Getting up-to-date

June 5th, 2008 - Fernando Roberto

Once more I have not posted any for a long time. Now you might be thinking: “Here he comes with that chatter he has no time, everything is difficult and God does not like the kernel developers and so on.” Well, I am skipping this part of apologies and just saying what I have been doing during that time.

Windows Driver Training

Well, let me see where I have stopped. My last post was during the period when I was teaching a driver development course for a private class. The course was given in five Saturdays of eight hours each. Needless to say, it took me a while. Okay, okay, okay, no excuses.

Forth C/C++ Programmers’ Meeting

On next Saturday following the end of the course, I took a tour around this event. They left the door open and I could get through for a peek and talk a little about Windows drivers’ architecture and development using C language. I confess that the invitation to participate in this event was a surprise to me. I’m not a great C++ programmer but I use the C language with “classes”, as just my friend Strauss gets used to say. I can say it was very interesting to participate in this event with a very high technical level.  I had an opportunity to realize the way the language may be used in different scenarios. The slides from my talk are available at this link.

Going back to Boston

It seems that things only happen on Saturdays. Anyway, on the next Saturday following the meeting, I embarked to Boston on a trip taking about one month. The last time I had been there was due to the OSR training described in this post. This time, it was about an IBM integration program. I could personally meet the people I work with and previously had only met through Web Conferences. Again, it was very interesting and I tried to enjoy it mostly. We were two Brazilians and one Indian. I missed our Brazilian coffee a lot. In this photo, there are below, from left to right, David E. Jones (Manager), Scott D. Hankin (Documentation), William C. Oliveira (Linux), William H. Taber (Linux), Mridula Muppana (Testing), Paul Ganshirt (Windows), Niraj Kumar (AIX), Kaveesh Mishra (Windows), Fernando Roberto (Windows) and Richard Kissel (AIX and Linux). This is just one part of the whole MVFS team.

Don’t you know what MVFS is? It is a File System that is part of a product called ClearCase. Don’t you know ClearCase? Well, beyond Wikipedia, I had the pleasure of bumping into an observation about the ClearCase at Rajeev Nagar’s book. This book, as I have never gotten tired of saying, is still the only respectable reference on Windows File System development, even though it was first published in 1997. Where is ClearCase in this story? Well, if you’re sick like me and have this book, take a peek at the beginning of chapter nine. On the first page of this chapter, you’re going to find the following passages.

Yeah, that’s really cool! 🙂

Back to the Classes

For a whole month after I had come back to Brazil, I spent some time chasing the content I had lost at the university. Yeah, I’m still graduating in Computer Engineering. I have been working on my final project (Final Course Project). My project must obligatorily have a Windows driver; that is the least thing I could do. Finally, I will be able to show what I can do to my classmates. During the course, some friends had asked me what I’ve worked with, since I have often been reading big books from Microsoft. After trying to explain the simplest way possible, drawing or even using puppets, they still get with that interrogation face. Well, at the time that the blue screen shows up, they will eventually understand.

I took the tour in the United States to buy this development kit of Altera. This kit will be part of my project and in the future, I will be able to use it in my courses on driver development. Nowadays I have just counted on the OSR training boards, as I already talked about in this post. Unlike the OSR boards, this kit may have its hardware defined by a language called VHDL, and thus, it can cause the board to have a wide variety of behaviors and be able to illustrate the driver interface construction for every situation. This card costs around R$ 1,700.00 in Brazil, while I had only paid U$ 150.00 there in USA. Practically, a candy price. Do you know, when we used to go to the bakery to buy that ice cream cone that came with a stuck toy? So, it was almost the same thing. Another interesting thing in this kit, besides its price, is the possibility of using its USB and PCI interfaces. That will be very funny.

Portability and Performance Seminar

In this last weekend, I also attended that event organized by Brazil C/C++ group. It’s amazing to notice how these events are bringing more and more people to it. I took some pictures, but I’ll leave the comments on behalf of my friend Slug, who has a cool post about it.

Back to the bloggers’ world, I will try not to abandon you, guys for so long. Some excuses apart, it has not been that easy.


One Response to “Getting up-to-date”

  1. Kaveesh Mishra says:

    Nice! You work on a famous product!
    interesting and funny read.


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