Muli Ben-Yehuda's journal

September 22, 2003

A grad-student emotion check-list

Filed under: Uncategorized — Muli Ben-Yehuda @ 1:41 PM

A grad-student emotion check-list.

From philg’s excellent site.

Quiet evening at home

Filed under: Uncategorized — Muli Ben-Yehuda @ 9:29 AM

Yesterday evening was a blissful evening, calm, serene and productive. It was the first evening in a long time where both ladypine and I were at home, there was nothing urgent to do, no boxes to unpack and no crises to handle. We talked, I studied, worked on shpte a bit after a long hiatus, and ladypine edited the Whatsup interview[0]. Then we went to bed, and eventually, fell asleep[1]. May all evenings be like this!

[0] Watch this space and whatsup (hebrew) for updates.

[1] We fell asleep laughing, because the cat bit us because we were making too much noise. At exactly the wrong moments. Which moments are left as an exercise to the reader…

September 21, 2003

Weekend is for sleeping

Filed under: Uncategorized — Muli Ben-Yehuda @ 11:26 AM

This was a great weekend, modulu a few bumps. On Thursday night, we attended Gilad and Limor’s wedding, on the seashore near Havazellet. It’s a beautiful location, as befitting such a beautiful wedding. Gilad was highly excited, and Limor glowed with happiness. Orna and I mostly chatted Marc Volovic, Shachar Shemesh and Barequet and her boyfriend. The food was great, Marc was entertaining as usual, and much fun was had by all. We got home around 1 AM and crashed.

The next morning I woke up at 6:30 AM, threw myself into the shower to have a hope in hell of waking up, and headed to my first Infi lesson. The lesson wasn’t half as bad as I expected, but neither was it half as good as I’d hoped. It was stimulating, though, and I managed to stay awake and solve most of the problems, so I’ll call that a success.

I spent the rest of the weekend alternately sleeping and reading my AI in Lisp book. I read about the general problem solver and Eliza, stopping frequently to run the code snippets in my mind. I feel that my grasp of lisp has improved ten fold since I started reading this book, so thanks, Oleg! I keep having these crazy ideas about implementing the kernel’s VM / scheduling algorithms in lisp… More about that in anothe entry.

So, how was your weekend, gentle reader?

September 20, 2003

SCA Israel

Filed under: Uncategorized — Muli Ben-Yehuda @ 12:40 PM

A few brave souls are trying to set up an Israeli chapter of the SCA. The first SCAIsrael meeting will take place this Tuesday, in Jerusalem. I don’t know if I’ll be able to make it (not likely, considering it’s at 1800 and I live and work in Haifa), but I’m definitely interested.

September 17, 2003

Finding time to blog is hard to do

Filed under: Uncategorized — Muli Ben-Yehuda @ 1:20 PM

Still recuperating from the apartment move from hell (which wasn’t all that bad, objectively, but awfully tiring). Our programs will continue shortly.

September 10, 2003

Status update

Filed under: Uncategorized — Muli Ben-Yehuda @ 11:48 AM

Just a short note to let y’all know that ladypine and me moved apartments yesterday, to 13 Yocheved Street, Haifa. My phone number remains the same. Moving went fine (a few broken plates, but they were ugly anyway, so we’re cool) and we’re tired but OK. There’s still a mountain of boxes in the living room waiting to be unpacked, but they provide a playground for the cat, so that’s fine too.

No net connection at home yet, so updates will be sporadic for the next few days. Cheers!

September 6, 2003

packing up is hard to do

Filed under: Uncategorized — Muli Ben-Yehuda @ 5:55 PM

On Friday, we spent the morning packing up ladypine‘s apartment, and mostly rubbing against each other the wrong way. Not fun. We took a welcome break for lunch at Pasto with Gilad and Limor, who are getting married!. Lunch was loads of fun, and afterwards we went by the new apartment and threw away the furniture that needed throwing, including a huge bed. I thought I could get away from lugging heavy furniture, since we’re paying a professional moving company a sizable chunk of our hard earned money, but it was not meant to be. I made on the order of ten trips up and down three flights of stairs, carrying assorted furniture, some with ladypine‘s help and some alone. Eventually, we were all done and came back to my place and collapsed. In the evening we started packing up my place, and eventually Orna fell asleep and I studied a little and read a lot of Harry Potter. Finished it, too. Book review coming up eventually.

