It has been long since I last wrote here. The reason is I was very busy finishing my PDCS master thesis this summer. All the hard work paid off very well. I successfully graduated with an average grade of 8.3! During my time at the Vrije Universiteit I learned a lot about technical subjects like distributed systems, parallel computing and security but also about presentations, writing good reports and how to do research well. What I especially liked about the PDCS program is that there was much opportunity for specialization. In my case, I have a strong interest in operating systems and I could combine this perfectly with my interest in the parallel computing and security area’s of PDCS. This was especially true for my graduate project, which involved implementing the MINIX operating system to the Intel Single Chip Cloud Computer. In short, the SCC is an experimental new architecture by Intel, attempting to scale multicore systems to hundreds to thousands of cores on a single chip. There are a number of reasons why we think MINIX and microkernels in general could be an excellent fit for systems like the SCC, which are, in addition to many technical details, also discussed in my thesis. If you want to read my thesis, visit the projects page on my personal website, or click here to directly download my thesis.
Today, I actually received my diploma at the Vrije Universiteit during an officially organized ceremony. Of course, my parents were there, but also both my grandmother’s. I especially appreciated that Prof. Andrew S. Tanenbaum was also there, who supervised the projects I did in MINIX during my time at the VU, including my graduate project. We took photo’s of the event as well, see some shots below!
Long time no posts, but this may be interesting. Recently I’ve started to look at Google Android development and decided to write a small game to see how easy it would be. And surprise surprise, it’s a piece of cake. The game I wrote is a simple puzzle game called Plumber. The goal is to rotate pipes so they form a path from the valve to the end. With Eclipse I learned Android and wrote the game in less than 2 days work. I published it on the google market 2,5 weeks ago and now it has already reached over 100,000 downloads, not to mention the money it generates with admob. Users generally like the game and I got loads of positive comments and feedback by mail. Anyway, I think this demonstrates the capabilities of google market and the mobile computing platform in general very well and it’ll be interesting to see how such simple games can really grow into something.
After a 27-hour travel from Amsterdam to our Kungfu hotel in Zhengzhou China, we finally arrived, totally messed up, with a big jet lag. The plane from Bejing airport to Zhengzhou was delayed for several hours because of a storm. But from the moment we left schiphol, every day has been an incredible adventure. The people here in China love us! When we walk in the streets here, everybody watches us, smiles and waves, especially the girls ;-). We are like Michael Jackson here! The food is good (very different from chinese food in europe) and we do what we want everyday. Our room is filled with stuff we bought in the enormous shops here in Zhengzhou and the shaolin temple. We’ve also been to a classical teahouse with our shifu (our shaolin kungfu teacher). It’s such an experience to be here. It seems that everything in china is broken. In our room, electicity and water goes on and off at random times throughout the day. The toilet is almost falling apart and we have ants in our room stealing our snacks. Even better is the traffic in China: there are no rules. Everybody just drives his car wherever he/she likes. Its a normal thing that cars drive on the wrong side of the road. And when people cross an extremely busy street with cars driving randomy everywhere, people just walk and wait in the middle of the road. I’ve even seen people walking on the highway. Its such a bizarre idea that there are no rules for traffic here. Also funny that people just throw their trash on the street here. Everywhere you walk you find trash. People dont care. Its almost as if there are no rules whatsoever here in china. Words just cant describe the feeling. Just look at the photos and enjoy!
Yay I got a new camera for my birthday! And it works flawlessly with my Linux. Check out these
shots I made:
Today it was my turn to present a paper for the Cluster and Grid Computing class. From my own perspective, it went really well, and fortunately I got lots of positive feedback from the audience too.
Thanks to this course I have experienced something very crucial about presentations in general: people are visual. When somebody explains a system to me, I always visualize it in my head, e.g. the interactions between nodes etc. So I paid special attention to use the slides to help visualizing it, and the feedback from the audience confirmed that this really helped a lot. For next time, I’m gonna stick with this approach 🙂
Download the presentation here: gfs
Yay, my Intel Pro/1000 driver for MINIX3 is finally complete, tested and committed to the MINIX3 SVN! I learned a great deal from the project, and had great fun doing it. The easiest part of the project was, a bit surprizingly, writing the driver. I got the first version working under Qemu in roughly 2,5 weeks from start, but it took me until December to test it on several real hardware cards, measure performance and write the final report (coming soon here). As a nice-to-have extra, I wrote a tutorial on device driver development on the MINIX3 wiki, which I really missed when I started learning MINIX3 about two years ago. The absence of a nice tutorial like that made it (too) difficult for me to get started with contributing code to MINIX, and was eventually the main reason I wrote FreeNOS. Ofcourse, have a look on the MINIX3 wiki and SVN if you’re interested 🙂 Enjoy! 😀