Gauntlets of Recursion (+3)

Times, trials, and turbulence.

Everything except time.

Personal Development

It’s been a little crowded lately for that, it seems. Yesterday and today have just been crowded with assignments and studying, so progress on my article and website just haven’t happened yet. To be honest, I’m still working myself over the initial “getting started” hurdle on the article. I have a pretty clear idea of what I want to cover, but that first pen-to-paper moment is always the hardest. This weekend isn’t too heavy in terms of school workload, so I’m going to push to get the draft written tomorrow. That’ll just leave revision and demo-writing before it’s good to go. I’ve also been learning some various tricks in regards to web design from a friend, but I’ll jump into that pool of piranhas later!

Jobs jobs jobs

My first interview(s) has been scheduled, thank goodness. They’re combining my interview for being a CS125 and CS134 Tutor together, which means a little less time I’ll be stuck on campus wearing nice dress pants and a fancy-dancy shirt. Sheesh. πŸ™‚

CS125 and CS134 are both first-year intro-to-programming courses that use Java to teach programming concepts. 125 is the “totally new to programming” course, while 134 assumes you have a basic understanding of the ideas behind programming. I was pretty sure that I would get interviews for these, so the tutoring jobs will (assuming the interview goes well!) effectively be my “back up jobs” if I don’t manage to snare a more alluring position elsewhere. Not to suggest anything detrimental to being a Tutor — on the contrary, I think it would be a fantastic learning experience. It’s win-win all around.

Phong Illumination Model

Jon has been tinkering away at yet another game development article, this time focusing on a the more theoretical side of graphics programming. His article talks about the ideas and basic implementation of the Phong Illumination Model. If you’ve ever been interested in raytracing, he’s planning on following the start he’s making with this into a full-fledged series on the topic. Keep an eye on his journal.

4 responses to “Everything except time.

  1. David "Trapper Zoid" September 28, 2007 at 11:43 pm

    Tutoring can be a lot of fun, even for entry level programming. You’ll find it’s one thing to instictively know the basics of programming, but another to be able to explain it to a completely green newbie.

    Now I’ve finished my second Flash game, I had the time to try out your Skirmish demo for the Mac – here’s my results:
    1. My system is Mac OS X, v. 10.4.10 running on a MacBook Pro
    2. I couldn’t get your Java file to run with Jar Launcer or with the shell file provided. I had to manually type in the command to the console to get the fle to open.
    3. My processor speed: 2 GHz Intel Core Duo 1
    Memory: 1 GB 667 MHz DDR2 SDRAM
    Video: Radeon X1600 128 MB
    4. For 0 Props, FPS: 330, UPS: 110
    for 100 Props, FPS: 200, UPS. 87
    for 500 Props, FPS: 76, UPS: 58

    Note that these were without moving the avatar, and trying to keep the objects within the screen. If I were to move the avatar to outside the playing field (the “grassy” area outsite the test zone), then the 500 prop test FPS would rise to about 460, suggesting the limitation is graphics based, not CPU.

  2. Stephen September 29, 2007 at 9:05 am

    Hey David,

    Oh yes, I’ve tutored entry-level programming before (albeit in a highschool setting), and it was an enlightening experience then. I have no reason to doubt it will be even more so now on a university level. πŸ™‚

    Glad to hear that the demo runs fine on your Mac. The GPU should be the limiting factor after you have 500 props spawned, since 90%+ will be static, which deactivates their logic/collision routines. In my next test, I’ll have to force props to remain non-static to get a better gauge of CPU versus GPU load in the game. Thanks for testing and commenting!

  3. Jonathan October 1, 2007 at 6:21 pm

    I noticed that your header has changed from the generic one. A couple issues.

    1) It no longer links back to the main blog page.

    2) Did you mean tribulations instead of turbulence? The common phrase I think you were referring to is “trials and tribulations” rather than trials and turbulence.

    – Jon

  4. Stephen October 1, 2007 at 8:58 pm


    1) Fixed — thanks for mentioning that.

    2) It was supposed to be a ‘spin off’ of the well-known phrase, since turbulence is an item that my development tends to incur upon myself on a frequent basis. πŸ™‚

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