Muli Ben-Yehuda's journal

August 23, 2003

Thursday – good day at work, Friday – deal breaker at the attorney’s

Filed under: Uncategorized — Muli Ben-Yehuda @ 11:20 AM

Thursday was a good day at work. I woke up needing some peace, quiet and no interruptions, so I stayed home to work. I went into hyper-productive mode and finished the things that needed finishing in record time, and then around noon went to the office. At the office, I had a couple of interesting conversations with co-workers with regards to future kernel related projects. As it happens, due to some curious twists and turns in its design, my current project has no kernel work for a kernel hacker such as yours truly to do. I’m doing design, and architecting, and researching stuff, all of which are important – and all of which are in luserspace, which is not where I should be working. Been there, done that – I need a challenge, the kind the kernel provides.

Also on Thursday, I gave an impromptu demonstration of syscalltrack to another co-worker which went quite well. He seemed quite impressed, asked many good questions, and said he wants to implement “rule counters”. Rule counters (“how many times has this system call been executed by all processes owned by UIDs less than a 1000?”) have been on our TODO list since the beginning, and a patch for them will be very nice.

On Friday, ladypine and I went to sign the rent contract for the house with the huge garden in Kiryat Haim we saw last week. The signing was to take place at the owners attorney’s office, after a mutually agreed upon contract was negotiated the day before between ladypine and the owner’s daughter. When we got to the attorney’s office, however, we were presented with a contract that was different from what was agreed upon. Discussion ensued, which pretty soon turned into an argument. The other side wasn’t willing to remedy the contract, or explain the significance of their choice of phrasing as opposed to ours. As far as I’m concerned, someone who makes a verbal agreement with you and then turns back on his words is not someone you do business with. We got up and left.

The back up plan is to rent Itai’s parents apartment. It’s small and quaint, in Dubnov street where I used to live once upon a time. It’s also pretty cheap (which is important, as we’re saving money for buying our own place) and belongs to my best friend’s parents, so I don’t believe there’ll be any monkey business of the type mentioned above. We’ll go see it again today or tomorrow and decide.

After the contract negotiations blew up, Orna and I had a great breakfast, and then drove around to do errands. Unfortunately, parking was non-existent. Fortunately, none of the errands were time critical, so I just left them to a less crowded, and we went home. At home, we had lunch, slept a little, went for a walk on the sea shore, went to Orna’s place to feed the cat and watch a movie, started watching the movie, the TV blew up, drove to Orna’s parents place and picked up a spare TV, discovered the spare TV is dead, drove back to my place to watch the movie (“Men of Honor”, recommended) and finally fell asleep. The kind of day that leaves you simultaneously exhausted and feeling like you haven’t actually done anything.

August 21, 2003

The wonders a good night’s sleep will so

Filed under: Uncategorized — Muli Ben-Yehuda @ 10:01 AM

I woke up this morning after 9 hours of heavenly slumber. It’s 1000AM already, and I’m working from home until noon. I had breakfast an hour or so ago, and now I’m feeling like working out(!), so without further ado, I shall. Cheers!

devfs, Haifux birthday meeting, OLS talk and syscalltrack hacking

Filed under: Uncategorized — Muli Ben-Yehuda @ 9:58 AM

[as a side note, I think this is the first time I’ve used ‘happy’ as my lj-mood. Point to ponder…]

[written yesterday, but lj wasn’t answering so posted only now]

On Monday evening, we had a Haifux meeting on real time programming and real time Linux. Iftach Hyams gave the talk, which was quite good. The only blemish was that some of the audience members would not shut up. No matter what Iftach said, some smartass would have a comment. Occasionally (very occasionally) it was even relevant, but 90% of the times it was completely out of place. Don’t get me wrong, I like a good discussion as much as the next person, but this wasn’t discussion, it was “I’m smarter / more knowledgeable / more experienced than the lecturer” types of comments. I don’t care if you are, have some courtesy and SHUT UP. That means you, Shachar R!

After the talk about 20 people headed out to our favorite restaurant, Spargo. We stayed at Spargo until around midnight, discussing the usual geeky things discussed at these outings. Best line was undoubtedly by the venerable Emil D:

“SMP – SCO Multi Processing”[0]

I couldn’t stop laughing after that one.

On Tuesday, I gave a talk to the kernel study group at work on my impressions from OLS 2003. I talked about shared page tables in some detail, went over Rusty’s keynote and mentioned PGCL, Dave Jones’s resurrecting drivers talk and the several other talks. About 25 people attended, and most of them seemed interested, or at least awake. I’m trying to revive the kernel study group at work and it looks like my efforts are starting to bear fruit.

