VMUFAT: almost done (I hope)

A Sega Dreamcast Visual Memory Unit
Image via Wikipedia

About a decade ago I first wrote some Linux kernel code that would handle the filesystem on the little slab of flash storage that came with a SEGA Dreamcast Visual Memory Unit (VMU).

A few attempts to get this in the kernel mainline then followed. It was a bruising experience and unsuccessful. But I am about to try again.

I am a bit more confident this time – not least because I have written some userland code which will allow anyone to test the filesystem out, whether they have a VMU or not: mkfs.vmufat is now available at GitHubhttps://github.com/mcmenaminadrian/mkfs.vmufat/blob/master/mkfs.vmufat.c

Secondly I do think I am a better coder thanks to the MSc and have put some effort into fixing the filesystem code itself.

But we’ll see, hopefully tomorrow, how it goes down.

GitHub message confirmed genuine

Image representing GitHub as depicted in Crunc...
Image via CrunchBase

It seems the GitHub message is genuine, though looking through Twitter suggests there is a lot of unhappiness about the way the message was spread, its timing and its content.

Not sending such a message from your own mailservers also looks very foolish to me – checking the headers of a dodgy looking email is, I am sure, the first thing many of us do when we are not sure.

Anyway, as GitHub don’t tell you – here is how to do what they are asking (approve as valid your SSH keys):

ssh-keygen -lf ~/.ssh/id_rsa.pub

And check the output against GitHub’s public key.

Writing more code to avoid writing any of the report?

The C Programming Language
Image by mrbill via Flickr

I have managed to churn out 160 lines of working C today – which I think is quite good going, though, according to this, maybe I could have churned out 400 of C++ or even 960 of Perl (I love Perl but the mind boggles).

My program will tell you how pages pages are present or how many have been swapped (it has the ability to do a bit more too, but I have not exploited that even though it is essentially there) – you can fetch it from github here: valext (the name reflects the idea that this was going to be an extension to Valgrind but then I discovered/realised that was never going to work).

Anyway, what I now have to face up to is whether I am churning out code to avoid actually writing any of my MSc project report – I have a feeling that some of that is going on and think I need to start rereading Writing for Computer Science – which helped me greatly with the proposal.

Getting peace of mind – at a price

Image representing Unfuddle as depicted in Cru...
Image via CrunchBase

I confess that one of my biggest fears has been that any work I do on my MSc project will be lost in some sort of catastrophic computer disk crash.

Git – and the various free services available, such as github, offered a good way of backing the work up. But given that the project is based on the Linux kernel which is bigger than the official maximum size of a github project, it looked less than hopeful.

(That was not helped by their support staff – one of whom appeared to tell me I should delete the binaries in the kernel and I should be ok.)

So I have gone for unfuddle. It’s not free – $24 a month for a 2 GB repo – but it should do the job with no problem.

Now available to all

I think I have more or less got this right now:

Paging explained/simplified
Paging explained/simplified

This is also now available on git: https://github.com/mcmenaminadrian/Paging

This was also helpful in explaining how the curves work.

And of course this – The LATEX Graphics Companion – was also essential.

Copyright (c) Adrian McMenamin, 2011, reuse licensed under the CC0 Licence.