Congrats Dave

September 30, 2007

So I just wanted to publically say congratulations to my friend, Dave Malcolm (of Conglomerate, Evolution, and Dogtail fame), since he’s going to be marrying a great woman soon.

Congrats Dave!

Experimental LiveCD

August 18, 2007

So the desktop team here at Red Hat has decided we want a little more freedom in trying new ideas for Fedora. We can’t put radical changes into the main Fedora spin, because those types of changes often require make choices for the user that may alienate someone who currently uses Fedora.

Since Fedora 7, users of Fedora have had the ability to do custom spins pretty easily. Using that same infrastructure we (the desktop team) are going to do our own spin that tries various things, like disabling the root account, and not asking the user what partitioning scheme they want. Presumably, some of these ideas won’t work out, but it’s nice to have a play area where we can experiment and find the things the really work.

The key here is that we’re try to narrow the scope of the spin. It will specifically be ill-suited for a lot of users who happily use Fedora. Those users can keep using the mainline spin, though.

Aside from that we started a Desktop “Special Interest Group” (SIG) so that people outside of Red Hat can get more involved. We now hold weekly meetings on IRC.

Anyway, discussion about what should happen on the LiveCD happens on fedora-desktop-list

subway entertainment

August 2, 2007

So there is a really cheap/yummy falafel place in Central Square I sometimes like to go to. Today I walked out of there with Falafel roll up and made my way down into the T to get home to Davis Square. The train went want stop to Harvard when a guy comes on and starts screaming:

guy: Attention everybody, attention everybody I’m about to dance
guy puts down boom box
guy: now I have three rules first. 1) If I do something you like, clap 2) If I do something you don’t like, clap 3) when I’m done, show your appreciation with donations or love. Hint: ladies, I’m single.
guy taps boom box to get it started
guy then does a series of back flips, double flips, hand springs and break dancing

It was pretty damn cool to see.

detached directories

June 18, 2007

So one thing I wanted for my Graphical Boot stuff was a standalone environment for it to work in. I wanted it to have its own /proc, device nodes, etc, because it gets run so early in the boot process that those things aren’t set up yet globally. If I make my program set them up globally, then other parts of the boot process get confused that things are set up already. What I really want is my own private directory that only my process can see and that goes away when my process exits.

This is something you can do with individual files pretty easily. Something like:

int fd;
char file[] ="/tmp/XXXXXX";
fd = mkstemp (file);
unlink (file);

It turns out you can do something similar with directories, too, although there are some caveats. If your program

  1. creates a temp directory
  2. mounts a ram filesystem in the directory
  3. opens the directory and stores the file descriptor somewhere
  4. lazily unmounts the ram filesystem
  5. remove the temp directory

Then the directory will no longer be visible from the filesystem, but will exist as long as the stored file descriptor is opened. The program can fchdir() to the directory using the saved file descriptor and work with it. Now some of the caveats are:

  1. the program needs to be root to mount the filesystem
  2. MNT_DETACH (the mount flag used to lazily unmount a filesystem) is unsupported api
  3. you can’t mount other filesystems in your detached directory

Overall, it’s kind of a neat concept, but those caveats make it fairly impractical to use.

August 28, 2004

Well the last couple of weeks have been very fun.

The girl I mentioned previously, Mo, was an intern at Red Hat, but grad school was starting back up for her, so she had to move back to New York, which sorta sucks a lot. Yet, despite the fact that she moved back to New York last week, I saw her everyday except for yesterday last week. That’s right, she was either driving to my apartment in Nashua or from my apartment to New York everyday last week but yesterday. It was possible because this first week at her University was orientation (not classes) and so her schedule was really open.

Here’s a couple of pics of her:

She’s a very talented individual who is very skilled in Linux, Human Computer Interaction, artistic things, and Hello Kitty.

Let’s see, different topics….

