Friday, October 5, 2007

Nuclear Laptops.

I use stumbleupon and lately for 5 times i've been stumbling onto webpages about "laptop batteries that lasts 30 years". This bullshit is getting annoying. There's no way these batteries going to be public.

Several quotes from article:
"We have a non-thermal reactions so there is also no risk of over-heating"
Non-thermal reaction. Yeach.
Laptop consumes over 50W of power. Quick search shows that maximal possible electrical conversion efficiency for betavoitaics is around 25% which means there needs to be 200W of total power, 25% of which, that is 50W is converted to electricity (so in laptop you have 150W coming as heat directly from the battery, and 50W of heat coming from electronics). Surely such laptops are going to be very hot product.

"when the battery runs out of power it is non-toxic"
Radioactive decay doesn't work like emptying bathtub. After time of half-life, there's half of radioactive material, after two times of halflife there is quarter (and so on). Suppose battery is 2x more powerful than what your laptop needs. It means that when battery no longer could power your laptop, there is still a half of radioactive material remaining in the battery (actually battery is going to die earlier than that because of degradation of semiconductors due to radiation, but i digress).
Now, on the toxicity. Beta particles don't travel much distance in materials The radioactive material could be made into some mostly insoluble form to prevent it from contaminating environment and being ingested. I'm not sure about how insoluble it could be made. All i know is, it takes very little radioactive material to poison a human, comparing to amounts of material producing such power output levels.

Wednesday, October 3, 2007


A day ago i seen space shuttle takeoff in a dream. That was quite a sight. This morning i had lucid dream and did fly around something resembling my city, that was a lot of fun. It was tad different from real city though.
Dreams always fascinated me... quite accurate virtual reality produced by brain itself, for unknown purproses. Some dreams are like movies, sort of like watching the plot unfold, in some you feel "being there", and some are lucid (where you realize it is a dream and have some control). Then there is false awakenings, when you dream that you wake up.
One thing i want to do if i ever get a computer in lucid dream is try to see if i can program it to do something interesting. I had dreams with computer and internet, doing usual stuff like checking email or messaging, or even looking up something in google, but never programmed a computer in dream (or played computer game).

In other dream unrelated news, i have a paid job now, programming some graphics tools. No images there, sorry, the work is covered by NDA.

Friday, July 20, 2007

More work on volcano

Working on volcano now. A test render. Still a lot of work to do to get it anywhere near photorealism

Saturday, July 14, 2007


I'm working on procedural volcano (made with volumetrics). I'm coding the procedural in C++ because user interface is not ready yet for this kind of tasks. There's test render. I'm using erosion fractal on terrain, however it is fairy difficult to adjust settings for nice erosion on the volcano.
Todo: smoke cloud, terrain texture, more tweaks of volcano shape.

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

A test render using curve.

A test render using curve editor. By the way, i implemented undo and redo in curve editor.

Thursday, July 5, 2007

Curve editor works.

I have implemented basic spline curve editor. User interface is very simple for now: doubleclick adds spline control point, single click selects, delete key deletes, control points can be dragged. Slope lines can be dragged too to set slope at control point. Legend: curve is red, control points are blue, selected control point is green, slope line is white.
Todo: undo and redo functionality.

Saturday, June 30, 2007

More programming.

Still programming curve editor UI. I might take a break from it and code something for nice image. No other news except that i begin to lose interest in blogging, which is noticeable as my blog entries get shorter and shorter.

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Reading Master and Margarita

I'm re-reading Master and Margarita now. I did read it before but forgot everything so i have the pleasure to read it again like for first time :)
Programming: did some work on curve editor in standalone volumetrics UI.

Friday, June 22, 2007

Got stuck at UI programming.

Got stuck not sure how to go about implementing the curve editor (cubic hermite spline editor that is). No other news. I'm feeling kind of depressed now.

Thursday, June 21, 2007

A test render.

Screenshot from the editor, along with the test render. Concept of user interface: the scene is represented as tree of "operators", operator tree is displayed on the left, operator properties on the right. Operators have channels for connections between them; the Perlin noise operator's evaluation position and result are connected to Monofractal, which in turn is connected to clouds. There's some usability problem: it's possible to get noise connected directly to clouds, bypassing the Monofractal. I'm unsure how to go about this usability problem.
The most important lacking thing now is curve editor, it is necessary for getting clouds disappear at top and bottom of layer rather than get clipped by layer bounds.

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Some technical blabla

This post is technical and is more of a note for myself rather than for audience
(though that applies to most of my posts)

I resolved that database problem.
How and what happened: During loading, there's some connections binding going on. When loading Monofractal it would first load PerlinNoise, and create ".inputs" folder in monofractal for binding of monofractal's inputs to the outputs of PerlinNoise. Then it would try loading saved .inputs folder, and fail to add it into database because .inputs folder already existed.

