Friday, May 26, 2006

Survived Thesis A

Just spent the week rewriting my Thesis A (proposal) report "Optimising L4 on Blackfin 53x: for a high performance L4 microkernel on a processor without virtual memory". 40 pages. That's longer than most people's Thesis B (actual work) report! Maybe I spent too long on it at the expense of other assignments... Did the talk today and here is my killer mascot ("Blackfin"):

It's amazing what one can do in KolourPaint/MSPaint :)

At 4am, I was drawing up the slides for the talk and fired up OpenOffice Impress. I don't normally praise software but having never used a presentation program before, I was really impressed by how intuitive it was, taking only about 10 minutes discover how it worked (even at 4am). But then after drawing up the 15 slides, I went to save:

"Write error" [or a similar message]

After trying to save in different formats and on different disks, I got a message saying "OpenOffice experienced a general failure" and then it disabled most of the menu items... My fault for using a beta version of Fedora Core 4's fault for shipping one?

Having said that, performance aside, OpenOffice Writer has worked great so far to allow me to continue on without LaTeX (figured out how to use the styles - press F11 and right mouse click to change a style).

Friday, May 12, 2006

Strange smell from an old computer

My main and old computer (Pentium II from 1998) is giving off a bad smell, as if rubber/tyres are burning or I'm in a train/bus with new brake lines. It's giving me a headache and I have a bad feeling about its health effects.

No wires are touching the heatsink - I already checked that.

Any ideas on what this is?

Thursday, May 11, 2006

What does a "Cheese and Bacon Pie" mean to you?

Quiche? Or something with lots of cheese and bacon?

It was around midnight in Sydney (I wrote that just so that it sounds more mysterious) that I got one of these "Cheese and Bacon Pies" from 7-11. It tastes mainly like it was made of beef and in fact, a closer look at the ingredients said that the cheese and the bacon forms only 12% of the product (in weight, if I remember correctly). How's that for misleading advertising? It was still a good pie though.

What was that not-so-old adage? Something like "we live in a world where lemonade contains no lemon but detergent does".