Computer Hardware – Swinefighter.com http://www.swinefighter.com Gaming at its very best. Sun, 21 May 2017 18:05:31 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=4.7.5 Repair Hard Drive Crashes Without Spending More http://www.swinefighter.com/repair-hard-drive-crashes-without-spending-more/ http://www.swinefighter.com/repair-hard-drive-crashes-without-spending-more/#respond Mon, 09 Nov 2015 17:37:03 +0000 http://www.swinefighter.com/?p=29 In order to repair a hard drive crash without having to spend more, it is important that you research on the internet. There are several computer repair shops that can repair your hard drive efficiently. Their contact details can be obtained via the internet; which is why it is very convenient to find a technician online. It might a little confusing, but it will be easier for you to browse the internet and make comparisons of their services. Different companies have different services or credentials. If you do not compare, you might not be able to receive the best services for repair hard drive crash. Thus, do not make a decision right away if you are unsure with the company that you are transacting.

Furthermore, you can seek help from online forum sites. These sites allow you to post queries on potential computer …

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In order to repair a hard drive crash without having to spend more, it is important that you research on the internet. There are several computer repair shops that can repair your hard drive efficiently. Their contact details can be obtained via the internet; which is why it is very convenient to find a technician online. It might a little confusing, but it will be easier for you to browse the internet and make comparisons of their services. Different companies have different services or credentials. If you do not compare, you might not be able to receive the best services for repair hard drive crash. Thus, do not make a decision right away if you are unsure with the company that you are transacting.

Furthermore, you can seek help from online forum sites. These sites allow you to post queries on potential computer technicians for hard drives. You just have to wait for the replies of forum site subscribers so that you can identify the right opinions. If this does not help, you can read company reviews like this one and get feedback from previous customers. It is certainly important to consider these reviews so you can distinguish the best services for repairing hard drive crashes. This article shows a step by step plan once you’ve encountered a clicking drive.

Prevent Severe Hard Drive Damage

It often happens that a person is peacefully surfing on internet, watching a video, or playing a game on a computer that works well, when it suddenly stops working. If you try to turn it off and on again, but it doesn’t react, you can really fall into a panic feeling but maybe a hard drive has been damaged and you will have to wait a while until a company can fix that broken hard drive. But what actually affects damaging a hard drive? And, what is even more important, how can a physical damage on a hard drive be prevented?

Here is some solid advice for preventing the damage. First of all, a computer needs ventilation, so the back side of PC should be clear so the air can flow easily. Also, computers are super “smart” and can work more things at the same time, but running too many programs at the same time can physically damage your PC and you will actually harm it. The next step will then be asking yourself how to fix broken hard drive but we know it is better to prevent than to repair. Then, computer should not come near water because it has electricity inside so that can be pretty dangerous if you pour coffee over the PC.

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Video Game History: Lookin’ Good, Despite The Graphics http://www.swinefighter.com/video-game-history-lookin-good-despite-the-graphics/ http://www.swinefighter.com/video-game-history-lookin-good-despite-the-graphics/#respond Mon, 29 Jun 2015 11:51:13 +0000 http://swinefighter.com/wp/?p=42 vghOnce upon a time, disco ruled the airwaves, Rocky packed unmatched movie theater punch, and the Atari Corporation dominated the family room. The year was 1976 and Atari had just released the Atari 2600 home video game console, a four-bit system that promised to bring the arcade experience to the home. Riding the strength of hit titles such as Asteroids and Space Invaders, Atari dominated the video game market, moving millions of 2600 units in its heady heyday.

In 1996, one finds a vastly different video game console landscape. Atari is gone, having merged with disk drive manufacturer JTS Corporation in July 1996, and today’s video game console manufacturers enjoy technological advances that far surpass the Atari machines of the 1970s and including, with some exceptions, the use of CD-ROM as a game publishing medium. Moreover, many of todays companies are beginning to move …

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vghOnce upon a time, disco ruled the airwaves, Rocky packed unmatched movie theater punch, and the Atari Corporation dominated the family room. The year was 1976 and Atari had just released the Atari 2600 home video game console, a four-bit system that promised to bring the arcade experience to the home. Riding the strength of hit titles such as Asteroids and Space Invaders, Atari dominated the video game market, moving millions of 2600 units in its heady heyday.

