Muli Ben-Yehuda's journal

July 31, 2004

OLS 2004 BLOG: Tucson, tucson, tucson – once is enough!

Filed under: Uncategorized — Muli Ben-Yehuda @ 11:08 PM

Once OLS was over, Orna flew home and I flew to Tucson, for a week of exciting (not!) work at the IBM facility here. Thankfully, it’s now Saturday night, the week is over, and tomorrow I fly home.

The week passed fairly quickly, breakfast -> work -> dinner -> sleep. I missed Orna terribly. Today we had a day off, and I went shopping. I hope my poor suitcase will not burst at the seams.

This was actually my first business trip, if you don’t count OLS last year. I think I can safely say that once is enough.

OLS 2004 BLOG: Best and Worst of OLS Wrapup

Filed under: Uncategorized — Muli Ben-Yehuda @ 11:04 PM

I started writing a few words about each talk we went to, but decided that since my memory sucks and my notes are intelligible, I’ll just talk about some of the great moments. ladypine and me will be giving talks at Haifux, Telux and our respective work places on the more interesting talks we went to, and will post our notes and slides online once we type them up.

The best thing about this OLS for me, I think, was that I overcame my shyness and actually talked to people. I talked to lots and lots of folks, going as far as skipping some talks to sit outside and talk to people.

The worst thing about this OLS was the network. No net access in our hotel room (one wireless network visible while sitting on the bottom right end of the bed, but no access to it), spotty wireless in the conference halls, and it took me a couple of days to get over the network-withdrawal.

The best talk I heard was James Bottomley’s Unmapping the Page Cache talk, which was mindblowing. In short, no pages except those actually in use are mapped into the kernel’s virtual address space. I will be taking a good look at the paper and implementation (if it’s available?), as it’s just such a cool hack.

The worst talk shall not be disclosed here (no reason to insult the speakers, I’m sure everyone did their best), but there were several talks where the time could’ve been better spent just reading the paper.

The best BOF was without a doubt the impromptu virtualization BOF at the Elephant and Castle Pub. Very interesting discussion on what Linux could do to support virtualization better, with people from IBM, VMWare, Xen, coLinux and others.

Best party was the party the Black Thorn. Unlike last year, I sat and talked with people all evening long. I also had 3 beers, which is quite a lot for me. I wonder if there’s a correlation…

Worst party was probably the LinuxChix BOF, which was fun in and off itself, but took place in a HOT, LOUD milkshake-bar. I would’ve said the opening night reception (which everyone told us sucked…) but we missed that.

Most “interesting” moment was the CAPP/EAL3 talk, where I discovered that SUSE reimplemented large parts of syscalltrack for their kernel audit mechanism. Even though I haven’t worked on syscalltrack in a long time, hearing this was not pleasant. I can’t help thinking that maybe if we’d have done things differently, syscalltrack in some incarnation would be in the vanilla kernel now…

In summary – OLS 2004 rocked hard. I’m sure 2005 will rock just as hard, and we’ll be there.

OLS 2004 BLOG – day 6, The Excitement Mounts Before OLS

Filed under: Uncategorized — Muli Ben-Yehuda @ 10:44 PM

On Tuesday, we woke up far too early. We were at the airport at 6 AM
or some such, three hours before our flight. As could be expected, we
made it to the gate area in 20 minutes, and then spent a few hours
waiting for our flight. The flight was uneventful, half business
people, half OLS folks. It was pretty easy to tell who belongs to what
group – both groups had distinct dress codes. We met Orran Krieger,
whose work I’ve been admiring for a long time (even since I’ve heard
of K42, to be specific).

entrance to Hart Nautical Gallery



At Ottawa we checked in to Les Suites, and went out to buy some food
for the up coming week. We met Gilad, Limor and Dan Aloni, and went
for a walk on the river with them. In the evening we all had Mexican
for dinner at the Mexican restaurant I remembered so fondly from last
year. I got a birthday penguin, too!

entrance to Hart Nautical Gallery


Tomorrow – OLS begins!

OLS 2004 BLOG – day 5, Books-a-plenty

Filed under: Uncategorized — Muli Ben-Yehuda @ 10:21 PM

Monday, our last day in Boston. The first thing we noticed as we
stepped out of the hotel was the weather. Clouds, occasional drizzle,
relatively cold – this is what Boston weather should look like! Not
those hot sunny summer days we’ve had since we’ve got here.

We started the morning at “Filene’s Basement”, a Boston
institute. Orna bought tons of dresses, and even got one for
free. We spent a long time there, and I slowly lost my mind as Orna
tried on dress after dress after dress. But hey, whatever makes my
sweetie happy!

From Filene’s Basemen we went to another Boston institution, the
Brattle Bookshop, where we bought lots and lots of goodies. I don’t
remember what Orna bought, but I bought Feynman’s QED
and Flags
of Our Fathers

Then we went looking for FAO Schwartz, the famous bear and toy
store. We found the bear, but the store has apparently closed down
some time ago. Orna was not pleased.




We had lunch at a pretty nice place that serves salads, soups and
ready made sandwiches among a business crowd. Then we went to see
Trinity Church’s glass windows, but it was closed for renovations.

We headed back to the hotel to get rid of the books we were carrying,
and then when on a book shop tour of Cambridge’s book shops.

First, I wanted to see if we could find the FSF’s offices. Turns out
that it wasn’t far from our hotel. We went there, and couldn’t find
it. When we got back to the hotel, I checked and it turned out that
the FSF is located at a street with the same name – in Boston, not

First we went to Quantum Books, where I bought Minsky’s Society of
the Mind
and Neal Stephenson’s latest, The
. Then we went to the MIT Coop, where I really lost it. I
bought Gray’s Anatomy,
Feynman’s Lectures
on Physics
, Stephen King’s newest, Song
of Susannah
, and probably some others I can’t recall right now. It
was insane. It was great.



From the MIT Coop, we headed toward the Charles river, and eventually
made it to the place that was arguably the main reason we came to
Boston – the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, cradle of


me at MIT

statue at MIT

We walked around MIT a bit, taking in the atmosphere, and then went to
visit Hart’s Nautical Gallery.

entrance to Hart Nautical Gallery



On the way to the hotel, we passed by the MIT Museum that was
unfortunately closed. We weren’t too disappointed – together with the
Boston Tea Party Ship, they provide ample reasons to visit Boston
again one day 😉

Dinner was had at Sidney’s, the Hotel@MIT restaurant, which was
great. Afterward, we discovered we had a drugstore inside the hotel,
did some necessary shopping, and went to sleep. Tomorrow – OLS!

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