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* Posts by GameCoder

287 posts • joined 25 Aug 2007

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Got Windows 8.1 Update yet? Get ready for YET ANOTHER ONE – rumor

GameCoder
Flame

Re: If I were MS, I would be much bolder and replace icons with tiles.

You are clearly not a developer. Perhaps a manager? Or a barrista? Maybe a troll... *Live* tiles? Of all apps? ...

I'm glad we have this chance because I am quite a fan of Microsoft and I have to rant and shout and foam-at-the mouth at this piece of shit that is Windows 8.x Just what the fuck were they thinking? Its a mixed up unusable hybrid where even simple things are difficult to impossible to do, and 20 year power-users of Windows are stopped dead in their tracks by the shitty OS's insistence on sometimes switching to "tile" mode, with no option to fucking switch it off.

Some tasks which should be easy and perhaps even fun (change your login avatar/icon) become 'hmm let me google this' difficult. My gf struggled to do this until I decided to help out. Nothing new there. Except I couldn't either.

Looking deeper, Microsoft seems to really have some internal cultural problems, with overpowered idiot managers, and I suspect that an engineer in Microsoft is putting his/her career on the line by speaking sense. Its the only explanation for the persistence in so many fuck-ups recently (see also 'XBox One', from its fucking stupid name to its stupid management team, now gone, to its arrogant approach to its own customer base. See also Sony kicking MS ass this console generation...).

Early on it must have been clear as day that the missing start menu was going to be commercial suicide. *Every* tester must have commented on how difficult the OS was to use without it, and how shit and schizophrenic the tile parts seemed. But MS chose to ignore this. The popularity of the now ubiquitous start menu replacement app should have been a killer indication to MS that they fucked up, but still 8.1 they didnt put it back. Internally not admitting mistakes is more important than losing market share.

Its not hard Microsoft. You have the talent internally. Just start listening to your own customers, stop trying to be a shittier version of Apple and Google. Let them do their own thing. Play to your strengths.

Also, ffs, pay attention to games. Its the last area Windows pwns at ('PC' gaming) but fuck you idiots will throw that away too.

End rant, thanks.

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Snowden-inspired crypto-email service Lavaboom launches

GameCoder
Thumb Up

Re: Their web page is already snooping...

Good to hear that Bill. I think the customers who are willing to consider using a service like this (like me) will share these concerns. I have also emailed you (or 'Felix') directly earlier today.

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GameCoder
FAIL

Their web page is already snooping...

I wish companies and the public would wake up to the overuse of google-analytics. This is a worldwide *web* of internet usage which is all centralised at google. I dont understand how a so called privacy respecting website can have so much intrusive shit buried inside its front page.

Your emails might be stored encrypted, but I suspect that given the connectivity of the "social media" cookies etc that if you are not careful you can already be sniffed as signing up to this page if you do it while logged into facebook et al.

If you are signing up to this service, do it from a clean private browser session and make sure to look at the "privacy settings" tab before entering anything into any boxes. I noted with dissapointment that their "privacy" settings default to "No Privacy"

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Boss at 'Microsoft' scam support biz told to cough £000s in comp

GameCoder

Re: B'stards

I tried this and they are wise to it. They cut the call after N minutes if they arent making progress.

And this scam isnt confined to just the UK, they were calling me in Sweden.

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No, pesky lawyers, particle colliders WON'T destroy the Earth

GameCoder
Joke

We need a word with the Quantum Physicists...

FFS guys stop naming your particles with press friendly sensationalist names like "God", "Strange", "Top" and "Charm" etc. These articles wouldn't get half the press space if they had boring and unfamiliar names like 'Cornell' or 'Higgs'.

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A BBC-by-subscription 'would be richer', MPs told

GameCoder

Learn from history or be doomed...

I remember similar arguments being used all those years ago for privatisation and look where that led.

1
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Remember when SimCity ABSOLUTELY HAD to be online? Not any more – fancy that!

GameCoder

Re: Welcome to the end of the games industry

> Gaming is dead and EA killed it.

No way. If anything gaming is undergoing an indy renaissance. You wont see it if you only shop in the high street, but buy a copy of Edge, browse Steam Greenlight, even look (past this shit) in the Xbox indy section online, or read RockPaperShotgun sometimes. Gaming is alive, well and more vibrant, alternative, varied and exciting than ever.

If you have really been under a rock for the last 5 years, and are not just trolling, take a look at games like Braid, Amnesia, Don't Starve, LIMBO, Machinarium, Terraria, Torchlight, 'Papers, Please' and The Stanley Parable. And the mainstream eye candy is almost unbelievable now, especially if you remember when a Commodore 64 was the pinnicle of games tech. Treat yourself to Unreal's latest tech demos and try to remember its running in real time.

