I neglected to write up anything on the blog in November despite it being the penultimate of months, so here’s a meandering catch-up post to atone. My apologies for the gratuitous self-linking that is about to ensue.
On Halloween: our 2-year old went as Kung Fu Panda (his favorite movie, and yes, shame on his parents for letting him watch movies) for Halloween this year. He was quite excited to learn that you can just go ask for candy from strangers and they will give it to you. He has mastered enough language to say “Pumpkin Scary,” which he did given every opportunity on seeing the skull I had carved on the pumpkin on the right. The other pumpkin is supposed to be McQueen from the Disney Cars property; Alex called it “Pumpkin Car.” They are now composting. So it goes.
On Thanksgiving: being a half-US, half-Canadian family, we get to celebrate both Thanksgivings: the fake one and the real one. And so we did. It was great spending time with the family and meeting up with some old friends in Atlanta, though we learned painful lessons about air travel with young children.
On Canada: I’ve now been in Canada for a little over a year. Among the observations I had detailed previously, I can now add these:
- We do have a few days here in the summer that qualify as hot, but no, it does not get Georgia-in-August-hot.
- Canadian Coca-cola is superior to non-KFP USA Coke, and despite what the PR machine in Atlanta will tell you, you can easily tell the difference between sugar and HFCS when you’re used to one or the other.
- Canadian TV is even more a wasteland when there is no hockey.
On Bash Goto: per my last post, I considered how hard it would be to write an x86 emulator in bash. Conclusion: despite the potential good fun in simulating %eip using ‘nl’ and sed, I’ll leave this task to someone else. However, I did improve my actual implementation of this somewhat. One easy win is to put the jump labels inside comments so that an ordinary run of the script won’t barf. And so that is what I did.
On Work: while I’ve been a contractor in name for the last year, I have now taken on some other contracts and thereby made this status more official. It was a tough decision to go this route versus, say, working on a salaried basis with some large, hypothetical mobile chipmaker with a Canadian presence, but so far I am happy with the choice. Most recently, I have been doing some Linux mesh networking stuff with Cozybit. It may be a while before any of it finds its way upstream (there are NDAs involved) but I claim that it is cool stuff. In the meantime, I get to continue slaying big data dragons at LP/Xmarks.
On HBase: speaking of HBase, two things have recently come to my attention. First, there is Hannibal, a cluster monitoring tool which was inspired by my post about beating gnuplot over the head with perl. I had nothing to do with its implementation otherwise, but it looks pretty cool. Secondly, I recently had an enquiry about my cache-oblivious code from some HBase folks. I’m not working on that either, but I am hopeful that something comes of it since it would be great if these ideas (not my own) percolate out into mainstream practice.