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Back to Work in 2010

Comments(0)Filed under: System Design and Verification, linux, code offets, global warming

It's back to work in 2010. Thanks for all the great feedback in 2009. I plan to continue to bring readers interesting material about System Design and Verification in 2010.

When I got back to work this week I fired up an openSUSE 10.2 VMWare image I sometimes use for development. The boot menu is normally a nice blue menu like this:




This time however, I got the picture below with penguins running around the screen. I had seen the penguins infrequently in the past, but never really bothered to look into it. This time I was curious about why the penguins infrequently show up. Was it because  the temperature was -15 F? Was it because it was January? Is the software aware of the date or my location?




After a little searching I found out that it was configurable (like everything in Linux) and the default was to randomly show the penguins.

A few commands confirmed it:

% mkdir penguins
% cd penguins
% cp /boot/message .
% cpio -i < message
% cat gfxboot.cfg

and I could see
which means the penguins appear randomly. It demonstrates an engineering practice I try to promote whenever possible, a little digging goes a long way compared to guessing or wondering.

The igloo reminded me that this is the time of year when we in Cadence create all of the new software you will see later in the year. This year should be no different, the first 4 months of the year should be very productive for many reasons.

Where I live in Minnesota we survived our first big snow and even built our own Igloo (since we all want to be like the Linux penguin Tux in the SuperTux game someday).


We also survived our first major cold spell. Minnesota is in it's fourth straight day of temperatures reaching down into the -20's and -30's F.

Since we are frozen stiff (just warm enough to huddle by the heat generating computer to keep typing), there are no holidays for the foreseeable future, and there is no way to play golf this is the ideal time to get going on all the new software we have planned for 2010.

Before I started coding and testing, I took two more actions to ensure a prosperous new year.

  • Become a member of Minnesotans for Global Warming (and calmly remember that the Third Law of Global Warming states "most global warming occurs during the summer")
  • Buy a few Bad Code Offsets because no matter how hard I try I'll probably insert a few bugs


Happy New Year!

Jason Andrews


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