dungeon may not be suitable for all ages

I woke up to a phone call from Mom today — we’re trying to locate my sister, who has, we believe, returned from Japan — and then chatted with Phil a little bit. We bitched and moaned about some problems in the lock manager, and then I polluted his poor brain with thoughts of Rusty’s read-copy-update work. (Actually, I think that stuff came to Linux from DYNIX, via IBM, but Rusty’s a cool guy so I’m happy to credit him with it.)

Now, some juice and back into lock replay. It’s the end of November today, and even feature-completeness will involve a lot of hard work. Sucky. =/

Not that I’m averse to hard work, as it turns out:

18 files changed, 527 insertions(+), 403 deletions(-)

I think I’m actually feature-complete now, and it’s “just” down to the debugging. Time to test on the real cluster.

of locks and lances

I felt much better when I woke up this morning, which is emphatic testament to the combined curative powers of writing code and drinking grapefruit juice. And then I got a call from Phil, which just made my morning. We chatted a little bit about lock replay, and I dove into it with much geeky gusto.

After about two hours, I had a disheartening realization. See, while I was working on the last chunk of recovery code, I convinced myself to put off a more complete rewriting of our RPC layer. Soon enough, I reasoned, I’d have several more of our acceptance tests working, and that would give me a much more robust system for testing my changes. Also, I’m sort of on a deadline, and need to resist the temptation to turn everything into a shining jewel when there are other large pieces yet to be written at all, let alone polished to a gleaming sparkle.

But now, the scales are fallen from my eyes. Now I see that without this rewrite, I’m going to have to resort to profound ugliness, and I really don’t want to go there. Like, really.

So I embark on another great rewrite adventure. But first, I travel to Medieval Times for the Velocet holiday party. Should be good fun.

It was good fun, actually. I bought Tyla a princess hat, for obvious reasons, and she made me wear it. Revenge will, again, be mine.

I made good progress on my RPC changes after dinner. Pretty soon, I won’t be very ashamed of my code at all. (Explaining the superhack— code that was committed by phil, but ultimately made necessary by my early flailings — to Sancus was a great motivator, in spite of his wise reminder of the worse-is-better principle I mention above.)

in sickness and in health

It took until three in the morning, but I finally figured out how to run IOR — by which I mean that I figured out how to steal Andreas’ scripts and ask him questions until it worked — and I passed on basically the first try. (I had to merge a patch from someone else’s branch and add a spin-lock initialization, but that so doesn’t count.)

And then I locked up hard on our “simple” primary acceptance test. Some brain-off spin-lock thing, no doubt, but I didn’t take the time to sort it out last night, preferring sleep at long last.

My "lovely" wife seems to have given me her cold, though the usual post-travel infirmity is probably to blame as well. She doesn’t look like she’s suffering very much today, other than the outrageous bed-head, so it appears to have been a give rather than a share. I will have my revenge!

I thought I was caught up on my email yesterday, but I’d neglected two whole mailboxes. I’ll take care of those today. If you’re waiting for mail from me, though, note that “caught up” indicates that I have read it all, not that I’ve had time to reply to all of it.

Phil is right that I’m a whiner, but I actually said that I was getting on a plane early Wednesday morning, and that I wanted to be able to work on the plane. He knows damned well what timezone I was in! (And he did send the mail before I got on the plane, though after the last email checking I did in San Diego. We both suck, Phil, and the world of next-generation storage is just going to have to learn to cope with that.)

I found my bug(s), and they were indeed brain-off spin-lock nonsense. All better, I’m passing acceptance-small.sh as I type this, and then I can land my huge branch. Fear me, Lustre. Fear me.

31 files changed, 899 insertions(+), 532 deletions(-)

I sort of wish I were done with this recovery stuff, because I’d really like a break to work on something like performance, but there’s a ton of recovery work left to do. Miles to go before I sleep, and all that.

"Using its engineering knowledge, the robot tried to repair the switch by toggling it on and off."

home sweet home

Back home now, though my wife isn’t here. I guess she’s allowed to step out for a few hours, if I’m allowed to pop across the continent for a week, but still. Still. Emily came by to show off her cocktail party pictures, which were pretty good. (The ones of me were less good, especially the one in which I resemble a toothy robot.)

I was a hacking machine on the plane, so I’ve got fixes for most of the bugs HP reported to me yesterday. Now I just have to figure out how to run IOR so that I’m allowed to land these goodies.

Yay, Tyla’s back!

if it’s not one thing, it’s four others

I was all psyched today to start on lock replay, after a morning of recovery-related head scratching — and, I hasten to add, a fantastic lunch courtesy of my lovely hostess — but I’m still unenlightened. When Phil gets back from India, I’m going to staple him to the phone until we’ve got this sorted out.

Not that I lack things to do: plans to spend the afternoon touristing in San Diego disappeared in a puff of HP-bug-report smoke. If I work like a demon today and during tomorrow’s flight back to Toronto, I can hit the ground with a pile of untested code ready to foil my plans for landing my precious b_recovery branch. Assuming that I ever hear back from the people who have my root passwords, that is.

The end of November is looking really, really close now. Sucks.

Yesterday’s colloquium was quite fun, once I got over the shock of sociologist-speak — “concrete engagements on spatial terms” and “between the essentialist and instrumental readings of technology” were my favourite, I think, but there were many fine, fine contenders — and I’m looking forward to hearing more about his work. Miriam thinks that I should come and speak at this Digital Cultures conference they’re having in the spring, but I think I’ll only do that if I can trick Mitchell into coming along. The way I see it, she owes me for ISSRE, but she may not see it the same way.

