Category: Rants

2011 what year it will be part 1

Welcome to my predictions for 2011, for this year i decided to change the format a bit to make it more readable, more specific and a bit less vague, so this year I’m doing a top ten and two top fives, both for gaming and for the other stuff, which incidentally requires me to use two posts, otherwise you would be reading it for quite some time. so today we start with games, and in about a week or so the rest, and after that i have something planned that i know you all been waiting for, if i finish it soon then the first two months of 2011 would be pretty full for this site. Read more »

2010 the year that was

2010 the year that things happened, a oil well leaked, gays can serve in the military (the us one that is, we have had it for ever), i got a second stomach and lost about 20Kg or 44,09245243697552lbs give or take a pund or so. the tech market also expanded as we saw the first 3D tvs along with a crap load of android devices.

There is a quote on the top of the front page that say something like ” if you don’t have any white plastic on your device your some kind of retard” poetic words from penny arcade said five years ago referring to ipods and other devices, but looking at the 2011 CES those words hold true today only you have to change “white plastic” to “black plastic and android”, they had it running on everything from phones, tabs, tv sets, cars, refrigerators, headphones and so forth. So how did my predictions go then. Read more »

OpenGL wishlist 4.0: the slot model

Time for a fourth wish-list this time i will go into more detail about one specific thing i like OpenGL to adopt, while clarifying a few things about two oldies, perhaps for openGL 5.0 but who knows.

The slot model

This model should be seen as a vision on how to unify Data and shader management within openGL, especially regarding texturing as a lot of details is actually already implemented on the geometry side, this is mostly written against the new openGL 4 specification but i make no promises of conformity.

There are three main bits to this model, these are data, slots and shaders.
Each part are separate but still connected, especially the first two.
Read more »

2010 – opportunities beware

Earlier this week I was enjoying the glorious gadget imagery from CES, everything from 3D tv to transparent displays to laptops and tablets, the future really looks sweet.

Games
Wii – a bland year for Nintendo, finally the big behemoth of consoles are turning down in sales, and even though some larger titles may appear like Mario galaxy 2 and other M, I guess we will have to wait for E3 to hear some news.
Also Michael Pachter has predicted that WIIHD will come at the end of the year, it won’t, I seriously think he is overestimating Nintendo’s business sense, they got one or two things right with the Wii mote and Wii fit, but the rest is not that great, ever heard of Wii Speak, well it did kinda get lost a bit there.
So no WiiHD yet,personally I am leaning towards 2013 and a brand new console.

Read more »

Natalled

Earlier this year both Microsoft and Sony presented what they called the “Future of gaming” class of controllers, but whats really going on here.
To answer that we have to look at their technologies and then derive intent from that.
It’s two seemingly very different control schemes, but are they, one uses a time-of-flight (TOF) camera to sense it’s surroundings and most notably the depth of it, the other one uses a high res camera to sense it’s surroundings that while it can’t measure depth it can track certain objects on the z axis reasonably well, however it is augmented by a glowing ping pong ball on a stick for “sub pixel 3d tracking”, it also has buttons which are useful at times.
Both systems also have an array of microphones which makes it easier to track and filter out voices. Read more »

Recent updates

Ok, a lot has happened recently, so let me update you on things and thoughts I had.
First, I finally got a real job, I am now a professional web programmer, not exactly my first choice but hey you can’t get it all, well at least it allows me to develop some ideas I have while I’m getting paid for doing things, and the upside is that it’s a pretty flexible job, being deadline based and all, I can take an extra long lunch if I need to as long as I get things done on time.
Fortunately I do a lot of back end work so deadlines and jobs are reasonably evenly spaced and phased, most of the time.

Anyway moving on to anime, my current anime viewing list is

Slayers revolution
Zero no tsukaima 3
Sekirei
Nogizaka Haruka no Himitsu
Mission-E
ToLoveRu – Trouble

See at least some of them or forfeit you license to be of the ruling class when I take over the world. Read more »

E3 08

It’s time for E3 in just a few short days, so let’s speculate on a few things that’s been rumored.

