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Deprecated journal...

This journal is now deprecated as I've moved over to BlogSpot. I won't be posting or replying to comments here anymore.

About time for an update...

Yeah, so I'm lazy and haven't updated this thing in quite a while now... The good news is I've finally arrived in Helsinki and got settled into the hotel etc. I'm going apartment hunting tomorrow, and I think I've found a nice looking place. :-)

On one of the flights I actually got asked by one of the flight attendants "Is that a pirated movie?" (In my defense, it could have been a really crappy rip of a DVD I just happen to own... ;-) I'm pretty sure he was joking about calling customs, though.  At least I didn't get stopped at that airport...

I did get stopped at London for an explosives test. I think that was just because I got a bit lost and ended up being last through the security checkpoint. Maybe they thought I ran off to plant bombs or something. :-P

Oh, yeah. It's a good idea to remember to install the wireless firmware before you go to another country and track through a snow storm to find a USB memory stick so you can download them from the business center. ;-P Actually the computers in the business center wouldn't load the USB stick, so I decided to get a taxi to a net café this time... After all that the hotel's DHCP server was down, so fail all around... At lest I'm online now. :)

I'm waiting for OProfile to download (at an amazing 5kB/s) so I can figure out why X is eating up 40-70% CPU?

I managed to get fglrx 8.11 downloaded and installed yesterday, so I might start playing around with tracing a userspace process MMIO access from within the kernel. Revenge works pretty well, but there are cases where it can miss the packets from the first few tests. I think this is because the RB pointers get updated too fast for Revenge to see them.

I had a conversation with Dave Airlie about this, and tried the idea of intercepting fglrx ioctls. This does work, but I'm not convinced as to it's reliability either. The ioctls contain more than just pointers to packers, and I think this extra information may be used by the DRM to insert extra packets into the RB (eg flush etc.) The ioctls may also change between fglrx versions.

The advantage to kernel tracing is that it should be able to reliably trace everything the driver does, although there are a few kinks to work out... The PPPT stuff used on newer hardware might be a problem. I'll see how it goes.

Oh, yeah, someday I'll post the rest of the China Trip...

Aug. 1st, 2008

I've been a bit slack about posting, but anyway... We've arrived in Chungchen (SP?) and had a few nights here. Last night I went out with John, Jonathan (Yes, that does get a bit confusing sometimes. ;-)), and a few others for dinner and some drinks.

We had a really good dinner at a Chinese restaurant, but I didn't catch the name of the restaurant, after that we went to a head massage/hair dresser which was quite nice, though they didn't have any proper gel or wax to spike my hair. :-(

John then took us to a street restaurant serving kabbabs of various meats and vegetables, most of which I couldn't identify. :-P

Eventually we ended up at Club Mayflower which was fucking awesome, even on a weeknight! Lasers and strobes everywhere, and awesome music too. I ended up dancing with some random people and getting free drinks. :-) We went home quite early, but I'm not sure about the exact time.

I'm going to insist that we go back there on Friday when there will be more people, but even on a weeknight this club puts any so-called clubs in New Zealand to shame.

I'm leaving in a few minutes to go chill out in the City with Johnathan. Not really sure about the details. Anyway, later...

P.S. Working around the China internet filtering is a major pain. It's extremely slow loading web pages via Tor. I think it's just the connection at this particular Hotel, though, as I was pulling some nice speeds from BitTorrent at the other Hotel by running the tracker connections through Tor, and finding an open port on the Hotel's network. :-D

P.P.S. This post was actually delayed by a few days because I was lazy about posting it. :-)

To Hong Kong and Beyond.

We arrive in Hong Kong about a day ago, after a insanely long flight. I don't know whether it's just Air New Zealand who provides all of 4" of leg room on Economy flights, or all airlines... It really sucks. I feel sorry for those who were continuing on to London Heathrow without any break.

I didn't manage to sleep on the flight so I was only barely awake during the morning, but we still had a good look around some of the shops and malls. We didn't have time to buy anything yet; the place is massive.

