Month: June 2009

Valgrind and OpenSSL

I’ve just filed Debian bug report #534534 about Valgrind/Helgrind reporting “Possible data race during write” [1]. I included a patch that seems to fix that problem (by checking whether a variable is not zero before setting it to zero). But on further testing with Valgrind 3.4.1 (backported from Debian/Unstable) it seems that my patch is […]


Microsoft Open Source Information Evening

I have just attended a Microsoft Open Source Information Evening. It was in some ways one of the stranger things that I have experienced in my computer career. Firstly there was the location, it was in a function room in the CBD, it was convenient for public transport and had good service but seemed likely […]

Misc Computer

Unreasonably Large Source Packages

For the past few hours I’ve been going a build of the GCC packages on a dual-core Opteron system with 2.5G of RAM and a pair of reasonably fast SATA disks in a RAID-1 array. The machine is reasonably powerful so presumably such a build would take a significantly larger amount of time on a […]

Misc Computer

Valgrind/Helgrind and STL string

I am trying to track down a thread-safety problem in one of my programs. Valgrind when run as “valgrind –tool=helgrind ./thread-test” claims that there is a problem with the following program (the Valgrind errors are at the end of the post). The SGI documents state [1]: “The SGI implementation of STL is thread-safe only in […]

Misc Computer

Lies and Online Dating

Separating Fact From Fiction: An Examination of Deceptive Self-Presentation in Online Dating Profiles is a really interesting paper by Catalina L. Toma and Jeffrey Hancock of Cornell University and Nicole Ellison Michigan State University [1]. People who don’t use the Internet much regard online dating as an area that is filled with liars – largely […]

Misc Computer

A “Well Rounded” CV

When discussing career advice one idea that occasionally comes up is that someone should be “well rounded” and should demonstrate this by listing skills that are entirely unrelated to the job in question. Something along the lines of “I’m applying for your C programmer position, and I like spending my spare time playing tennis and […]


Links June 2009 is an interesting new service that allows creative people to solicit funding to start new enterprises [1]. Note that it is not for investing in projects, sponsors give the money and the result is that the work gets done. Unfortunately it only allows people with US bank accounts to receive money at this time. […]


Religion vs Cult

Diane Benscoter gave an interesting TED interview and a slightly less interesting TED lecture about her experiences with the Moonies [1]. She describes how she was a victim of the cult for five years, and then after being deprogrammed she spent five years working as a deprogrammer [2]. In her interview she described the first […]


Finding Thread-unsafe Code

One problem that I have had on a number of occasions when developing Unix software is libraries that use non-reentrant code which are called from threaded programs. For example if a function such as strtok() is used which is implemented with a static variable to allow subsequent calls to operate on the same string then […]


McDonalds – Wifi Without Power

I am writing this post at a small cafe while my car is being serviced. I tried a local Red Rooster food store, a KFC, and a McDonalds but none of them had a power socket I could use. This seems quite perverse as McDonalds advertises free wifi net access to entice customers, but no […]

Misc Computer