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June 2003 Archives

June 2, 2003

Microsoft sucks

Ok, I'm really annoyed with Microsoft now. Granted, this all started out with a stupid mistake on my part -- but now it turns out that to fix that mistake, I have to _completely reinstall a machine!_ Here's what happened... I was working on an XP Pro box and was wondering if the problems that my user was having with her anti-virus not updating properly (she's a "limited user" on the machine -- no admin rights) were because of NTFS permissions issues. So I went about using the cacls command to change the permissions in the anti-virus software directory (yes, I know this isn't a Good Idea -- but I wanted to see if it would work; I wanted to see if NTFS permissions were the issue). Well, I borked up the syntax of the cacls command, and ended up erasing all the perms out of c:\windows (and apparently some of the subdirectories). Doh! Stupid, stupid, stupid... But the problem gets worse. Going to another machine, I notice that there are complicated permissions on c:\windows (and friends). So I look up the help page (and "http://support.microsoft.com/":http://support.microsoft.com/), and notice that cacls _cannot set these permissions!_ That's right: you can use cacls to bork up the permissions on your machine, but you _cannot_ use it to fix them! That is unbelieveable to me. I could not find any GUI method of changing the permissions, either. Hence, I'm going to have to fully re-install the box to really fix the problem. Totally, totally lame.

A rolling moss has no stones

The LAM release is taking a bit longer than expected. With some intense testing over the last week, we've found a bunch of little buglets and at least one big bug (and it bites). Still, I'm confident that we'll get it out the door "soon". The sooner, the better, actually, 'cause there's a whole bunch of stuff that is being held up waiting for CVS to become generally open again. I think the big bug has been solved, but I won't know until I can get on some machines that currently appear to be having problems (the support folks likely won't be in until tomorrow). Doh! But we're guests on the machines in question, so we really can't complain. There's other side issues that are making it take a little longer -- lawyer issues, press release issues, re-vamping the LAM/MPI web site, etc., etc. But the software comes first -- gotta have that done before the release can go forward. :-)

June 4, 2003

Blinking red lights

So I was trimming the bushes outside my house last weekend. When I came in that night, my arms were all itchy. It was slightly annoying, but nothing huge. The itchyness went away in a few hours. Looking outside my window this morning, I notice two stalks of a particular 3-leafed plant in the middle of one of my bushes. Yep -- poisin ivy. Where the heck did that come from? Luckily, I have never gotten poisin ivy before -- even when I was a kid, if we were playing outside and all the other kids got poisin ivy, I wouldn't. It was pretty great, actually. :-) But I know that it's a cumulative allergy -- so now that I'm a 30-something, I guess I now get a few hours of itchyness when I get exposed to poisin ivy. This is not going to make me go out and roll around in it, but it's good to know. And I'll go squash that bastard ivy vine in my bushes (with gloves, of course). Moral of the story: just because you're physically superior to everyone else, don't go flaunting it, because God will kick you in the ass.

Press release

Certain rumors and allegations have arisen recently that I am working at a McDonald's in Canada. I am not -- I say again -- I am _not_ working at a McDonald's in Canda. I categorically deny any connection to McDonald's or Canada. I am not a Canadian spy. Nor is Dave.

June 10, 2003

Spaghettios and jelly

Went to my 10 year college reunion this past weekend. When did I get this old? Saw millions of people who I haven't seen in a million years (where "million years" equals "ten"), which was really great.

I have been plagued with a bug in the gm RPI for almost 2 weeks now, and I can't friggen' figure it out. It is _most_ frustrating. It's even worse because this bug is holding up the entire LAM/MPI 7.0 release. The folks at Myricom have tried to help, but even they are out of ideas. Arrgh!! ;-(

June 16, 2003

High performance mollusks

It's been a while, so here's some quickies: * Went to my 10 year college reunion a few weeks ago. It was great to see lots of old friends, most of which I haven't heard from in quite a while. Much fun was had. * My paper on LAM's SSI component architecture was accepted to "EuroPVM/MPI '03":http://www.dsi.unive.it/pvmmpi03/ . I'm going to Venice, Italy, baby! :-) * I went to the "PPOPP '03":http://ppopp.lcs.mit.edu/ conference last week and presented both a short talk in the "Emerging Research" section, and presented a poster, both on LAM's SSI component architecture. I got to see Rich M, Arun R, and Sara F there. Good times! * This past weekend was an army weekend and was quite busy. Lots of budget forcasting, general PKI planning, etc. Woot. * I'm now finally returning to the LAM/MPI Myrinet bug. I've actually submitted the code to the Myricom engineers; hopefully they can find that I'm just doing something stupid wrong and it'll be an easy fix.