I'll post some photos later tonight, or if not, they will be on Steve's Live Journal: http://dragonflamezor.livejournal.com/

Cat's Out of The Bag...

I'd been thinking about dumping the 3rd Generation iPod Nano flash memory for
a while now, and recently saw that the Linux4Nano guys have already dumped the
2nd Generation flash... Which is BGA btw!

Originally I was going to wait until I actually had the dump in hand before
posting anything, considering it's my first project with an FPGA thats above
the trivial bitstream hacking level. However I felt I should let the
Linux4Nano guys know, at least...

I'll pickup the iPod from work on Thursday (staff sale :-) and probably a
camera that does decent macro shots; my current camera is pretty good, but
does terrible macro shots.

So until then... ;-)

R300 VAP_CNTL Fix Pushed...

I just pushed Markus Amsler's VAP_CNTL patch, which cleans up a lot of the
nastyness we previously had with this register. It shouldn't break anything,
but you know the drill, test and report. :-)

P.S. Sorry about the delay, real life got in the way...

Testing the R300 Driver...

I just merged Markus Amsler's VAP_CNTL patch into my local Mesa repo, and
tested it with glxgears, Quake 3, and Doom 3. Doom 3 actually has some serious
bugs, but it's mostly related to shadow volumes. I'll push Markus' patch some
time today and close the bug.

I'm currently running on Alex's DRM which has some additional commits correcting
the purge/flush code, as well as some other changes. I haven't tested this with
code that is known to cause lockups yet, but I'm pretty amazed that Doom 3 ran
without a single lockup... :-)

Here's a screenshot of the Doom 3 rendering bugs, for your viewing
(dis-)pleasure. ;-)



Actually I had to disable the two-sided stencil extension just to get that
screenshot, otherwise software rendering would be used... So some work is needed
on the stencil code...

Random Update...

I found out a few days ago that I didn't get the Google job, which I kind of
half-expected after reading about Google mass-targeting people on various
mailing lists, such as the Linux Kernel Mailing List.

Part of the email from the recruiter was "... though we don't have a position
that is a strong match with your qualifications at this time, we will
definitely be keeping your resume active in our system, and I'd love to stay
in touch with you in the future about opportunities." So maybe some time in
the future... :-)

I've been thinking about getting back into some hardware hacking. I have a
couple of FPGA boards sitting around here which I really should put to use. I
have a little project in mind, with time permitting. At least it's something
to motivate me to finally learn Verilog. I have already ordered a few parts
for this project, but I'll see how it goes before posting further details...

Google Interview!

A few days ago I was contacted by an engineering recruiter from Google. I have
to admit my first reaction was that someone was playing a strange practical
joke, but after checking it out and replying to the recruiter, it's defiantly
legitimate. :-)

I've got a phone interview scheduled for Tuesday. Hopefully this goes well;
I'm really excited to be given a chance to work at Google, but I'm usually
quite nervous about interviews, so I'm hoping everything goes okay...

On Governments...

I normally don't care for or have any interest in governments or politics,
however I felt this troubling enough to write about... I apologize in advance
for this post not being filled with interesting Radeon hacking topics. :-)

Apparently the New Zealand government feels it's acceptable to automatically
enroll new employees in a KiwiSaver scheme, without prior permission or
agreement, and deduct 4% from my pay every pay day.

Fortunately it's possible to request an "opt-out" of this scheme, which I have
done. I still find it rather unsettling that you may be automatically enrolled
in a saving scheme, without any prior permission or agreement, and that you
must request an opt-out, as apposed to being guaranteed the
ability to opt-out.

Should I not be entitled to opt-out at will, and decide where my own money
goes? I would rather have the money in my bank account, where I may do with it
as I choose, than some semi-forced government saving scheme.

I don't think there will be any problems getting my opt-out request approved.
As far as I can tell, I meet all the criteria required... However the fact
that you must request an opt-out, and are not guaranteed one is
somewhat troubling...

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olivermcfadden
Oliver McFadden

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