When I started this blog almost two years ago, an early set of posts were about travel. Since summertime is the natural vacation time, that is, well, natural. It might be against all principles of “audience collection” for blogging, which seems to be first and foremost about sticking to a topic and keep writing about that same topic incessantly. Unfortunately for me, I can’t quite stick to that principle. So here are some observations on Iceland in the Summer of 2009.
I while ago I wrote a blog post on checkpointing in virtual platforms, and what it is good for. Checkpointing has been a fairly rare feature in virtual platform tools for some reason, but it seems to be picking up some implementations. In particular, I recently noticed that Cadence added it to their simulator solutions a while ago (2007 according to their blog posts). There are a two blog posts by George Frazier of Cadence (“saving boot time” and “advanced usage“) that offer some insight into what is going on.
About two months ago, Cavium Networks launched their second generation of Octeon chips, the Octeon II. The most obvious difference to the previous generation (Octeon, Octeon Plus) is a new MIPS64 core with much better support for hypervisors and virtualization. There are some other interesting aspects to this chip, though.
I have a short article on multicore systems development and virtual platforms in the May 2009 issue of ECN magazine, over at www.ecnmag.com.
When I started out doing computer science “for real” way back, the emphasis and a lot of the fun was in the basics of algorithms, optimizing code, getting complex trees and sorts and hashes right an efficient. It was very much about computing defined as processor and memory (with maybe a bit of disk or printing or user interface accessed at a very high level, and providing the data for the interesting stuff). However, as time has gone on, I have come to feel that this is almost too clean, too easy to abstract… and gone back to where I started in my first home computer, programming close to the metal.