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The long dark quiet

Published: August 18th 2015

...and it came to pass that life got in the way of technological breakthrough... a non-technical, technical confession of lacking.

It seems like an eternity since I've actually done any proper breakthrough work on anything interesting. For a lot of the time this has been down to a lot of renovation work on the house and general life-getting-on-top-of-me activity. Some of it has to do with my mental state and just really not feeling like I've been in a place where I can do good exploratory work. Suffering from Imposter syndrome can at times be draining on top of everything else.

For some of the systems I manage on a day-to-day basis I've been undertaking a lot of work in different areas which equally puts a mental strain on you until you can get your head around what you're working on. What I have managed to do in my commute time is to update and fix projects I've worked on up to now.

Experimental ServerGrid updates

Incorporating some of the Hubot work undertaken (detailed in previous blog posts) into the work HipChat system I pushed the API and bot responses through to GitHub with some cheeky TeamCity wallboard integration.

They're very much a work in progress but it helps keep an overview on things day-to-day for me.


I've been struggling with this one for some time, trying to get motivated to do some work on my learning platform and get it out of the door. It's been a struggle because I want it to be good as well as efficient. I've been doing work on getting it working as best I can with Raspberry Pi units so that you can ship a school management system out to remote locations in a very small and compact way.

I'd like to say I'm near a release of the system but there is still a way to go with it all yet. I hope to be able to share some areas I'm really proud of soon.

Incredibuild for Linux

As part of some of the work I've been undertaking this year I've been working heavily with the dev team at Incredibuild (based in Israel). I've been running with the beta program for the multi-threaded multi-machine compilation helper software which is now available on Linux. It's been an interesting time debugging Red Hat Enterprise Linux 6 alongside the new Incredibuild system - I've had to look into the distributed architecture, kernel bugs and processing. The result is that I've been able to be part of helping to push out a stable and usable version of the system through lots of testing and debugging!

CMake hell

I've also been living in a CMake build system hell for a couple of months trying to get my head around it as well as trying to get a grip on the linux build platform for work. It's not been an easy time due to the awful documentation of CMake and the lack of any real information on CUDA compilation processes. I've certainly learned a lot in the process and I've been trying to document as much as possible as I go.

Home office setup

Alongside the renovation work I managed to create an office space to begin doing some proper development work. I put together a nice rack of equipment and started to set up VoIP phone system and new firewalling systems. Sadly I appear to have hit some limitations of my excessively cheap Juniper firewall gear. I hope to be able to overcome some of that as I really quite like the unit for the rest of the time.

I might get chance to document some of the setup for this over the coming weeks now I'm climbing on top of the pile of things that needed doing.

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