This is my (in)activity log. You might like to visit my employer
Novell which is an amazing company, and also
Dell who in days of yore provided me with a
free laptop for Gnome development / conferences.
Also if you have the time to read this sort of stuff you could enlighten
yourself by going to Unraveling Wittgenstein's net or if
you are feeling objectionable perhaps here.
Stuff Michael Meeks is doing
Up early, off to Church. J. ran creche. Tony spoke, really
encouragingly well on Jesus as the Bread of Life.
Back to ours for lunch with Christine & Hannah; good
to get to know them a little. Watched 'cars' in the afternoon with
Bed early, Gordon sermon & sleep.
Up earlyish; house & self, cleaning & tidying.
Dropped all the babes off at Laura's (brave lady). Carolyn
Bramhall arrived, and some friends & our Pastor Tony &
wife Janice to do some training on Dissociative
Identity Disorder (DID). Regardless of the controversy
surrounding the issue, a refreshingly simple & hard to
argue-with approach of love, affirmation of God's love, and
Lunch; more interesting insight. Collected the babes,
apparently un-phased by their experience (even E.). Chatted
to Carolyn much of the evening, fine lady; she has written an
of her life, abuse and recovery. Very enthusiastic too about Freedom in
Prodded mail, pleased to see Ryan take the GVariant fix,
suggested an even better fix. Prodded away at the EDBus binding,
got it compiling, and even working (apparently); nice.
Lunch. Back to e-d-s, and evolution - tested various bits,
fixed a number of unrelated but interesting bugs; improved the
groupwise calendar backend locking, and read the camel folder
summary code - interesting. Worked late.
Up early, scanned mail; poked packaging bits and an interesting
calc performance issue. Back to Evolution, submitted a couple of OSCON
abstracts. Prodded vuntz idly (apparently working hard at fixing UI
Prodded at Evolution some more, discovered I had configured
IMAP-X but was not using it; hence suspicious stability - actually
turned it on properly, and got more fun churning debug, but it still
worked: surely new code is supposed to break ? Ran my calendar and
addressbook daemons under valgrind, which as a side-effect exposes
any latency problems rather nicely.
Wrestled GVariant (of a version that works) into GDBus, having
discovered that glib's GVariant is still a partial merge-in-progress
Back for some late-night hackery; seemingly part of my threading
problems was a bug in GVariant, and the other part was not initializing
dbus threading; fixed that. Renamed everything to EDBus (etc.) for re-use
in Evolution 2.29.
Up early, set too build Evolution, call with some friendly
Intel'ers. Discovered an intriguing xcb re-enterancy problem
(apparently) deadlocking my X server when stracing a busy process
during a synchronous call; XQueryPointer interrupted by a signal,
followed by an XSync; blocks the compositing window-manager quite
Clarity. Hacked away at Evolution a bit - added a generic
way to simplify the UI with conditionals inside XML comments in
the UI description files; pushed to 'express'.
Up early, feeling iller: no time like the present to work
though; prodded mail quickly. Chat with Nirav, then with Chen.
Dug at a competitive analysis, and work plan.
Calls with all and sundry. Please to see Andrew 'hero' Haley
finally identify the fun
in Java causing OO.o to crash with deep stack frames / recursion.
Also interesting that (apparently) JITted java methods deliberately
touch their maximum expected stack extent as step #1 to catch stack
Call with Kendy & Jared. Prodded at my reprap in the
evening, got the captive nut-fest working really nicely; discovered
that there is a rotation axis I need further constrained hmm.
Up; chatted with Seif a man of our time; generated a motto for
RDF-ers: "I like to consider my wife as a tuple!". Inserted crazy ideas
into their intray funnel.
Zypper is really a pleasure to use
sudo zypper up evolution*
gtkhtml* resolving at great speed, and just working is a fine thing.
Fed up with waiting long periods for mozilla to respond (the awesome bar
chewing I/O bandwidth? or just 10x tab browsing, with flash plugins or
whatever nonsense). Downloaded chrome for x86_64, which goes against the
grain, and was pleased with the multi-tabbed responsiveness.
An interesting, albeit incredibly lengthy conference call
in the evening. Aaron persuaded me to create a twitter account; the problem
is - even after reading my own page, I still don't know what I'm
Up earlyish, dealt with the babes - feeling pretty under
the weather: some combination of the sendentry life, and standing
outside in a cold workshop I suppose. Off to NCC; did the creche.
Back for Lunch with a local lady from up the road; fine
meal, wine etc. Out in the afternoon with M. for a peer-party with
Lie in; dropped J. down at the market, and collected potatoes.
