Simon's blog

Go Demon, Go!

Things have also been pretty stressful since our main firewall failed on Saturday, cutting off all traffic in and out of the network. We've had operators periodically rebooting it ever since, and it became apparent that the “4 hour response” we got from our suppliers was rather useless. Although it took us until Monday morning to ascertain that it really was a problem with the firewall and not our fault, it's taken until late this afternoon to get a working replacement. We even got so desperate as to knock up our own hotspare with an OpenBSD box, two gigabyte ethernet cards, ipf and lots of Perl magic. But that's probably a success story for another time. Of course, setting up our own replacement made the real PIX quite happy…


I was not too happy with the idea at first, but I became surprised at how well it worked out. For starters, we got a particularly good day - and it looks like today's going to be another great one. Second, Charlbury is an amazingly pretty little village; it's a very traditional Cotswolds village - there were even people playing cricket on the village green as we walked up from the station. It also helped that Charlbury Beer Festival is much more of a family event than most other festivals; there was a band playing, a barbecue, and plenty of people came with their children so it was a good day out all round.

I never wanted to be a kernel hacker

I grabbed the CVS HEAD kernel and started building it; I didn't get particularly far, because after correcting a few simple syntax errors, I found that the build process required the -fapple-kext option to the compiler. Um, the what option? Time to check out a new version of cc from the Apple CVS. Only to find that that didn't define the -fapple-kext option either. Wonderful.


Simon Myer's talk on our very own Request Tracker was particularly funny; Marcus Brinkmann gave a great presentation on GNU Hurd, something that may be worth looking into in a while. Dave Jones and Marcelo Tosatti were there, talking about Linux kernel maintainance; I intend to bug them further about potential use of RT for kernel patch tracking.


It's here! My very own copy of the Codex Seraphinianus! It's already weirding out co-workers, which was part of its intended purpose.


I want to go home, but I've got started hacking a really neat little Perl module, and I've only got two subroutines left to do. In fact, stuff it, I'm going home. I can finish this off tomorrow.

Idea of the day

I've just written something using Leon's excellent GraphViz module to turn a Shishi parser into a nice diagram of the state machine. While GraphViz turns a data structure into a graph, it would be really lovely for parser tuning to be able to play around with the graph in dotty and then read the resulting graph back into a data structure…