Older blog entries for bratsche (starting at number 291)

Houston
    I went down to Houston a couple weeks ago for an audition and saw Bill. He let me stay over at his place while I was there. Rice seemed really nice. Bill is getting ready for auditions in Europe, which is really cool.
Occlusion Queries
    I made a simple interface in NeoEngine for doing asynchronous hardware occlusion queries. I'll bang out a more thorough test program soon, then add DirectX support before I commit it. Right now I've only done the OpenGL implementation of it using ARB_occlusion_query and NV_occlusion_query extensions. There's also an older HP_occlusion_query extension, but it doesn't provide as much information so I don't want to support it at all.
Duo Renard
    Last weekend there was a small recital by Duo Renard, which is Mark and Ute Miller's duo. They each played a solo piece (she played some really nice viola piece by Joachim that I did not know, and he played a Prokofiev violin sonata), then they finished with Bruch Double Concerto. It was pretty cool. I had never heard it before with violin (I'm used to it being viola and clarinet, which is how I played it). It was very cool.

    Then I played in East Texas Symphony last week and they performed it with the orchestra. It was really nice. We also did Mahler Symphony No.1 and some newish piece that I found uninteresting.

New hardware
    The MSI motherboard and my FX5200 video card got fried recently, which sucks pretty bad, but fortunately I can get the motherboard replaced for no more than the cost of shipping the old one back. The video card wasn't on any sort of warranty, so I just had to buy a new one. I was needing to get a new one anyway at some point, because FX5200 is really slow.. I just wasn't expecting to have to get that upgrade so soon. I sort of figured this one would last me into the NV40 era. So, the new one should arrive today. It's an FX5900, which will be insanely fast, plus have a few new features over the FX5200 that will be cool to work with. The other cool thing is that BFG, the maker of this video card, has a true lifetime warranty on this board, so if anything happens to it then I can get it fixed or replaced.
Talking to people
    It's really cool, I've been talking to several of my friends from Peabody recently. I talked to Kasia not long ago, and then Yi-Ping the other day, and then Lesley called yesterday. It's so cool. I've been meaning to give Bill a call sometime too, I just haven't yet.
2.6.1-rc2
    I updated to kernel 2.6.1-rc2 today in order to fix the NVIDIA AGP bug, which it did.v I also got ALSA setup to use my on-board sound for this MSI K8T Neo mobo, but the driver seems to be a little buggy still at this point so I get 'clicking' sounds (sort of like very, very slow static).
Max Payne 2
    Cameron has been bugging me to play it (and seemed almost outraged one day when I told him that I had borrowed it from David like a couple weeks ago and still hadn't installed it), so I finally installed it the other day and started to play it.

    It's nothing really new or revolutionary in this game. Usually when I say something like "basically more of the same" it is not meant in a good way, but I'd basically have to say that about this game and mean it in a good way. If that makes any sense. I thought the original Max Payne was really fantastic and was one of the best games I had played at that time, and the sequel basically just takes a good thing and improves slightly on it. There was really no reason for them to try to do anything amazingly new in this game, and I'm glad that they basically preserved the gameplay.

Happy New Year
    Happy New Year, everyone. I hope 2004 is good for everyone.
Gentoo
    I finally got Gentoo installed and running. It's a lot of trouble, but now that's it's running I like it a lot.
NeoEngine 64-bit
    I just commmitted support for NeoEngine to run on Linux in 64-bit mode on AMD64 (Opteron/Athlon64) systems. Woo!
Linksys Wirelss-G PCI card and Linuxant DriverLoader
    If anyone wants to buy a wireless ethernet PCI card, I am now selling my Linksys WMP54G on Ebay. I'm including my license to Linuxant's DriverLoader kernel module for loading Windows wireless device INF files. If anyone wants it, Check it out if you're interested in it.
Party at Cathy's
    Cathy had a cool party over at her house last night, and there was much merriment and a fair amount of mirth. Good times and bad there were, indeed!