I’ve had a blast here in San Diego, but I have to confess that my deadline-fear is making me rather eager to return to Toronto, where I can work away the days and nights. I really do believe that November will be the worst of it, but that’s the sort of naive optimism that always gets me in trouble.

And, hey, my diary looks like crap under Netscape 4.x again. I guess I’ll fix that sometime next week.

While I was typing this, I heard back from the support guy who can change and provide my root passwords, so I’m all set to test. Whee!

music for the hard of thinking

I am in a university student centre. I am surrounded by bright, enthusiastic young people. They are the future of the nation. Apparently, though, they have some sort of collective deficiency in the part of the brain that controls cell phone ringtone selection. Maybe there’s some sort of affirmative action program at work.

Andreas ran some tests on MCR:

— Topic for #mcr is (lustre 3097 MB/s write sustained w IOR on 320 nodes x 2 processes/node x 16GB/process = 10TB ;-)

I still don’t have root passwords on the clusters I need to test on, which is starting to cramp the heck out of my style.

I thought the network here was a disaster, because I was experiencing absolutely horrendous packet loss to just about everywhere, even with a strong wireless link. But then I noticed that web traffic was really quite peppy, and it didn’t look like there were proxies in the way, so I took a flyer and set up an SSH server on port 80. Sure enough, it’s like having a real internet connection. I guess this is some anti-filesharing thing, but would it have killed them to list port 22 in their set of known-good ports?

And I discover this just in time to head off to a colloquium on Environmental Informatics. At least I’ll be hyper-productive after dinner.

we expect and appreciate your cooperation

That was a nice little party, it was. It was great to see everyone again, even though Nic and Mae didn’t remember me. I guess it has been a year, which is a big chunk of time when you’re wee, so I’ll try to take it in stride.

There were piles of digital cameras at the party, so I expect all sorts of pictures to show up. I stayed perhaps too sober, but at least it means there won’t be any surprises!

Anna and I discovered that we live pretty close to each other — much closer than she lives to her boyfriend, which explains the 8400 cell minutes she’s racked up so far this month — so we made vague plans to get together. Very vague. Low probability.

The Other Mike and I chatted for a little bit at the airport, including a little discussion about Lustre, and I figured out what the bug I’d caused on the plane was. I’ll fix that once I get on board.

During my “random security inspection” at the checkpoint, I busted a belt loop on my brown pants, while holding the end of my belt away from the hypersensitive metal detector. (I wonder if the screeners have realized that there’s metal in the floor, too; they seemed to be pretty surprised — as was I — that my feet registered a beep until they had me lift them way off the floor. Boy, do I ever feel secure!)

The guy next to me is really grumpy. He was very snarky when I pulled a magazine out of the bulkhead pocket in front of me, which turned out to be his “own private copy” of the rare Business Week. Uh, OK, sir. I wonder if he’s reading this as I type it.

I think I told Miriam the wrong arrival time for this flight, but she’s the sort of smart person who calls for flight information, so it’ll probably end up fine in the end.

Found the bug, and it’s a DLM problem. When Phil gets back from India, I’ll have to chat with him about that.

I’m on a plane to

I’m on a plane to Denver now, thence to Austin. I’m only going to be on the ground for 24 hours, but hey…Alix is worth it.

Alix is also worth a nice birthday present, which I will have to arrange when I get onto the ground. I was going to write more about Miriam’s wild TA-employment adventures, but I was inspired during the security inspection — five flights in a row that I’ve been selected for “random” screening, either at the security checkpoint or at the point of boarding; time to take the “Saddam for President” patch off my jacket, I guess — and I’m going to fix reconnection-after-network-partition instead.

I just sent my wife onto IRC to get some cell numbers for me, because I don’t have DJ’s number, and now I’m here in Austin. It worked, too! Now I just have to figure out what he looks like…

Birthday present: still unarranged.

a secret war in the short course

Further to Miriam’s academic/professional intrigue — about which more tomorrow, I expect — I went to a lecture today with a tape recorder, to get a record of the lecturer’s comments on the whole matter. In related news, the new Bond movie opens today.

Last night, Miriam and I went to a lovely restaurant to celebrate her victory in this little fracas, and got quite drunk. Now that Miriam lives within walking distance of these places, she’s free to share more fairly in the wine, and she did. We were both still up by nine, though, which makes me think that I really need to open the curtains at home more.

My impossible bug reared its ugly head again today, but I managed to make some progress in spite of it. I’m really hoping that Andreas or sct can make sense of it, and soon.

jwz‘s badgering took root deeply today, so I’ve now got an RSS feed for this nonsense.

longing for the simplicity of the middle east

Got to San Diego just fine, and Miriam was there to meet me even though my flight was 30 minutes early (!). That’s a friend for you.

It looked like Miriam was going to be very very busy this week, to the detriment of our fun and merriment, but now it appears that she’ll be rather unbusy instead. If she permits, I’ll write more about it later — suffice it to say that my motivation to attend undergrad has never been better-suppressed than it is today.

It’s pretty damn warm here.

Lunch with the Sony guys was fun, and it was good to see them again. I’m glad there aren’t any hard feelings about that whole turning-down-their-offer thing (though there were no HR reps there, so maybe my sample is skewed).

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