Thursday, December 22, 2005

Solaris 10 1/06 (aka Update 1) is out!!

It's here at last! After nearly a year of hardwork, all of the teams pulled together an excellent update for Solaris 10. It feels great to finally get the release out to the masses. In addition to many bug fixes, there are loads of performance enhancements and new features. Solaris 10 1/06 supports all of the new hardware platforms released over the last year, including the Niagra Cool Threads machines and the galaxy boxes.

This release contains the metaslot support for the Solaris Cryptographic Framework which makes programming to the framework easier than ever before, new GLD interface and updated network drivers to take advantage of the performance gains, and GRUB for x64 boot architecture. There's so much more, too. Check it out - let me know what you think! Visit the downloads section of

Now I should finally be able to get some sleep :-)

Thursday, October 27, 2005

What are Solaris 10 Updates made of: Patches and scripts and packages, too.

There seems to be some confusion about what a Solaris Update release is, both in and outside of the company, so I'd like to take an opportunity to explain how we are currently generating Solaris update releases.

First of all, a reminder, I am the technical lead for just the ON Consolidation for Solaris 10 Update 1. All of Solaris, aka the WOS, is made up of various consolidations. ON, the Operating System and Networking Consolidation, is just one of them. I can speak about how we handle things in ON land, but cannot promise that the same things apply across all consolidations. Most of ON is now available in OpenSolaris, to give you an idea of what code base I'm talking about. Mike Kupfer gives a good background on the ON consolidation.

The other caveat: there are exceptions. I will lay out first the basic structures of an update. Later entries will talk more about the exceptions and more fancy things, like features.

My mantra throughout this release has been "the patch gate is the update gate is the patch gate is the update gate...". I even included that in the gate's README file.

Put another way, update releases are made up almost entirely of patches, most of which are released early on SunSolve to provide binary relief to customers.

The most basic things that an update release contains are bug fixes, which I'll cover in this entry. These bugs may have been found internally or may have been reported by an external customer who escalated the issue. When a bug is fixed, it is first integrated in the release under development, in this case Nevada, where it undergoes significant testing and gains exposure on our internal servers and desktops. We call that "soaking".

After soak has completed, the fix comes back to the sustaining gate, on10-patch, where we do milestone builds every two weeks. At the end of a build, we will cut at least one patch for each integration we took for each applicable architecture and deliver those for further testing. The final patches will typically end up on SunSolve and are also used to create what is known as a Freshbit image of Solaris. Essentially, we start with an GA version of Solaris 10 and install patches on top of that image, to create an update build. That is, if the fix was not included in a patch, it will not be part of the update release.

Patches are cumulative so if patch A-01 contains a fix for bug X, patch A-02 will also contain a fix for bug X + some other bug fixes. Therefor, update builds are also cumulative. If something was fixed in a patch applied to the freshbit image of s10u1_01 it will still be fixed in s10u1_02 and so on.

In theory, you can take a base Solaris 10 03/05 system and patch up to an update release. In fact, you may remember when Sun used to release MUs (Maintenance Updates) which would basicly install the base OS then spend a couple of hours automatically patching it. Those where the bad ol' days - now we do the patching for you, and you can just upgrade or do a fresh install, getting essentially Solaris 10 03/05 and all relevant patches for your hardware.

Of course, there are exceptions, but most of those are not relevant for existing install base for Solaris 10 03/05.

I hope this helps to explain things a bit. I will have more entries, soon, to explain how features and new packages are handled and tested. let me know if any of this does not make sense, or if you have any specific questions on the interaction of patches and updates.

Sunday, October 16, 2005

Godspell & Baby Taj!

Wow - we've had two great weekends with Godspell. I've never felt as in touch with the audience as I do singing Turn Back O' Man. There's just something about singing a song right there with the audience literally touching you that is so amazingly cool. The cast has really gelled and the response from the audience has been phenomenal. They laugh with us and cry with us. It's really amazing! There's only one weekend left - it will be really hard to let go. If any of you are in the South San Francisco Bay Area, please come catch our last weekend (Oct 21-22) with the Studio Theatre of California.

