I’m famous!

I’ve been doing lots of work with the Linux Kernel at work. Seems I’ve gotten some press with a couple of sensor drivers I wrote :-) Pretty neat.

Independence Day in a small town

Independence Day in a small town is great. I’ll describe the scene today. Basically, everyone drove out to the airport, where the fireworks show is held. Then, since there is plenty of free space on the tarmac, everyone sets off tons of huge fireworks while waiting for the real show. Totally dangerous, but totally awesome. Also, other fun things like throwing/kicking a ball around, etc. And BBQing. Mmmmm.

Then, the main show started after it got dark. And it gets really dark, since there are no lights, and town doesn’t light up the area much. We were less than 500 feet back from where they were launched, so they felt really huge. There were no speakers, the local radio station played the music for the fireworks show, and everyone just cranked up their car radios. Totally different from back home in the big city.

I totally recommend it. I’m glad I was invited to tag along.

Burning Boards

Well, today was a fun day. I managed to burn up the CPLD on the Freescale evaluation board I’ve been using at work. I’m not sure if it was code that I wrote (though I don’t think so, I didn’t program the CPLD at all) or if I managed to shock it. My desk doesn’t have any electrostatic protection, so that is quite likely.

So, we’ve ordered a new one, so that I can continue to work. Still, I feel pretty bad that I burned up such an expensive piece of equipment. Better luck with the next one, I guess. :-D

Moved Webhosts

Well, if you’re seeing this site, everything worked. Over the weekend, I migrated from the old TextDrive BSD Shared hosting to the new Joyent Shared Accelerators. It’s all the same company, just new and faster servers. Since they’re faster and have more software I need, I decided to move some stuff I hosted elsewhere onto this domain.

So, a quick rundown of what I have here:

I’m finally going to be able to shut down my webserver at home, saving power as well as maintenance headaches. Not that I didn’t like running the server, but I’d rather put it on better hosting for now.

Text Rendering

I’ve been doing quite a bit of messing around with text rendering on Linux recently. I’ve got a lovely setup which looks absolutely wonderful. It puts the font rendering on Windows to shame.

Interestingly, there is quite a performance difference between my laptop and my desktop, when using identical setups. Using gtkperf, the laptop takes ~2.28 seconds to complete the hardcore text test. The same test on my desktop takes ~22.4 seconds. So, it’s about 10 times slower. It turns out to be the subpixel smoothing that does it. With just grayscale smoothing, it takes <1 second for the test. A hell of a speedup, but the subpixel smoothing is oh so good.

I know nVidia has had some interesting problems with pre-6xxx cards, especially when rendering colored text (with the closed-source driver). My desktop uses such a card. My laptop uses an Intel i950, which so far has been a tremendously good card.

So, to Intel: start making some standalone AGP / PCIe graphics cards! I’ll buy at least two! (As long as they’re not terribly expensive)

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