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31st May 2019

10:08am: This blog
I'm writing the blog in English because I type twice as fast this way than in Russian (yes I am improving...), and 90% of my friends and friends can read English any way. I answer comments in the same language they are posted.

I am trying not to post anything related to my employer, but if I do so, this expresses only my own views and does not represent an official position of my employer.

When I post about some technical topic which seems non trivial and is related to my employer's product, don't expect it to be inside information. If I post about it, it means that this info is already public. Usually I do not post any personal information or anything that is related to my family.

All photos are mine, and I allow anyone to copy, change, do anything you please with them. I don't post "friends only".

Useful tags are: software , idea , Deutschland, freediving and trip report

20th April 2016

10:15am: Developerz, developerz... Windowz debugging.
Now real stuff comes:
After weird setup experience I need to do a real work: set a breakpoint on an undocumented windows kernel API function.

Windbg then. OK, when running windbg locally one can't use breakpoints. OK, remote then. On host, modern Visual studio only supports remote debugging over ip. But Windows 7 target does not. Ok, windbg host then. Remaining connectivity options are FireWire, USB and COM. There is no Firewire on target. There is no COM on target. COM over USB won't work because :).

That is it folks. All one should know about Windows driver/kernel debugging.

19th April 2016

12:50pm: One can't just install Windows 7 embedded 32 bit on Skylake
To reproduce a performance regression reported by customer I had to install Windows 7 embedded 32 bit on Skylake NUC. It took me a while! Don't know why manually installing USB3 drivers to Windows 7 install images does not work every time, and no idea why it breaks user services. Still after 2 weeks of part time work it is finally up.

It was worse than trying to manually compile some major open source project with all dependencies tree on Yocto Linux running on pre-production hardware :) - because there is no source to look at when something breaks, no logs and weird error messages.

13th April 2016

11:13am: IntelliJ IDEA
Here is what I spotted in an U-Bahn yesterday.

Cool! I did not know IntelliJ is so rich so they can afford this type of ads in public transport. Besides, what about ad targeting :) ?

Full pic and explanation is under the cut.
Read more...Collapse )

7th April 2016

2:47pm: Aying naturpark
When coming to Aying/Poing, they sell animal food at the gates. The trick is that animals are literally fed up with this food. And this is the only sure way to get close to an animal.

But they love carrots and apples :)

And this is when Jacob told the longest sentence so far, at 1 year and 9 months:
"Аалень!!! Отдай морковку Яше!!! Отдай! Отдай! Отдай!!!"
I should not have made him give a carrot to a deer, Jacob apparently planned to eat it himself.

4th April 2016

11:50am: On upgrades
There is a common story with with some customers I help with s/w performance:
First they come and tell that they expect the server to perform ~1.3x better on their workload. After some analysis I tell them: yeah, you can achieve it by upgrading from your 2.6.18 kernel (even 2.6.9 :( ) to at least 3.10. Or upgrade JVM from 1.5 to at least 1.7.

No, they tell, we need a magic trick to have at least 30% performance improvement, but without upgrade. The best would be a magic BIOS switch combination... Or software recompile with different compile flags.

Actually sometimes a magic BIOS combination plus different compiler/flags actually provide extra ~15%..

31st March 2016

4:15pm: Bad snorkelling [2/2]
Still I was a bit disappointed:

In the Red Sea, even in Eilat, there is more diversity in coral species. Even more so in Indonesia.

More fish and the most dangerous animal in the sea are under cut.
Read more...Collapse )
All pics are in the album

30th March 2016

4:07pm: Good morning!
It is very difficult to get close to this crab. It spots me from several meters, quickly runs to its burrow and hides there.

However I managed to make this picture using a macro lens from about 30cm. And this was a great experience. Because of jet lag, I woke up at 6AM, and went outside at 6.20, while Yulia and Jacob were both still sleeping. At 6.25, sun started rising, and all crabs that were lurking around a beach suddenly stopped moving and started staring at sun.

That looked amazing! I just went to this one, and it did not run and hide as usual. It was too busy watching the sunrise... I read somewhere before that crabs do enjoy sunrise, but I never checked as I never woke up early enough in my previous trips to tropical islands.

Hermit crabs watch sunrise too: Read more...Collapse )

19th March 2016

10:54am: Bad snorkelling [1/2]
Most reviews of our hotel I read on tripadvisor indicated "bad snorkelling". Let's see...