In 1996, one finds a vastly different video game console landscape. Atari is gone, having merged with disk drive manufacturer JTS Corporation in July 1996, and today’s video game console manufacturers enjoy technological advances that far surpass the Atari machines of the 1970s and including, with some exceptions, the use of CD-ROM as a game publishing medium. Moreover, many of todays companies are beginning to move beyond the standalone console to surf the wave of the World Wide Web.

Today, video game consoles manufactured by Nintendo Company Ltd., Sega Enterprises Ltd., and Sony Corporation dominate an interactive entertainment market that is valued at more than $12 billion worldwide. According to the Interactive Digital Software Association, the interactive entertainment/edutainment software industry alone will generate approximately $7.7 billion in sales in 1996, including an estimated $4.4 billion in retail sales and $3.3 billion in indirect sales. Moreover, this interactive entertainment industry of today employs more than 90,000 people, with a growth rate of 26 percent annually.

THE BIG THREE:

CONSOLE GAMING AND BEYOND

There’s never a shortage of hype about the “next generation” in video game systems. Every manufacturer who enters the video game marketplace promises game systems that are faster, better, and cheaper than today’s consoles — offering dramatic special effects and greater realism and interactivity. It’s a constant, cut-throat format war. But where does the hype leave off and reality begin? The reality is that the video game console market has matured to the point where three companies — Nintendo, Sega, and Sony — vie for market share in the under-$200 console business and all with their sights set on cyberspace.

Nintendo CA, the Non-CD

On September 29, 1996, Nintendo Corporation of America Inc. made its leap from 16-bit technology to 64-bit technology, with the U.S. launch of the Nintendo 64 home video game system. Within three days after the U.S. launch, Nintendo reported its entire 350,000-unit shipment of players sold out at retail stores. Nintendo A represents a dramatic improvement over the 16-bit Super NES both in graphic resolution and processing power: the Nintendo 64 system features a 64-bit reduced instruction set computer (RISCI) CPU with a clock speed of 93.75MHz; 32-bit RGBA pixel color frame buffer support; 21-bit color video output; and a co-processor that includes a sound and graphics processor and a pixel drawing processor.

In terms of broadening its efforts beyond the console, Nintendo is rarely the first to do anything. The company’s philosophy is to let others blaze the trail. “We’ll come down and pave it later,” says Nintendo software engineering manager Jim Merrick. However, while Nintendo has done some development work in the area of online applications, its core business is gaming. We don’t want to do a Web browser unless it improves the gaming experience. We want to stick to what we know,” Merrick says.

Sega, First to CD, Links to Saturn

Of the three dominant console manufacturers, Sega has expanded the furthest beyond its core video game market. In addition to releasing its next-generation, CD-ROM-based Saturn console, the company also has released a Saturn-based Internet browser package called NetLink. Further, the company continues to support the Sega Channel and is making plans to develop interactive entertainment theme parks.

On the console side, the 32-bit Saturn features two SH2 32-bit RISC processors which provide the main processing engine for the Saturn; two graphics processors derived from Sega’s advanced arcade systems – VDP1 and VDP2 (Video Digital Processor); and the Sega Custom Sound Processor (SCSP) from Yamaha, which includes a 128-step digital signal processor (DSP) and provides up to 32 voices and CD-quality audio.

While Sega has thrown most of its support behind its Sega Saturn console, the company still remains committed to the more than 18 million owners of the Genesis cartridge-based system in the United States, having released more than 12 new titles for the system in 1996. However, the majority of games being developed by Sega and its third-party developers will also be published for the Sega Saturn. Sega reports that as of September 1996, the installed base of Saturn units is around 900,000. The company projects this figure to rise to around 1.5 million by the end of 1996.

