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Strange... the Garelli 5000 had exactly the same problem


I'm behind on journal entries. Let's catch up:

  • I was at ND for most of this past week. The main goal was to have a synchronization meeting with my Ph.D. committee (which was on Wednesday). I drove to ND on Monday morning (Tracy's parents and I left at about the same time). Spent a good amount of time up at ND refining my presentation for my committee meeting and rehearsing with Lummy. All in all, things went pretty well, and my committee was pleased with my work. They made a few suggestions and clarifications which changes a few things that I had planned, but they're not too big of a deal. Rusty drove over from Argonne for the day, and it is always good to talk with him.

  • About 20-40 miles out of Louisville, I realized that I had forgotten my rollerblades. Doh!! I guess I'll be walking to ND all week...

  • Only Brendan, Brian, and I went to wings. It seems that BW3's has deleted our RLYBAD account on the trivial game. This is truly the end of an era -- we have had the RLYBAD account for years, and now it's gone. RLYBAD is dead -- long live RLYBAD!

  • OO Stamtish was fun. I only stayed for an hour or so. The new crew is working at Sr. Bar, so the opportunities for free stuff are now severely limited.

  • Went out to dinner w/ Dog on Wednesday night (which started with me stopping by his office and chatting around 6 or 7pm, and, an hour later, I said, "hey, let's go get some dinner"). Dog is good people. Also had some good conversations with Curt. Curt is also good people.

  • Chatted with Rich about his work -- he was frantically trying to finish his Ph.D. proposal by this Thursday. He's working on multithreaded message passing systems; we talked a bunch about how LAM works and whatnot. He's seems to have three main choices to do his work:

    • Use Sun/MPI, since it's thread hot. But ND still hasn't installed it (even though they've owned it for at least several months)
    • Use LAM/MPI, but it has the major drawback that it's not thread hot, so Rich would have to make it thread hot. Not a minor task.
    • Write his own message passing system from scratch.

    We talked a bit about LAM/MPI and how it worked, and some general message passing things (who knew that it would ever be so incredibly hard to get bytes from point A to point B? It's much harder than one would think...) I tossed the idea out that he could use LAM without using MPI -- I pointed him at all the Trollius man pages and whatnot, and explained how he could get the use of the daemons without using our MPI layer, etc., etc. Who knows -- that might prove to be a workable solution for him.

  • LAM meeting on Thursday was good; Brian has had some success with Scyld. Although it's not quite what we want it to be yet, it does work. We'll probably make it a bit more slick before releasing it. Arun had done a little more on the Myrinet mop-up, but not much. After the meeting, I helped him add some environment variables which will allow the user to specify (at run time) the tiny and short message boundary sizes. This is an important tuning knob, and it turned out to be a little tougher to implement than we thought because we were using compile-time constants to size some static arrays. But we worked around it and it seemed to work; Arun's going to finish the testing this week.

  • Arun has made his decision to fade away from the LAM group, mainly since he will be staying at ND when we go to IU, and his future involvement with LAM is probably going to be pretty limited (if at all). He'll continue to answer LAM mail through the end of this semester, and get Myrinet out the door, but that will more or less be it. Sadness. :-(

  • I had one more meeting w/ Lummy on Thursday before I drove home. We talked about my committee meeting from the day before, clarified a few things, and set a few directions. I've got to write code code code to get the final polished version of my "manager worker" code out (although we decided that, strictly speaking, "manager worker" is not what this program does, so I have to come up with a better name, such as "distributed multithreaded data parallel framework" or something).

  • Drove home Thursday afternoon / evening. Scheesh, gas is expensive!

  • Went to Epiphany on Friday morning to have a look at some of their e-mail woes (I just switched a small "test" group of them over to Outlook Express with the DSL-provided e-mail). OE seems to keep freezing up on them, which is pretty surprising and disappointing (it's the most recent version of OE on Win 95 and 98 machines). I think what's happening is that when OE launches, it launches two windows -- the main window and a separate "checking your mail..." window. It even shows up as two items on the 'doze task bar. The "checking your mail..." window then prompts for their password.

    However, sometimes OE puts the main window on top of the "checking your mail..."/password window. And therefore the user doesn't see it. So they start using OE, even though the "cym..."/password window is still there and waiting. OE is configured to check for their mail every 10 minutes. It seems that if they either manually click on "send/receive" or if the 10 minute timeout expires and OE tries to check for main, it gets confused because the "cym..."/password windows are already open, and hangs. Weird. And lame.

    It seems to have a simple workaround -- always put in the password right away, even if it goes to the back (i.e., bring it to the front and put in your password). We could check the "save your password" box so that the issue never comes up, but I'm not a big fan of that --
    I prefer users to have to think about security once in a while. Plus, it means that anyone could walk up to their computer and access their e-mail. This is probably not a big deal in a Church staff environment, but there are enough random people walking through the offices in a given day that it is something to consider. I hope we don't have to do that, but we'll see.

  • I got home around 2pm (did a bunch of other maintenance, too, since most people had taken Good Friday off), and spent the entire rest of the day doing taxes with Tracy. Ugh. The federal stuff was essentially done (just one or two minor corrections), but the state stuff was extremely confusing. I bought the Indiana and Kentucky programs for TurboTax. Indiana was quite good -- it did all the Right Things for our Tax situation (although it did have the annoying "feature" that if you started going through the interview and navigated to somewhere else in the middle of the interview, you couldn't re-start the interview where you left off -- you essentially had to ditch that data and start the interview again. Very annoying). The Kentucky program, however, sucked. Kentucky allows four filing statuses: single, married filing separately by on this one form, married filing jointly, married filing separately on different forms. Because of our particular tax situation, we needed to do the last option. But Ttax didn't have that option. After grappling with this for several hours (combined with finally figuring out that we needed to use that last option), we finally just looked up the relevant forms in Ttax and filled them out manually.

    Figure this one out: Tracy, had had income in Kentucky for last year, filled out a 2 page return with a single additional schedule for itemized returns. A total of 4 pages. Me, who had no income in Kentucky for last year, and who was not even a resident in Kentucky last year, had to fill in a 2 page tax return combined with about 10 pages of stuff from my federal tax return -- all so that I could say that my tax owed in Kentucky was zero. Gotta love taxes...

That's it for now. I have a separate journal entry brewing about the whole Chinese/American plane collision thing.

There are 139 xmms processes running on queeg right now out of 211 total (66%). When I came home from ND on Thursday night, xmms was frozen, so I had to kill and restart it.

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This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on April 14, 2001 9:07 AM.

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