This unicornfish and a small shark swam just ~30 meters from our room door. (20 meters to the shore, then 10 meters towards the reef). But there was a small trick.. I actually chased these two buddies towards the coast from deeper waters :)

Some more sea life under cut.
Read more...Collapse )

18th March 2016

11:53am: Home sweet home
I am back online.

Very good freediving and snorkelling experience it was, now when Jacob is almost two it is much easier to travel with him.

P.s. I will get back to my work stuff on Monday.

5th March 2016

4:46pm: Suddenly 6 hours in San Francisco today. Where to go?
I managed to remove SFO-PDX-PDX-SFO redundant leg from my schedule, so will have to find something useful to do in San Francisco today, I'll have ~6 hours to spend there. Will probably just hang around in the center.. I could had 10 hours there if my flight PHX-SFO was on time.

3rd March 2016

10:50pm: Airport, again
Now charging my laptop in PDX before departure, then go PDX->PHX->1day->SFO->PDX-SFO-MUC.

The loop in a leg PHX->SFO-PDX->SFO bothers me a lot, but airlines do not have an interface to fix that for free. They'd rather lose money (waitlists) and me loose time :(

29th February 2016

11:07am: In US, again
I am in US now, just arrived. I like this conference, it is my 6th time now. And first as an organizer.
When getting here, noticed that Canadians are still pumping oil in the north:

Also TSA's computer hanged when reading my boarding pass (and it was reproducible, they even made a picture of a pass). So they decided to make a more thorough check on my stuff. Good thing: they let me pass through all the queue. Bad thing: after all, I did not save any time.

Some smart ppl think TSA is a security theater. I don't: I think when performing normal checks they would catch 99.9999% of stupid terrorists and 10% of smart terrorists, and on detailed checks they would catch 100% of stupid terrorists and 50% of smart terrorists. I strongly believe there is no such thing as a smart terrorists, so TSA wins. (Smart people go learn VHDL, C++ or Scala, or at least are working on M&A ;)

28th February 2016

2:40pm: Es'kov's new book
It is great and I was proud to support the experiment

And now I understand what had always HPMOR reminded me of: "The last ringbearer". Both are brilliant examples of fan fic that turns a world of fantasy to something tangible and real, with a slight touch of mysticism. Although I don't quite like the trans-humanism becoming a major factor in the story Yudkowsky created.

26th February 2016

1:04pm: Embedded world 2016
It was my first time at Embedded world when I came there just for fun.

Unfortunately there was less fun than before: the exhibition shrinks, more specialized embedded expos grow faster.

There was a funny moment: one guy from our US team was introducing me to another as "the best expert in realtime stuff in Europe", when Thomas Gleixner was passing by Intel booth in couple of meters. It was hard for me not to laugh at that moment.

16th February 2016

1:29pm: On CAT
Just published a short article on habr, about one relatively recent and overlooked new feature on x86. I was working on it in 2010-2013.
p.s. btw I got a habr invite, anyone interested?

3rd February 2016

1:37pm: Useless knowledge
I got 256GB RAM in my workstation. So I booted with 100 1GB hugepages for guests.
Then I found out that flock(2)(fd of "/dev/hugepages") blocks forever. However when I allocate only 32 1GB hugepages it works.

If I investigate it further, I might discover and report a bug in kernel, but probably I won't: now I just know how to deal with it..

2nd February 2016

6:57pm: ?
Munich police, official facebook page :
"Einer der Fahrgäste filmte die Auseinandersetzung mit seiner Handykamera und veröffentlichte die Aufnahme später auf seinem Facebook Account. In dem dazu von ihm veröffentlichtem Text beschrieb er die Vorkommnisse mit eigenen Worten. Weder meldete er den Vorfall der Polizei, noch erstattete er eine Anzeige.
Ihr habt eine starke Polizei an eurer Seite. Aber in solch einer Situation nicht den Notruf 110 zu wählen, erschwert uns die Arbeit und gefährdet eure Sicherheit.
From the facebook of the author of a viral video
"Ich bin der Urheber dieses Videos. Leider hat die Pressestelle der Polizei München hier eine Fehlinformation verbreitet. Ich bin zuerst auf die Polizei zugegangen, nicht die Polizei auf mich. Dies werde ich in Kürze genauer darlegen sowie mit der Pressestelle Kontakt aufnehmen, um dies richtigzustellen."

