Installing mpich2 for use with CL-MPI June 5th, 2009
Patrick Stein

Some time back, I began writing some OpenMPI wrappers for Lisp. I got everything that I needed working, but I hardly scratched the surface of what MPI-2 makes available.

Recently, Alex Fukunaga started up a blog about Lisp. One of the things he has done is make CFFI bindings for mpich2. Here is an introductory post about those bindings with a link to his CL-MPI site.

Today, I have been working on getting his bindings up and running under Ubuntu Linux and Mac OS X.

Read the rest of this entry ⇒

Who’s Knocking On My Disk Drive? May 28th, 2009
Patrick Stein

I rebooted my Linux box into Windows Vista several times in the last two days while moving things over to VMWare Fusion. All day today, my disk drive has given a little spin every two or three seconds.

When I first noticed it, I tried searching around with iostat and top to see if I had some process run amok. Finding nothing, I tried rebooting.

The magical reboot was not so magical. My machine was still merrily hitting the disk every couple seconds.

I searched around the web for “disk activity” linux and “disk activity” ubuntu. I found recommendations that I:

All of those seemed bogus to me. None of them seemed like anything that would have changed yesterday or today. But, the last one got me thinking. What logs do I have that do get flushed on every message? Are any of them going batty today?

Sure enough, /var/log/auth.log was getting hit every two or three seconds. Someone was trying to guess logins on my machine.

May 28 04:57:57 evariste sshd[6966]: pam_unix(sshd:auth): authentication failure
; logname= uid=0 euid=0 tty=ssh ruser=  user=backup
May 28 04:57:59 evariste sshd[6966]: Failed password for backup from 209.51.159.
194 port 54874 ssh2
May 28 04:57:59 evariste sshd[6968]: Invalid user guest from
May 28 04:57:59 evariste sshd[6968]: pam_unix(sshd:auth): check pass; user unkno
May 28 04:57:59 evariste sshd[6968]: pam_unix(sshd:auth): authentication failure
; logname= uid=0 euid=0 tty=ssh ruser=
May 28 04:58:01 evariste sshd[6968]: Failed password for invalid user guest from port 54992 ssh2

Looking back through the last week, I’ve had a few spats of bogus login attempts. Most of them were just four or five attempts in a row. This one today had gone for twelve hours.

I threw that IP address into /etc/hosts.deny. Now, all is quiet. Well, except my need to make sure I don’t let things go for twelve hours again….

Developing Lisp in Ubuntu Linux with VMWare Fusion May 27th, 2009
Patrick Stein

I am working on some lisp software that I would like to run under Linux, MacOSX, and Windows.

I have a PC that I can boot into either Ubuntu Linux or Windows Vista. Of course, I have a variety of services running under Ubuntu Linux on that box that the rest of my network would rather have around. As such, I would rather never boot that machine into Windows. So, I thought I’d give VMWare Fusion a try.

Actually, I thought I would try both VMWare Fusion and Parallels. Alas, Parallels lets me get my virtual machine set up, but will not let me run it without a license. VMWare Fusion lets me play for 30 days before buying a license. From what I’m seeing from VMWare Fusion’s performance, I can’t imagine dropping $80 on Parallels just to see if its virtual machine can outperform what I’m seeing from Fusion.

Right now, I am in the process of moving over the PC’s Windows stuff to my laptop so I can try running Vista through Fusion. While I was waiting for that, however, I installed Ubuntu under Fusion, updated a ton of packages, installed emacs, sbcl, slime, etc.

For comparison, I took some lisp code that runs in just under 11 seconds on my laptop. I ran the same code under Ubuntu in Fusion on the same laptop. It ran in just under 12 seconds. Some of that may also be that I am using an older version of SBCL under Ubuntu than I am native.

I have some more testing to do to make sure that cl-opengl will perform as well. But, I am quite pleased.