Wind River Blog: Software at the Toddler Stage

There is a new post at my Wind River blog, about the “Toddler stage” of software in general and Simics 4.6 in particular. To me, software in an early stage of development shares many traits with a toddler:

The software will sometimes behave as expected, but more often than not it will not. It will do something else, or crash, or generally do the wrong thing.  It is very much like a toddler – you can rely on it to some extent, but you never know when it will decide to do something unexpected, funny, or just throw a fit over something that would have seemed inconsequential.


It’s the Problem, Stupid

For some reason, in the past few weeks I have talked to more than a few PhD students and researchers about various ideas. It is striking how often fundamentally very smart people have a problem in articulating just why what they are doing is useful, relevant, and potentially commercially interesting. Of course, we all know that this is hard, and all PhD students get some kind of training in presentation and selling their ideas. It is also unfair to expect a fresh graduate student to be able to put on a show like a Simon Peyton-Jones.

However, this did get me thinking some about the articulation of problems.

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Memory Models: x86 is TSO, TSO is Good

By chance, I got to attend a day at the UPMARC Summer School with a very enjoyable talk by Francesco Zappa Nardelli from INRIA. He described his work (along with others) on understanding and modeling multiprocessor memory models. It is a very complex subject, but he managed to explain it very well.

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Off-topic: Windows tip: Hide Desktop Icons

I often have to create screenshots and screen recordings as part of my job, and to make that look good I don’t want any part of my Windows desktop or task bar to show in the results. Until now, I have done this the hard way by using very few desktop icons and putting them around the edges of the screen.

There is a better way.

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