Friday, March 28, 2008


This week (Tuesday and Wednesday) my father took my 8-year old daughter to Joshua Tree National Park to do some rock climbing. She'd done some simpler climbing before, briefly, a few years ago, and had enjoyed it. (Of course, she did awesome, and everyone around seemed quite impressed by her awesome instincts. Watching her route-find, and use hand holds and moves with flexibility that I can only dream about being able to do was very, very cool.)

The added bonus here was that I was invited to go along as well -- I had never been rock climbing before, and I was anxious to try it myself. (Dad's been climbing for about two years now, and talking about it pretty much continuously since -- now I think I know why.) It was awesome! First off Joshua Tree National Park is absolutely amazing... and it's only about 90 minutes away by car from where I live -- I can't believe I've been missing out on this. (Even if you don't rock climb, there are some beautiful hikes, world-class rock scrabbling -- which is basically half-way between climbing and hiking -- no rope required -- usually, and the natural beauty of the place is astonishing.)

But what was really cool was the climbing. Over two days, we did a number of different climbs (all top-rope climbs), varying from about 5.4 to 5.7. (This is a scale of difficulty, which is too much to explain here.) Prior to the 5.6 and 5.7 climbs, I recall looking up with butterflies in my stomach thinking, "I'm going to climb what? Surely you jest!" (Looking for a foothold on a vertical face, that might be less than a quarter inch wide... and then actually being able to use it to hold your entire weight... well you've got to try it to believe it. Climbing shoes stick like glue.)

During the climb, the butterflies completely vanished, and I was able to focus on getting the job done. (Probably because I never looked further down than my next foothold...)

The best part, after having done it, was the endorphin high at the top, having actually done the climb without giving up, and without actually falling (though a fall is only a couple of inches with a belayed top-rope). Its a huge sense of achievement. To anyone who's not tried this before, I highly recommend it.

Yeah, I'll be going back. It was cool out-climbing Dad (gee, wonder where I got that competitve gene) on the final 5.7, but I'm disappointed that I didn't try one of the 5.9 routes he did on the first day, and I definitely want to go back and do the multi-pitch climb that we turned back on after Brandy got an understandable case of the jitters and chills. (Hanging out on a windy ledge about nearly 100 vertical feet up, knowing that there were three more pitches to go, I certainly sympathized with her sudden onset of acrophobia.)

Congrats to the new OGB

The results of the OpenSolaris 2008 ballot are in -- congratulations to the members-elect. It looks like a solid group of folks, and I am encouraged for the new year! (On a side node, I'd like to have seen a bit more representation from non-Sun employees, but the elected members are all folks I believe have a high level of integrity, and will serve the community's interests well.)

Monday, March 10, 2008

I voted!

I just recorded my vote in OpenSolaris. If you're a Core Contributor, please go to for instructions to register your vote!

For the curious, I voted FOR the two amendments, and my priority list is for a public bug system, public RTI system, SPARC build farm, x64 build farm, and to clean up inactive CGs.

I am not reporting my OGB selections, other than to say that it included a mix of candidates from Sun and non-Sun candidates, and included some former OGB/CAB members, and some fresh faces.

Friday, March 7, 2008

return of iwk

Owners of laptops with Intel 4965 802.11n hardware will be glad to know, iwk has returned. Hopefully, all the legal confusion is sorted out properly this time, so it should be here to stay. For very small technical changes, there was a lot of work involved to make this happen, and a big thank-you to everyone who got it done, and to the community who've been patient with us while we made sure we were Doing The Right Thing.

Now I just need to get one of my own.