June 22, 2003

Floating point ASCII

I finally did it. After seeing/hearing millions of commercials about how satellite TV is cheaper than cable, I happened to notice that my cable bill went up $4 this month. WTF? I checked last month, and sure enough, there was a notice (citing "increased operating costs") about how the bill was going to go up (note: it actually went up *more* than they said it would go up). I was somewhat miffed -- we actually don't have any exoribitant cable services ("classic" digital service with 2 receivers, which is about 40 channels + some music channels), so it amazed me that we're now paying almost $60/month. I suspect that we're helping subsidize all their new services (on-demand TV, cable internet service, local phone service, etc.). Harumph. So on a whim, looked at a few satellite provider web pages and compared their prices. Holy schnikies! Much cheaper, and with a whole lot more channels (I actually don't care too much about the "more channels" part; as long as I get the channels I want -- which is already covered in my ~40 channel cable plan -- I'm happy). _And_ you can now get local channels on satellite TV (this did not used to be true; this was one of the big reasons we didn't get satellite TV when we first moved into our house). So Tracy and I talked about this a lot (yes, we're both engineers -- anyone want to guess how many spreadsheets and formulae were involved in these discussions?), and finally decided to switch. This is just incredible to me: we're saving about $200/year and getting _more_ channels.

We're _finally_ on track with the LAM/MPI 7.0 release. It took _forever_ to get the gm RPI working, but it appears to all be working now. I wasted much of this weekend trying to get the gm DMA memory allocator on Solaris to be deterministic, but that just didn't happen. Oh well. So I'm making "final" tarballs now; I'll start subjecting them to heavy, heavy testing ASAP. Here's hoping we catch all the bugs! (repeat after me: I will not test the lamd RPI on a large number of AVIDD nodes. I will not test the lamd RPI on a large number of AVIDD nodes. I will not...)

Had dinner with Anne Mary and Eduardo last night at Ferd's. Yummy food, good people, and good conversation.

For some reason, Firebird (my browser) is not telling me about updates on web pages that it is supposed to be monitoring. *Bonk!* I didn't notice, for example, that CPT Klak has posted a few more comments to her blog, and is starting to talk about the eventual route home. Woo hoo!

If you can read this, you're driving too close.

June 24, 2003

Fortran string handling

Last night I was in Eileen's apartment working on a local copy of the new LAM web site (i.e., I had CVS checked it out on my laptop) when I accidentally clicked on an external link. "Doh!", I thought, "I'll have to wait for it to timeout." To my great surpise, it connected, and displayed the page! It seems that I was connecting to someone else's wireless network (totally by accident). How fun! So I enjoyed nice wireless access until the owner apparently realized that someone else was sucking off his/her bandwidth and shut off the WAP. It was fun while it lasted. :-)

BIG NEWS: CPT Klak is back in the states! She pinged me on IM on Monday, quite out of the blue. Quite unexpected, too, because her last blog entry mentioned that everyone was talking about coming home, but there was "no danger" of her actually coming home any time soon. Props to CPT Klak who has been defending freedom in dangerous parts of the world. Woo hoo!

June 27, 2003

Funny user quotes

From a post on the LAM list:
"Suppose the prophecy IS true. Suppose tommorow the war'll be over. And this MPI program runs error free. Isnt that worth fighting for? Isnt it worth DYING for?"

Funny user quotes

From a post on the OSCAR user's list:
...After that I can do the rlogin with out providing a password, but when I run a progran it failed. The progran make a: mpirun hostfile.host /localhome/marc2001/bin/marc and I get a Connection Confused.

Funny user quotes

In response to my last entry, DK has provided the relevant man page entry:
94 ECONNCONFUSED Connection confused. No connection could be made, or maybe it was. We're not certain. The situation may or may not have resulted from the client application attempting to eat Jello(tm) brand gelatin desert while utilizing a pogo-stick.

About June 2003

This page contains all entries posted to JeffJournal in June 2003. They are listed from oldest to newest.

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