About Me

Michael Zucchi

 B.E. (Comp. Sys. Eng.)

  also known as Zed
  to his mates & enemies!

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Wednesday, 17 August 2011, 01:09


So in a bit over 2 years since I turned on the stats, this blog broke the 10K hit barrier in the last few weeks. I guess that's nothing particularly to speak of but for what is mostly a bunch of private rants and technical musings it's not insignificant either.

Although one particular page has the lions share of the hits - and that it continues to do so is interesting in itself. This is the long and rather rambling post about trying to find a Java FFT library and some abuse about visual studio. Although it's clearly the Java FFT that people are searching for to find that page! It shows that someone is doing some scientific programming in Java, which I find interesting. The only thing I really wish Java had for this was a native complex type - doing anything with complex numbers quickly gets ugly, and even worse if you want some speed.

Second on the list is the BeagleBoard GS2010 wrap-up post with about half the number of hits. For such a small community there is quite a lot of interest out there. Unfortunately work commitments and other interests have pulled me away from spending time with the Beagleboard, which is a bit of a pity. For the moment all i'm using mine for is for playing internet radio plugged into my stereo. It's sitting boxless on a coffee table next to the amp and my 'user interface' consists of telnetting to it from my workstation and running mplayer on the command line :)

The next few 'high hitters' (if you could call them that) are low-level posts on: SSE optimisations (which basically said they don't make nearly as much difference as vector ops on CELL did), OpenCL Images vs Arrays (which I find rather difficult to understand myself, but i think the gist of it is that you have to write code differently but both perform about the same), and Context Switching on ARM. I would guess the last one may have helped a few students with their assignments ;-) - it doesn't seem to be a topic of general interest.

Onward and upward

Like everyone else I'm pretty useless at predicting the future but I can probably take a rough guess at where my interests will take me in the next few years. I don't have a need for any particular software any-more (beyond what is a yum invocation away), so whatever I work on is only for entertainment (and perhaps a bit for education, but just solving problems for work educates one a great deal).

I think OpenCL will continue to grow - socles is already my most 'hit' google-code project and the only one anyone ever mailed me about (actually someone did mail me about puppybits). It isn't really going anywhere at the moment because I can't really think of anything to use it for myself - I have some vague ideas of a video-something application (mediaz/VideoZ), but there is so much to think about and code before it even gets started. As applications get bigger and more complex, that starting hump is quite a psychological barrier to get over when there are other sources of entertainment competing for my time. Back to socles though - OpenCL is still a bit of a niche, and Java + OpenCL even more-so, so I'm in no rush to expand it until I can find something to use it for.

As an aside, I've noticed a worrying trend on the OpenCL forums - which seems to be more afflicted by this than other forums, although I've seen it before elsehwere and it's probably just because i don't tend to hang around forums a lot these days. And that is this: inexperienced programmers - most likely students, with a very limited command of the English language, posting questions which demonstrate they can't even be bothered to read the manuals (OpenCL has some very good resources available). And even worse, to paraphrase a comment from the BeagleBoard list, the queries generally amount to to "I'm lazy, can you please do my homework for me?". Extremely rude and disrespectful and really messes up mailing lists and forums.

Puppybits ... well that will probably continue to stay on hold. Unless I take another big break between contracts again and have loads of time to work on it. Every now and then I have a look to see if there are any simple USB host stacks to snarf to help progress it, but nothing's popped up so far. Without USB one is severely constrained. If I ever get the OpenPandora I ordered that might pique my interest in ARM hacking again though. I have a big bunch of 'zedos' work I never committed which I probably should if only so it doesn't get lost from my backups (I `upgraded' my OS a few months ago and lost my development environment for example).

mediaz/ImageZ ... is probably of little use to anyone else, but I will keep poking away at it when I have the inclination. There are a few basic things I need to get sorted out before i'm prepared to drop a jar of it, which I will do at some point. One is the tool overlay mechanism which i'm refining again as I work on a crop-tool. Probably a couple of days work.

jjmpeg ... is already quite useful, although to package it up and polish it off would require a lot more work and time. This is one of those building blocks I needed for the video application I was thinking about, so now it's to some state of usefulness I can at least entertain the idea of moving forward with that. Also, if I decide to switch to it for some work code I have it would probably get a bit more of a work-out as well - it's something i'm considering since I can't get xuggle to build for windows (without more time than i'm willing to waste) and it's ffmpeg libraries are getting a bit out of date. Not to mention tied to 32 bits.

And i'll keep ranting about bits and pieces, cooking, gardening and other shit.

Tagged biographical.
GEGL/OpenCL | Video/Audio Player
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