Today I got to do something that I rarely have time for: I went to *see* a show! For the first time, I made it to Mountain View Center for the Performing Arts and caught a matinee performance of Baby Taj. It's a new play about a female travel writer agonizing over whether or not to start a "family" by herself, when she is sent on assignment to India to write about the Taj Mahal, Baby Taj, and other monuments. While staying with her roomate's cousins, she discovers a new culture and even finds romance where she least expected. All of the actors did a great job, but Qurrat Ann Kadwani really stood out in the role of Chandra. After you've come to see Godspell, you should try to make time to catch Baby Taj.

Friday, October 7, 2005

Levi Leipheimer & Godspell!

Had a GREAT bike ride with Levi Leipheimer on Wednesday, a reward for being one of the top 10 fundraisers for last spring's American Lung Associations bike4breath. What a fun day! pictures will be posted soon!

And tonight Godspell opens! I'm very nervous, but I know we're ready. We've rehearsed hard, and last night's dress rehearsal went really well. Anyone in the South San Francisco Bay Area should come down and see us at the Sunnyvale Congregational Church. I'm working with STOC (Studio Theatre of California) for the first time, and it's been a great experience.

Wednesday, September 28, 2005

Arnold Schwarzenegger, Wave Magazine VIPs and More!

Wow, what a week I've had - several brushes with local and international celebrities. Today, Sun Microsystems hosted a townhall for Arnold Schwarzenegger on our Menlo Park campus, in the courtyard. It was *very* hot out today, but it was pretty cool to get to meet Govenor Schwarzenegger in person and get to shake his hand. I certainly do not agree with all of his politics, but that was the cool thing: attendees were not chosen by political affiliation, but just by business unit.

This past Saturday, I was lucky enough to get invited to a Wave Magazine VIP party at the Buddha Lounge in downtown Mountain View, to celebrate the birthday of Wave editor-in-chief, John Newlin. While there, I got to not only meet Mr. Newlin, but also Bill Hargreaves, VP of something cool, and feature writer Seanbaby. (OK, so I already knew Bill and that's how I got into the party, but still, it's the first time I've seen him since he was promoted to VP). The Wave really knows how to throw a party!

And next week ... I get to meet Levi Leipheimer! Oh, and my production of Godspell! opens in Sunnyvale. Please come see it if you are in the San Francisco Bay Area! Rehearsals have been a bear, but the show is totally coming together.

Thursday, September 15, 2005

Oasis - and what's wrong with Liam?!?!

I know - I keep promising to blog more often, but Update 1 is keeping me INCREDIBLY busy! What a release - this will really be phenomenal when it comes out, if I do say so myself :-)

I ventured to Mountain View's Shoreline Ampitheater again last Sunday, Sept 11th, to catch Kasabian, Jet & Oasis. The one strange thing about the entire concert was the complete lack of mention by any of the performers that it was such a solemn anniversary. In fact, the only mention of the US by any of the performers was an insult by Noel of Oasis.

Kasabian had a *lot* more energy this time, and their stage presence was greatly improved since the last time I saw them. Still, they have room to grow, but there was a lot more connection to the audience.

Jet's psychedelic "thinly disguised phallic symbol" backdrop was interesting, to say the least. Their lighting and high energy made for a really fun set. We were up dancing for more than just a bit :-)

Now the headliner, Oasis. I've just recently started getting into their music, and Liam claims that not only are they bigger than the Beatles, but now they are even more important than Elvis. Huh?!?! Their lighting consisted of what looked like Christmas lights strewn over their various amplifiers and hanging from the flies, flashing red & blue lights with white spotlights that were reminiscent of being pulled over by a police officer, and some pale muted amber lights. Liam stood in one position (which looked incredibly uncomfortable - legs straight, bent at the waist towards the too low microphone with his head crooked up, thumbs through his beltloops) the ENTIRE set, only moving when it was his brothers turn to sing (when he left the stage entirely). The music was great, but there was zero interaction with the audience or even with each other, leaving much to be desired.

