"If an exchange between two parties is voluntary, it will not take place
unless both believe they will benefit from it. Most economic fallacies
derive from the neglect of this simple insight, from the tendency to assume
that there is a fixed pie, that one party can gain only at the expense of
- Milton Friedman
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I'm now on Twitter
Wednesday, March 2, 2011 | Permalink

As with all kinds of "social" stuff, I'm late to jump onto the bandwagon. I transformed my personal homepage to a blog long after blogging turned cool.
I joined Facebook long after everyone else did. Seemed like a waste of time to me. Eventually I kind of realized the value of it, it keeps you connected to a lot of people that you otherwise would not keep in touch with. Although it's true it can easily become a time sink. You just need to learn to filter out the noise.
So this Twitter thing came along. For a long while I thought it was pretty pointless. Well, recently I've been reading some people's twitter regularly and kind of realized the value. It's a great way to share thoughts, links and short insights to other people that might be interested. Things you have no time to write a lengthy blog post about, or don't really make sense in blog form. Of course, it's a matter of following the right people. So I finally signed up. And I even tweeted. I have no idea how frequently I will tweet, but I'm sure I will have something of interest once in while.

Follow _Humus_ on Twitter

An unfortunate consequence of being late is that the name "Humus" tends to be taken. So I will be known as "_Humus_" on twitter. Back in 1998 or so when I picked up this nickname it was rather unique. It was never taken if I signed up for something. Guess I didn't compete with as many people back then as with the global mainstream services of today, besides probably being more of an early adopter back then.

[ 2 comments | Last comment by Dwarden (2011-04-05 15:59:43) ]

Wedding photos
Sunday, February 27, 2011 | Permalink

As I mentioned earlier on this site, I got married on October 23. That was four months ago, so it's about time I got all those photos posted here. Well, finally, here they are, so enjoy!

[ 4 comments | Last comment by Ray Bans Sunglasses (2016-05-27 15:36:26) ]

My first 1K demo
Sunday, February 13, 2011 | Permalink

Even though I have written demos for over a decade now, I have never been part of the demoscene, never gone to a demo party, and only once in a long while have I ever really run the demos that come out of the demoscene. This tends to surprise people when they get to know me if they happened to have followed my site before. In general, I've been more interested in pushing the boundaries in terms of visual quality and performance in general, rather than squeezing the most out of a particular machine or shoehorning things into tiny executables. I did at some point in my early years give 4K demos a try, maybe around 1999 or so, but I gave up pretty quickly. With even an empty main() I got an executable that was 27KB IIRC. So I figured I had a few things to learn. Well, skip forward to 2011 and I got a renewed interest in the subject, and after a little research on the subject I was up and running with a simple OpenGL app that compiled to like 950 bytes or so. Given the small size I thought it would be cool to aim for 1K instead of 4K since that was within reach.

So I made another Mandelbrot viewer, since it's something relatively compact I thought I would be able to do quickly. A Mandelbrot viewer is perhaps the most original idea, I mean, it's not something that hasn't been done before, in fact I've done several myself before, although this one has the smoothest gradients I've managed to make so far. However, the project took far more time than I had originally anticipated. Once it was visually and functionally complete, I was somewhere over 1400 bytes. In the beginning it was rather quick to trim it down, shaving off dozens of bytes with every change. Until I got down to like 1100 bytes, after which I was happy to cut off another 5-10 bytes after an hour's work. Eventually after I got down to 1045 bytes I got kind of stuck and rewriting it all in assembly might have removed another few bytes, but I wasn't sure if it would be enough to shave off 21 bytes, so instead I changed the functionality a little. Thus there are two versions of the executables, one that's small enough to fit within the 1K limit, and one that contains the originally intended functionality, and thus is like 55 bytes larger.

If anyone knows any good tricks for slimming it down further that I might have missed, please let me know.

Update 2011-02-14:
Some sources I used to get started on this project:
1k/4k demo framework and examples
Crinkler secrets, 4k intro executable compressor at its best
Graphics Size Coding

[ 23 comments | Last comment by Nuninho1980 (2016-07-30 15:51:09) ]

Wedding style studio photo gallery
Monday, January 10, 2011 | Permalink

When we were in China we went to a professional photo studio to take wedding style photos. It was a massive project with many full days invested in it, but the result was well worth it. I have added another gallery with the resulting pictures.