6
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Confessions of a porn site boss: How the net porn industry flopped

GameCoder
Unhappy

Page not found for first part of article

http://www.theregister.co.uk/2013/11/13/my_life_as_a_smut_monger_pt1 << 404 for me.

0
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OH what a LOVELY, well-rendered WAR: Yes, it’s 'Call of Duty: Ghosts'

GameCoder

Re: Firing guns in space

You sure about this? Bullet cartridges are pretty watertight, and they dont rely on sucking air into the breach to fire. Arent the percussion caps sealed inside cartridges with pressure sensitive chemical explosives? I'm not sure I would stand in front of an assault rifle in space and bet on it...

1
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SR-71 Blackbird follow-up: A new TERRIFYING Mach 6 spy-drone bomber

GameCoder

Shouldn't it get shorter as it moves faster?

OK, just kidding with the title, but anyone informed enough here care to elaborate on the "At Mach 6 the aircraft will heat up considerably and also stretch out" - is this purely thermal expansion or something else?

0
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From Russia with Code: Edward Snowden gets job on website helldesk

GameCoder

Re: poor form chaps

Agreed - a surprising bad end to the article, and make the Reg seem petty and out of touch. I am considering cancelling my subscription...

6
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'World's worst director' plans Snowden-inspired movie comedy

GameCoder

Worst movie? No way...

I haven't seen Postal, but if its like the trailer, I bet I could sit through it with a couple of friends and laugh. Its clearly not meant to be taken seriously.

There are *plenty* of films worse than 'Postal', mostly because their delivery never met their promise. It depends on what metric you use, however mine is 'enjoyability' - 'Postal' might score low, but shit like Prometheus (and most of the trash Hollywood serves up these days) has a *negative* score for me - I leave the cinema dissapointed and asking myself just how hard is it to have a movie with a plot thats not insulting to the intellect.

2001, Star Wars, Bladerunner, Alien, Aliens, The Matrix.... where are this generations films?

7
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Brazilians tear strip off NSA in wake of Snowden, mull anti-US-spook law

GameCoder

Re: Doesn't Matter

Follow the money. If these kinds of changes start to hurt US businesses, the NSA will soon get their leash yanked.

13
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Xbox 180: Microsoft scraps mandatory Kinect policy

GameCoder
Thumb Up

Re: "Sony's consoles have been harder to develop for"

Factually correct, but Microsoft's tool chain and integration with Visual Studio means that developing for the XBone will be easier (I am basing this on my own experience with XBox 1 & 2, PS1, 2 and watching the swing from Playstation 2 to XBox as the primary target). Also, for better or worse, DirectX has a lot of traction now with graduates, and the employement churn is huge in the games industry, resulting in most of the new student talent being preferring to use DirectX. OpenGL is regaining ground, but it is still perceived as lagging (incorrectly, in my opinion).

Sonys internal culture is that of an electrical engineers, not software focused, and this is often reflected in their documentation and software quality. I predict Sonys console will continue to be slightly harder to develop on.

Ultimately though the choice of primary target when developing (the one you really develop on, and the other is the one you just port to) depends on the installed user base and the likely returns.

1
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Caterpillar B15: The Android smartphone for the building site

GameCoder
Thumb Down

Sonim phones are not so tough

I owned a Sonim (XP3300 Force) and loved it, but was dissapointed that learn through experience that the "waterproofing" was mostly superficial. For the most part the waterproofing isnt an integral part of the design, but rather some glued-on patches.

After about a year of normal handling (to and from work in a bag or pocket) and normal temperature variation the glue breaks down and the rubber begins to peel away. The "built for life" Sonim was no longer waterproof, without my knowing. To me the peeling rubber at the grips was surely just a cosmetic problem, but after a heavy rainfall I found my phone to be no longer working. It had become wet inside, and examining the peeling areas I was shocked to find that the phone wasnt in the least "waterproofed" internally.

Caveat emptor.

0
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US public hate Snowden - but sexpot spy Anna Chapman LOVES him

GameCoder
Pint

Re: Surprise, surprise

I agree, have an upvote, and if you are ever in Stockholm lets grab a beer.

0
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REVEALED: Google's GINORMOUS £650m London Choc Factory

GameCoder
Thumb Down

"We are going to invest in London"

...is a useful bargaining chip to have when negotiating on tax avoidance in London.

