Older blog entries for phil (starting at number 24)

Someone just mentioned Ask Jeeves a minute ago, and it reminded me of the best part about Ask Jeeves: their backwards business cards.

I was staying in Berkeley for a night with an acquaintence who worked at Ask Jeeves, and he wrote his address on the back of his business card before we split up that afternoon. The front of every card shows Jeeves holding his little silver platter and a mock entry widget that reads "Who is [Person's Name]?". Cute, eh?

He noticed me chuckling at the card and thought that he should point out that I shouldn't try that.

"Well, actually, it doesn't know how to answer those kinds of questions. It won't returning anything appropriate."

I'm not very good at this regular-diary-entry thing.

On the XFS front, I think I've got it working as the root filesystem, which involved making remount work, and log-replay-while-readonly, and all of those good bits. I don't think that many people are testing it, which makes me sad--please play with our software! Your future depends on it or something.

I started doing some tests with large-ish non-sparse files (8G or so) and found a bug in our page_buf interactions with the mm code when I try to remove them. I think that it's trying to remove the same page twice (which means that its mapping is invalid the second time around), but I'm not sure why just yet.

Achtung's tktext-based canvas widget should be capable of drawing text real soon now, and then a few more hours of hacking should yield something that's properly editable. Mike has done more amazing things with Bonobo and the view code; I'm told that it looks absolutely stunning, though I haven't pulled that branch to try it myself.

Tomorrow is mang's last day (before he heads back to Waterloo), which is too bad. We are going to miss him, as soon as we finish drinking heavily in his honour. Our favourite Collection bartendette is leaving soon as well, possibly as soon as Friday. Boo!

I'm still without furniture, and every day I think to myself, "Oh well, I've lasted this long, what's one more day?" Tonight will be an evening of mass cleaning and hockey (rah rah go Leafs). Maybe I can have Ikea bring me more nice things sometime next week.

For the record, shaver spends too much time at Globe.

See how that last entry says that I'm back from Montreal? I'm in Montreal again. I'm allegedly responsible for the GNOME booth at the Montreal Linux Expo that ends tomorrow.

Our train hit a car on the way up here. To drive the point home about how little a train cares about things in its way, consider that I was actually unsure whether the train had hit something, or had just applied the brakes suddenly. Don't fuck around with the trains, mm'kay?

I just got back from Globe again, and the same comments pretty much apply this time around too. Steak tartar ("You know that's not cooked, right? I've had a couple of people look very surprised when I bring this out."), bring it on.

Back to Ottawa tomorrow evening, to return to some serious XFS and Achtung hacking. I have so much to get done in the next 8 weeks, it is unfunny. We really, really want to release a 0.1 version for everyone to use at OLS, which means getting it out at least 4 weeks before the show. I know that most people won't even start their slides until the day before, but some definitely will. Our goal (well, my goal anyways) is to have 100% speaker participation. I'm so glad that I'm not speaking this year--I'll be too busy convincing everyone to use my software.

I'm back from Montreal, and elated at having spent the entirety of April 1 away from these bastard infernal machines. We spent it, instead, at Globe. I think Mike pretty much summed it up when he said, "If their special of the day was like sawdust and tar in a WD-40 sauce, it would be nummy." Never before have I been so gastronomically pampered. Good eats all weekend, really; need I even mention the 6 lb lobster that some other lucky Milos patron consumed on Friday?

Deb found a fantastic apartment, though I haven't actually seen it, as I was off doing other things at the time. Ask her all about it. It's very exciting.

On the Achtung front, Mike Kestner has been doing some great things lately, most recently relating to the Bonobification of the slides. He and Joe are going to polish that off while I finish the canvas item view for Havoc's tktext-port widget.

My XFS testing machines still haven't arrived. I had better call FedEx in the morning and see when, if ever, they're going to show up. Fuck.

After more than a year, the SGI XFS encumberance review is finally complete, and the source code has been released to the world. We are so taking patches. In fact, we've already received some.