Back home, babes got sucked into iPlayer; and I prodded my mechanical
tinkering. Lunch. H. assisted cutting ply-wood; fun.
Hannah & Joni arrived to do some more painting; the picture
having been transfered to a canvas meanwhile. Joni assembled my Y axis
bearings, and got that all bolted together between bits of ply;
apparently novisible / feel-able movement on the axis, and seemingly
parallel bars too (presumably cumulative error are easy to see in
Nick arrived later, for dinner, then the Bancrofts too - great
to see them, whiled away a happy evening talking of this & that.
Half-term allows later waking, a quick breakfast and getting to
work on time - enjoyed the last day. Prepped, and had a chat with Kendy
Laura, Claire and innumerable children over for lunch -
Olivier's seventh birthday. Prodded blktrace on SP1, either I broke my
kernel, or there is some serious badness / ABI change somewhere; how
BLKTRACESETUP on /dev/sda yield ENOTTY ? most odd.
Poked at slideware, chat with Tambet.
Prodded at the CUPS deadlock provoked by trying to print a
set of mendel assembly drawings: fun. It seems ghostscript and some
other process (magically renamed to the queue name) are both doing
blocking writes at each other (with full socket buffers): clever.
CUPS never ceases to amaze me.
Pulled all the latest SP1 test packages, to test the
latest fixes. Read about yet more linux kernel tracing / event
logging schemes. Amused to see that mmiotrace was created just
Read up on lttng, and some of the code - looks like
something rather sexy (except, that is) that apparently I need
to load some module, and then link a library - all to extract
some simple, low-frequency string data from 'open' syscalls;
seems like a non-starter.
Out for cell-group in the evening - a social dinner, fine
food, some Wii playing action etc. good fun, bed late.
Prodded mail, tried to plod towards some way of organising
the openSUSE / Moblin packages such that we can get integrated into
Clinton arrived to look at the state of the building work;
and RS delivered a lot of components, all but one of which were
the right thing; good.
Poked at packages, chat with Vincent, JP . Got
a SPAM - about homes missing disaster kits, with an offer of one
for $1, and actually clicked the link (interesting) - is this a new
battle on the psychology front ? leverage the hysteria around the
war-on-terror to improve your spam-list; or I'm just feeling dozy
Prodded at the machine some more in the evening; getting
the y-axis complete is easy enough. It is really unclear to me why
the z-axis is packed with complicated pieces and bearings: is the
studding (if constrained at the top as well as the bottom) really
insufficient (when combined with another two semi-captive nuts)
to steady the x-axis by itself ? (picture).
Up lateish, packed everything and set off for Suzannah's. Had
a lovely lunch with her & Adam; played this & that - JP's staff
meeting in mid vacation.
Drove home, absent mindedly, discovering that I'd forgotten to
put a nappy on the (otherwise dressed) baby, and left toothbrushes and
coats at my parents: bother.
Plugged away at creating a Repstrap
fairly convinced that the triangular frames can be replaced by a couple of
sheets of MDF, which I have lying around. Set too cutting bits to size,
back to work tomorrow.
J. lie in, and off to see the (subset of the) Quaker Tapestry exhibition
that my parents have been helping organise in Brighton meeting. Fine
needlework, and inspiring material [sic].
On to Maplin's to buy a replacement diode for the TV; popped
into Louise Bomber's Walk
A Mile In My Shoes exhibition of artwork by children on their
experience of trauma and loss; interesting if depressing.
Back for lunch; foolishly poked mail; I see MeeGo was announced earlier than I had
expected. The governance
is curious - devolved / dictatorship by the (incredibly over-worked) Imad & Valtteri
Imad is the director
of Intel's Open Source Technology Center, and Valtteri is the director
of the Technology Strategy of Maemo devices. It remains to be seen what
the result will be.
Prodded at the reprap
project, contemplated the bootstrapping process; without one, it is hard
to make one. Popped down to the Nut & Bolt shop, discovered their rather
high prices, but bought some studding and bolts to support them. Home to do
much of the rest on-line.
Lie-in; off to St Lukes, ended up with Miriam drawing pictures.
Back for a fine roast lunch cooked by Father.
Slugged in the afternoon; and sat up talking, reading and
listening to a history of the world in an hundred objects as a
Up earlyish, packed everyone into the car with supplies; and set
off to Brighton to stay with M&D. Lunch, out in the afternoon for
a walk on the sea-front; returned for tea & cake suitably chilled.
