Thursday, 16 March 2017

Damn its emulated

The OpenGLES3.1 (or anything else that I can tell) is not runnong on the GPU, its all being emulated a the moment, I guess we have to wait for a version of the os with proper libs in it.

But even so, I expect these to come on line and its sitll possible to code in 3.1 albeit slowly.
So yeahhhh but, only lower case for now.

Wednesday, 15 March 2017

Got one.

Yeah I got my Tinkerboard at last. It is a very nice clean and tidy board,

After a bit of hunting following the ghost launch I managed to locate one in Germany, but it seems the supply is starting to ramp up and they are now flowing into the market.

The support site is still generation 1 and nothing by way of a community, but I was able to locate and download Debian. Sadly at work, using a Pi power unit it refused to boot, however once home with the same image and a beefier PSU it fired up in no time. It is nippy and responsive on the desktop, and after enabling its auto network, it went on line and happily performed and update/upgrade

It is a no frills standard Debian, it resized my sd card itself, and logged in to a sparse gui with nothing notable to report, except for one amazing features. It has OpenGLES3.1 libs on board. I’ve not had a chance to try them out yet, as I’m a bit busy but if this is indeed a properly implemented OpenGLES3.1 system, its hands down going to beat almost all the other SBC’s out there. I still want to see 3.2 on this thing though since ARM's site confirmed the 760 series are 3.2 capable

CPU gets mighty hot, so don’t try to run it without the heat sink, and as I say it needs a good power unit.

So far so good. I can’t wait to get programming some OpenGLES3.1 on it and see what it can really do. Sadly I just don't have time at the moment as I'm rushing to finish the book, but there are a few proejcts that will need testing on a non Pi machine... I wonder which ones I might use :D

Tuesday, 14 March 2017

Editing begins and Tinkerboard on way

so while I am still doing some code fixes , I have finally made a start on the 1st edit of the book. There was/is a fair amount of repetition of some concepts, and some things I can easily hive off to the support site. So pretty sure I can lop a fair chunk of pages of the current 860 total.

Most projects are starting to firm up now, only thing giving me big headaches are systems that need internal environments, its a complex subject to discuss, even more complex to write about but hopefully the demo's I'm putting together will demosntrate it.

I also managed to find a site in Germany that had stock of Tinkerboards, I am very excited about this board, more than any other due to the potential for mass market it has. Its still rather poorly set up, but its only the 1st generation. Can't wait to report on it when it arrives

And I am really pleased to report a lot of my students have been having a really good time with RPi and developing some concepts I outline in the book, especially the use of MD2 models and OBJ environments, which will allow for a lot of fun complex games with animation.

Here's a screenshot of one of my students projects using an internet sourced MD2 based animated model and a Mario world backdrop, its kind of a funky mash up but so nice to see what they can put together.its a shame I can't grab video from the Pi, seeing a model animate and move around an enviorment so smooth is really sweet.

Friday, 10 March 2017

So behind...but moving on now

Arrh tech issues, the bane of any coders life. I've had a few.
Book writing is going fine, book coding has been hitting bottle necks right left and centre, the worst of them being an instability in Visual GDB's debugger. It just became impossible to debug code as every break or single step would cause a network freeze.

It took a bit of hunting down but I finally found it, the Rasbian version of GDB is outdated and Visual GDB causes it to crash sometimes.... which is a pain.... You might expect the VisualGDB people to fix that but they don't accept responsibility for 3rd party issues...which is kinda understandable but frustrating.

Anyway, after much research, and digging into Linux (uggg I feel dirty) I worked out that replacing the GDB on the Raspberry cures the problem totally, its not an easy fix but it worked.

I now have a fully functioning debugger again. yeahh

And here's a screen show of an alien armada to celebrate.

I've also got MD2 animated models working and shadow and light systems all working, these were the tricky techy bits I really needed the debugger for, and now that they are done I can kinda forget about them and get back to the simple game

There are still lots of strange tech issues, why is the frame rate locked at 60fps for example, making delta time useless..but I'm asking around and will get the answers.