Wednesday, August 13, 2014

"0 zero must equal 100%. Good Luck."

Another eventful year passed by since my last post but I've been so busy that I completely forgot about this little place. Anyhow now it's time to give an approximately correct summary of all that happened. I guess I'll miss a lot of events, but it is what it is.
  I cannot start with the same thunder as last time, we haven't moved to another country this time so we're still living in Brno but we did switch apartments and I guess that's as good start as any for this post. We were fed up with the little space we had in our previous apartment and our stuff kept piling up so we got lucky and caught an apartment advertisement for a place which was twice as big and only 3 minutes away! Fortunately for us, and probably unfortunately for them, we had some friends visiting at the time of the move so they kindly helped us with all the stuff. Before one starts to actually move, one has a very distorted idea about all the stuff that needs to be packed and moved, or at least in my case I had it very wrong because in my mind it looked very quick and compact, but when we started packing and moving I realized how many things we've gathered and in fact started wondering where did we keep it all before that in the small apartment, if we had to go back I wouldn't think it'd be possible to stuff it in again :-)
  This year we chose to spend new year's eve in Brno and see the fireworks, some friends visited again and it was a nice celebration, we didn't make it until very late/early in the morning but we did see a lot of fireworks, I think it was like an hour of non-stop booming and lights, and of course a lot of smoke so much smoke in fact that we couldn't see the other end of the center square. A few months after that DevConf happened here in Brno which was quite the event, a lot of speakers from around the world visited and there were many interesting talks. As always we went out during the night to show them around and visited some new pubs, we had a lot of fun and it was very interesting to meet all those talented people. The event itself was very well organized with a huge party held in the largest disco place in Brno which was reserved only for us with enough free food and drinks and entertainment to make it exciting and visited by almost everyone who was on the conference. Looking forward to next year's conference!
  On the professional front a lot has happened both here and in the ISP in Sofia. I'll start with Sofia as it's the "bad news" unfortunately as it happens with most good companies there comes a person with a lot of money who makes it impossible to continue the good work and wants to buyout and restructure everything, so that pretty much happened and it was more hostile takeover than necessary, I've quit by myself because I couldn't in my right mind work for the new guy no matter the amount of money, as I've said repeatedly money is only one factor for me and it's not the leading/most important one, never has been and I hope it'll never be. So I've been explaining how things work to various new people who were hired to replace me, they got a fraction of it and keep breaking stuff that I need to fix but I think it'd be enough to continue operating all my software that drives the company after all I've written everything from the shapers/routers to the DHCP server and the BGP daemon. The good news is that the software rights are not owned by the company because I've done that in my time and also it wasn't included in my official work characteristic, so I didn't have to give them any sources. I've arranged for them to make a contract for support and updates with a company that I'll consult if they want to continue using my software, so they're not left in the dark. It's very painful for me because I've invested a lot of time developing that company technologically in the past 8 years and 6 months (man time flies..) and now I'm forced to leave it all to someone who doesn't care about anything else but money. Anyway I have new projects related to my software that are in the works and if they work out as I expect things might look up in Sofia. Also I got a new version of my router in the works which brings even bigger performance improvements (e.g. 100 000 nodes can be created and configured for < 0.5 sec and one of our shapers/routers usually has ~ 40 000 nodes in total, so it should be able to load the whole thing in 1-2 seconds from 0 to full configuration with ~ 5000 clients and full routing table, shapers and packet inspection in place since we keep ~ 5000 users per machine). I also decoupled it from the driver so it can actually be hooked to any network card now and also made it very portable, it easily runs on all FreeBSDs from 8.x to the latest 10.x.
  About RH/here I've had a crazy year, a lot of bug fixes and developments, I also found a remotely triggerable kernel crash in the Linux network subsystem which now has a CVE assigned (2014-0100) and have posted a fix for it, it was a quite complicated race condition in the inet fragmentation code and it was very difficult to debug at first, but it's all fixed now. I've converted the bonding to use RCU locking and improved its performance in all modes, fixed a ton of bugs in it and introduced a new shiny option handling API which came quite nice in the end and is now used for all bonding options, some day I may make it more generic so it can be reused in other parts of the kernel. I also fixed a bug with the mac_len calculation in the core network stack that caused GSO failures with 802.1q packets and brought the performance back to its normal levels (250 Mbps -> 5 Gbps in my tests). Recently I worked with Florian in the making of the patches that moved the inet fragmentation evictor from softirqs to a workqueue which coupled with a few more changes (most important of which was the LRU list removal) also improved performance and made the code quite cleaner, I'm still cooking some patches for the inet frag code that will build on these but I have also a lot of work inside RH and time is never enough :-) I think these are the highlights though there were many other fixes and improvements that I did over the year. Other than that I think Red Hat has been getting bigger and bigger over the year, and I expect to see a lot of interesting new projects come out, I hope I'll be responsible for at least some of them of course ;-)
