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Had been to the ICPADS'07 (The 13th International Conference on Parallel and Distributed Systems) conference held in Taiwan.  The Virtualization Aware Job Schedulers for Checkpoint-Restart paper which I co-authored was to be presented at the SRMPDS'07 (Third International Workshop on Scheduling and Resource Management for Parallel and Distributed Systems) workshop, which was held in conjunction with ICPADS. The presentation was a unique experience as this was my first presentation to the research community as such. But a few tips from Badri, helped me to prepare well for the presentation. The presentation went well.

The conference itself was interesting. Meet a lot of interesting folks out there. Was quite a learning experience !!

Hsinchu city was very much like any other city. We went to a temple in the middle of city. Saw around the city hall, went to few hotels for  conference dinners and also city gate. Well the most interesting thing I noticed was that there were a lot of people riding small scooters (the scooty kind of bike which you see in India). They drove quite fast. Fortunately the conference organizers had warned us well in advance, so no mishaps occured. But was interesting to find another city where you have to be as careful as crossing a busy Bangalore street :-)

It has been a few years since I went to Japan. Last month, I had to travel to Japan for the second time.

Most of the folks whom I know, have difficulty with Japanese food, well.. some how I like the food there. So typically do not carry any noodles pack. What impressed me the most last time, was the cleanliness. I still vividly remember the sight of a lorry-kind-of machine cleaning the roads using some form of soap water. Well.. really... was I dreaming.. don't know.. but the memory is still there. Whether it is true or not, the cleanliness is really distinguishable. Everything is spic and span. And considering the orderly fashion in which they arrange the garbage collection - you have to place a specific type of garbage out on a particular day of the week, like..say plastic garbage on Monday, paper garbage on Tuesday...etc - the cleanliness is a given. The underground train stations were impressive and if not traveling during rush hour, were really comfortable. 

It was in Japan that I "touched" snow for the first time :-) It snowed while I was there last time. It was also the first time I cooked on my own (barring a few times when I cooked during my scout camp days). Unfortunately, as there were no friends staying with me then, there is no proof of how tasty the food was ;-) Breakfast was typically some banana stuff, lunch from local Japanese hotels and dinner was typically from "KK kitchen".

That was my first international trip. Hence  was not sure on what all to carry. So finally I landed in Japan with a suitcase which did not have a trolley tyre..and of course the suitcase was heavy..so was mostly holding it with both hands. I still remember during my return trip to the train station, which was at a distance from the place I was staying, I literally carried  the  suitcase on my head :-( !!

Coming back to this trip. I did go sight seeing a bit. But other than that I was mostly at the hotel. Hotel had a sidewalk beside a river kind of body. Have got some nice photos taken by my friend Shree. Will post them soon.
Its quite some time now since I updated my blog. A lot of travel and work since the last blog.
Now that holidays have set in here goes some blogathon....

30th Top500 list was announced recently. Lot of interesting stuff on the list. Top #4(117.9)  and #5(102.8) from HP ;-) this time around.

Here is the cynosure from the list:
For the first time ever, India placed a system in the Top 10. The Computational Research Laboratories, a wholly owned subsidiary of Tata Sons Ltd. in Pune, India, installed a Hewlett-Packard Cluster Platform 3000 BL460c system.

Cool.. :-)

Here is the link for the interested: http://www.top500.org/blog/2007/11/09/30th_edition_top500_list_world_s_fastest_supercomputers_released_big_turnover_among_top_10_systems

I have been trying to run Xen on some machines. Here are some points which I had to learn the hard way (mostly because I was trying things on a messed up system, so most of the below stuff may not applicable to typical systems):
  • The initrd of Xen may not have the disk driver that is required for your system. Hint: Use --preload option of "mkinitrd" to get your disk driver loaded before other modules.
  • Xen console uses /dev/pts/*. So make sure devpts is mounted. Hint: Fedora uses will have it already mounted via mention in /etc/fstab.
  • Xen "xenstore -ls" gives you better understanding of the devices which the xen dom U uses. Very useful while debugging issues with xen devices, such as consoles.
  • Looks like DomU kernels are not packaged and placed for Fedora et. al. Just get the src installed and compile the domU kernel using - make KERNELS="linux-2.6-xenU"

Here are some linux tips related to initrd which comes very handy (aha.. finally i have documented it here, so no more google searching every time i need it ;-))
  • To create an initrd image, run the following in the directory which will become the root of the image:
    •  find . | cpio -c -o | gzip -9 > initrd.img
  • To extract the initrd image, run the following:
    • cat initrd.img | gunzip | cpio -ivd
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