It is funny that over a decade ago Microsoft, after getting annoyed with the endless procrastination of the OpenGL working group went off and created DirectX (made up of a suite of different API’s ranging from hardware accelerated video to 3d hardware acceleration, input management etc) and thus we’ve over a decade where pretty much Microsoft has had the gaming industry by the balls. Fast forward today and the situation seems rather different especially when one considers the rise of iOS and Android (along with OS X and Steam on Linux) with the move to not only get Steam working on Linux but also the rise in gaming on mobile platforms then place on top of that the strong sales of Sony’s Playstation 4 has led to a some what OpenGL and OpenGL ES revival and golden age after almost a decade and a half in the wilderness with all but a few niche markets holding stedfast to the technology ( link ). So whilst Microsoft ignored the mobile world game developers realised that if they were to target both desktop and mobile devices they would have to once again embrace OpenGL and OpenGL ES and thus we’ve seen an uptick.
Regarding how this relates to DirectX 12.0 and the apparently promise of an open alternative to Mantle – and reading through the comments Peter asks the question (and I’m paraphrasing), “what has OpenGL got to do with an API that attempts to be lower level than DirectX or OpenGL today” – it has everything to do with it. Microsoft is once again trying to keep itself relevant by claiming to have some sort of edge over the competition by offering something that, quite frankly, I haven’t heard many developers ask for because god knows, as some contributors in the comment section point out, we don’t want to see another episode of GLIDE where a hardware vendor claims that their vendor specific API has magical properties that no other vendor has. The inclusion of a lower level API as part of DirectX is a larger attempt by Microsoft to bring the spotlight back to themselves after having ignored the mobile platform for years and more or less snubbed the hardcore gamer community (which act, in many cases as evangelists for Microsoft to friends and family members aka “he’s good with computers”) many developers are still targeting Windows but many question the wisdom of being bound to a Windows only technology given that portability will be of greater importance as Mac sales grow along with Steam/Linux and handheld devices.
I’ll be interesting to see what happens with Mac OS X 10.10 (or what ever it’ll be called) given that OpenGL 4.4 delivers harmonisation with OpenGL ES 3.0 so maybe we’ll be lucky and see OpenGL 4.4 support appear along with OpenCL 2.0 which will make things interesting. With that being said, with Mantle it does open an interesting question as to whether it’ll mean that third party developers will be able to implement OpenGL on top of mantle thus not requiring the sorts of low level information and if so then could we see an nVidia counterpart to mantle which will make things interesting.
1) Gradually paying down bills with the goal to get all the loose ends tied up by the middle of this year. Things are looking good so far – the old situation of eating away at something piece by piece rather than trying to get it all cleaned off in one go. The loan with my parents is gradually being paid down and hopefully I can get it paid off by the end of this year which will free up more cash each year. As much as I’d like to get myself a 125/150cc scooter ASAP at the same time I’d sooner pay down my debt before taking on new debt.
2) Work is going well – lots of movement and hopefully with the minimum wage going up to $14.25 on 1 April so hopefully that’ll translate into a pay increase for me as well but if nothing happens I’ll talk to my area manager and find out. I don’t expect to be rich but it would be nice to receive a modest pay increase given that been here for 3 years and all the customers I serve have survived – which is a good sign.
3) The Warehouse now have a bigger range of picture frames which should mean that I can finally get those last two prints framed although I’d prefer to get the larger version of “Repast of the Lion’ but that’ll set me back NZ$230 or so from All Posters not to mention the cost of having to get it framed would cost a pretty penny. Oh well, maybe with good fortune I’ll get it in the second half of the year and I’ll give my dad the smaller version for his office.
4) Updated the look and feel of my blog to the ‘Twenty Fourteen’ theme and the banner at the top is a Joan Miro painting which I enjoy purely on the basis of it being colourful – yes, art can be appreciated based on it being pretty rather than an elongated wankfest that many seem to engage in when discussing art.
5) Scooter is going well – the fixing up of the muffler has quietened things up a bit and the replacement of the filter has meant things sound a little smoother than they used to. Although I have to admit I am tempted to give the Unleaded 98 a go to see whether it makes a difference in terms of smoother idling.
Just watching the news (Al Jazeera) and hot on the heals of Uganda’s anti-gay law we have Nigeria, in lieu of actually doing something about terrorism, economic development, corruption etc. they too trot down the well worn path of ‘blame the gays’. Anyone seeing a trend here – when in doubt blame the gays for all your failings in your country? sounds a bit like that other group of people who have been historically blamed for everything that goes wrong in the world.
And boy it is so damn comfortable – so relaxing being at a desk in a comfortable chair; once you go ‘tub chair’ everything else feels rather meh
Got iCloud working beautifully on my phone by doing this nifty little hack as to enable CalDAV and CardDAV functionality when accessing your iCloud account. First of all create an account via the settings menu using Gmail – that’ll enable the options under settings which will allow CardDAV and CalDAV functionality. Once all setup using the following information for email ( link ) and this information for contacts and calendaring ( link ). Once all setup you’ll find that your phone will synchronise with iCloud and you can continue going on your merry way. It would be nice if Microsoft/Nokia provided an update to the service provider list but at least a work around could be used.
I’ve just finished watching the ‘Inside Story’ from Al Jazeera ( link ) and I was expecting the worst from the mouth piece for the regime out of Iran but I hoped for the best – you never know, hope springs eternal as they say. Mohammad Marandi was the representative for the status quo and throughout the whole interview it was a mixture of diversion, buck passing and plain historical inaccuracies but I’m sure we’ll have some dopey viewers go, “well, he is a professor at a university so he can’t be full of it!”. End of the day it is perfectly understandable to take an approach of wishing to be self sufficient, to ensure that the natural resources of a country are used for the benefit of the people of that particular country rather than enriching multinationals but equally it is complete nonsense to use such noble goals to hide the real reality of the Iranian regime – a system that enriches megalomaniacs that use a toxic brew of nationalism and religion to further their goals and justifying the discrimination and execution of those whom the regime considered ‘undesirables’ (LGBT, progressives, women, liberal secular people and so on). No one is arguing against the need for independence and ability for a country to forge its own path but don’t try to use that as a smoke screen to execute and discriminate against people that you posthumously brand as ‘traitors’, ‘spy’s’, ‘importing decadent western values’ and so on – to claim as the Iranian regime has done that every single one of the 4,000 LGBT persons they’ve executed over 35 years has been a ‘rapist’ or ‘robber’ requires the sort of ‘leap of faith’ that even as I (as a believer) are unwilling to make.
The shoes I bought off a one day sale website have arrived – great to grab things on special as it allows me to avoid having to ‘mingle’ at the shopping mall. Anyway, here is what one of the pairs look like – yes, I have a tendency to wear black pants a lot because I prefer simpler colours without patterns or logos.