  On the personal side we recently visited Bali, Indonesia for our holiday this summer. It was a crazy long flight to get there from Brno, I'll try to summarize the path:
2 hours Brno -> Vienna Airport, 1 hour Vienna -> Frankfurt airport -> ~ 12 hours Kuala Lumpur -> 3.5 hours Bali, Indonesia total: 18.5 hours
And this time is without the waiting in the airports, with the waiting the time goes to 24+ hours. Of course on the way there our suitcase was lost and we arrived on the other side of the world only with our clothes on our backs and 2 backpacks. The good side is that they recovered our suitcase and brought it to us 2 days later. About Bali, it's a very beautiful destination I must say it has so many things to see, try and visit that our 2 weeks were barely enough. We were fortunate to hire the best guide for 3 full days to shows around the most interesting places, of course with a driver and a car with A/C since the humidity there is so high that it makes it difficult to move for a long time during the day. We stayed in a 5* hotel which was also one of the oldest native hotels (not a chain or some other box-like standard hotel) and it was very good. We were very pleased with the service and everything in the hotel overall, of course it being right on the beach helped a lot too! Half the time we stayed under the palm trees enjoying the ocean breeze, occasionally getting a massage and the other half we spent going around the island. It's quite the adventure to go around Bali because in the populated areas everyone's driving (almost no walkers) and the driving regulations were pretty much missing, for example when our driver was about to get ahead of another car he'd use the horn to notify them and also when he was taking a turn he'd use the horn to notify anyone coming from the other side. The roads were pretty tight, mostly having 2 lanes (1 in each direction) and with all the traffic that normally leads to a lot of jams, it could take you 2+ hours to travel 40 kilometers that's why we would go out at 8 a.m. and go sightseeing with our guide and driver until 8 p.m. each day. Their culture is quite unique and even though Indonesia is mostly Muslim, Bali is mostly Hindu. They are very good in the arts, especially wood working, painting and rock carving, they use volcanic rocks and turn them into beautiful pieces of art like statues and ornaments. Every house has a mini Hindu temple inside it and each house is very unique because it usually has hand-made ornaments, so the architecture is quite spectacular. Their temples are also extraordinary, beautifully built and always in the best locations, for example the Tanah Lot temple which is built on a very small piece of land in the ocean or the Uluwatu temple which is on the edge of a high cliff with the ocean beneath.. unique view! We also got to feed wild monkeys which live around the Uluwatu temple :-) We tried almost every local thing we could find and explored as much as we could. I got to finally try the infamous Kopi Luwak coffee in a spice garden where they produce it locally and also produce a ton of other interesting things like vanilla, cocoa and all sorts of spices. I also brought some back with me and a full pack of spices and real chocolate :-)
The day before the last we went to a award-winning Japanese restaurant where the chef cooked in front of us which was more of a show than a dinner as it was incredible and he was so good, of course as a result the meal was awesome, experience definitely recommended! I'd say Bali isn't a place where you should just lie all day, if you want to feel and see the real culture and all the exceptional places you must take the time and visit all the beautiful sites that it offers (and there are many!). If you're the lazy type and would like only to lie down all day under the sun I'd say the Maldives is a better destination, but I realize now that for me such destination would get boring very fast, in Bali you could do something new every day or try something new :-)
I'll cut the story here as I can go on for days about Bali and in conclusion I'd like to say that it is a unique experience, definitely worth every trouble and penny to get there! Recommending it with both hands.
  We also got a new TV set when we got back, chose a 3D big LED panasonic. I actually enjoy the 3D it's fun, but I still think the future is in the VR sets like Oculus, that smells like a game changer to me and I hope to be able to acquire one soon, unfortunately they're not yet in the stores but the moment they hit them I'm getting one.
  On a ranting note we're constantly getting the Aygo fixed. Every month there's something new, first we had to change the battery, then the breaks, break pads and some other stuff, then our alternator belt snapped which turned out to be caused by the water pump so now we're changing both alternator belt and a water pump, this is my rant for this post I guess :-) Oh ironically the belt snapped when we were taking our coffee machine back from being repaired.


P.S. The title is from Terry Gilliam's new movie "The Zero Theorem", interesting flick totally in Gilliam's style