Friday, October 31, 2008

Lightweight is Good

Wisdom for the day:

A line of code that isn't there is a line of code that isn't broken.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

How Systems Are Built

Tree Perspective

Virgin America Flight 909 LAS - SFO

This one is easy: Yosemite Valley in foreground, Tioga Pass on left, Mono Lake at top right and eastern Nevada top left.

Friday, October 17, 2008

CQSAT is free!

As in free to pay money for the beer, not free beer.

Now that the ownership and licensing is all figured out I can release much of this work. The website will be reworked and the wiki written as I roll the rest of this out. The source is on

CQSAT divides nicely into 3 parts. This is the first and earliest part, it's quite a complete example of how to use LD_PRELOAD to do library interposing. CQSAT can figure out how a project is comprised and built by examining how make/ant/maven et. al. use the C library and POSIX system calls.

This was probably the most interesting and rewarding piece of software that I've worked on to date. The initial coding was written in 2 frantic weeks in Saigon during the Summer of 2005; laptop, warm monsoon rain and (almost) free beer. But not all at the same time.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Adobe, you make my CPU go wild

One of these days I'll be a good engineer and figure out exactly why the Adobe firefox plug-in npviewer.bin spins up my CPU without reason. Then I'll post a solution and maybe write them a note.

But, ... It's kind of juvenile to write software with busy loops, no? they teach that in the first week of CS, right?

Here's something I occasionally run in a hidden window:

watch -n 30 'pkill npviewer.bin'

Quick way to cut my CPU usage by an order of magnitude.

P.S. I run fedora 9 Linux, Firefox 3.0.2, Shockwave flash 9.0 r124

Thursday, October 9, 2008


I crossed the street from the post office fully loaded with Netflix movies (unsubscribe!, repeat, unsubscribe!), Starbucks coffee (smells great!), AT&T bill (please let it not be another bill for $0.00 - "do not send any money"; that just plain confuses and scares me).

Riding shotgun in the car at the cross-walk, stretched from passenger seat with nose pressed against windshield was this totally cute terrier, fluffy white hair and big brown puppy-dog eyes (the genuine article no less).

That was the first thought through my head.

Next thought: cute Fluffy should meet shinny bathtub.

Next thought: Fluffy's midsection is awwwwfully close to where the airbag explodes from. No, not close to, resting against.

Last thought: sunroof.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Another day, another Euro

This is a blog entry. I like blog entries.