Older blog entries for rml (starting at number 44)



Cooked dinner for my parents last night. Up early. Flight to Boston.

Boston is beautiful as always, albeit a bit cold and very wet. But it is a nice change from the weather of Florida.

Jeff broke the news this weekend, but now it is official: today is my first day at Ximian (now a unit of Novell). I am going to be working as a kernel hacker, dedicated full-time to the advancement of the Linux desktop experience.

We have some very interesting things planned, and I am totally psyched. Desktop integration, better hardware discovery/management/naming/etc, 3D/X improvements, performance tuning, and the total elimination of world hunger, poverty, and bad beer.

Stay tuned.

i really like belgium beer

turn the page:

Today is my last day at MontaVista.

I wish everyone there the best.

Monday, I fly to Boston.
UPS men need to knock loud and long

new laptop:

Caved in and returned to the world of x86 laptops, but boy did I pick a good example of an x86 laptop: I got an IBM ThinkPad T41. 1.7GHz Pentium-M, 1GB RAM, gige, bluetooth, WiFi, and an 80GB hard drive with that rad active drive protection system. So far, everything works in Linux but the built-in WiFi, which is a Cisco Aironet 350 MiniPCI card. I heard it works, but no luck thus far. Battery life seems good, too. Rock.

variable-HZ with 64-bit jiffies:

Updated version of the Variable-HZ-plus-64bit-jiffies patch, courtesy of Tim Schmielau. Fixed a bug and rediffed against 2.4.23.

Fedora-devel now comes standard with a 2.6 kernel:

This is great news and no excuse exists for not running 2.6. Live a little.

It looks like the primary goal of Fedora Core 2 will be to have a 2.6 kernel-based system.

Using udev in Fedora-devel:

So now that Fedora-devel is 2.6-based, it is mighty easy to get udev up and working. Here are a few easy steps I emailed off to linux-hotplug-devel earlier today:
  • download and install the udev rpm
  • download the udev tarball and untar it
  • copy etc/init.d/udev from the udev distribution to /etc/init.d
  • type /sbin/chkconfig --add udev
  • make sure that your /udev is mounted automatically during early boot, if it is not a directory on your root
  • reboot
And voila, it just works. [Except for a few classes of devices that have not yet been ported to the new device model].

The Swamp:

Perfection acheived at The Swamp, last week.

again, the dumbest idea. ever.


Some pictures of the rave-slash-christmas-attraction that is my apartment.

Keep in mind that this is my home.

There ya go, alex.
this is the dumbest idea ever

Holiday Joy:

One of my roommates and I had a revelation: what if we bought a crap load of tacky Christmas decorations and covered our apartment in them? Short drive across town and a hundred dollars later, we had some bows, a couple hundred feat of garland, a six foot fake tree, one thousand indoor lights, and a light up Santa Claus of such poor quality, you wonder if the painter was blind and suffering from a motor dysfunction.

We quickly decorated our apartment before our other roommate woke up. We now have what I hope -- for the sake of humanity -- is the most tacky and shoddily done Christmas decorations, ever. It looks like a mix between a rave and a cheap roadside Christmas amusement, implemented by the most tasteless individuals the world knows. But, you know, it is really cool to watch TV now in the dark with all of our slick Christmas decorations, tree, and lights.

Oh. We also got "Air Supply Sings Christmas," an unbeatable CD deal for only $6. Highly recommended.

Happy Holidays!


At my parent's house for the Thanksgiving holiday. Had a good meal. I made some cornbread and andouille sausage stuffing. Yum.

Currently outside, in their backyard, hacking. The weather is nice (at least for Florida).


Getting closer.
experience the love


There was a new The Falconer on SNL last night. The Falcon got coked out. Where do they come up with this stuff?

I wrote Will Forte a fan letter like a year ago telling him how hard The Falconer rocks, but he never wrote back. I guess he does not use Linux. I ought to become a crazed fan and send him another one.


procps 2.0.18 was released yesterday. Lots of fixes, including improved support for big machines and 64-bit jiffies. A couple new slabtop(1) features, too.

If you use use a pre-3.0 gcc and compile from source, you will want to grab the source from CVS, though. There is a simple silly compile bug in in 2.0.18.


Been invited to FOSDEM. Tentatively going to talk about the required kernel and system-level development we need to make Linux on the desktop the single greatest user experience known to man, with the aptly named talk The Linux Kernel and the Desktop. I am really stoked about the oppurtunity to go. At OLS I talked on Kernel Interactive Performance, which went over the performance improvements in 2.6 that benefited the desktop. But this talk will cover the important stuff for mass exceptance: better hardware support, desktop integration, et cetera.

