Modular Server Farm

This is part of our series of ideation entries. What if one could have a modular server farm – think of a rack of blades, which you can add computing resources to in a modular manner. For one, it would definitely reduce power consumption if the computing resources could be added and removed as needed. Now, think of what this sort of computing flexibility could do for applications. The type of computing power can be distributed between integer, floating-point, data Read more…

Interview Heuristics

Seems that we’re not the only one stuck in this conundrum. Although mentioning only web-developers, the things mentioned in this blog entry are applicable just as well to our own problems in hiring at AESTE. Paraphrasing the entry: Hiring engineers is like simultaneously enduring a flood and a drought. You are overwhelmed with resumes yet struggle mightily to find folks worthy of your team. We seriously consider hiring about 10% of the folks who apply. Those 10% come back for Read more…

Glusterfs 3.2 Updates

At our office, we’ve been using Glusterfs in an unconventional way. Instead of merely using it in a distributed or replicated cluster, we’re using it as central storage for our user home directories. As part of our office-wide upgrade to Ubuntu 12.04LTS, we have had to upgrade our Glusterfs from 3.0 to 3.2 and it was not immediately evident how we could accomplish the same setup as we had previously. Now, it’s been sorted out and we’d like to share our Read more…

Startup vs Big Company

Just read an insightful piece about the differences between working at a start-up vs a big company. It boils down to 10 points: Responsibility, accountability, impact Everyone is expected to take ownership of their own work here. Collective responsibility doesn’t fly as it encourages a no-blame, no-responsibility culture. Risk There is no guarantee that we’ll be around a year from now. Our only guarantee is that we will try to be around for that, and much longer. Opportunities for generalists Read more…

Exciting New Product

We’re currently working on a new product, estimated for a soft-launch in Q3 of 2012. The idea of the product itself has gotten me rather excited as it has a clear and present advantage. We will blog more about it as things develop. But for the moment, let’s just say that it will be a combination of hardware, software and services. Keep a lookout!

Gitosis and Github

We have our own gitosis server running in our office server. We’ve typically used this to work on private projects. The problem with this setup is that there was not direct link between the office gitosis server with our repositories on github. This problem has now been solved and we’re currently using our office gitosis server as a middle-layer repository. The gitosis server acts also as a downstream repository for our github repositories. This can be easily done by logging Read more…

Git SVN Workflow

For some of our projects, FreeRTOS specifically, we need to track a SVN upstream repository that is hosted on Source Forge. As we’re only interested in pulling upstream changes and not pushing anything upstream, this simplifies our workflow a bit. The first thing that is needed is to configure the upstream SVN repository. In our case, we already have an existing git repository. Therefore, instead of cloning the actual SVN tree, we’ll only pull in the necessary changes. $ cd Read more…

Git Upstream Ports

We’ve recently added a number of git repositories at github to track ports of various software tools to our platform. These are the steps that we used to get things working. We will use the binutils port as an example. Create For consistency, we’ll name all our upstream code as upstream for obvious reasons. Instead of tracking everything, it might be more beneficial to just track the upstream master branch as we only want to track the main development code. Read more…

The Littlest Processor

I’ve always dubbed the AEMB as the littlest processor that could, after the famous book with an engine. To figure out just how little it is? It occupies less than 20% of the real-estate in the second smallest Spartan6LX9 FPGA. Slice Logic Utilization: Number of Slice Registers: 866 out of 11440 7% Number of Slice LUTs: 1167 out of 5720 20% Number used as Logic: 1035 out of 5720 18% Number used as Memory: 132 out of 1440 9% Number Read more…

FPGA families overview

Field Programmable Gate Array (FPGA) is a type of hardware/logic programmable integrated circuit. It’s flexibility, speed and the increasing number of IP cores make it into a popular solution in embedded system. The selection of the FPGA core is important when designing a FPGA system. FPGA vendors divide their products into few groups. Each group targets different application such as high performance, mid-range, low cost and low power application. Furthermore, each product group can divide into few families. Every family Read more…