Theo Verelst Local Diary Page 29

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Sat Dec 24 18:01     2005

After the last page, which was finished a lot later (way in december) then when it was started, I had a server machine problem: I think a pentium 1.8 blew up!

Everything runs fine though, see below.

The below picture was printed at at 30x50 cm, which looks cool

This is a 2 (5 megapixel) photo panorama, with some automated program (this not ful res, of course):

The Hague, of course I used GIMP for some processing. With the 10 megapixel resolution, it would seem great to have HD video of that quality! That'd be marvelous.

I did some low res photocam mpeg video of art at scheveningen (the Hague, my city of birth, where the sign of the beast is not worshipped...) from a chinese artist:



Practical Radiosity

I've played with recent computer processor power for the purpose I have professional experience with: computer graphics (see previous diary page for grades, too...)

Preview of the sponza scene from the rendering competition web site, where I got the 3D scene files, which are previewed here:

These views can be transformed in real time, even on a notebook which is fun.

Now I wanted to do some heavy computations to compute more accurate and natural lighting in this scene, and remembered long ago already that  Povray does serious ray tracing, so I made these renderings, some post-processed by GIMP:

This is a demo file from povray rendered:

From the scientific light distribution corner, I've been looking at Radiance which I knew about long ago (Like 90) and whose maker I've met when he visited Delft University (at the time the graphics section at informatics dept.), this is a famous scene from that time which is given with the distribution which I rendered:

Remember that these images are all NOT PICTURES! They are scenes which consist of computer file three dimensional description of the objects in text form, with coordinates and material properties (colour, shinyness), which are read  by a computer program which simulates the way light illuminates the objects  and what rays of light enter the  virtual camera. I'll do some more work on this I guess.

Art, too is very possible with compute graphics of course, I've in the past with a teacher at art academy Rotterdam, and a fellow course follower there (who was architect) made some complicated radiosity based computer art myself at Delft University, in fact at the HP 720 workstation I used in weektime for my work there. At the time ('92 or so) those machines were an order of magnitude faster then the PC's which were very non-compatitive still, in that time, a PA risc, 128 MegaByte (!) of memory, I think IIRC 64 bit bus, too, and of course unix, and I had a big true colour screen and card at it. Currently consumer PC's are quite capable and fast too, but at the time it was fun to work on such a capable machine, but as I've written I was kicked aside in the end, and I don't have access currently to the files I think, unless maybe I'd talk to some probably pretty bad persons, which I don't want, and which is why I didn't persue a PhD in the end...

Gilles Tran,

The sound of laughter or silence and dark sarcasm?

I think it's time to think about all the same subjects I've written about some more, but of course I'm not free (with a few tons of euros at the bahama and a gun to defend my backyard or so) to do just what I please.

I've the impression I was lucky to be confronted with (often american) art, for me music and tv mainly in the relatively wonderfull 70s before the cynical 10CC negros would actually find it normal to live the ways dreadlock holyday and most everybody appearently think its great.

I think it won't work to just bash everything that exists though in certain areas like 'certain' 'music' that is very tempting, and probably possible and justified...

The things I grew up with like Star Track (orginal with captain Kirk), the Six Million Dollar man, Appolo 11, Easy Rider, Donna Summer, even the Rolling Stones and a *lot* of excellent enough music should not be replaced by the teletubbies, sessame street without a blink, and loads of braindead crap that can so easily be seen.

Movies clearly are in minor and minimalism already for at least a decade, which is representative of important issues, but that won't make the better people feel ok in the longer run. Or the important lines in life bearable or lifted up.

There is no risk

The new server  machine

The 'old' server machine I handle mostly (though I won't call it mine) I 'gave' a new motherboard (the central printed circuit electronic board inside a computer), worth only about 100 euro, but up to date, and Asus. And a new 400 Watt big fan supply replacement, fairly quiet, a Nvidia 6200 graphics card (only 50 euro) , the old disc (which was the 3rd replacement) and rom drives, floppy, enclosure etc.

One 512MB cheap memory bank, and a not overly expensive AMD 64 bit Athlon processor with integrated head sink and cooler fan. It stays very cool, also when going from 1 to to GigaHerz clock frequency (which makes the internal clock frequency up to 3.3GHz, fairly fast): about 30 degrees Celcius. Unfortunately the main board has a little fan at high speed, too, which stays less cool, but still: no more then 40 degrees.

The updated system:

There are also video, wireless and firewire cards from the old setup in the 'new' machine. The harddisk isn't a serial ata one, though the board coudl handle, and came with 4 connecors and cables! Some RAID that could be.

Ethernet comes at 1 GB/s, but I don't have access to another machine with such speed, USB 2 works fine, audio too (up to 6 channels) though fairly low AC97 quality, quiet though.

I put Redhat fedora on the system, while maintaining the old file systems (after some reordering/resizing of the disc partitions) as I said core 4 64 bit version, which is like fast... I can access the old NTFS partition from windows XP which was on the machine, but only as read-only, and I have no new windows, the old machine-bound XP doesn't start up at all, and can't be re-installed in the new machine, which is a waste, but then again, a server is much better of with linux!

