Sunday, January 15, 2012

"The fear of offending is stronger than the fear of pain"

Hey long time no see :-)
                                            The song for this post will be: Rammstein - Fuhre Mich
I have forgotten about this little place under the net. Also I had a lot to do in the past months (6 I think since my last post). So I'm gonna start from that point on and see where that takes me.
We've moved back to Sofia, Bulgaria from UK/DE for now at least. My girlfriend is looking into the possibility for masters degree in the UK, so nothing is final yet :)
   What bothers me the most is probably that I haven't released/fixed the software I was talking about way back just some minor additions/fixes. Although with the router I've made huge progress and I had the chance to play with 10G SFP+ interfaces at last, making them line-rate with millions of packets per second was a delight. Of course such generated traffic is far from the truth, it is still nice to see some new options and problems. Also I had the chance to migrate the master router (edge) of the ISP to the new xeons based on nehalem architecture and I can say without even optimizations for this particular architecture the results are staggering - about 10x better performance for the same load with the router (it is basically standing on 98 % idle while 800 MB/s / 1 Mpps are going through it and it shapes also!). Imagine now a better software version of that and with optimizations for that particular architecture, it will be a beast of different nature. Oh I had the pleasure of trying netmap for the purpose of getting the router out of kernel- and in user- space but I find the project still immature. I've reported few bugs and also asked about when some new features will be available (or should I write them myself), but the idea of me supporting another set of patches/software which is concurrently being developed - no thank you :) So I'll wait it out and probably use it in some future release.
By the way the uptime of the shapers is almost 2 years now :-)
   There were also some changes about Igor, I've removed the FreeBSD FTP mirror (left only the CVSup mirror which is up-to-date and syncs every 3 hours) because it was taking over 900 GB and no one uses it, also there was no feedback from the mirrors mailing list of FreeBSD because the official Bulgarian mirror isn't working for a long time. I've added few new mirrors: official LibreOffice mirror(which is quite active by the way), PC-BSD official mirror and Calculate Linux official mirror. Also I'm still looking for projects to mirror so expect to see some new ones soon as well. Oh lets not forget about the official Bulgarian Freenode IRC server which is running from Igor - can find me there under the nickname Raz- in #FreeBSD, #Math, #Crypto and #Linux-BG.
   There should probably be a post about my phone adventures alone but I'll try to sum them up in a paragraph here. I decided to switch to something new after being 3 years with my iPhone (which is still working by the way) so I got myself an Android phone, actually the best hardware-wise Android phone I was able to find - Samsung Galaxy S II and then all hell broke loose. It was the beginning of my headaches, first my coverage went down considerably (and with bugs, the phone wouldn't recover network coverage, also it wasn't showing the wi-fi signal strength properly loosing it from time to time) after that the chaos that Android is having adware, viruses and so on in the Market. I had a GSM with anti-virus software just in case... Also the fact that it is linux based is tickling all the wrong places. The input lag which is considerably higher than iPhone/Windows Mobile/BlackBerry 9900. I really don't like the idea of the need for dual-core CPU and 1G of RAM so my phone to run slightly normal. That is against everything I believe in software-wise, as is Java and the likes. I tried the original firmware, then rooted the device and tried optimized firmwares - in the end my problems still persisted. I saw demos of Android ICS and the input lag is still there it is just more eye-candy and the menus are better arranged compared to the total chaos. So I decided to solve my problem in a more cardinal way, I got rid of the bloody disaster and got myself a nice BlackBerry 9900 (not QNX, but still very nice look and feel). A really well-built device which works flawlessly and has very nice features that help me with my work a lot but most of all doesn't irritate me. I've spared some details here so I'll leave the story here with a happy ending after all.
   Some other news on the university front - it is possible to start doing a Ph.D. this year in BAS (Bulgarian Academy of Sciences). I hope it will be in abstract algebra or coding theory, we'll see there are still many variables :) I got an innovation certificate for the router and related software as well.
   In the end of January I'll be attending RIPE's meeting in Skopje, Macedonia related to IPv4/IPv6 resource allocation and object manipulation in the RIPE database. After we had an audit from RIPE which went well given that we exchanged some 20 mails or something like that. I really have to start making graphs for the usage of each address pool (handling a /17 divided in so many pools ain't pleasant) if I'm to request new allocations from RIPE.
   Also we are preparing a new massive project involving many new technologies where innovation is still to come and good ideas to be implemented, but I'll give more details on this some later time when all is ready :-)
   My birthday went very well, friends came from different cities and it was very pleasant evening. I would like to thank everyone who could come and hope to see them next time too :)
   On new year's eve we were in a friend's new apartment where we could see the fireworks from all of Sofia (very nice view) and it was amazing. All went very well, there was just one irritating person (some self-proclaimed zen- master) who said that mathematics limits you in your thinking (trying to re-create the phrase in English), I decided that talking to such a person is a waste of time so he was simply ignored by me all night :-)

Oh and an interesting solution to the leap year check:
printf("%s\n", ((((-(year % 4))>>31)&0x1) + (1 - ((-(year%100))>>31)&0x1)*(((-(year%400))>>31)&0x1)) > 0 ? "Not Leap" : "Leap");

So continuing with my mathematics studies and work is pretty much eating all of my time.

That's all folks!

P.S. The quote this time is from a new movie called The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (2011), a very good movie which I enjoyed thoroughly.

P.P.S. Happy FreeBSD 9.0-RELEASE! Very nice new features and also it is dedicated to the memory of Dennis M. Ritchie:
The FreeBSD Project dedicates the FreeBSD 9.0-RELEASE to the memory of Dennis M. Ritchie, one of the founding fathers of the UNIX[tm] operating system. It is on the foundation laid by the work of visionaries like Dennis that software like the FreeBSD operating system came to be. The fact that his work of so many years ago continues to influence new design decisions to this very day speaks for the brilliant engineer that he was.
May he rest in peace.