As for moving beyond the console, for Sega, it all begins with the arcade experience. The company’s base business is to create compelling content for the arcade, then move this content onto the console and subsequently into other entertainment channels. For example, the company recently entered into a strategic partnership with Dreamworks SKG to form a location-based entertainment company called Gameworks. In December 1994, Sega, in a joint venture with Time Warner and TCI, launched the Sega Channel, a nationwide subscription-based cable network which offers Sega Genesis owners access to video games for play and preview. Sega Channel subscribers use a special cartridge adapter that fits into the Genesis machine to download video games directly onto CD-ROM. The game remains active on the machine until it is shut off.

Introduced on October 31, 1996 with a $199 list price, the NetLink is a 28.8 modem that fits into the cartridge slot of the Saturn. Included with the modem is CD-based HTML 2.0-compatible Web browser software developed specifically for the NTSC TV display standard. With the Saturn game controller and an on-screen keyboard, the user can browse the Web, receive email, and, eventually, participate in multiplayer, online gaming. The onscreen keyboard also incorporates predetermined grouped letters, such as “http://” and “.com, that can be accessed and activated using the Sega Saturn control pad a mouse, or a keyboard. Concentric Network Corporation will serve as Internet access provider for NetLink, offering one month of free service for new users; subsequent standard monthly charges will start at $19.95 for basic service. Sega plans to implement online gaming during the first quarter of 1997.

Sony PlayStation is CD

Sony Interactive Entertainment entered the video game console market in 1995 as a low-cost hardware manufacturer. In September 1995, the company launched its PlayStation video game console, the first 32-bit CD-ROM-based system to hit the streets. As of October 1996, the company reports that, in just one year in the video game hardware business, worldwide shipments of the PlayStation game console have topped 7.2 million units (3.5 million, Japan; 2.1 million, North America; and 1.6 million, Europe). Sony also reports that more than 15 of its first- and third-party titles have sold in excess of a quarter of a million units in North America.

As the installed base of PlayStation consoles continues to grow, Sony Computer Entertainment America (SCEA), which handles software publishing and marketing of PlayStation products in the United States, is exploring ways to broaden its audience reach. For example, in a venture with The Lightspan Partnership, SCEA plans to develop educational PlayStation software that it will sell to school systems — eventually allowing students to borrow a game console and software library for home study/play.

On the Internet front, while Sony acknowledges that online gaming is an important area that the company eventuauy plans to explore, sources within SCEA say that the company is happy with the way the PlayStation console is positioned and has no immediate plans to release any type of modem add-on device to the public. The same sources at Sony add that while the company may develop “some sort of online device” for the PlayStation down the road, these plans remain in research and development.

THE CARTRIDGE/CD DEBATE: SPEED VS. STORAGE AND BEYOND

The decision for a video game console manufacturer to commit to a CD-based game console instead of staying with a cartridge-based system goes beyond the economics of the media. While cartridges traditionally are more expensive to manufacture than CDs, market strategy and style of game play also factor into the cartridge/CD decision.

While its competitors Sega and Sony have introduced CD-ROM-based game consoles, according to Nintendo’s Merrick, Nintendo has remained cartridge-based for two main reasons: economics and performance. Merrick says, “We’re very sensitive to the cost of the console. We could get an eight-speed CD-ROM mechanism in the unit, but in the under-$200 console market, it would be hard to pull that off.”

