Older blog entries for bratsche (starting at number 311)

Getting some work
    So I'm now about to begin working on some 3d graphics stuff for a commercial project and getting paid for it. This is pretty cool, since so far I've been pretty much doing open source stuff for free and for fun, except for the small amount I got for porting code to MacOSX. Although there isn't any sort of NDA (or none that I've been told about yet), I think I probably shouldn't reveal any juicy secrets about the project. But I think it'll be a lot of fun.
9 May 2004 (updated 22 May 2004 at 04:53 UTC) »
ATI's Linux guys are pretty cool
    So I talked to one of the Linux driver developers at ATI, and he was really cool. He's extremely interested in making the ATI drivers not suck on Linux, which is great for everyone of course. Apparently ATI is devoting more funding to this now than they have in the past so I think eventually they'll get there. It's just unfortunate that right now the drivers still suck all kinds of ass. But he gave me a list of things that he wants us to add to NeoEngine in order to make it a useful tool for debugging the drivers. He asked for binaries, but I'm on AMD64 so I couldn't give him x86 binaries (I'm using gcc 3.4.0, and multilib is currently not available there).

    Edited 2004-05-21 for a typo

Fear my malformed polygons!
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! =)

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