Archive for October, 2002

Union Rep

Thursday, October 31st, 2002

[ from the I-wonder-if-thats-a-good-idea dept. ]

There is no Union rep for our department apparently. I am considering standing for the position at the next opportunity. One thing I am good at is speaking my mind and putting forward what others have to say on certain issues, and goodness knows there’s a lot I would like to bring up. But there is the issue of time and whether it would be too time consuming.


Brief Fun In Birmingham

Thursday, October 31st, 2002

[ from the what-happened-now? dept. ]

Thank you Central Trains.

It took over an hour later than planned to get to Birmingham, I got there after 20:00 and had to leave for the last train at 22:50. That train was delayed because there was no driver as they were in Nottingham! So Another hour later than planned I got back to Nottingham. Thank you Central trains, more than 2 hours additional time wasted aboard your crappy dilapidated old trains.

Register Windows are very interesting. SPARC does not have the plain concept over saving function arguments on the stack and then having to restore them again. Instead it has register windows which allow one to “shift” the current register set so that the “out” registers from one function become the “in” registers to another and vice versa on exit from the function. I had not really given this much thought before but now realise just how cool it is :-)

I got up late yesterday because of the thudding music and a wrong clock, and the day pretty much went nowhere. That’s ok, I did at least do some sorting out and go to Birmingham for virtually no time. Looks like Telewest’s Blueyonder cable service might actually support NAPT or somesuch (even just NAT/MASQ/primitive forwarding) in the Cable Modem they supply.


Random Wibble

Wednesday, October 30th, 2002

[ from the this-will-drive-you-mad-now dept. ]

I’m trying to read at the moment and my mind’s already strained enough at the thought of accepting new input, I need to go somewhere quiet.

I like gcc 3. I recompiled john and found it now runs twice as fast once the altivec flags are given and the Altivec EABI is enabled (PowerPC terminology refers to things as part of standard Embedded Binary Interfaces, etc.). I should perhaps do some Altivec optimisations for john as that would be useful :-)

I have a lecture at 09:00 and I will actually make it I think. Hussein is talking about a particular NP-hard problem in our seminar and I will provide some moral support perhaps. I should also start thinking about the talk I need to give on another fascinating topic that is sure to keep me awake at night.

I have nearly read half of this book so far and expect to finish it completely this week. With some time for playing with examples, I hope to be fairly fluent in general SPARC assembly within a week or so and then get back to the ppc stuff. This is part of my plot to be reasonable in both SPARC and ppc by the end of November and to understand the supervisor instructions for both architectures. Then I need to begin coding with some simple boot strapping algorithm for each architecture and get on to the interesting coding in C. I will draw on the books I have at hand of particular merit by authors Andrew Tanenbaum and also Jim Mauro and Richard McDougall from Sun Microsystems.

I made an official request to have mains access on campus for my laptop, so now they’re going to have to officially turn me down. This is likely to result in my acquiring additional UPS units and some kind of trolley to transport them on. I figure I can play their little game as well as they can – and I am more than happy to push the bounds of making my point :-)

Communications Update

As far as I am aware, I am up to date with all email and mobile traffic on either of the lines. If you haven’t received a reply to something you sent me then you’re not going to because I don’t have it – please send it again.

Somebody has been searching for 0×80040707 again. In case people are looking for this term, which used to be mentioned on my old diary, it refers to a problem with Install Shield within Microsoft Windows and appears to be related to issues with network shares being unavailable at certain moments or a similar problem. Bitch at Install Shield for writing crappy software and at Microsoft generally for no particular reason.

I am currently listening to “Jon Bon Jovi – It’s My Life” and of course “A-Ha – Take On Me (Superior Techno Remix)”. I have consumed coffee recently. It is 04:50 and I do not plan to sleep much today.


7 years and counting

Wednesday, October 30th, 2002

[ from the lost-youth dept. ]

Well, I realise I started using UNIX about 7 years ago this month, perhaps a month earlier. That was an old SunOS box called I enjoyed things much more then than I do now – too many ordinary people these days. Pah.



Tuesday, October 29th, 2002

[ from the jcm-is-in-the-building dept. ]

I am going to G2002. It should hopefully be as successful as the last one, which I also went to. Where else can you spend 3 days under ground playing around with a metric tonne of other geeks in a Nuclear Bunker? I rest my case.



Tuesday, October 29th, 2002

[ from the must-put-something-here dept. ]

I’m going to town in a while, others are invited. Wagamama, Nottingham. Meet at 21:00. Also, here is another pointless screenshot.



Monday, October 28th, 2002

[ from the where-shall-I-go-today? dept. ]

This week I will be mostly in Nottingham. However, on Wednesday I will be in Birmingham in the afternoon meeting some friends and relatives. Also I will be in Birmingham on Sunday again. At some point I imagine I will end up in London, possibly on Friday or perhaps Sunday again after being in Birmingham and on route to or from Reading…who knows :-) The important thing is that travelling is a good way to get away and get some work done.

I should go see a play or something – I’m trying to work on that one in between working and ignoring corporate recruitment fairs. Wagamama time now.