Small-office System Infrastructure

Virtualisation comes in handy for a small-office – we can run a bunch of disparate services on limited hardware. Hardware A second-hand laptop is used as the KVM host and is installed with Debian and Lib-virt. I like using laptops as servers because of the built-in UPS. However, it is important to take care of cooling and hard-disk reliability in laptops. For the purpose of cooling, some cheap (RM10) laptop cooler fans were installed. Storage is off-loaded to a dedicated Read more…

Small-office Physical Networking

I’ll talk a little about the wiring up and networking infrastructure in the office. I had a lot of old networking equipment lying around my home and decided to work with that instead of buying new ones. However, the future is also important and I have planned for easy upgrades and growth. Wiring The main backbone of the office network is wired. While wireless networking has its place, it is not a replacement for good old copper wiring in terms Read more…

New Aeste Offices

AESTE moved out of my home and into its new offices at Queen’s Avenue about a year ago. The renovations were completed and the furniture was installed in stages. Almost all of the furniture comes from IKEA because they sell startup-friendly furniture at a very startup-friendly price. The image above illustrates the office plan. While things are always under construction, there is very little deviation from the original plan. Let’s start with a virtual walk-through of the office. When a Read more…

Partnership with Otak-Otak

We are happy to announce our parnership with Otak-Otak – The Internship Programme for Leaders. Quoting the official website: The Otak-Otak Program will be built around a first of its kind, unique talent development schedule consisting of leadership training and site visits. Our core mission is to connect top student leaders to Malaysian companies, select the 50 best interns to be placed in internships with our Corporate Partners, and to build meaningful internship experiences for both the Corporate Partner and Read more…

Why Engineers are Better-Off Joining Startups

There is an interesting article in TC recently, about how it is now an excellent time to join startups. Just to note that AESTE is HIRING NOW. Quoting the article: Today, most interesting technology is built directly for end users and it is a crucial skill for an engineer to understand quick iteration based on user feedback, however complex the technology. Increased technology and distribution leverage means that in the future, smaller teams are going to build higher impact things Read more…

Hardware-Assisted Synchronisation

An idea about hardware assisted synchronisation for the AEMB came about recently. The idea centered on the problem of how multiple threads would communicated between each other. The solution to this problem has always been synchronisation primitives. The AEMB already supports the atomic MSRSET/MSRCLR instructions, which can be used as a mutex primitive. This hardware mutex can be used to build additional synchronisation operations in software. However, this is an inefficient method for doing software synchronisation. Since the AEMB is Read more…

AEMB on Altera with uC/OS-II in China

Seems like there are three important pieces of news to report: that the AEMB has made in-roads into China; that the AEMB has been implemented on Altera hardware; and that the AEMB is capable of booting uC/OS-II. According to the information provided at a Chinese media website, a key Chinese university (Shandong University of Science and Technology) has successfully implemented an SoC system using the AEMB on an Altera platform and boots uC/OS-II. They published a paper on this earlier Read more…

Virtual Kernel

While everyone seems to be quite focused on high-end virtualisation, there is also room for virtualisation solutions at the low-end. One way of approaching this problem is by the use of a thin layer of virtualisation at the nano-kernel level. Instead of just abstracting hardware away, it is also possible to put in entirely virtual hardware devices for embedded applications. This allows things like I/O peripherals to be abstracted and run entirely as pure software only. The AENIX kernel will Read more…

Power Optimisation

Since the recent LLVM 2.7 release came with initial support for the Microblaze, it is now conceivable to add some features into the LLVM to enable power optimisation for the AEMB and other architectures. The reason that LLVM is chosen instead of GCC is purely subjective – a cleaner code base and the open license adopted. The idea of power optimisation lies behind the premise that power is a systems level problem – not a hardware one. While hardware is Read more…