Older blog entries for zeevon (starting at number 195)

Started working at Galazar Networks on September 27th, and have watched all of my free time wash away. The bus ride takes an hour in each direction, and then I'm working a little extra, which means that I'm away from home at least 12 hours each weekday. This was a bit of a shock for the first week, when I had been used to being home all day. Fun job, though, and just what I want to be doing.

All this activity has resulted in further neglect on my part for OCLUG matters, which must stop this weekend (which happens to be Canadian Thanksgiving!). I still need to draft some rules for the mailing lists and submit them to the oclug-board list for comment. This way I can get feedback and they can be approved at the next board meeting in about two weeks.

Spent August around Europe and started looking for a job at the start of this month. Last summer/fall I spent quite a bit of time job searching before getting something that wasn't all that interesting. Within the first month of this search, I have had two interviews for very interesting jobs, and the second interview has now landed me a job offer. The great news is that it's not another web application development project. I don't want to say anything more until I actually respond to (read: accept) the job offer. The end product is not related to Linux or Free Software, but some Free tools are used in the development process, and they are looking to move away from their current Sun/Solaris work environment to perhaps something Linux-based.

This relatively intense job search has caused me to neglect OCLUG a little too much. We still need to set up a speaker for the upcoming October meeting, and I need to get moving on a draft set of rules for the mailing lists, particularly a new, Linux-only (ie: on-topic) list.

No updates since March, so I guess I'm a little overdue.

In April I was re-elected to the OCLUG board of directors, and am now acting as President. It feels as if OCLUG is stagnating a little, and perhaps we are losing some people because of the wide knowledge gap in our audience (we are almost evenly divided between complete newbies and very advanced developers). Some have been suggesting splitting the meetings in two in order to cater to both groups. The problem is that we already tried this in the past with mixed results (granted, that was many years ago). However, I would like to examine this possibility once more to see if:

  1. it will be financially feasible (my guess is "yes");
  2. it will generate a higher turnout and (hopefully) increase the membership;
  3. we can find two sets of speakers each month (even finding one set of speakers each month can be a challenge at times).

Despite my fears of the group stagnating, there have been some notable meetings in the previous months. OCLUG held it's annual Linux in the Wild BBQ in July, which was a success. Many kernel hackers, in town to attend the Linux Symposium, were welcomed by our local group. In June, Nathan Sidwell gave an excellent talk about GCC 3.4 and future directions for GCC.

Meanwhile, I was away in various parts of Europe during the month of August, so I'm still catching up on everything that I missed here at home. Today, my body finally moved away from Continental Europe Time (CET) and moved directly to Mountain Time (a bit of an overcorrection as I reside in the Eastern time zone). The trip was great and I managed to not touch a computer for the entire month. Of course, this had an effect not unlike compressing a coil, which has resulted in almost constant computer use since my return (barring sleep, the rare meal eaten at the dinner table and some reading time - about computer architecture, of course).

Before my trip, I had attended the Linux Symposium, and managed to win an AMD64-FX processor. It looks like I'll actually build a system with it as soon as I find a source of income to fund the purchase of a motherboard, memory and other necessities not included. People at the conference were joking that it's a wonderful -500$ prize. It will also mean that I will have fourth architecture in my home (x86, x86-64, PowerPC and ARM, when I get my messed up NetWinder to work).

OCLUG Meeting Coordination: Well, the first one (February) didn't go so well. The projector didn't take the right input, but the speakers did really well keeping the audience entertained nonetheless.

For the next meeting, Robert Love (Ximian/SuSE/Novell) was flown in from Florida. That went much more smooth than the previous meeting, and we now have a more stable projector source (with multiple backup plans, if needed). We had a good number of people show up for this which was great. There is also a good number of people lined up to speak in the coming months, and meetings are booked up until July (which is the month OCLUG usually holds Linux in the Wild, to get outdoors and get some fresh air).

OCLUG Board Elections: A bit of a fiasco right now on the oclug-board mailing list, but at least most of the people complaining are putting their candidacy where their mouth is running for the new board. It should be a fun election. I'm a little nervous - public speaking always freaks me out until the second after I begin talking. It's only a 2 minute speech, though, so it shouldn't be too bad.

My last post here was in October 2003, when I was appointed to OCLUG's board of directors until the election in April. This month, I became the meeting coordinator, so I'm now responsible for making sure everything is set up for the monthly meetings (speakers, projector, etc). Fortunately, the rest of the board is being very supportive and helped me quite a bit for this first meeting - future months will probably go more smoothly (it's also unfortunate that I took on this job with only two weeks before the February meeting).

A member of the OCLUG board of directors stepped down, due to time constraints. I have been appointed as a replacement until the election next April. I have been very impressed with the board's actions and initiatives in the past, so I'm looking forward to working with them.

After taking the summer off, I'm now working (my first job out of university). At the moment, I'm on a 3 month contract (with a possible extension) doing basic XML work. It's not what I want to do as a career but it feels wonderful to be working again, especially now that fall is here.

I have submitted a few more patches to the Kernel Janitors project since my last entry. I'm currently adding loglevels (KERN_* constants) to printk statements all over the source tree which is not very complicated but very time consuming. So far I have patched the Documentation/, arch/m68knommu and arch/sparc directories, with arch/mips in progress.

This weekend OCLUG will hold its annual outdoor meeting, Linux in the Wild. I'll bring my frisbee and juggling clubs, but not my laptop. And of course, one week from today is OLS.

Busy looking looking through prom-libc code for yaboot and following the mailing list discussion. Surprisingly I'm managing to understand it so I should be able to contribute something when new code will be written (which looks to be soon).

I spent part of the afternoon putting together a patch for the kernel janitors project, changing pci_dev->slot_name to pci_name(pci_dev). If any of it gets accepted, it will be my first patch that I contribute to the project (I submitted some trivial patches last year but I don't think any of them were applied). Next I'll probably work on auditing return codes (for request_region, etc). I'm finding this to be a good way to become more familiar with the kernel, now that I have more time to do so. I also have enough time to stay on top of my mailing list subscriptions, too (including lkml).

I had the quietest Canada Day this year - I made an appearance at a friend's party but spent most of the day inside reading. The only exception was when I took a walk downtown so that I could pick up one of the little flags that they have every year.

Now I'm just counting down the days to OLS.

11 Jun 2003 (updated 11 Jun 2003 at 15:27 UTC) »

Adopted the yaboot (PowerPC bootloader) Debian package, my first base package. The upstream maintainer then contacted me informing me that he is currently doing a complete rewrite for version 2.0. So I now have a new project to occupy my time.

Tommorow night, OCLUG is participating in a tour of Magma's data centre, running Linux (Magma is a Canadian ISP). Next month, we have the annual Linux in the Wild event, which is the only meeting that is held outdoors. I missed it last year due to Debconf (not an issue this year with Debconf in Norway).

For the first time in over a year, running Debian unstable has finally bit me in the ass on my laptop (I never had any problems during the three years that I ran it on my desktop, which has now settled on Woody, the current stable version). Now I have no X and a locked-up machine when I try to put it to sleep. Ouch! I'll have to fix that today.

In my last entry I mentioned my discovery of my GPG key being ranked 50th in the global web of trust. At last night's OCLUG meeting, a number of people informed me that I had been bumped up to 49th. A lot of people are getting into GPG now at OCLUG which I think is great. We had a "pick-up" keysigning last night for anyone that missed the official one held during the previous meeting.

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