• Live@NYC: Day 12

    At last, my new apartment is... OMG confirmed!  Will be moving on August 1st and will stay there for four months. The location is good because it is just one block away from Google and is also very close to lots and lots of pubs and restaurants.Haven't done much work today though.  I spent all the morning applying for a SSN number, and then I spent part of the evening opening a bank account and getting used to its online services.Hope that tomorrow will be more productive. [Continue reading]

  • ATF talk at NYCBSDCon 2008

    NYCBSDCon 2008 will take place in New York City on October 11th and 12th.  Given that I am already in NYC and will still be by that time, I submitted a presentation proposal about ATF.  I have just been notified that my proposal has been accepted and, therefore, I will be giving a talk on ATF itself and how it relates to NetBSD on one of those two days.  The conference program and schedule have not been published yet, though, so keep tuned.  Hope to see you there! :) [Continue reading]

  • Live@NYC: Day 11

    One more day and nothing special to say. Just that I tried to open a bank account and they require two different IDs, which I was not carrying. Any idea about why is that?Let's hope I can open the account tomorrow... but even then, the transfer of the money I have in Spain to this account will not happen on the same day, so I'm not sure about how I'll deal with the housing payment...Edit (23:10): Oh, and just finished watching Dexter Season 1. Highly recommended! [Continue reading]

  • Live@NYC: Day 10

    Not much to say today other than I was lazy to go running in the morning and that I have finally settled on an apartment. Will move in on Friday as long as I can figure out how to do the payment!  (Probably need to deal with money orders, because I can't really get enough cash.)Also, I think the time when I'm assigned a project at Google is approaching. Hope it will be soon. [Continue reading]

  • Live@NYC: Photos

    I've started uploading the photos of my stay in NYC to the Picasa Web Albums. Feel free to take a look in my page! [Continue reading]

  • Live@NYC: Day 9

    Yet another exhausting day. After breakfast (which was pretty late today because I woke up late), I headed to the Apple Store in 5th Avenue. Instead of taking the subway, I walked all the way down through Central Park which accounts for 40 streets and a couple of avenues. Doing so was pretty nice, as the views in Central Park are amazing — and which is the reason why my camera had 93 photos when I got home. Lots of tourists along the way, though, and a rather funny sign along the way:Once in the Apple Store, I went downstairs. Wow. The place is big and really nice. But it was crowded. Stayed there for quite a while, trying their gadgets... and I think I want a real iPod. You know, the Shuffle I now have is OK for running... but not for other "styles" of listening to music (e.g. at work, on the plane...). Even though, I'm not sure which one I should get: the Nano is cool for running (no hard disk), but the Classic can perfectly hold all my music library. Even though, getting the Touch is stupid; I'd rather get an iPhone 3G for that price and size.Out of the store, I felt hungry so I tried one of these typical hot dogs shown in virtually all movies and/or TV series recorded in NYC. Rather disappointing, though, because they are way too small... so when I got home I had to have real lunch.After the hot dog, I walked to Rockefeller plaza  to see what was it and then entered the NBC Experience Store. I saw a couple of nice t-shirts from Friends: one said "We were on a break!" and the other "How YOU doin'?". I think I'll eventually get one of those. But I should hold on the compulsive-buying feeling I'm experiencing...And then I went to Times Square again to take a some (many) photos. Unfortunately, my journey ended there because it started to rain. So I entered a shop, bought a NY t-shirt and returned home much earlier than I wanted. It was only 4pm. Should I have waited for half an hour or so, the rain would likely have stopped.As mentioned before, when I got home I had some more lunch, surfed the internet a bit and went running through Central Park taking a different route than the other days. Very, very nice. This is something I will miss a lot when moving to another apartment downtown :(After the running session, I had dinner and... I can't stay here! So... I went out for a walk to see if I could find any nice bar to have a drink. Nothing. What a crappy neighborhood! Well, in fact I saw a couple of bars that seemed promising, but they were rather empty. Will try again another day.And finally, time to relax. Will now watch some Dexter and sleep. [Continue reading]

