Monday 31 December 2012

Let's make 2013 a good year!

In some parts of the world, some people are already getting hammered and doing stupid things they'll regret in a couple of hours, while I'm trying to work out a good way to composite my unique terrain textures. And thinking I should probably do something else, other than waiting for my parents to start with dinner so I can have a look and learn for once how they do those delicious oven baked lobsters. Biological diversity.

Anyway, it's been a weird year in many ways, mainly it's been pretty bloody horrible to me. Some things were bound to happen at some point in my life anyway, good to know how badly they can cut you.

Still, besides all the depression and painful self-revelations, I had a lot of good experiences. For example, I have my licentiate degree (halfway Ph.D. here in Sweden), I finally visited my good friend Jonathan in the US and I had a beautiful trip to Japan to meet my relatives and realize I MUST learn the language and, if I can, actually move there. I've also learnt that I have a decent initial impression on people, but I'm too scared of letting people in. I feel sorry for a few people because of that, and I feel really sorry for one person in particular...

The world is a big place and I'm not sure where to go. And what to do there. That's the inevitable and wonderful thing with life I guess, one must accept that, use common sense and try to be happy. Can be bloody difficult, not a good idea for the resolutions.

Never forget, but never dwell, and aim your eyes at the horizon and smile with the sun in your face,
Happy 2013 everybody!

Gosh, this post = mush x 1000, huh? :p

Tuesday 18 December 2012

Buncha' trips and some self-revelations

Been traveling about and been "unavailable" for 6 weekends in a row, it's getting ridiculous. I hope next year will be a bit calmer, but I'll be dying from coursework and writing my Ph.D. thesis instead.

The trip to Örebro was real nice, my friend and his wife there are really good people and I enjoyed the stay. I forced them up the "mushroom" water tower, a well-known landmark of Örebro.

I started my travel to Japan early morning on the 1st of December, and after various flight and bus trips, on the afternoon the next day I ended up in Matsue for EMIS 2012, the largest conference I've been to yet. I'm glad I didn't have to hold a presentation there, the lecture hall in Kunibiki-messe is enormous. The poster sessions were nice, I learnt about really exotic ways of polarizing the nuclear spin of things, but they were all at low energies. Lots of technical and overview talks were a nice change from the usual 50/50 theory/experiment conferences I normally attend.
In the evenings, my supervisors and I picked restaurants not on the distributed map of restaurants (we were in Japan, the people there are great and you should avoid the "easy" places), including a shabu-shabu+sukiyaki place and a super-small amazing sushi-place where the chef prepared the pieces right in front of us. There was also a trip to a lighthouse in Izumo and a big shrine, and an evening in the beautiful Vogel park with an amazing buffet and a Kabuki-show. After the conference, I took the train down south, with a panicked 8-min change from a regional train to Shinkanzen in Okoyama, to Hakata station in Fukuoka, where my uncle picked me up and we went to Iizuka where most of my Japanese relatives live. I haven't seen my Japanese relatives for 5 years and their English (and my Japanese) hadn't improved one bit. Immense communication troubles was worth seeing them again though, and since the first evening after my return, I've spent 1+ h every day studying Japanese. I have to learn to speak, listen, read and write, no matter what and if I can find work, I will move there. The food and the people feel so much more like home to me than anything else.

Writing this from the CERN hostel in Geneva, had my talk today on the tilted foils experiment from July. Had to make a 20 min talk fit into a 5 min slot, managed to cut it down to 15 min and make the listeners happy about a slightly saved coffee break.

Working on removing the texture flickering on the FoF terrain, texture-magnification case solved, need to implement FBOs nicely to solve the on-GPU texture-compositing case.

Digging the heavy pure nickel Pyramid strings I put on my guitar, but I'd love to try even thicker strings so that I can let it rip even harder.

And oh, apparently I've had strong social anxiety and a mild form of AS, of which the latter will be dropped and included in the whole range of autism. I've had these since I was a kid (~4-6 years old) which explains a whole lot of things. I'm not gonna change who I am though, I've lived with these conditions all my life and this is the person my family and friends know and appreciate, and I don't feel a need to become "one of the pack" anyway. I just hope it won't be a growing problem.

