The Blog of Anders Nissen

onsdag, december 22, 2004

The Christmas Holidays Are Here!

Yay, it finally here - the Christmas holiday season!

I'm not going back to work until the 5th of January 2005, so it's a real nice long time off (a whole year, in fact :P). Lots of time to relax and catch up on nerdy stuff.

Merry Christmas to everyone!
Ho ho ho ho!

fredag, december 17, 2004

Virtual Fluids

I think that having realistically behaving and looking water is going to be a red hot topic in game programming in the near future. It's already looking really promising.

Takashi Amada is researching how to compute and simulate fluids in real time. He writes:
Rendering realistic moving water is one of the key techniques that immerse the viewers into interactive graphics world including computer games. Physical simulations based on computational fluid dynamics (CFD) is useful for rendering the realistic behaviour of water.
However, real-time fluid rendering has been one of the challenging tasks because of high computational cost of CFD. According to the recent development of programmable graphics hardware, many graphics functions are replaced by hardware processors.
In this research we propose real-time particle-based fluid simulation with Smoothed Particle Hydrodynamics (SPH) on Graphics Processing Unit (GPU).

Go to Takashi's research webpage to view an awesome screen capture movie of the fluid simulation running. It looks stunningly, and apparently the source for the demo is being release sometime after march 2005.
Meanwhile there's a few short technical documents on how to simulate fluids that will help you pass the time.

tirsdag, december 14, 2004

Tough Conditions For The Work Drone

Almost Christmas. It's a hectic time of the year us salary slaves.

It's winter and bitterly cold outside. It's dark when work starts, and it's dark when work is over.
Christmas is called a "celebration of the hearts", but there isn't much Christmas spirit about the Danish weather right now. Not even a single flake of snow in sight, just darkness and cold and rainy weather. Brrr!

Good thing it's warm inside, and that there's candle light, Glögg, Christmas cookies and warm slippers. And it's a good thing that the Christmas holidays are not that far away, so I'll be able to spend time in the presence of my family, protected from wind and weather, and hopefully get into the Christmas spirit!

Speaking of things to do in my leisure time, I've recently bought Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? as I mentioned that I would. So far it seems really interesting, and it looks like the movie followed the book pretty closely, but you do get some background information that the movie lacks.
Maybe there's more information in the Director's Cut/Extended version of the movie. I've signed up for a copy of Blade Runner - Director's Cut at the library, which I'll get as soon as it's available. Rather strange, there seems to be a long list of people signed up for it. It's from the late 1980's, so people have had a long time to run to their local library and loan a copy, but I guess it's just a constantly popular movie. Hey, it isn't called a "cult classic" for nothing.
And it just appeared to me, that the Director's Cut version might be rather new, so that might be why it's so popular. Oh well.

But time to read, watch movies, and just leisure time in general isn't what I have the most of right now. For instance, today I worked from 08 to 18. Including time to close my eyes and rest a bit, that doesn't leave much time for leisure. And then there's all those small things that need to be done. Like writing this blog right now. :P
Actually I've done a little bit of calculation, using Einstein's old "Leisure Time Formular" from his books "Theories on Leisure Time and Time Continuum". Of course that's a lie. Einstein didn't take any time off.
But anyway, here goes (time is in hours):
Leisure = Day - (Transport * 2 + Work + Sleep)
Leisure = 25 24 - (0.5 * 2 + 10 + 8) = 5 hours

Hmm. Yeah well it isn't that much, but there's still plenty of time to do all sorts of things. Or so you think! The devil is in the details! Those small things I mentioned can easily eat up 5 otherwise useful hours.

Now I'll hurry up and do something useful with my remaining leisure time before the constant value Sleep becomes a linear dropping value ;)

Take care!

torsdag, december 02, 2004

Science Fiction

I'm thinking about starting to read some of Philip K. Dick's popular science fiction novels.
For some reason I've never read a "real" science fiction book, and I didn't know about Philip K. Dick until resently. Apparently he's a very well known and respected novelist, especially in the science fiction category, and many of his books have been made it to the silver screen.

Some of the blockbusters and cult movies based on his novels include:
  • Blade Runner (1982)
    Based on "Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?".
  • Screamers (1990)
    Based on "Second Variety".
  • Total Recall (1992)
    Based on "We Can Remember It For You Wholesale".
  • Confessions d'un Barjo (French, 1992)
    Based on "Confessions of a Crap Artist".
  • Impostor (2001)
    Based on "Impostor".
  • Minority Report (2002)
    Based on "The Minority Report".
  • Paycheck (Christmas 2003)
    Based on "Paycheck".
Not too shabby, eh?

I'm hoping to sqeeze some Sci-Fic reading material into my huge stack of programming books. I'm definitely starting off with Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? (Blade Runner) or prehaps the "intro" to it, a short story called The Little Black Box. Blade Runner is one of my all time favorite movies (and games)!

I'll let you know what I think of the books once I get some of them read!

You can read more about Philip K. Dick at his official site that can be found at

onsdag, december 01, 2004

New Half-Life 2 Goodies!

This is indeed a grand day!

VALVe has just released an update on the Steam news page, where they state that an official Half-Life 2 deathmatch mode has been release! If that wasn't enough, the full Half-Life 2 SDK has also been release. It should contain everything you need to make mods based on the Source-engine.

One thing that bugs me a little is that VALVe consistantly said that there would be no official multiplayer mode in Half-Life 2 whatsoever, and that so such mode was planned for the future. While I'm happy that it wasn't true, I'm a little pissed that they would deliberately lie to the community after all the scandals that VALVe has been through. Even every review of Half-Life 2 so far as been made on the assumption that the only multiplayer mode was Counter-Strike: Source.

Oh well, enough of my complaining, go here to see the official notification: Steam News, "Half-Life 2: Deathmatch and SDK Update"