  • Live@NYC: Day 8

    Exhausting. Yes, that's the best word to describe today. I woke up early due to an unexpected phone call and went to have breakfast to some random place close to my current house. Then, and for the first time ever, I went to do the laundry. What a waste of time. Sure, I'd have returned home while the washing machine and the dryer were working but, taking 30 minutes each, it's difficult to do anything productive in these separate periods of time. I think that next time I'll just bring my clothes and let the people there do everything by themselves so that I can pick up the clean clothes in the evening... sure, you have to pay for that service, but it's worth the time savings!Then I paid for this week's rent and, after that, headed downtown to deal with housing. I had to see a room at 4pm, so I went a couple of hours in advance to walk by the neighborhood and have lunch somewhere. It took a while to settle the lunch place, and I ended up in a, I guess, mexican restaurant, where I ate a burrito. The place was very touristic (aka, not cheap) but the food was really, really good.Immediately after lunch, I went to see the room. This was in a 3-bedroom apartment located in Greenwich Village. Sincerely, the flat was quite disappointing (but most of them seem to be here in Manhattan), but the surroundings were, I think, excellent. Lots of bars and restaurants around which certainly warrants cool nightlife! If I take that place, I would shared it with a couple of guys in their mid-twenties too, so they'd have been good party-mates I guess.Later, I walked to Google to see how long it took from the apartment to get there. I didn't take the most optimal route, but it was a 20-minute walk only; with some experience, I'm sure it'd transform into a 15-minute walk only. Why did I go to Google, you say? Well, to check the email and keep browsing Craigslist. (Side note: people here has a problem with air conditioning... it was so damn cold inside the building!)Anyway, from there I called another person that was offering a room (I already exchanged some emails yesterday, so this was planned) and settled that I'd see it today but late in the evening. OK, so I went for a walk to make time and stopped by a supermarket to buy some food for breakfast. Then I walked back to Google because I had not heard from the girl (she was supposed to call me just an hour after I called her) and it was pretty late. From there I called again and, well, I had to wait until almost 10pm to be able to see the apartment because she got out of work late and still had to have dinner.Buuuut, the good thing is that I was able to see this other apartment, which is just one block away from Google and pretty close to 5th avenue. I met the girl, a 28-year old mexican, and I think I finally have a place to stay. Quite cheaper than the other option, cool roommate, and a lot closer to work! She will confirm tomorrow, but I guess (well, hope!) I'm done looking.And at last, headed back home and ate something for dinner. And here I am now, blogging and "enjoying" one of those alcohol-free beers.So why was the day exhausting? I tracked my walk path on Google Earth and it was almost 10km-long! All day walking and carrying my laptop on the back... so it's time for a good sleep. Finally, the jet lag is going away. [Continue reading]

  • Live@NYC: Days 6 and 7

    Wow.  I got some complaints today for not publishing day 6 on time!  Sorry, was too tired to write something yesterday evening.So what did I do yesterday?  It was a pretty regular day, with probably two things worth to note. First, I have not been able to find housing yet, so I asked my current tenant if I could stay one more week in the place where I am now; fortunately, it worked, so now I have one more week to look for something else. And, second, when I got home I went for a (very) short walk to find a decent bar in the neighborhood. Nothing! I really want to move to some other place with more nightlife to explore...And what about today, you say? Well, some more work and, in the evening, I went for dinner plus a couple of drinks with several other interns. Finally tried one of these drinks with fancy names, colors and glasses — a daiquiri with strawberry — but it was pretty good indeed! I think I was the oldest of the group, given that most of the interns around here are still in undergraduate college courses... and it is really annoying to have to show one's ID in every single bar to get a drink served.Tomorrow I have to go to see a couple of apartments and also to do the laundry in one of these ugly places... never done it so I will have to ask someone how the machines work and what the procedure is. I can't understand why most people don't have a washing machine at home!  Lack of space?And one last thing: if I keep up with the current reading "speed", I'll probably have a project assigned by next Wednesday. Really looking forward to it, as I want to start doing something cool and useful but... I don't know what I'll be able to tell you... [Continue reading]

  • Live@NYC: Day 5

    Today was a pretty cool day. Everything was like usual, which means running by Central Park in the morning and then going to work... but then, in the evening, several interns met to go for some beers at some random bar in downtown.  Had a pretty nice time there and met several people at Google!Not much else to say, other than it´s already late and I need to sleep quite a bit.  Oh, yes, I´m noticing that the English keyboard that I have at work is now confusing me while writing with my Spanish one!Ah, and I can´t forget saying that living alone is soooo cool... nobody is watching around what I do. Can get at home at any time I want without giving any explanations at all. Sure, I have to do some work by myself, such as cleaning or the laundry, but those are a bearable enough compared to the feeling of complete freedom. Really. [Continue reading]

