Nov. 13th, 2011 04:13 pm
vlion: source: lisperati (lisp)
Just have conclusion to do, and then it's EDITING TIME. Where my ego is crushed and destroyed because midnight writing is not that great.
vlion: cut of the flammarion woodcut, colored (Default)
It's getting cold and the clouds are moving in as I leave the coffeeshop on a November afternoon, my computer in a bag on my back. It's been a good few hours reading my thesis and adding blocks. Last night's editing session by a nearly graduated PhD student had exposed critical errors in the narrative development that had gotten filled in. The hard bench, the noise, and the computer screen had conspired to bring the initial wave of creativity to a halt. I walk down the block and stop at the crosswalk, waiting for the light. It appears to be starting to snow and I sigh. I'd love to go into the other coffeeshop across the way, but I need to clear my mind of the uncreative grunge that accumulates as you stare at the screen and try to form order from desiderata.

I cross the street and walk down into the toy & gaming shop. The manager is in a brisk conversation about Magic the Gathering. Evidently the card that lets you do more than one turn on your turn is worth $450 to this man. I don't really see the appeal, but I can understand buying a new gun, which starts at about $300. So I guess I can understand in a connect-the-understandings kind of way. I loop through the shelves and marvel at the little HO train that the previous manager put together. He was a little nutty, I think. He had let the shop really go to pieces, all dust, cobwebs, and shadow. The new guy is a lot geekier and has actually put in lights. Feels like a new store. Model planes and trains line an area. I see a model - some paintable female supermodel left over from the previous manager and sigh - a side thread of my mind spins a three-paragraph fantasy about the 'special paintable models' that are offered for the adult customers before I shut it down and move on through the store. It's less squicky now, and that's good. The manager is still engaged with the Magic discussion and I move up the stairs to go wander upon my way, moving past several oblivious young women on the stairs who block my way until I call attention to my existence.

I muse - how you can be so oblivious to other people's presence? I feel other people's physical presence acutely, and being next to a stranger makes me profoundly uncomfortable. Call it other-presence-phobia. People next to you can simply do anything they want. Cops train for people who come up next to them and pull a knife. You can't defend against that without training. Closeness is where your family is. You can't defend against them either.

The day is colder as I get out and I shiver in my coat. I should have worn a long sleeved shirt, but I was feeling lazy this morning. Anyway, it says "Programmer", and in this town of aging hippies, Greek organizations, seminary students and other normals, I cling to my statement of identity. Not that it is rational... it's cold out.

The leaves aren't falling very much anymore... it's November. Leaves that have lasted until now are stubborn cusses that give the wind filthy looks and hang on for dear death. Up ahead the Mexican resteraunt has some outdoor seating (deserted of course) and the blaring Mexican music. I put a little dance in my step. Totally silly, of course. The dance fades as I walk down the street. The creative zoom still isn't there, but the wind is. I start thinking about what I'm looking for. It's a stuffed chair - maybe a sofa! - a somewhat dim room, and coffee readily available. Unthrottled internet as I curl up on the sofa and read papers. There's a coffeeshop like that in downtown, back where I came from. But first things first- is the new BBQ place open? I quicken my step and start moving with more purpose. The pawn shop passes by without me looking inside at the guitars (why do pawn shops attract guitars? Is there a Guitar Gravitational Force that is localized on pawn shops? Are guitarists just always broke?). I glance in one of the other coffeeshops - all the comfortable seats are full, and anyway, they have jarring music. I like non-jarring music.

Rounding the corner towards the new BBQ place, I feel the chill wind bite into me. Temperature is dropping. I think it's actually succeeding in the snow attempt today. I pause and consider for a moment- I'm in a thin short-sleeved shirt in what appears to be a minor snowstorm. My shoes are thin office shoes (amazingly comfortable though, that's what properly sized shoes get you). If I stop off in my favorite sofa'd coffeeshop, it will be noisy and the walk back home will be acutely cold. I feel rather a fool for not biking and rather smart for not taking a bike out to get rained/snowed/precipitated on. At home I can brew spicy teas, drink mountain dew, and really get some work done. I turn and move towards my apartment in a decisive fashion. The weather is driving in and the temperature is dropping. It's a good day to be inside

So close

Nov. 10th, 2011 12:27 am
vlion: (matrix)

- Paragraph on XC being CSP based

- Review of 90s debuggers for Beowulf/mpi systems

- Review of 90s embedded debuggers and jtag

- Citing of occam references

- Wrap-up of conclusions

- ??

