Muli Ben-Yehuda's journal

January 15, 2004

Filed under: Uncategorized — Muli Ben-Yehuda @ 11:14 AM

Adi Shamir, the S in RSA, will be giving a colloquium talk at the Technion today. Unfortunately, I don’t think I’ll attend. Around 0700 AM I fell asleep after tonight’s hacking session, and only woke up now. The office awaits…

Filed under: Uncategorized — Muli Ben-Yehuda @ 6:30 AM

Looking into pci bridge scanning for wlix. If I read linooks driver/pci/probe.c correctly, it’s actually the OS that gives the bridge its “PCI device number” that is later used to access it?! That means I need to either choose arbitrary numbers for the scanning (but I don’t know what sort of restrictions exist on them…) or emulate what linooks does, which requires a lot more effort. Hmpf. More probing required.

Filed under: Uncategorized — Muli Ben-Yehuda @ 4:48 AM
muli@alhambra:~$ uname -a 
Linux alhambra 2.4.19-ac1 #5 Wed Feb 5 17:40:47 IST 2003 i686 GNU/Linux

Time for a kernel upgrade on that one, me’thinks.

January 12, 2004

gby talk at Telux on Embedded Linux

Filed under: Uncategorized — Muli Ben-Yehuda @ 3:30 AM

I left work early today, around 1630 or so and went to hear gby talk about Embedded Linux at Telux. The talk was excellent, gby being his highly entertaining self, as usual. I heard previous incarnations of this talk in the past, at August Penguin I and elsewhere, but was still glad I decided to come. The talk was a bit too short, though, lasting only 50 minutes. The slides were extremely pretty, in Hebrew with the Codefidence logo featured prominently.

I missed the first 15 minutes of the talk, due to having to find something to eat or risking fainting. Being a slave to your stomach sucks. When I came into the classroom, gby was talking about how to do safe firmware and configuration updates, where safe is defined as being atomic – if a power failure happens at any given moment, you either get the old firmware/configuration or the new firmware/configuration, nothing else (bottom line is prepare everything and then use rename(2), which has an atomicity guarantee). Then he talked about the necessity of being able to reproduce exactly how you built the system, what configuration files you used, etc. This isn’t specific to embedded systems, of course, it’s correct software engineering regardless of the platform.

Then gby went on to talk about uClibc as a possible glibc replacement, busybox for your application needs, and even a tiny X server, Kdrive. He also showed a “slot server”, which is a complete PC on a single PCI card. Neat toy, I wish I had one to play with. Think of running a virtual machine running completely on its own CPU…

After the talk, a bunch of us went to a nearby pub. I drank a half of Guinness, which was surprisingly tasty (I’m not much of a beer connoisseur). In attendance were gby, Shachar, Doron and Ori Idan (I think…). We swapped war stories, talked about the state of the industry and the state of Microsoft in particular, and much fun was had. The story of how I got a bug report from MS research was quite well received 馃檪

While we were talking, I asked gby where I might get a “slot server” card and if the specs were available. Turns out that he doesn’t need his, and he loaned it to me to play with! Yay for cool new toys! Now I just need to find specs for it, and then get it to run Linux 馃槈

January 7, 2004

Introduction to Writing Linux Device Drivers

Filed under: Uncategorized — Muli Ben-Yehuda @ 3:23 PM

I just agreed to give a talk on Writing Linux Device Drivers to students of the Technion’s CS faculty’s OS course. It will be on Wednesday, January 28th, 1030-1230, and you are all invited. If I have to give a talk, I must as well have a friendly audience 馃槈

I’m not sure what exactly I’ll talk about, yet. My current thinking is to hack the trident sound driver live on stage. Break it in subtle but interesting ways before the talk, and then fix it on stage, explaining the concepts as I go along. Recommendations on which song to play when it finally works will be gladly entertained.

A few days before, on Sunday January 25th, 1430-1630, a guy from MS will give a talk on writing Windows device drivers. I’ll be there, mostly because I’m curious, and partly because I’m curious how he’ll sell writing drivers without access to the code.

January 6, 2004

Filed under: Uncategorized — Muli Ben-Yehuda @ 9:59 PM

This entry will be disjointed. You have been warned. I stare at this empty xemacs buffer and an insane urge to fill it with words fills me. So many words that they spill over the brim. A brain dump, if you will. ./braindup -l (work joke, not funny, ha ha). Go on reading at your own peril.

The hard disk on my faithful work laptop hydra died. A new hard disk was requested and received. The system team installed a customized Fedora on it (based on FC1, I think). So far, I like it. With caveats. Old habits die hard. I’m still customizing things and setting them up the way I like them, where possible, or finding new things to like, where impossible. gnome with metacity won’t let me drag windows to other desktops! *scoff*.

Projects and funding for next year are still very much in flux at work and nothing is decided. Things should be converging towards the end of the month. Keep your fingers crossed for my research proposal getting funded. Then I will work on Cool Kernel Stuff(TM). Alternatively, keep your fingers crossed for me migrating over to The Other Project. Then I will work on Cool Kernel Stuff(TM as well. Anything (well, not really) will be better than the current mildly-interesting-but-no-kernel-hacking-required project.

A guy I knew in the army, N.A., interviewed here today. We spent some time talking. It’s funny, the more things change, the more they stay the same. He was wearing a lovely suit. I wish I wore suits to work.

Amir is hacking on syscalltrack’s FreeBSD port, and I want to help him with the Linux bits, but not finding the time. There’s also the shpte code that’s still waiting for a de-bugging. Maybe tonight? maybe. After I finish testing trident in -mm1-rc1. Maybe also give -tiny a spin? there’s an old 486 comatose under the second desk that would love a tiny penguin invasion.

The other day, in a bind to fix a bug quickly in someone else’s code that was building a char* array and passing that to vprintf and friends as a va_list, I wrote this gem:

January 5, 2004

Filed under: Uncategorized — Muli Ben-Yehuda @ 1:06 AM

Tomorrow we make the second delivery on our project. Against all odds, we’re actually going to deliver the required functionality, on time. Around 2130, all of the pieces worked together for the first time. Around 2330, I went home since my eyes were getting bleary and I had trouble focusing on the screen. Now I am so tired I can barely type. The rest of today’s happenings will have to wait for tomorrow. Sleep well, gentle reader!

Gilad Ben-Yossef meet RSS. RSS, meet Gilad Ben-Yossef.

Filed under: Uncategorized — Muli Ben-Yehuda @ 1:00 AM

Gilad Ben-Yossef is a funny guy, free software hacker and a friend, not necessarily in this order. His blog is now syndicated as gby. He doesn’t update too often, but when he does, it’s usually a pleasure to read. Maybe he’ll take this as a hint to update more often 馃槈

January 4, 2004

Filed under: Uncategorized — Muli Ben-Yehuda @ 9:52 AM

Someone wrote an article on using syscalltrack!

This coupled with the latest interest in syscalltrack on lkml and Amir’s port to FreeBSD makes me want to get back to hacking on it…

edit: I am sorry, forgot to give credit where credit is due: Thanks ideawerkz for letting me know!

January 3, 2004

next book purchase?

Filed under: Uncategorized — Muli Ben-Yehuda @ 8:34 PM

Hackers and Painters, by Paul Graham.


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