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Privacy expert dismisses PRISM-busting typeface as 'art project'

GameCoder
Thumb Up

Re: isn't the point to render as a png or the like?

Your post is like a penny dropping right through this thread, reversing almost all previous posts. Well done. Using the font like this would certainly make PRISM work harder.

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Girls, beer and C++: How to choose the right Comp-Sci degree for you

GameCoder

Re: No you choose your degree at 13

"..at the end of the day a talented programmer can structure and design a reasonable system in his (sadly yes) head while you wait. He then has to spend the next three to six months writing it down. That's a bloody long (and very *precise*) essay/dissertation by anyone's standards. And he has to do that year in, year out, during his programming career."

A fantastic description of programming which had never occurred to me :)

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Sony sucker-punches Xbox on price, specs, DRM-free gaming

GameCoder

Re: you could STILL turn it off (switch on the wall).

If you remember, the original xbox 1 penalised you for switching it off at the wall. It had an internal capacitor that rapidly powered down, resetting the internal clock. A switch-off at the wall meant it had the incorrect date when switched on again if left off for even just a day or two. Worse, some game saves checked their timestamp against the current date and erased saves with "impossible" dates... You had to be careful to remove your game save dongle (remember those?) before powering on an xbox that had been off.

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GameCoder
Thumb Down

Sony has it right, this time

I'm a big Microsoft fan. Having programmed for the PS1, PS2 and Xbox 1 (not ONE) and 2, coding for the xbox was a dream after sony's electrical engineering "documentation" and terrible tool support. I also love graphics, and the PS2 never quite cut it for me. I swore I would never have a Playstation in my home.

But...

Microsoft seems keen to move as far as possible away from "gamers" as it can. It completely misreads and misunderstands its audience. Games and gamers are what will decide which console is bought, and Microsoft seem to not have had their finger on the pulse. Gamers dont want always on. Gamers dont want server based single player games. They dont want their game machine to become an ad streaming box. And Microsoft seems to be blind to all this.

And with the Prism revalations - I know I do NOT want a machine which requires internet access every 24 hours and which will lock me out of my own games when I wont let it connect. I do NOT want a machine with an always open mic. I do NOT want a machine with a 3D camera watching me which is a fundamental component and not an optional add-on.

So, fuck you XBox One.

(Even the name 'One' pisses me off, and is telling about how stupid Microsoft's management team are. You already had an Xbox one, and it wasnt that long ago...Its like they wanted a confusing, lack-luste hard-to-google name...)

2
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Author Iain (M) Banks falls to cancer at 59

GameCoder

Sincerely missed

El Reg seems to be an appropriate place to express my sincere sadness at his passing :(

4
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Reports: New Xbox could DOOM second-hand games market

GameCoder

Its probably very hard to "enable" the games

I completely agree. I also suspect that it will be, by design, very very hard to run these games without a server and authentication.

2
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Japan forgot data wipe on ship sold to Pyongyang

GameCoder
Thumb Down

Re: Re; AIS

"...this is a non-story except for the frustrating sheeple wetting themselves to be told the next enemy of the day. Note the clueless reference to China in an earlier comment."

Sounds like someone needs a history lesson. China may be becoming the enemy-de-jour for some countries, but theres been no love lost between Japan and China for many a year.

You might want to take a read of this too http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Senkaku_Islands_dispute and maybe catch up a little with current affairs:

http://www.businessinsider.com/japan-to-raise-military-budget-for-first-time-in-a-decade-amid-china-row-2013-1

http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/03/06/us-china-japan-navy-idUSBRE9251GU20130306

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GameCoder
Thumb Up

Re: Numpties.

Agreed. This data is probably useful. You can use it to correlate your own intel systems. You may find evidence of breaches of maritime law, or international agreements. You could even cause an internal scandal in japan just by NK holding a press conference showing off readouts of the data.

AFAIK, the japanese "Coast Guard" is a thinly disguised navy, and they are ramping it up - mostly wrt to countering China.

1
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Malware-flinging Winnti crew has been RIPPING OFF gaming firms for YEARS

GameCoder
Thumb Up

Belarus == World of Tanks

World of Tanks is the only Belarusian MMO that I know of. For a while too early versions of "World of Tanks" would only run as admin. Time to do a fine grained virus check on my machine. Thanks for the heads-up El Reg.

0
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Microsoft Xbox gaffe reveals cloudy arrogance

GameCoder
Stop

Re: connection comes with a 99 per cent contract guarantee

Even with a decent connection I switch the Xbox on my network to "offline" before I play any online multiplayer games on my PC. With the XBox on, even when playing a game on it which has nothing whatsoever to do with anything networked, the XBox is regularly hogging the bandwidth on my LAN - I can tell from my in-game ping display in World Of Tanks whether the XBox is on or not. And it occasionally causes huge spikes, which I suspect is a background process on the XBox downloading some ad junk.

