Archive for February, 2006

New pages

February 13, 2006

I just posted two pages under the Pages category of the sidebar.

The first one contains links about various free software I tried, used and find usefull. The list is really short for the moment but I plan on adding more and more as time goes and try new free software that I like (or remember some I forgot to add).

On the Environment page, I try to list useful links to get people to be aware of the state the planet is in and ways you can make a difference by changing a little bit your daily habits. The typical citizen is far from being the biggest threat for the planet (agriculture is responsible for about 60% of various form of pollution on earth) but by knowing what you can do and transmitting this information to others, social pressure can make a difference.

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Multithreaded Cold!

February 13, 2006

Got back from my ski week-end with a cold :(. However, temperature was perfect and the conditions were awesome. I stopped skiing 2 years ago because it got boring but I must say I really enjoyed it this time!

Lately, I’ve been monitoring a thread on the GDAlgorithm mailing list about multi-threaded game engine programming. This is quite the hot topic these days with dual core processors becoming more and more mainstream and the next-generation gaming hardware like the Xbox 360 and the PS3.

I’ve always been more concerned with the rendering part of the engine and used to get away only knowing a little bit about what else was going on elsewhere in the engine. However, with all the problems multithreading brings, from a design perspective, you need to be aware of a lot more and design really carefully. Otherwise, you’ll be in a lot of trouble later on when weird things start happening and you need to spend hours trying to figure out why you get a certain deadlock and find a way to fix it in a flawed design.

Nobody can claim to have the solution to all the problems because this entirely depends on the technology (read engine) you’re using. Of course, when designing and building an engine from the ground up, you can plan ahead, but oftentimes you have to refactor and re-enginner what you have on hands and that’s where the nightmare begins!

Here are a couple of links to multithreaded programming where you’ll be able to gather more info on the problems and techniques this new challenge brings:

David Wu’s GDC talk – http://www.pseudointeractive.com/games/DavidWuGDC2005.ppt

Article on Kyle Wilson’s site – http://www.gamearchitect.net/Articles/ManagingConcurrency1.html

Herb Sutter – The free lunch is over: A Fundamental Turn Toward Concurrency in Software

Insights on how Ageia does it – http://ageia.com/pdf/NovodeX Physics SDK Documentation.pdf

Howdy

February 10, 2006

I’ve been meaning to start a blog for a while now but, like many people I’m sure, never got to take the time to put it online. Hopefully this attempt won’t be a failure and a couple of people will find it interesting.

I’ll be off to a slow start as I’m leaving for the weekend to ski with a couple of people from the office at Stoneham. I haven’t skied for more than two years but it shouldn’t be to bad.

This blog isn’t intended yet to be on any particular subject but it will most definitely be about computers, games or other forms of entertainment as I work full time in the game industry at Ubisoft as a 3D programmer.

I’ll make sure to clean up the default items added to the sidebar when I’m back. Have a good weekend all (if anyone reads this first post that is)!