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Stu's Diary - January 2000


  • 31st January 2000
  • 30th January 2000
  • 29th January 2000
  • 27th January 2000
  • 26th January 2000
  • 25th January 2000
  • 24th January 2000
  • 22nd January 2000
  • 19th January 2000
  • 18th January 2000
  • 17th January 2000

31st January 2000

Day 1 of writing up the survey results.  Not much code cut at all.

30th January 2000

More work on the configuration code.  I'd gotten most of it to work when I realised that there was a problem with handing --enable-X and --disable-X type parameters :(  Spent the evening picking at the code, but it all sort of fizzled out in the end.

29th January 2000

Today was a day of house hunting, time warps (somehow lost an entire hour inside a book store - oops ;-) and an evening in the pub with friends.

27th January 2000

The fog lifted this morning when I wasn't looking.  It was definitely there half an hour ago!  I wonder if it's hiding round the corner, and will jump out at me this evening when I head off for T'ai Chi? ;-)

Well, I did plan on taking the day off (this guitar amp has a lot of knobs to twiddle with ;-) but I seem to be on a roll with GNQS and (even worse) bitten by the hacking bug.  I wonder if I can knock up a 'configure' replacement today?

I had great fun late last night.  What started as a RPM update fest turned into a kernel upgrade fest.  I moved to 2.2.14 (yes! sound support for my laptop at last!), and added in the software suspend patch.  It doesn't like PCMCIA, but if you suspend the network card (using cardctl) before you suspend the machine, it works fine.  Even works with X11.  I can't stress how neat this feature is, especially if you own a PC that doesn't suspend properly under Linux (like my laptop!).

And it's time to recommend another CD.  Kristi bought me T'ai Chi, by Sunrise for my birthday.  It's certainly nice to play T'ai Chi whilst listening to the CD, but this CD is well worth listening to on its own.

26th January 2000

Did I ever mention that I hate job hunting?

Anyway, today has been divided between more work on the new installation software for GNQS in the morning, and playing with my new guitar amp this afternoon.

I haven't owned a guitar amp in years.  Main reason for getting one is that I've given up on using speaker simulators for recording with.  The sound quality just isn't there - the speaker simulators simply do not emulate speakers very well, unless you're willing to risk a major investment in kit.  It's much easier just to mike up the amp instead.

Picking it up was fun too.  We've had plenty of fog down here this week, only today the fog didn't lift once.  If anything, it got worse today.  Reminds me of when I was a kid, when it got foggy we'd all rush down to the Town Moor (big open space where the fog would always be thicker).

On the GNQS front, I've finished writing the makefiles.  All I need to do now is add in the configuration support, and theoretically GNQS_Devel will compile once again.  Oh, and I must check this lot into Perforce!

25th January 2000

Unless the job agency ring me back, today is dedicated to studying the "jobs stuck in arriving state" bug.

This bug seems to occur only when a job is routed from the scheduler back to the machine it originally came from.  And, to make matters worse, it doesn't happen all the time.  This leads me to suspect that what happens is that the scheduler turns the job around and sends it back faster than the original machine can cope with.

Update: yup, that's the cause alright.  I've updated pipeclient to release its resources sooner, to make this problem unlikely to happen.  Unfortunately, it will take a complete rewrite of the IPC code (and probably an update to the networking code too) to prevent this problem happening in the future.

24th January 2000

Bit of a mixture today.  Time was divided between job hunting during the day, and finishing off the Makefiles for GNQS_Devel in the evening.

22nd January 2000

No GNQS work today.  My birthday tomorrow, so I'm taking the weekend off!

19th January 2000

Still away in Sheffield.  I'll be back this evening, but I don't know if I'll be able to work on GNQS at all.

18th January 2000

I'm off back to Sheffield, visiting my friends and colleagues at the University.  I'll have my laptop with me, but I don't know if I'll get the chance to work on GNQS at all.

17th January 2000

Okay, that's the Christmas break over and done with.

If anyone is wondering where I've been for the last couple of weeks, I've been busy on the day job.  I had to do an audit of one of my companies, and the results suggested that a change of direction was required.  So I've been busy working on non-code matters, tearing my hair out, and looking around for a job.

Anyway, on the GNQS front, I put out a new user survey today - our first full survey for years.  Already had 25 responses - about 10% - back by 6pm.  Not too bad at all.  Some very interesting comments so far - my favourite is the one about the coffee machine ;-)

I'm currently catching up with the changes Michael and Roman have kindly made to GNQS over the last few weeks, and then it's back into the fray.


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