Impressed by the new Blackberry OS (or how iOS ate dust)

Since my last post you must already know that I was porting Pop Corny to Blackberry. I can’t hide that I was really impressed by the way the platform is engineered. You know you have done something right when it allows a developer that had never even used the platform, come in and port his game in 2-3 days. But that, coupled with the fact that the game actually runs better than it does on the platform that is was originally written for, makes for something really impressive.

To showcase what I mean, I recorded a video with the game launching in parallel on both my iPad 2 and my Playbook. Since on both platforms the game actually achieves 60fps its hard to notice the difference in game, but the launch sequence really shows the difference. The bottom line is that given 2 devices with almost identical hardware (the same Dual-core 1 GHz Cortex-A9), running the same game, with the game optimized using the iOS device and only later ported to the Playbook, the Playbook manages to launch the app (load all textures, decompress them and upload to GPU, load sound effects, etc) 30% faster! In my book.. this is a huge achievement.

What is also amusing is how that 30% is calculated including the time the Playbook wastes doing “pre-launch” animations like pulling down the other app icons, pushing the app thumbnails left and the launching the actual app. And still managing to launch faster! It looks as it is mocking at the other device…!

Below is the actual video, and if you would like to get Pop Corny it is now available on App World here.

NVIDIA to Acquire AGEIA Technologies

According to this press release, nVidia will acquire Ageia Technologies. Yeap! The well known physics software and hardware vendor. In my mind this means that the future nVidia based accelerators will support physics acceleration, too. It will basically mean the death of the PhysX processor, since the GPU can do that easily with no extra cost.

Actually the PPU solution was never to work. I find it quite hard to believe people would ever Continue reading

Disabling the NVIDIA System Sentinel Power Indicator

If you remember my last post about the power indicator problem I have, with my nVidia based video card, I finally managed to fix it!

I noticed that in the list of services in the control panel, nVidia installs a service. It turns out that this service is displaying the annoying error message. So I went on and stopped and disabled it. This way I can start using my computer without any delay.

Finally!

iPhone and Usability

I was looking at all this ads and videos on YouTube about the iPhone and I must say it is a wonderful gadget! It surely can make gadgets freaks like me loose sleep. I would have stop sleeping until we have them in Greece, if I wasn’t precautions about the usability a touch screen can provide.

I switched away from my Ericsson P900 because of the touch screen. It is true what Steve Jobs said in the introduction of the iPhone that every app needs it own interface, and how a fixed keypad cat do that and that we solved that problem decades back with bit-mapped displays and mouses. But I think that a phone is a different Continue reading

The new PC arrived!

I just got the new PC for the office… Check this specs out :

  • AMD Athlon 64 x2 Dual Core Processor 4200+
  • 1GB RAM
  • 150 GB HDD

and the video graphics accelerator beast!!! :

  • NVIDIA GeForce 7950 GX2 with 1GB Video RAM

I can tell you the performance is mind blowing! I get 500 frames/s with Sylphis3D on this. (note that this is at 1280×1024!!!). For those not familiar with the latest video cards the above card is basically two cards running in SLI mode. You just buy them as one!

Working with an ATI Radeon 9500 all this time Continue reading