GPU Pro 3 has arrived

I found my copy of the book in the mail today. I was a lit­tle sur­prised by the mod­er­ate size—other vol­umes of this series were just that: vol­umes! I think this one is about half the size than the pre­vi­ous tomes. By the way, this post is a shame­less plug because there is an arti­cle writ­ten by me in it. Thanks go to Wolf­gang Engel, the series edi­tor, and Christo­pher Oat, my sec­tion edi­tor, and CRC press for mak­ing it pos­si­ble! I will post some com­ments on the oth­er arti­cles when I read them through.

Edit:
I found one very good and com­pre­hen­sive arti­cle on data dri­ven engine design by Don­ald Revie. The ideas pre­sent­ed in there res­onate very well with the designs that I found worked well in the past, so this part gets a sol­id +1 from me.

(I end­ed up with a tri­ad of IRen­der­Ob­ject, IRen­der­Ge­om­e­try and IRen­der­Pro­gram, where the ren­der object would AddBatch­es() to a draw list, each of which refers to one geom­e­try con­tain­ing the mesh and one pro­gram for set­ting the ren­der state. For instance, a SpeedTree™ ren­der object would typ­i­cal­ly add three batch­es, one for each of the branch­es, fronds and leaves, where each batch would pair the spe­cif­ic geom­e­try with an appro­pri­ate pro­gram. The draw list is then sort­ed in one go via a gen­er­al 128 bit sort key, and the batch­es ren­dered in order. This sys­tem is gen­er­al enough that the UI sys­tem also can just AddBatch­es() to this list (so the UI sys­tem, as a whole, is just one instance of a ren­der object). In this case, the indi­vid­ual UI geom­e­try objects just rep­re­sent views into one big dynam­ic ver­tex buffer. I prob­a­bly want to explain this sys­tem in detail in anoth­er post.)

Anoth­er two very inspir­ing arti­cles so far are the one about geo­met­ric post­process antialias­ing, by Emil “Humus” Pers­son, and the piece about glob­al illu­mi­na­tion using a vox­el grid, from the teams at the Unis Koblenz/Magdeburg. I already read their ACM paper before and I think it is a viable method.

Various Mac tricks

This is my per­son­al col­lec­tion of com­mand line tricks on Mac OS X that I found indis­pens­able. The list is far from com­plete, and may be added to in the future.

Show hidden files in Finder

> defaults write com.apple.finder AppleShowAllFiles true
> killall Finder

The first line sets the pref­er­ence for the Find­er to show hid­den files, while the sec­ond line restarts the Find­er so the set­ting comes in effect. As an alter­na­tive for the last line, select the Find­er in the Cmd-Alt-Escape pop­up and select “Relaunch”. I found this one on the Mozil­la knowl­edge base [2].

Delete all .DS_Store files

> sudo find / -name ".DS_Store" -print -delete

If hid­den files are enabled in the find­er, you will soon make con­tact with the infa­mous “.DS_Store” files that the desk­top ser­vice lit­ters around as you browse the filesys­tem. This is annoy­ing. Use the above com­mand to delete those suck­ers. The “-print” is in there just so you can mon­i­tor the progress.

Prevent .DS_Store files on network mounts

> defaults write com.apple.desktopservices DSDontWriteNetworkStores true

Although there is no method to gen­er­al­ly stop “.DS_Store” files, at least you can pre­vent desk­top ser­vices from pol­lut­ing net­work mounts. Win­dows users on the same net­work will be glad! This trick is pub­lished in the Apple knowl­edge base [3].

Disable Spotlight indexing for a given volume

> sudo mdutil -i off /mountpoint

This com­mand will dis­able index­ing for the vol­ume under /mountpoint (for instance /Volumes/MyExternalHarddisk). Under MacOS X 10.5 and lat­er, it also deletes any par­tial index cre­at­ed up to this point. There is one caveat: The enable/disable infor­ma­tion is itself stored inside the “.Spot­light-V100” direc­to­ry, so do not delete that, and be care­ful when back­ing up to anoth­er dri­ve. More infor­ma­tion is found in [1].


[1] The X-Lab, “Spot­light tips”,
http://www.thexlab.com/faqs/stopspotlightindex.html

[2] Mozil­laZine, “Show hid­den files and fold­ers”,
http://kb.mozillazine.org/Show_hidden_files_and_folders

[3] Apple Sup­port, “Mac OS X v10.4 and lat­er: How to pre­vent .DS_Store file cre­ation over net­work con­nec­tions”,
http://support.apple.com/kb/HT1629