Tech

MacBook Pro Dies

Yes, I fired up my MacBook Pro today with the intention of getting on with some more Dx10 work, but was greeted with a completely corrupted display. It appears that other things are still working, as I can still make some things out through the garbage - right from power on I get the top third of the screen as mostly greyish blank, and the bottom two-thirds as a ‘smeared’ version of what I should be seeing, although when I tried sleeping and waking it, I temporarily got a correct login screen view in the top third but it slowly faded into garbage, whilst the bottom section was still smeared.

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Remote debugging tips

I used to use remote debugging as my primary form of debugging many years ago (we’re talking the early to mid 1990’s now), simply because it was impossible to debug code that was tinkering directly with the VGA registers to do things like Mode X any other way. These days I still find it useful although less frequently - I’ve used it to diagnose full-screen issues that couldn’t easily be tracked via simple log output, and at times I’ve used it to debug server applications (J2EE, via Eclipse that time) where the behaviour could not be replicated anywhere but a super-duper beast of a machine.

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Taking the blinkers off

Developer.com is on my fairly modest set of RSS feeds, and occasionally it has something interesting in it. In general I have found that over time, online articles on development from this sort of place have become less and less useful to me, probably because most of them are of the ‘getting started’ type, and I’ve been a developer for long enough that often I either already know what the article is about specifically, or I can see that it’s just another technical take on an old idea.

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Incoming Leopards

So, a formal release date for Mac OS X 10.5 aka ‘Leopard’ has been set now, 26th October or just over a week away. Really it should have been out by now, this represents a 4-month delay on the original release schedule which was to see it released with the ‘Santa Rosa’ Macbook Pro line - slightly disappointing but keeping it in context, it could have been a lot worse.

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Stating the obvious

I’m a fan of Google, but I just have to highlight this nonsense: Google successfully patents the idea of putting things inside other things. Wow, what a genius idea. Is it just me, or could the IT industry achieve a lot more if we accepted that things such as this were absolutely bloody obvious and went and spent the resources required to file and administer patents like this on something more useful instead?

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A busy day with NVIDIA & Intel

Phew, the jet lag certainly isn’t beaten yet. Even though I managed to stay up until about 9:30pm last night before succumbing (remember, this was actually 5:30am according to my body clock), it hasn’t entirely compensated and I’m feeling pretty tired now (6:45pm aka 2:45am). I didn’t notice until I got back just now because I’ve had a really busy and interesting day. This morning I was at NVIDIA where I had a tour of the campus and some really interesting discussions on a variety of subjects.

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Open Season Episode 3

Open Season Episiode 3 Definitely worth taking the time to listen in on this podcast if you’re interested in open source and the effect it has on business (and vice versa). Also a little depressing if you’re an open source project leader and you hear them say that unless you’re doing at least $10m a year revenue you’re ‘not relevant’ 😉

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Photoshop++

I haven’t had too much time for blogging the last few days, been super-busy. Apart from catching up after travelling and being sick, I have some sizeable client work on, I’m doing a presentation tomorrow at our local BCS-affiliated developers group about cross-platform development issues, I’ve been getting ready for an OGRE stable maintenance release (v1.4.5) at the weekend, and of course I’m off to Silicon Valley next week for the Google Summer of Code Mentor Summit - and I’ve been invited to spend some time with NVIDIA and Intel while I’m there too, which is excellent.

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Branches and precompiled headers in XCode

Here’s a quick tip for you - XCode helpfully makes using precompiled headers in your project a cinch, even easier than trusty old MSVC in fact, which is a good thing. Unfortunately, it also places the result of said precompilation step in a shared location by default, namely /Library/Caches/com.apple.Xcode.$(UID)/SharedPrecompiledHeaders. It actually creates folders in this location corresponding to each combination of target name and a hash of the compiler settings used.

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OOXML doesn't get fast-tracked, ramblings on professionalism

Microsoft might have called up all their friends to vote but OOXML isn’t an ISO standard yet. Hopefully now the proponents and detractors of OOXML can actually debate the substantive issues properly, such as the claims that there are elements over which MS can exhert unilateral control, in a way that actually justifies being called a standardisation process. Those wanting to simplify my position on this will chalk this up to more Microsoft-bashing, but ISO standardisation is a very serious business, and it deserves to be taken so - and that’s where my problem is here.

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