Thursday 22 November 2012

Getting better

I had one bad weekend a few weeks ago, and decided to see a therapist. There's a company which allows three free visits, and it seems that was enough, I feel a lot better these days. I don't spend nowhere near as much brain activity on useless junk and I can actually find long sessions to work and play around without being interrupted by darkness. Feel almost great! Fixed a bunch of terrain bugs and I'm now trying to reduce the flickering and to further develop the texture synthesis. Went to GSI for a bit, helped out where I could. Got new data for LAND, woho! Other than that... Things are just rolling on and I don't worry about things so much. Need to finish my poster for EMIS 2012 real soon though. At friend's place, gonna hold four presentations tomorrow, for a bunch of high school physics nerds. I'll show them what a real nerd is. And then we'll have a tour through Örebro I guess, first time for me! Short post, at least that means my mind is on more important, selfless things.

Sunday 14 October 2012

Settling in, for a while

Moved into my new apartment, my parents and my older brother helped me move in and get things together. It's an ok apartment (two rooms, 54m2, and a proper kitchen) in a not so wonderful neighbourhood, but I shouldn't complain too much. At least I can cook and bake without having to worry about puncturing the kitchen walls with my skinny elbows, like in the kitchenette in my apartment in Ferney. However, if I get an opportunity to move to another apartment, I most probably will...

Working at Chalmers these days and seeing some friends. Starting to feel better, but my head is forever damaged. Work is going really slow, but I'm trying...

Just tried to record some guitar fiddling-about, but it seems I need to get a much, much better mic to be able to record anything remotely reasonable. The acoustic guitar sounded like a shoebox strung with cooking string, I have no idea what the electric would sound like with my crappy amp through my current mics. I already have an M-Audio USB interface somewhere...

I finally made a somewhat working LUA-plugin for VIM to toggle GDB breakpoints. Rather than having to deal with integrating GDB, I write the breakpoints to a file and give them to the debugger from a terminal. I use TMUX a lot and I find it pretty easy to navigate my source code anyways.

Other than that... Went to a theatre yesterday with some acquaintances. I now know that theatre is not my thing. It was a fun act at times, but the whole theatre-thing is too dull for me, there's too much talking with an unnatural rhythm and it takes way too long to evoke my thought processes.

Time to cook tomorrow's lunch and have supper!

EDIT(2012-10-26): Fun tidbit, I now finally have two sourdough starters, one on wheat and one on rye. I've only baked bread on the wheat starter so far, which tasted much more different (in a good way) than I thought it would, but a rye-based bread is coming up for this weekend I believe. Tip for the newbie: using too much flour for a normal dough is a common error (work the dough a bit longer and harder instead), but it's the other way around with sourdough bread, the dough gets really sticky after rising for a night. So no more fresh yeast that I always have to throw away! And dry yeast is just boring, just like using a cartridge or electrical razor :p Pics!

From First sourdough bread!

Thursday 13 September 2012

Back home

Finally back home in Sweden, been here almost two weeks now.
Friends have been forcing me out to run recently. I remember 5 km was a real pain back in high school, so I was a bit worried. Smoked 10800 m in under an hour last Saturday without stopping, kinda proud over myself :) I'm getting better with age, just like cheese... Ran again two days, only 5.2 km and at a friendly pace for 3-4 km, but then took off but only got in at a measly ~28.40. Today I did 7.2 km by myself in 16+17 min which, if I may say so myself, is pretty impressive for a sludge like me :D

Been going nuts on the guitar, it's feeling my rage fueled by my summer pains. Trying to hammer the thing like SRV did back in the day.

Trying out unique textures in a terrain engine, pretty good stuff. I see now why Rage was so darn quick, the terrain shader/s is/are really simple. The texture composition required a worker thread, so now we have that to do detached heavy processing. Now to figure out how to do the transitions, possibly by keeping parent textures. This code is gonna be massively complicated. Also added some extra fractal detail, since we have ~20 cm/vertex for the finest patches.

I'm sure I'm missing something, but there's always the edit button...

