Older blog entries for bratsche (starting at number 308)

Chamber music stuff
    Amirosh scheduled our piano quartet to perform some concert for the Dallas Peace Society or something, and also for something similar that's going on in Arlington. We're playing Brahms g minor piano quartet, something that he wrote, Mozart Divertimento (minus all the repeats probably, otherwise it would take up an hour by itself), and supposedly Brahms clarinet trio, with me playing the clarinet part on viola.

    This sounds like it'll be pretty cool, except for a couple things: I don't know the Brahms trio very well, and I don't have the music yet.. and the Mozart is freaking hard for viola. Oh, and the fact that this would be the longest chamber music recital ever, even with the Mozart cut down some. So I think that Brahms trio has to go.


    I was driving with Oksana to a concert today and she was saying she would like to get some people together to try to play a Bartok string quartet. I don't know how that's going to work since Amirosh claims he doesn't like Bartok string quartets (Dr. Solomons and I both think that's totally crazy.. we think he must have never heard them in order to say something so dumb), and also since Amela doesn't seem to get along well with other violinists.

    I think I'm doomed to play trios and piano quartets for the rest of my life.

ATI really does suck
    They make the shittiest drivers ever. Ever. Especially on Linux.

    We got bug reports about NeoEngine crashing in the vertex buffer code. Whenever glGenBuffersARB() was called, *boom*!

    At first it seemed like somehow the pointers were getting mixed up. But that seemed totally whacked. I didn't think that was it.

    The same code ran just fine on NVIDIA hardware (Windows, Linux, FreeBSD.. it didn't matter) and it ran fine on ATI hardware under Windows. So the crash seemed to be specific to ATI on Linux.

    But no, it wasn't that simple either. We discovered certain combinations of glibc versions and features that would selectively fuck up the ATI drivers.

    But we didn't stop there, oh no!

    Wait.. yeah we did. Fuck it, ATI drivers suck ass. We should just cease to support ATI hardware (especially on Linux).

gcc 3.4
    I'm totally in love with this compiler. It's so great. C++ code compiles quite a bit faster than it did in gcc 3.3.3, and the runtime speeds are amazingly faster.

    I know the runtime speeds are faster on x86, but I'm not sure by how much. But on AMD64 platform the runtime speeds are an incredible increase in speed over what they were in the last compiler. They added -march=k8 to 3.4, and apparently that improves a lot of stuff.

Der Ring des Nibelungen
    I finally bought a complete set recently. It just came in the mail yesterday. 14 CDs. I got it for $60. This seems like a good deal, since most complete sets are over $200.

    This is the 1966/67 Böhm recording with Bayreuth, published by Philips. It's a live performance, so you can sometimes hear a couple ambient sounds of coughing or whatever. At least I noticed it when I was listening to the opening of Das Rheingold in the car yesterday.

    I was having a few problems with the new NeoEngine widget, but murrayc gave me a little help to get the resizing working this morning and now the widget appears to be working exactly as expected.
GTK widget
    Markus and I started working on a GTK widget for embedding NeoEngine rendering into. We're actually doing it in gtkmm rather than GTK+, because NeoEngine is written in C++ and developers are more likely to prefer to write their apps in C++. Plus it is almost sickeningly simple to write it in C++ vs writing it in C.

    I've been mostly busy re-organizing the code into a library, and dealing with auto* hackery today. I made a simple test that renders a triangle in a GTK window and posted a screenshot.

Gnome vs. Vanilla GTK
    I'm so sick of people telling me stupid reasons for why I should use vanilla GTK rather than using features from libgnome, libgnomeui, etc. The only good reason I can think of is if there is a portability issue (there may be, or there may not be.. I have not checked). But today I was getting stupid arguments like, "Some people have somehow fucked up something in their distro or are doing something wrong when compiling it". This sort of stuff just pisses me off. The only people who would be held back from using the extra features of Gnome, vs using just GTK, are stupid people. I don't care about stupid people.

    Another argument was that some people can't spare the extra bandwidth to download the Gnome libs and stuff. That's such bullshit. Then there was the argument that they can't really spare the extra disk space, even though it is a small amount. Bullshit.

    The application in question is a GUI developer tool for developers using NeoEngine. It's not a tool for end users. So if a "developer" is that low on disk space, I think they're going to have a hard time developing anything anyway. So this was all such a stupid discussion.

Kill Bill, Vol. 2
    Totally rocked. I'm going to go see it again next weekend, because I liked it so much. I can't wait until the release of both volumes together on DVD. I'll buy that in a heartbeat.

    I saw on Conan's show that there is a Kill Bill action figure. It's The Bride (Uma Thurman's character) in her cool yellow outfit, with a fucking big, red splotch of blood on the front of the shirt. It's so cool. But it's an amusing toy because action figures are "for kids", but I think most parents would object to their kids having this fucking bloody Uma Thurman action figure. I want to get one now! =)

NeoEngine stuff
    I added anisotropic filtering to the OpenGL device today. Keaton added the API to the engine awhile back, but only did a Direct3D implementation and I forgot all about it until Vexator pointed out in the forums that it wasn't working in the GL device.

    I started working on a soft shadow generator yesterday. That should be really cool when it's ready, I hope.

Special K
    Kasia called last night, which was really cool. She played a recital recently and said it was really good. I think she was a little annoyed that nobody told her that we were going to be in Chicago. She said she lives only a couple hours away, which I didn't realize. But then she said it's probably best that I didn't tell her since she had the recital and couldn't have gone to see us anyway.
    I Hung out with Cameron, Amy, Yi-Ping, and Monica. It was pretty cool. Chicago is a great city, and I really enjoyed the time there.

    Cameron and I watched a dog dig in about three different spots in the sand at the beach while its owner threw a tennis ball at it and it fetched. It was a lot funnier to watch than it sounds. But then we talked about supersticious pigeons, behavioral patterns, and other interesting things. Cameron and Amy and I went to the museum, which is free on Tuesdays (we liked that). Yi-Ping and Monica were going to go meet us, but they flaked out and just stayed over at Monica's place instead. We observed the emergent fashion trends of women baring a single breast, then both breasts, then back to none at all during a certain series of 18th century paintings.

NeoEngine 0.8.1 release
    While I was away in Chicago, Mattias made the 0.8.1 release of NeoEngine. Like most releases, it has some new stuff and some bug fixes. About like you'd expect. =)
Chris Forrest
    It's a sad day here again, because a good friend of mine passed away this morning. Chris and I went to the same university for undergrad, although he was a computer science major. He played clarinet in the orchestra, and that's where I met him. For the past few years he's been struggling with brain cancer, and he's been in and out of the hospital pretty often doing chemotherapy treatments and stuff. I met Josh and Anna over at the hospital a couple weeks ago and he seemed to be doing better than we expected, but apparently the last few days have not been easy for him. I got an email this afternoon from his fiancée saying that he passed away at 6:05am today, so we're all very sad.

    Chris will be missed a lot, and by a lot of people. He was the sort of guy who is always cheerful and pleasant to be around. Nothing seemed to ever get Chris down. Even when I went to see him at the hospital a couple weeks ago with Josh and Anna.. as soon as we entered the room, he's all like, "Hey guys!" in his usual exciting way.

Arcadia Design
    Arcadia Design has released a couple games based upon NeoEngine recently. The games are all pretty much the same looking, but I think they look pretty cool. Sadly, it looks like they've only made Windows versions of their games despite the fact that our engine runs on Linux as well. Oh well. It's still great to see that someone is making a finished product with our engine.

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