Merrick also maintains that because the Nintendo 64 system handles so much graphical data at a high data transfer rate (such as 3D geometry and texture information), the company wanted to have the faster access afforded by the cartridge. “That’s not to say we don’t want more storage at a lower cost,” he adds, while quickly pointing out that many of the CD-based console games don’t really use all 650MB of the CD-ROM. The bottom line for Nintendo, according to Merrick, is to appeal to its hard-core game playing market. “Full-motion video demos really well on a CD-ROM, but once you get into the software, as a gamer, you’re thinking `let’s get on with the game,'” says Merrick. He stresses that one of the upsides of the cartridge is the absence of any load time. “Once you pop the cartridge into the machine, you’re into the game.”

hdfdPresently, Nintendo is developing a new disk drive system that was first previewed in November 1996 in Japan. According to Merrick, “We are looking for a drive that features a much higher data transfer rate than CD mechanisms can offer at their current pricing.” As a result, Nintendo is exploring a disk drive mechanism similar to the high-density floppy drive found in a Syquest or Iomega zip drive. This type of drive would give the company a high transfer rate of about 980KB and a sub-150ms access time. If and when released, the new drive will fit into an expansion slot located underneath the Nintendo 64 player.

Sega’s heritage as an arcade business that ports its top arcade titles to the home console is the main reason that the company upgraded its cartridge-based Genesis machine to the CD-ROM-based Saturn. In order to transfer faithfully the size and scope of arcade games such as Virtua Fighter and Daytona, we really needed the storage capacity of the CD-ROM,” says Ted Hoff, vice president of sales and marketing at Sega. The company also wanted to provide Red Book audio and cinematic film-quality graphics.

Hoff believes that the only thing sacrificed with a CD-ROM is the “minimal” load factor, which, the company argues, is something that can be overcome through effective design. “We are finding more and more ways to mask the load factor,” Hoff says. Sega currently is exploring such techniques as running an animated “featurette” or playing an audio track during the loading process. As Hoff points out, “We are working out ways to overlay or leapfrog the loading time.”

Unlike Sega, Sony has no heritage in the video game console or arcade business. For Sony, the choice between introducing a cartridge or CD-based machine came down to graphics quality and cost. Spokespeople at Sony maintain that in order to arrive at a more “true” 3D environment, the enhanced memory storage afforded by a CD-based system is critical. Further, by going the CD route, Sony, like Sega, believes it has a video game console on the market that is more attractive to publishers. “They can manufacture the appropriate amount of software without taking a tremendous inventory risk associated with the cartridge business,” says Andrew House, vice president of marketing at SCEA.

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A Neat Story About A Data Recovery Company http://www.swinefighter.com/a-neat-story-about-a-data-recovery-company/ http://www.swinefighter.com/a-neat-story-about-a-data-recovery-company/#respond Sun, 14 Jun 2015 01:31:56 +0000 http://www.swinefighter.com/?p=16 Unless you’ve been living under a rock for the past 10 years or are one of those grandmothers who have never seen or used a computer in your life, you probably have had some kind of issue with either a file or a hard drive at least once. You may have had a blue screen, or a clicking hard drive (which after some research I have found people actually call the “click of death”), or some kind of loss in which you really couldn’t get anything back.

Me. If I was a blond. And a woman. And had a particularly large mouth, apparently.

Me. If I was a blond. And a woman. And had a particularly large mouth, apparently.

I was one of the lucky ones for quite a long time. In fact, I think I never had a lost file in all 15 years of me using PCs. Do I think it has something to do with …

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Unless you’ve been living under a rock for the past 10 years or are one of those grandmothers who have never seen or used a computer in your life, you probably have had some kind of issue with either a file or a hard drive at least once. You may have had a blue screen, or a clicking hard drive (which after some research I have found people actually call the “click of death”), or some kind of loss in which you really couldn’t get anything back.

Me. If I was a blond. And a woman. And had a particularly large mouth, apparently.

Me. If I was a blond. And a woman. And had a particularly large mouth, apparently.

I was one of the lucky ones for quite a long time. In fact, I think I never had a lost file in all 15 years of me using PCs. Do I think it has something to do with the fact that I’ve always used Fujitsu laptops? Uh, probably not. I have read a lot of bad reviews of Fujitsu laptops that had me sometimes even reconsidering the fact that I own one. But, I will say the fact that they also manufacture  their own hard drives has got to mean something as far as overall consistency. At least, this is my theory, of which I have very little proof 🙂

Well, all that changed a couple of months ago when I was working on a paper for a company that I was doing consultancy for. Naturally, the thing was due only a couple of days before my hard drive finally up and crashed, and I was absolutely freaking out. Money was pretty tight at the time, and I assumed that I would probably be doomed here.

