28 April 2005


Creating a scheduler is an art as well

A common way for students to earn some extra money is to work as an assistant for practicals or projects. Together with my fellow student Bas, I'm currently assisting the first year projects, the goal of one of which is to create a simulator of a basic process scheduler like it is found in computers. The scheduler should load so-called trace tapes (files containing the execution log of processes) and simulate the execution of those processes.
Having done this project ourselves in our fist year, we decided that it would be nice if the assistants would also do the assignment themselves, and show our results during the presentation sessions.
A good simulator has a good GUI (graphical user interface), and designing and creating interfaces is an art by itself. Unfortunately, I still have not found good design programs for creating Swing (or even AWT) GUIs. Jigloo, an Eclipse plugin, looks promising, but makes Eclipse crash. Other programs simply don't do what I want, so in the end it turns out that the easiest and fastest way to create a GUI, is to make it by hand. Time to find my artistic skills back...

27 April 2005


Scheduling is an art

Fine, so the presentation has been postponed by another two weeks, to the 13th. I'd almost re-schedule the meeting I've cancelled because of the presentation...
Add to this that I've invited some people over on that particular Friday who'll now have to come later, and you'll guess my current mood...


Amnesia, or the first signs of getting older

The part I like the most about M.Sc. courses (compared to B.Sc. courses) is that the teachers often have alternative ways of assessing you. The Real-Time Systems course for example, is assessed by a course report in which one puts his own experiences with the course. Compiler Construction is mostly a large practical. The same goes basically for Advanced Software Engineering, with the difference that ASE consists of a couple of smaller exercises which are more research-related.
And that is why my partner and I chose to do a presentation for our last exercise. We investigated a paper, discussed it, and decided that he'd set up the presentation while I would do the talk. That was about three months ago and everything went well. Unfortunately, at that point the process got delayed due to personal circumstances at our teacher's. About a week ago I finally received an email with the schedule. My presentation is due this Friday, and knowing that actually being prepared increases the presentation's quality by huge amount, I decided to go and make some speaker's notes. After the first couple of slides it seemed wise to save the file. So I browsed to the desired location, and saw to my surprise, that I had already created a full-fledged set of speaker's notes two months ago... at which point I threw away the new file and lived happily ever after :)

25 April 2005



What use is a 3 mbit connection when it gets reset every minute (for a period of, say, 5 or 10 minutes every few days)? I don't know, but I do know that it's starting to annoy me...


Wireless? Hopeless!

Having a laptop is only half fun when you can't take it to university and make use of the wireless network there, I decided about a week ago. So I borrowed a wireless card to see whether it would actually work.
The TU Delft wouldn't be itself if they did not impose safety regulations on the use of the wireless network: you'll have to connect through their VPN in order to use it. And driver manufacturers wouldn't be themselves if they did not release Linux drivers, if any, with only the most basic information about installing the stuff. "After running make, it will work." Yeah, sure. Adding a make install helps a lot.
Connecting to the VPN was quite easy actually, thanks to DTO's instructions, but the wireless card itself turned out to be a nasty fellow. After a couple of days wrestling myself through miles of unresolved symbols, I've decided to give up for a while. Admitted, I'm no kernel guru, but it'd help if I could find the needed kernel modules and/or flags somewhere. I'm not going to spend another week trying to get the thing to work. For now, it'll be no wireless for me, then. Better spend my precious time on useful things ;)


Relive the Middle Ages

If you like simple roleplaying games, check out The Last Knights, recently created by a fellow student. Still somewhat under construction, but I like the idea of those games. (Anyone remember/know Warriors when it was still free? Oh, those days...)
If you decide to try it out, then please do me a favour by using this link to sign up.

24 April 2005


Up, up and away...

Well, up in any case.
Now that I'm doing more and more things which I actually have to say something about (meeting interesting people, getting involved into other projects, and so on) it seems reasonable to pick up the art of blogging again. Thanks to Fabrice who started a blog just recently and invited me to do so as well.

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