Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Achieving Perfection

One of my personal traits is that I strive for perfection
in what I do. Perfection however is something one very
rarely achieves and if it is achieved it takes a very
long time and hard work.

In my working life I can recall three moments of having the
feeling of achieving perfection. The first one was in
building a interrupt handler for a LAN device. The last
performance improvement that finally made the LAN device
completely stable in not losing data was when I removed the
first instruction after the interrupt (it was an instruction
that changed from decimal execution to binary execution in
case the user had turned on decimal execution. However after
checking through non-interrupt code I found that there was
no such code at all so it was a wasted instruction. This
meant 2.25% better performance which was enough to stabilise
such that I always handled RS232 interrupts on 19.2 kBaud
before they were overwritten by the next byte arriving.
The second was when building an interpreter and I finally
came down to a minimum of 7 SPARC assembler instructions
to handle the simplest interpreted instruction plus making
the interpreter pipelined in two stages. Quite interesting
design to make software in a similar manner to how hardware
is designed. The third was when I achieved linear scalability
on DBT2 for MySQL Cluster.

For me bringing something to perfection is beatiful and it
sort of turns on positive vibes in my soul. The path to
perfection is however full of agony, full of mistakes,
where we often think we're close to the solution, but
somehow there is another problem to resolve before
perfection is achieved.

In my personal life I experienced similar days of feeling
that I reached some level of perfection. However I'm
soon taken down from my lofty thoughts and shown what
more I can perfect before I'm done.

Jesus challenged us to become perfect as our Heavenly Father
is perfect. To me this means entering a path of constantly
striving for perfection in our personal lifes. It means
feelings of agony, it means experiencing mistakes, it means
days of feeling good about where you are and where you're
heading. I'm sure we won't reach perfection before this
life ends, but I'm sure eventually we can reach there and
it's a path that I know is worthy of following.

Another trait of reaching to perfection is prayer. For me all
of the above perfections came through a long series of
inspiration from above. One thing I noted about prayer is that
in order to receive the answer to your prayers for perfection
you have to work hard on your own to learn all the details
already known through books, other people and so forth. However
when you've done all that then answers to your prayers will
flow to you constantly. This happened to me at the end of my
Ph.D studies. I had a period of a little more than a year when
I almost on a daily basis had a flow of inspiration coming to me.

So my experience of the path to perfection is that one should
work hard, be prayerful, expect to be knocked down in all
senses of the word on the way and expect to find a lot of joy
also on the path to perfection.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

New Family Search

I started using the new Family Search (currently only open for
editing by LDS members, but searchable by anyone).

This is the beginning of something really big in the genealogy
sphere. It's the beginning of a family tree for all people.

It will make it possible to work together on common ancestors.
So immediately when I enter my data about one of my ancestors
everyone else will be able to see this information and give
comments, dispute my information and so forth.

Some time in the future it will hopefully also be possible to
make direct links from records of an ancestor and the historical
document(s) which represents the source of the information on this

It's amazing to see how the Lord's work is brought forth through
the inventions in the field of computer science. Given that this
is also my profession it makes it really fun to go to work.

Sunday, August 3, 2008

The importance of families

Welcome to my personal blog.

Today in church we had an interesting discussion on the importance
of families. So why are families important?

Jesus said in John 17:3 "And this is life eternal, that they might
know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent".
And we are the children of God, so God has a family which we belong
to. Thus if we want to know God we also need a family. In fact in
Doctrine & Covenants (this is a collection of modern day revelations
to the prophet Joseph Smith and others) 131:1-4 we read that in order
to receive eternal life a person has to enter into the everlasting
covenant of marriage (This means being married or sealed together in
a temple of the Lord).

So Jesus and his prophets have clearly stated the importance, in fact
this has been even more clearly stated recently in "The Family: A
Proclamation to the world". So what are my personal experiences of a
family and its importance.

My experience as a son in my parent's family. It wasn't a perfect
family but I've learned from this experience that the most important
thing a parent can do lies in what's in his heart. If you discover
as a son that your parents really care about you as a person, then
this will be the most important thing you carry with you into life.
Thus my experience from being a son is that everyone that is capable
of loving his children can be a successful parent.

Finally my experience as a husband (no grandchildren yet :)).
This experience has learned me many, many things. Among the most
crucial ones is the ability to say no to your kids:) I've also
learned that love can grow when there is trust, comfort and love
in the relation. The more trust you feel for each other the more
you are allowed to discover about your spouse. I still learn new
things about my spouse after more than a quarter of century together.

I am actually part of many more families, I'm thinking of all the
families of my ancestors. I've done quite a bit of genealogical
research and knows almost all ancestors back 200 year and most even
300-400 years back and some as far back as 600 years back. Quite
interesting that it's possible to get so far given that there is
only swedish farmers and soldiers amongst my ancestors.

This genealogical research has led me to put my heart towards my
fathers as Malaki prophesied in Malaki 4:5-6 "Behold, I will send
you Elijah the prophet before the coming of the great and dreadful
day of the Lord: And he shall turn the heart of the fathers to the
children, and the heart of the children to their fathers, lest I
come and smite the earth with a curse."

It's amazing to read stories of the sufferings my ancestors have
passed through to build Sweden as we know it today with all the
welfare making Sweden a beacon of nations in many ways today. One
can even imagine a lot about the life they lived simply by reading
about when family members were born, died and were married.

As a good example is a family of one of my ancestors which was
married 1747. They had in total 15 children, of those around 7
died already as small children. When the oldest children was around
a 20 in 1768 a disease spread quickly in the neighbourhood and it
took the 3-4 oldest children and it also took the wife in the family.
What a heartbreaking experience to live to see your kids grow up and
be taken away just one their grown-up life is about to start and your
wife at the same time as well. What makes me especially grateful to
this family is that the youngest child born 1764 was my
mother's mother's mother's mother's mother's mother. Actually no one
else of my ancestors have had 15 children.

So are families important? They are the most important thing in this
life and I hope I can meet my entire family after leaving this life
and hear all the great stories of their life and experiences. I hope
I can add to those my own experiences, from living in the days of the
world, which prophets of old looked forward so much to, when
knowledge is spread as an ocean amongst everyone.