T-10 Day 2 – life in dark cold rooms

today i am attending the FCP-4 meeting in the morning. we are spending time discussing what makes an I_T_L_Q nexus in fibre channel. the discussion revolves around some problems that are being experienced in the field during error recovery. so far there is some agreement around the fact that the Q portion of the nexus is a fully qualified combination of the OX_ID and RX_ID but there is belief that that is not enough. turns out if the target uses the S_ID and OX_ID combination then there should be sufficient information to fully identify the I/O process. however, during retries it is required to add the additional task retry identifier – if retires are enabled. Q is equal to OX_ID, RX_ID, and task retry identifier. otherwise a fully qualified OX_ID and RX_ID identifies the Q. how exciting is this.

T10 Standards meeting – 11-05-07

Oh brother, I forgot what it was like to attend a T10 Standards committee meeting. This is my first meeting in probably 10 years (or more). The last time I was here SAS didn’t exists and was only a twinkle in George Penokie’s eye. Seeing how the meeting is in Las Vegas there is some hope of at least enjoying myself – or not. Right now they are arguing over a bit in the Report General command. It happens to take up a reserved bit which for some reason seems to be sacred to the group – hey isn’t that why we reserved those in the first place. How exciting is this – huh. The animation of the engineers is so enthralling that I think I need a coffee break (decaf only these days). Well I think I’ll write my post for SNW seeing how this is so exciting and important.

UK or Bust

My recent trip to the UK was both fun and rather shocking. Did you know that the dollar is incredibly depressed in Europe. It now takes $2.14 to purchase one British Pound. So here is a shock if you were to eat out and have two pints and a burger you will be spending $40. That’s right $40. Petrol costs are also out of sight and I spent more refilling my tank than I did on the car rental. Well enough on that but just be prepared if your going to Europe anytime soon for the sticker shock.

My travel this week took me to Bristol about 90 miles outside London proper. Bristol is a beautiful city with quite a nightlife and loads of entertainment opportunities. If I had known that there was an airport there I would have flown in instead of renting a car and driving the almost 2 hours to get there. I was in Bristol to teach a Serial Attached SCSI class at a major computer company. The company site was absolutely beautiful and felt like it was set in the country side even though it was on the outskirts of town – about a 20 minute drive from town center. The training room happened to be in an old converted farmhouse which was surrounded by a football (soccer) field, picnic areas, and plenty of room for croquet or company activities. As I started the class a flock of geese flew in and laded in the adjacent field.

Farmhouse Front View jpeg

After my class I got a chance to spend some time with my sister-in-law Kathy. We had a great time hanging out and doing some low key sightseeing. On Saturday morning we went to one of my favorite Bangers and Mash restaurants where I had Guninness and Steak, Italian, and Wild Boar bangers. They were fabulous. Afterwards we went to the outdoor market – kinda like a flee market – where I picked up some really cool old school records. I got some original Pink Floyd, Led Zep, and the brand new Beatles albums. Later the day I visited Abby Road to complete the Beatles theme.

5 abby road

Sign posts outside Studio.

John Lenon

Doing the geeky thing – walking the most famous crosswalk in the world.

the most famous pedestrian crosswalk in the world

The studio where it all happened – it is still being used today.


Well that’s all for now I am off to Dallas for Storage Networking world.

My trip to Bangalore, India

For the past two weeks, I was in Bangalore India. Bangalore has over 9 million inhabitants and is considered to be the Silicon Valley of India. All the major computer companies have off-shore sites there including Dell, IBM, Brocade, and of course HP. On one of my days off I had an opportunity to play golf at the only golf course in Bangalore – the KGA Golf Club. One of my playing partners gave me the advice to aim between the IBM and Microsoft signs that you can see at the end of the first hole right behind the green. He also told me that is one of the opening lines of a book called “The World is Flat” by Thomas Freidman.

I was at HP conducting Serial Attached SCSI (SAS) training at a brand new facility that they had just finished four weeks prior to my arrival. HP has a major software development division located here and I was impressed with the level of skill and knowledge of the students that attended the classes. We Americans are truly in trouble if this group is by any means indicative of the quality of engineers that are being turned out by India universities.

