It's been an eventful couple of weeks. Classes have started again,
and my program is still foobar'ed. Trying to get my classes all
arranged was sort of stressful. I had to track down a signature
saying that CPSC311 can be substituted for ENEL495, which is no long
offered. Sort of makes sense that there wouldn't be a data structures
course in the electrical program, seeing that we now have separate
computer engineering and software engineering programs.
Playing go at Tim Hortons's
A friend of mine and I were sitting in Tim Horton's one night,
drinking coffee, eating donuts.... playing go. We've done this once
before; in fact we sat at a little table in a corner next to a gaggle
of city police who always seem to turn up in Tim's around that time of
night. This time, we sat out in the open. We played a game of go, I
won, and explained why. We started a second game, and this guy in a
shirt and tie comes up and asks who is winning. So I said "well, we
just started, so it's a little indeterminate..." I thought he knew the
game and was interested.
But no. Not the case. Turns out that Tim Horton's, or at least this
particular Tim's, doesn't like its patrons to play games. "We don't
have games in here," says the guy in the shirt and tie, "so this is
the last game."
I was sort of stunned. I'd like to believe that it threw my
concentration and that that's why I lost the game. Or perhaps my
friend just made a dramatic improvement.
Whatever. It's private property, so if they don't want people to
play games there, so be it. We'll have to find a game friendly cafe to
play in from now on. Except there seem to be so few, even with
Kensington congested with coffee shops the way it is. It's sometimes
hard to find a place that makes good coffee. Good regular coffee; I'm
sure they all make fine lattes and what ever, which is what my friend
drinks. Good, reasonably priced coffee is especially difficult to come
by. Between Booster Juice (smoothies) and lattes, my friend is going
to go broke!
Anyway, my friend was really annoyed by this. He's says he is going
to bring one of his more confrontational friends in there and play
chess or go or whatever until they get kicked out, and then make fun
of the suit. My girlfriend is equally pissed, if not more so. I don't
Project breakthrough! True multihead Linux!
Even though I taking mostly 3rd year courses this year, I managed
to get into the 4th year design project course, because I do actually
have 4th year standing, and because I really wanted to do this
multihead Linux project.
We started last April, just after our team for this year (Sept 2001
to April 2002) had solidified. Quick meeting of the team, our sponsor,
and our faculty supervisor/adviser. After that we went our separate
ways for the summer, and I started doing a bunch of research in to how
the Linux console driver worked. By early December we had some overall
design and a bit of code. Our first presentation was pretty boring
I was sick over Christmas, so I didn't get started until the 29th,
but then it went pretty quick. By Dec 31 I had collected a bunch of
related data into one common structure, and by Jan 4 or so I had added
a new data structure to allow for multiple foreground consoles on
multiple frame buffers and the whole nine yards.
The big breakthrough was on Jan 17. That was the first day we were
able to log two different users in on two different consoles (where a
console is a monitor, keyboard, and mouse), and have X start for both
users! Unfortunately, our the second Y for our four head G200 is
busted, and the second head is a little flaky (that poor video card
apparently took some abuse before it fell into our hands), so we had to
run X on framebuffers, which is really slow.
Some more bug fixes, some administration programs, more driver
patches, some documentation, and we'll be about done. I'm *really* happy
with the progress to date. Hooray!
http://www.multiheadlinux.com/ for anyone who is interested, but
it's a pretty bare site for the time being. We haven't opened the
forums or anything up to the public, because we want to keep in under
wraps until we are finished the project course. Hopefully we will be
able to get everyone to agree to make it public shortly.
Went climbing on Saturday, to "the pit", which is a three story
wall in Kinesiology A (or is it B?). I've been bouldering 3 to 5
times a week since I got back from Christmas, so I feel like I'm
improving. The skills were transferring well enough, and I was able to
do two (three?) climbs with little effort. So then I lead the sport
wall (the previous climbs had been top roped. "Feet on
features only" I said, and began to climb. I made to the fifth or
sixth clip before I had to start standing on holds. My belayer starts
giving me a hard time. Yeah yeah. Features only for feet makes it much
more challenging (it's a pretty easy climb otherwise). Anyway, that
went well, my partner climbed, and then I started my second ascent. By
the time I got to the second clip, my hands were really greasy, due to
not having chalked up before I started. Doh!
So I try to get my feet secure on some good features, and reach for
the chalk. Now, two clips isn't very high. This is a dynamic rope
(of course). It will stretch. I'm straddling the rope. My feet pop off
those features. That hurts. Next thing I know, I standing on the
ground with the rope almost cutting me in half. Yeah. Actually, it
wasn't so bad. I climbed again and took a proper lead fall closer to
the top, which sort of freaked me out at first. I was guaranteed a 5
or 10 foot fall at the point, and why let go of a perfectly good hold
if you don't have to right? Anyway, it was much better than my first
Well, that's enough drivel for one daylog. Thanks for reading!
Oh yes, this weekend I rented the first to Wallace and Gromit shorts. It sorts of sucks to have to pay the full rental price for a 25 min short, but I think Wallace and Gromit are worth it. I absolutly loved the train scene at the end of "The Wrong Trousers!" It was awsome! Gromit picks up a box of infinite track, and starts laying it down in expert fashion all over the house, after getting shot at (thank goodness for that light shade!), and the penguin ending up in the milk bottle was hilarious!!
Also rented The man who knew too much, which I saw the beginning of on late night CBC. Alas, I was to tired to see the whole thing, and didn't have a blank tape on which to record it. It was pretty good as well.
Hey cool, I just discovered that Galeon (Mozilla?) text entry boxes have rudimentry EMACS keys built in!