Thursday, January 04, 2007

Intel inside / Herring v2

Time seems to get away from me when diving into new work. It’s been a few months since my last speculative post, and since then, as I’m sure you’ve noticed, the Core 2 Duos are now in the MacBook Pros. I bought mine the day it came out. But like the rest of my old machines, it wasn’t so easy to part with my old Titanium. First, it was a matter of not having brought everything over (like some applications who keep data in strange places and as such didn’t get copied over when I copied my home directory and data drive), and secondly, for the first time in a long time, I had some PowerPC-only work on my plate!

Digging out the old 601 manual and peering through its pages, I realized that I missed dabbling in assembly. I say dabbling because I know just enough to be dangerous, and not enough to wring the performance you’d want from, say, an optimizing compiler. Fortunately, all I had to do was play with stack frames and arguments placement. Mmm… Nothing like screwing that up and getting a completely broken stack trace at the point of a problem. Well, anyhow, as it turns out, whereas it’s possible to use my new shiny MacBook Pro to do this work, it’s quite difficult to debug in Rosetta, and Rosetta seems to not be too happy about programs generating their own code (it quickly runs out of memory—perhaps it doesn’t know where the data ends and the generated code begins?). Thus, my old PowerBook was going to have its one last hurrah over Christmas, so I could work during downtime while visiting family.

I greatly overrated the downtime, which ultimately didn’t matter, as for some reason gdb on my PowerBook wouldn’t load the symbols of the code I was debugging, so it was even more difficult than it was going to be back at work. I gave up on working over Christmas and focussed it on my and Miller’s family.

As an aside, it seems that around my birthday, Miller and I “spawned a new process”. I don’t think it’s Intel inside there, but according to the doctor, it’s set to release in late July ‘07. Both of our families are quite pleased.

Now that the last vestiges of a reason to keep the old workhorse is gone, I finally used the photos I snapped of it several weeks ago, and put it up on eBay. <shameless_plug>If you’re looking for an old MacBU warhorse, replete with a Moby sticker, bid away.</shameless_plug>


Troy Phillips said...

Hope the TiBook gets a good home :)

Sean Sherer said...

Dude, thats so cool! A new process! :-) The news brought a huge smile to my face. Congrats all around...

Star Girl said...

Yea, Intel inside!