Well, I'd better run back to my never ending inbox.

Sunday, August 21, 2005

Coldplay was incredible!

Ok, so I've been out of town almost this entire summer, but... I did make it back to Mountain View to catch Coldplay on Friday.

The show was supposed to start at 7PM, but Janet & I sat in the cold until the opening act, Black Mountain, came on about 7:40PM. They were ok, getting better as they went on, but surprisingly went on for almost a full hour. Ok - we were ready to see Coldplay... waiting... waiting.... waiting ... more than an hour later, the band finally came on!

Coldplay was incredible - doing all of my favorite songs from each album, spicing up the lyrics with references to San Francisco and our major landmarks. Their rendition of the "Scientist" was amazing - Chris Martin sped up the ending to seemingly impossible speeds. He even managed to work in lyrics from Depeche Mode's "Somebody" later in another song. At one point, he came out to the middle of the audience to sing just a *bit* closer to us all.

All we could say as we walked away was "Wow." It was a phenomenal show - they really are better live than they are recorded.

Sorry it's been so long since my last update - I did a lot of traveling (favorite city just visited is a tie between Amsterdam, Holland and Bruges, Belgium). I even managed to make it to DefCon in Las Vegas for about 12 hours - it was intense, as always.

So much has happened since my last post! OpenSolaris - now that's very cool. More on that later!

Monday, June 13, 2005

Could I be the next Jerry Springer? and other events from Live105's BFD

Last Friday was Live105's BFD music festival. What a phenomenal day! We got there a bit late after a late lunch, just catching the sounds of Tegan & Sara as we approached the ampitheater. We spent a long time in the Sun enjoying Ash, Hot Hot Heat, the Kaiser Chiefs and many other small bands on the True Music Stage. My most annoying and disappointing act was The Bravery. They have one "hit" on the radio which is a completely different sound than the rest of their music. Appearing again at a Live105 event was the incredible rap sensation Lyric's Born, this time with a full live band and a more appreciative live audience - the resulting effect was an incredible 30 minutes of bliss. I was also most impressed with Sleater Kinney, though disappointed at their lack of a bassist (as a sometimes bass player, I have a softspot for people who can master the instrument)

After wandering out of the True Music stage area, we were checking out some booths and found a few reps from the Jerry Springer show, apparently running a contest for "be Jerry for a day". After a couple of beers, it seemed like a good idea to audition and sign my life away on the FIVE pages of disclosures. The audition was relatively easy for me, as I've done so much theater, but I was not as quick on my feet as normal at making up lyrics to songs (which is what we were asked to do). So... I instead started singing Violent Femme's Add It Up... and my audition was stopped. All the same, snippets of my audition may appear in commercials for Jerry Springer, as I also made fun of people from Indiana (where I am from).

The main stage was even better, although I was disappointed with Kasabian's low energy start, Jimmy Eat World stepped up and put on a great show. Things just improved from there, with one of my all time favorite bands, Social Distortion coming out and rocking HARD. I've been fans of these guys for more than 10 years, and they are just amazing live now as they were years ago. Amazing rifs, guitar solos in all the right places and great lyrics. Wow!

I thought Social Distortion's performance would be hard to beat, but Dave Grohl & the Foo Fighter's took it up a notch and did not disappoint. Full energy, full throttle, all the way. These guys rock harder in person than they do on any of their radio edits. Incredible! Dave Grohl even did a "jam session" which took him wandering through the pavilion, drinking other people's beers. Later, Dave mentioned they were going to do something they'd never done before, then put their drummer on the microphone. I first suspected that they were going to just swap instruments, since it's well known Grohl is an amazing drummer, but again Foo Fighter's surprised us. They brought out a very good friend to be a guest drummer: Stuart Copeland of the Police! Wow! They did "Next to You" and it was incredible. Copelands beats rocked just as hard as any of the punk bands I'd watched that day, yet he did it in such a subtle manner. A small flick of the wrist, barely perceptible, and the beats were hard and fast paced. Impressive!
It will be hard for next year to top this. Wow!

