Chennai - Oct '06
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It's been 10 months since my last venture to Chennai. My first trip was in October of 2005, my second in January of this year. As fate would have it, I'll be arriving in time for the Deepavali Festival. (Woo Hoo!) This creates a 4-day weekend  for the 20th - 23rd. Imagine how badly I feel about that.

This particular trip has been under a black cloud. It was originally planned way back in May. I attended an OpenVMS/Itanium porting workshop to get the RS/1 source code ported from OpenVMS 7.2 on Alpha to OpenVMS 8.2 on Itanium. The workshop was up in Nashua for 3 days. It was excellent. We managed to get RS/1 ported, all 1 million-plus lines of it, compiled and running at the very end of the workshop after changing only 1 line of actual code. We had to change quite a few make files of course but that's the name of the game.

The VMS guys gave me a disk with the whole operating system, compilers and ported code. I'm taking that to Chennai with me. We'll use that to boot up a system there and repeat the exercise and store the ported code in their code base. From there we'll work on porting to HP/UX. Sound like a good plan but "many a slip twixt the cup and the lip".

Since this project started:

  • 5 months have past. Much of what I learned at the porting workshop is no longer fresh in my memory.
  • The intern/contractor responsible for shipping the Itanium machine to Chennai, the guy who knew the most about the system, left the company.
  • My travel plans to Chennai were postponed twice. This cost the company $550 in re-ticketing penalties.
  • It two two weeks to get the Itanium machine through Chennai customs.
  • Last I heard from Chennai, they couldn't get the Itanium machine to boot and they were working with an HP consultant on the problem.

So I'm not sure what I'll face when I get there, but I'm sure I'll find something worthwhile to do. There are other projects that the team there is working on that I can contribute if I run into any "spare time". :-)

This looks like it's forming up to be an interesting journey.