Showed the latest craze off to Father, and disassembled their
(rather nice) Thompson television (an ETC210) that (amazingly) seems to
come with a rather complete schematic circuit diagram for it's discrete
components. Prodded gingerly at the high-voltage interior.
Re-read Lennart's Out Of Memory
(OOM) handling bloglet / link. I must say, I completely agree - but, I
think it is still worthwhile adding failed-malloc handling to glib for
two reasons: firstly, it is not hard to do for some methods, and adds no
real performance impact; and secondly - code duplication is worse
than bogus and irrelevant OOM handling, and not being able to handled
failed mallocs is frequently heard as an excuse to re-write working
code ( thus, incidentally also bringing OOM closer by having yet-another
linked-list, hash-table, etc. etc. implementation in hot memory ).
Hacked at bootchart2 a little, hugely improved the interactive
rendering speed by taking account of the visible area, rather than
relying on cairo to crop everything.
Phone interview, admin. Prodded at a new recovery enabled mbr
for a different vendor,
Up early, poked news - appalled to visit slashdot, follow a link
to the (apparently totally clueless) International Business Times, whose
re-directed to an apparently benign move-your-window-about-so-you-can't-close-it
was downloading what I can only describe as incredibly nauseating images,
that it flooded the screen with; nearly retched. How can one tell
firefox to black-list ibtimes.com
found no way in the preferences, shame: the moral is clear; don't link to
clueless news outlets - like slashdot ? shudder, still re-hinging the
mind. Pleased to report that after mailing Tim, it was rapidly replaced
with a reputable journal, restoring my faith in slashdot.
Prodded impress projecting bug in SP1 betas, in the meantime
setup your display before launching OO.o, or tweak the settings. Some
surreal mail about vendors installing their webcams upside down in
netbooks flipped across my inbox: we really have a requirement for
huge device specific tables to flip the image correctly ? doh.
Cedric pointed out that the LWN article How to destroy your community is
now free for all to enjoy. In my view a fairly fool-proof set of steps.
The 'poisonous people' thing is worth understanding, a technical term: these
are not "people I disagree with" - but, more precisely those who
endlessly talk, and never do, those who love hindering and coercing others
into burdensome process etc. As one who in the past flirted with stupid
process initiatives - eg. the 'GEP' nonsense (really a failed attempt to
get passive-aggressives to communicate) I have hope it is possible for
people to de-poison themselves. For those standing in the rubble of a
destroyed, or (somehow non-growing) community, it's mandatory reading.
Dutifully filed FOSDEM expenses in a timely fashion. Chat with
Thorsten, then Kendy, then Alan, Kendy, Ralf, Guy, and eventually finished -
took refuge from the sound of my own voice.
Out to cell group in the evening, fun.
Up early, to work - amazingly Spencer the plumber arrived to
do some power-flush and boiler fixing. Plugged away at merging kiwi
patches, and misc. paper-pushing administration. Misc. phone call,
Interested by The
Product Space and of course a great place to get a PDF to hammer cairo
for you via evince, acroread does incremental rendering here which saves
it from even worse ignominy.
Out in the evening for a romantic night out with my wife.
Up early, prodded mail; pushed my bootchart2 slides:
Pinged by someone wrt. my comment in the slides on
Canonical's drive for (C) assignment, of course other companies
practise this - and I believe it is sub-optimal there too.
The openSUSE Survey is
open, considered feedback much appreciated. Sad to see Oracle lay-off
Willie Walker - accessibility
hero, and pianist.
Played with the Microsoft Office Live beta, web apps inside
Firefox on Linux. Curious indeed: while the spreadsheet zoom-in/out actually
worked in the browser - beating Google Doc's feebler attempt here; trying
to get a small
=SQRT(STDEV($A$1:A1, 3)) type block fill-out;
seemingly I wedged the server: "This workspace is too busy. Please try
again later" - presumably logged in the backend somewhere. One of the
nice things about web services (I suppose) is being able to watch your users,
and see what problems they hit, which bits they can't make work and
so on - to improve the product with.
Prodded the public Moblin tree, and fixed some annoying
build issues vs. 11.2.
A day of non-stop meeting / sync. call goodness; with
JP, Jared, Guy, Kendy, Thorsten, and a stream of others.
Mildly amused by "Time flies like an Arrow. Fruit Flies
Up too early; to the conference. Enjoyed the Tor talk,
although the ethics of standing nearby a lot of people doing a
very diverse set of things (in order to help hide them) are
unclear to me.
