Friday, April 29, 2011

Welcome back, ROTC

“The state that separates its scholars from its warriors will have its thinking done by cowards, and its fighting done by fools”


Thursday, April 28, 2011

Deutschland, in pictures

Just rediscovered the website of Friedrich Lohmüller, raytrace artist extraordinaire. He made a couple of the pictures on the excellent POV-RAY Hall of Fame. (Back in high school, by the way, that gallery inspired me to write a simple raytracer. It was pretty much my first real programming project.)

At first glance, his prints seem to have the simplified geometry, flat planes of color, and "plastic" look characteristic of low-budget CG.

For other artists, those qualities are usually tacky (eg most of the 3D stuff on DeviantArt). Even their "good" renderings often come across as a tech demo, not as art (eg the countless renderings of beams of light hitting a glass ball).

But Lohmüller's prints transcend the kitsch. He uses those same rendering limitations to great effect, conveying order and perfection--utopia, even.

I think he captures the German engineer ethos very nicely... or, at least, my interpretation of it. The detail in the machines, the geometry, the emphasis on solitude, the perfect infinite expanse, it's all there.

That one reminds me of a picture I took of the salt flats in Utah.

One of my favorites, apparently made a very long time ago:

It's a shame art like this isn't more widely known or respected.

Having linked to some of his pictures, I will also link to Mr. Lohmüller's gallery, where he sells a bunch of gorgeous poster prints.

Monday, April 11, 2011

EE108B in one (not-so-)short article

I took a pretty cool hardware class last quarter--EE108B. It's about processor design.

In any case, I just found a surprisingly comprehensive summary of the stuff we learned. A short, readable intro to pipelining, caches, instruction sets, gnarly design tradeoffs, and all that: