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About S1CA

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    Simon O'Connor

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    Technical Director
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  1. S1CA


    you woulda loved copperlists :-) (video hardware programs with a wait for scanline instruction and a register poke instruction, and due to the timing you could set a video hardware register to different value multiple times across one scanline - palette register poking, bitmap start position poking, and even blitter transfers running asynchronously to the cpu - with the CPU left to do fun things like re-write the copperlist on the fly. Jay Miner deserves a sainthood for services to the demo scene! </nostalgia>
  2. S1CA

    Digital Test Cards For Games

    - "safe area" markers. The area which text or important icons will be safely readable on a CRT TV. Useful for console game development. - Make sure the colour/gamma space of the file is made clear. sRGB?, Gamma 2.2?, linear? - Colours & greyscale gradients in each of the above colour spaces (useful for determining where gamma and de-gamma bugs are in your engine/pipeline as well as demonstrating the difference between linear and perceptual luminance). - Maybe take a leaf out of the MPEG test card book and make part of it useful for testing the quality of different DXT/BC compressors.
  3. S1CA

    Still here :-)

    Congrats on the re-award Jack (and you Eyal!) - funnily enough: me too [smile]
  4. S1CA


    Quote:Original post by Driv3MeFar On the off chance you get to a computer and check this while on vacation, and are in Seattle by the 10th, there's a GDNet Seattle gathering. Doh, shame, I get in on the evening of the 11th. Jack & Superpig may be there by then though (along with lots of other MVPs - look out for an increas in Microsoft branded clothing everywhere in downtown Seattle that week).
  5. S1CA


    I'll probably see you on Sunday evening too! If not, Monday :o) Is the mobile # you posted in .ukie the one you're taking? Mine's the same (also the same as the one in Reading). Land @ SEATAC @ 16:50, hopefully with my luggage this time.
  6. S1CA

    Driver bugs?

    I remember fixing a compatibility bug on an nVidia Quadro 4 where we had (I think - hazy memory) a texCUBE sampling an envmap but the sampler was being set to NULL in our code for that stage, the result was a kind of rainbow pattern as if the tex coords were being used directly as the colour or some sort of default 'debug' map was being used. The colours of your contours look a little bit rainbowish to me...
  7. S1CA


    I was at the Sheraton for the first summit I attended - it's really close to the conf. centre and still a good hotel (they all are of course, as usual). I'm sure you won't be the only DirectX MVP who didn't get into the first choice hotel... ...I for example haven't booked any flight or hotel yet - but that's because I'm probably going to have to leave both until the very last minute this time since I might not be able to attend due to clashes with work stuff [rolleyes][depressed] Hopefully I'll know whether it's doable by mid-January (crosses fingers, toes, etc) - not least because I can tack a small break elsewhere in the US onto the end (such as St. Paddy's day in NYC...).
  8. S1CA

    24 hours in a day just aint enough

    <me too>Yup, know that feeling well. I recently got made "Technical Lead" (a.k.a. Lead Programmer) on a project - woo, yay... more meetings, more paperwork, more [key] decision making, more responsibility (a.k.a. saviour vs scapegoat) - on top of the stuff I was already doing of course. Strangely enough I'm already getting used to being the last one out of the office every night [wink] <awaits annual pay review season...>. You'll be back on form as #1 DirectX MVP contributor soon enough Jack [smile] - new town, new company, new role - they all take more "spare cycles" than usual until you've completely settled in.
  9. S1CA

    A link and a complaint

    Quote:Original post by jollyjeffers Quote:Original post by Muhammad Haggag Chasing on what, you turd. It's a clear win--you've posted like, what, 500000000000000 posts this year?[lol] Well it's only 2,050 posts in the DirectX forum.... Whilst I haven't had renewal confirmed they haven't said that I wouldn't be... [grin] Cheers, Jack Just got back last night from a long weekend of fun [in the sun] in Amsterdam - I recieved a renewal email on Saturday. [smile] Haven't yet had a chance to sign the eNDA etc. If you were at risk of not being renewed, you would have recieved an email a while ago warning you that you might not be renewed. You've been a million times more active than I have in the DirectX community this past year - you shouldn't have any problem with not being renewed IMO. Eric handles the renewals for us lot - if the MVPGA renewal email didn't get through to you, I'm sure he can put your mind at rest/sort it out. [smile]
  10. S1CA

