This was the final week in the winter academic quarter here at Stanford. I'm not taking any classes, but it's still been pretty crazy.
The other big thing was that I had to finish writing some software and get it working for a demo today. This is the "Collective" system. Our eventual goal is to be able to move running software among a number of "compute servers" and view and use it transparently from any computer on the Internet that has a client installed. This way you can move between, say, your home and office, without disturbing your working environment. This week my fellow student Costa and I have been working on the migration features, which we demonstrated for the rest of the research group today. It works!
Prospective Stanford Ph.D. students are visiting en masse this weekend. Today there was a reception from 4:00 to 5:00 at which I got some free food, and then the usual weekly "T.G.I.F." at which I got some cider and even more free food. And tomorrow I'm getting a free dinner out of it too. Wow, we should do this every weekend.
It seems like I've been spending a lot of time in dull talks this week. I think I'm going to have to start bringing my laptop to talks just so I have sometime to do in case I get bored. It seems to be what lots of others do, too, so I wouldn't stick out as particularly rude for doing it. And with the wireless network in the computer science building I don't even have to give up Internet access.
I've found a couple more productivity enhancements this week. First of all, there's PCL-CVS built into GNU Emacs 21 and later. It's a full interface to CVS that operates from an Emacs session. It means that I don't have to switch to a command prompt and type long filenames just to update or commit files. With the "fix a bug on the client, commit, update on the servers, recompile, test, repeat" cycle Costa and I have gone through the last couple of days, sitting side by side at our laptops, this really helped.
The other enhancement is fsh, a utility for keeping ssh sessions open for instant access. This really speeds up CVS usage over ssh because you don't get the 2-3 second startup delay on each session. I installed it so that it gets used automatically whenever I use CVS with my usual servers.