Trying to Re-Kickstart My Daily Work Journal

by Mike Levin SEO & Datamaster, 11/28/2012

I have some very good ideas, but it’s the end of November, and my last entry here was the beginning of October, and mid-September before that. And THOSE were probably still only journal entries too. However, my Mom did die of lung cancer, and all that. My kid did just turn 2, and once-in-a-lifetime events in my life are playing out that I refuse to miss, or be excessively absorbed into work for. However… that’s NO EXCUSE! The reason I’m not kick-ass world-class AWESOME at SOMETHING by now, per my plan, is the details of my day-job. Awesomeness can totally take place 9 to 6 during the day. I’m entering a phase that I go through every 5 or 10 years, I think of as career re-calibration.

The way my ideas flow is just awesome. But not only that—I seem to have the unique ability to filter down to the correct exactly-doable-today ideas and get them implemented in a meaningful, usable by the world fashion. Knowing how to do this and my ability to communicate the process is probably my greatest asset. It’s not this SEO stuff where people strive to endlessly tweak meta tags to recover some lost position that finally spurred them into finally caring about SEO after 15 years. It’s the fact that I saw the SEO field in the first place as the most viable place to be career and marketing-wise—during the days of Webcrawler and AltaVista, but has since become a decade-and-a-half anomaly called “using” Google.

I now have so many channels for writing and publishing, it’s starting to feel like the enemy of the very thing I’m trying to accomplish. But so much of the value just comes in getting my thoughts together and hearing myself think out loud. So its not like every little thing needs to be published. But when I’m at the office, I should really endeavor to put my thinking directly into my work journal in the form of expanding the journal text file in the Tiger code repository. I actually wrote a Python program that can take the latest journal entry and auto-post it in draft form into WordPress. I should use that more. It’s perfectly indicative of the sort of thing I want to do more of. Automation is a big part of it. Expertise in an environment like vim is a part of it. Compounding returns by a long-lived never-lost code-base is a part of it.

Pshwew! Okay, so get to recalibrating. I have a keynote speech coming up (tomorrow) for a State of SEO 2-day affair. I’ve been working on the keynote on my iPhone Notes app for a day or two—but really the subject-matter, I’ve been working on for months. Things that require editing and refinement while on the subway during my commute, goes on Apple Notes, because its one of the rarest of rare products that competently does transparent online/offline sync’ing. Occasionally I get accidental duplicate notes, but that’s the worst of it. If I can at-all help it, I should do my daily journal work right here, to maintain that daily journal rough-edges stream of consciousness feeling.

Well, this is certainly stream of consciousness. I have the keynote speech tomorrow, which should be my top priority. I need to get a few practice runs in. But there is still plenty of other stuff competing for my attention. There is for example my self-review, which has new significance now with my career re-calibration. My brain is all over the place right now. So much of my latest thought revolves around truly becoming the best in the world at some thing. Well right now, I’m pretty sure I’m the only one working on getting QEMU to boot easily on Mac, Windows or Linux desktops as a sort of super-easy best USB Linux to kickstart old-school Unix/Linux education. That’s a mouthful, but it’s actually true. A lot of people find me on QEMU OS X related things, though I fear a lot are looking for how to run OS X on QEMU, which is precisely the opposite of what I do.

At any rate, the only thing wrong with my Levinux 0.2 release is fixing an error message I get when trying to get it to run on one of my older Macs. I get a segmentation fault 11 error message on one of my iMac’s at home, so I’m going to try to recompile it, updating everything. I needed to install the Command Line Tools under XCode. I fear it found the wrong version of gcc from somewhere else when last it compiled, and that’s what caused the error. I’m trying to compile again with the latest stuff. I know it’s not my top priority, but once again, this is food for the soul. It’s the linchpin in my new personal brand identity. I have to crack this puzzle, and do it well!

So, how does this QEMU compiling across platforms puzzle get cracked? Many attempts, and documenting of what worked, so it is increasingly easily reproducible. In fact, with the exception of OS X, I can make virtual machines that are rigged for successful compiles with all the dependencies. All I need to do is use the 30-day free XP image that’s provided by Microsoft for security testing, plus the always-free Ubuntu or other Linux distro images. I use Dropbox to ensure there’s a nice separate QEMU folder for each OS to do ./configure’s and make’s from. Viola! Transportable, reproducible compile environments—with the exception of Mac, which I’ll just have to do through diligent documentation.

Okay, so next step: reproduction with documentation! Methodology! Organization! Okay, okay. Open Dropbox folder. Make a qemu folder at top-level. Go to http://wiki.qemu.org/Download and get the latest QEMU source code. Heyyyyyy, 1.3.0-rc1 is now available. Yeah, try that. Do it for all 3 platforms. See how much faster you can do it each time. Make the folder in Dropbox named qemu13r1 so I never forget what version I’m working with in there. Now, untarball the archive, and make 3 versins: mac, linux and windows. Okay, so now I have qemu13r1, and inside of there, FOUR directories: mac, windows, linux, qemu-1.3.0-rc1 and the original archive qemu-1.3.0-rc1.tar.bz2. Okay, that’s a good blank canvas on which to work upon. Windows will be hardest to work in Dropbox location, because of the way the MinGW Shell works. But cross that bridge later. Mac first.

That’s 5,814 files per folder, coming to 64,3MB times 4 folders plus the original tarball of 10.3MB propegating all around my machines sharing that Dropbox login. I have to wait for the propegation to continue before I do the compile on the Mac. I will also have to reinstall the Standard C Library for Homebrew. But that’s about all that was required for OS X… once the XCode command line tools were installed. But now, it’s time to finally clean up the QEMU page on mikelev.in.

Okay, so many days piddle out like this one. I didn’t re-compile QEMU. I didn’t finish my keynote speach. I didn’t write my self-evaluation. I did mostly emails, a little bit of thought-work, and set the stage very well to start with a lot of steam tomorrow… but whoops, it’s the State of SEO meetings tomorrow and Friday. So, until later.