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sprezzatech blog #001A

Dirty South Supercomputers and Waffles
UNIX, HPC, cyberwarfare, and chasing perf in Atlanta.

Not with a bang, but with a whimper.
Mon, 14 Oct 2013 18:59:41 -0400

A novice asked the master: “In the east there is a great tree-structure that men call ‘Corporate Headquarters’. It is bloated out of shape with vice presidents and accountants. It issues a multitude of memos, each saying ‘Go, Hence!’ or ‘Go, Hither!’ and nobody knows what is meant. Every year new names are put onto the branches, but all to no avail. How can such an unnatural entity be?”

The master replied: “You perceive this immense structure and are disturbed that it has no rational purpose. Can you not take amusement from its endless gyrations? Do you not enjoy the untroubled ease of programming beneath its sheltering branches? Why are you bothered by its uselessness?”

The Tao of Programming (Book 7)

update 2013-12-26: i'll be joining Google's HPC/Systems team in NYC in february 2014. ought be a great time.

When I left NVIDIA's compiler team at the close of 2011, returning to Atlanta to form Sprezzatech, it was with the hope that running my own consultancy would maximize personal freedom in my projects, and allow tremendous impact on my beloved Open Source community. It ended up being something of the opposite, largely (I think) due to my own ineptitude as a CEO. A thrilling and lucrative first year gave way to stagnancy and rather less success in 2013, as I spent more and more time on the (wholly unfunded) SprezzOS Project and had to refuse most actual consulting work. For a moment, it looked like external corporate funding would allow the Project to expand beyond my own labors and put it on a solid financial footing, but that fell through, and I've lived largely off my savings this year. Personal issues too boring and depressing to describe here put the nails in the coffin, and I've made the painful (but somewhat liberating) decision to close down the effort and return to the shading tree of someone else's corporate world. Come 2013-11-01, I'll pick one of numerous offers (the main candidates are currently Google, Amazon, and Intel), and pledge to that company my life, my fortune, my sacred honor, and my hax0ring.

A long, long time ago
I can still remember how that music used to make me smile
And I knew if I had my chance
That I could make those people dance
And maybe they'd be happy for a while

But February made me shiver
With every paper I'd deliver
Bad news on the doorstep
I couldn't take one more step

I can't remember if I cried
When I read about his widowed bride
But something touched me deep inside
The day the music died

It's been tremendous fun building SprezzOS and its tools, and a great learning experience. I'd like to thank everyone who contributed: most particularly, Paul Wise of Debian's Derivative Census was an endless inspiration and help. My mail to the Derivatives mailing list of 2013-10-08 best sums up the State of the Project. All our source remains open and available on GitHub. The RAPTORIAL suite will likely see further development, as the standard APT tools still annoy me on a day-to-day basis.

It's been real, kiddos. Hack on! Dank out.

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