[ 7 comments | Last comment by vincent (2011-01-16 13:11:46) ]

Gallery of China
Friday, January 7, 2011 | Permalink

I have added another gallery with pictures from my trip to China this summer with my fiance (now wife). About half from her home town of Taiyuan and half from all the tourist attractions in Beijing.

[ 1 comments | Last comment by O_O (2011-01-08 03:22:28) ]

DX9 is dead
Friday, January 7, 2011 | Permalink

Speaking of the state of hardware, Just Cause 2 was kind of early to dump WinXP/DX9 and go DX10 exclusive back in March. I argued back then that this was the right thing to do, despite that at the time a relatively large group of people would not be able to play the game on their systems. I estimated it to 40% in this post from February. Today I would estimate it at maybe 15-20% given 25% left on WinXP of which a number of low-end systems (DX8, SM2.0 etc) would not be able to play a DX9 version anyway. Of course, it's also questionable if those SM3.0 cards would be able to render anything at an acceptable framerate given a DX9 version. Such a version would pretty much only exist for those on XP with DX10 cards, which would be about 10-15% of the market.

In the case of JC2 the decision to go DX10 exclusive for PC was actually made already back in early 2008. A radical move indeed, and given the slow adoption of Vista I suppose it was a good thing that the game got delayed, which of course happened for entirely different reasons, but having the game released some time after Windows 7 certainly helped make JC2 on PC available to a wider audience.

Today of course the situation is different. You'd be crazy to spend development effort on supporting DX9. It's great to see our friends over at DICE reaching the same conclusion. The amount of flexibility you have in DX10 over DX9 is huge, in addition to the performance advantages. You can simply make a better game if you focus on DX10 and above. When it was revealed that JC2 would only support DX10 this created quite a lot of criticism. Once the demo was released though almost all such criticism pretty much instantly went away. The result was speaking for itself.

[ 6 comments | Last comment by BK (2011-03-29 23:52:27) ]

Just Cause 2 is the Game Of The Year
Wednesday, January 5, 2011 | Permalink

As we enter 2011 it's also interesting to look back at the year that passed, of course including all the games released in 2010. As various sites are handing out their awards it's honoring to see Just Cause 2 nominations and mentions here and there, and winning some subcategories, such as Best Technology by gamereactor.se. But it makes me proud beyond words to see Just Cause 2 receive the Game Of The Year award from Zero Punctuation.

[ 4 comments | Last comment by Kevin Bjorke (2011-01-24 23:11:53) ]

State of gamers' hardware
Wednesday, January 5, 2011 | Permalink

As we enter 2011 it's interesting to once again look at what the average gamer has in his system. A continuing trend is the decline of WinXP in favor of primarily Win7, but to some extent also to Vista. This drop has flattened a bit the last couple of months though. The other trend is that all 64-bit OSes gain and all 32-bit drop. As 2010 closes we land on fairly round numbers. Out of four gamers on Steam two use Window 7, and one on Vista and XP respectively. Two run 64-bit. Three has DX10 systems. 9 of 10 has two or more cores.

In conclusion, for any new AAA title beginning development now there appears to be no reason to aim lower than DX10 and dual/quad core. In a year or so when such a title is released the number of people remaining on XP who buys AAA titles will be a tiny fraction. Quad-core will likely outnumber dual-core machines, although there will likely be a substantial portion of the gamers left on dual-core at that time. It's probably a bit early to go 64-bit exclusive, but looking over a two year development cycle it might be a reasonable thing to do.

After the huge initial success of Steam on Mac it's been sliding back to a 4-5% range, a fair bit lower than overall Mac market share. This was somewhat expected since Mac has no real history as a serious gaming platform, so it's likely that fewer Mac owners are gamers. Steam on Mac is still new though, so it will be interesting to come back in a year or two and see if any of that has changed.

[ 2 comments | Last comment by Gnome (2011-01-05 03:27:58) ]

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