The BSDs and System V

NetBSD, OpenBSD, and FreeBSD. They are all fun. They are different than Linux. I am of course talking about the kernel rather than the GNU software that is typically available on all of them. The BSDs have a vintage feel about them. I like it.

I wish that it was easier to try System V or SVR4 rather. Because instead of the Berkeley line, it is from the AT&T line which was the basis for IRIX, the version of UNIX on SGI systems. I still have a fondness for the MIPS10000 Octane MXE workstation I had many years ago.

The only way to try System V nowadays is to use an OpenSolaris derived system. But I have to admit that I hated Sun systems when I was younger for no good reason. I think it was because the 3D graphics sucked and I do graphics! So, it left a sour taste. Though there is a Sun variant called Tribblex that looks like it could be interesting to try in a virtual machine.

Of course, the BSDs still feel like the best out feel out there. I want to set one up with a nice X11 desktop like MWM. And it would be nice if IBM and HP would release AIX and HP/UX as free software. And maybe SGI will release their source code for their X based desktop and life would be grand.

UNIX could become more available to the common folk. I was watching some classic Computer Chronicles about UNIX. In 1985, it was still crusty and untrustworthy. In 1989, their last chance to prove UNIX was worth using, all they could talk about was how you could use a menu and how there machines cost $5000. Lol.

FreeBSD Part 2

So I tried FreeBSD in VirtualBox. Step 2 was to try and install it on my Thinkpad. Unfortunately, I am having boot issues. Perhaps it was too many operating systems. I deleted everything but Windows 10 and then reinstalled Fedora 29. I may try again on my Intel NUC that I am currently using PopOS with. In the mean time, the Raspberry Pi 3 is getting a go at it. The wifi does not work, so it is tethered to my router so I can install X11. I used the image from the FreeBSD website. When I get everything installed, we’ll see how the experience is.

Playing with FreeBSD 12

So my use case is run FreeBSD in VirtualBox in Windows. The first experiment ended up in failure, but not because I was using Windows, rather because I can’t get the X server to behave. So I will need to attempt this again. I will say that my goal is to do 3D graphics and game development.

However, I did discover some neat things I can use this OS for. For instance, I am rediscovering WindowMaker. I thought it was cool that the PlayStation 2 Linux Kit used it as the default window manager. I used it often in the 1990’s. It still looks good. But, it doesn’t work out of the box for any kind of real work.

There are several packages I am trying: redshift, compton, and xdg-user-dirs, xscreensaver. Anyways, here is my current pkg install command list.

pkg install bash tmux htop vim emacs w3m wget curl nano
pkg install xorg slim windowmaker enlightenment wmakerconf
pkg install redshift compton xdg-user-dirs xscreensaver xeyes
pkg install firefox gimp
pkg install ...

I will note that I find it ironic that it takes 1 gigabyte to do the first line which are supposed to be command line utilities! By using emacs-nox and vim-console, it goes down to 279 MiB instead. These are the dockapps I installed for WindowMaker.

pkg install wmcpuload wmclock wmnetload wmsystemtray wmtop wmmemload
pkg install inconsolata-ttf

The Xdefaults file needs to be updated so that xterm doesn’t look too small. I use the following settings:

*xterm*foreground: #cfcfcf
*xterm*background: #000000
*xterm*font: xft:Inconsolata:size=16

C++ Vector and Matrix Library

I am working on an open source Vector and Matrix Library for C++ and TypeScript. I am calling it FluxionsGTE and FluxionsWebGTE, respectively.

// TypeScript
class Vector3 {
  constructor(public x: number = 0, public y: number = 0, public z: number = 0) { }
}
// C++
template <class T>
class TVector3
{
public:
  T x, y, z;

  TVector3(T x = T(0), T y = T(0), T z = T(0)) { }
};

using Vector3f = TVector3<float>;

Conversion between specular exponent, specular roughness, and specular glossiness

Ever need to convert between specular exponent, roughness, and glossiness? for the Blinn-Phong BRDF, these three values represent the same concept. Specular Exponent is the actual value used to compute the BRDF. Let’s call that variable e. The roughness m and glossiness g values are numbers between 0 and 1 and they are additive inverses of each other. In other words

$$g = 1 – m \, ,$$

$$m = 1 – g \, .$$

The exponent is given by

$$e = \frac{2}{m^2} – 2$$

or

$$e = \frac{2}{{(1 – g)}^2} – 2 \, .$$

The BRDF f_r(\omega_i, \omega_g) is

$$ f_r(\omega_i, \omega_o) = \pi \frac{F(\omega_i \cdot \omega_h) D(\omega_i) G_2(\omega_i \cdot \omega_g, \omega_o \cdot \omega_g)}{4 (\omega_i \cdot \omega_g) (\omega_o \cdot \omega_g)}$$

where Blinn-Phong D(\omega_i) is given by

$$ D_{\mathrm{Blinn-Phong}}(\omega_i, \omega_h, e) = \frac{e+2}{2\pi} (\omega_i \cdot \omega_h)^e $$

and the resulting specular illumination is given by
$$ \mathbf{L}_o = f_r(\omega_i, \omega_o) \mathbf{L}_i (\omega_i) \mathbf{V}_i (\omega_i) (\omega_g \cdot \omega_i) \, . $$

1hgj 102: Eats Shoots & Leaves (to the left)

The theme to this past #OneHourGameJam was to make a game based to the object of the left. My main goal was to make a game where a player can fire a projectile towards an enemy that is pursuing the player. Halfway through as I was making a sprite for a spaceship, the idea of a panda seemed appealing. So I made the game with a panda who can only fire in the left direction.

https://www.mfactorgames.com/games/1hgj_102