Recent blog entries for manuel

  • Feature finished Kralle, the rallye tool built from Ralfs rallye tool. Python is pretty neat, but boring, so boring. Anyway, the whole thing works, I'll clean up the code when I'll have some time.
  • Cleaned up the z80 assembler, as the zilog specification had quite a lot of errors in it.
  • The Karlsruhe CSIDC team is among the top ten, very nice, but also lots of work. Spent time writing some code and slides for the presentation in Washington in 2 weeks.
  • We have new rooms for the entropia e.V. here, which I quickly filled up with bunch of old hardware. Among others, my VAX tower, now featuring 11 machines, and a neat pdp11/03. Unfortunately, the QBUS serial interface card seems to be missing, so I could not boot it for now.
Mulad: I had to fiddle with backup solutions twice lately. I first thought using amanda would be perfect, but it turned out to be overkill, as in one case only one machine had to be backed up, in the other case, 2 redundant servers. We use amanda at our student house, with ~ 15 machines, and it is just fine, but for small networks, it is too complicated. I then got the script from somewhere on the net, patched a few errors it had, but got disappointed by it, as it is tremendously long and complicated and ugly. However, it writes a label file using tar as the first file on the tape. It also writes an index file last. I used the same idea, in one case using the label file only to ask the user if the tape is the correct one, in the other case to parse the file list, and play them back correctly. In one case (the redundant case), I use a simple spool directory, where Tar files get periodically written to, and backed up to tape once a day. A full dump is done each weekend. I also write small ksh scripts so lusers could back up data without destroying the oracle databases and stuff. Hope that helps, I could mail you some scripts, but I don't want to release them, they are just too ludicrous. Sorry for my bad english.

hacking: Wrote a z80 assembler in LISP, to get a better grasp of the language. I must say, macros rule :) Actually, it is a 1 1/2 pass table/function based assembler. I'll add a few architectures (6502 and stuff) and release it.

Wormhole: Well, we have almost finished. Today/tomorrow is CSIDC deadline, let's see...

Misc.: Vaxpower today, hmmm.....

Work: Kind of designed an overall view of the telex system, waiting to know if the main programmers are willing to do something with it. It can be quite intimidating when you are young and fresh :). Finally got the damn DAT to work in the compaq server, which quickly vanished into the depth of Opel afterwards. I hope everything works right, I almost got no time to test the server in the (long) run (more than a few days).

Wormhole: We pretty finished our paper about BTRC, it rocks :).

Klosterrallye: Rewrote my set of gimp scripts, which were slow, crappy (SIOD gets on my nerves, can't they at least use some decent scheme interpreter) and big, to make a nice little binary producing html with bigloo. The html is then converted to ps with netscape (geesshh!), html2ps produces nonusable output.

Entropia: The talk about GSM was very interesting, with a good flow and a nice set of slides. The talking and hardware stuff afterwards was quite fun too. And most important of all, I heard we finally got the flat in the Gewerbehof. This rocks, I'm gonna move all the Vaxen there so I'll have a bit more room here.

Hadiko: I got some stuff done, mostly emailing users about potential problems they could/would have or already have (moving out, wrong email adress, "selbstverwaltungs"-aliase), finished patching mirror, some scripts and adzapper so they would work nicely in our setup (mirror to use a ftp proxy, adzapper to forward ftp and https).

Hacking: Quite intensively learned LISP, which really rocks. I appreciate all this integrated development environment stuff, and may even try to learn emacs again :). I also began to code some CLOS classes for my MUA, and wrote down some ideas. I went to the university library today, and spent almost a whole hour just looking at some book titles. There is so much interesting stuff out there, so much to learn, so much systems I won't possibly ever be able to try (system 360 for example, or RSX, or system programming on the VAX 11). This is sometimes frustrating. Nevertheless, got myself a book about CLOS and MOP, and a book about software engineering, testing, documentation. I really want to be able to produce nice, industrial code :).

Life: Moving to my girlfriend's for the 1st of May. This is gonna be nice.

Work: Set up the new server, and wrote a whole lot of documentation. Getting oracle, Compaq server management agents (ph34r), and hostdump to work under SuSE was a bit of a challenge, I never used anything else than Debian.

Wormhole: I rewrote the BTRC design specification, but it still isn't enough. I'll try to make everything right tonight, and also write the wormhole design specification anew, as the design of the server has quite changed. In a few days, I'll be able to tell what wormhole is :)

Klosterrallye: Finished the webpages, Latte is really a nice tool.

PIC: Started building a whole lot of PIC programmers in order to do a workshop at entropia. It'll be quite fun I think. Also, if everybody has his own PIC, I think we'll be starting to see interesting things in the next months :).

Life: I'm not at all satisfied lately, I think it's because I try to do too much things at once and can't achieve one correctly.