And, it's behind a ethernet modem which perfectly puts through only ping, web and secure web data, so the total security is almost complete: nothing will ever happen much, I guess, not even when loggin on as root user.

The usb disc also fits on nicely, runs fast (20 Megabytes/ sec throughput) and fedora has no problem recogizing it and a camera: no problem.

The setup includes a webcam (logitec: yeah, compilation and mod-ing driver is necessary...), a pinnacle PCTV deluxe box with usb2 connection connected with a cable antenna and a sat receiver connected with astra in space, the ethernet connection routes also to one or two other machines, which makes tv viewing at quite high quality possible over the local net for instance on a notebook, I use dune for that purpose, which required a some work to get running, but with a tcl networking script and an added usb-2 hub (though there are already 6 usb connections, camera, webcam, possibly handycam, usb-midi, usd ad/da converter) to correct a initialisation problem with the pinnable box and duneinit.

As it is the setup runs well.

Additionally, there's a parallel port jteg fpga programmer cable and a serial port connection to one or two fpga/cpld boards, which I can access over a tcl serial port script and program using x2csprog, which is a great program to get Xilinx .bit files effortless, smooth and fast to the fpga or the platform flash memory over the serial cable.


The fun part is, that I can use that setup (using remote X windows or ssh login) from an other (also physically remote) machine to program the xilinx (with a file made on an XP machine with Webpack ISE), communicate with it over a serial link, and view the displays and leds live with the webcam! It's almost like a fashion now which I did years ago with web controlled parallel port electonics and display: there are now web-measument setups and demonstrations at techonline "university" from Analog, philips, Xilinx, and such which allow measurement and device programming to be done from a web browser, also with webcam direct visual feedback.


Of course the 10 or 20 gig of Fedora Linux disc space, plus a lot more from old FAT partitions for video and such have been used for a lot of software, fedora has a lot already there.

The processor is fast, even though probably memory bandwidth and such aren't the highest available: 4 mplayers with 6 megabit/sec video (quite good quality, really) can run simultaneously on one (big) screen, and then there's still processor time left, and absolutely uninterupting and unwaivering video. Quite a lot more then the previous pentium4 1.8 . I think FFmpeg, which of course I had to compile on it, does almost (?) real time high Q mp4 encoding of full size video.

As said, I can on a networked machine transfer the pinnacle (realtime tv-dvd quality mpeg-2 encoder) video stream from the server to a remote video player, have the webserver running easily, some other software, use a samba share on the server to watch remote video at full quality, play a dvd on the server and have some web video on, and some more normal programs, then the system is still completely unimpressed and has lots of power left to do other things in the meanwhile as well, like compiling or graphics programs, on top of remote x windows and X management locally and remote (like gnome or kde or windowmaker, which I must still get in touch with either smoothly...).

Cool. (only 30 degrees C, mostly).

I only got it chockin' by running out of a gig of virtual memory while doing heavy duty radiosity with POVray, but I didn't say it crashed or failed...

The AMD Athlon 64 at 3.3 GHz

A fast and well running, cool, processor.

Runs fine and reliable (servers and video server/recorder, graphics applications and normal editing and remote x window use run for weeks without reboot). Compatibility issues I've not found.

Apache web server statistics

I've installed the apache web server from Red Hat Fedora Core 4 64 bit version Linux, which I have pointed at my exisiting (!) document / picture file tree for the web server (I used tclhttpd before), so that it now serves my web pages from .

Monthly Statistics for November 2005 (from 20th - 30th)
Total Hits     4870
Total Files     3389
Total Pages     343
Total Visits     114
Total KBytes     324448 (324 MegaBytes)
Total Unique Sites     437
Total Unique URLs     393
Total Unique Referrers     51
Total Unique User Agents     168
                       Avg     Max
Hits per Hour     18     781
Hits per Day     442     1010
Files per Day     308     644
Pages per Day     31     87
Visits per Day     10     21
KBytes per Day     29495     146203   (145 MegaBytes)

Monthly Statistics for December 2005
Total Hits     7720
Total Files     6359
Total Pages     1052
Total Visits     302               (?)
Total KBytes     1577684    (1.6 GigaByte)
Total Unique Sites     1063
Total Unique URLs     437
Total Unique Referrers     84
Total Unique User Agents     243
                        Avg     Max
Hits per Hour      13     250
Hits per Day      321     888
Files per Day     264     663
Pages per Day     43     91
Visits per Day      12     22
KBytes per Day     65737     773507 (0.7 GigaByte)

Visitors from at least 60 countries, at least a few hundred competely different ones per month, and quite some US commercial ones, GREAT! Though some probably are from the yahoo web crawlers.

Oven combustion

I mistakingly set an oven to microwave when heating up little wurstbreads, a heavy 1000Watt one, for 8 minutes, after it had already preheated as oven... Oops, little explosion, and flames in the machine.... It stank for half a day.

Audio Engineers meeting at Amsterdam Movie Academy

A lecture about the chinese state television new buildings' sound studios design, which is like mega big.

In the Academy's movie theater:

Are those car speakers? : )

I saw this model, about the size which just fits on a normal table in lobby:

With the right lighting, it might look like the big real thing, which is funny.

I've entered a paper