I really hope Microsofts 'yes' men grow some balls and stop this lunacy because the XBox is a great console, but requiring always-on will be commercial suicide.

0
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GCHQ attempts to downplay amazing plaintext password blunder

GameCoder
Thumb Up

Re: was it yesterday?

Yupp, it was in the article about an outed Mossad agent list, and people were convinced that these "pros" would never make mistakes like that. Well, when I see people convinced that something can never happen, I just see people lacking in life experience.

2
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Are you in charge of a lot of biz computers? Got Java on them?

GameCoder

Re: Multiple computers, multiple users, multiple browsers, what an arse

Agreed. Is it possible to install Java as something local to a folder, so I can just point e.g. Minecraft at it? When I install it, its seems to spread its tentacles everywhere - startup, IE, environment etc.

1
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Nvidia unveils Minority Report-style face-bot tech

GameCoder
Thumb Up

"So how is this going to be used in the real world?"

Early days still, its good but not yet totally convincing. But I suspect you will see these happen in our lifetimes:

Hollywood "stars" will be scanned and sampled, and contracts will mention not just "use of likeness" but animated likenesses etc.

Thirty years from now Justin Beiber et al will be 'virtually' appearing to promote products, appealing to their aging demographics sense of nostalgia for the 2010s. They will have signed away their likeness rights early in their careers while up-and-coming.

Future movies can have fun with mashups, casting actors from different generations together.

Whole body versions of similar tech will be used for porn.

It will become possible to fake compromising footage of famous people, and this will be used for counter propoganda.

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Build a BONKERS gaming PC

GameCoder
Thumb Up

Re: Bonkers? Yes... Overpriced? Most definitely

@blcollier

"My point was more that this article didn't go "bonkers" so much as "ridiculously overpriced and sheer overkill""

Yes I thought that too. The machine isn't awe inspiring, only pricey. I'd like to see its budget handed to someone who really knows how to build game rigs and see how they could spend it. I'd expect to see an overclocked monster, with lights to match the mouse, keyboard and mat :) And 4 nVidia Titans in SLI :)

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GameCoder
WTF?

Re: Bonkers? Yes... Overpriced? Most definitely

I disagree. A rig like this will last the user 5+ years. Its hugely overspecced, and PC games allow gfx settings to be moved up and down. At the moment, and for a couple of years, this rig will rip through all games. And as games are tied more and more to the release cycles of the platforms, game gfx nowadays tends to step change as opposed to linearly ramp. So, this rig isnt going to be outdated anytime soon.

I built a rig like this as a treat to myself after a nice payrise a few years ago. Sadly its still going strong, hitting 60fps consistently even with the latest games. I *want* to buy a new one, and can afford it, but its difficult to justify when my 3 year old rig is still going so strong. A rig like documented here, or something similar (good Intel thread-strong chip, masses of memory, and a top-range nVidia card) and you will be in gaming heaven for years.

As to Windows...I dunno wtf you people are doing with your PCs? Like or hate Microsoft, my Windows (currently using 7) is f*cking rock solid. Keep the nVidia drivers updated, dont run as admin, dont-be-stupid-online, prefer to use Steam to buy and manage your games, and you should be good.

I do agree with the DRM issues. See also EA / SimCity et al. Vote with your wallet, just dont buy from them.

Windows 8 is ruined by its GUI though.

Also, not mentioned, "Cleanability" of the case fans is something I rate highly when buying a case.

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eBay: Our paid Google advertising was a total waste of money

GameCoder
Joke

Do know evil

"In any Google search for a well-known brand like eBay, Amazon or John Lewis, that firm's site is going to pop up at the top of search results anyway..."

Until they stop paying for ads.

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Vint Cerf: 'The internet of things needs to be locked down'

GameCoder
Stop

Its already reality in Sweden

Here in Sverige, a relatively progressive country in terms of tech adoption, the ability to remotely interact with your house is already being advertised to Joe Public by the utility companies. Pundits are being sold the notion of controlling light switches and heating via their mobile phone whilst abroad. Personally I cannot see the usefulness of this *ever* being balanced against a nagging worry about potential vunerabilities.

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Sexual harassment case costs Oracle $AUD18,000

GameCoder
Paris Hilton

Boat Girl?

"Boat Girl" Is this some euphemism I am unfamiliar with?

