Drama

In an unsurprising turn, SCO stocks plummet as a judge rules that Novell owns the UNIX copyrights, and not SCO as McBride would have you believe. Not that I really care about SCO stocks, I really don’t, it’s just nice to see people finally catching on to the SCO bluff. Redmond played it beautifully, or thought they did by financing the smear campaign that was SCO AND striking a deal with Novell to distribute Linux “coupons”, but will they find themselves outwitted by GPLv3 when/if Novell starts shipping GPLv3 code as part of the coupon deal? Now that is going to be very interesting to watch.

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Messing with the Colonel

I’ve been reading Linux Kernel Development by Robert Love recently, and it’s exactly the book I’ve always been looking for. A number of kernel books have spent a long time in my wait queue gathering dust and becoming obsolete with every passing day. I’ve gazed longingly at the venerable Lion’s Book on many many occasions only to push it back in the queue because I felt I needed to finish another book first before I could move on to it.

I put an end to all the procrastination and dived into RML’s book and it was glorious. Seriously folks, five stars. It dives straight into the key aspects of the kernel with code commentary and examples. It doesn’t attempt to present all the details of the various interfaces and subsystems that it covers and leaves that as an excercise to the reader. Armed with something like LXR, this has never been easier.

Also, for those aspiring to mess around with the internals while at it, do check out UML (User Mode Linux) which is already in mainline 2.6 and excellent for creating sandboxes to play with.

The Magic Word

Once in every three years or so, I fire up an editor that I can’t exit.

First it was vi, many many moons ago.

Then came emacs. Ctrl-x, Ctrl-v was the LAST thing on my mind.

I’ve been working with z/OS for a while now and never had the opportunity to play around much. Being mostly restricted to USS (UNIX System Services) that offers a friendly UNIX shell, hiding the arcane operating system beneath, I haven’t really had the opportunity to mess things up much. As anyone who likes to play around with new operating systems would tell you: that’s no way to learn.

The last couple of days have been spent dipping my feet in TSO, taking notes feverishly, and throwing commands at it, sometimes with no real idea of what it does. Somewhere down the line I happened to type EDIT.

Before long, it was evident that I had stumbled upon an editor that I didn’t know how to exit.

And so the usual panic ensued. After many failed attempts, broken-spirited, I resorted to google. Several queries later, hidden deep in google groups, I stumbled upon exactly what I needed. The magic word was END! not :wq. not Ctrl-X Ctrl-C. END!!!

EDIT car
 ENTER DATA SET TYPE-
TEXT
 DATA SET OR MEMBER NOT FOUND, ASSUMED TO BE NEW
 INPUT
 00010 Dude, where's my car?
 00020
 EDIT
SAVE
 EDIT
END
 READY

Chicken, meet egg. Egg, Chicken. Egg. Chicken.

Lately I’ve been stuck on z/OS, among other things, and managed to somehow fill up my allocated quota of disk space with considerable ease. But here’s an interesting dilemma, clearing up some space isn’t all that easy. Apparently, it doesn’t let me delete files because there is not enough disk space. Now there’s a paradigm shift for you.

I watched an old mainframer hacking away at his terminal and it was the coolest thing I ever saw. His terminal had a cross hair on the active cursor position and as he worked it looked as he was playing a shoot em up, minus the blood, gore and 3d graphics of course. It all happened so fast I was scrambling to keep up with what he was doing, and was a hopeless, awestruck noob. MVS is NOTHING like UNIX. Thanks to something called USS, us *nix folk can feel comfortable and safe in a familiar environment where all the UNIX paradigms hold true, shielding us from the bloody unreal MVS arena where those damned cross hairs follow our every move.

Later that day, I IPLed OS/360 on my hercules emulator. More on that in a later rant.