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Tuesday, November 15, 2005

Goodbye Sony

I owned a Sony walkman. It was good. Sometime between then and now something went very wrong over at Sony.

To cut a long story short, Sony's music CDs intentionally infected people's computers. It opened up gaping security holes in the operating system (Macs too), let people cheat in online games, reported back to Sony the songs you were listening to and even got on Microsoft's bad side (of all companies!).

Why? To protect their copyright.

If that wasn't enough (and for any sane person it should be) it has been discovered that in the process of "protecting their copyright", Sony has violated another group's copyright! They used some software that is released under an open source license in their application, without complying with the (very liberal) conditions of its use. Essentially, they are hypocrites to boot.

I have a friend who has decided to boycott McDonalds, in order to do his part in not supporting evil corporations. Well, it's time for me to add Sony on to my black list.

Update: It seems Sony have officially apologised and released a list of affected titles. They are allowing people to replace their rootkitted CDs with normal ones too. It's great that they're doing this, but it only happened after the uproar became deafening -- they should have done it earlier.

Thursday, November 10, 2005

Resident Set Size in Mac OS X

A process lives in its own segment of virtual memory. Not all of this virtual memory is in RAM though. The 'bits' (typically called 'pages') that are in RAM make up what is known as the resident set size (RSS) of a process. As a process runs, the active parts need to be brought into RAM, becoming part of the RSS. Unused pages may be removed (discarded completely or written back to disk if they've changed from the on-disk copy). It's up to the operating system when to do this. Usually when the system is low on physical RAM the OS will start removing pages.

You can view the RSS of a process on most Unices (Linux, Mac OS X included) by bringing up a terminal and going ps -o pid,ucomm,rss (it will probably be given in kilobytes). Or, try the popular top program, which may report it under the heading of 'RES' or 'RSIZE'.

For my thesis I needed to write a program that did some stuff and reported its effective memory usage at the same time. I also had to get it to run on several operating systems. OS X posed quite a challenge as it has no /proc pseudo file system. I couldn't simply open a file and pull out the right number.

After a heck of a lot of digging I eventually found this and this and this, not to mention the source code for the ps utility itself (yay OpenDarwin). This got me pretty close, and took me forever. However, it wasn't until I found a document in Google's cache (that 404'd when I tried it) by Chaz McGarvey that I got over the line.

Here's the code:
#include <unistd.h>
#include <stdio.h>
#include <stdlib.h>
#include <sys/types.h>
#include <sys/sysctl.h>
#include <mach/task.h>
#include <mach/mach_init.h>

void getres(task_t task, unsigned int *rss, unsigned int *vs)
struct task_basic_info t_info;
mach_msg_type_number_t t_info_count = TASK_BASIC_INFO_COUNT;

task_info(task, TASK_BASIC_INFO, (task_info_t)&t_info, &t_info_count);
*rss = t_info.resident_size;
*vs = t_info.virtual_size;

void memcheck()
unsigned int rss, vs, psize;
task_t task = MACH_PORT_NULL;

if (task_for_pid(current_task(), getpid(), &task) != KERN_SUCCESS)
getres(task, &rss, &vs);
psize = getpagesize();
fprintf(stderr, "RSS: %u KiB, VS: %u KiB.\n", rss, vs);

And that should report the RSS and total VM size of the current process that invokes this code (in bytes). It's probably not perfect (it should have more error checking) but hopefully it will get me by.

Wednesday, November 02, 2005

How to install the Luxi Mono font in TexShop

I've just spent way too much time trying to get this font installed. I wanted to install it as it was recommended by the Listings package (PDF) for LaTeX as the font to use if you wanted your code listings (a) in a monospace font (who wouldn't?) and (b) able to be in bold type (for highlighted keywords, etc.).

I found the LuxiMono package on CTAN, then tried to figure out how to install it for ages, then finally came across this post from the Mac-Tex mailing list describing the process for another font package.

The secret is putting everything in ~/Library/texmf/. I think it's just quickest to dump a tree listing of what I have there:

|-- doc
| `-- fonts
| `-- luxi
| `-- luximono.txt
|-- dvips
| |-- config
| | `--
| `-- luxi
| `--
|-- fonts
| |-- afm
| | `-- public
| | `-- luxi
| | |-- ul9b8a.afm
| | |-- ul9bo8a.afm
| | |-- ul9r8a.afm
| | `-- ul9ro8a.afm
| |-- map
| | `-- vtex
| | `-- ul9.ali
| |-- tfm
| | `-- public
| | `-- luxi
| | |-- ul9b8a.tfm
| | |-- ul9b8c.tfm
| | |-- ul9b8r.tfm
| | |-- ul9b8t.tfm
| | |-- ul9bo8a.tfm
| | |-- ul9bo8c.tfm
| | |-- ul9bo8r.tfm
| | |-- ul9bo8t.tfm
| | |-- ul9r8a.tfm
| | |-- ul9r8c.tfm
| | |-- ul9r8r.tfm
| | |-- ul9r8t.tfm
| | |-- ul9ro8a.tfm
| | |-- ul9ro8c.tfm
| | |-- ul9ro8r.tfm
| | `-- ul9ro8t.tfm
| |-- type1
| | `-- public
| | `-- luxi
| | |-- ul9b8a.pfb
| | |-- ul9bo8a.pfb
| | |-- ul9r8a.pfb
| | `-- ul9ro8a.pfb
| `-- vf
| `-- public
| `-- luxi
| |-- ul9b8c.vf
| |-- ul9b8t.vf
| |-- ul9bo8c.vf
| |-- ul9bo8t.vf
| |-- ul9r8c.vf
| |-- ul9r8t.vf
| |-- ul9ro8c.vf
| `-- ul9ro8t.vf
`-- tex
|-- context
| `-- pdfsync4context.tex
|-- latex
| |-- luxi
| | |-- luximono.sty
| | |-- t1ul9.fd
| | `-- ts1ul9.fd
| `-- pdfsync.sty
`-- plain
`-- pdfsync.tex

26 directories, 43 files

Then the magic command is sudo updmap --enable MixedMap You may need to be in the dvips/luxi dir to run that. Also, just in case you're getting confused, the .tex, .vf, .ali and .tfm files were either already there or auto-generated.

To take advantage of the font, I just added
to my LaTeX document, and it automatically became the default \tt font for it.

I hope this alleviates headaches for some others out there!