Sony (PS3, PSP)
Fisrt the SKUs, in order to break even or actually make money they have to change SKUs, there are two currently, the 40GB and the 80GB versions, booth of these will be replaced by the holiday season, the first one, the one to be announced at E3 will be a replacement for the cheaper 40GB variant, it will have an upgraded HDD, perhaps even more than 80GB, also it will be bundled with the DS3.

The 80GB one will come in October with a huge HDD and other stuff, seriously, they will need to add something else to the console for the higher cost to be worth it as this one will loose the PS2 BC chips (Seriously they are expensive to make), I am thinking integrated PlayTV and stuff like that, either way until that one comes

But until that one comes the ps3 will stay at the current price level, so they are not lying when they say that their not planning a price drop, we actually they are, they have price drops planned for the next few years planned, but certain insider trading rules say that they have to lie and deny until they do it, so I’m not surprised. Read more »

OpenGL whish list 3.0

It’s been a while, and no it’s not because of the computer, it’s because of time, time and lack of things to write about, though not this time, this is something I wanted to write all this year.
In the beginning I was just collecting my thoughts, though I really should have written it down somewhere, then as months progressed I had less and less time to think about this.
However a few things lately caught my eye that made me rethink.

1. A while back Nvidia acquired Aegia, the physics chips maker, at first I thought “great now they will add a physics sub processor to every graphics card”.
No, they added it trough cuda, and I didn’t get it since although the gpu can do it well, any use of the gpu limits your frame rate, and that is generally considered bad.
In essence computing more objects means you can render less objects. Read more »

Mythbusting the PS3

Today a want to rant a little(a lot) about the next gen(or should they now be called the current gen) console war and the whopping piles of stinking turds of bullshit surrounding them.
IT all started about 2 years ago at E3 where Sony, Microsoft and Nintendo revealed their next gen consoles, and ever since that day where my whole class of game developers just stood there drooling i have kept a close eye on these systems, i have analyzed almost every aspect and a few that actually doesn’t exist yet.

So here is what i found out

Xbox 360
In terms of power and graphics capabilities the 360 is pretty decent i guess, but the rest of the base console is a bit underpowered and you need a bunch of add ons to get a reasonable level of functionality out of it.
Well one to each own, if you don’t need all that stuff then you don’t need to get it, which makes this console average in price,but i claim that you do and that makes it the most expensive one, the monthly subscription is probably the worst of all of this.
Well i guess i can’t really expect anything less from Microsoft.

Wii
I have to admit that it is a bit fun and i do admire what they where able to do with so little.
I actually played one just yesterday and it’s a neat little fun toy, but that’s about it, it is little more than a glorified high tech toy.
At least the other ones have other real uses like a media player or, well, stuff.
The thing is while the others have large untapped usages to be revealed in the future, the Wii is pretty much done and that is truly sad, cause it was fun while it lasted.

Play Station 3
It wouldn’t be a stretch to see why i chose this to be my next console, It’s not really because it’s powerful, because it is, it really does have a vast untapped resource developers are just now starting to get a grip on.
No it’s everything, it’s the cell, the blue ray drive, the wifi, the HDD, the (free) on line services, the link to the PSP, the backwards compatibility to the ps1 and 2, the sixaxis controller, the future proofing and the way Sony thinks.

Now what do i hear about the PS3, nothing but constant complaining about the mistakes Sony make with it, so let’s do some debunking.

Myth #1 :Lack of force feedback (vibration) in the controller makes it suck
Now if you call that force feedback then you need to get back on your medication, yes it’s nice to get a haptic clue about what is happening, but the vibration in the dualshock2 controller is way to crude to be of any real use.
With that said, i hope they do get some good force feedback in the PS4 controller and not just vibration.

Myth #2 :Lack of HD cables sucks too
This one is simple, HD cables are standard equipment you can get everywhere and not everybody have hdmi capable tv sets.
So why make it more expensive then it need to be, just get one if you need it when you buy the ps3 and your done.

Myth #3 :Sony underestimated the Wii
No i don’t think so, the Wii and the PS3 really don’t overlap significantly in any target group, they are two different machines produced by two different companies using two completely different philosophies.
They didn’t underestimate the Wii, they underestimated the publics overestimation of the Wii.
But most importantly they don’t care, and they know exactly why they don’t have to.

