Archive for February, 2003

OpenFirmware, Darwin

Friday, February 28th, 2003

[ from the pretty-cool dept. ]

I signed up as an Apple Developer, having spent several hours reading through OpenFirmware documentation in an effort to understand this concept of hardware independent device trees. It’s all pretty interesting really – as is checking out Darwin code to figure out how things work.

I’ll put stuff up on as soon as we get our colo box sorted and I have more substance to make available. I think today will turn in to a project day if I inject enough caffeine – current jcm uptime is approaching the point of doing useful work.


Powerbook Issues

Thursday, February 27th, 2003

[ from the hmmm-hmmm... dept. ]

Looks like I might have a faulty pixel, which recently appeared. I’ll massage it a bit more to see if it will go away. Otherwise I might once more insist John Lewis repair or replace it – one faulty pixel is one faulty pixel too many.

I have decided to buy a new laptop later in the year. She will either be a new Powerbook or a Tadpole SPARCbook and her name will be polymath.


Power PC, Prentice Hall

Thursday, February 27th, 2003

[ from the dept. ]

Now, if I were publishing a book tomorrow, I might bother to mention it somewhere on my website, or make information available via the search features or something. Why then is it that Prentice Hall have no information available on their website? Can we please get an information site, where are the downloads, errata, etc. going to be? Annoying.


eCos: The Story Continues…

Thursday, February 27th, 2003

[ from the got-the-sim-working dept. ]

OK, so I got the powerpc sim target ecos built and running some simple stuff under ddd. This is very useful – now I can hopefully make some progress. A very useful book comes out tomorrow that I have been waiting a long time for – BREY, Motorola Power PC. I have copy on order.

I have been messing with Minix in bochs and rediscovering just how slow bochs really can be – it is not the environment for compiling code but I would like to play with its debugging features when I can. Today will be a project day, as will be tomorrow, since the Computer Security coursework setup is pretty much out of the way at least for the minute (Got multiple UML servers running under a grsec environment with some hacking from me). I hope to get plex86 or bochs to run another virtual machine with SE Linux – if SE Linux would seemingly run out of the box under UML then I would have had chance to play with that but as it is I do not have the time to fix whatever would need to be fixed to get it working (especially with grsec on the host to complicate things). The cryptoapi/cryptoloop stuff needs to be used a little more for general geek value.

I am having one of those moments of reflection on what could have happened for me in Nottingham over the last few years but has not. I feel the course lacks focus and a number of changes could be made – but mostly I am still asking myself what would be so bad about sticking around for a bit. :-)


Saving Graces

Thursday, February 20th, 2003

[ from the ddd-da-da-ddd dept. ]

Data Display Debugger (ddd), is a saving grace for my project work…well perhaps. I realised that the simulator target should work within it and it seems that it does – though I have not had much chance to play with it yet. This is the debugger for GNU/Linux, just as gprof is the profiler. I realised it had been quite a long time since I last used gprof too – anyone got a good graphical front end graphing program for gprof output? Freshmeat returns a few interesting possibilities.

I popped home to Reading for the evening, and since I have nothing else on a Thursday, will hang around today and return to Nottingham this evening. I would have come down last weekend but did not want to give everyone the plague that I was suffering from at the time…

I think I do want to do some research, at least part-time if not full-time, and in distributed systems (HPC, GRID, distributed operating systems). I am considering Nottingham though not exclusively and have no idea yet whether I will go through with it or not :-)

I got asked to help show some UCAS applicants around, I thought I was very helpful and actually had only positive things to say about the place.


Fixing Much

Tuesday, February 18th, 2003

[ from the HOWTO-time dept. ]

I have decided to take some of the outdated material at (not available off site due to general restrictions to keep the copyright lawyers happy) and produce a proper HOWTO. For this I will need to provide fixes I use for the standard .bash_profile, .bashrc, .xsession, as well as binaries and tips and advice. I would like others who currently have similar fixes to contact me for general inclusion where appropriate.


Obsideon Pics

Tuesday, February 18th, 2003

[ from the yes-I-know-it-is-very-sad-but... dept. ]

Hi, Hussein took some pictures of obsideon for me and I’ve stuck a couple of them online so you too can see what it means to be a jcm… :-)

Photo 1
Photo 2

I got the PICSTART from my trip to Manchester last night and after upgrading to a new firmware, it should be fine I hope.