of the human to human variety, not computer<->computer) and some tips on what not to do w/ your resume. Interesting factoids: only 15% of the workforce gets jobs from responding to help wanted adds. The rest are found by talking to a friend of an associate's friend and so on. According to the fellow running the workshop, those stats change to 9%/91% for jobs in technical fields. This presents a difficulty for many in the workshop: either they haven't been around long enough to build much, if any, of a network (i.e. me and one of the other guys from my group that got axed) or they'd been w/ LSI (actually, NCR->ATT->Symbios->LSI, if you want to follow the trail of buyouts) for so long that most all of their contacts are stale. One of the guys was coming up on his 29th year and another hit 23 years the day he was laid off. Either way, it means a bit of extra work.

Tomorrow: more resume work.

So, for anyone who knows someone who could use a network server developer, Perl/CGI/DB person, Linux driver/network stack munger or just about anything else that involves C/C++, Perl or Korn work on a Unix/Linux OS, I can be reached at klevin@eskimo.com. Heck, I've got nothing against other languages (had briefer flings w/ Common LISP, Java, and CORBA via C bindings).

Anywho, time to hit the proverbial sidwalk and do some "networking."

21 Jan 2002 (updated 21 Jan 2002 at 20:13 UTC) »
chakie I too have a visceral aversion to the KKK. I believe the issue is that once you start silencing "extremist" groups, it becomes difficult to stop and the definition of what is "extremist" keeps geting wider and wider.

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I've figured out what the "person" and "proj" tags do here on advogato, but still not sure on the "wiki" tag, so here's and experiment, wiki'ized "klevin": klevin.

Hmmm. Amusing, but I'm not sure of the utility. Perhaps that's because there's no entry for "klevin". I may have to remedy that.

Not much activity here. Mostly just trying not to stress too much. The job search is produced sparse results, sent my resume in on two jobs (one a telecomuting job, the other, a job located in Seattle). I have comitments through August that are most easily met here in Wichita, so I'm trying to find a job that will allow me to telecomute, or, if located in Wichita, is not a permanent job, as I could not, in good conscience, accept a "permanent" job when I have every intention of moving after August. If I can't find either a temp job in Wichita or a telecomuting job, then I'll have to move, and Seattle was my intended destination anyways, so . . .

When I can consentrate, I've been looking at the code for OpenSSH's sftp program. I don't think it will be much work to extended it, but I'm not too sure of the best method. Either I take the existing code and meld additional functionality on, or I use it as a reference, but write my own client from scratch. The advantage of option one is that it would be less work (in theory), but it means my code would be under the BSD license (as I understand these things). Option two, more work, but I can place the code under the GPL. I don't have anything against the BSD style licenses, per se. However, I'm more familiar with the GPL.

16 Jan 2002 (updated 17 Jan 2002 at 00:09 UTC) »

Well, the press releases have been out for a while, so I can say it. Bloody massive layoffs going down today. Management's got their heads in anatomically impossible places. They appear to being taking senior developers. Probably the "higher saleries first" idea. Thing is, once you factor in benefits, the salary delta isn't that big. A good friend and one of two people who've worked here that I consider a mentor just took the long walk to the conference room. I don't know if I'm going to cry, vomit or both. Only thing on my playlist today is Bad Religion. A person w/ way more experience, a wife and kids is getting the axe instead of me, who's young, single, no kids, and quite frankly doesn't know squat. Life bloody well sucks.

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Ok, how about "in addition to" as opposed to "instead of." And a repeat of the last line above.

Time to turn my resume on.

Catching up on email and various stuff that I can't do from home (the fact that LSI uses Cisco's VPN 3000 setup, which doesn't have a linux client, really puts a crimp in what I can do over a VPN connection). All sorts of rumors floating around here at work. Consequently, not much work is getting done. Lots of hallway conversations, though.

Trying to get a driver source package and a hbaapi library binary package put together for several "SAN Management" companies that want to test their apps with our boards under Linux. Pam says she's going to put out another driver package tomorrow for her test people, so I'll wait for that instead of cranking my own out.

Still working from home. At least I can have good coffee w/o coughing up $3+ for a mocha or latte from the caffe in the Barnes and Noble near work. The coffee at work, is, well, bad. The only reason to drink it is if you're in dire need of caffine.

11 Jan 2002 (updated 11 Jan 2002 at 20:10 UTC) »

Thursday:

Worked from home. Been hanging around my dad and it turns out he's gotten some secondary eye infection from his cold and the doctor wants all of us to stay away from other people for a day or two.

Mostly just did some "configuration management" type work, aka software builds. I proceded to goof up the version strings and they had to be re-done. Happy day.

8 Jan 2002 (updated 8 Jan 2002 at 20:54 UTC) »

I was out sick on Monday, still sick today, but I figured I'd come in for a few hours just to keep stuff from slipping too far.

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Still getting stuff to compile after the re-arrangement. A couple of header files went away, making life vastly more amusing (from the comedy of errors perspective).

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On the non-work side of things, I've started considering a couple of different projects: extending the sftp client (from OpenSSH) to provide more functionality along the lines of ncftp, and a distributed chat client/server w/ built in encryption and authentication. I'd like to use sftp more for files transfers, but it's functionality is so limited (kind of like using the Windows command line ftp client) that I find myself just using ssh and scp. Distributed chat isn't a new idea, but I haven't seen anything out there that really takes security into consideration from the ground up (as opposed to just bolting it onto the side). Most likely, I'd use the OpenSSL and OpenSSH libraries, with (and this just came to me) the ability to go out to the key servers to grab public keys. The basic idea is to have a single program that's both client and server. Start it up, decide which, if any, channels to accept incoming connections for and then tell it what other servers to connect to. Kind of similar to the star topology of IRC, but where anybody can be a server. When people connect, they either provide a public key to authenticate against (which will be cached for some period of time beyond the end of their connection) or a key server address to get it from. There's several inefficiencies there, but hey, this is still in the "restaurant napkin" stage.

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