Category Archives: Uncategorized

The Sync Wars

Very relevant.

Remember G-Sync? The Nvidia-only proprietary technology that adds adaptive refresh rates to monitors? Now recall the recently announced Free-Sync? The exact same technology from AMD only without proprietary hardware? Well, Nvidia recently responded to AMD’s Free-Sync.

It’s a good read, and clarifies a lot of things about G-Sync and Nvidia’s intention in all of this. I decided to write a quick summary of events anyways because (as I’m sure most graphics programmers have) I’ve had to look into refresh rate work-arounds and technologies personally throughout my journey within computer graphics. So we’ll cover everything from the ground up.
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The Art of Extremely Inefficient Self-Benchmarking

factoring_the_time

On one cold night not too long ago, as I pondered my upcoming PC build (a build that I’ve been dreaming planning to do for the past 2 years, and has yet to happen, and inevitably wont for the foreseeable future) I wondered whether I could create my own benchmark. And to keep it simple, one targeted primarily for CPU usage.

I thought of a few ways to test my aging CPU’s little remaining mettle (for reference it’s a Core 2 Duo E6600. And yes, I know… it sucks). But without getting too much memory or HDD I/O activity involved, I eventually decided on the ever reliable prime numbers. “Easy enough” I thought to myself, shouldn’t be more than a few lines of code.

And surprisingly, for once, I was right.

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Visual Pains In the Year 2012

compiling

“I’m starting to think they’re catching on to us guys…”

I like Visual Studio 2012, I really do. But deep down inside, somewhere, I also really don’t like it.

When VS2012 was released I was eager to explore and experiment its inner depths. Compelling additions to the .NET Framework 4.5, improvements to semantic colourization (slowly catching up to XCode), and an actual editing environment for shaders in HLSL – they were all so, so tempting. But even with all that, even with all the squeaky IDE goodness that would’ve made my programming life far more easy and awesome, I simply couldn’t get passed that UI. I couldn’t. I tried, but I couldn’t. Why is everything monochrome? Why are the new icons small and difficult to spot (without colours they all practically look alike)? And, for some bizarre reason, why are all the menus UPPERCASE?

According to Andrew Binstock in his review of Visual Studio 2012:

Speaking off the record, a Microsoft employee with the Windows 8 team confessed that the Metro team was “very surprised” when they saw how the Visual Studio team had interpreted the Metro guidelines.

So letting that quote sink in, and without risking taking this post any further into rant-land, I shall explain what it is I did to heal myself of any further eye-related injury.

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Const Correctness – The Good, The When, and The… More Good?

const

The use of const is something of a mythical being for some programmers. I’ve seen it used different ways; some throw it around a lot because they know about the ‘good’ but don’t fully grasp the ‘when’.  Then there are those who don’t use it at all because it may feel unnecessary or hard to get used to. I was a mix of both during my cowboy coding days, and since working on more business-orientated projects const-correctness has been beaten into my programming instinct many times over. You’ll quickly realise it’s value when working across teams and very large code bases. Read the rest of this entry

Portfolio 2.0

After a grueling past couple of days wrestling with HTML and CSS (which I now hate) the new site is officially complete. I’m very much glad with how it turned out, it’s a big step up from my old portfolio which is now no longer with us. I’ve redirected my old domain to this site for now, and for all those wondering I am working on securing an actual domain name, I dare have “.wordpress.com” haunting my professional identity forever. Because that would be, well, unprofessional.

I’m still working on uploading some project snippets to the rest of the portfolio, nothing fancy but useful little experiments with some aspects of computer graphics. As far as my current project goes, I’m currently working on polishing some of my more recent work, like my procedural terrain and water demos, alongside some other stuff here and there.

That about sums it up. As a side note, I’m reading a book that I’d recommend; “Game Engine Architecture” by Jason Gregory, a programming veteran who’s led many game studios. The concepts and techniques described are the ones used by games by Electronic Arts and Naughty Dog, very interesting seeing the design patters they employ in that sense.

Art Work

Although I’d like to think of myself as a programmer at heart, I do I enjoy the odd drawing/sketch once in a while. In particular drawings of favourite characters and personalities from numerous media. It’s been a good few years now since I began this hobby, I will admit I’m not exactly a talented artist, but every so often I allow my eager hand to draw to it’s content.

Below are some examples of my previous sketches, be sure to click on them to view in a nice hefty resolution. Kudos to those who recognize the characters in the drawings below!