Pat Gunn (dachte) wrote,
Pat Gunn

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Frozen Arms Race

From arms to stilts - frozen limbs slumber and become alien tools..

I've mentioned mjd's Advocacy before - a fantastic game for geeks trying to be clever (without irritations like trying to figure out rules ;P). While walking yesterday to visit some friends, that idea hooked up with a past amusement - attempting to figure out ways to execute a risky syscall that might cause the calling process to block (presumably because something went badly wrong, like a filesystem going away, that still leaves the kernel and anything that doesn't deal with "touchy subjects" intact). Idea: an arms race between those two, where one person describes a solution, and the other person thinks up another superficially unixy system that would cause that to block, and gives a justification (unlike in advocacy, a good reason is preferred) why that would block under some reasonable system. The solutions person is stuck to userspace, the problem person is stuck in kernelspace.

As I played this game for a bit with myself, a lot of the rationales quickly took me in the direction of advanced clustering where processes and filesystems are much more actively managed than in a traditional Unix. Fun stuff, and a nice distraction from the walk.

JasonM is thinking of moving to CA as well, which would rock if I end up nearby. I am still waiting for more Unixy jobs to open up at UCSB though, and while I wait my days are full of reading, walks in the park, DOFUS, and occasionally playing on the Wii. I'm having a good time programming for and playing with the OLPC as well - the quirks in the environment are things I've largely figured out, and I've found a number of things that should be done better. I still need to figure out to whom I should be sending patches for various things though. I've still been seeing very little of people I know in Pgh...


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