  • Live@NYC: Day 4

    Got up early (I'm still jet lagged so this is not difficult at all) and went running to Central Park. What a nice jogging track around the lake! Also surprising was the amount of people running at that hour of the day (7.30). Then I headed to Google early enough to have breakfast there and started to do some work. I'm starting to understand stuff, and it looks like that my work will be exciting! Can't wait until tomorrow to get there again and continue learning. I really wanted to experience this feeling again.Then the typical stuff: had lunch, worked some more and even had dinner there. Having dinner early was good because then I went on foot up to Times Square. Just WOW. This place is small but amazing; it seems a completely different city on its own. Will need to go back again with my camera, which I wasn't carrying today. At last, done some shopping at CVS and went home. Now it's time for blogging and watching yet another episode of Dexter while enjoying a beer. (Well, how do I dare to call it a beer? It's alcohol-free. I picked it up incorrectly at the super market.)So, finally today, I think I'm starting to really understand the subway system. A colleague at work, Patrick, explained me the rationale behind the local and express trains, which in fact seems a pretty good idea. I'll try tomorrow to pick the 4th or 5th to get to Google to see how long it takes. Let's hope the extra train switch doesn't make the trip last for more than the 6th on its own, or otherwise I'll probably miss breakfast.Also, at Google today, I was trying to figure out how the expresso coffee machine worked and asked a guy that was using it. While he was explaining to me the details of how to use it, I quickly noticed that special English accent that Spanish people have (I do too for sure). Guess I'll have someone to go partying this weekend!And at last I'm trying to figure out housing once again. I visited three different flats today. Let's hope I get an answer by tomorrow...Phew, this blog is starting to look like a diary... well, will be good to remember this nice experience in the future. [Continue reading]

  • Live@NYC: Day 3

    Today I spent most part of the day at Google.  I took a tour through the offices, dealt with paperwork and chatted with my boss.  I don't know what things I can say about what I saw, so I will only mention one thing: the place is great.  Looks like it'll be hard to leave when the internship finishes!Later this evening, I went shopping to Whole Foods per a suggestion from my boss.  Everything in there seems pretty darn expensive but also of good quality.  And the place was incredibly crowded.Ah, and one more thing that surprised me about the city and that I forgot to mention yesterday: almost everyone who rides bikes wears a helmet.  That's "hard" (not uncommon, just not typical) to see in Barcelona.Last random note: my annoying journey to look for housing continues... [Continue reading]

