Postcards from the Fridge

Friday, May 26, 2006

First steps and Gnome-startup visualization

Hi all,
My project was accepted for Google Summer of code 2006. Wahoo!

I'll be looking at optimizing the startup performance of Nautilus to both make it faster to start and easier to profile. I've been around the block a bit for profiling (Buy my book, wink, wink... ) , and I've been wanting to do some optimization for GNOME for a while. Now I have a good reason, sweet.

In any event, while I wait for jhbuild to complete on my dodgy internet connection, I have been playing with bootchart to see what the system is doing when gnome starts up.

A lot of work had been done to optimize the system startup time using bootchart, but it can also be used to track the startup of anything. (In this case, I track "startx")

Here's how to do it:
1) Download and build the rpm. (You'll need a bunch of java libraries)

2) Install the RPM.

3) reboot your machine, and start in init level 3. (pass "3" to the boot parameters or modify your inittab)

4) log in as root

(We'll now gather the "cold disk cache" statistics)
5) Tell bootchart to monitor startx and any processes that it generates: "bootchartd start startx"

6) Log out as soon as possible.

7) Run "bootchart". This will generate an SVG file named "./bootchart.svgz" which contains the graph of the startup time.

(Now we'll gather the "warm disk cache" statistics.)

8) Tell bootchart to monitor startx and any processes that it generates: "bootchartd start startx"

9) Log out as soon as possible.

10) Run "bootchart". This will generate an SVG file named "./bootchart.svgz" which contains the graph of the startup time.

Here is an example from FC4:

FC4 cold disk cache:

FC4 warm disk cache:

1) esd seems to start when we try to logout. That's pretty annoying, and I'm sure it is a bug.
2) In the warm cache case, xkbcomp does a lot of disk I/O.

Here's the same thing for FC5:
FC5 gnome startup (cold disk cache):

FC5-Gnome startup (warm disk cache):


1) gconfd-2 chews up a chunck of CPU time
2) The esd bug still appears (look at the cold cache chart)

As I see more things, I'll post them.


  • Great stuff you have here! I have a self-hypnosis site I think you might enjoy.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 12:44 AM  

  • Visualization is a tool that has been used for thousands of years by initiates of all the metaphysical schools. Today, it is incorporated into top athlete's daily routines and is used in business affairs frequently. It's use is wide-spread among highly successful people, either consciously or unconsciously, aware of its create power. So if it has stood the test of time and is still being used by high achievers we must come to the conclusion that it works! But has it ever worked for you?

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    The trouble with visualization is simple - its in its name!

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    If all you had to do was just imagine stuff and your world automatically changed to reflect your imaginings this world would be full of chaos (not to mention all those creepy crawly bug-eyed monsters!). Therefore, there are a few more steps to complete before the visualization is passed to the subconscious for manifestation.

    Let's try a little experiment. Remember a scene from your past that has a lot of good feelings around it. Any good memory will do, like the first time you heard the words "I love you" from your partner, an amazingly spectacular sunset, a great holiday event or your last birthday. Pick one and remember it. How clear is the image? Can you remember any sounds? What way did you feel? Is there any sense of touch, taste or smell? Identify how your memory works. Is it mostly visual, auditory, kinaesthetic or of a feeling nature?

    Now we are going to create an imagined event in our lives that has the same strength and potency as that image. So relax and let's go.

    Imagine something that you do everyday, something that you did yesterday, today and will do tomorrow. Let us take the example of waking up tomorrow morning. Don't try to add or take anything away, just think about it and analyse the scene. Is it dark or light? Are you lying next to someone in bed? Do you still feel tired? Has the alarm clock sounded? Are you irritable that you have to get up or full of joy at the dawn of a new day?

    You will find that the imagined event is very similar to the memory with probably one key difference - your point of perspective. Is the memory behind you and the future event in front of you? Is one to the left and one to the right? Maybe they are both in front of you or the future seems to move in a clockwise direction. Whatever the perspective the thing to notice is that they are very similar in appearance.

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    Ok, let's imagine something that is very unlikely to happen and see where it differs from the last image.

    Imagine you are sitting somewhere familiar which is extremely comfortable and relaxing to you. Now imagine that a person you know well comes up to where you are and says "hello". Imagine them telling you that they want to show you a new trick. All of a sudden they have three juggling balls. They throw them in the air and begin to juggle with ease. Then they begin to whistle one of your favourite tunes. You suddenly realize that there is a strong smell of flowers in the room and notice a vase of them just behind the juggler. Imagine laughing loudly at the scene and feeling joyful at the experience. Then the person juggling leans forward stands on leg and puts the other leg outstretched behind them. All the while still juggling and whistling. Then they begin to hop on their leg as a small bird flies over to perch on their head. Once you have the imagined event and stayed with it a few moments just let it fade.

    Ok open your eyes. What was the difference between the two images? Can you spot any? Did you use more, less or roughly the same senses in your fantasy event as you did in the future one? Did you see them from different angles? Was the picture bigger in one than the other? Was the sound clearer, the feelings more acute or the smell stronger? Take some time and go back to each scene in your mind. How does the future event differ from the fantasy one? Are you looking at both from a different vantage point? Do you see yourself in the image of one but not the other? Analyse the scenes and see where they differ.

    Have you identified how the future event differs from the fantasy one? If you have then its time to make visualization work for you! Take a goal that you have been working on or would like to achieve. Nothing too far-fetched at this point please! Pick something that is possible but at the moment seems a little impractical. Once you have it form a mental image of what it would be like to have, be or do that thing or be in that experience. Remember to form it the same way you do a memory. Give it the same strength visually, in sound, feeling, taste and touch - use your mind in its natural state. All you have to do is imagine the scene.

    Ok how does it differ from the scene of waking in the morning? Can you identify the differences in perspective, sound, taste, touch, feelings and what you hear?

    Now there will be one other key thing that differs in the images- it is very simple but often overlooked. You know that the future event is going to happen! This is reflected in the way we experience the image. So what we are going to do is fool your subconscious mind into thinking your goal is definitely going to happen by manipulating your goal image!

    Once you know what the differences are in each image begin to change the goal image so that it is seen the same way as the future event in your imagination. Place the visualized scene in exactly the same position with the same perspective as your future event.

    Place it in the correct position on your time-line. You may already begin to feel that the goal is more possible. Visualise in this way everyday and you will condition your subconscious mind to manifest the experiences necessary to make your goal attainment certain.

    One more thing to remember: During the day think about your goal often. This reinforces the visualization and will begin to dispel doubt from your mind. personal development

    By Blogger hypnosis, at 6:25 AM  

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