Subject: Re: Where to start
From: (Rob Warnock)
Date: Sat, 23 Aug 2003 06:20:00 -0500
Newsgroups: comp.lang.lisp
Message-ID: <>
<RobertMaas@YahooGroups.Com> wrote:
| > From: (Rob Warnock)
| > At worst there are multiple HTTP requests at about the same time,
| > each of which results in a CMUCL MAKE-PROCESS (green thread
| > creation).}}
| My intuition says that making a new process directly from a saved core
| image, sharing pages with core image and all other processes made from
| the same core image, and making a new process directly from a running
| program, sharing pages with that original program and with all other
| processes forked from the same running program, should require nearly
| the same resources (CPU cycles, page faults, etc.). Are you saying
| that, in fact, forking a process from a running program is much more
| efficient than forking a process from a saved core image? Can you, or
| somebody, explain why?

Read very carefully where I noted that CMUCL so-called "processes"
are in fact "green threads", that is, they are actually *within*-process
coroutines, and don't "fork" anything at all. All they do it create a
new stack, basically. That's it. So, yes, that's a *LOT* faster than
using Unix "fork(2)" or POSIX threads (pthreads).

| By the way, do you have your own machine as server, where you are
| allowed to do virtually anything you want regardless of machine load...

Yes. My SDSL ISP (Speakeasy) puts no filters/restrictions on server ports.

| As just one user on a shell account I'm afraid to set up any persistent
| process for fear it'd be considered unfair use of the shared shell machine
| beyond what my single-user account should allow.

As well you should be. Such things are usually explicitly prohibited by
the terms of service of shell accounts.

| Likewise I'm afraid to fork new processes in response to users of my
| CGI software (other than the one automatically created by Apache/1.3.26
| (Unix) mod_macro/1.1.1 to handle each CGI request).

Well, there you're being a little *too* conservative, I suspect.
Look, classic CGI was *Bourne shell* scripts, where every little
thing you wanted to do (cat, sed. awk, grep, sort) forked another
Unix process, right? So I wouldn't worry much about that level, as
long as none of them go into the background and become persistent.

By the way, <URL:>
contains several pointers to "Lisp-friendly web hosting services".
The "" one in particular looks *very* attractive for someone
on a modest budget, if you don't or can't run your own server.

| Unfortunately I don't already know anybody, at least not anybody who
| knows anything about computers and has any money to hire anybody, so
| that option isn't open to me.

See next item.

| {{You need to buy/read a 2003 edition of "What Color Is My Parachute".}}
| How would that be significantly better than the one I started reading
| many years ago, where I'm supposed to call all my friends and neighbors
| to invite them over to help me find a job...

I suspect you misread slightlywhat the book said. You don't "invite them
over to help [you] find a job", rather, you ask them if they might *know*
anyone who knows anyone, etc. That way, you're not imposing directly on
them, and they tend to be much more helpful. This recent Business Week
article has more to say about that:
   "Handy Hints for the Smart Job-Seeker"

Look especially closely at his last point:

   Ask not for what you want.
   Successful networkers never ask their network contacts for a job
   because they know that such a request generally doesn't produce
   the desired result. ... That's why smart job-seekers request an
   appointment with the avowed intention of seeking advice regarding
   how to advance their search or seeking new contacts. Such requests
   are much harder to deny. ...

| ...but I don't have any friends and don't know even one neighbor
| so basically I call the empty list of people and am right back
| where I started?

Fine. Seems like you basically have two choices then:

(1) Define the problem as insolvable, give up, lie down, & die; or

(2) Go *MEET* your neighbors, knock on doors, go to job fairs,
    go to bars [if that's your thing] and talk to random people,
    go to local Lispniks meetings, go to local Linux & {Free,Net,Open}BSD
    meetings [there are a *LOT* of such things every month in the Bay area].
    Heck, even just go hang out at Fry's and strike up conversations with
    people in the aisles!! (Beats sitting at home moaning...)

NO ONE WILL COME TO YOU! You must go find *them*... and through them
find more... and through them find more... until you find a job.

| Unfortunately I don't know how to meet anyone who will even look
| at my work...

Forget having anyone "look at your work" at this point; it sounds
like you're a *LONG* way from that. What you need to do first is to
establish decent human contacts with people, *not* to "give you a job",
but to gain access to people *they* know, and in turn to people they
know, and so on, probably to a depth of 4 or 5 or more, until you
finally find a few "leaves" who actually have or know about jobs.

Yes, that's probably over 100 people. That's the kind of networking
it take to find work these days. Or to put it another way, finding
a job is *itself* a full-time job, and one had best be prepared to
spend ~8 hrs/day on it, every day, for months on end.

Sorry if that comes as a shock, but things have changed dramatically
since the roaring days when you could leave one job and walk
across the street to another. That's why I sugegsted that you buy the
*2003* edition of "What Color Is My Parachute" -- he updates the book
every year or so, and the current version *does* reflect the harsh
realities of the post-dot.bomb job situation.

| {{Come to Bay Area Lispniks meetings.}}
| Where is that? I'm located near the south end of the bay. I did Google
| searches (Web and Groups), and it seems to be centered in Oakland and
| Berkeley.

So? Once a month or so drive to Berkeley for dinner. What, an hour
each way? Is that so bad? Or take CalTrain to The City and then BART
across the Bay; the dinners are always close to a BART station.

| Is there anybody in the SouthBay, other than myself, who has
| any interest in LISP?

Not that I know of personally. [Oh, SRI does some Lisp stuff, but I
really can't speak for them. Though some of them docome to Lispniks
meetings sometimes, so if you show up there you might be able to talk
to them...]


Rob Warnock, PP-ASEL-IA		<>
627 26th Avenue			<URL:>
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