Monday, May 30, 2005

Bike for Breath a huge success!

Wow! It's done! We started out bright and early leaving the hotel parking lot at 7:15 AM to register and pick up our jersey's and t-shirts. After a quick rendevous at the car, we were off by 7:40 AM to start our 65-mile ride! Here's me and Danek Duvall getting started.

It was a cool and incredibly windy day. I didn't see the sunlight until well after noon. This was the longest bike ride I've ever been on, and I'm quite happy with myself that I was able to finish in 6 hours and 8 minutes (including rest stops). It was an amazing ride in a beautiful part of California. My team, Team Salty Dawgs, were the number one fundraisers. I should've gotten a picture of us with the trophy, but after the ride I was a bit tired and just thinking about eating lunch.

Happily, I wasn't too sore or too tired, until I got out of the car after the long drive home. Then I discovered I had tendinitis in my knee *ouch*. But after only hobbling around for a couple of days, I'm already feeling much better. I'd like to get back in the saddle again, but will be passing on road bikes for awhile and get back to my mountain biking. :-)

More pictures can be found on my website.

Monday, May 23, 2005

Training continues!!!

I did 45 miles on Saturday and another 13 on Sunday. Not as much riding as I was hoping to get in this weekend, but it was hot and I got hungry :-) I'm going to have to do some serious climbing on Saturday as well as just sitting in the saddle a long time. I figure that the 65-mile bike ride will take me about 5.5 hours, perhaps more, depending on how hot it is. I will finish the ride - it means a lot to my mother, and a lot to me. The Bike4Breath group has been very supportive, too. It should be a ton of fun - the Salty Dawgs ride on Saturday! Argh, matey!

watch this space for ride photos...

Monday, May 16, 2005

Sun's employees are amazingly generous!

I am currently raising funds for the Bike4Breath's 2 Rock Ride (I'm doing 65-miles!) and I am just amazed at how incredibly generous Sun employees are. Even in these tight times, not one person I've asked for a donation has said no. And I've just been flabbergasted at just how giving each person is. Wow!!

I did two training rides this weekend. First was just starting from home, going to the Alpine Inn, down to Sun Menlo Park, and home again - *whew*. Yesterday, I went to Hecker Pass in Gilroy, started out at Fortino Winery, then road all around through that beautiful area, winding through
Morgan Hill and getting back to Fortino just in time to pick up a couple of bottles of their wonderful Zinfandel.

I did just about 60 miles this weekend. I have to somehow work this up to 65-miles in one ride in the next two weeks. Yikes!

Tuesday, May 10, 2005

Chairman's Award winner! Yipee!!!

Every year, Scott McNeally and the executive staff give out a handfull of awards for outstanding contributions and innovations. This year, the Solaris Cryptographic Framework for Solaris 10 was awarded one of the prizes! This is an amazing recognition for all of our efforts and the great benefits the crypto framework can bring to developers and ISVs!

Our team got to spend the entire morning with the executive staff, in attendance at the virtual leadership conference, and we all got to shake Scott's hand and get our pictures taken with the award.

Afterwards, the executive staff provided a boxed lunch with an executive at every table. I was fortunate enough to get to sit with Jonathan Schwartz and Anil Gadre. Both of these men were very open to listening to feedback from the "normal" employees at the table and actually seemed interested.

Now I'm just waiting for people in the field to really start playing with the Solaris Cryptographic Framework and giving us feedback. C'mon - we're waiting!

Thursday, April 28, 2005

Useless surgeons

I have a supposed ganglion cyst in the tip of my middle finger. Not everyone can feel it, but I can feel it all the time. It bothers me when I open the refrigerator. It bothers me when I'm driving. It bothers me sometimes even while I'm typing. I saw a nurse about it about a month ago at Kaiser (CA based HMO), who referred me to a surgeon to have the cyst aspirated. I finally got into see the surgeon and after a very long wait, and this resident examined the finger and started sticking a syringe into it. We're all naturally raised to not question authority, particularly doctors, so it took all the nerve I had to point out to her that she was not injecting the syringe anywhere near where the cyst was. It turns out, she hadn't felt the cyst at all during the examination! She was just jabbing my finger randomly, hoping to hit that thing I was complaining about! Exasperated, she begrudgingly agreed to get another syringe and try again.... and she missed again (but this time insisted that she didn't). She told me I had only two remaining options: surgery, which has a high risk of nerve damage (not a good thing for a finger!); or ignore it. Hmpf. I think I'll wait until my doctor is back from her maternity leave and ask for a referral to a *different* surgeon.