Today we took apart Orna’s bedroom and huge wall closet in the morning. Luckily her father helped us, and it only took three hours…

Now I’m taking a break from packing up my apartment. I have so many books, and so many cloths I never wear. I should be taking this opportunity to throw away anything I don’t need, but it’s easier to just dump it all into boxes and sort it out in the new place. “Remember, kids, after a while, the things you own end up owning you”

premature optimization is the root of all evil

Filed under: Uncategorized — Muli Ben-Yehuda @ 4:31 PM

I’m taking a short break from packing and alterntating between marvelling at some of the crap I’ve managed to accumulate and the lost treasures I’m rediscovering.

On Thursday night I came home from work and studied, goofed off on IRC, and read lkml and the fifth Potter book. Reading lkml, I saw Linus saying that mprotect is mixing up PROT_XXX and VM_XXX flags, and would someone please fix it? Jamie Lokier and me ended up each writing a patch to fix it. Jamie’s patch was cleaner, but contained this “gem”:

 +/* Optimisation macro. */ 
+#define _calc_vm_trans(x,bit1,bit2) \ 
+  ((bit1) <= (bit2) ? ((x) & (bit1)) * ((bit2) / (bit1)) \ 
+   : ((x) & (bit1)) / ((bit1) / (bit2))) 

In the likely case you’re now scratching your head, here’s my version:

+/* check if bit1 is on in 'in'. If it is, return bit2 
+ * this is used for transltating from one bit field domain to another, 
+ * e.g. PROT_XXX to VM_XXX + */ 
+static unsigned long trans_bit(unsigned long in, unsigned long bit1, 
+		             unsigned long bit2) 
+        if (bit1 == bit2) 
+                return (in & bit1); 
+        return  (in & bit1) ? bit2 : 0; 

I flamed Jamie gently, asking if he really thought that shaving a couple of instructions is worth the many programmer cycles this “optimization” will cost. I guess he did, because he never replied. I also guess Linus agrees, because he commited it. Furrfu. I’ll send a patch to add a bit of documentation in a day or two, if no one will beat me to it.

September 4, 2003

CFP: Second Workshop on Systems and Storage Technology

Filed under: Uncategorized — Muli Ben-Yehuda @ 6:05 PM


Second Workshop on Systems and Storage Technology November 24, 2003 Organized by the IBM Research Lab in Haifa

You are cordially invited to participate in a one-day workshop on Systems and Storage Technology, to be held on Monday, November 24, 2003 at the IBM Research Lab in Haifa, located on the Haifa University campus, Mount Carmel, Haifa, Israel.

This full-day workshop will provide a forum for the research and development communities from both academia and industry to share their work, exchange ideas, and discuss issues, problems, and work-in-progress, as well as future research directions and trends.

The workshop will focus on the following major challenges in the field of systems and storage technologies:

Business Continuity: As organizations become increasingly dependent on a continuous flow of information across distributed, heterogeneous environments, disruptions to that flow become more and more intolerable. Minimizing data loss, rapid recovery to a consistent state, and reduction in security risks are essential for preserving business continuity.

Grid Computing: Grid computing enables the virtualization of distributed computing and data resources, such as processing, network bandwidth, and storage capacity to create a single system image, granting users and applications seamless access to vast IT capabilities. Grid computing keeps complexity hidden, brings computing resources together, and enables virtualization of computing resources.

Autonomic Computing and Advanced Systems Management: In an increasingly complex and heterogeneous IT environment, management of computing systems becomes more complex, more expensive, and requires increasingly specialized personnel. The autonomic computing model introduces computing systems that are self-managing, self-healing, self-organized, resilient, responsive, efficient, and secure.

The workshop will cover new storage systems as well as advanced systems technologies.

