Travels and Images

Last Week < Sun-Mon- Tue- Wed-Thur- Fri- Sat> Next Week

Picture of the Week

Lancaster Weather

Sunday 25 August 2002

Sunday - my good friend Tim and his wife Donna were in town, so we all went out to a late brunch at Crazy Otto's . It was a good group and we all enjoyed it. Afterwards we just hung out a bit.

Later we did a little plumbing repair ( thanks to Tim!  ) and I tutored a friends child in elementary algebra. I've tutored before, and it can be a real delight when someone bright and interested is your pupil!

Monday 26 August 2002

Monday -  things are proceeding at work. I convinced the two Linux boxes to talk to each other, now I need to configure PVM as well. It doesn't seem quite happy - the version I am using, 3.3.4, and the hard copy book are a little out of synch so that may have something to do with it. I was able to compile _hello_ and it returned a success code, but there is no printout from the slave process. Hmmmm. Did it run successfully or not? It looks as though PVM is a stale ( mature?) product, with few updates in the last few years. Perhaps MPI is the way to go after all?

We are also trying to configure a new faster computer, as a second line of attack. We want a Pentium 4 @ 2.8Ghz, but despite the announcements no-one actually seems to have such a processor. We did find one source that claims to have 2.67Ghz cpus in stock.  For the motherboard, probably an Intel D850EMVL2, or a variant, running the RAMBUS memory. It's more expensive, and certainly the Rambus memory is sourced from crooks, but at 40 days plus of runtime we need every advantage we can get. We are puzzling still over PC800 and PC1066 memory, and whether or not to get ECC...

Yesterday's tutorial was apparently a success, as my student passed her entrance exam into Algebra!  She's a natural, and  while I knew that she could do it, being able to convince the examiners with only two hours of preparation speaks  for itself!  Kudo's for her , and what the heck, a pat on the back for myself!

There has been a coyote hanging around at work lately.  If you work until near dusk you'll see him - he hangs around outside the fence line, searching for the unwary mouse or rabbit. Thursday he thought about stalking a couple of ravens.  They were on to him however, and were just playing - he never had a chance at either, and realizing it he loped off into the sagebrush.

I talked to my old friend Dave last night, and he mentioned that Stephen King had a new book out,  ' Black House ', and that he was tempted to buy it. So today I happened to see it in the 'New Books' section of the local library and have taken it home. King is a good writer - I think he could be a great writer if he wrote less,  or perhaps condensed the best parts from several books into one. Anyway, I don't read him much any more, but this looks like it might be a sequel to ' The Talisman ' which I have read, many years ago. Actually, it has as a co-author Peter Straub , and I think many of his best books were in fact done with Straub.

Tuesday 27 August 2002

Tuesday - things progressed with PVM. It turns out that the output was being written to a log file unless I inserted a little  -> into the console command. So I ran several of the test cases until I got to "hitc" which it is suggested that you run with XPVM , the graphical interface.  Not included in PVM. so, off into the wilds of the internet I went searching for XPVM and the configuration thereof ( it uses TCL and TK ).  And, after a few hours work it seems to sort of be working. I now have the GUI console, tomorrow we'll test it and see what shakes out.  It's good to end a day's work on some sort of success.

Tim's been working diligently, configuring a desirable P4 system. A lot of online stores now report the 2.8GHz cpu as being in-stock.  It seems that PC1066 RDRAM is the way to go for maximum performance, we have some interesting benchmarks on the OSU page showing the difference between a 'consumer' system and a 'performance' system. One uses standard PC800, the other PC1066, and there is 10% difference between them. And the cost of ECC is only a small premium over non-ECC, so we'll go with that for now.

Wednesday 28 August 2002

Wednesday - the XPVM console seems to be working OK. I could start "hitc" and watch them in the time-space window as the started, interacted, and stopped. Pretty cool. Now I need to write my own jobs....

No coyote this evening, although it was near sundown. Perhaps if I had left a few minutes later....

Thursday 29 August  2002

Thursday - working a bit with PVM, and other jobs as well.  Dinner at Tokyo Steak House ( Beni-Hana clone ) and a nice walk in the evening. Tim made brownies and cookies, yum!

Friday 30 August  2002

Friday - I did a half day or so of work, and then headed up north to see my dad. Now that I have two cats this involves a lot of coordination of people to watch them while I'm away. Formerly a day or two was no problem, a bowl of cat food sufficed. Now that the one cat has developed the lamentable habit of overeating and then vomiting everywhere, friends and relative's have to be pressed into service. I have, however, been working on some plans for an automated feeder:

Idea's #1 and #2 are mine,  #3 is my fathers... As you may guess, he's more of a dog man.

Saturday 31 August 2002

Saturday - we went out to Pegg's for breakfast. I still remember there being a rather run down bar called 'Mickeys' there, but it's now a nice clean well lit breakfast/lunch place. They served more food than either my Dad or I could eat. After that I worked a bit in the back yard mowing and edging, and drinking Heinecken. In the evening we watched the Oakland A's win their seventeenth game in a row, a world record...


>Picture of the Week
sailboat going downwing


Photo Notes: Here we are see a sloop entering the Richmond Ship Channel, going downwind, as my brother and I are heading out.  Downwind sailing is always a little tricky, particularly in a narrow channel with lots of tugboat traffic. Still, it beats motoring...

Last Week < Sun-Mon- Tue- Wed-Thur- Fri- Sa t > Next Week