I love Indian food. I eat it far too much now in fact. It doesn’t help that there is an Indian market store right down the street, and an insanely good Indian Restaurant a few miles away.

ummm…here’s a picture of me after my hair cut..kinda a junk picture though, cause my hair is wet and messy and i’m sorta unshaven…

Ummm, what else… I can’t really remember what’s happened lately.

Oh, car trouble…So Mo got a flat the other day (this was the night before the last day of her internship, the thursday night before last thursday), and she didn’t want to drive on the spare very much, so we parked her car and I drove her to work the next day. The plan was that I would drive her to her car after work and we would go down to a tire shop and get it replaced. The next day it rained hard….very, very hard, and when we got into my car after work and tried to start it–nothing. Just click…click…click… So we called a tow truck and had it towed to an auto shop down the road. Preliminary analysis suggested it was the starter that had gone bad. They were really busy though, and they are kind far away from where I live so the mechanic spent a few minutes to see if he could get it started so we could take it somewhere else more near my apartment. Sure enough, after about 100 turns of the key he got the thing to start! Damn, I just paid 60 bucks for towing. Ah well, at least it started.

So the plan was, I’d take Mo to her car, we’d pick it up and take both cars to the same shop near my apartment. Her’s was just a flat tire, so we’d get it back later that night, and mine would need a starter replaced, so it was going to have to stay into the weekend.

It didn’t turn out that way, however. Her bearings were bad, too, so it had to stay at the shop like my car. We just walked the mile or so to my apartment and on the way stopped at blockbuster to rent some videos. We crashed and in the morning we walked back to the auto center (it’s part of Sears actually) and guess what? My starter wasn’t bad at all, just a wire that went bad–presumably because of the harsh, harsh rain. What a weird twist of events, uh?

August 18, 2004

I took earlier today off work and went down to Boston with a friend. We got haircuts at a small shop ran by a couple of friendly Japanese guys named Fred and Steven. This is a bit of a big event for me because I’ve had long hair for so long that there was a lot of inertia stopping me from going shorter. I was ready for a change though, so I just told Steven to do whatever he thought would look good. I really like how it turned out.

On a different note, I also really like how my relationship with my friend is turning out. I feel really comfortable around her. We have a pretty close connection I think. We have a very open line of communication, and so we don’t play ambiguous manipulation games which are the norm in a boy-meets-girl world.

August 13, 2004

Well, I guess I’ll update again.

Let’s see… Last friday I saw a movie. I don’t remember what movie though. Before the movie I ate at an Italian restaraunt that I can’t remember the name of. I do remember the waiter was named Hugo. What was really interesting, though, was the table at the restaurant came with crayons and a paper table cloth. I spent most of the night creating a truly delightful scribbly mess next to someone who could really draw. My drawing looked so bad next the nice drawing, I decided I would just start doing random things to my drawing in a last ditch effort to salvage the image as abstract art…didn’t work. When it was all said and done with, my drawing had so much wax on it that it waterproofed the paper.

After the movie, at about 1am or so, we all went down to Nalin’s apartment in Saugus and fun’d for the night. On my way there I picked up some ice cream and frozen fruits, which we used to make beer floats and smoothies respectively. So we drank, and played Dance, Dance Revolution, and threw juggling balls at each other until about 6am or so, and then we went to IHOP for some breakfast.

After that, I crashed for the day and then in the evening time we went to a rowdy bar called Dicks, where the waitresses put hats with obscenities on your head and just be all around rude (it’s all in good fun mind you). By the end of the night the table had gone to war with each other in an all out paper and ice throwing fight. A friend of mine that I have been too flirty with recently, was wearing my fedora and keeping me stocked with plenty of ammo as I assaulted Nalin. Actually, most of the table attacked Nalin and he did a really good job of blocking the onslaught. Also, a chick from another table was downing shot glasses off perversely named mixed drinks off John’s … uhhh … lap.

