Cancer

I am not sure if cancer has ever touched on anyones lives, but in the past year a lot of people who I am friends with have turned ill through cancer. It is a truely horrible illness which people suffer, and having to sit and watch people fight against cancer has really opened my eyes a lot over the past several months.

Recently, my grandmother was diagnosed with a very rare case of Lukemia, which is apparently on a dramatic rise. It has been, and still is a hard time for my family as my mother is under no illusions that it is fatal (she is a well qualified matron) and of course, no one enjoys seeing loved family members pass away. As I now realise, nothing can ever prepare someone to be told that they have as little as a week to life, and no more than 9 months.

A good friend of mine is overcoming chemotherapy as an after-effect of bowel cancer. He is making a good recovery.

My boss and his wife have also both suffered cancer over the past two years, but both appear to be making excellent progress.

I also know of several people, often young (younger than me) who are having an ongoing fight with cancer, taking life a day at a time.

This morning an email arrived from my boss asking us to sponsor him and his wife to the Parish Walk. a 19 mile walk around the parishes of the island in aid of raising money for Cancer Research UK. I also recently read the blog which lilo posted to freenode (http://overcode.yak.net/3) of John Hall (not maddog) fighting against a serious type of skin cancer. It has some interesting links to other sites as well.

It reminded me that even in a world where physical limitations dictate existance, people are a unique experience and can never be replaced. I hope that my presence in this world has been meaningful, even if only in a small way. After all, when all of this is gone and all traces of your life have been lost you can be happy in knowing that for that brief period of time you were alive you helped make someone elses life mean something.

Asus Pundit-R’s, Asterisk and Kids on Bikes

So its been a little while since I last posted so let me update you all.

My Girlfriend (Claire) and I are looking around for a house, making the big move in together. I never realised how stressful just looking is! We have seen a fair few that we like, and have arranged several viewings but time will tell. I’ve also got quite addicted to “Ladette to Lady” on TV. I didnt realise watching stupid pompous old grannies and crazy young girls would be so entertaining.

Oh, and then there is my car. The accident magnet. As some of you probably know some stupid woman crashed into it, which I had to claim for an so on, and I have just now (after months of waiting) recieved the estimates. Well, I sat down for my dinner the other day and the door-bell rang so I went to see who it was. Some kid (good on him for not running off mind) appologised for riding down the road, losing control and crashing into the side of my car. It left a rather tidy scratch all down the rear passenger-side panel, and also a nice dint. Less than impressed :(

Also, no idea how many people have seen this but its pretty awesome. Basically, 18 real life taxi cabs fitted with GPS and split into teams of three. You pick a “team” as your online monopoly piece and when a cab is near/on your property after the round is up, you get paid rent. equally you pay rent in the same way. Very cool!

Anyways, on a more technical note I’ve been playing with the Asus PUNDIT-R’s as a solution to running Asterisk with some difficulty. The digium card (TE110P) is based on a well documented, open card with open specs. Problem being there is just enough variation in it to make it a pig. Once you enable the spans on the card, the card will begin to send interrupts (in a frequency similar to the timer) and also enables DMA access. now, the IDE bus on this machine has a faulty DMA as it is, and also it appears a faulty (IO/L)APIC implementation.

Im still in the process of trying to diagnose as to why the box will hardlock under minimal load exactly, but it is almost certainly to do with the way it handles DMA, and more than likely it just clobbers userspace memory regions which will then be over-written by userspace, which then currupts kernel-space and hangs.
However, if anyone has any experience with these boxes, this hardware, and asterisk please give me a shout and let me know how you got on. I have even tried forcing interrupt allocation to the BIOS in a check to ensure sensible sharing.