Topics of interest include, but are not limited to:

Business Continuity * High availability and scalability * End-to-end availability and quality of service * Data replication and copy services * Disaster recovery * Data security and integrity

Grid Computing * Grid services, standards and frameworks (OGSA, grid as on-demand platform, programming models) * Grid infrastructure (e.g., storage, security, policy, scheduling) * Grid business (economic models, grid vs. .net/WS/CORBA) * Data and storage grids

Autonomic Computing and Advanced Systems Management * Integrated server, network and storage management * Problem determination and resolution * Resource and operation modeling * Self-management * Self-healing

New Storage Systems Technologies * Object storage * Novel data access models * Reference data and persistence archive * iSCSI technologies

The workshop will take place in the auditorium (room L100) of the IBM Research Lab in Haifa. A detailed agenda and participation information will be distributed at a later date.

Please feel free to further distribute this invitation to students and fellow researchers/developers.

Important dates: October 25, 2003: Abstracts due November 10, 2003: Notification of paper acceptance November 24, 2003: Workshop gathering and presentations (Monday)

What to submit Please send an abstract describing your work, up to one page in 11pt font, in either DOC or PDF format.

Where to submit Send your submission to moatti (at) or naamah (at)

When to submit Please send your submission before October 25, 2003.

Workshop Organizers: Naama Kraus Yosef Moatti

LJ catchup

Filed under: Uncategorized — Muli Ben-Yehuda @ 5:41 PM

Lots of stuff happened last week, but I wasn’t in a journaling kind of mood. This is quick summary before it all goes away to old memories graveyard.

So what did I do? I played a little with assembly, writing toy programs that did silly things like executing read and write system calls. Mostly I did it to get a feel for the assemblers available on Linux. I tried nasm, and then gas, and I think I’ll use gas from now on. Being standard is a big incentive for me to use it. Now I’m looking for something fun to write that makes sense to be written in assembly. Suggestions?

To counter the evil asm mojo, I also played a lot with emacs lisp, including the emacs battery mode mentioned here earlier. I amused myself with implementing the basic lisp constructs, such as ‘if’, using lisp. All hail “eval”!

Last weekend, I started studying for the classes I’m taking next semester, at least partly because it’s relatively guilt-free structured procrastination from studying for the Algorithmics test I have next week. I’m taking Infi 1, Mathematical Logic (yay!), Compilation and Algorithms, and I read the first chapter in all of them.

Also last weekend, I was sick as a dog with some virus (no, not SoBig.F). Usually when I’m sick, I just grunt and suffer, refusing to take medication unless I’m about to croak. This time I listened to ladypine‘s sage advice and took something to calm my flaming sinuses that made being sick relatively painless. On Sunday morning I went to the doctor’s office, where the nice doctor told me that I have a virus and I’ll get over it, and returned home to find most of the apartment completely flooded with water. After swimming in, I quickly located the source of the incredible amounts of water sloshing past me: a short tube connecting the toilet’s water tank to the wall burst open and happily sprayed half of the country’s water supply into the apartment. It flooded the rest room, the work room and my room, apparently the lowest points in the apartment. How did it happen, and whether or not this is related to the work the landlord’s handyman did in close proximity to said tube a couple of days earlier remains a mystery. I would’ve been a lot more pissed off than I was, except that save for the two or so hours I slaved to drain the water and a couple of wet books, there was no harm done. The computers are all fine. I Can’t wait until next Tuesday when we move to the new apartment!

On Monday, we had a Haifux meeting. Oleg spoke about “Pseudo, Quasi and Real Random Numbers” and gave a great talk. Unfortunately for me, I was still sick and having a hard time concentrating, especially when he started talking about Chi Square tests and Kolmogorov-Smirnov Tests. I need to take an advanced probability class, me’thinks. I don’t feel I know nearly enough probability. Then again, I can say the same thing about nearly anything at all. Oleg’s slides are available on and will show up on haifux soonish.

That’s it for now. Plans for this weekend include studying Algorithmics and packing house. What I’ll end up doing is open for guessing, but “procrastinating” seems to be a safe bet…

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