[rescue] A productive weekend...

Matthew Haas wedge at lightlink.com
Mon Jan 19 13:52:38 CST 2004

On Mon, 19 Jan 2004, Joshua Boyd wrote:
> Sounds like you guys have some nice toys.  Are you going to look into
> driving the wall with the Onyx?  On the RE2 unixs, it would have been
> easy enough to do using the MCO option.  I know there must be something
> similar for IR, but I'm unfamiliar with what it would be exactly.

 MCO? (Multi-channel operation?) Not familiar with it, or maybe just not
with the acronym.

 We would like to have an SGI-driven wall, so it would be nice if it could
be rigged up. I've found the biggest problem is that the machines often
don't like to cooperating due to "special" X extensions being loaded, or
special libraries not as accessible or compatible on different
architectures. Using our existing setup (using dmx to overlay a big X
server- see Mark's e-mail that he just posted), I tried having our G5
drive the wall, but Apple's X proved (at least from our initial tests) to
use incompatible extensions so the visuals were incompatible.

> Also, there is a library that lets your OpenGL programs seemlessly use a
> network of machines driving a wall.  Have you looked into that?  I
> forget the name at the moment, but I can try to dig it up.

 I know SGI appears to have a custom solution for this with their OpenGL
MultiPipe stuff... we still lack the hardware to even attempt that.

>  I mention it
> because I kinda got the impression that you were trying to drive a lot
> of displays from one machine (since you mention 15FPS using mplayer on a
> P4).  Ahh, here we go.

 Right now that is the easiest way to have gotten enough of a demo
together to please the crowds. Our main goal is in distributed systems
research, so ultimately we'd like to come up with other methods where the
processing is allocated amongst the machines, and each machine controlling
its own display in synchonization with the others. But this would then
require a need for custom-applications, which is all part of the game in
the long run.

 But like any new topic, it takes some time to play and figure out how to
rig up such things.

> WireGL(http://www.graphics.stanford.edu/software/wiregl/index.html) and
> the Chromium project (http://chromium.sourceforge.net/).

 These sound very interesting, and may be well worth some deep exploration
in a directed study I am doing this semester in distributed visualization.

> You must have a lot of fun.  I somewhat envy you.

 We try and have a good time. We're somewhat of a rogue group, although
we've been managing to please the "upper management" for a while, the
general "Computer Science" crowd thinks we would better spend our time if
we calculated run-times and big-Oh notation.

 Matthew Haas
 Corning/Geneseo, NY

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