Of course, I do not have any way to find out which of sentences in bold is correct, but they are mutually exclusive.

1st February 2016

12:59pm: Another great article on cache u-arch
A very nice piece of reverse engineering of the algorithms used by last level cache in recent Intel CPUs, source code included.
Here it is. Of course, if you are frontend developer, it should not matter for you.

29th January 2016

11:10am: Good hard sci-fi
A good novel in Russian. Alas, the author only accepts webmoney not paypal. Upd: http://alex-anpilogov.livejournal.com/90257.html

28th January 2016

2:05pm: Road code q.
Germans are usually very good drivers. They are courteous, obey the rules (and sometimes break rules, where it is good for safety or has a neutral effect). I am not a good driver. So I wonder what can be wrong with my actions on a crossing, that happens nearly every daily commute. My car is marked red.

Left lane goes only straight, middle lane can go straight or turn right on a left lane, and right lane can go only right on a right lane. That is how I understand it, when I turn right from a middle lane. (Right lane usually has a long line of cars waiting for the green light, and middle lane usually has 0-2 cars only, mostly they are going to go straight.

So why I always have to brake as hell because a car from the right lane goes straight to a left lane on turn? If there is a crash there, who's fault would it be?

19th January 2016

11:13am: Lufthansa M&M - no more.
Istanbul-Munich, 125 status miles (100 miles + 25 silver status bonus). That is a line from my recent LH M&M status statement. My mileage traveled by LH & Star Alliance is ~constant since 2006 when I got a job that requires some travel. I got ~40-50k status miles each year (except the year when Jacob was born so I traveled less).

This allowed me to keep LH silver status and enjoy several perks, sorted by importance: 1. Having breakfast/lunch/dinner in a business lounge in Munich before departure. 2. Board early on flights from US to Munich, so I can put my stuff to the overhead bins. 3. Very rare upgrades to business class, usually that was special offers to spend award miles.

Not any more, I think 2016 is the last year I keep my silver card. In 2006-2012 it took just 2 flights 2 US per year and couple of local flights to keep silver status. Now LH gives much less miles for that (I think for my flight to Portland I planned in March I will only get ~2k miles).

14th January 2016

4:17pm: German civil engineers
I am a huge fan of a sticky tape myself, and use it all the time in the lab and IRL.
But this one is epic:

I would understand if it was a temporary measure for a few days, but several light poles next to my home look like that for 3 months already :). I suspect it is permanent fix.

4th January 2016

12:47pm: Lightbulb moment in a US consulate
Professor: How many lightbulbs are in this room?
Student, counting: 6!
Professor, getting a lightbulb from his pocket: wrong, 7! Come another time.
Another time.
Professor: How many lightbulbs are in this room?
Student, counting: 6+1, 7!
Professor: wrong, I don't have an extra one in my pocket! Come another time.
Student: But I do, so it is 7!

US Consulate, 3 years ago:
Consul: You are an engineer, your visa application needs special administrative processing in US. Please bring us your CV, patents and publications list, and we will only give you 1 year visa.
me: ok, more delays.
US Consulate, 2 years ago:
Consul: You are an engineer, your visa application needs special administrative processing in US. Please bring us your CV, patents and publications list, and we will only give you 1 year visa.
me: Here it is, I have it all.
Consul: I cannot take it, we need electronic copies only, please send us e-mail, and we will only give you 1 year visa.
me: ok, more delays.
US Consulate, today:
Consul: You are an engineer, your visa application needs special administrative processing in US. Please bring us your CV, patents and publications list, and we will only give you 1 year visa.
me: Here it is, I have it all. Or do you need an email? I have it all prepared, can send at once.
Consul: No we do not process emails any longer, I need hardcopies but I cannot take them now, you need to send them by mail.
me: ok, more delays.

3rd January 2016

3:24pm: Last day of NewYear holidays :(
Tomorrow I'll go to US embassy to renew my US visa (I bet they will send my file for administrative processing as usual, so I got my CV, patents and publications list handy). Then will go to the office to fix plenty of bugs I have in my latest DPDK code that SIGESGVs like hell in random places in a AVX2 library.

Yesterday we watched Star Wars with Yulia, and I liked it how all the audience was laughing through the film. The loudest laughter happened when GrandSonOfDarthVader opened his helmet.
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