Sunday, July 17, 2011

"Hello, Oompa Loompas of science!"

Hello again, some time passed and I forgot about this little place on the net :)
First off I have to say that I had my graduation ceremony which went fairly well in a nice place called Founder's Building. There were the hats, togas and a big ceremony in the chapel, I think the ceremony was for the Mathematics department and some other science (phylosophy ?) that day. Afterwards it continued with a reception in the yard and some hat throwing, so in the end it's official I am a master of science in Mathematics :)
But there's long way to go there (I have a pile of books to read in order to feel comfortable with this qualification). After that we went back to Leicester (we did Leicester -> London -> Egham -> Windsor -> London -> Leicester trip). It was a really interesting trip, I managed to get Amazon Kindle 3G (more on that later) on the way back and we had to run across the London underground in order to get in time for our train back, we barely managed to get there 5 minutes before leaving by cutting through a shorter underground line which saved us couple of stops. The next day we went in the National Space Centre in Leicester which is a really nice place, it deserves all the awards it had won most definetely. We had guests and got the chance to visit it again, this time we had time to do everything we missed last time :) and it was good fun, where will you get the chance to ride micro gravity simulator which uses air to simulate it.

Another interesting news is probably the fact that I have started rewriting some of the software I've written over the years in order to release it to the public (BSD license I guess), so it wouldn't gather dust on the drives :)
Since most of it is written for *BSD, it would take some effort to be ported to Linux or some other OS.
I am thinking to release these parts:
 - Lightweight multi-threaded DHCP server
 - Multi-threaded IGMP (multicast) relay software (currently used to offer TV in over 1000 VLANs)
 - SMTP Spam scanner (used to filter messages from a huge network)
 - DHCP/MAC logger (extremely efficient)
 - GRaph router :) (without the drivers, but with XML interfaces and some CLI when I get to write it)

I think that's about enough, there are few other small tools that will be released, but all of this depends on how  much time I'll have to prepare the packages and the software for that matter, because it has to be re-written in order to be released. All in good time I guess and volunteers are always welcome ;)

Before I got to UK I was able to attend the concert Sofia Rocks (went for Whitesnake and Judas Priest mostly), which really sucked. It was organization issues mainly, the scene was rather small, the beer shops were very few and worked even slower (no one was in a hury apparently to service the huge queue in front, we had to wait over 40 minutes to get a beer!). Whitesnake didn't do a nice show, they took a break after every song and while waiting there were few solos from members of the current band (?) but they were mostly weak, especially the guitar, and also there were some new songs but I think the public wanted the old great ones. Afterwards came Judas Priest and rocked the place with a great show. The End.

About the Kindle I was able to get (got it for my graduation as a present to myself :), it is REALLLY great device, probably my best buy for some time now. I am able to read everywhere, and with the 3G I can check/browse anything pretty much anywhere. It is very nice to have free internet connection in over 100 countries. And it is actually like paper, but the pictures look great too (being black/white with some gradients and all). I am really delighted by the device and will be reading a lot on it :) The PDF render nicely, you just have to switch it in landscape mode and they're read perfectly. I am like a little child in a candy shop and can't choose which books to read, so I have started 3 books in parallel :)
I was actually able to order another Kindle for a friend from my Kindle while away from home. The browser does great job given the circumstances. All in all it is a truly great device.

In the spirit of logically disconnected thoughts tonight I'll continue with another news, tonight we are flying to Germany (Munich), and will be there for some time (a month to few months), it will be interesting to see how everything is done over there, I am kind of a fan of Germany (can you believe that, given that I studied mathematics and most of my lecturers were German ?). I will definetely try to learn some German while I'm there, although we'll be in a small village near Munich. Good news is that it is near many countries and some very nice places like Vienna, which will be visited. And of course to try the infamous German beers will be one of the main goals :)
I have also a lot of work  (and reading for that matter) to do, so I hope I'll be able to catch up in Germany (it will be peaceful and that really helps me, I can't focus well otherwise). I am working on a hardware switch project which is going well, my friend who makes the hardware was able to give a test run to the first prototype and it switched (at least), so from here on I'll be busy writing its firmware to use the chip's capabilities which are impressive for something that small. Another aspect is that I am re-writing a BGPv4 package to work with my graph router, and also making a new version of the graph router itself, so I can't complain that I don't have anything to do :) Sleepless nights are ahead!

P.S. Hopefully soon I'll have some pictures from the graduation ceremony, and guys please stop sending me Google+ invitations, thank you but I will most definetely not enter any new social networks, the ones that I'm visiting are even more than I need, and most of all I don't want to rely on Google for everything.

Have fun!

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