- Profit aka GET DEGREE


Nov. 4th, 2011 06:52 pm
vlion: cut of the flammarion woodcut, colored (Default)
If anyone wants copies of my thesis, please let me know
Debugging by Visualizing Communication on a
Parallel Embedded System


Nov. 1st, 2011 01:28 am
vlion: cut of the flammarion woodcut, colored (Default)
I still love my Layer Cake Architecture sentence from my thesis.

"The host's reader is structured in a layered software design approach, much like a layer cake."


Oct. 25th, 2011 08:17 am
vlion: source: lisperati (lisp)
Thesis getting closer to done. It's 76 pages. SEVENTY-SIX PAGES AWK!@!!! It's almost like it's a real thesis....

Still need to write up background, polish chapters, and come to a Conclusion. All in Three Easy Weeks.
vlion: (wizard)
The style I was given for a thesis has produced Roman numerals for page numbers.

I don't think that will fly, but it's hilarious.

If I didn't want to go through without hassle, I'd submit it roman-numeraled for fun.
vlion: source: lisperati (lisp)
Thesis is rolling along.

I set up a fogbuz on demand setup to help make sure I don't let things drop off the map. I need to make sure to write a note to Joel when I'm done and thank him for making a Student package for free.

And today

Sep. 16th, 2010 08:38 pm
vlion: cut of the flammarion woodcut, colored (Default)
Late last night and today I figured out that my problem in part is that the CPU has variable-length instructions.

there is a ray of hope.

Bad nights

Sep. 15th, 2010 09:24 pm
vlion: cut of the flammarion woodcut, colored (Default)
When I saw that my code had peaceably walked off the end of main() and kept executing, I knew it would be a bad night.

Some study later, variable-length instructions were observed to be in action; directly loading an instruction from memory into the program produced a barf; loading via a C dereference produced another barf.

Sent email to the company to see if my study turned out right.

I'm going to blow some orcs up now.


Apr. 7th, 2010 10:33 am
vlion: (hidden wizard)
It is nice having a laptop, I can write anywhere.
vlion: cut of the flammarion woodcut, colored (Default)
I work in embedded systems for my Master's thesis. The particular one I use is a fairly cutting-edge one called an X-Core. It's really new and is pretty fun to use. I think it represents the future in manycore processor design.

I've been struggling to get some low-level hacking going. Minimal documentation, unclear information, you name it, I'm dealing with it. Things are starting to come together. Code compiles, uploads, and executes.

But there's a ghost. It's weirding me out. I've used/programmed computers since 1995 or so. One of the key principles of programming computers is this:

  • When two statements A and B are sequentially ordered; e.g., A; B;, then A shall always execute before B.

In my code, not only is B executing before A, it's doing it some number of times, and then it's doing it out of order (I have a counter ticking upwards every time B runs).

There is no reason for B to execute even once before A, and there's even worse reason for B to execute out of order.

This is actually kinda freaky.


Dec. 13th, 2009 09:49 pm
vlion: (paladin)
Tonight, my goal is to write a page on my thesis before bed. I don't particularly care in what area, but I need to keep it moving along. I need to design several projects that demonstrate the proof of principle that I indend to show.

Tomorrow, I study for (I hope) my last test as a MS student(it's on Wednesday).
vlion: cut of the flammarion woodcut, colored (Default)
One of the things I've tried to do with my Master's work is to set up a continuous integration system on the department server for my Thesis files. The goal is that at any point in time, I can jump over and take a look at my metrics and my current PDF files, based on the state of the repository. The metrics have been a real pain to install, since the server has no real X display.

I think that this week I'll attain full hourly builds of everything. My next CI task is instead of cron, have a post-op trigger.

Then I can plug in some actual platform-independent code compilation and drop messages into my in-box when my code fails to build. Isn't *that* sexy?


vlion: cut of the flammarion woodcut, colored (Default)

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