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New machine bliss

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I didn't post it a while back because I was in the middle of a project and had the GDC and stuff going on, but my new HP replacement for my Main Development Box arrived a while back. Funniest thing is that it's virtually identical to the Compaq box we bought for CivilGrrl a couple of weeks earlier. Same chipset and layout and everything. The HP has a bit more bulgy and "hip" looking case and a better keyboard, but that's no biggie. The software selection was about the same too, which didn't matter in the slightest because I reformatted the drive and installed XP pro on it.

Only scary thing is that the case doesn't have much space for drives, and the two hard drive bays are situated on either side of the floppy drive, thus making the floppy drive into a heat-sink for the drives. I'll have to remember not to leave a floppy in the drive overnight :)

Anyway, I got to install the Radeon on it, and it works wonderfully. Nicest thing is that the hardware-accelerated OpenGL is about the fastest I've seen, at least outside of the realm of those shadowy geeks who overclock everything. I don't really use any 3D for games, but I do use it for grade-modelling software for CivilGrrl. Here's a screenshot of the software in action (click for full size).

(click this image if you want to see what a $9,000 piece of software looks like)

What you're seeing is a phase of a subdivision with foundations and roads installed. A 2D CAD representation of the layout is overlaid on the screen so you can see where you are on the property. The colors of the surface show the difference between the proposed grade and existing ground. The pink areas are where dirt must be removed, and the blue areas are where dirt must be added. Yellow is pretty-much unchanged. That little yellow-n-red thing south of the center is a bulldozer that you can drive around the property to see the whole area. The biggest advantage I have now is rendering speed. In the past, it took a while to render the scene, and driving the bulldozer around to look for problems with the grade took a lot of time. Now it's pretty-much happening in real-time. It's quite impressive.
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