Miscellaneous ephemera
  • 2015-12-18 — Doug suggested I start blogging again about the progress I'm making on BookHabit lately, and I may just do it. It just might happen.
  • 2015-09-10 — I am FINALLY cleaning up the terrible CSS that has been on here for the last couple of years. Sorry about that everyone.
  • 2015-08-13 — Ha, tried to reset the time on a blog post, which sets it to now() in sql, only to find it updated to 6 hours from now. So i guess my new server is somewhere in Europe.
Fri, Apr 15, 3:38am Ray Tracing à la Metal
So, a couple of days ago, I was feelin' pretty suave getting the ray tracing going in pure Swifty goodness. But I could not resist the allure of the GPU. I decided to stalk the illusive beast known as Metal. And that's kinda what it felt like. I did not jump right in and start coding it up, since I have but a modest idea what's going on in Metal, apart from aping Apple's example code, and transliterating some OpenCL code, earlier in the year. For me the troubles were about how to paint on a texture and to understand the ins and outs of the Metal Shading Language.

For those just wanting to know if it was worth it: The same 1600x800 scene and over 480 reflective objects, went from 702 seconds in the pure Swift version down to 14 seconds! Roughly a 50x speed improvement. That is racing a 12-core Xeon with hyperthreading against a D700 graphics card. Well worth the time invested to compare. [Read more…]
Tue, Apr 12, 10:28pm Ray Tracing à la Swift
Recently, after a big work push, I needed a break. Something else to work on for fun. While asking around if there was a Slack domain that specifically tried to gather people together interested in doing graphics and GPU programming, I decided to just start it and see if it could draw any interest. The group is called Cocoa3d (email me if you'd like an invite), targeting any kind of use for GPUs on Apple devices, also including gaming in general. A bunch of really great people joined and we started talking about various projects people were up to. [Read more…]
Thu, Jan 28, 2:37pm Displays, Spaces, and Workspaces
I have a multi-monitor desktop setup, as many programmers do, 3 in my case (two apple thunders and one dell 4k in portrait). I use spaces extensively as a regular way of working. I usually have several Xcode projects going for various clients and my own stuff, as well as other projects using other editors and a lot of Terminal windows. Each Xcode project probably has anywhere from 3 to 8 windows open, each usually with a few tabs. Naturally I spread them across the displays as is convenient. (I love the portrait 4k monitor to have one luxurious long view of my main coding window.) [Read more…]
(in Computers » Mac » OS X)
Wed, Aug 12, 2015, 7:24pm New Server Home
All my domains (said like a monarch) were down for about a week or so, but I have finally found a new server home and still getting things configured. Looking at their sorry shape, it is also making me think that they could use some love. Ideas? What about your old websites? Still keeping them up? Moving on to just having your online presence being on "social media"? (Hey, weren't blogs supposed to be social media?) [Read more…]
(in Blogging)
Sat, Jul 12, 2014, 1:56am A Big Year for Programming
So 2014 has turned into an unexpectedly big year for programming for me. As an Apple developer, it's obviously been affected by Swift's arrival, but I was already in the middle of a lot of new projects, making for a crowded learning schedule. I've sort of grouped them into different areas: scientific, functional, parallel and Mac/iOS-related.

And I'm dabbling with going back to blogging. If you find this interesting and are reading, thanks! I'll try to keep things interesting. [Read more…]
(6 comments, in Programming)
Wed, Jan 18, 2012, 4:09pm Engine and Domains Update
Ok, not that anyone is the wiser, but I'm finally going to rebuild my web template engine / protocol for HTML5. A relatively minor change from the XHTML protocol, but it's also a nice reason to include better handling of javascript, css, mobile devices and some better RESTful methods. Since I'm steeped in Python lately, I'll probably make an engine in that for now, followed by Ruby and F-Script and whatever else strikes me.

But more importantly, I have changes I've been putting off for forever to most of my domains. For one thing, I have to reorganize what domains are doing what. I want to overhaul the OS X Page. I'm still not sure exactly what I want to do with it, so suggestions welcome. I also own CocoaDevWorld and iPhoneDev. I have a Code section to this blog that perhaps should be in one of those other places. And the OS X Apps list? The old version is essentially in archive mode, but there is reason to have an alternate non-MAS listing out there. I don't foresee a MAS-only Mac OS on the horizon (or, if it happens, … that would be a disaster), so there'll always be a need to know what other software is out there. [Read more…]
(5 comments, in Computers » Mac)
Sun, Nov 27, 2011, 7:19pm Journal Article Reading / Tracking
There are times when (a) I'd rather use a Terminal shell to search for something, or it's already where I am, and (b) when I'm in the mood to write a little set of scripts to do something neat. And so it came that I wrote a set of little scripts to keep track of my completely out-of-control PDF collection from various journals. This isn't a blog article about how you should use this tool, since your reading neuroses probably differ, but just a quick "hey, I think this is neat" and something that may inspire someone on to other cool command-line tools (or whatnot). [Read more…]