All posts by Philip O'Toole

gdb, inline source, and stepping through your code

I really like having inline source when using gdb. Code Complete, by Steve Mcconnell has an entire chapter explaining how you should proactively step through all code you write — and not just when you’re actively debugging an issue. Having followed this practice for a few years now, I can testify that it increases your productivity enormously. I simply can’t imagine not doing so before committing any code.

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Installing Fedora Core 12 on Chembook 2370VA

Fedora_verticalAfter a good experience with Fedora Core 8, and a reasonable experience with Fedora Core 11, I decided to install Fedora Core 12 on my Chembook laptop.
In summary, while FC8 and FC11 worked out of the box, FC12 failed to provide me with sound. I discovered later that the KDE mixer had set the center volume to mute. Once I unset that, I had sound.

Other than that, it worked pretty well.

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Valgrind, blessed be its name

Valgrind comprises a bunch of very useful tools for detecting problems with your programs. I first came across it a couple of years back and find it to be excellent. In particular I use its memory profiler, which helps you catch errors such as memory leaks and invalid accesses. In my experience these types of errors sometimes indicate logic errors, not just areas where you’ve forgotten to free some previously allocated memory — which is another reason why it is such a great tool.

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Yellow Dog Linux 6.1 on the PS3

Yellow Dog Linux on the PS3
Yellow Dog Linux on the PS3

I got around to installing Yellow Dog 6.1 using a DVD of the full distro. The installation went OK, and the installer fired up in graphical mode. However it proceeded to create the swap partition almost immediately because of low-memory concerns.
When it completed YDL was quite zippy – a much, much better experience than I got from FC12. I even had audio.

I may actually use this – it depends if I can get particular media players running on it.