0
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Recipe for a bad day: 'State-backed hackers are attacking your PC'

GameCoder
Thumb Down

Re: Linux is a strong solution

You are making a fool of yourself.

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US diplomat: If EU allows 'right to be forgotten' ... it might spark TRADE WAR

GameCoder
Thumb Up

Re: Re: SO what?

"They will go around flogging everybody half price Boeings..."

The ones that are grounded? :)

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Hyperspeed travel looks wrong: Leicester students

GameCoder
Mushroom

The weapons are pretty unbelievable too

Most sci-fi films have line-of-sight weapons. "Stay on target..." etc. Film aliens will get a real shock if they ever take on humanity and face the arsenal of over-the-horizon self-guiding MACH2+ weapons we have.

"Oh you researched interstellar travel and came here to eat us? Well, humanity's principle technological drive has always been weaponry, so I have some really bad news for you..."

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Disney World slaps pay-by-bonk stalker cuffs on grown-ups

GameCoder
Joke

Won't someone think of the children?

3
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Nokia decrypts browser traffic, assures public not to worry

GameCoder
WTF?

Boffin needed...

Genuine question which I am sure a Reg reader can explain well: Nokia are hardware makers. Why is the browser of their phone directing web traffic to their servers at all? Isnt this a configuration between the phone owner/user and his service provider, which is presumably not Nokia?

If this seems like a dumb question to you, then you are probably the right person to answer it, thanks :)

0
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Nuisance calls DOUBLE, Ofcom vows to hunt down offenders

GameCoder

Whats good for the goose..

The USA fines companies huge amounts even outside of its legal duristiction e.g. Swiss banks etc. This should set a nice precedant for fining Florida based phone callers.

9
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Anonymous turns private eye in Ohio rape case

GameCoder
Joke

They only kidnapped, drugged and raped her...

If they had pirated a movie, or illegally accessed a computer, they would feel the full wrath of the law.

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Mmm, what's that smell: Coffee or sweat? How to avoid a crap IT job

GameCoder

Re: A wise check to make

I'd upvote this twice if I could.

I would also add considering not using your favorite email address when using an agency, and ideally use a single use email address. Agents will take your adress and CV with them when they move from job to job, and its almost impossible to get the scum to stop mailing you with irrelevant jobs. "My client is looking for a Visual Studio programmer..."

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Your mouse may actually be a RAT in disguise

GameCoder
Thumb Up

Re: Uhm

> "I'm pretty sure many games run on an event driven routine where mouse, keyup/keydown and joy events get pumped into a handler."

Correct. On windows they can now just use the classic windowing event loop, or use DirectInput (which is now almost the same, but polled). When done right theres no hooks...

0
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From Dr No to Skyfall: The Reg's one month of Bond

GameCoder
FAIL

2 pages and no best bond babes??

Martinis? Cars? Gadgets? Aren't we forgetting something else about Bond? :)

1
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Boffins zapped '2,000 bugs' from Curiosity's 2 MILLION lines of code

GameCoder

Re: Why C

I think the main reason is that C is easier to statically analyze, and this seems to be a method of bug finding they rely on heavily.

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Khronos Group updates OpenGL and OpenCL graphics standards

GameCoder

Its important to remember that DirectX and OpenGL are just software interfaces to the graphical capabilities of your machine, usually a dedicated graphics card. Its very similar to having two different menus and waiters in a restaurant, but the same kitchen and chef in the background.

In the last few years DirectX has greatly improved (and has converged in many areas of its API on the directions OpenGL originally took), but it has indeed also overtaken OpenGL from time to time, mostly due to the standardization needs of OpenGL, and the longer life expectancy of any OpenGL standard.

DirectX is for developing games; OpenGL is for developing games but is also the correct choice for any non games related visualization required by an application (medical visualization etc) and of course, its very cross platform too.

If you are a gamer, simply don't worry about it - just buy yourself the best graphics card you can happily afford and enjoy the beauty of todays amazing games.

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GameCoder
Thumb Down

Re: not to mention

AFAIK, all the GPU API calls begin life as OpenGL extensions, as this allows nVidia and ATi to develop, test and demo them, where they then may move into DirectX and/or the OpenGL standard. I would argue that its not OpenGL but DirectX who does the following.

It may take some time for some concepts to enter the final OpenGL standard, and usually for excellent reasons, as OpenGL is designed to last, unlike DirectX. Twenty year old OpenGL 1.0 code will almost certainly still compile and do what it was intended to do. Good luck getting a codebase written to DirectX 1.0 to compile and work...

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