July 8, 2009

15 Minutes of Fame

20 days to go, and it is with the utmost pride that I post the above image. What is it? Look closely in the upper-left corner and you'll see what looks like a timer reading just over 15 minutes.

That's right - yesterday around 9:30 pm, after four days of debugging, we posted this commit to the SVN repo. While we fixed several other glaring issues with our context switch during this marathon of frustration, this was the one to finally extirpate a nasty Heisenbug that all but stopped development on our Real-Time project. The above image is proof that, with this bug removed, our system can now run for 15 minutes without crashing - the same 15 minutes that will be required of us during our final project demonstrations. More importantly, this allows us to continue on with more interesting aspects - like figuring out how to reliably track the location of a train in the face of highly fallible hardware and malicious switch-flipping sensor-triggering TAs.

For me, this renews the confidence that I had called into question not four days ago. It's hard to stress the importance of this enough when you're up against a formidable challenge - and the combination of Graphics and Real-Time is most certainly that.

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