Tuesday, April 26, 2005

First game of the season - a win!

So, I'm too busy this summer to actually commit to any softball team as a full time player, but I am a sub on two teams. Last night was my first time playing with the Menlo Park 'Freaks', and besides being very cold outside, it was an excellent game. My fielding didn't totally suck, and I actually got a hit *and* got on base *and* progressed a runner (instead of one of us getting out). Pretty amazing. All the same, I need to get to a batting cage if I'm going to play anymore! My hitting was ... well... subpar. Fortunately, this was a really cool team to play with and everyone was very supportive. That's critical for me, because I'm not a serious player (obviously) so I'm only playing to have fun, and fun it definitely was. We won, 18-10. Yippee!

Other than softball, I've been riding my bike a lot. Just rode it 5 days in a row, at least 20 miles on each day. I need to get close to 60 before the big Bike 4 Breath ride at the end of May.

Thursday, April 21, 2005

RTI Madness!!

We've got a major build closing tonight, and I'm up to my ears in RTIs (Request To Integrate). This is a good thing :-)

Ooops... Never actually *posted* that last night. Anyways, all went well and I did finally get to leave the office about 11.30PM.

My mom's cancer

My mom is a lung cancer survivor and she sent me a link to an online (for now) comic about one family coping with their mother having lung cancer, simply put as My Mom's Cancer. My mother was lucky and hers did not spread to her brain, and she's also a nonsmoker (never has smoked, but she's been around it her whole life), but there are so many parallels to this guys story.

My mom's cancer was also found by just dumb luck. She had a fall and broke her leg. Considering it was not a bad fall, her doctor was concerned that she may have been osteoperatic (she is) and may have broken other bones, so she went in for a series of x-rays. The leg was the only bone broken, so she went home to heal up.

Months later, she went back to work. Because she is a nurse and happens to work in the same hospital where her leg was set, she asked to look at her own x-rays just out of curiosity. Looking at her chest film, she noticed something strange in her left lung and found notes from the radiologist suggesting to her primary care physician that follow-up was needed about the discrepancy in her lung. It was cancer. Her doctor had never mentioned it.

Suddenly her shortness of breath and repeated respiratory infections made sense.

Because of the broken leg and my mother following up on her own x-rays, the cancer was found very early and it was operable. Sounds easy, doesn't it? Not really. Her oncologist removed half of her left lung to make sure nothing spread or was missed. That's a very invasive surgery, and even 4 years later my mother still has nerve pain. The road to recovery was not short or easy.

Anyways, reading that comic sort of brought all the memories back. I was living far away from my mom at the time, so I was only there for the surgery. My sisters were there for all of the other very difficult times, and I'm so glad for that. I'm doing a bike ride this summer to raise funds for the American Lung Association - hopefully money I raise now can help prevent more people from having to go through this.

Monday, April 11, 2005

Solaris Cryptographic Framework - Demo providers

The news just gets better & better!

We've just released the source code for some sample providers for the userland cryptographic framework. If you're interested in developing libraries to plug into uCF in Solaris 10, this is a great starting place. The demo provider has source code for a lot of the basic PKCS#11 stuff, like session management, and skeletons for the rest of the crypto stuff.

You can get the providers from the Sun download center.

Other sample code is available from the development guide (click on Solaris Security Examples).

many thanks to our intern, Susan, for all her hard work making these demo providers a reality. We hope they'll save Solaris developers lots of time getting started making providers for the Solaris Cryptographic Framework. Let me know what you think!