Umm, on Monday I went to a concert with a couple of friends to see Alanis Morrisette and Bare Naked Ladies. I bought an overpriced tube of glowing color while there and spun it around a bunch to make really neat, semi-transparent discs in the night sky. It was expensive, but as some chick behind me pointed out to me, it was still cheaper than the beer I was drinking. The concert was actually a lot more fun than I anticipated. By the end of it, the Bare Naked Ladies were dancing around, synchronized with shopping carts.

umm on Wednesday (I think) I went over to Chris’s house and did the hookah thing again (my second time). Less luck making smoke rings this time. I also watched a funny movie that I can’t remember anything about right now strangely enough, and went dangerously overboard with the flirting with the friend.

I decided to work from home today in an effort to be more productive. It didn’t work. I got less done than I probably would have at the office. Oh well. I’ll just make it up this weekend. I guess one of the advantages of having a job I love is, I don’t mind doing it on my days off when needed!

But now, i’m going to go pick up a pizza and head to Chris’s house to play doom 3.


August 2, 2004

I’d just like to take a moment to publically say congratulations to Stacie Fidler on her recent engagement.

Congratulations Stacie!

You’ve reached a pretty substantial turning point in your life and I wish you the very best.

July 14, 2004

Nothing much new to report. I went into boston with some of the Red Hat crew the other night. We walked around looking for a place to eat and finally landed at a Tex/Mex restaurant where I ordered a Mexican import beer called Sol and chicken fajitas. They only gave me 4 tortillas (which I guess is pretty typical), but I didn’t budget the first 3 well, so I had a massive amount of food left for the last one. I suppose I could have just quietly eaten my last fajita and then finished the remaining fill of black beans, rice, lettuce, peppers and chicken with my fork, but I didn’t.
No, I saw a challenge that I had to take head on. So, instead I decided to fill my last remaining tortilla to its absolute limits. I had it so full that I couldn’t even close it all the way. Luckily, (and to the great amusement of the people I was with) I managed to get the thing into my mouth enough to take a bite after a sufficient amount of manuevering, wiggling and squeezing.

And then we’re walking out of the restaurant some time later and we walk past this sign:

Now, you’ve got to wonder, “What happened before that sign was put up?” :-)

So after the meal we went and got ice cream at the same place I got the fudge on a previous weekend and then we went to a local tavern and ordered some drinks and chatted for a while. Toward the end, Nalin (a coworker) and I were both almost exactly half way through the drinks in front of us (he had a screwdriver, I had a vodka w/ cranberry) and so we decided to race. *Jug* *Jug* *Jug* *Spill* *Jug* *Jug* *Jug*. Damn Nalin beat me by a second and I got cranberry juice on my new shirt. ah well (spot remover got the stain out later).

We’re wondering where to go next, when we remembered that a lady walked up to us and handed us fliers for a club/bar called “Coyote Ugly” (presumably a knock off from the movie) earlier that day. So it’s on “Friend St” and that’s a fair distance away. We decide to go anyway, even though none of us had ever been to friend street before and we weren’t exactly sure how to get there.

On our way there a cute, but typsy girl walks up to me and tells me that she really likes my hat (the red fedora that I always wear), so we’re walking and talking for a while and she’s wearing my hat and then I eventually ask her if she knows where “Coyote Ugly” is and she says that she thinks it’s a couple miles in the direction opposite the way we were walking, she then points out there is a hooters in front of us though as an alternative. This was a bit interesting, because 1) hooters is more of a restaurant than a club/bar 2) It was late and hooters was closed and 3) someone from the group I came with (they were following behind me and the drunk chick) pointed out that there was a big sign for “Coyote Ugly” right next to the Hooters.

At any rate, we didn’t end up going in. Some of the guys in the group didn’t want to pay the cover, because it was way too crowded and they would have to leave soon anyway, because the T trains were shutting down within the next hour and half or so.

In other news, I got my license plates in the mail today:

Beware of hot stuff

July 7, 2004

I just want to take this time to remind those of you out there who iron that 1) irons are hot 2) ironing should be done fully clothed (even if you are ironing the shirt you are going to wear) 3) irons are hot