You never see them in the same room together

Well, I know I’d rather see Superman as President than, say, Conan the Librarian.

Embedded Linux interview from April

One of the nice things about my work is that I get a steady stream of academic and not-quite-so-academic journals turning up in my pigeon-hole, for me to read and then pass on to a colleague. Most of the time these contain nothing of interest to me, but now and then that’s not the case. The April issue of ACM Queue just turned up on my desk, and it’s dedicated to embedded systems. Booooring, I hear you say. Well, yes, but look: here’s an interview with Jim Ready of Monta Vista Software, all about his company‘s use of Linux in the embedded space.

Nice interview, and a couple of particularly neat-o quotes:

On Microsoft:

For similar reasons, the Asia-Pacific region is also a very strong supporter of Linux. Part of Linux’s strength in Asia comes from not wanting to hand the keys of the kingdom to a proprietary OS vendor. Neither Sony nor anybody else is going to let Microsoft define what a television, PVR, PDA, or phone is, although Microsoft would love to do it. There’s an “ain’t going to happen” aspect driving the Linux adoption in the consumer space, meaning people are not going to hand the market over to a sole-source provider. The beneficiary is Linux, and we are a key supplier of embedded Linux. This is a very, very strong market phenomenon, no question about it.

On porting Linux to non-x86 architectures:

Let’s put it this way: If it were a big job to rip out x86 stuff and put in all these other CPU-specfic things, we wouldn’t be doing what we’re doing today. We release an image of Linux and its utilities across all those architectures at the same time, exactly at the same revision level: something no one has ever done in the world before, by the way. And we’ve done it in a very straightforward, highly automated way. If there were really weird “broken” parts of Linux, it would make that impossible. So we’ve demonstrated beyond a doubt that Linux is completely portable and architecture-independent.

The Party

Andy’s Saturday Night. I was a Cheshire Cat. Not a ginger one though, which seemed to annoy some people.

On-line Orgasmic Simulation

On-line Orgasmic Simulation [bela].

Not accurate though, because I don’t somk.

The Monkey

The Monkey, which I really should get to more often.

The Isophone

The Isophone [null] – though I think an easier, and possibly cooler, way to do this would be to just fit speakers and a microphone into an ordinary sensory-deprivation tank. In fact, don’t they come fitted with speakers already so you can drift away listening to whales humping and whatnot?

RIP Johnny Cash

RIP Johnny Cash. Time to go and listen to Personal Jesus, I think…

White like Frank Black, once again

The rumours were true: The Pixies are back [gamma].

US planning to destroy world using cobalt?

May be true, may be untrue, but certainly scary [robot]:

If we are going to lose, we arm everything with cobalt – and I mean everything; we have jackets at nearly every missile magazine in the world, on land or at sea – and contaminate the world. If we can’t have it, nobody can.”

Update 2003-09-15: A few comments over at /dev/null, mostly on the sceptical side.

Dreaming up an enterprise application architecture

Murphy, Democritus, Heisenberg, Einstein, Rockefeller and Wittgenstein discuss web service architectures [robot].

Murphy: Yes, I will bring tears to the eyes of anyone who thinks they can architect on the basis of everything working and all bits talking to each other in synchronous lock-step. All architecture should be pessimistic, not optimistic. Design with failure in mind. It’s the only way. An asynchronous approach to time ordering is critical.

World Press Freedom Index

World Press Freedom Index [null]. The UK is in 21st place, behind the USA. Cor.

Python control for XMMS

PyXMMS – control XMMS using Python. Here we go…

Also nifty: pyosd, for TV-like on-screen displays from Python.

Testing, testing, 2, 6, 0…

Geek interlude: As of about half an hour ago, I’m running linux kernel 2.6.0-test4, courtesy of this howto. Everything went smoothly, and things seem decidedly snappier, no doubt thanks to the kernel preemption patch, which was my main motivation for trying it out (although I hear CD burning is simpler too). The only thing that seems to be broken is lm_sensors, but I pretty much expected that – it seems incredibly fragile.