    It began very well when I showed up, but things quickly went downhill when Andy came into the room, coughing and hacking. He informed me in his usual manner that he has been very sick recently; he had mono for awhile, and now he has the flu and has had it for awhile. I kept trying to step away from him, but he kept stepping forward as he told me all about it.

    So I fled to the main room, where there were chips and dips and other munchies to be had. I ate a few chips, but the fun didn't last long for soon Andy sat in the chair on the opposite side of the coffee table and began coughing in my general direction, never bothering to cover his mouth, and never bothering to aim away from the chips.

    So, once again I fled, this time with Short Megan and a small crew of faithful followers, to the front room. Once again, things became jolly (as things so often are in the company of Short Megan), and this time Cathy joined us. We laughed, and were merry, and things were great. But he eventually came into that room, spoke a few friendly words, then remembered something and told Cathy that there was something in the other room that needed to be cleaned up. A certain dread filled Cathy's eyes, but not Josh's.. oh, no! Josh was mightily amused, and slid in a very ungraceful manner from his chair to the ground, where he laughed heartily.

    Finally, after the vomit had been cleaned up, Andy decided that he was too sick to stay, and so he began the long journey home to Fort Worth. And there was much rejoicing.

    The chips had to be thrown out, both those of the potato variety and those of the corn. Sadly, even the purple corn chips had to go. In my heart, I knew they were the most tainted of all.

    Dan brought forth the brisket, and it was a sight to behold. And I did call forth for all to hear, "Yum!", and a good time was had by all.

    We laughed into the wee hours of the early morning, when Kathryn left and discovered, much to her dismay, that her car had been broken into by an extremely untalented thief, who managed only to burgle a bottle of motor oil, a bottle of wildshield wiper fluid, and the faceplate of her CD player. Amongst the items left behind were a stack of CDs, a brand new copy of the Extended Edition of The Two Towers on DVD, and the rest of her CD player.

Ettore
    I am so, so very sad today because I found out that Ettore is no longer with us. I just found out this morning whilst trying to find him on irc, but I still don't know what happened. They just say "unexpectedly".

    This is just so sad, because I knew Ettore somewhat and I liked to talk to him. He was a great hacker, and a really great guy and I'll miss him a lot. I know I won't be alone.

Bumpmapping
    Well, we finally fixed the tangent-space bumpmapping stuff to work on OpenGL hardware. It has been working on DirectX for awhile, but we were not correctly enabling the vertex attribute pointers for the correct OpenGL extensions, so it was all fudged up before. Mattias fixed it on the ARBvp1 profile and I fixed it for VP20 and VP30 profiles.
Linux
    Updated to kernel 2.6.0-test11 while I was rebuilding anyway. I got the NVIDIA driver working, and I have found that performance in some cases seems to be up significantly.

    I tried to install the ndiswrapper kernel module, but it doesn't like my Broadcom chipset apparently. I get some error about "Unknown symbol: ntoskrnl.exe:_allmul". Very sad, indeed.. I guess I need to stick with the Linuxant DriverLoader kernel module instead.

Happy Thanksgiving
    Spent some time with family. Watched Detroit make like three interceptions in a row against Green Bay, although I don't really like or understand football so it made no difference to me.
Installing stuff
    Installing Visual C++ .NET under Windows XP again today. It's amazing how slow this installer is.

    I installing Linux 2.6.0-test10 recently, but I haven't yet gotten my NVIDIA drivers working under it yet, so I'm still using the "nv" drivers with no GLX or GL goodies. According to minion.de, there are some issues with certain AGP chipsets in 2.6.0's AGPGART, but I am told that my VIA chipset has been pretty thoroughly tested and doesn't have any known issues now, so this may not be the problem. I'm going to try to rebuild my kernel with AGPGART as an external module and see if using NvAGP set to "1" in XF86Config with nvidia.o unloaded from the kernel solves the problem.

New cubemapping support
    I ditched the old envmap code in favor of some new lower-level cubemap/texcoord gen code that doesn't rely upon Cg programs. It should be faster, more portable, and ultimately more useful.

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