Hopefully, the machines from Minneapolis will arrive tomorrow so that I can get back to work; we didn't have any IA32 machines with spare disk that could be rebooted all day (funny, that), and it would have taken just as long to order a new one. Oh well. I got a lot done at home, anyways.

As Deb mentioned, we're going to go get our Party on in Montreal this weekend. Despite our pestering, we've been unable to lure Nat into abandoning his own party in Boston to join us.

Donnie is so cool. I need to go visit soon, I think.

Ryan seems to think that I am a low-watt bulb. I cooked my first meal in my new apartment last night too. I guess the race is on to see who can get real furniture first.

Two of my hard disks died during the move, sigh. I did have an extra IBM 16G, but I had hoped to use that for XFS hacking until the hardware arrives from Minneapolis. Oh well. Lame.

Now I'm going to listen to the soundtrack of the musical where our founding fathers sing and dance, while I try to reassemble the sad pieces of what was once equipment fit for computing.

Finally back in Ottawa, and recovering from another one of His infamous visits. Luckily, this one scored a big zero on the heavy drinking scale, just a lot of good food (and a museum, who'd have guessed?)

I noticed a sign just a couple of blocks away from my apartment that makes me believe that our travel agent has moved from California. It reads "Far Horrors: Experts in Creative Travel"

Another airport, another surreal experience. In Minneapolis, all Air Canada operations are handled by their Star Alliance partner United. I stepped up to the counter, gave them my passport, and mentioned that I'd really really like to be on the 0600 flight to Chicago.

<Agent> 6 AM? Are you sure?
<Me> Yes.
<Agent> Sure?
<Me> Yes.
<Agent> Do you have a printed itinerary?
<Me> No, I changed my ticket yesterday.

Ah-ha. You could almost see the gears turning in his head. "He's going to look up my original record," I thought to myself, "find my information, and send me happily on my way."

<Agent> Hmm. I don't see anything with your name at all.

At my insistence, he called Air Canada's operations to see what exactly was going on. I only got to hear one side of the conversation, and it wasn't terribly encouraging.

<Agent> No. No. No, he's standing right here.
<Agent> No, I'm looking right at his luggage, it has an Ottawa to Minneapolis baggage tag on it!
<Agent> Yes, he's here in Minneapolis, and he says that he's supposed to be on the 6 AM flight to Chicago, connecting to Ottawa at 9:15.

To make a long story slightly less long, the man who changed my ticket had keyed in "MSY" instead of "MSP". Therefore, everyone (with the exception of the man actually in front of me) thought that I was in New Orleans.

This situation was repeated, almost verbatim, in Chicago when I went to pick up my second boarding pass. This time, the computer insisted that I was in Toronto (as my original itinerary was MSP->YYZ->YOW), and even the woman at the counter was a bit skeptical that I was standing in front of her. Finally, after much chatter and two more phone calls, she decided that I really was in Chicago, and I really did deserve to be back in Ottawa.

Raise your hand if you'll be attempting air travel anytime soon.

The aforementioned shit-flinging monkeys (see Ryan) managed to delay fixing my travel long enough that the seats disappeared. I get to fly home at 0600 tomorrow. I am booking my own travel from now on.

I sorta neglected to make my lease payment (oops) before I went away. I hope my keys still work.

On the XFS front, I've checked in code to make separate log devices work on Linux. Now I'm busy chasing after some 64-bit-unclean code that's breaking files larger than 4 gig, while trying to find the source of some mysterious leaking inodes. It smells very much like a race condition in unmount.

I've been really busy doing Cool Stuff with mkp in Minneapolis for the last week. More on this later.

I miss the whole gang. T-5 days until my return.

I just want to mention how awesome my shower is. It doesn't look like much at first glance, I'll admit; then again, there's no accompanying documentation mentioning that it is directly connected to a fire hydrant.

Not working was a good thing. mkp and I have a long journey ahead.

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