Systemd in Embedded Systems: Don’t Listen to the Hatemob

systemd, the (init?) system that everyone loves to hate, needs no introduction. It’s pretty ubiquitous today — to the point where you can find it, for example, in Yocto. When it comes to its use in embedded systems, the (vocal) community response is either that it’s too bloated, or that it’s probably a fringe case… Continue Reading Systemd in Embedded Systems: Don’t Listen to the Hatemob

The Modbus CRC Endianness Kerfuffle

Modbus is a quaint protocol. It’s one of my favourite protocols — it’s not very convenient to use, but it’s pretty convenient to implement and remarkably flexible for an otherwise pretty opinionated protocol. Its specs are very self-contained and easy to follow. That being said, like all protocols that are a) from an entirely different… Continue Reading The Modbus CRC Endianness Kerfuffle

Perf-V, Vivado and Linux

A few days ago I got a Perf-V board. In case you’re wondering what that is, the Perf-V is an FPGA development board, supposedly “designed for [the] RISC-V opensource community” by PerfXLab, a Beijing-based company that does some pretty interesting things in addition to this particular board. PerfXLab does (rightfully) claim that you can use… Continue Reading Perf-V, Vivado and Linux

The Compatibility Struggle Looming Over the Horizon

It’s been nearly 20 years since Rob Pike’s infamously won the “Best at saying what we’re all thinking” prize with his talk about how systems software research is irrelevant. And, while systems software research is doing slightly (though not glamorously) better than in 2000, it’s still mostly circling the drain. That being said, it’s not… Continue Reading The Compatibility Struggle Looming Over the Horizon

Lessons From the apt Remote Code Execution Vulnerability

Well, it’s happened before, so it was bound to happen again: a remote code execution bug was found in APT. And it’s particularly interesting in the context of an age-old debate that has been dragging on in Debian-related circles about the use of HTTPS – a question that has been asked often enough that the… Continue Reading Lessons From the apt Remote Code Execution Vulnerability

Disk Space Isn’t Meaningless

It’s impossible to discuss Electron without the topic of space being brought up, and once that happens, you have to survive the talk about how storage is cheap today and space just doesn’t matter anymore. Here is why I think all that is bogus — for bonus points, without any unironic use of the terms… Continue Reading Disk Space Isn’t Meaningless

In Tech, Reasoning by Analogy is Bad

One of the easiest ways to “settle” a technical discussion is to resort to an analogy. It took me three minutes of browsing HN (why do I keep doing that to myself?) to find the first one today. When operating systems and computers are discussed, a car analogy is sure to pop up within minutes.… Continue Reading In Tech, Reasoning by Analogy is Bad