Amused by Tanenbaum's talk on reliable software, if not
completely convinced. It is highly unclear to me that re-starting
apparently AWOL individual components will lead to a more reliable
system overall, on the other hand - isolation of low-quality third
party drivers seems obviously good.
Travelled home via some horrendous interrupted rail
journey / bus special. Longer to get from London to Newmarket
than from Brussels to London.
Up somewhat late for breakfast - met some Cambridge guys
working on accessible speech synthesis devices. Bus to the
conference. Set too manning the booth - Moblin demos, worked on
a few build bugs with FunkyPenguin.
Worked on my talk somewhat; despite a deluge of
interesting things and people passing by. Gave it; slides to
follow. Wandered the floor, demoing
things to people.
Out for dinner with some SUSE guys in the evening; and
off to the Porte Noir for the GNOME party.
Up early, plugged away at mail for a bit; packed, lunch,
and set off for Brussels. Hackery on slides for tomorrow. Arrived,
out to the beer event - caught up with a simply staggering number
of cool & interesting people, bed inordinately late.
Up early, more mail prodding, paniced about slides for FOSDEM,
and various other un-resolved issues. A day of admin, and conference
calls - up very late.
To work, poked more bootcharts, fixed a couple of bugs in
bootchart2, and submitted it to Base:System. Implemented horizontal
scale zoom in the viewer - to see yet more detail. Dug into a kernel
boot time regression, and poked Greg about it.
Meeting heaven - preload all-hands, customer calls, chat
with Guy, JP, etc. what fun.
Banged away at my desk in the evening, accepting some slightly
damp, pre-planed timber in exchange for speed. Amused by the EvoStick
water-proof glue, apparently it "dries clear" - where 'clear'
seems to have the value 'white'; odd. Assembled the angle-grinder, and
had a go at the steel for the front guard - remembered that you get a
lot of fun sparks from such an occupation - and that the floor is
covered with fine sawdust, hmm. You really get a good feeling for the
speed of a 10k RPM hard-disk, with a angle-grinder of the same speed,
somehow failed to set light to myself, loose a limb, or burn the
Walked babes to school. Interested to see the IM
NAND flash, double the capacity in the same footprint. At 167mm^2
(a square 13x13) - 8Gb == 64Gbit; to convert that to the world of
hard-disk geometries (all in bits per inch^2 [nice]) is ~1/4 of an inch
squared, giving an areal density equivalent of 240Gbit/inch squared (highly
contrived without leads, packaging, and/or hard-disk spindles, read heads
etc. but interesting). So that gives us - numbers courtesy of man-in-the-pub
Of course, ideally storage densities would be measured in mm^3 (the
world is going metric - inch by inch) - and of course, for eg. a backup medium,
ultimate density of leaking capacitors is not the key consideration; but interesting
nonetheless. I'm looking forward to the next generation of flash-ssds - but, if we
could get the (rather good idea) of hybrid disk + some flash in a single box to
market fruition things could get better rather more quickly. Incidentally - one
reason doubling capacity in the same footprint makes a difference is the fixed
per chip for etching, sawing, packaging etc.
|IM 25nm flash||240|
Tried to book an hotel at FOSDEM on Alasdair's recommendation, I
suppose I should at this point insert some graphic suggesting I'm going to
FOSDEM: it's going to rock. By some miracle of scheduling, I also seem to
have a talk on boot
performance Saturday @ 16:15. The abstract for which should read:
A quick expose on boot time profiling tools, show-casing
the slightly-less-lame: "bootchart2" - a new and improved boot time
profiling tool, and other ways to speed things up. Which of the seven+
'readahead' tools do you want, and why ? With a summary of recent fixes
and wins in the area, and how to get involved with improving Linux boot
If you have content I am likely to miss: a new uber-funky boot,
ultra-fast boot subsystem (or something) I'd love to hear about it for
I don't think I ever realised that Andy Wingo's past before
GStreamer was so interestingly Nucular - a
fascinating set of insights. I must say that, I'm more optimistic that
you can blag money out of the military, and use it to generate something
socially useful - the internet might be a case in point.
Poked LXF, odd. Clarity; one-to-one with JP, sync with Aaron.
Worked late on git based code auditing tool. Printed out some lovely
pictures of the children for their God-parents.
In case it's not painfully obvious: the reflections reflected here are my
own; mine, all mine ! and don't reflect the views of Novell, The
Lithuanian Gov't or Arnold Schwarzenegger. It's also important to
realise that I'm not in on the Swedish Conspiracy.
Occasionally people ask for formal photos for conferences,
Michael Meeks (email@example.com)