Tuesday, 27 October 2020


If you've followed my blog, I want to thank you for your time and, I hope, interest.  However, I've decided to put the blog to the side for a while -- perhaps indefinitely.  In this blog, probably my last one, I thought I might simply share a few closing thoughts.  

I've enjoyed writing these essays, and for several years really looked forward to finding time to work on whatever would be next -- I maintained lists of topics that seemed ideal for my style of analysis, and spent weeks researching the technologies behind many of the essays before releasing them.  There is a real pleasure in engaging in that sort of purposeful research, and in communicating insights on topics people seem to care about.  It made for many enjoyable afternoons, starting during my 2016 sabbatical, when I wrote my first essays.  But I've reached a point where the technical path forward would dive into really obscure questions.  Were I not writing this final essay, I might have blogged on memory fences in RDMA.  I know quite a lot about the question!  But as fascinating as that topic might be, it just isn't one that deserves wide attention.  In 2018 or 2019, if I didn't have a good idea for the blog, I just had to stand near by my door in Gates Hall, and in no time, I would learn something fascinating that it made good sense to share.  But in 2020, that hallway is rather quiet.

Were my focus less technical, I think there would be many more topics on which one could blog.  Diversity in systems, for example, is finally improving... a welcome change. The business of cloud computing is evolving, and the new synthesis of systems and AI is exposing a wealth of open questions.  But I’ve written about some of those topics, and some of the others await a new generation of young researchers... their stories will be fascinating, but of course until the work has been done it would be pure speculation to try and anticipate it.  Unfortunately for this blog, speculation just isn’t my thing.

And so I've come to the end of my brief career as a blogger.  On the other hand, teaching and research have been keeping me busier than ever.  On which note:  My systems programming class starts in 10 minutes, and I need to launch Zoom!  So again, thank you for your attention, stay safe, and farewell!

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