Hadiko: I quit my "Dienste Tutoriat" at the HaDiKo, and am only a "Helfer" now. I hope to set up the newsserver in the next days, so we'll be able to order the satellite solution and get a real weather independent feed :)

20 Apr 2001 (updated 20 Apr 2001 at 04:15 UTC) »

Work: After thinking seriously about using amanda for a small set of servers, we all thought it would be a pretty overkill, and that a nice little script could fill the DDS4 tapes as well. I patched hostdump, so it produces dated Label files even the dumbest bonobo monkey could understand, and patched the test routines, which weren't (or better, they were only) network aware). The result can be found here. This pretty much backs up my idea that shell scripts should be no longer than 200 lines. After setting up the backup solution on a dell server, I tried to do the same on a proliant ml370. Alas, no way to get the "integrated dual ultra 3 wide" SCSI controller to work. After 5 hours mangling with kernel code, I found out on the compaq page that it would not work :(. Why is something like that not stated in the INSTALL Howto?

Misc. Stuff: LISP is really fun, I should add LISP support to my crossplatform testing machine (khan, the big HP/UX server). I'm pretty satisfied by the setup: khan is a CVS server, and periodically checks out the source into a testbuild directory. I then just have to switch on one of the unix machines, to configure, make or imake myself a virtual build tree, test, patch, and check in. I'll have to setup some qnx, beos, macosx and windows boxen to get my source to compile on them too (maybe on the VMSCluster too? :).

Second entry: Cleaned up Wormhole a bit, and wrote my "Design Specifications". Moving to my girlfriend's, and hibernating for the whole week-end :)

Easterhegg: We left yesterday, the car having to hold a new machine: an rs6000/220 I bought from kai, who was doing the AIX workshop. It looks quite similar to the 250 I have at home, and I hope it'll be as fast. I finished a curses interface for easterbots in the night from saturday to sunday, and debugged the whole thing sunday morning. I quickly wrote some mapping bot in scheme, which overwhelmed Alex's crappy perl bot :)=. After some workshops, i settled with my laptop near some oldschool hackers, talking about old times. I quickly fetched VATHEK, and started programming a bot in DCL (too bad UCX wouldn't work correctly). I'll write a bot in VAX assembler too. I couldn't reach from the easterhegg, and couldn't read my mail :(

I did nothing for wormhole and btrc, I'll have to hack through it all night...

Easterhegg: I'm just writing my diary at the Easterhegg, in Hamburg, which is way cooler I thought it would be. We didn't get too much trouble finding a place for the hardware, though the first remarks where "There won't be a hackcenter here, you can't sleep here". Maybe the biscuits soothed them... I started working on easterbots (my gnurobots clone) on our way from Karlsruhe, but I quickly get sick, and played nethack instead. The travel was quite long, and finding our way with only a GPS navigator wasn't the best solution. I managed to get a working version of easterbots today, though the porting on monsterchen (mvme188 running sysV) was the hardest part. A not so actual copy can be found on I bought myself a wavelan card, and it really rocks.

I am feeling horrible today. Really. So I'm quite in the mood to write a diary entry.

Entropia: We did that workshop at Querfunk (a local free radio), which was way too cool. At the end, they told us: "well, you have 15 minutes pause, after that, you'll be on air". We managed it well, I think. The mp3 can be found on marco's local pages on the entropia webpage.

Job: Things are getting nicer at work, at least I managed to get that bigger scale mailinglist solution to work, which I am kind of proud of. Things are also nicer since I stole the O2 from work, and can fiddle with it at home :).

Hacking: I am getting used to scheme and lisp, wrote some simpler software, and some gimp scripts for my card game. One day I'll write something useful :). I started writing smaller assembler applications on "monsterchen", which quite looks like a monster. It is the "full" MVME188 I use as left bed side. It is quite impossible to sleep with the thing roaring and tumbling under your back though.

Easterhegg: I'll leave with Daniel, Alex and Sven for the Easterhegg this evening, taking monsterchen, vathek (my first MV3100), phoebe (the O2) and glimmung (the firewall) with me. We still don't know where to find a place to sleep, so I'll just take a few kilos biscuits and bribe them. The week-end is going to be cool, I'll hope to be able to make my gnurobots competition :).

Finally created an advogato account. Today was an exhausting day, at least I managed to copy most of the MC88100 processor documentation (still got the MC88200 cmmu documentation to copy :( ).

The new job seems to be cool, not very mind-boggling though. Writing a telex gateway supporting encryption could be fun still.

I finally got myself to try out bigloo and stalin, after fighting with brl far over 2 hours. The damn thing wouldn't work, complaining about NullExceptions. I still need some kind of dynamic webpage, and it of course has to be scheme, so I thought that a stalin CGI would be nice. Stalin indeed is nice, and *fast*, but it is slow as a slug to compile my just 45 lines long code. After working with mzscheme yesterday, and kawa, stalin and bigloo today, I must say that guile is kind of crappy, nowhere near what the webpage says. I'll stop ranting here though, as I don't think I really in the position to criticize anything :)

New Advogato Features

New HTML Parser: The long-awaited libxml2 based HTML parser code is live. It needs further work but already handles most markup better than the original parser.

Keep up with the latest Advogato features by reading the Advogato status blog.

If you're a C programmer with some spare time, take a look at the mod_virgule project page and help us with one of the tasks on the ToDo list!