April 11, 2013


Posted by Scott at 10:16 PM

Good morning! Michelle took a Thursday morning Step class at Golds after she dropped Timothy off at school. She says it was a tough one! She also got scheduled for an eye exam tomorrow. I stopped by Cafe on the Oval for a hearty breakfast before driving into work. I finished my novel as I reached the state line and caught up on news with my dad the rest of the way in.

My intention with having a big breakfast was to just work through the day, skipping lunch. It was going to be a busy day. I got to (re)learn about several things today for a task I was to complete today:

  • dithering exampleDithering, in particular the Floyd–Steinberg dithering algorithm. Later I used GIMP to help me remap a nice photograph into a simple F-S dithered black and white to be used in testing. Another example of such dithering is showing at right. In this type of dithering shades of gray are approximated solely by the density of the pure black dots. In this age of hi-def it takes one back to remember how we did things 30 years ago.
  • The ancient PBM file format for storing monochrome images. Think of the 1984 MacPlus days.
  • Different ways to reverse the bits in a byte efficiently, because it turns out PBM stored them the opposite order of what I needed.
  • Plus I got to do more shader programming at the assembly level. For various reasons I rarely get the benefit of using a higher level language like GLSL or HLSL. Again programming at such a low level is just something rarely done these days.

So yes, lots of research and debugging. It was a good day, especially because before the end of the day, it all Just Worked. I also worked with a peer to determine that Khronos, the official graphics standards body, had a major bug in one of their conformance suites. It'll be patched soon. That's the price of being one of the early implementers of new agreed upon “Industry Standards”: you get to find the bugs.

Because of this I worked a bit late, despite skipping lunch. When I texted Michelle that I was heading home, she asked that I pick up Abby along the way. Abby was at a friend's house working on homework and music. I listened to some of Right Here, Right Now on the drive north.

After a bite of dinner Michelle, the boys and I re-watched some of "Life of Pi". It was such an intriguing movie the first time when we saw it together as a family at the Wilton Town Hall Theater. Visually it's stunning, but we also thought that perhaps the second viewing might make certain puzzling aspects make more sense. A bit like watching a Doctor Who episode a second time. “Oh… now I see why…”

Tomorrow I'm working from home. Michelle has an appointment with a local eye doctor. Her oncologist wants her eyes tested. I want to be on hand in case the testing involves dilating the pupils. And of course I'll look forward to not spending two hours in the car. And perhaps I can make it to 7:30am Mass.