Travel to Bangalore is a real pain in the a$$ and I am not being metaphorical – my butt hurt. I spent over 23 hours on planes not including stop overs (SF to JFK – 6.5 hrs, JFK to London – 7 hrs, and London to Bangalore 10 hours). They also are in a weird time zone at 12.5 hours later than California time.

Traffic in Bangalore is a real adventure. Between slow moving trucks, government sponsored buses, mopeds & motorcycles, oxen driven carts, 2 cycle 3-wheeled taxis, and the occasional cows, it was quite an experience. Check out this youtube video for an example http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RjrEQaG5jPM. One of the most fascinating aspects of Indian driving techniques is the use of their horns. In the US when we use our horns we do it out of anger and typically follow our honking with cursing and the proverbial one finger wave. In India however they use their horns as a signal to let people know they are coming, or to signal don’t hit me I am in this spot, and in some cases it is used to just say hi. At one point I started calculating what i call the “honks per minute ratio”. At it’s peak i calculated 24 h/m with lower levels at only 10 h/m. If you can imagine this goes on day and night regardless of time, traffic, or local sleep patterns. It is also amazing how many people can fix on a moped. Once I saw a family of four on a single moped.


mysore palaceI had an opportunity to take a trip over the weekend to a place called Mysore. Evidently this was a very wealthy part of India back in the day. The Mysore palace is incredibly huge and stunningly beautiful. This is a must see if you ever get a chance. There is also a temple outside of Mysore located on the 1,100-feet-high Chamundi Hill dedicated to the Goddess Chamundeshwari. Rule number 1 when going to any of these places is to not buy anything from anybody. Once you do, you are in for constant harassment by the local peddlers. It is effective to not talk to them, make eye contact, or answer any of their questions. While this may seem rude – it is the only way to get some peace when sight seeing. Walking real fast works too. When you visit any Temple or palace you will be required to remove your shoes. Most all places provide a “Shoe-check” where you can leave your shoes. There is also a typical small charge for doing this so bring along small change for shoe checks – typically in the 5 to 20 rupee range. I also suggest that you ware shoes that do not require any socks. Also be wary of guides – negotiate up front for what they will charge you – while they are valuable resources and can provide you with tons of information – you do not want to pay too much. Typical rates would be from 200 to 350 rupees. When visiting temples you might want to bring along some type of offering. Flowers and food are commonly brought by locals and money can always be left at the altars. Again be wary of people outside of temples they will try to sell you flowers to take inside and once you give one of them money it becomes a real hassle.

temple guard

My last travel hint includes being prepared for the worst when it comes to getting sick. It is almost enevitable that you will get Bangalore-belly, Deli-belly, or whatever-belly if you visit India. This comes with the territory. What happens is you will eat or drink something that will have some type of bacteria in it which will make you sick to your stomach and cause diarrhea. Thanks to one of my colleagues that has been there before I came equipped with a drug called Ciprofloxacin (500mg) – you will need a prescription for this – so plan ahead. This saved my life because I got sick the day before I started my second class. It started with an upset stomach, not being able to eat, followed by a 101 temperature, and a decent headache. I haven’t had to teach a class like this in a long time so that was a real challenge. I started taking medication at the first sign Sunday night – followed by 12 hours of sleep on Monday night – with more medication of course – and by Tuesday I felt human again and could actually eat. Thanks Neil – you saved my life.


India is a fascinating and spell-binding place. I would highly recommend going there at least once in your life. The people are friendly and accommodating and the food is excellent – especially if you like spicy vegetarian. Being inside the city can be somewhat depressing with all the poverty, constant noise, and pollution. There is a definite and vast expanse between the haves and have-not’s and it can be quite unsettling. However, most every child I saw had a smile on their face and seemed to cherish life. I would highly recommend getting out of the city and taking trips to as many temples and palaces that you can see, especially those that are not on the main path. While I did not get a chance to visit any Zoo’s I was told they are spectacular. I look forward to returning again someday and to the people I met I thank you for your friendship and making me feel at home.

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