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Thesis defense successful

November 27th, 2007 (05:09 pm)

current mood: satisfied

The thesis defense went fine.  Nobody showed up except my committee, which was disappointing; but at least it meant that all the questions asked were from people who'd actually read the thesis.  All the questions were of the "can you elaborate on that?" family, rather than "why on earth would you do it that way?".

They were pleased, and said they'd be interested in seeing the results if I do any further work on it.  (I hit a roadblock in the implementation, due to an early mistake, so about half the thesis is laying out a new and better design; I might implement that new design someday.)

So, they all signed off on the thesis, and I got it printed up at Staples this morning, and now there's no more hoops for this thesis to jump through except getting past the gatekeepers at the library--who have the power to refuse it due to formatting problems.  It should be OK, though.

My advisor had wanted me to print out the source code as an appendix for the thesis.  I had expressed doubt, because it was so big; I thought it might double the length of the thesis (75 pages without the source).  But he convinced me that it'd be worth it.  Then, this morning, I did some line counting and calculated that it'd add another 1100 pages--about 30 pounds of paper (front and back).  So I checked with the library, and they're fine with having the source on CD; they can bind that into the book.  Of course, a CD-R won't last as long as the acid-free paper of the thesis itself, but it's better than not having it at all.


(Deleted comment)
Posted by: Who, me? (metageek)
Posted at: November 28th, 2007 01:17 am (UTC)
Re: Congrats

That is a huge number of lines. 48,000 lines.

Well, one file is data imported from public sources (it's the list of known PCI devices). Still, that leaves about 28,000 lines I actually wrote. I work fast. :-)

I am sure that your advisor would prefer to be able to load it on his computer, rather than typing it in :).

Heh. His thought was that, since the thesis is published for people to learn from, it's a Good Thing if they can read over the code.

Posted by: JT (learnteach)
Posted at: November 27th, 2007 11:01 pm (UTC)

By the time the CD fades away, the operating systems won't even be able to read files of less than 1 Terabyte. Which is what the header size will be, and the whole thing would fit in 1/10,000 of a thumb drive. So I wouldn't worry about the CD-Rom.

Posted by: metahacker (metahacker)
Posted at: November 28th, 2007 12:12 am (UTC)


Is there a chance of putting up the (gist of the) thesis, so we can play along at home?

Posted by: Who, me? (metageek)
Posted at: November 28th, 2007 01:13 am (UTC)

Always happy to have somebody else interested. :-)

The thesis
The defense

Posted by: C. Virtue (cvirtue)
Posted at: November 28th, 2007 12:16 am (UTC)

the source on CD; they can bind that into the book.

Good, although I'd really love a look at their comb-binding machine, to watch it punch through a CD.

Edited at 2007-11-28 12:18 am (UTC)

Posted by: Who, me? (metageek)
Posted at: November 28th, 2007 01:14 am (UTC)

Look of Very Limited Amusement. :-)

And it's not, sniff, a comb binding; they produce a standard hardcover. (Personally, I'm just as pleased; if I'm paying for archival-quality paper, I want a long-lasting binding, too. :-)

Posted by: C. Virtue (cvirtue)
Posted at: November 28th, 2007 01:41 am (UTC)

I was going to ask you this morning, but I forgot:

After a while, laser printing flakes off of paper, and/or gets stuck to the preceding page. Did they discuss printing methods with you?

Posted by: Who, me? (metageek)
Posted at: November 28th, 2007 12:33 pm (UTC)
Laser flaking

Huh--I didn't know that. No, they didn't mention that; the printed guidelines just require acid-free paper, with at least 25% rag content.

<dig, dig>...hmm. Two things are claimed to cause toner to migrate to the facing page: heat and plasticizers (e.g., from keeping the pages in a vinyl cover). Neither should apply here; it'll be stored in an air-conditioned library, and it'll be bound in a hardcover, with (I hope) acid-free end papers. Absent those, it's said to be good for 100 years. Hard to tell, of course, since there are no laser-printed documents that've been stored carefully for 100 years. Test methods accelerate the aging with heat and UV light, but there's bound to be some behaviors they miss.

One thing I notice is that the printed guidelines don't require laser printing. Someone could turn in a thesis printed on good paper with an inkjet, which wouldn't last nearly as long. (Mind you, it's not clear to me why someone would do that. It'd take longer and cost more.)

And all of this is likely somewhat theoretical, since it's unlikely anybody's going to be interested in reading about PackOS in 100 years. ;-)

Posted by: C. Virtue (cvirtue)
Posted at: November 28th, 2007 01:37 pm (UTC)
Re: Laser flaking

Oh ho!

My baseline is a bunch of laser printed stuff kept in vinyl binders -- years of correspondence with alexx_kay.

Posted by: Who, me? (metageek)
Posted at: November 28th, 2007 02:22 pm (UTC)
Re: Laser flaking

There you are, then.

Is the flaking worst in the pages nearest the covers? The assertion I read was that the plasticizers would migrate from the vinyl through the pages.

Posted by: hudebnik (hudebnik)
Posted at: November 29th, 2007 03:40 am (UTC)

Congratulations on the defense!

I R not an OS guy, but I've taught undergrad OS once or twice. I've read about halfway through the thesis and felt like I understood what was going on, which I guess indicates that the writing is clear.

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