Last night, I wrote a short document on the design and implementation of syscalltrack’s system call hijacking in kernel 2.4. This is the first of two documents, the second of which will discuss system call hijacking in kernel 2.6, and will be written by the guys from TAU doing their summer project on syscalltrack, with my help.

[0] Caldera, which is today known as SCO, send Alan Cox the hardware used to write to initial SMP support for Linux. Curious how the wheel turns.

August 18, 2003

Happy Birthday Love

Filed under: Uncategorized — Muli Ben-Yehuda @ 3:18 PM

Today is ladypine‘s birthday. The plan it to attend the Haifux meeting, and then move on to our favorite restaurant, Spargo. Incidentally, it’s also Haifux’s birthday today.

Happy birthday, ladypine!

interesting intrustion detection papers

Filed under: Uncategorized — Muli Ben-Yehuda @ 2:48 PM

“Intrusion Detection via Static Analysis”, by David Wagner and Drew Dean.

“Mimicry Attaks on Host-Based Intrusion Detection”, by David Wagner and Paolo Soto.

LCA 2004

Filed under: Uncategorized — Muli Ben-Yehuda @ 2:46 PM

Crossed my fingers, said a prayer, and submitted “syscalltrack – design and implementation” to LCA 2004.

August 14, 2003

phrack 61 is out

Filed under: Uncategorized — Muli Ben-Yehuda @ 8:55 AM

Forgot to mention, phrack 61 is out! Hijacking Linux Page Fault Handler is particularly enjoyable.

trident, apartment hunting, cat and reading

Filed under: Uncategorized — Muli Ben-Yehuda @ 8:22 AM

Marcelo applied my trident.c patch to 2.4.22-rc1 (or rc2, not sure, I
got some of the commit mails out of order), so it will be out in
2.4.22. Neat.

Went out apartment hunting yesterday evening. Saw one so-called
studio apartment that was smaller than a sardine box, in a building
that reminded me immensely of army barracks. Needless to say, I didn’t
take it. The hunt continues today.

While showering this morning, I idly wondered what shall I name the
cat I’ll get after I move in. Starting from the obvious Maud[0], I
went through div, and then it hit me: I’ll name the cat ‘sin’, as in
both ‘cardinal sin’ and ‘sin(PI)’.

Yesterday night I started reading the book Oleg gave me, Norvig’s
Paradigms of Artificial Intelligence Programming. I read the first
chapter, and enjoyed it very much. Notable quotes:

"We can also define the function 'first-name'. Even though the
definition is trivial (it is the same as the function 'first'), it is
still good practice to define 'first-name' explicitly. Then we can use
the function 'first-name' when we are dealing with names, and 'first'
when we are dealing with arbitrary list. The computer will perform the
same operation in both cases, but we as programmers (and readers of
programs) will be less confused."

Just seen on kdgb-bugreports in someone’s sig: “No Matter Who You Are,
Most Of The Smartest People Work For Someone Else (Bill Joy)”. So

[0] Maud is ladypine‘s cat. See

August 13, 2003

My wild, retro side

Filed under: Uncategorized — Muli Ben-Yehuda @ 1:34 PM

I woke on the wild side this morning, and instead of wearing snickers to work, I wore sandals. With socks. Am I wild or am I wild? No disparaging comments heard so far, but I’m prepared with a suitable response anyway: “hey, if it’s good enough for Linus , it’s good enough for me!”

On the retro side, I’m listening to nyh’s mp3s now. So many songs that bring back memories, of dark hallways and smoke filled clubs, of quiet, sun-lit afternoons and starless nights, of adventures long gone. Here’s to nyh and a trip down memory lane!

August 12, 2003

Appartment Hunt / Algorithmics

Filed under: Uncategorized — Muli Ben-Yehuda @ 10:19 PM

Started the appartment hunt today, by calling random numbers I picked up from the bulletic board in the Open University. Not very promising, only one of the appartments sounds interesting, and I’ll be checking that one out tomorrow evening.

Today’s lesson in algorithmics dealt with parallel algorithms. We talked about parallel algorithmis for matrix multiplication for most of the lesson, with many interesting disgressions to anything from clusters, distributed systems and Knuth, and about parallel sorting algorithms for the rest. Interesting material, but my attention kept wandering. Next week is probabilistic algorithms, and then crypto, and then the semester is over, test (*gulp*) and the next semester starts.

I’m drinking some of the courvoisier I bought on the way to Canada now, and pondering what to hack on now. I’m in a lispish kind of mood.

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