I am also really looking forward to seeing Brussels. Havoc was there last year and he tells me that the food and beer in Belguim is great. Nothing else really matters but good food and good beer.

CFQ I/O scheduler:

Jens' CFQ (complete fair queuing) I/O scheduler is super nice on the desktop. An SFQ-esque algorithm distributing the queues by process is exactly what a desktop system ought to be doing.

OAR and Athens, GA:

So got back from my roadtrip to Athens, GA to see OAR with VACO. The concert rocked.

What shocked me was the unilateral hatred from UGA fans onto UF. It is such a one-way rivalry. I guess that is what happens when you win, what is it, 13 out of the last 14 meetings? Example: we went to a bar entitled Gator Haters. Wow. At least downtown Athens was really quite pretty and fun. Lots of cool places to hang out, including any one of the 11 bars we made our way into the first night there.

4 Nov 2003 (updated 4 Nov 2003 at 21:43 UTC) »
Planet Gnome meets the Kernel Hackers:

No, we are no where near as interesting to read about, but I figured it had to be done. At least for posterity. Or something. Anyhow, not long after talking to Jeremy over at KernelTrap about the idea, he had it all set up. You can now read an RSS feed of select Linux kernel hacker's diaries. Slick.

Don't let your productivity in life fall too far with all the reading of the facinating tales of skb's and task_struct's.


CVS packages from current CVS of procps are up. Mainly just bug fixes. Testing welcome so we can put out a nice 2.0.18 soon.


New Strokes CD is great. Although I hate to say it, but my favorite track is 12:51.

Going to take a little roadtrip up to Georgia and see OAR on Friday. Cannot wait.


Mac OX 10.3 is quite nice. Exposé is actually really keen, and the OS now comes with vim(1) (versus vi(1)).

Also, this is really sweet. I would like to play with it under Linux. If you could defer the copy as part of the usual dirtied writeback, you may be able to really mitigate the overhead. Especially if the file is written to (i.e., dirtied anyhow). Interesting idea, if nothing else.


2.6.0-test9 is out. Linus says December for 2.6.0 final. It is looking like it. As usual, I recommend Andrew's 2.6-mm patch.


A patch in 2.6-mm fixes up some high latency spots in the ext3 journaling code. There is a remaining high latency spot in the RCU dcache reaping code, but the requisite parties are looking into it.

workqueue article:

My November 2003 Linux Journal article, Kernel Korner: The New Work Queue Interface in the 2.6 Kernel is reprinted online (and sporting a nice lengthy title).

need new roommates:

One of my roommates is playing an mp3 from Macho Man Randy Savage's (a wrestler?) new rap CD. I need new roommates, stat.

Been playing with udev, the user-space replacement for devfs using hotplug and sysfs. Greg's talk at OLS this year was really good, and I strongly feel udev is the way to go, both as a replacement for devfs and as a general solution for device naming on any machine.

Sent Greg some patches. Among others, a neat test script to traverse /sys and populate /udev. This is useful because devices initialized during early boot are not yet represented in /udev because user-space is not up yet. In the future, initramfs will save the day. Until then, the scripts are a great way to play around:

[15:55:32]rml@phantasy:/udev$ ls
console ptmx tty16 tty25 tty34 tty43 tty52 tty61
hda tty tty17 tty26 tty35 tty44 tty53 tty62
hda1 tty0 tty18 tty27 tty36 tty45 tty54 tty63
hda2 tty1 tty19 tty28 tty37 tty46 tty55 tty7
hda3 tty10 tty2 tty29 tty38 tty47 tty56 tty8
hda4 tty11 tty20 tty3 tty39 tty48 tty57 tty9
hda5 tty12 tty21 tty30 tty4 tty49 tty58
hda6 tty13 tty22 tty31 tty40 tty5 tty59
hdc tty14 tty23 tty32 tty41 tty50 tty6
hdd tty15 tty24 tty33 tty42 tty51 tty60

Sweet. I sent Greg a patch for the test scripts, among some other hackings, and he merged them.


2.6.0-test8 is out. Linus announced a code freeze last week; seems to be sticking to it. Should see a final 2.6.0 release in the next month or so.

Looks like ext3 needs some low latency magic. Ugh.


Read Khrushchev: The Man and His Era last week. A very interesting look at the man and his life. I recommend it if biographies/histories are your thing.


An interesting look at "overseas" engineering. Hats off to Ximian for doing it so perfectly. Yo, Nat.

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