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Talks at the University of Waterloo

Place: University of Waterloo
       MC 2066

Time: 1:30pm

What: Threee talks by three cool hackers

GNU/Linux on HPPA
 by Carlos O'Donnell, at 1:30pm

This whirlwind talk is aimed at providing an overview of the GNU/Linux port for
the HP PARISC processor. The talk will focus on the "intricacies" of the
processor, and in particular the implementations of the Linux kernel and GNU
Libc. After the talk you should be acutely aware of how little code needs to be
written to support a new architecture! Carlos has been working on the port for
two years, and enjoying the fruits of his labour on a 46-node PARISC cluster.

Carlos is currently in his 5th year of study at the University of Western
Ontario. This is his last year in a concurrent Computer Engineering and
Computer Science degree. His research interest range from distributed and
parallel systems to low level optimized hardware design. He likes playing
guitar and just bought a Cort NTL-20, jumbo body, solid spurce top with a
mahogany back. Carlos hacks on the PARISC Linux kernel, GNU libc, GNU Debugger,
GNU Binutils and various Debian packages. 

The Hurd Interfaces
 by Marcus Brinkmann, at 3:00pm

The Hurd server interfaces are at the heart of the Hurd system. They define the
remote procedure calls (RPCs) that are used by the servers, the GNU C library
and the utility programs to communicate with the Hurd system and to implement
the POSIX personality of the Hurd as well as other features.

This talk is a walk through the Hurd RPCs, and will give an overview of how
they are used to implement the system. Individual RPCs will be used to
illustrate important or exciting features of the Hurd system in general, and it
will be shown how those features are accessible to the user at the command
line, too.

Marcus Brinkmann is a math student at the Ruhr-Universitaet Bochum in Germany.
He is one of maintainers of the GNU Hurd project and the initiator of the
Debian GNU/Hurd binary distribution. He designed and implemented the console
subsystem of the Hurd, wrote the FAT filesystem server, and fixed a lot of
bugs, thus increasing the stability and usability of the system.

A GNU Approach to Virtual Memory Management in a Multiserver Operating System
 by Neal Walfield, at 4:30pm

Virtual memory management is one of the cornerstones of multiuser operating
systems. Most systems available today place all of the policy in a monolithic
virtual memory manager, VMM, isolated from the rest of the system. Although
secure and lightweight, users have no way to communicate their anticipated
memory needs and usage to the system pager. As a result, the VMM can only
implement a global paging policy (typically, an approximation of LRU) which may
be good on average but is best for nobody.

With the port of Hurd to the L4 microkernel, this situation is being
readdressed. Due to its more distributed nature, a centralized resource manager
is not only more difficult to implement efficiently but also contrary to the
philosophy of the rest of the system. We are currently exploring a model
whereby each program is fully self-paged and all compete for memory from a
physical memory server. This talk will first discuss how paging currently works
in Mach and other systems. An argument for an external paging policy will then
be presented followed by the requirements of such a design and the design

Neal Walfield, a GNU Hurd developer, is from the University of Massachusetts
Lowell. Neal spent the summer of 2002 at University of Karlsruhe working on
porting the GNU Hurd to L4.

Sorry for the late notice, but hey if you can come out do so.
Maps are available from the UW website[1].  All the abstracts and bio's are
also available from the UW Computer Science Club website[2].

James A. Morrison

[1] http://www.uwaterloo.ca
[2] http://www.csclub.uwaterloo.ca

James Morrison
   University of Waterloo
   Computer Science - Digital Hardware
   2A co-op

Anyone referring to this as 'Open Source' shall be eaten by a GNU

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