Anyway, after freaking out for a while and doing some searches on the Internet for the absolute most perfect data recovery software that has ever been created that can somehow recover files from a hard drive that is a brick, I finally chilled a little bit. Decided to weigh my options when I was looking to recovery my Mac laptop. I checked out this forum. Most of the data recovery techniques were way over my head. So, I did a couple searches and decided to contact a company called Hard Drive Recovery Group. The guy I talked to was actually pretty cool and I’m surprised at how well he was able to diagnose the problem with my hard drive over the phone. I was calmed down right away because I could tell that he was an expert immediately. I don’t typically deal very much in terms of IDE or SATA, so the whole thing, needless to say, impressed me a lot. Hardware has never really been my game, let’s say.

He said that it was likely that I would need clean room data recovery in order to get all my files back. I told him about my money situation and he told me that it would be a problem at all. He said that the recession had been difficult for quite a few people, and that many of his customers were actually paying him just down-payments. He said they actually set up a financing option for people who were having difficulties. This probably makes a lot of sense as I know actually a lot of people who ended up underwater because of their mortgage. But for a company to actually care enough about their customers to offer a specific financing option for a service as archaic as hard drive recovery really made me feel good about humanity.

All right, so I’m still a bitter old grump. But after getting all of my files back immediately (They basically just put your files in a secure place on their server and allow you to download it immediately, then ship you the data on a brand-new SSD drive. Wow.), I was able to finish the job and finally get paid.

The financing option was something that I really didn’t have to use, thankfully, because everything worked out really well.

I certainly wish all businesses were like this, but I understand that it is cold hard world. But every once in a while, it’s good to know that there are good people out there competing in what can often be a rough environment.

I think it is important to think about these things once in a while. You know, just think about it.

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How Exactly Do Graphics Cards Really Work? http://www.swinefighter.com/how-exactly-do-graphics-cards-really-work/ http://www.swinefighter.com/how-exactly-do-graphics-cards-really-work/#respond Thu, 11 Jun 2015 20:33:38 +0000 http://swinefighter.com/wp/?p=32 hegrwIn the setup phase, the triangle vertex data streams (x, y, z, color, etc.) are organized for presentation to the rendering engine. Triangles are sorted, culled, and clipped, and edge slopes are calculated for input into the raster engine. Subpixel corrections are needed to avoid anomalies such as poke-throughs and frayed edges. Converting from the floating-point “software” domain to the fixed-point “hardware” domain also is necessary. Doing all this in the host processor burns a lot of CPU cycles.

Finally, in the rasterisation phase, triangles are shaded, sorted, texture mapped, blended, and mapped to the display. Antialiasing and dithering functions are applied to help correct for a number of different artifacts, such as those seen on near-horizontal edges. Quality is not necessarily guaranteed here – some VGCs use simpler scanning techniques which can, for example, result in bleed-through along triangle boundaries.

System Performance

Let’s …

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hegrwIn the setup phase, the triangle vertex data streams (x, y, z, color, etc.) are organized for presentation to the rendering engine. Triangles are sorted, culled, and clipped, and edge slopes are calculated for input into the raster engine. Subpixel corrections are needed to avoid anomalies such as poke-throughs and frayed edges. Converting from the floating-point “software” domain to the fixed-point “hardware” domain also is necessary. Doing all this in the host processor burns a lot of CPU cycles.

Finally, in the rasterisation phase, triangles are shaded, sorted, texture mapped, blended, and mapped to the display. Antialiasing and dithering functions are applied to help correct for a number of different artifacts, such as those seen on near-horizontal edges. Quality is not necessarily guaranteed here – some VGCs use simpler scanning techniques which can, for example, result in bleed-through along triangle boundaries.