EDIT (09-14): Found some pics on my camera, thought I'd upload for people just browsing around looking for anything to fill their heads with. Origami figures I left at CERN, a seafood evening with my parents in Ferney (seafood in Ferney? wat) and all my stuff packed in my Ferney apt, the day before we left:

From Scrapbook Photos

Going alone to the US tomorrow!

Two more nutty things to add:
Just learnt, from John Carmack's Twitter of all places, that Neil Armstrong is dead. From that same Twitter feed, I learnt about how Dennis Ritchie had died. I saw _nothing_ of Neil Armstrong when I browsed through I wanna utter the most powerful and devastating sigh in the history of mankind, but what's the point... :p

Also, read an old post of mine, mentioning how I would stay away from shredding. Didn't work for long to be honest. But I am trying a whole lot of other things still, but there's always a little shredding in every song I do. Wouldn't be me playing otherwise.

EDIT (09-16): In Nortville, just outside Detroit, in my friend's family house which is impressive to say the least. Had a typical american breakfast (toast, peanut butter and jelly...), now back on my laptop to put slackware64-current on a USB stick. Wireless thingie too new for 13.37...

I've figured it's not about "forgetting", like some people have tried to convince me of. You cannot forget. I don't want to forget. The memories are wonderful, they are not the problem. You have to give up something that can keep you going through hell and succeed, or that can make you go through hell and then leave you there: hope. Whenever I give up, I feel 'fine' (lonely as always ofc, but at least I can work). When for the weirdest reasons hope does return briefly, my chest cavity springs open like on a cuckoo clock. Time won't make me forget, time will make all hope wither away, I hope. Maybe that'll be a good lesson for me, in many ways.

Sunday 12 August 2012

Delayed post

This summer has been really weird, and I had to put off my monthly blogging. I'll probably start it up again.

Simply put, I have been in some emotional distress for some months that has occupied a _large_ part of my brain and everything I used to do had to be put on hold. It's been pretty horrible in fact, but that's what it's like to finally grow up I guess. I remained a closed up kid for 26 years, but something had to give eventually.

The good things that came out of this summer are that we finally acquired some asymmetry from the experiment, I understand that I require company and find it a bit easier to talk to new people, and I have gained some valuable, but painful, experiences about real life.

Oh right, I now have implemented calculation of and rendering with preprocessed light probes. Looks pretty good, need to do them in quasi real time next.

My mind will be a wreck for a long time, but it'll get easier to handle from now on. Time heals. Hard to see right now though...

EDIT: Turns out I watched quite a lot of the olympics, although I saw mostly the French parts. France did well, BUT, if you calculate the number of medals / person in a country (both uniform weighting and 3-2-1 for gold-silver-bronze) for France and Sweden... Viva la Suède :D I don't really care much, I think patriotism and nationalism are more evil than good, medals are the result of hard working sportsmen all over the world. Can't lie though, that piece of nerd-trivia does warm my heart a little bit.

EDIT2: Sat on my ass last night until it hurt (i.e. 3.00) and programmed like it was 1969. Eh, no, like it was April, when I did most of the progress on FoF. I was in bliss. I hope my evenings in the near future will be like this. Mornings will be hard for a while still...

EDIT3: For the last few weeks, and especially the last two ones, I have learnt sooo much about myself and my impact on certain people from a new good friend of mine. I noticed a few things a good while ago, but I never connected the dots or let my imagination run as wild as real life apparently did. There's been a wake of things happening behind me... My mind has been boggled, and it will remain boggled for the rest of my life.

EDIT4: Had my last day at CERN today, ran around and collected signatures for three years worth of work. It hasn't really sunk in that I'm leaving a life I've had for three years. Weird. Back to Sweden on Sunday...

EDIT5: Packed my bike. My dad and I walked in to Ferney and bought some "expensive" wines and cheeses in Ferney yesterday and my parents and I had a French evening feast. Gonna miss these things in Sweden. *sigh* On the other hand, I'll have customer services that work at least a little bit better than they do down here :p

Thursday 24 May 2012

Blogging fail...

I just couldn't keep it up, could I? Posting once a month. At least I don't spout out inane and completely useless posts every other day for nobody to read.

