First weekend

I arrived without too much incident. Fantastic to see Susanna again. Very surreal but things are going great.

London is insane. So immense, busy and chaotic. I sometimes think the whole place is hurtling out of control, just barely making it from day to day. Everything works, but only just.

I swear that over 50% of the population of London aren't native English speakers. You hear foreign languages and accents everywhere. Even the people who are native to England can be mistaken for speaking another language due to the strong accents. Kinda fun and very different to home.

We spent much the weekend looking for a new place to live. Only looked at about 5 places before signing up to a nice studio in Putney. It's big for a studio but still small. New carpet and furniture, separate kitchen and bathroom. Should be much roomier than our current arrangments. The upfront money required is crazy, especially once you convert to Australian dollars. Glad I managed to sell the car before I came over!

posted: Fri, 21 Apr 2006 08:14 | permalink | comments

South Korea

I'm at Incheon Airport on the morning of my layover, catching up on email etc. The hotel that was part of my ticket rocked (Hyatt). Great interior design, big room. My only complaint was that the room was a smoking room so there was a noticeable odour from that. Oh, and the vodka martini I had last night was terrible. Overall though, everything has been great. I'll know tonight whether the layover helps with jetlag. I'm hoping to arrive in a much better state than normal.

Getting to the hotel from the plane yesterday was fun. My itinerary said "hotel, confirmed"; oh so very detailed. The travel agent had said to "look for the crowd other people like yourself and head to the transit desk". Signage was minimal and I couldn't find this supposed "crowd". I ended up hooking up with a similarly confused Australian from my flight (Belinda) and we spent the next hour or so walking around the airport, asking questions, showing passports and playing the lost tourist until we eventually found the right place to go. Note to others doing a layover with Korean Air: don't go to the Transit Hotel in the airport, you do need through immigration, find the KA arrivals desk on level 1. Despite the confusion it was kinda fun to be lost in new place for a while and meet a new person.

Off to the UK in 2 hours! Can't wait to see Susanna again.

posted: Tue, 18 Apr 2006 16:20 | permalink | comments

First post using Blogger

I've just transfered my blog to using Blogger after hearing from Stephen that you can host the blog on your own site. I haven't looked much yet at the customisation options but its pretty slick. Very quick to set up.

I've manually transfered the old entries that were remotely interesting, preserving the date.

I'm going to try and be a little more consistent about my posting frequency. There'll be plenty top blog about with the upcoming move to the UK.

posted: Thu, 06 Apr 2006 12:34 | permalink | comments

Much Yum progress

Stayed up late last night working on the yum sqlite integration. Hacked out a new iterator style parser so yum doesn't load all the metadata into memory (and dump to a pickle) when importing into sqlite. I'm quite happy with it.

Also cleaned up a few other parts of Gijs' TODOs (and then added more of my own) :). All in all a productive and fun night although I'm more than a little tired this morning. In an effort to regain some fitness I've been walking every morning but I'm thinking that might not happen today :)

Seth emailed Gijs and me this morning in order to get CVS commit access organised. Sweet.

posted: Thu, 06 Apr 2006 12:16 | permalink | comments

Windows Client and Long DHCP Leases

I've been meaning to note this for a while but never got around to it so here goes.

A few weeks back I updated the DHCP server used in my employer's internet gateway appliance. With the previous version of the server we issued leases with infinite lease times but the new version no longer supports infinite leases. To work around this I configured the server to issue very long leases, over 3-4 years if I recall correctly.

This caused some rather unexpected behaviour with Windows XP clients.

Instead of using the long lease as expected, the Windows client would re-request a new lease within seconds or minutes of receiving one. This looks like a signedness or overflow issue when handling the lease time value. Several different Linux DHCP clients worked correctly.

Googling around didn't find anyone else with this problem. I'm guessing this doesn't come up much because people rarely use such long leases. Also the Windows DHCP server doesn't allow you to specify such long lease times. I'm betting the Windows DHCP client implementation was mainly tested against the Windows DHCP server.

Rather than wasting more time on this (a lot of time has been wasted on debugging this) my workaround was to simply set the lease time to 2 years and be done with it. That's long enough to suit our needs and seems to not confuse Windows.

Fingers crossed that this keeps on working as time goes on... Wouldn't it be nice if everything just worked like it was supposed to?

posted: Thu, 06 Apr 2006 12:15 | permalink | comments

Yum plugins?

Reasonable amount of activity on yum-devel recently. Some arguing about how/if new features should be done and lots of bits and pieces being worked on. The arguing is mainly people proposing new features and Seth fighting against them. I see where Seth's coming from: he's got to make sure that not any old thing gets into yum creating a maintenance and usability nightmare. Still, he seems to be fighting awfully hard... Sometimes I think its better just to write some proof of concept code to show how the proposal might work. This gets everyone on the same page and makes the arguments more productive.

To help resolve some of the discussions I brought up the idea of maybe doing plugins for yum so that people can do external hacks for the more wierd shit without them making it into the main yum codebase. Funnily enough Panu and Gijs piped up straight away; they'd been thinking the same thing. Seth initially wasn't too keen on the idea but then gave a little ground. Seth now wants us to solidify the idea somewhat. I've got some rough ideas but haven't had the energy to put them to the list. Maybe tomorrow.

posted: Thu, 06 Apr 2006 12:15 | permalink | comments

Kernel hacking, Software Suspend (Suspend2) and other coolness

Lots of interesting stuff in yesterday's sessions. Did the full day kernel hacking tutorial with Rusty Russell and Robert Love which despite the disorganisation and the fact that we ran out of time was a great intro and a lot of fun. Although they might not realise it, Rusty and Robert have a good dynamic that stops things from getting boring.

The open source quiz was great to watch. Some fairly crazy madness.

I hung around until late for some of the Birds of a Feather (BOF) sessions. The most interesting for me was the Software Suspend "installfest". This stuff is seriously cool. Fully featured suspend to hard disk with no special hardware/power management support required. You really don't ever need to shutdown your Linux system again. I was lucky enough to have all the Suspend2 developers helping me get it working on my notebook. It was suprisingly easy. I'm planning on contributing a cleaner kernel Fedora RPM with the Suspend2 patches. The guys are pushing to get this into the mainline kernel soon which should make this a lot more accessible.

At around 10pm we were kicked out by the organisers and some of us headed down to the Wig and Pen (again!). Drank too much (again!) and chatted to lots of cool people. Finally managed to track down Colin Charles who Seth Vidal told me to look out for at the conference. I should really easy up on the drinking one of these days...

posted: Thu, 06 Apr 2006 12:14 | permalink | comments

Clever Programming

Debugging is twice as hard as writing the code in the first place. Therefore, if you write the code as cleverly as possible, you are, by definition, not smart enough to debug it.
- Brian Kernighan

posted: Thu, 06 Apr 2006 12:05 | permalink | comments