May 21st, 2012

The D3 Bomb

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The Diablo3 bomb blew through my house this week, destroying work schedules left and right. Every kid (& Dad) played hours of D3.  OMG’s, I can remember D1 – way back in ‘96 before the Diablo’s were numbered.  I must be older than dirt.  Also, being CTO of 0xdata means a zillion customer visits last week (thanks to our plugged-in CEO Sri).  Git claims 600 lines of code from me, down from my weekly average of 3000… blah.  Coding is good for me, I need to do more!
Meanwhile, work at 0xdata is actually proceeding really well despite my lackluster week.  We’re reading & writing HDFS natively.  As I write this, we’re now able to read & write S3.  We’ve got the semantics and design of what is basically the Java Memory Model ironed out for the Cloud (although the implementation is still being worked on).  We’re starting to launch Paxos-based H2O clouds in Amazon EC2.  We’re running larger test suites.
What little coding I did was relating to making Key-delete work right.  The issue is racing Puts followed by Deletes, and delivering a strongly consistent answer when UDP packets are getting lost or re-ordered.  A late-arriving Put cannot “resurrect” a deleted Key and that requires keeping some VectorClock smarts on the deleted Key, instead of just removing all knowledge of the Key.
We’ve got the Git repro opened up to a handful of people and we’re debating when to open it fully.  I’m voting for “wait a little longer”; in particular I want to iron out the design of the execution engine more.  I.e., “word count” on HDFS should not just run fast & well, it should look good also.  I might get overruled on the timing of this, but in any case look for our Git to open up “soon” – some weeks or less.
In other news, I got my $500 deductible returned to me from AllState (which they got from the other drivers’ insurance).  We sold my fiance’s junker car and upgraded her to a car with only 70K miles (down from 225K miles!  The unkillable Nissan Maxima’s brakes finally failed).  I switched the family over from Sprint to TMobile – it’s a better family plan (for me anyways), and that means I finally upgraded my antique phone… to another antique!  Yes!  I managed to dodge the smart-phone brain-drain that’s got all my colleagues one more time.  🙂
Cliff

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