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Stu's Diary - February 2000


  • 22nd February 2000
  • 15th February 2000
  • 11th February 2000
  • 8th February 2000
  • 7th February 2000
  • 6th February 2000
  • 3rd February 2000
  • 1st February 2000

Tuesday, 22nd February 2000

Well, it's been a hectic week all round.

The review daemon has gone - it kept on sending out details of old changes, driving people off the mailing list.  A few won't be missed, to be honest, but most of the people lost have played a big role in influencing my work (even if they don't realise it themselves).

The first part of the new Generic Setup code has been completed.  In GNQS_Devel, you can now use './configure' just as if we are using GNU autoconf.  Unfortunately, making GNQS_Devel compile once again is a large task - one that might take a month or two to complete.

The old SETUP software has also gone from GNQS_Devel.

We've had independent confirmation from a number of sites that the 'job stuck in arriving state' bug is definitely fixed, as are the weird signal problems that plagued DEC Alpha users.  I'm currently putting together a list of other things to do before v3.50.9 goes out the door.

I have two job interviews next week (at last!), and I'm also talking to a few other people about other options.

Tuesday, 15th February 2000

Yesterday, I set up the Perforce Review daemon.  It sends emails to NQS-Developers whenever a change is made to either source tree.  It spent most of yesterday catching up by mailing out the 125 changes that have already gone into the two trees.  This unfortunately led to a few people unsubscribing from NQS-Developers, including a couple of people who's input has been very important in the past :(  I hope they come back, but the Review daemon is a necessary evil.  Next time - I'll warn people first!

The changes that I made late Thursday night and on Friday morning so far appear to have finally nailed the 'jobs stuck in arriving state' bug.  However, v3.50.8 has only just gone out the door - another release so soon is going to be too soon.  Besides, I want to look at optimising the main loop in GNQS, and tidying up some of the smaller problems.

Rest of this week is going to be spent mainly working on a different project.

Friday, 11th February 2000

I will be having visitors.  No chance of GNQS at all over this weekend.

Thursday, 10th February 2000

Spent the morning deleting all the dead email addresses from the NQS mailing lists.  Ho hum, what fun.  It still amazes me how much of a problem this is.

The afternoon was spent house-hunting, and then T'ai Chi.  I haven't played any T'ai Chi this week (looks guilty) so tonight is going to be even harder work than normal!

Wednesday, 9th February 2000

Released GNQS v3.50.8.  Posted announcements to Linux Weekly News and Freshmeat.

Tuesday, 8th February 2000

Plans for today are to finish installing my Linux development environment onto the new box, talk to a few more agencies, and then put together a patch for the security hole.  If the patch works, I might even release v3.50.8 tonight.
Okay, the patch is done, and it works.  I'm just going to hold off releasing v3.50.8 for 24 hours in case Michael or Roman have work in progress that I'll be interrupting.

Monday, 7th February 2000

A day dedicated to job hunting.  Spent the morning in town talking to recruitment agents.  It's quite nice to be told that I've priced myself too cheaply in the market ;-)  A shame that they dismiss the GNQS work as unimportant; and the UK wonders why it's no longer a major player in computing.

Found lots more agents this afternoon - guess what I'm doing tomorrow morning :(

Managed to get distracted.  I've been building up a new desktop machine to become my main Linux development box.  Working 30 hours plus every week on the laptop has become quite uncomfortable.  Salvaged a motherboard from one friend's dead machine, salvaged a supposedly dodgy disk from another friend's machine, wired them up properly ;-), patched the Linux kernel, and hey presto.

It's quite ironic really.  The new machine is made up of parts from the latest incarnation of  Myrddraal was the first Linux box we built for GNQS work, back in Spring 1995, and until this evening it still had one original part left - the ISA network card.  Depending on how things go over the coming months, myrddraal may well be the last machine I do GNQS work on.

I'd better explain.

I'm currently looking for work.  That work will either be in a UK firm, or (just hopefully) for a Linux company.  The UK firm will probably force me to sign a contract that prevents me legally working on projects like GNQS anymore (an unfortunately common state of affairs over here these days).  The Linux company will dominate my time completely (I'll be managerial as well as technical), leaving little time for GNQS.  Still, I'm sure it'll be possible to work something out.  We're just starting to get things rolling forward with GNQS; I'd hate to have to leave the project.

Sunday, 6th February 2000

This should have been the day I did the great source tree shuffle.  Unfortunately, I spent the morning in the garden loading up a skip, and the afternoon looking into a serious security hole with Generic NQS.

Thursday, 3rd February 2000

I will be having visitors.  No chance of any work on GNQS today, tomorrow, or Saturday.

Tuesday, 1st February 2000

Can't believe it's February already.  Where did January go?

Checked in the configuration stuff, even though it doesn't work yet.  That's not strictly true.  What's there, works.  What isn't there will prevent GNQS from compiling.

Spent the rest of the day working on a document for a commercial project I'm involved in.  I get to make a phone call to someone in the States next week, and that might determine whether I can get the commercial project off the ground or not.  I'll be kept very busy with this project over the next few days.

I also found out today that, at some point this week, I'll have two telephone interviews with Motorola.  One is definitely on Friday, the other I don't yet know about.

Spent the evening setting up Bugzilla.  Urgh.  I wonder if anyone will pay me to write  a nice replacement for it?  Anyway, it's up and available for testing at  


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