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Thursday, May 31, 2007

Say farewell to support for 386 architecture on OpenBSD

As one of the rare users of a vanilla 386 computer, the news that the vanilla 386 will not be supported in future versions of openbsd is somewhat sad but not unexpected.

I have been very proud of my 386 (which I upgraded with a 387DX, 16MB of memory, a 4.3 gb hard disk as well as a collection network cards). However, it's days with OpenBSD are now numbered to 154 (number of days until 4.2 is released).

In the future I will migrate that particular machine to netbsd.

Thought you should know.


Tuesday, May 29, 2007

BSD Elitism a fine line

The entire concept behind the *BSD OS's are awesome. Free for any purpose. It's great.

Unfortunately, these systems are built and used by people. And as usually is the case when people get involved, a certain number of zealots creep out of the woodwork.

These zealot people (zel-people) have the irritating habit of walking over other peoples ideas, thoughts, and perspectives. This bugs me a lot; thus, this blog post.

I just finished reading the following commentary about the experience that Beranger had in using the FreeBSD operating system: Taking a very long, huge break....

I personally very much sympathize with the author of that little article/rant.

Anyways, without going into to a long justification of how my perspective is right and those other people are wrong, I'll finish up with a few thoughts that I sometimes try to live by.

  • I distrust anyone who feels strongly about anything. I feel very strongly about this.
  • People are a problem

autoconf and libtool wasting time checking for g++ and g77

While the gnu auto tools are certainly the best build system
configurators on the face of the planet, I can't help but be aggrivated
by the AC_PROG_LIBTOOL macro.

Supposedly this macro tells the build system how to configure itself to
link in libraries to a program, and for the most part it does the trick.

However, whenever I run the configure script to set up the build
environment, this macro tests for the presence and usability of a c++
and fortran compiler. It does this regardless of the fact that I am not
using c++ nor fortran and additionally not linking to a library written
in either of those two languages.

Not a big deal but it is certainly a waste of time (which becomes
readily apparent on my vanilla openbsd 386 with 16mb of ram).

Here's hoping unneccessary checks like this can be removed when libtool
2.0 roles into town.


Monday, May 28, 2007

Life the Universe and Everything

So now that I have finally graduated with my shiny new Software Engineering Bachelors degree, I supposedly have some spare time to work on my own projects.

The first thing that I have done is rip out the old comlore web design business aspect of this website and replace it with a trusty weblog. The old business had its day in the sun, but I haven't actively worked on professional web design for a number of years now. Moreover, the pages that used to be in this space were hardly well designed (I was 15 with only rudimentary understanding of web stuff at the time).

Anyways, my list of personal projects is forever growing larger. These primarily focus around two things at the moment:

  1. Open source development

  2. Website upkeep

Under first category, I am working on two important projects; httperf and a kernel space mtp driver for my iriver clix and other similar devices. The work I am doing on httperf originated from my fourth year group engineering design project. The work I am doing on the mtp driver comes from the time I spent working on the user-space mtp driver libmtp during my individual software engineering design project which also occured during my final year of school.

The libmtp project suffers from some pretty substantial deficiencies with its dependency on the libusb library (e.g., device resource sharing is impossible between applications). and really needs to be re-written completely from scratch inside the open source kernel of your choice.

The httperf tool also suffers from a couple deficiencies. Primarily, it's current implementation is a little bit slow and it doesn't scale very well in testing extremely large web systems. Currently, I am re-writing some of the core components of the tool to use the extremely spiffy libevent library. I will never use select() again!

Under my second category of personal projects are the maintenance of a number of webpages that I have written for various purposes over the past several years.

The most important is currently my record of my cross country bicycle trip in which I biked from Vancouver BC to St. Johns NFLD.

The other major project, as well as something of a future career goal of mine is creation of a fairly comprehensive guide on how to build your own home theatre.

On top of all that, I now supposedly need to maintain this here blog!

Anywho, that is just about that for now.