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Ricardo Koller :: Blog

July 12, 2009

So, this is the end of the internship and as a new tradition at IRL (since last year actually) there are interns poster presentations. Motivated by amazing prizes like ipods and DVD players :O. It's not that interns actually need prizes, but it just makes things more fun and lot LOT more competitive.

I presented my work titled "Working sets: Modeling and characterization". I think it was a good poster, and the presentation was, at least for the people related to systems, clear (I hope). I think we got too deep into technical issues of these power6 servers, which make our work only appealing to 2 persons in the lab, me and my mentor. Ahh, and Pradip, who also enjoys low level stuff :D.

This a picture after the whole event.. I am the half guy on the right.


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After months (litherally months) of looking for places in Delhi where I could find cheap and good chicken, meat, whatever non vegetarian thing to eat, I finally found a place (1 week before I leave). It is called Arabian nights. They sell these whole chickens at very convenient prices. Getting a decent amount of chicken at a nice restaurant is amazingly expensive in Delhi. I've been buying one of those once every two days. I'm kind of desperate for regular (bolivian) food now. Don't take me wrong, I love indian food. It's just that my natural craving for meat is stronger.

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I spent one of my last weekends in India in a little town called Rishikesh. It's mainly a religious place where many indian gather to celebrate their gods. I think it is special for hinduism mainly because ganga river goes through it.

I went with a couple of interns from IRL...

It took us a night in bus. I couldn't sleep at all. But that didn't matter as we went rafting and walking all day. We rafted thorugh the ganga river. It was an amazing experience. Not only because of the rafting experience which was really exciting. But mainly because of 1% of the trip, which was in the middle of Rishikesh. You get to pass in boat in the middle of the river between hundreds of little and huge hindu temples. One of them was full of bells, hundres, all making different sounds.

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June 07, 2009

I went to see my first hindi movie to a theatre... 99 (fancy name for a hindi movie I guess). This was amazing. I didn't thouhgt it woulud be that good considering I  had no idea about 90% of what was going on in the movie. Hindi movies are cool.

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So, here I am living like a monk with absolutely no distractions of any kind. I actually enjoy it. I guess I shouldn't. There is no good tv. At least I don't know, everything is in hindi. I have no friends and although I looked for some latin places around Delhi I couldn't find anything remotely familiar to SA. mm. The internet connection in the guest house is @# so there are no youtube sessions. All that remains is good old fashion plain thinking in the balcony about all sort of things (including my research :D ) . I also starting to enjoy little things I used to love some years ago, like having te during the afternoon, eating fruit (watermelon is great here) for hours in front of a window or balcony.

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May 31, 2009

 Last week we took this nice trip to Jaipur, Rajasthan. I wasable to go with some interns from the lab. Jaipur is also called the pink city by the color of 1% of the buildings on it. Apart from that odd name it is great. It has lots of nice palaces. By the way, one of those belonged to Akbar, the great Mughal emperor. Pretty impressive I have to say after seeing the movie "Jodha Akbar". Oh, and the palaces are usually on top of mountains and have beautiful views.


Well, affter spending all morning visiting these beautiful places we spent the afternoon riding elephants, "enchanting" snakes (check the pic). The removed their teeths, so no danger really.

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May 11, 2009

So I'm in India (again). I spent my first days on paper work in order to start working at IBM. All of these was done at a different office in the bussiness area of Gurgaoh. A friend of mine, Raj, took me there on his moto (pretty cool.) There I spent the morning filling 1000 forms and copyright stuff. But luckily there were other people, like some interns at IRL doing the same. So we took the opportunity to chat and know each other. It turns out that I;m working with two of them.

At 1pm, when we finally finished all the paper work stuff, we got to IRL. There I found several people I met last year. I kept saying "very nice to see you again" and it was actually VERY nice to see them again. I even saw all the sys admins I had so many problems with and they were very glad to see me :S.

After that I had lunch and I have to say that it was great. Last year I had many issues with the food, but this time I actually like it. I really don't know what happened. I guess is because now the food is not free anymore, and maybe the quality increased dramatically. Moreover, there was chicken!. Apparently, wednesday chicken is now monday, wedn. and friday chicken.

I then met with my old and current mentor, Akshat. I kept working with him from Miami so the meeting wasn't so dramatical. He didn't change at all (well, it's just one year). We chatted a little bit about the project and just after that I decided to go and have a little nap. The nap turned out to be 10 hours (literally) so that's all for wednesday.

Thursday was elections day and nobody could let me in inside the lab. So I spent all day on my room. I just went outside to have something to eat after 4pm because nothing is open before. Friday was spent in settiing up accounts, checking servers and a little bit of reading.

The weekend was no different, I spent all days sleeping and awake at night. I just recently moved to India time. It is so hard to get used to +10 hours of difference. I cannot do it in 2 days.

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June 30, 2008

So, here is my cube. It looks a little messy, but this is absolutely necessary as it gives me some warm and cozzy feeling..

annnd here I am doing something in my cube

Thinking of "cubes"... It is very interesting how "cubes" are very similar in IBM compared to those at FIU (or maybe any other university). I am talking about "cubes" in the sense of freedom as a researcher. Here, just like at my lab (yeah, MY lab at FIU), we have the freedom of get lost and go really deep in any crazy line that may look interesting. And you also have the freedom of pretty much do whatever you want, come at whatever hour you want and stay in the lab as much and as less as you want. But off course there are some limitations: the "cube". I am happy to say that the dimension of this "cube" are the same as the dimensions of my "cube" at FIU. The only differences are that this one is "a little" more harder (and spicy).

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June 25, 2008

Today I've been told that there should be some POWER6 processors coming soon. Akshat ordered a couple many months before I arrived and I was supposed to work on them.  But sadly there was too much administrative "@#$" before this could happen. Maybe a computer scientist should not get excited about something "mundane" like a new processor. But THIS is the most advanced chip in the world and it is not only fast but also very "friendly". It have many many cool features for performance monitoring and voltage/frequency scaling. This baby could save me a lot of time. I have to repeat many experiments and be forced to collect close-to-real information because regular Intel processors have a very limited number of performance registers, can collect limited information, and usually affect performance. I cannot even measure real memory bandwidth on these (although this point is ok as it is addressed in the report/paperwannabe we're writing). ... and most importantly POWER6 processors allow almost unlimited number of cpu power states (not like Intel implementing ACPI states).

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June 24, 2008

Today my mentor referred to RAM as "it's just a cache to disk" and made me think. I wish I had so much affection to disk drives. He works in storage, I work in storage, everybody in my lab work in storage. The difference is that I kind of see disks as a slow component of a computer which should not be that important, but they are (as they are so slow). That's where I get in... trying to make them appear faster by using some OS specific "tricks".

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