System Performance

Let’s take a look at how three contemporary systems perform full 3D-geometry lighting-model simulations using fixed 10-pixel triangles. They run 3D software on a 100-MHz Pentium processor with a 2D Windows accelerator, a 3D VGC with 30-Mpixel/s performance, and a hardware-assisted 3D VGC.

For small numbers of triangles, the performance is dominated by system copy calls. They occur most often in the case of the software 3D system (which composes the picture in system memory). The 3D VGC with setup shows lower frame rates due to a double-buffer approach synchronized to the monitor frequency. Above a rate of 500 triangles/s, the rapid falloff in performance of the 3D VGC demonstrates the need for hardware assist. At 10,000 triangles/frame, the 3D hardware is almost irrelevant, and the system is limited by the CPU’s geometry and lighting performance.

What does this all mean in practice? Most 3D games available today use about 1000 to 2000 rendered triangles/frame, from a total of about 5000, corresponding in a depth complexity of about three. Both software 3D and 3D-VGC systems struggle to reach 20 frames/s in this scenario, though having hardware setup helps a lot(again). Even with rich texturing, 1000 to 2000 triangles for the scene or subject doesn’t allow for a very realistic game. The next generation of 1-million-triangles/s games will require scene complexities of 10,000 triangles and beyond. In a typical scene breakdown, the larger triangles represent the greatest area. With rich texture mapping, the larger triangles are essential to the gaming experience. However, the small triangles are essential for realistic details.

Current software and 3D-VGC systems will be completely CPU bound at a few frames per second for this scene complexity, well below the level of 30 frames/s required for interactivity. Using a faster CPU, such as a 200 MHz Pentium II, will raise the performance level by a factor of about three, but the 8 frame/s performance is still too low.

Handling Textures

Sooner or later, all textures have to travel from system memory to the VGC. Today, those bandwidths are typically in the tens of megabytes, and are predicted to double each year. The Advanced Graphics Port (AGP) increases available bandwidths from 266 Mbyte/s for 1X mode (twice the rate of the PCI bus), to 1 Gbyte/s for 4X mode. But increased bus bandwidth is not enough. As required screen resolutions increase above 800 by 600 pixels and realism demands more sophisticated techniques such as trilinear texture filtering and antialiasing, it will be easy to exceed even the 4X AGP bus bandwidth if full texture mip-maps are stored in system memory.

Fortunately, it’s not necessary to store and transmit full-texture mip-maps. Compression factors of 10:1 or better are achievable with minimal texture degradation [ILLUSTRATION FOR FIGURE 2 OMITTED]. Compressed textures are stored in system memory transparent to the application, and are transmitted compressed to the VGC which decompresses them on the fly as needed.

agpScatter-gather PCI/AGP bus mastering is the next essential feature. It has the potential to double system performance. The VGC’s own Memory Management Unit (MMU) can autonomously fetch texture maps from the system memory without interrupting the CPU to provide scattered addresses of data blocks.

Advanced systems achieve a further reduction in band width by building a texture cache into the VGC, and by deferring texturing until clipping and visability are performed. Other key features to look for are perspective-correct texture mapping and the ability to handle generated and video textures.

Although texture compression allows next-generation games to run without saturating PCI-bus bandwidths, there’s still a need for enhancements suchy as geometry- and lighting-acceleration hardware. Microprocessor performance is not increasing fast enough and, until 1999, the best we can expect is a 2X improvement in the CPU’s floating-point performance. It’s reasonable to assume that this improvement will be absorbed by the requirements of 3D applications. Hardware geometry and lighting also helps minimize the bus-bandwidth requirement.

In the meantime, overall system performance can be improved by implementing some hardware-based software techniques.

2D Can’t Cut It

In a sense, the fastest way to render an object is not to have to render it. To squeeze the maximum performance from a limited 2D system, independent software vendors (ISVs) have long exploited techniques like sprites, level-of-detail (LOD), 3D layering, and affine transforms. Sprites allow relatively complex, active objects to be stored as bitmaps and superimposed on a scene. However, as we become accustomed to more sophisticated games, conventional 2D sprites often look disconnected and unrealistic.