Been pretty busy in many ways, one thing that made things a bit difficult was... bed bugs. I had never heard about the suckers before, but after a trip to Denmark, I noticed I got a large number of small red dots all over my arms and legs. At first I thought they were a bad case of "perspiration rash" that I get when it's hot outside, but then the rash got a lot worse and a friend told me they could be bed bug bites. This morning, the desinsectisation man visited for the second and last time and sprayed and gas bombed the place, so I can't return until late in the evening... Seems like the bugs died the first time he came to visit. Thanks to the summer student (to be, in June) who called the company to set up the rendez-vous, that was a bit embarrassing.

Been programming pretty ferociously lately, but it's difficult when it's only a hobby. Been playing around more with atmospheric scattering to support multiple scattering and proper integration with the terrain. The terrain is now CDLODed with height map LOD on the GPU as well, so there's very little popping with very little memory use. Need to improve integration and then do some clever texturing tricks on the terrain.

Took my Spicy out two weekends ago, and I reached Col de Crozet! The 1700+ summit a little bit further on was too much for my first trial up the mountains though, maybe I'll give it a shot the coming weekend. Need more water this time. And then the downhill bit... Oh my that was wonderful. Scary at times, I almost swerved off the road at one point, but that's what it's all about.

Grim Dawn hit it on with Kickstarter, and did very well. In fact, they smashed all the extra money "milestones". I upped my Epic purchase to a full co-op bundle, not sure yet to whom I shall give that extra copy. Alpha+beta+full expansions for me and a good friend!

I heard something about Diablo III. Trying to ignore it.

I need to learn to "play" guitar, instead of always "reaching". Not sure how to go about doing that :/

That's about it.

Wednesday 7 March 2012

Back to Sweden for a bit

Lic thesis printed and standing in a box to my right, eager to distribute young wisdom among fellow subatomic scientists. I've managed to pry it onto a couple of people in the group at my home university already.

I had my first bike trip on my Lapierre a few weeks ago, thinking that the roads up the Juras looked, from ground level, pretty clean and easy to ride on. Oh boy was I wrong, I had to stop after 300m of climbing and having fallen 10 times into the deep snow due to the SPD gear. I fell in full view on the pavement at a roundabout just before reaching the mountains too, but I did pretty well otherwise and until the rime crusted snow blanket started laughing at me. And the first 50m of climbing were terrible, I thought my lungs were about to fly out of my mouth and never return. Took a short pause and then the rest was rather enjoyable, until the snow of course. I shall give it another go whenever the snow has receded, I must reach the 1700+m summit!

Small, small updates on the real time radiosity code, and some work on actual game projects. That's all I have time and energy for these days. I learnt about Dare yesterday from a fellow UK game development daydreamer junkie. Looks like a ton of fun, staying up all night cranking game content in all its forms. Seems to me that competition is all about making broad appeal games and generally bland trash for the dumb masses though. Shiny, fun, instant gratification. *sigh* I'd like to express myself in the words of Bill Hicks: "Play from your F*CKING HEART!" Or Henry Rollins: Actually that rant is too long to be put here. Look it up on yt. George Carlin too while you're at it.

Battlefield 3 is the balls. Fortunately I got it as a Christmas present from a friend who got it for free somehow. I enjoy Titan Quest Immortal Throne with Soulvizier a lot more. Good things take time, that's my problem. I forced myself to play some BF3 with my friends anyway since they seem to like it a bunch.

Guitar, I miss you :p

EDIT: Can't pass by the opportunity to touch upon the recent Kickstarter mania:
Double Fine Adventure - Tim Schafer and Ron Gilbert in the same company with this going on o_O
Crowdsourced hardcore tactical shooter - A proper shooter O_o
Sad that I just happened to pass by the second on gdnet before it vanished to the second page news...

Thursday 2 February 2012

Trudging along with glimpses of light

Full on lic thesis writing going on, and just last week, I found an article with the exact theory we have been looking for for more than two years! Need to decipher that with the help of Sakurai and put in as much as I can figure out in my writing. Don't much like the idea of presenting a zero-result experiment based on no theory at all...