    Fastest company in the west

    Steve, welcome to stability of the games industry at the moment... [depressed] A few snippets of advice (been there, done that, got the...) in case things don't quite work out as expected/promised: 1) Fill out an RP1 form from the Insolvency Service (http://www.insolvency.gov.uk/pdfs/rp1april2003.pdf). IIRC the administrators should send you an RP1, but in case they don't (or 'proper' administrators/liquidators aren't appointed) see above. A jobcentre should also be able to sort you out with a paper copy of the RP1. With the RP1, you can claim back any wages owing to you as well as any holiday pay you were entitled to for days you hadn't yet taken. The amount you get from an RP1 claim is capped, but since you were in a junior role, you'll likely get much of what you were owed. The money you claim using the RP1 comes from a fund that the Redundancy Payment Service has for companies that go bust without being able to pay their employees (usually ones who don't have enough assets to liquidate to pay all the creditors). The money for that fund comes from everyone's National Insurance contributions - it's stuff like that which NI was designed for. 2) If your former employer (or the administrator) doesn't sort out your P45 pronto, then you're technically still employed, just working for nothing! When this happens, the employer is in breach of contract - write them a formal **letter** telling them this. Things like the Redundancy Payment Service and the dole will only pay out for the time you are /really/ unemployed. 3) If your former employer is talking about setting up a new company, and any length of time has elapsed, be wary of signing *any* paperwork with the letters TUPE on. A TUPE agreement is a [usually fine, sometimes sneaky] way of transferring all the employees of one company to another company, and can cancel your rights to claim redundancy, dole, etc in any interim period. 4) "We're saved" phoenix companies rising from the ashes of a newly bust company can feel great - but beware of "out of the frying pan into the fire" situations - sometimes they work; sometimes they're last ditch attempts to salvage an already sunk ship and you'd have been better off (stress wise, hopes wise, work wise, career wise etc) moving on when you had the chance. 5) If there's any downtime between the old company and any 'phoenix' companies or new job, claim any and all the benefits you can (on top of the RP1) - don't feel you're sponging (it amazes me how many newly redundant people I've met do) - you've paid tax and national insurance while you were working for a reason, it's your *right* (very different to the people who really are sponging). Simon.
  11. S1CA


    - employment agencies make 20-30% of a placed candidates first year salary as a commission. Some are desperate to place candidates (read commission), some will mislead candidates, some will mislead employers. Employment agency adverts (in any industry) can paint a misleading picture of the job market in that industry. - there are definitely some staff shortages in the games industry; but mostly they tend to be either for very specific roles, or at less popular geographic locations and/or less popular companies (high staff turnover due to big internal problems...). - in other areas of the country there's a job shortage - it really does vary a hell of a lot based on location at the moment. If you're not in/near a current hotspot, expect to relocate; be prepared to relocate again if/when that area crashes... - most medium to large (>100 people) games studios in the UK *do* take on people without prior industry experience (assuming good degree and a knowledge/enthusiasm from hobby involvement). - the reason for jobs asking for people with *specific* prior experience is simply because the vacancy is usually to fill a gap on an existing team where they want someone to slot in and become productive from day one. - unfortunately some games studios do hire junior staff in the deliberate knowledge that they're cheaper than experienced staff and much more easily "expendable". - a very large number of games jobs are filled through word of mouth long before you see any adverts. - if you want to be in the industry that much, and you're good at what you do, it's not that difficult to get into. But caveat emptor, while the high points are really high (relaxed industry, doing something you enjoy, working on/with "cool" stuff, etc), the downpoints are equally low (instability, serious unpaid overtime, management practices/incompetencies that make you despair).
  12. S1CA

    The MVP Global Summit

    AP: There aren't any DX10 GPUs available yet - though it's entirely possible some IHVs already have stuff in silicon for internal testing. With D3D you can however test new features & develop code before you have the available hardware by using the reference rasterizer, e.g. my first pixel shader 1.1 program was tested using the REF device. As for particle systems - you don't need DX10 features for a particle system, but geometry shaders can be handy for generating quads from particles, amongst many many other cool things. Jack: I think the jetlag is drastically reduced if you manage to get some sleep while travelling, which I noticed you did [smile] - I can't sleep on planes so for me ~28 hours on the go and jetlag left my body in a seriously disorientated state on Monday night - or maybe it's just an old age thing [wink]
  13. S1CA

    The MVP Global Summit

    http://mvp.support.microsoft.com/mvpfaqs How do you become an MVP? Simple: help others out in online forums, newsgroups, user groups, etc, and maybe write some articles and tutorials, all without expecting any reward other than the personal satisfaction of helping others. Seriously, none of the MVPs "tried" to become MVPs - it just happens; a number of MS staff regularly visit (and even post at) boards such as GameDev.net, they and existing MVPs do take notice of the most helpful people out there...
  14. S1CA

    Right then

    The national famous beers are pissweak... ...but the local microbrews aren't [grin] - collectively, the MVPs from GD.NET who were there* must have had at least a few gallons of them all (Old Seattle, Pyramid, and Alaskan Amber being my personal favourites). [* disclaimer: the ones over 21 and drinking, [wink]] And jetlag with a hangover and a cold is "interesting", bah!
  15. S1CA

    take 2

    Idea: 1. RGB -> HSL 2. Quantize S, Quantize L or set to constant values 3. Quantize H or lookup in a 1D "hue remap" texture 4. HSL -> RGB [smile]
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