Friday, April 1, 2005

Solaris Cryptographic Framework Whitepaper published!

Ok, this took entirely too long, but I've finally gotten the whitepaper I wrote on the Solaris Cryptographic Framework published externally! Finally, in Solaris 10, access to optimized cryptographic algorithms are brought to the general user. Now you can read all about it on BigAdmin: Solaris Cryptographic Framework

Let me know what you think, or if you have any questions. There is also a Kernel API/SPI that is touched on briefly in the paper. We're working on stabilizing the kernel interfaces so we can publish those as well.

This paper also contains my first piece of externally published source code that I've written for Sun. It is a combination of Sun's strict c-style and RSA's PCKS#11 style. Certainly not the most challenging work I've done for Sun (that would be SunScreen's NAT or itself). Go ahead and try it out on your s10 box now.

Wednesday, March 30, 2005

Solaris 10 Update 1 - Crunch Time!

So, we've moved into bug fixing mode over the last month, and now we are folding our feature gate and our bug fix gate into one. And the last minute features are crawling out of the woodwork! Lots of folks threatening to escalate up to Jonathan Schwartz (or telling me how important this feature is to Mr. Schwartz), or at the very least threatening to escalate to my VP, if I just can't understand why their feature is so important.

Here's the thing: Updates are *very* short releases. We just don't have that many builds, and as much as we all do testing, new features very often have bugs. Or defects, or issues - whatever you want to call them, I don't want more problems in my gate. It's important to Sun, and to me, to make each release a quality release, which is why at some point in time I just have to say "no" to new features. Fortunately, most folks are very understanding and will retarget their project to the next update. The releases really aren't that far apart.

Soon we'll be in "stopper" mode, which means I'll even have to say no to noncritical bug fixes.

All the same, I'm still really enjoying my work on the update. It's really cool getting insight into other groups, though it can also be frustrating getting insight into other groups ;-) The update core staff are all hardworking, intelligent people. I'm very lucky, indeed!

Now I just have to get back to my obnoxiously large RTI queue....

Tuesday, March 15, 2005

Squirels, cats and bats - oh my!

Ok, so for a long time now, I've been plagued by the squirels that live on my roof and love to run across the cable wires to the apartment across the alley. I'm not bothered by the squirels themselves, but rather by my cat who is fascinated with them - and with trying to attack them. This wouldn't be a problem if she could watch the squirels from another room, but she has to be in the same room as me at all times. Squirels get up much earlier in the morning than I like to, which means I have to listen to my cat meowing and pawing at the window and blinds first thing in the morning.

Katy (the cat) gets really wound up by these squirels and will often try to actually jump at them, as she does not understand the concept of gravity and windows. One early morning last summer, she took off running at full speed at a squirel on the wire and hit the screen. I had just recentlly gotten new windows and when she hit the screen, instead of stopping her like my old screens did, she FLEW out the second story window to a concrete alley below. I grabbed my glasses and ran full speed out the door and down the stairs in my pajamas, thankfully finding a perfectly terrified but healthy cat. She's an indoor only beast, and the big wide outside was just more than she could handle. I think these new screens are somehow fire safety, or something, because they pop out of the window *so* easily.

Now, you would think she would've learned a valuable lesson about gravity and the sysiphian nature of her attack on the squirels. Nope. She's just as much a squirel fanatic as before. Only now, I have to make sure I don't open the window wide enough for her to knock the screen out, and instead she rams herself against the window.

Then it gets worse.

Last night, I notice she's going apeshit over something she can see out of the window of my bedroom and everytime I drag her into another room, she goes running (full speed) back to the bedroom to the window. So, I go into my room and look out the window and see little dark flashes going by the window. Turning off the lights confirmed my suspicions: bats. Lots of them. Now my cat has something to "chase", in my bedroom, at all hours when I might possibly want to sleep. I hope bats are just seasonal. *ugh*

