Second Day at Symposium
Well, I slept last night again without putting online what I have wrote. Here it comes:
Today I attended some nice talks, the first one was on Ugly Ducklings - Reassuring Unmaintained Code, by Dave Jones from the SuSE Labs. It was such a talk I like, on keeping code neat and clean, and other stuff. After that was the Getting Open Source Login Into Governments (GOSLING), that I didn't enjoyed much. I tried compiling my kernel. The next one was Large Free Software Project and Bugzilla: Lessons from GNOME Project QA, by a friend: Luis Villa from Ximian. It was talking about how many bugs they have reported on GNOME, Ximian, Mozilla, and other things. After that was another technical talk on Improving the Linux Test Project with Kernel Code Coverage Analysis. It was kind of stuff I like. I learned how to use gcon and lcov to do code coverage tests and get some nice HTML output.
After that, I was in an doubt to if I should attend Hacking for fun and not for Profit, or Linux at Google, More Than 10,000 Linux Machines, well, obviously I chose Google. Actually, the Google guy changes his talk's name to Google, A Linux Cluster for Fun and Profit! The room was already full. I found some seat in the fourth row. It was Marc J Merlin from Google who talking. He started to show us Google technologies, among them are:
- Page color analysis: They analyze a page's background and text's foreground colors, to detect hidden word those bastards put there to get found on irrelevant queries. So you will find the site if you are looking for some porn stuff, but you would not if you are looking for Linux Servers.
- Rack shaped, he showed us how there are a few servers in a rack, with a switch under them, and a load balancer below that.
- Font size and link text, then he showed us how the font size and the link text are getting into account when computing relevances.
- This way they can find and show you the uncrawled pages, the ones that are asked not to be crawled with robots.txt files, just based on the link text of the links to this page.
- The he told us about the spell-checking ability of the Google, and showed us a list of queries people have had on Britney Spears, with spelling errors they have had, with the frequencies.
- Then he told us how the web pages are doubling every eight months, and they are already around two to eight billion pages around. There are about 260 million users around too, I don't know what actually that means.
- The do distributed crawling, crawling some pages from a site, going to another site, and getting back to the site to crawl some more pages.
- All servers have software for all tasks, so if too many index servers go down, they can turn some document servers into index servers.
- He showed us a photo from the old google.stanford.edu lab, with a computer case made with color legos in it, then he told us that it is not legos, and they are expensive, they are duplos!
- Then he showed us some photos from Google 1999, Spring 2000, and late 2000. The number of wires connecting computers in the rack was decreasing exponentially. Now they have more than 10000 Linux systems. Petabytes of storage, and thousands of queries per second. The traffic is growing exponentially.
- He told us how bit errors are inevitable when you are copying terabytes of storage with PC! Actually they are a certainty.
- Lessons of Scale: Hardware:
- KISS (Keep It Simple Silly)
- Keep everything identical
- Expect hardware failure
- Cheap hardware means more query power
- Some more that I don't have in my notes
Then he showed us the Mozilla Google Bar that Behnam likes so much, and told that it has the same functionality as the IE version.
When the talk was over, he ran a program that showed two Google queries a second online! Great, among the queries were: "jennifer love hewitt fake nude", someone was looking for "my panties", "glamour" which I really don't know what it is, "beautiful ass", and "sex with animals".
He was answering the questions while we were laughing out of loud of the queries. If I had a wireless card, I would flood Google with a funny query, like "Get out of Linux Symposium", with the hope that mine is shown on the screen, but I didn't have. While I was hacking and listening to his answers, I felt something flying right by my head. Oh, it was a Google shirt I missed, and the first one. So I closed the laptop screen, waiting for the next one to come, but damn, he was not going to through them this way again. I was starting hacking on my kernel again when I found something coming down right upon my head, and I caught it! So I have a Google t-shirt now. Finally he told us they are hiring, and send your resumes, and blah blah. I'm going to send mine.
We are at the dinner party sponsored by IBM now. Last night at the intel party there were no liquor, but the wine and beer brands were free. Tonight there are liquor and cocktails, but you have to pay for any drinks. Well, I a screwdriver is fine. We had a steak for the dinner. Someone asked to check my badge right now, and after that he told me that I better show off my hip flask as drinking is not allowed here! Well, IBM they are. I was using my hip flask to drink some gins. He told me that I better put it in my bag or I will lose my head. So I left the room as my objection.
I jumped out to find some cigarettes, with no luck, so I jumped in a book store. I picked up some postal cards to send to some of you in Iran. Actually I'm going to put 'em all in an envelope and send to the World Trade Center (sed 's/Trade/Computing/'), as some of the would be definitely censored. I'm going to list the cards. Please skip anyone of them if you feel you are the one to receive that. Please let me know whenever you receive the cards. And please don't tell others anything about the cards, as I've not send them any. And please forget all about the card stuff, as I was just kidding. Here they are: Franz Kafka, Untitled, Drinks at the Monkey Bar, Wallpaper, and The Difference is You! Mail me if your guess about what card you are going to get.
When I came back, the party was over, so I took the bus home. I'm getting quite used to the buses, and well, to the coins.
It is late, around the midnight. I bumped out to have a Coca, but fuck, I have 1.40 dollars of coins, and it is 1.50! I tried to fool the machine with euro coins, but it fooled me by rejecting 'em all. So I decided to not drink anything tonight.
Power management stuff: I have now something to work on. The ACPI enabled kernel can recognize if the AC adapter is attached or not, but cannot detect the battery. The sonypi driver, that's better. It recognizes the Fn keys, and it also can report power status, as well as setting the backlight. I should write some apps to attach to the Fn keys, and hack battery status applet from Gnome to fit my situation. The sleep and suspend functionality do not work still.
I went out walking around in the night, when I found four Iranians. They have been playing cards. They are from an MBA delegation.