Brandon's Bytes

First day of Round 3 at NVIDIA

30 May 2018

This post is a copy from my old website and blog. I have kept its original post date.

So today was my first day for my new internship at NVIDIA, this time for the Linux GPU driver team.

With Endeavor finally built, the orientation was held at some room in Endeavor, rather than Building E’s Marco Polo room. Again, new-hires were gifted with the baseline NVIDIA Shield TV (I didn’t get one this time since they remembered that I got one last year). Orientation for the third time is an incredible drag, and what added insult to this is the fact they made orientation two hours longer.

After orientation, two other interns and I were taken by our manager and one of the full-time employees to our office space in Building C. There, we were introduced to all the members of the team, and it was during these introductions when I learned that I’d be working on OpenGL and potentially even Vulkan related bugs. I hope I can bring myself up on those: I have almost no formal graphics knowledge (maybe we’ll see a post series about this stuff :) ).

My desk is one of the fancy powered desks with adjustable height: I’ve set mine up to be a standing desk. I got a hilariously powered up desktop (relative to what I got back on the Camera team): it’s got a Ryzen 7 1800X with 32 GB DDR4-2133 and a 500 GB Samsung EVO 860 SSD. Surprisingly, it only has a GTX 950 in it (eh I’m not gaming on it). In addition to this, I was greeted with a Ryzen chipset motherboard left in the open with another 500 GB SSD attached and a box containing a power supply and cables; this is to be my testing hardware.

After a brief quest to an IT desk with the aforementioned full-time employee and the other two interns to get some network switches and ethernet cables, I came back to set up my desktop. With newfound freedom to install whatever Linux distro I wanted (as opposed to Camera’s requirement of Ubuntu 12.04 or 14.04 so as to build Android and L4T (Linux for Tegra)), I went with an Arch install (the intern next to me installed Fedora and of course got his system up and running faster than I did), opting for a sleek, low-bloat installation. So far, I’ve got LightDM as a display manager and i3 as my window manager; this is far cry from my typical SDDM+KDE installs. Learning how to configure literally everything by config file has been quite a fun experience; I think I’ll roll with this in the future, putting my i3 (and my uxrvt configuration in .Xresources) in my configfiles GitHub repository.

After getting to the point where I could use Chromium, I proceeded to get up and running with Perforce. After this, it was dinner time: we get $5 off of dinners at the cafeterias when they open at 19:00. Apparently they brought in a new contractor for the cafeterias, who provide higher quality food at the cost of being $0.50 more expensive for the meal than I was last here.

It’s been a tiring day and I can’t wait to go to work tomorrow! I might stop by and talk to my old managers (and see if I can borrow a copy of those OpenGL SuperBibles they’ve been keeping around on their bookshelf :) ).

My desktop setup at the end of my first day. Since my desktop has only one HDMI port and one monitor has an HDMI cable and the other has a mini-DP cable, I've only been using the right monitor for the desktop.
My testing hardware. Very barebones and without a GPU. I wish I had some form of standoffs for the motherboard.