DirectX 10 Software Rasterization Coming to W7

Microsoft has released details of the Windows Advanced Rasterization Platform (WARP), an option to be introduced in the DirectX implementation on Windows 7 that allows full DirectX 10 rendering using software-only rasterization. In other words it lets all rendering be done by the CPU, which although much, much slower than a dedicated graphics card, means any system will be able to run basic DX10 effects under Windows 7.

My thoughts: huh? CPU controlling DirectX…. Why do I not see the point in this? Maybe because I am tired of paying $400 for video cards to do graphics for me…

WARP10 has six key priorities:

  • Completing the Platform
  • Replaces the Need for Custom Software Rasterizers
  • Enabling Maximum Performance from Hardware
  • Enabling Rendering When Direct3D 10 Hardware Is Not Available
  • Leveraging Existing Resources for Software Rendering
  • Enabling Scenarios that don’t require Graphics Hardware

Tweak Guides devolves

Where as I would love to post that the Twek Guides community has evolved with new features, I must actually announce the opposite: Koroush Ghazi has announced that he will disable the forums once and for all tonight. He has also announced that he will denounce from future game guides, but will contenue to update the Tweaking Companion, and the existing guides as needed.

Space Junk

For some reason, I find it humorous that there are approximately currently 13,000 pieces of space junk floating around the earth…. The latest from the Associated Press:

It’s not easy holding on to a small bag some 200 miles above Earth.

Astronaut Heidemarie Stefanyshyn-Piper proved that Tuesday when she accidentally
let go of her tool bag after a grease gun inside it exploded outside the international space station. The tote bag, containing two grease guns, a putty knife and cloth mitts, was one of the largest items ever to be lost by a spacewalker.

But Stefanyshyn-Piper isn’t the first person to drop something in space. Bulky gloves and weightlessness have led to a history of some clumsy moments at NASA. Here are some recent examples of astronauts accidentally adding to the thousands of pieces of junk already in space:

  • During a September 2006 spacewalk, astronaut Joe Tanner, working outside the space station with Stefanyshyn-Piper, accidentally released a bolt, spring and washer.
  • During a July 2006 spacewalk, astronauts Piers Sellers and Michael Fossum lost a 14-inch spatula while testing a method to repair the space shuttle.
  • During a March 2001 spacewalk to mount important equipment to the international space station, a foot attachment used to anchor spacewalkers to the end of the space shuttle Discovery’s robotic arm managed to float free from astronaut Jim Voss and was lost in space. Later in the mission, Discovery’s thrusters had to be fired to move the spacecraft to a higher orbit to dodge the menacing piece of space junk.

Economical Apocalypse

We are entering a scary era,on a wheeled mobile that keeps gaining speed without enough brake power to stop it.

The United States is trying to claw it’s way back to a stable stance, but is slowly falling apart more and more as time goes. Every week we are presented with a new crises, all of which have been brewing devlopments for some time. The truth is that the US is suffering from losses generated in the last year, which reminds me that a year from now will reflect what we are losing at the moment more clearly than our present time.

How much longer could the country possibly last in this shape?

Wall Street is a system that has no fault protection. But investors are too scared of the shape to worry about blame, especially on a day like today (the worst low since 2003). They fear that their bank accounts will be worthless when they leave the stock exchange, even though they may have 10 million dollars in cash under their bed.

“The Big Three” (Ford, GM) are cautiously panicking now, as they claim that they are on the verge of major collapse. Where as the big three used to dominate the nations financial system, investors could care less on what these automobile makers have to offer and how much strength their survival provides. The investors do not care that

  • U.S. auto companies employ nearly a quarter-million workers
  • more
    than 730,000 other people have jobs producing the materials and parts
    that go into cars
  • about 1 million on top of that work in dealerships
  • If just one of the auto giants were to go under, some
    estimates put U.S. job losses next year as high as 2.5 million.
  • and most American’s are not aware of these facts, nor that the automobile market does affect their lives.