  • Live@NYC: Days 1 and 2

    Finally, my adventure in NYC started yesterday. I had to pick up the flight at 14.50 but it got delayed by an hour.  In the end, the plane landed at around 19.15 local time (which means a damn lot of hours inside the plane).  Going through immigration and customs was boring but easy.Getting into Manhattan was quite a mess though.  Instead of picking a taxi, I decided to try to make my way through the subway system.  So I first picked up the AirTrain and, instead of getting to the E train, which is the one I needed, I ended up in the A train.  OK, looking at the map it was clear that A could take much more time to get to the destination than E, but it could bring me there anyway; so I waited for that train instead of going back.  Going through Brooklyn took quite a bit, and when the train got to Manhattan, something happened (it was spoken out loud, but I couldn't understand it) and the train changed its way through another line. So I couldn't get to the station I planned and decided to get down in another one to later take the 6 line. However, to pick the 6 line in the correct direction, I had to go out of the metro system and reenter again at some other place. At this point I was so bored (due to carrying all luggage) and stressed that I stopped a taxi.The thing is that I had to be at the apartment between 9pm and 10pm so that the tenant could give me the keys. As I was certainly going to be late, I attempted to call her when the plane landed, but she didn't pick the phone. As a result, when I got to the apartment, nobody was there. Uhh... scam?  No. Fortunately, I could check my email through the mobile phone and saw a mail that told me to go to another direction to pick up the keys.  This mail also had her mobile number, and I noticed that I had written it down incorrectly... hence why nobody picked it up before. So taxi to downtown again, pick up the keys, and another taxi uptown. Expensive, yes, but I was not going to attempt the subway again carrying all my stuff.At around 11pm I got to the apartment, made the Internet connection work on my laptop and went to sleep. 30-hour long day finished. (Note to self: I had wished multiple times to have longer days. Don't say that again!)As regards today, I have read the New York Times (pretty darn expensive), explored the surroundings of the apartment (located at the Upper East Side), checked the way to get to Google using the Subway (not that difficult, now that I wasn't stressed), had lunch downtown, bought a local SIM card for my cell phone and went running in Central Park. Yay!Now, some things that have surprised me from the city so far.It is amazing how widespread and easy is the use of credit cards to pay for virtually anything and everywhere (even inside the taxis!).  Of course, it's also frightening the fact that there is no ID check for the use of the credit card, so losing it is... uh... scary.  Also frightening is the way you spend money... virtual money is much easier to give away than physical one!Tipping is annoying. Come on, just tell me how much I owe and don't make me figure out how much to add to make it right. You know, taxi drivers, waiters... everyone expects tips and there are some guidelines on how much you are supposed to leave.  I guess some taxi drivers got angry yesterday...The subway system is quite... "interesting". Everything seems very old, and the way it works is not too clear. Some stations don't open all day as others do, in some you have to change the direction by going outside, some trains don't have any clear indication of what is the next station... so far I think Barcelona's system is much nicer. Maybe except for the MetroCard.Water is free. What do I mean with this, you say? This morning I sat down in a bar to get a coffee and, before I even ordered, the waiter served me a big glass with water and ice. Similarly, when having lunch, I also got water without having ordered it. And what's more, the waiter refilled the glass as it emptied.Speaking of glasses... mixed drinks seem to be common here. The lunch menu included one mixed drink (some with champagne and some with vodka), and I saw several bars in which the happy hour started as early as 4pm. Oh, and the names for these drinks are quite "funny". Guess I'll have to learn them and what they are composed of.I don't know which language to use to talk to people. Many of them seem to understand both English and Spanish.The blocks in Manhattan are not as big as some people made me think.  You can, in fact, do trips that span multiple blocks on foot.And, at last, the weather is unbearably hot and humid. Not good for sweat. [Continue reading]

  • Recent news

    Micro-blogging services are preventing me to write real posts in my blog... so here comes a summary of recent happenings.I finished my master's degree in Computer Architecture, Networks and Systems a week ago, when I presented the master's thesis titled Task scheduling on the Cell processor. I'll try to post it somewhere online when I have good internet connection.Then, I've spent this whole week at the ACACES Summer School, a meet-up of people from the HiPEAC project to take courses on several computer architecture topics and get to know new people that works on similar areas as you. This meet-up happens in a campus at L'Aquila, a small town in Italy. I don't understand why some people at my university said that they did not want to come... because for me, it has been a great and fun week!And well, tomorrow I'm leaving ACACES and flying directly to New York City, to start my 4-month internship at the Google SRE group on Monday. [Continue reading]

  • Reinstalled Mac OS X in multiple partitions, again

    Past weekend, for some strange reason, I decided to dump all the MBP's hard disk contents and start again from scratch. But this time I decided to split the disk into multiple partitions for Mac OS X, to avoid external fragmentation slowdowns as much as possible.I already did such a thing back when the MBP was new. At that time, I created a partition for the system files and another for the user data. However, that setup was not too optimal and, when I got the 7200RPM hard disk drive six months later, I reinstalled again in a single partition. Just for convenience.But external fragmentation hurts performance a lot, specially in my case because I need to keep lots of small files (the NetBSD source tree, for example) and files that get fragmented very easily (sparse virtual machine disks). These end up spreading the files everywhere on the physical disk, and as a result the system slows down considerably. I even bought iDefrag and it does a good job at optimizing the disk layout... but the results were not as impressive as I expected.This time I reinstalled using the following layout:System: Mounted on /, HFS+ case insensitive, 30GB.Users: Mounted on /Users, HFS+ case insensitive, 50GB.Windows: Not mounted, NTFS, 40GB.Projects: Mounted on /Users/jmmv/Projects, HFS+ case sensitive, 30GB.Windows had to go before Projects so that the MBR partition table was constructed correctly; otherwise Windows failed to start after installation. The Projects partition holds those small files as well as the virtual machines. And Users keeps all the personal stuff such as photos, music and documents, which are mostly static.Using this layout, the machine really feels a lot faster. Applications start quickly, programs that deal with personal data such as iPhoto and iTunes load the library faster, and I don't have to deal with stupid disk images to keep things sequential on disk. However, the price to pay for such layout is convenience, because now the free disk space is spread in multiple partitions. [Continue reading]