jrf is currently certified at Master level.

Name: Jason Fink
Member since: 2000-08-18 19:39:14
Last Login: N/A

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Homepage: http://argos.homeunix.net/~jrf/


UNIX Systems Programmer/Administrator, author (worked on three books), and NetBSD Key Developer (meaning commit access). I have worked on computers and electronics since 1985 (as a kid hobbyist). My first programs were machine and assembler often keyswitched in. Then I moved onto C/C++. I also use Perl a great deal for administration. I started using UNIX systems in 1995, but I really did not get into them too much until 1996, prior to minicomputers and VAXen I worked mostly on mainframes. My hobbies include collecting music and movies (then again, in many places who doesn't?), martial arts, and of course hackery. A full text version of my diary here can be found at argos. It is doubtful I will make any new entries here. I really don't know if I will run a blog anyplace else.


Recent blog entries by jrf

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27 Feb 2003 (updated 28 May 2003 at 13:35 UTC) »

Well life is finally starting to look better. I am still out a car but got the exact same model at a lower price with better financing. All I have to do is wrap up the paperwork. My S.O. received a 90% scholarship to Uni and may score a job there. Her program is geology (Masters).

Sort of in sync with my personal good fortune, I have managed to get a few things knocked out in NetBSDland. I closed several PRs that involved adding some simple extensions to utilities and commited a patch from a kind user to the kernel for some linux emul stuff. Right now I am in troll mode looking for something I can do, maybe I should enjoy the peace for a week or two?

I am really starting to think my life has a bit too much drama. My car got totaled (I'm out 1100 bucks) then my S.O. had to get surgery because one of her nasal passages has nearly grown shut. So right now, I am using her car since she is on mild pain killers. I reckon I will bum rides until I get a new car. My daughter has been sick twice now and several local area schools have been closed due to a flu epidemic ... sheesh. On the bright side, the insurance company gave a lot back, I am lucky I am out only 1100. My daughter while somewhat ill, has been doing quite well in school and her behavoir has incrementally been improving (probably as the weather gets better). Work is going good (if not a bit boring at times).

In the Open Source world, I have not been getting much done, for obvious reasons. Frankly, I have been busy taking care of my family (ironic that only a few weeks ago the situation was reversed). Right now I want to close out a simple utility extension PR and move onto something else ... I have spent almost 2 solid "spare time" months working on similar extensions and to put it mildly - I am going nuts. Although I enjoy taking on tasks that I am experienced enough for or smart enough to handle, repetive ones seem bothersome after awhile.

It has been a long time since I posted here and, as usual, guilt caught up with me and I decided to post an entry.

Since April of last year a lot has happened. I was diagnosed with an Acoustic Nueroma, a tumor near my brain sitting on the balance nerve of the inner ear. In November it was removed and I lost all hearing in the right ear. I have permanent tinitus (ringing) in it, which is sort of cool because when my blood pressure goes up, the ringing gets louder (sort of an onboard BP tracker). The post op nightmare was terrible. I had swelling so bad that blood flow was cut off to the brain and I had an infection. It lasted for nearly 3 weeks and I was back in the hospoital twice. In any case, I feel better now and am working from home. I also lost a lot of weight from puking (my body has a strong dislike of drugs and certain anitbiotics). I guess that is a benefit ...

Now onto the neat stuff. Since April I delved into NetBSD development. I migrated some code from a friend of mine to a module for the Verified Executable Kernel Modification. That was a blast. I learned a lot, lesson one of kernel development: do NOT try to track -current if your making big changes, merge them when you are done or ready for BETA. After that I went onto in depth tuning again, some PR articles, and started working on userland utils. My "open source" resume has expanded quite a bit.

In the future I want to get get back to helping with further kernel security, keep closing as many PRs as I can, and with some help branch out into other areas. I also need to wrap up my degree, I have too many floating credits and now that I have a lot of free time, it is time to put free time to use.

Well its been awhile. Since Janruary I have been busy and on the road a bit. I took over a unix box for a company in new york, my first sysadmin consulting gig for the company I work for now. It was rough in the start but now things have smoothed over. The project for NetBSD I helped on is wrapping up so I am trying to turn my guns elsewhere. It was a lot of fun working with the kernel and not nearly as difficult as I thought it would be, actually, coding was the easiest part. Management and surviving -current builds was 70% of the work. Now I am sort of doing a mixed project, I attended the 4.4-BSD kernels class recently and, of course, just came back with all sorts of great ideas. Out of all of them only one sounded interesting and mostly harmless. I am updating a small collection of load creation tools to run on NetBSD and FreeBSD. So far they work okay. In tandem with that I am writing a tuning paper which is giving me a chance to work with stuff like kgprof and kgmon. So I get to give back some writing, make some neat tools and learn stuff - what fun.

I found an old pal of mine's diary here tonite, very cool. I got his email and touched base with him. So I guess advogato has other useful items aside from busted algs :)

Among other things I am plodding ahead, slowly and with a lot of help, on signedexec work in kernel. The fact that we have been working together on this now for over 2 months is a good sign, we are going to make it. BUT, since our code is not in any branches I decided to take a side trip and work on some documentation I had promised a few months ago. Ironically, I had a CVS problem with it which I am trying to resolve . . . funny, you try to stay in the lamplight and sort of accidentally trip a breaker!

My daughter is starting to develop skills that are in my mind remarkable, but I am sure other parents have seen it as well. She is learning simple japenese and spanish words, on her own with a teaching aid we bought her. She also knows how to login to her account, see who is on the system, run top etc. Last night she beat me fair and square at Stratego. She is 6. So you see my point. I do not think it is so much that she is inherently intelligent as much as she is curious and has access to way more information than I ever did. Nevetheless, her striving for "getting it right" really is a unique quality and I respect that. I believe someday she will use UNIX systems - as in use them, she will see them as toys/tools for her real job like many scientists and researchers do today.

So thats all for now, I think I will make a round of ratings . . .

17 older entries...


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