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Posts from the ‘Software’ Category

8
Apr

New releases of WorldEngine, OpenMW and TESAnnwyn

Rivers

WorldEngine 0.19 has been released! In case you’re wondering, WorldEngine is the combination of two projects: Lands and WorldSynth. The biggest gain in the merge is that we’re now two developers on the same wavelength and we’ve added plate tectonic simulations! As things have become more serious and complicated, we’ve had to write tests suites to cover our bases. We’re currently about 86% code coverage and the tests guarantee reproducibility which aids us in finding regressions. We’ve got many contributions, so having these in place are crucial for project stability.

What’s new in WorldEngine 0.19:

  • Speed of generation increased by almost a factor of 3 (due to update to Platec and making heavy use of numpy).
  • World-generation is now deterministic, i.e. generation is 100% reproducible.
  • Added support for exporting heightmaps using libgdal (see http://www.gdal.org/formats_list.html for possible formats).
  • Added the ability to modify temperature and humidity ranges as well as the temperature/precipitation curve.
  • Added the ability to generate scatter plots showing temperature and humidity of all terrestrial cells.
  • Added small variations to the temperature-map based on basic orbital parameters.
  • Added a satellite-like view of the world.
  • Added support to save/load worlds in/from HDF5-format.

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6
Nov

Deadlines and Timeouts for Realtime MongoDB Access with TxMongo

2000px-Twisted_Logo_(software).svg

Murphey had an adage: “Anything that can go wrong, will go wrong.” The best we can do is attempt to anticipate any problems that might come up and keep ‘the machine’ running. From an end-user perspective that means being responsive, even with errors. If there is a network error, we want to know as soon as possible with the guarantee that state of ‘the machine’ was not effected by the error.

With the release of TxMongo 15.3.1 we’ve introduced a few things that are useful when creating real-time applications.

We now have per-call deadline and timeouts!

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5
Nov

Vagrant, Virtualbox and Ubuntu Wily Weerwolf: Getting them to play along.

Vagrant

I recently upgraded to Ubuntu 15.10 (Wily Weerwolf) which automatically upgraded VirtualBox from 4.3 to 5.0 and broke compatibility with Vagrant 1.6 in the process. Thinking that Vagrant knows about this and they claim VBox 5.0 compatbility, I upgraded to 1.7 and came across the same error!

Vagrant attempted to execute the capability ‘configure_networks’ on the detect guest OS ‘linux’

There is a workaround!

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29
Sep

VideocoreIV Glamor on your Raspberry Pi

RaspberryPi Logo

Running an X (Xorg) server on your Raspberry Pi is frustrating. You can either use the fbdev or fbturbo driver which will give an un-accelerated 2D environment with swrast 3D (OpenGL) all beating your poor RPi’s CPU. Overclocking it will only help you so much which is a pity considering that there is another layer on the SoC that would be perfect for that but is now unused.

Enter the VideocoreIV (VC4) and Eric Anholt (formally of Intel, now of Broadcom), who are going to breath new life into the RPi. The idea is to offload the 2D rendering, via Glamor, to the VC4 with OpenGL calls. Since a OpenGL stack needs to exist, that means there will be a Direct Rendering Manager (DRM) Linux kernel module and Gallium/DRI module in Mesa.

This is happening now, here is the current status of support via the Piglit test-suite: skip 19102, fail 3866, pass 3146, crash 153, total 26267

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26
Sep

Development on the Raspberry Pi

RaspberryPi Logo

Now that I’m a proud owner of a Raspberry Pi, I’ve being really stressing the little guy. There is only but so much a ARMv6 processor, on an microSD with only 512MiB of ram can do, which means that compiling on such a machine is going to take a really long time.

Take for example OpenMW, currently it takes about 4 minutes on a quad-core i7 to compile. You’re in for a treat on the Pi, it will take you at least a day, two days if you realize that half-way through the OOM Killer came through and killed your cc process. This is about the time you start wondering about various ways to improve the situation, such as a larger swap file or using zram.

At this point, I was wondering about other ways compiling binaries and packages for the Pi. There was cross-compiling, but then I would have to set up a full toolchain and recompile all the packages from scratch. That will have to be for another post though as it is another world. Another option is to try virtualizing the Pi and apparently QEMU gets us pretty darn close.

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