Older blog entries for mjg59 (starting at number 104)

Airports visited in the past week: 4 (rising to 6 in 12 hours or so)
Terminals visited in Heathrow: 2
Terminals enjoyed in Heathrow: 0
Vending machines in groundside of Heathrow terminal 2: 2, hidden near the men's toilets
Temperature of "ice cold" Coca Cola from vending machine: 5°C
Currencies currently carried: 4
Passports currently carried: 2
Fuses blown in airports: 1
Belonging to me: 0
Gross vm86-related hacks perpetrated: 1
Number of x86 instructions to emulate in order to achieve the above: 21
Number actually emulated as yet: 0

Those of you who haven't been too busy not paying attention will already know my whereabouts on the 13th of October and why my alibi is weak but that's another story for another time, but also that I'm in Recife from tomorrow afternoon until some time on Sunday and Porto de Galinhas from then until Wednesday in order to present at Bossa to talk about Ubuntu Mobile and the challenges involved in turning a Linux desktop distribution into something suitable for devices that are less large than your face. Sadly, logistical errors on my part mean I won't have any demo hardware with me, but there's always some potential for other synergy. Please don't beat me to death. Ow. Not the face. Please, not the face.

Syndicated 2008-03-14 01:32:54 from Matthew Garrett

Dear Mountain View,

Why is it so indescribably awkward to get from north of 101 to downtown on foot?

Fucking sort it out,


Syndicated 2008-03-08 02:16:50 from Matthew Garrett

It seems fashionable for people to finish their doctorates at their moment, and on Monday I (almost) joined the herd. The outcome of my defence was that they'd like a couple of extra experiments done, so it's back to the lab for a fortnight, new credit cards for everyone[1] and cab it to the Gold Club[2].

Tomorrow sees me continuing my one man campaign to destroy the planet's ecosystem by heading to the bay area[3] for a total of just under 48 hours. I then continue to France for a few days of holiday, before reversing and hitting up Recife for Bossa 08. Alarmingly this still all involves less time on planes than LCA did, which makes me conclude that Australia is in a silly location and we should ship it somewhere more convenient, like just off the west coast of Ireland.

[1] Possibly lie
[2] Definite lie
[3] Mostly the south bay. Because I hate life.

Syndicated 2008-03-05 11:53:57 from Matthew Garrett


Back in the US, crashing with [info]kernelslacker and marvelling at the fact that Snoop Dogg has a reality TV show on bringing up kids. It also seems that the cosmetics industry has solved the cancer industry, based on the number of adverts that show magic moisturiser molecules appearing to repair DNA.

Leaving on Tuesday, some potential for booze on Monday. I'll be at FOSDEM from Friday, and ought to be at Bossa next month. April sees LRL US and power management or laptops or some sort of hangover-inspired song and dance interpretation of the driver model.

Syndicated 2008-02-18 04:41:25 from Matthew Garrett

Things that made me happy today:

Roller disco

Things that made me unhappy today:

The human race

Syndicated 2008-02-10 09:04:44 from Matthew Garrett

Notes for the day

  • My LCA presentation is now up here. Grab it now to see what the critics are already describing as a roaring rampage of revenge, or possibly that's something else. It's so hard to tell with these modern haircuts.
  • This cafe makes up for lack of direct support of the Burmese rebels by playing the Katamari soundtrack.
  • Since I'm hanging around Haight, I'll be here from about 7, heading to food at some point afterwards (probably 8ish) and probably back to the pub after that.

Syndicated 2008-02-05 00:38:13 from Matthew Garrett

Hello! I am in San Francisco. Offers of beer, entertainment and marriage will be given appropriate consideration. Interestingly, moving from Melbourne to here seems to have left me back on GMT, which I'm sure isn't quite what I want.

My LCA presentation isn't up yet. I seem to have this effect on technology.

Syndicated 2008-02-03 21:46:21 from Matthew Garrett

Slides for my presentation on the Linux suspend to disk implementation are here. The presentation itself should be linked off the programme at some point, but for now here's a representative preview slide:

Syndicated 2008-02-01 03:39:47 from Matthew Garrett

This article is kind of interesting - it's a claim from a conservation group that using PCs to perform climate modelling is preferable to leaving them idle. The figures they provide are based on this brouchure from Tufts University, which provides an average power consumption per computer of 120 Watts and CO2 production of 1500 pounds per year. That gives a figure of 12.5 pounds of CO2 per Watt year.

The brouchure also contains the obviously false claim that an idle computer draws approximately the same amount of power as an active one. Anyone who's ever actually used a computer will have noticed that they get hotter when they're under load, and the baby thermodynamics would be crying if that energy didn't come from somewhere. The difference between idle and full load can be up to 100 Watts, though that includes extra draw from the graphics card. Something like the Climate Prediction application aren't likely to push the hardware that hard, but you're still looking at at least 20 Watts difference between idle and loaded on any reasonably modern computer. Using the Tufts figures and assuming that this results in an extra 16 hours of load per computer, that's somewhere around 170 extra pounds of CO2 per computer running the application per year - or, using the Tufts figure for the quantity of CO2 absorbed per tree, around 15 extra trees worth of required CO2 sequestration.

Distributed computing isn't a free resource. Each machine running one of these clients overnight is using something like 130 Watts more than a machine that's suspended instead. Deciding whether that's worth it is going to depend on your beliefs about how useful climate modelling is going to be in avoiding climate change. I'm leaning towards it being more of a political issue than a scientific one at this point, so my recommendation is to turn the things off.

(And please don't talk to me about the amount of energy wasted on demonstrating that cryptography can be broken when you've got enough processors to throw at it. The level to which anyone should be surprised at this result can be expressed in very few words)

Syndicated 2008-01-30 01:55:01 from Matthew Garrett

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