Easter Weekend

Tue Apr 22nd, 2003 03:34:16 AM EST

Diary Entry 131
[ << Prev | Diary Index | Next >> ]

Kate flew down to her sister's house over the weekend. I spent it trying to track down a particularly nasty bug.

Last weekend Kate and her mom and dad all flew to Los Angeles, where Kate's sister Sarah lives. Actually her mom and dad were there for most of last week. The occasion was Sarah's new house, which she moved into a few weeks ago. They spent their time working on the house: cleaning, painting, and especially planting flowers in the garden. Kate caught up on her sleep, too.

I spent most of my time trying to track down a nasty bug. I'm working on this software that involves a custom Linux kernel module, a dynamic preload library, and lots of forking and execing. It's horrible trying to debug it. The kernel module means that occasionally I can crash my whole system, the preload library means seemingly innocuous code can be disastrous, and the forking means that ``gdb'' doesn't like to debug it, since it's not smart enough to follow fork on Linux. Tonight, I finally got to the bottom of it. I ended up having to compile a custom, instrumented ``glibc'' with debugging information. I finally managed to get a sensible backtrace out of gdb, and after that the fix was obvious.

I spent the rest of my weekend trying to track down something else: a ``NeoPet'' electronic toy for Kate. A Neopet is a creature that you can create and play with on the neopets.com website. Kate has a couple of them and spends some time playing with hers pretty much every day. We'd pretty much decided to get each other chocolate for Easter, but then I remembered that I'd seen Neopet toys in a Target ad circular. I went to the local Target store figuring I'd just buy one of her kind of Neopet, which is called a ``Kougra''. They had a huge display, but it was almost empty, and they had no Kougra. I ended up going to half a dozen different Target and Walgreens stores before I finally found a Kougra. I was beginning to wonder if I'd have to steal one from a small child.

Kate got back yesterday about 5:00. I picked her up from the airport and we drove around downtown San Jose looking for somewhere to eat. Nothing was open, so we drove home instead and ate at an Italian restaurant on Castro Street in Mountain View. I gave her the Neopet toy before we went in. She loved it. I could hardly drag her away into the restaurant. After dinner, we went out to see Anger Management, the new Adam Sandler/Jack Nicholson movie. It was hilarious. I recommend it.

Last updated 03 Apr 2004 21:17. Copyright © 2004 Ben Pfaff.
May be freely redistributed, but copyright notice must be retained.