Myth #4 :No “must have” games at launch
Well sort of true, but then again did you all forget the xbox 360 launch, the only good game there was Project Gotham racing 3 and it was a bit average.
The truth is that no console gets any really good game at launch, no they don’t start appearing until about a year after the launch.
This is simply a direct function of time, not the platform or corporate structure, only time, so just wait till next Christmas and we will see who’s laughing now.
Now he PS3 actually had a pretty decent set of launch titles, mostly because of the delays, but that’s a different story.

Myth #5 :Blue-Ray
This complaint actually boggles my mind, i heard some people claim that only a handful of videophile elites actually needs Blue-ray and that the PS3 would be better without it.
Now this is wrong in so many ways, just ask the guys who made phantasmagoria or the early games that where made for the cd-rom format, they would tell you this, “if there is space, we can and must fill it”.
Already today some PS2 game use 2 or more DVD discs, it’s mostly video but let’s just presume they want to increase the quality of the video to maybe just 720P, now that would take a whole lot of space and pretty soon we are looking at multiple blue-ray discs.
Another thing the PS3 excel at that takes up lot’s of space is mega texturing, where single texture maps can take as much as 1GB or more for each level.
So you see there is lot’s of usage for it, but not perhaps right today, unless your a videophile that is.

Myth #6 :The 360 is more powerful than the PS3
Now this is like comparing apples with grapes, the PS3 is a radically different system than the 3 core PPC that lies within the 360, it uses 7 SPUs that while they don’t do some stuff as fast as one 360 ppc with normal software, two of them will outperform a 360 core hands down with pure fp-math, and to boot there are 7 of them + the main PPC core.
There are also some other differences, for one at 25Gb/s the memory bandwidth is more than the double to the cell than to the 360 cores, and where normal multi core processors have to share that bandwidth, the cell does not have to share, it can just pass around the data internally at 300Gb/s.
But when we are speaking about raw power it’s like this, the PS3 has about 2Tflop of processing power and the 360 about half of that.
What about the memory then, the 360 has access to more memory, well this is true and not true at the same time, both systems has the same amount of memory, but the PS3 has 256MB for the cpu and the same amount for the GPU, however when you look at it, the gpu and the cpus in the 360 has to share a band with of 22Gb/s while the ps3 has 20Gb/s for the gpu and 25Gb/s for the cpu.

Interesting numbers indeed and it’s all in how you use it, but it’s clear that the PS3 is more powerful, just wait for a well optimized version of the same game comes out on both platforms, like Oblivion, but better.

Myth #7 :The PS3 is the most expensive console
yes it’s expensive, up to $900 in Europe, but it’s not the most expensive one if you count all the stuff you actually need to get.
Now is it worth it, yes it is, it’s actually cheap considering what you get, now if they only sold a kit to convert it into a desktop and they would rule the world, o, wait, that’s right, it’s free for download.

Myth #8 :The European PS3 can’t play PS2 games
This used to be true since it does not have a PS2 chip in it, but ever since firmware 1.60 they have included an software emulator for the PS2 and judging from the advancements in firmware 1.70 they are pretty soon able to be equal if not better then a real PS2.
Well it would be nice to have forced hardware antialiasing at 1080p in GT4.

Well that’s all for now, now all i have to do is to go out there and get one, i will of cause take pictures of the ceremonial unpacking of this expensive (but l33t) tech product.

Vista not!

They have been asking for it for a long time, Microsoft that is, every bad decision, every bug and every stupidity that comes out from them is about to reach a terrifying apex with the release of Vista.
So let’s bash them a little.

Now many that has seen the latest vista screen shots and listened to their propaganda might say, what’s wrong with vista, it’s more secure, has better looking graphics and so on.
True, but here is a few reasons why it’s not good.

1. WGA, or windows genuine advantage was introduced a little while ago, and it was an incredible failure, not only did it fail to correctly identify pirated copies a bit now and then, it actually gave false positives about 40% of the time with genuine copies, not exactly the intended result.
What wga did was to disallow users to upgrade their “pirated” copies (save for the most critical of upgrades) leaving them open to an avalanche of viruses, Trojans, spyware and other similar stuff, this didn’t just hurt the illegitimate users but also the legitimate ones by providing a safe harbor for that stuff, this army of zombies hurts everybody, Microsoft included.

