Category Archives: Work

Work stuff

Haxx, the second year

Last year I posted my report of what I and my fellows did at Haxx after the first year of true and real independence. As I probably mentioned before, we registered our company 1997 but it was just a side project for over a decade.Haxx logo

Now, when we’re slowly approaching two years it is time to look back and what we’ve done during the past twelve months and what we’re doing right now.

We have firmly established ourselves even more as expert developers within embedded systems. We’re over and over again being hired by the teams that themselves are hired by companies to provide services or products. During the last twelve months, we’ve written software and software designs for a huge medical equipment company, a small video equipment manufacturer, a major international telecom, a market-leading embedded systems provider and a global chip manufacturer. We’ve debugged simulation software, designed video streaming servers, done video subtitling magic, poked on Linux kernel code and we’ve done old-school 8051 and 16bit x86 assembly. I’ve also managed to do a Embedded Linux development (in user-space) training course – twice. All this, in just the past year!

Haxx was (and presented) at FSCONS in Gothenburg, we went to (and presented at) FOSDEM in Brussels and we went to the Rockbox devcon in London. We did lots of work within the foss-sthlm community.

Oh, and we’ve revamped our logo and graphical design.

Haxx consists of three full-time employed senior expert embedded systems consultants. We’ve all been in the industry for over twenty years: Daniel Stenberg, Björn Stenberg and Linus Nielsen Feltzing.

We continuously work with partners in the area to reach out to new and existing customers. As we’re very small and rather spend our time on working in our actual assignments we appreciate the help with sales and marketing. If you’re in the Stockholm area and ever end up needing devoted and skilled embedded software hackers, call us!

I’m gonna do my very best to make sure we get another great year! I’ll report back and tell you how it went.

Haxxup – cheap remote backup

The pains and guilty consciences from having a lacking backup concept established are widely common. I honestly don’t know anyone (and I mean it) that can say that they have their (home, private) backup covered with a straight face. We all know we should backup locally and remotely, so that we can do fast recovery for the easy things we mistakenly remove or ruin, and if we get burgled or the house burns down we need to have a backup remotely.

The importance of private computer backups has only increased over time, as these days most of us have vast amounts of family pictures and videos stored as well, things that in the old days were stored (and lost) separately.boom

A growing problem with remote backups is of course that we all have ridiculous amounts of data to backup. Getting a commercial remote backup deal for say 300GB (and growing) isn’t cheap. And we’re also very often at loss when it comes to get a solution that works on Linux.

In Haxx, we also recognized and suffered from these problems. We came up with a scheme to fix a distributed networked backup among ourselves! Getting large hard-drives to use locally is fairly cheap. We all have fairly good fixed-fee no-bandwidth-limit internet connections (although admittedly the uplink speeds are lacking for us typical ADSL users).

We decided that among us 4, each of us gets an account at two of our friends’ servers and we’ll be able to upload our backups to those at our own pace to store whatever we want. We decided on getting two places for everyone to decrease the risk even further, especially if you for example urgently need to get something back and one of us have a network problem (not completely unheard of) or something else.

My current total backup is about 100GB and I have a 1mbit uplink. If I use the entire bandwidth for this, other things get a little sluggish so I’ve capped the rsync job to 90KB/sec… My first run thus completed in roughly 13 days. Luckily I don’t add contents at a very high pace so the ordinary sync jobs from then on should be much smaller and should be able to complete within hours. As long as I add less than ~3.5GB during a 24 hour period, it should be able to keep up to sync to two remote places.

Going to FOSDEM 2011

Fosdem 2011We’re going to FOSDEM again. This year we’ll ship over the entire company (all three of us) and we’ll join up with a few fellow Rockbox hackers and spend a weekend in Brussels among thousands of fellow free software and open source hackers.

During this conference, 5-6 February, I’ve submitted a libcurl-related talk to the embedded-room that wasn’t accepted into the regular program, but I’ve agreed to still prepare it and I then might get a slot in case someone gets sick or something. A bit ungrateful as now I still have to prepare my slides for the talk but there’s a big risk that I’ve done it in vain! I’ve also submitted a suggestion for a second talk in the opensc/security room (also related to stuff in the curl project) but as of now (with but 16 days left) that schedule is yet to be announced so I don’t know if I’ll do a talk there or not.

So, I might do no talks. I might do two. I just don’t know. We’ll see.

If you’re a friend of mine and you’re going to FOSDEM this year, please let me know and we can meet and have a chat or whatever. I love getting faces to all the names, nicks and email addresses I otherwise only see of many people.

Update: My talk in the security room is titled “libcurl: Supporting seven SSL libraries and one SSH library” and will start at 14:15 on Saturday the 5th of February.

Getting a new look

Haxx logo

Recently we have refreshed our logo design, and subsequently we’ve now also refreshed our web site to use this new look and design that already have influenced how our presentations, business cards and more look and will look in the future.

When I say “we” did it, there should be little surprise that we did engage with someone else to do this for us, since all of us at Haxx are quite incapable of doing designs that look tasteful.

We’re quite happy with the new look. We like the cool blue colors. More machine, less human, less colorful. This logo should also work slightly better in grayscale than before and getting rid of the border will also make it easier to use on various merchandise.

Snaxx 23

For the 23rd time we’re gathering friends in the Stockholm Sweden area who’re interested in technology, open source, beers, Monty Python, reverse engineering, rewriting things into assembler for the fun of it and similar very important topics.A pint of guinness

Snaxx-23

Haxx happily invites you to waste an evening by talking and drinking at October 18th 2010 with us and friends in our spirit.

[ we should get ourselves a snaxx logo, so if you’re reading this and have some talent consider yourself wanted and appreciated! ]