Tuesday, February 22, 2005


Just got back from an amazingly beautiful weekend in Seattle. After the rough week here at Sun last week, it was good to get away for a few days. We stayed with a couple of my college friends at their new house - very impressive! Lots of eating, drinking, walking and shopping occurred, along with the obligatory trips to Pike Place Market and the Space Needle. As always, meals out in Seattle were fantastic. We went out to the People's Pub on Friday night and tasted nearly every one of the outstanding beers they had on tap, Saturday was the Snappy Dragon and Sunday was half price wine night at Calypso. The jerk spiced ribs at Calypso were delicious! The only, um, odd note is: don't trust the new public toilets on the water front. The sensors for determining if they are occupied or not do not always work, and there is no button at all for *closing* the doors if they are opened at an inopportune time. *hmpf*

Thursday, February 10, 2005

Email, sleep and a couch warming party

Had an interesting weekend, looked into mutt for mailreading again, alas, it doesn't meet all of my needs (most importantly, being able to have more than one active composition open at the same time), so I'll stick with dtmail & pine for now. The search for a much less lame mailreader continues.

Saturday started out with an incredible lecture on sleep and the brain at Stanford, featuring Professors Dement and Kushida. Wow! I never would've thought sleep could be so interesting. Both speakers were energetic and interesting.

Dr. Kushida extensively covered obstructive sleep apnea, different types of insomnia (including things to help treat this yourself - like, you should never lay awake in bed for more than 20 minutes. If that happens, get out of bed and do something in a different room that will make you drowsy and only then return to bed), narcolepsy and violent somnambulisms (sleep screaming, running, driving and killing).

Dr. Dement is a pioneer in sleep research and is the doctor who actually discovered REM sleep, which he noted is common in all mammals. There was a lot of information about REM and what happens to the brain after you fall asleep. For instance, the brain keeps sending signals to your body - it's only due to REM paralysis that you normally don't act out your dreams in the real world. He also covered, in depth, the concept of "sleep debt". Simply stated, sleep debt accumulates the more days you go without a full night's sleep, and one good night's sleep does not make up for all of your missed sleep. I've always felt that this was true, but so many of my friends said that it wasn't possible to accumulate a lack of sleep. Dr. Dement presented some very compelling evidence (including a study done at NIMH that accidentally proved his hypothesis that sleep debt existed), so I'm going to follow his advice and try to get just a bit more sleep every night.

And as a strange highlight this week, I went to my friend Val's house for her "couch warming party," where her Swedish friend, Lina, made us delicious Swedish meatballs, mashed popotatoes and herring pie. I was surprised, the herring pie was really good! At the party, I ran into a fan of Professor Dement who has now loaned me the book "The Promise of Sleep," Dr. Dements attempt at educating the general public about sleep and why it is so important.

Update 1 is rolling right along, still generating tons of emails. Most of the features targeting this release have been reviewed and are just "soaking" waiting to integrate. There will be a few driver updates later, but it's still exciting to see things progressing this far. It's a lot of work being a tech lead, but very interesting.

Tuesday, February 8, 2005

Trail Etiquette

So, I was riding on St. Joseph's hill this weekend, and as I was about to overtake a couple of walkers, I called out the standard "On your left!" Well, the walkers didn't move and continued to take up the majority of the trail. I was afraid I'd clip one of them as I passed, so I called out again and slowed down. Yet, as I got closer, neither of the walkers had moved, so this time I yelled out "On your left!" One of the walkers turned to me and shouted, "We heard you the first time!"

Hmmpf. In case it's not obvious, faster users of a trail not only announce their presence as a courtesy, but also for everybody's safety.

Still, had a great ride. It was much more difficult than it should've been, which means I need to get out more.

Wednesday, February 2, 2005

Email and Updates!

Working on a Solaris update generates lots and lots of email. My poor inbox is swelling and it's giving good old dtmail a run for its money. Now before you get on my case for using such an outdated mailer, let me explain: I like dtmail's WYSIWYG interface (it doesn't do any editing after I hit "send"), ability to open links in messages, plain text reading (I'm not forced to look at disgusting porn images from spammers), sorting with views, and ability to be editing multiple messages at a time. Now I do need to use pine every now and again to go in and delete tons of email to get the quantities down.