Windows Vista will use something that can only be described as wga2, now this is supposed to be even more powerful than wga in every way, making it unable to even install or use.
Now under normal circumstances this wouldn’t be much of an problem unless we include some other factors, like the price of Vista home and the fact that pirated versions of windows make up for something like 50% of their user base, bad indeed.

2. The new user interface is another concern, now it doesn’t matter how pretty aeroglass is, if it doesn’t preform well what good is it for, both the newest Linux and mac gui’s will run on even a 32mb card like some laptops still have (aeroglass needs at least 128 MB just to run), and they sure do look (or can look) equally as good, and on top of that they preform a lot better, though i have to admit that i like the windows XP gui better than the mac one and Linux has just to many gui’s to make a quick comparison.
Now Vistas gui is directly tied to DX10, this is bad, because we all now what DX is good for, that’s right, games and only games, i have yet to find a major application (besides games) that uses DX instead of openGL.

3. Speaking of DX10, it’s a mistake to make DX10 Vista only, it’s like Microsoft expects everybody to upgrade to vista at launch day, yea right as if i am going to buy a new multi core computer with a GF8800 in SLI mode and on top of that buy a os that costs almost as much as the computer, well the first part is sort of true, but then again, will i have the money to get Vistified, i think not.
So the early adopters will be few, in fact mostly businesses will get it in the start and gamers will be the last to follow.
So what does DX10 need to get popular, that’s right, games, but gamers won’t get vista for a while, but they will get the hardware, and the only other graphics API that support the SM4 hardware is openGL, well it will support SM4 when the hardware is released, but that is still way ahead of DX10.
So you got the situation that gamers have the hardware and the drivers that support SM4 in openGL at least, but they don’t have vista and DX10 that supports SM4, the New vista users will not have the hardware or the need to get the latest games, but they will have the software for it.
Hmmmm…… i wonder what API the game developers are going to be using from now on.

4. the price from $233 to $450, but then again the $233 Vista Home Basic version is nothing to bring home, you want to spend at least $300-350 on it.
It’s a bit over the top, hell you can get a new (cheap ass) computer or a nice graphics card for just one user license, and here they are expecting rapid adoption, rapid adoption of Linux that is, you know the free os that does the same things but only more and better, it’s only fault is that is is made for better (read: geekier) people.
Then theres the fact that among Microsoft’s user base about 50% are pirated versions, and there is a reason for that, it’s not that they don’t want to spend that money, it’s because that can’t.
My sister and her BF use two computers and a mac, both with xp on them, she is still a student on maternity leave so he provides for the family, so try and justify getting genuine licenses for those computers, try justifying them upgrading both computers and getting vista on them, no Microsoft’s greed does stand in the way of that.
So if you want the expensive and gargantuan bloatware, be my guest, just don’t blame me afterwards.

So Vista is a lost cause, but hey what’s that on the horizon, could it be the next development cycle for the os after vistas successor, hey look it is. And i am going to help them on the way with a few tips and a new business model.

1. scrap the old core, make a new one or use the Linux core, i don’t care, as long as it’s super secure, lightweight, versatile and open source.

2. call what you have “Windows ****** core”, and make it free and available for download

3. make a slim graphical shell around it with only the basics, if you want you can also make a shinier aeroglass like behemoth on top of that.
Though large parts of it should be open source so people can mod it

4. call what you have “Windows ****** base”, and make it free and available for download

5. add another layer of basic applications, like notepad, a media player, a browser and so on and call it “Windows ****** home light”, this should be sold at a price you would rather find in the value bin in a game store.

Continue adding layers like this, each one adding functionality and services like a word processor, anti virus protection, document management, media downloading services and so on, the idea is to make every version of windows genuine, not by forcing everyone to buy one, but making it free or at least super cheap to get.
I do think Microsoft can live on a service model instead of the failing monopoly they have today on the OS market.

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