Down here at work, just after the Christmas break, I heard about people taking vacations in Chamonix which is a pretty place in the Alps for people who go skiing and those who tag along for booze and food. I've never been a fan of downhill skiing/snowboarding (take a lift up, ride the snow, take another lift up, ride the same snow... unless you're crazy, go off-pist and die), but I've always wanted to see snow covered summits in young mountain ranges close-up at some point in my life. And then I found out that there's been some work done on off-road bike trails of varying difficulty around Chamonix, and in a minute, a childhood desire to bomb forests and dusty rocky mountains exploded inside my head. I loved biking on off-road trails as a kid, but none of my friends ever did and I've always been a cheapskate (mtb is an expensive hobby), so I totally forgot about this outdoor activity. I inhaled everything I could find about mountain biking for a week and was going slightly insane about it all. Worse gear-mania among mtbs than even computers and headphones and there are no cheap ways to go about it. After work, I've been stopping at a big parking lot on my way home to practice the track stand on my hybrid so I'd feel good about knowing something for my first nice mtb.

Found a 37% discount on a Lapierre Spicy 516 2011 here in France and it would be simply criminal not to grab that opportunity. I'd have to pay more than 50% more for that bike in Sweden (or pretty much anywhere else in Europe in fact), so I went for it. Very pretty bike with good components and a masterful frame supposedly. Been going to a few local bike shops to buy shoes, pedals and a shock pump and I'm in principle ready to go for it. I touch it every day, trying the SPD mechanism which is totally new to me, waiting for the day I'll take it out for a spin... There is a forest path along the ridge of the Jura mountains, which includes a stinkin' 1km climb straight up from where I live!

My slight headphone interest has helped a few people out who have been looking for good headphones, I hope they'll be happy with their (potential) purchases.

Found out about Elimination just a few days ago, a TI83/4 game based on Gemini. Glad somebody decided to bite the bullet and bring a game worth something to that useless gaming platform.

I wanna write more code, but there's so little time in the world :/ Realtime radiosity... want...

Tuesday 10 January 2012

Symmetry destroyed

2011 is over, 11-11-11 11:11:11 never again in my lifetime. Gonna have to wait for 22-22-22 22:22:22.

I never do New Year's resolutions, too much pressure. I accept failure from the beginning and keep doing what I always do.

Olympic Games in London, moderately interesting. I will try to catch the opening ceremony and the results afterwards.

Plugged my FGN strat into my Zoom yesterday and completely ripped the guitar to shreds. I wish I could play like that when people are nearby.

I wish Bethesda would narrow down their Elder Scrolls titles and go deeper. Skyrim is impressive, but the Radiant Story thing is pretty bogus for any clever gaming. I'm in principle running around, slashing things and ticking boxes. I am STILL haunted (in a good way) by my viewing experience of The Wire, Skyrim will not reside in that special place too. The games that still haunt me (again, in a good way) are Doom, Descent (mostly for nostalgic reasons I bet) and some clicky puzzly ones.

Got an opportunity to try Rage. Texture streaming was pretty bad, but some things looked incredible. I will never understand why so many vocal gamers prefer bling-bling graphics to crisp gritty things without running pixels that actually look realistic, whereas so many vocal "normal" people complain about all sorts of implants, surgery and photoshopping. Gamers are immature. Oh wait, nothing new there. Overall gameplay was pretty bad, but no developer makes shooting sequences like id does. No contest. Good action requires zero FPS dips during the whole combat (ALL RPGs need to learn and more than half of all shooters, srsly), blood that does not explode (unless you put a shotgun to a head at close range and blood covers all of your monitor, !YEAH!) and hyper aggressive enemies in body paint that want you dead. The way enemies staggered around after being shot or killed was pretty amazing, all the talk about Ant in BF3 was pretty silly in comparison. Auto-heal is a constant gameplay bummer these days.

Rage was almost exactly what I thought it would be actually, except the texture streaming was pretty bad and the action was darn good.

Doom 4 needs to be a masterpiece. Fix the streaming issues, go for the 3x detail level increase, don't grab at any bells and whistles, crank the insanity and speed beyond reasonable and show everybody how we slayed and slaughtered demons from Hell back in '93-'94.

Or I will >8D