Implemented monofractal, photographed some bug

In implementation of monofractal I had some "i instead of j" mistake that did take quite some time to find because it was array index and in result program were writing outside of bounds of array, screwing up the heap (which makes program crash somewhere further along).
Test images i made so far sux so i won't upload them ;-).

Also i've discovered some strange problem in my database thing that works behind the scenes in my framework/user interface. Somehow saved files are not always loaded properly. It is going to take some time to sort out.

In other news, on 17th i found a fairy big, mean looking dead bug laying on the street. To be specific, it was exosceleton of some bloodsucking fly whose name i don't know. I photographed it today:Nice, eh?

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Implemented Perlin Noise.

A test render, and user interface screenshot for that test render.
As you can see user interface is pretty basic. However it has undo and redo and parameter descriptions; also, there's whole "plugin compiler" thing behind the scenes, binding editable parameters to the internals, and binding the internal connections. In this example, the result of perlin noise is bound to v_density parameter of "Clouds" (so that the density of cloud is set by perlin noise), and perlin noise's Evaluation Pos. is bound to cloud's EvaluationPosition channel (so that the perlin noise is evaluated at position where "Clouds" ask it to be evaluated). "Clouds" themself are bound to Volumetrics, the core renderer.

For now, user interface doesn't have working "render" buttons or the like; scene file is saved and then rendered with CLI version. It gonna take lot of time until user interface becomes actually usable by normal users.

Monday, June 18, 2007

Another test image, using same sine wave function. Working while listing to Abba now (Rammstein is kind of too heavy). That was an important first step - it verifies that my procedural editor framework is allright. Still, a lot work to do to make actually usable user interface.

Some more programming of user interface

An image made from scene constructed using said user interface for volumetrics. I'm using sin(ax)*sin(ay)*sin(az) function for cloud density, camera is somewhere inside cloudscape.

Sunday, June 17, 2007

Programming user interface for volumetrics

I'm working on user interface for volumetrics render engine, while listening to Rammstein. There's yesterday's screenshot from overal look of the user interface. Let's hope it wont crash my brain again. I had discovered that my code for user interface and overall framework is much more advanced and sophisticated than what i remember.

Friday, June 15, 2007

Some idea

When i have time i'm gonna dissolve in dirty water some shugar, salt, aspirine, and other water soluble crystals, and put a drop of it on microscope slide, then let it dry, and take a look through microscope... i will try to photo it with my cheap digicam. Should look cool.

Thursday, June 14, 2007

A render

Some render completed. Nothing groundbreaking here, some nice cloudscape and some almost invisible terrain (whoops). I'm actually wanting to make erosion fractal based mountains with some nice clouds. Need to get good ambient lighting on terrain, need to raise terrain up to the cloud height, etc, etc. I think i will have to code some limited global illumination for terrain, gonna think about it some more.

Blogosaur Pseudosapiens

A page from notebook, where i've been doing integration by parts (out of boredom). Firstly, it should be (ln x)^3 dx , not ln x^3 dx .
I didn't have enough persistence to do other one with square root (+3 part scared me off, not sure why), and drew a Blogosaur Pseudosapiens instead.
Then i started some render, and wrote this post of blog.
Mood: happy.

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

teh first post to my blog

Firstly some info about myself and creation of this blog: I had some difficult project related to my volumetrics software, and quite severely broke down. At first it was quite good - i feelt unification with all living things on the planet. Undestood Everything At Once. Travelled from one world to other in comfort of my house. Also on less bright side, died thousands painful deaths, in dream. I didn't take any drugs or "energy drinks", mind you. Not even caffeine. Now i'm mostly recovered and working again.

There's some observation of factors which might have caused this:
1: listening to music while coding, coding in sort of trance. 2: sleeping less did make it easier for me to concentrate on work, so i sleept around 6 hours. 3: working alone, me and my computer and my internet connection. 4: i practiced turns for dancing, and possibly got something in my head damaged, i recall i got headaches from it. 5: sudden termination of project. While i were working, it was allright coz i were too busy to get crazy :-) .

Speaking of headaches, i recall i got headaches in childhood for first time when i was 8..10 years old and some guy did demonstrate some self defence trick on me, smashing my head hard into ground. I didn't pass out but had so bad headache afterwards that it made me wish to die. And next day he did it again (we were supposed to play football)). Hmmm. I had idea to do CT scan of my head, but psychiatr talked me out of this idea.

Current passtime: studying math over again. Writing to blog.