With LOD filtering, ISVs don’t bother to render more distant objects. It’s a sensible compromise because the number of objects within the field of view increases rapidly with distance. However, it often leads to the disturbing effect of trees, buildings, and other objects suddenly popping up out of nowhere.

Use of 3D layering allows for a more efficient exploitation of system resources. Objects are grouped according to their distance from the viewer. Background objects like mountains and clouds change very slowly and require infrequent updating. Alternatively, foreground objects need frequent rendering. Combined with an affine warping capability (which can be described as transformations like stretching and skewing), 3D scene updates can be even less frequent. For example, an approaching midground group of buildings, can be slowly zoomed without rendering, and only needs rerendering when the perspective changes by more than a certain amount and/or new surfaces become visible.

Because sprites, 3D layering, and affine warping are all well suited to being handled in hardware, these features will soon appear in the next generation of advanced 3D VGCs. The Talisman initiative from Microsoft represents a multimedia reference platform that incorporates other advanced architectural concepts. These include chunking to avoid frame-buffer memory and minimize bus bandwidth, as well as a range of other multimedia functions such as DVD and video-conferencing.

The other main function of the 3D VGC is the bus-mastered handling of video I/O. During the last few years, video has become an increasingly important feature in the mainstream PC market. Desktop video-editing has been a niche application for years. On business platforms, the long-predicted “killer-application” is video-conferencing. In an intriguing example where games and video merge, a captured video of the game player is inserted into the game in which he or she becomes, quite literally, a leading character in the game.

The underlying problem behind most PC-based video capabilities relates to the differing environments of the PC and the television. For historic reasons, PAL/NTSC TVs use an interlaced scanning system at 50 or 60 half-fields/s with 480 or 512 lines/field. PC monitors typically operate in excess of 75 noninterlaced fields/s with 600 or more lines/field. When analog video is imported into the PC, a number of artifacts must be corrected. Similarly, a PC monitor outputting a PAL/NTSC signal runs into the same problem but in reverse.

Video Deinterlacing

When importing DVD or video data, the simplest method to produce a full picture is to merge or weave two successive odd and even half fields. This technique maintains the picture’s maximum detail provided there’s no motion. But even the slightest object movement causes a disturbing feathering artifact.

The conventional line-doubling solution discards the even fields and repeats each line in the odd field. This way solves the feathering effect, but at the cost of lower vertical resolution. Interpolation helps, but the missing clarity is especially noticeable with (near) static pictures. The best approach, found on some VGCs, is to combine both solutions so that resolution is only lost when needed to correct for motion artifacts.

TV Output

Many users will use a large-screen TV as a PC display for cost reasons, more exciting gaming experiences, or for presentation purposes. Making video information that was specifically generated for the PC look good on a TV presents new challenges to both PC and application designers.

A three-line flicker filter is the VGC’s most essential TV-out feature. To maintain the proper standards, we must correct for the 25 or 30 Hz flickering of (near) horizontal edges. Good horizontal and vertical upscaling (with interpolative filtering) of video data is mandatory. It’s also important to correct for the TV’s over-scanning, which may be suitable for a movie, but disastrous when the lost information is a menu item or scroll bar.

The ability to compose the TV picture independent of the PC monitor can be equally important in making sure the right information is sent to the TV. For example, in a home-movie editing application, the TV output might only be a window on the PC monitor, while on a VCR it will appear as a full-screen image.

Critical performance Issues

The consumer PC must be equipped for the next generation of 3D games, which will soon be rendering scenes at rates of 1 million triangles/s. The CPU and VGC need to offer a much better balanced system for handling the critical performance demands of the 3D pipeline. In the near term, VGCs offering features like scatter-gather bus mastering, texture compression and caching, 3D layering, and off-line warping off-load the CPU and dramatically enhance system performance.

