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You know it’s time to go to sleep…

…when you try to throw your dirty clothes in the trash instead of the hamper. Something along the lines of putting the milk back in the cupboard instead of the fridge (which, unfortunately, I’ve done too.) It’s time again for a wide-ranging update on what I’ve been up to.

Research is not letting up. After ISCA madness concludes next week, we’re getting a real file server instead of using my advisor’s workstation for the task, perhaps resulting in the disappearance of the random NFS problems we’ve been seeing! Workstation upgrades are also in the pipe, not that the 2.4 GHz P4 on my desk is all that slow. It sure beats the memory- and disk-starved ~250 MHz SGI O2s and Sun Ultra 30/60s we had at my previous lab. I use my PowerBook most of the time anyway, but since the cluster we’re supposed to use is so flaky, I’ve set up Condor on our research machines and the ACM Linux boxes, and the extra speed will be worth it. Condor works remarkably well overall, though we’ve seen some mysterious I/O slowness/corruption recently.

At work, I’m back to having a decent machine—set up a nice new 3 GHz P4 yesterday—but still have loads of stuff to finish for a presentation the MSP is giving to graduate departments next Thursday.

ACM admin stuff? Good news: we’re getting a bunch of old-but-decent 2U Intel servers donated next week, so we can stop using workstations as servers (e.g. clortho, wilbur, afs2, afs3). Bad news: the soda machine died and the Assabet board we want to use as a replacement for the surplus PC is resisting all our attempts to put modern Linux kernels on it. Other: we’re working on getting the videos from the conference talks posted to the Web; they were recorded/encoded in Windows Media format at various bitrates and definitely need some editing. Need to figure out some way to transcode into something QuickTime can read, so we can get them into Final Cut Pro.

Then there’s planning for my trip to Australia next month, and a ton of personal and family issues. I’m very excited that my parents are driving over from Boston for Thanksgiving, since it doesn’t seem like I’ll be able to get away, and they might even bring a sofa with them.

The shoulder strap on my bag broke this week, beyond repair. I love the bag, but the strap hooks are just horribly designed—the clips fell off the first week, and the rest of the thing is brittle plastic which gave up the ghost after two years. My previous bag had metal hooks, which took over four years to break in the same place.

The kernel panics I get during backups of my PowerBook haven’t stopped with 10.3.6. They sure look filesystem-related…

0x1da580 <hfs_clearlock+368>:   0x7c7f1b79
0x1ef6c8 <MacToVFSError+23396>: 0x4800000c
0x20b940 <closef+180>:  0x7fe3fb78
0x2463c4 <unix_syscall+580>:    0x801e00a4

Last but not least, I bought a bike a few months ago, and it’s totally changed my week. No longer am I beholden to the bus schedules, and I get exercise and a built-in cool-off period when I’m coming back from exercising. Yet another of those “why didn’t I do it five years ago?” things.

And now it really is time for sleep… I’ll try to post the aforementioned hiptop2 review, and some neat hacks I’ve written recently, next time. *yawn*

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