I hear Evolution has come a long way since I first gave it a try a couple years back. Perhaps I should give it another try...

S10 update 1 is moving right along - we're in the middle of our second build and all is still going smoothly.

Thursday, January 20, 2005


In response to the comments on the Update1 post - it's much to soon to post a feature list, the gate just opened! I don't want to count my eggs before they hatch! ;-) There is a lot of process involved into getting into an update release, mostly because updates are essentially a collection of patches and making a patch is more complicated than a standard integration. I'll post more on features as soon as I have more firm information on what is going into the ON consolidation.

Wednesday, January 19, 2005

Solaris 10, update 1

Is really ramping up right now! We've opened our gate and we're now taking putbacks for features that just couldn't quite make it into Solaris 10. This is my first time working on a "c-team" (consolidation team) since I've been at Sun. I'm no longer just getting a bird's eye view of how a release works - I'm in there with the wolves! It's all very intense, but exciting! I haven't been so closely involved with a release since I worked on SunScreen several years ago.

Wednesday, January 5, 2005

SPAMalot! The Musical

I was fortunate enough to secure tickets to Monty Python's SPAMalot in Chicago last week. It's a musical version of Monty Python's the Holy Grail, written by Eric Idle. This was a fantastic production - I've never laughed so hard during a musical! The show is world premiering in Chicago, getting ready to go to Broadway in February. According to the usher near us, the show is constantly changing based on audience reaction. Unfortunately, our "limited view" seats were even more limited by the castle walls built on the proscenium, still we had a lot of fun.

The cast featured Tim Curry as King Arthur, Hank Azaria as Lancelot and rude frenchman on top of the castle, and David Hyde-Pierce as an apt Sir Robin. The show had so many references to Monty Python sketches that I lost count, and even worked in the ever popular "Look at the Bright Side of Life" from Life of Brian as a singalong! The female roles were beefed up quite a lot - the Lady of the Lake/Guinievier/Cow was fabulous. John Cleese even had a cameo as the voice of God.

One thing that was surprising was that from our limited view seats we had a full view of off-stage-left, and apparently these professional actors had never been told about two basic rules of theater: 1) be in character the moment you step backstage 2) if you can see the audience, they can see you. So, I got to see several ensemble members getting into costume (usually as monks, which were played by women) and joking around with someone backstage. The program for the show was also a bit disappointing, as almost all bios were a very dry read of every role each actor had ever played and where. The two notable exceptions were the bios of Monty Python, Eric Idle and Brad Bradley (a former theater bathroom cleaner ;-).

SPAMalot! The Musical

I was fortunate enough to secure tickets to Monty Python's SPAMalot in Chicago last week. It's a musical version of Monty Python's the Holy Grail, written by Eric Idle. This was a fantastic production - I've never laughed so hard during a musical! The show is world premiering in Chicago, getting ready to go to Broadway in February. According to the usher near us, the show is constantly changing based on audience reaction. Unfortunately, our "limited view" seats were even more limited by the castle walls built on the proscenium, still we had a lot of fun.

The cast featured Tim Curry as King Arthur, Hank Azaria as Lancelot and rude frenchman on top of the castle, and David Hyde-Pierce as an apt Sir Robin. The show had so many references to Monty Python sketches that I lost count, and even worked in the ever popular "Look at the Bright Side of Life" from Life of Brian as a singalong! The female roles were beefed up quite a lot - the Lady of the Lake/Guinievier/Cow was fabulous. John Cleese even had a cameo as the voice of God.

One thing that was surprising was that from our limited view seats we had a full view of off-stage-left, and apparently these professional actors had never been told about two basic rules of theater: 1) be in character the moment you step backstage 2) if you can see the audience, they can see you. So, I got to see several ensemble members getting into costume (usually as monks, which were played by women) and joking around with someone backstage. The program for the show was also a bit disappointing, as almost all bios were a very dry read of every role each actor had ever played and where. The two notable exceptions were the bios of Monty Python, Eric Idle and Brad Bradley (a former theater bathroom cleaner ;-).