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An Interview with Andrea Arcangeli

By bmetzler in News
Wed Mar 08, 2000 at 08:18:17 PM EST
Tags: Interviews (all tags)

Andrea is one of the master hackers that is not that well known. Well, not as well known as Linus Torvalds and Alan Cox, anyways. An Italian resident, Andrea is paid by SuSE to work on the Linux kernel. Andrea is also one of the developers of the patch to address 4 gig RAM. Byte brings us an interview with Andrea.


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An Interview with Andrea Arcangeli | 11 comments (11 topical, editorial, 0 hidden)
andrea posts pretty regularly on th... (none / 0) (#1)
by asad on Wed Mar 08, 2000 at 04:46:37 PM EST

asad voted 1 on this story.

andrea posts pretty regularly on the lk mailing list. It should be interesting to see what he has to say.

Ermmm...Rusty? (none / 0) (#2)
by TomG on Wed Mar 08, 2000 at 10:05:29 PM EST

Can you s/Linux/Linus? It's embarassing :-)


Re: Ermmm...Rusty? (none / 0) (#3)
by rusty on Wed Mar 08, 2000 at 10:25:19 PM EST

Oops. Didn't notice that. Thanks. :-)

Not the real rusty
[ Parent ]
Re: An Interview with Andrea Arcangeli (none / 0) (#4)
by zephc on Thu Mar 09, 2000 at 12:52:21 AM EST

pretty cool interview...the guy has quite a head on his shoulders :)

Re: An Interview with Andrea Arcangeli (2.00 / 1) (#5)
by Anonymous Hero on Thu Mar 09, 2000 at 10:10:29 AM EST

I was a bit disappointed with Andrea's attitude with regard to looking at the code of other OS's. Knowledge is built on the works of those who have gone before us and it's odd that an Open Source programmer would refuse to look at the code of Solaris, for example. Andrea is young so his reticence can probably be explained away as "You can't tell me anything" attitude. I think it's a shame because he is not taking advantage of code prepared by some great programmers. Reinventing the wheel is not a noble endeavour.

Learning from history, reinventing wheels (none / 0) (#6)
by Demona on Thu Mar 09, 2000 at 10:47:49 AM EST

He didn't actually say so, but it's also possible that he's trying to cover his rear with respects to the current brouhaha over reverse engineering and the associated possible legal nightmares. "Nope, I write all my own stuff, I don't look at anybody else's."

As you said, though, it's only common sense to look at how things are done. That doesn't mean you have to labor under the same assumptions -- but it's not likely you'll come up with some revolutionary paradigm-shatterer unless you have a good picture of the current state of the art, whatever it is. Even the semimythical, overly romanticized "lone inventor" stands on the shoulders of giants.

[ Parent ]

Talking about "Fun With Filesystems".... (none / 0) (#7)
by CodeWright on Thu Mar 09, 2000 at 05:00:31 PM EST

<pre-emptive type="apology" value="slight off-topic tangent"></pre-emptive>

<meta type="spoiler" value="plug plug plug"></meta>

on a tangentially related note, for those of you interested in the joys of linux fs hacking, a friend of mine put together a block encrypted filesystem...


technically, i'm supposed to be helping him by testing and debugging it, as well as working on making the swap fs encrypted too, but, even though i have it installed on my home proxy (redhat 5.1), i've been too busy at work (gotta love those sixteen hour days) and preparing for tax-time to dedicate enough time to finishing....

for those interested, he's also put together a domain type enforcement (dte) patch for linux too:


A: Because it destroys the flow of conversation.
Q: Why is top posting dumb? --clover_kicker

Hmmm (2.00 / 1) (#8)
by Inoshiro on Thu Mar 09, 2000 at 06:12:43 PM EST

While it was very nice to read, this interview is lacking. What is it lacking? An interviewer who knows what is going on. The entire 4-6 pages of it (which really was split like that to increase page views, but I have ijb to help) was almost entirely Andreas' words. The one page (in total) of material was basically, "Andreas plays guitar, has a girfriend, and his mother gave me Mmmm cookies"

Did anyone else find his "geek source code" joke rather painful, and downright tastless?

And thanks to the layout of byte, the white background ended at the 640 pixel line, filling the remaining 384 pixels with my default background colour -- gray. Do these people not understand webdesign? What an embarrassment.

[ イノシロ ]
Weren't it 4 TERAbytes patch? (none / 0) (#9)
by Zeros on Thu Mar 09, 2000 at 09:20:04 PM EST

Andrea is also one of the developers of the patch to address 4 gig RAM.

Was the other article plain wrong? Or this one is talking about another patch?

Re: Weren't it 4 TERAbytes patch? (none / 0) (#10)
by rusty on Thu Mar 09, 2000 at 09:24:37 PM EST

From the 2TB article:

The now completed 2 terabyte expansion comes from SuSE Labs and is again based on the work of SuSE employee Andrea Arcangeli. He already proved his great experience in the implementation of Linux memory management with the 2 gigabyte patch for the Intel platform, as well as the technologically complex 4 gigabyte patch for Intel hardware. The subsequently created 64 gigabyte expansion is also based on preliminary work by the SuSE team.

So, both are right.

Not the real rusty
[ Parent ]

Re: An Interview with Andrea Arcangeli (none / 0) (#11)
by moonboy on Thu Mar 09, 2000 at 10:28:02 PM EST

I for one thought it was very strange that he had no books or reference materials. Does he have it all in his head or just use online documentation? I wonder...


"Great spirits have always encountered violent opposition from mediocre minds." - Albert Einstein

An Interview with Andrea Arcangeli | 11 comments (11 topical, 0 editorial, 0 hidden)
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