Computer Laboratory hosts 2014 GNU Tools Cauldron

The 2014 GNU Tools Cauldron was recently held at the Computer Laboratory (July 18-20). The event brought together researchers and developers working on the GNU Tool Chain (the GNU Compiler Collection (GCC), the GNU Debugger (GDB) and the GNU binary utilities) and was the largest ever such meeting, with approximately 150 attendees from Universities and companies around the world.

The sessions were inherently practical in their nature – it being a meeting for working engineers – and talks represented the leading edge in compiler design.

Thanks to sponsorship from several companies and organizations, the event was free to attend, making it an attractive opportunity for students and hobbyists, as well as the professionals who made up the bulk of the participants.

The event was organized by Embecosm (a Hall of Fame company) and Linaro. Dr David Chisnall hosted the event on behalf of the Computer Laboratory.

As well as the support from the Computer Laboratory, the sponsors included Mentor Graphics, IBM, ARM (another Hall of Fame company), Google, Red Hat and the Knowledge Transfer Network (KTN). The support of the UK Technology Strategy Board through the KTN underlines the leading role the UK plays in compiler development.

The event at the Computer Laboratory was the second major compiler meeting to be held in the UK this year.

All the talks were videoed, and will shortly be available, along with the slide presentations at

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Wireless outage

The report I have received from the UIS about today’s wireless outage is slightly inconclusive. It seems that there was a malfunction of the central controller that looks after our access points, causing them to reboot and go into a default unconfigured state. They were initially rescued by moving them to another controller, but have now been put back as they should be without further problems.

The incident happened shortly (but not immediately) after a minor configuration change to provide optimal connectivity for the new access points in the lecture theatres. This change was reversed, but this did not help, and it has subsequently been done again without triggering the fault. There is therefore no evidence that the incident was caused by the configuration change.

The UIS have reported the incident to their Aruba support partner.

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Testing new slogin / ssh-remote server

The main Lab Linux TSS is currently running CentOS 5. We plan to move to Ubuntu Server 14.04 LTS, so have set up a testing server “sandy” (AKA slogin-new and Please try it out and report any problems to sys-admin.

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Lab PhDs awarded Google European Doctoral Fellowship

Congratulations to Flora Ponjou Tasse and Ionel Gog who have been awarded a Google Europe Fellowship.

Flora, a PhD student in the Graphics and Interaction Research Group under the supervision of Professor Neil Dodgson, has been awarded a Fellowship in Computer Graphics.

Ionel, a PhD student in the Systems Research Group, under the supervision of Dr Robert Watson, has been awarded a Fellowship in Distributed Systems.

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Xen Server upgrade to 6.2

The last main pool of Virtual Machines will be upgraded (6.0 to 6.2) soon, probably over the Bank Holiday weekend. Attempts to do a “smooth” migration failed for the last three pools, so this time it will not be attempted. The downtime of each machine should be short, but there will be some unavailable disruption to logged in users. Please email sys-admin if you have any particular availability requirements over the weekend.

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www-dyn(1) upgrade

The server providing the www-dyn1 and www-dyn services is to be upgraded. Users are recommended to check that any pages they publish work on the www-dyn2 and www-dyn3 servers. See for full details.

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Professor Andy Hopper featured in the Sunday Times list of the 100 most influential Britons of the 21st century

Andy Hopper, Head of Department and Professor of Computer Technology, has been named in an illustrious list of Britain’s 100 most influential movers and shakers of the 21st century.

The list, published by The Sunday Times, includes scientists, artists, architects, sports people and politicos.

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Further NTP related changes

With the new routers, Lab machines lost the ability to NTP probe machines on the internet, as we lost stateful UDP reflexive rules.
With the recent NTP amplification attacks, we have added rules which mean that machines on the internet cannot NTP probe most Lab machines (our NTP servers should still be accessible).
Peerings (where source and destination ports are both 123) should still work.

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Professor Andy Hopper named one of the UK’s 100 leading practising scientists

Andy Hopper, Professor of Computer Technology and Head of Department, has been named in the Science Council’s list of the country’s 100 leading practising scientists.

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Computer Laboratory lecturers awarded Pilkington Prizes

Lecturers Dr Alastair Beresford and Dr Andrew Rice have been awarded Pilkington Prizes for excellence in teaching.

The Pilkington Teaching Award recognises excellence and innovation in teaching, making a significant impact on the student learning experience.

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