Recent blog entries for lukem

NetBSD & other hackery

More kqueue hacking. Committed mods to start named(8) chrooted if $named_chrootdir is defined in /etc/rc.conf. Nuked a couple of useless users and groups (falken, ingres).

Spent most of the 24 hours of travel home from NYC doing more research for my Freenix paper on rc.d; wading through six years and five million lines of email archives gets tedious. Thankfully I had a chunk of mp3's I've ripped off CDs that I own and a pair of noise suppressing headphones :) I should be able to get a draft of my paper to my `shepherd' by the end of the weekend.


Made it home ok from six weeks in NYC. The ability to burn points to upgrade to business class is the one reason I fly United trans-Pacific (I don't think any other airline allows international upgrades like that). There's advantages to being a Premier 1K member :-)

Managed to spend a long weekend in Calgary a couple of weeks ago, catching up with friends (Herb, Shari, Erik, Greg, Jonathan), and visited the mountains to the west, including a beautiful place called Lake Louise and the Kananaskis. The weather was excelllent (sunny, but snow on the ground), and we actually got snowed *out* of NYC and got back to NYC a day later than expected.

NYC is great, but intense. Managed to spend a lot of time catching up with various people I know from NetBSD, and their partners, children and friends. All in all an excellent time, but we're happy to be back home. Melbourne is a great place to live; you take it for granted until you've been away for a while. (Greg says the same thing about Calgary WRT moving back there after living in Toronto and NYC for a while).

Books and other toys

I caught up on a few authors I hadn't read much of; Alfred Bester wrote some *excellent* stuff, and I found a couple of older books by Harlan Ellison. Read "Darwin's Blade" by Dan Simmons a while ago; most excellent! "Look to Windward" by Iain Banks was another good read. I need to update my book/CD/DVD catalog so I know what `holes' I've got in my collection when I go shopping; sometimes I can't remember if I've already got something and I dislike unnecessarily doubling up.


I've had a fairly productive time hacking NetBSD in the last couple of weeks, including:

  • porting the kqueue infrastructure from FreeBSD, which is my first foray into serious kernel hacking for a long while, and things are looking positive.
  • setting up named to run chroot-ed as a lower privileged user, by default.
  • optimising the rc.subr shell code used by the rc system.

These are still works in progress, so not all of it has been committed to the main trunk.


New York is interesting. Inger is enjoying the city (whereas I'm primarily stuck in the office during the weekday), but we're having a great time catching up with people and `doing the tourist thing' when we can. We still haven't decided if we'll move here yet (there are pros and cons); that's a decision we'll make when we've got home to Melbourne and spent a week or so considering our options.


<sing>New York, New York ....</sing>

I've been in New York for a week (at the NetBSD booth at LinuxWorld Expo), and I'm here for another five weeks. It's been interesting so far. After a week in a couple of hotels, we've finally moved into an apartment on the upper east side, and things are looking up (mmm, not having to eat out every night, watching my wallet empty at an insane rate of knots trying not to think how many Australian $'s I'm spending)

The next few weeks should be interesting, as I will be working from Wasabi's head office. I even intend to get a lot more NetBSD hacking in as well. Maybe I'll even update my diary a bit more regularly.


Due to work commitments, I'm away from Australia for at least two months out of the next five, so I made the hard decision of stepping aside as the Vice President of SAGE-AU, and allowing someone else with more local presence to perform the duties for the rest of the term.


I hope that ajv `only' has a benign tumour. Things would ... seriously suck ... if the news was for the worse. :-|

I've spent the last few days getting back to the grindstone hacking NetBSD, doing various housecleaning tasks on my computer systems, and chasing up things for Wasabi.

This makes a change from last month which wasn't as productive (in hacking terms) as I would have liked given:

  • I spent two weeks in the USA (for LISA in New Orleans, and work stuff in San Francisco)
  • We (Australians) effectively have a week off between Christmas & New Years (it's our summer break in the southern hemisphere)
  • I was seriously distracted out of work hours playing Half-life Counter-strike on-line. I un-installed Counter-strike on New Year's Day in an attempt to increase productivity and improve my social life. So far, so good.... ;-)

Most of the NetBSD hacking over the last few days has been stuff like finishing off my _DIAGASSERT() project. There's a lot to go, but I've done a few of the system libraries already.

On another front, I've had my car (a metallic black Audi S3) for nearly ten months and it's due for its second service at 30,000km. I've really enjoyed driving it so far, although I expect that the next 15000 km service interval will probably take a year to get to because I'm driving a lot less that I was (due to travel and the fact that I now work from home).

26 Nov 2000 (updated 26 Nov 2000 at 06:51 UTC) »

Andrew tells me that the talk about OSDA he gave at AOSS2 yesterday seemed to be very well received. I'm sure he'll post more info when he gets near a working internet connection again.

Hopefully the broader community as a whole receives some benefit from the project, or it at least raises the awareness amongst developers of Open Source with respect to employment contracts and who actually owns the I.P. of the work.


LISA 2000 is in New Orleans this year, and Inger (my wife) & I are going Nawlins to sightsee and attend the conference, followed up by a few days visiting family, friends, and clients in the SFBA.


I've been working at getting this project ready for ajv's talk at AOSS2 on the 25th. More info will put put up on the project page once the project has been publically announced at the conference.


Back to hacking at NetBSD. I've been cleaning up installation notes for the 1.5 release, and enhancing the clarity of various section 5 man pages. Other notables:

ftp(1): added mreget, -N netrc & $NETRC support

ftpd(8): lots of features, including new ftpd.conf directives `maxfilesize' and `sanenames', various new command line options, etc. I really should finish my portable version of this (aka `lukemftpd')...


Almost finished the OSDA project that ajv alluded to a while ago. He'll be presenting it (in my absence; I have a wedding to attend) at the AOSS2 in Adelaide on November 25. We'll announce it and provide more details once it's been presented there.


Still trying to organise a trip to LISA in New Orleans in early December, followed up by a visit to clients and fellow NetBSD hackers in the Bay Area in the following week. Looks like IETF in San Diego is out of the question now (due to return flight availability)

I'm currently in the USA (SFBA to be more precise). I've just spent a week in BSDcon 2000, where amongst other things I filled in for a talk - NetBSD: platform for the future, and started dialogue with various FreeBSD developers and Core members on making more effort to share code between our projects without gratuitous incompatible changes.

Finally released lukemftp 1.5.

I should finish off my similar project for NetBSD's ftpd (i.e, make it portable to other systems). I did a comparison a while ago between NetBSD's ftpd(8) and wu-ftpd 2.6.0; the former offers about 90% of the functionality, and on the same platform/compiler/options, compiles to one third the size of the latter! mmm, !bloatware ;-)

11 Oct 2000 (updated 11 Oct 2000 at 06:29 UTC) »

One and a half weeks at Wasabi Systems as a paid NetBSD developer (after six months as a Systems^WSales Engineer at Network Appliance), and I still can't get the grin off the face...

I've been spending a lot of time cleaning up and updating the release notes for the upcoming NetBSD 1.5 release. Sometimes it's annoying when you have the urge to be slightly anal about these things...

Random trivia of the day; NetBSD currently supports 32 machines across 12 different CPU types, all available as part of one source tree @ Now that's portability!

We should have NetBSD 1.5_BETA1 (or RELEASE_CANDIDATE1 in other parlance) out the door in time for BSDcon next week. Or that's the theory :)

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