Next week,  I am sure that the senate will be discussing a new bailout plan for a new disaster…. but how long will any of these bailout plans work before all financial resource is diminished or worthless?

*Sigh*  This brings me to technology. The world financial crises does affect the technology markets and developments. Intel has already reported major losses. Dell has reported quarter after quarter of losses. Game developers are closing offices to cut costs due to financial loss. EVERYTHING is falling apart, not just in the United States, but the world.

The reasons I write this is:

  • I am not sure that I will be able to afford internet next month.
  • I am not sure if my readers will be able to afford internet next month.
  • There is great technology to write about, but who can afford it?
  • There is great technology in development, but will the manufacturers be able to afford to put them in to the market in the coming months?

Left 4 Dead

Left4Dead is Valve’s first attempt at a horror genre, and I must say: I am far more impressed than I ever believed I may may have been.

Imagine the weaponry of Counter-Strike, the graphics of an improved and more gothic Half-Life 2, and the feel of a 21st century horror film. That sums up Left4Dead.

L4D blazes the horror genre, not by tactical survival play, but by first person run and gun tactics. While L4D is a run and gun breed, it also brings a multi segmented campaign worthy of single player mayham.

OS X 10.6 Possibly Due for Q1 2009

Apple’s Director of Engineering of Unix Technologies Jordan Hubbard spoke at LISA ’08
last week. LISA (or Large Installation System Administration
Conference) is a technical conference targeted at engineers and system
administrators. This year’s conference invited
Apple’s Jordan Hubbard to speak about the evolution of Mac OS X from
large servers to embedded platforms. While technical readers may find
the content of Hubbard’s presentation slides (PDF)
quite interesting, the most surprising revelation is a more specific
target date for Apple’s Mac OS X 10.6 (Snow Leopard): 1st Quarter 2009.

When Apple first previewed
Snow Leopard at the Worldwide Developers Conference 2008, they simply
stated that Snow Leopard would ship “in about a year” from the
announcement. A Q1 release would deliver it earlier than most had
expected and makes it conceivable that we could see a demo or
announcement at Macworld San Francisco 2009.

Apple has said that they would be focusing on both quality and
performance in Snow Leopard. In particular, Apple has made it clear
that there will be efforts to improve support for multi-core processors
and GPU processing. These improvements will help developers more
efficiently use these capabilities that already ship in Macs.

Obama Must Abondon His Blackberry

Now this is interesting. From the New York Times.

For years, like legions of other professionals, Mr. Obama has been all but addicted to his BlackBerry. The device has rarely been far from his side — on most days, it was fastened to his belt — to provide a singular conduit to the outside world as the bubble around him grew tighter and tighter throughout his campaign.

But before he arrives at the White House, he will probably be forced to sign off. In addition to concerns about e-mail security, he faces the Presidential Records Act, which puts his correspondence in the official record and ultimately up for public review, and the threat of subpoenas.

Mr. Obama, however, seems intent on pulling the office at least partly into the 21st century on that score; aides said he hopes to have a laptop computer on his desk in the Oval Office, making him the first American president to do so. Mr. Obama is the second president to grapple with the idea of this self-imposed isolation. Three days before his first inauguration, George W. Bush sent a message to 42 friends and relatives that explained his predicament.

“They could come up with some bulletproof way of protecting his e-mail and digital correspondence, but anything can be hacked,” said Ms. Owen, who has studied how presidents communicate in the Internet era. “The nature of the president’s job is that others can use e-mail for him.”

Should Mr. Obama want to break ground and become the first president to fire off e-mail messages from the West Wing and wherever he travels, he could turn to Al Gore as a model. In the later years of his vice presidency, Democrats said, Mr. Gore used a government e-mail address and a campaign address in his
race against Mr. Bush.

On Saturday, as Mr. Obama broadcast the weekly Democratic radio address, it came with a twist. For the first time, it was also videotaped and will be archived on YouTube.