Most designers agree that full-triangle setup belongs in the VGC, although there’s some division of opinion on whether geometry and lighting processing belongs in the CPU or the VGC. Hardware accelerations for geometry and lighting aim to enhance the performance of today’s CPU-bound systems. Designers need to trade off the silicon investment in the CPU against that in the multimedia/VGC subsystem on the basis of the relative importance of the various applications.

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Android And Flash – Can’t We Just Be Friends? http://www.swinefighter.com/android-and-flash-cant-we-just-be-friends/ http://www.swinefighter.com/android-and-flash-cant-we-just-be-friends/#respond Fri, 22 May 2015 04:12:09 +0000 http://www.swinefighter.com/?p=12 I never really expected to be somebody that you would call a tablet geek. I frankly thought that apples were probably going to be a waste of time and that the PC was still want to be king for a period of time. I think I was alone here, as there were quite a few experts that said the same thing.

I never really thought that I would be a tablet owner, but then I received one for Christmas from a friend of mine and I immediately took to it.

I can say that I am a gadget guy, and obviously the fact that I started with a high-end tablet like the Asus Transformer Infinity, meant that I would either sink or swim right away. There would be no opportunity for me to complain about the technology, or the lack of hardware …

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I never really expected to be somebody that you would call a tablet geek. I frankly thought that apples were probably going to be a waste of time and that the PC was still want to be king for a period of time. I think I was alone here, as there were quite a few experts that said the same thing.

I never really thought that I would be a tablet owner, but then I received one for Christmas from a friend of mine and I immediately took to it.

I can say that I am a gadget guy, and obviously the fact that I started with a high-end tablet like the Asus Transformer Infinity, meant that I would either sink or swim right away. There would be no opportunity for me to complain about the technology, or the lack of hardware power, because really this is one of the best tablets you can buy right now. What’s more, the fact that you can use a keyboard is a huge plus for me. I will say that the keyboard itself is a bit of a piece of junk, but it does provide battery life and actually makes this a usable device. Very usable, in fact; I use it for reading books and when I’m cooking in order to read recipes, as well as to play a lot of the games that are available. I certainly won’t be talking about the IPad, of course, but that’s because I never really had any time for Apple products because I feel as if they are a lot of hype and mostly junk.

flash-androidBut Android is actually a phenomenal ecosystem as far as programmers are concerned. As a user, I’ve always been very impressed with the fact that most Android software is actually either cheap or free. Those are two characteristics that make the platform very attractive for almost anyone. So it really was a surprise for me that Adobe stopped supporting Android when it comes to Flash. I understand that they already have a number of platforms that they are dealing with, but I would imagine that Windows probably takes the lion’s share of resources that they have right now. There certainly are no lack of updates to the Windows platform, as evidenced by the fact that every time I turn on my PC, I am automatically told that there is a new update. It seems like there’s a new update every couple weeks, if not days. I really wonder just how many holes and garbage are in the new Flash program, because it seems like they just can’t stop patching it.

But to stop updating Flash for Android really makes no sense. I don’t think you have to be a crystal ball reader in order to figure out that Android is probably going to be a competitor to Windows very soon. In fact, I know a lot of people who simply will not bother buying PCs anymore simply because they just don’t feel the need to. The software has fallen behind hardware so much that if you have a PC from 2007, you are probably still okay.

This all means that Adobe is probably just not thinking about the future. I had to side load a version of Flash onto my tablet (it’s Jelly Bean), and it works fine, so it made me realize that it’s not as if this plug-in does not work anymore. It feels to me more like Adobe just got lazy and decided that they did not want to support this platform anymore. Unfortunately, so many major outlets are using this in order to broadcast video and other things. I wish that they would wake up because it all seems very nonsensical.

At this point, I’m starting to realize exactly why Apple has avoided adding Flash to any of their extremely popular products. Yes, it is quite obvious that they have a competitor in QuickTime (although not much of a competitor if you ask me), but just dealing with Adobe’s hierarchy must be a huge bitch.

That’s a real shame, because this company used to be something important. Now it’s just collecting royalties on software that really haven’t had any new features for the past five years.

Lame.

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