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, readlog, freediving and trip report


I know a bit about datacenters from my previous job. So every time I see a building like this one in the city I am estimating how many petaflops are hidden there. About hidden - my favorite datacenter in Munich is one that is hidden below a huge children's playground. (No, I won't reveal the exact location). There are several buildings like this in the city - secured, without windows, many cameras around, chillers on the roof and generators, etc.

This one is next to a compound of Chinese consulate, and security measures look very similar.

My first computers

1988 - Moldavian make.
1990 - Spectrum'48 clone, assembled at a local avionics factory.
1992 - Spectrum'48 with proper keyboard and monitor, 5'' floppy drive and AY38910-12
1995 - Intel 80286, 1MB RAM, 270MB!!!HDD, DOS 6.22
1996 - 2400b modem upgrade => 2:5066/44.0 - FIDONET!
1997 - AMD K5 100Mhz, 8MB RAM, still 270MB HDD, CDROM, Win95OSR2
Moved to Nizhny Novgorod
1998 - 80486, 4MB RAM, Linux Slackware/1.2 kernel
2001 - Pentium 4, 16MB RAM, Win2k/Linux Slackware 2.2 kernel
2002 - iBook clamshell, MacOS X
Moved to St. Petersburg
2004 - Mac Mini
Now I have many Macs to play with :)

US, last impressions.

Oregon: cachiers in the stores have new script: every time I pay for my stuff, they pick one thing from my basket and tell me how cool it is, and how they like using/buying it too. Different stores - food, clothes.

In Europe, we drive on the right side of the road, and swim on the right side of the lane. In UK they drive on the left side, and swim on the left side of the lane. In Oregon, they drive on the right side, but swim on the left side. But in California, they drive and swim on the right side. Go figure!


I just bought a big and expensive programming book at Powell's, from MIT Press, and in one of the first meaningful code sample, in the very beginning I read:

#define PI = 3.1592654

WTF!!! There are 2 bugs in this line, and I paid 80 bucks for the book!

Btw I am staying in Portland until next Sunday, so if you are around plz give me a shout..

So long, and thanks for all the fish

Starting today, I no longer work at Intel. That were great 16+ years, but now it is time for a change. My new job is even more interesting, but I am not going to post anything about it online. Just one thing: my job title has changed from Application Engineer to S/w Performance Engineer.

Saffron milkcaps

I know a place not too far from Munich where there are plenty of saffron milk caps. Unfortunately it is ~40 minutes driving, so I just went to a Perlacher forest next to Jacob's kindergarten and picked just a few.

Germans believe that mushrooms in the forest are still radioactive because of Chernobyl's fallout 30+ years ago, but I think by now it should be fine. I don't think there are that many isotopes with half-life of 10s of years.

US immigration arithmetics

USCIS publishes a number of L1 visas it grants each year. I was trying to see if "hire American, buy American" affected L1s.

But some numbers do not add up, akin to a puzzle:
"units of less than 10 beneficiaries are masked so as to limit the possibility of the de-anonymization of data. "D" represents data withheld to protect privacy. The letter H replaces the value ... where one could deduce the value of D. "
ACCENTURE LLP is in top 10 L1 visa petitioners.
total - 183
Continuing L1A - 95
Continuing L1B - D
Continuing Blanket L1 - D
Initial L1A - H
Initial L1B - D

I wonder why they needed "H" here, because of Benford's law?