Simple DirectMedia Layer (SDL) Based OpenGL Templates and Windows Builds

The original set of OpenGL/MiniGL templates published on this site, were for using GLUT. GLUT is a cross-platform toolkit that provides a consistent method for opening OpenGL windows, and handling events from keyboards, mice, and other input devices. The Simple DirectMedia Layer (SDL) is another toolkit that could be used for the same purpose. One of the advantages of SDL is that it is a more modern Application Programming Interface (API), and also includes an API for audio. It's joystick/controller support is also more extensive. Therefore, a set of SDL tutorials have been added to the OpenGL/MiniGL templates section.


Month in Review - January 2009

This month has seen a move to a newer, faster server. Just to give an idea of how much difference this makes, Google's search-bot took an average of 2.2 seconds to download a page on the old server, whereas a page download now takes about 0.5 seconds. That's approximately 4 times faster. 


Ph.D. Thesis Now Online

For those who are interested or just curious, my Ph.D. thesis is now available online at the University of Toronto. Titled, "3D-tracking of A Priori Unknown Objects in Cluttered Dynamic Environments," this thesis represents my research in computer vision for the last five years. It details an object tracking system that is capable of tracking the 3D pose (position and orientation) of an object without requiring a model of the object to be provided a priori. This allows it to track objects that it has never seen before.


Finally, A Tool to Backup a Website and its MySQL Database

SiteVault LogoI have been searching for a convenient method of backing completely backing up this website, files, database and all. This is important because sites can and do get hacked, or experience hardware failure which results in lost data. All the hard work put into a site can be lost in a flash if a backup is not available. Web-hosts do not necessarily make or guarantee backups, which is why making ones own backups is necessary.


Akismet no Longer Working on this Website

Today I noticed that no one could post comments on this website anymore. The Akismet module appeared to be stuck in an infinite loop, or at least taking too long. After 60 seconds of execution, a PHP script is cut off (note: this time-out is different on other web servers). Since I lack the time to investigate and fix this problem, Akismet is temporarily disabled.


Improving Website Navigation/Usability

Don't make me think by Steve KrugRegular visitors may have noticed the addition of drop-down menus on the navigation bar above. This was suggested to me by my brother, who correctly pointed out that this would make it easier to navigate this website. Indeed, examining the server logs shows that many visitors are already using it to jump to the sub-section of greatest interest. Previously, they had to click on a section, and then choose the desired sub-section in order to get to what they wanted. Not only do the new menus save time, they also give an instant overview of what the major topics of this website are, thus making it easier for visitors to find what they are looking for. The menus were implemented using the Simple Drop-Down Menu code found on this page.


Website Transferred to Kiwihosting.net.nz's HELM (Windows) Servers

Previously, this website was hosted one of Kiwihosting.net.nz's Unix (HSphere) servers. They now have newer, faster Windows servers that are Helm based. Not only are they faster, they currently also offer twice the bandwidth and disk space of the older hosting plans on their HSphere servers. They also offered six months free hosting to those who volunteered to move their websites to the new hosts without assistance. After some minor issues with this website over the weekend, I decided to move to the new hosts. To make things easy, Kiwihosting's staff had already created installation instructions for Silverstripe on the new servers.


Month in Review - December 2008

This month has seen significant additions to this website, as can be seen with an increase from 112 to 132 pages. I have had much more time to spend on this site than usual, due in part to not having my Amiga one and, thus, being unable to work on the RadeonHD for Amiga OS 4 project. There as also been more free time in general.


How to Set up and Use Your Own (Linux-Based) Development Server in Minutes

A new section of this website is finally complete. It provides instructions on how to set up and use a Trac and SubVersioN (SVN) server. Trac and SVN are incredibly useful tools for software development. In my opinion, these tools are indispensable tools for any software project. Of course there are alternative products available, but these are the ones that I am familiar with, and they are free. Trac is a minimalist software project management too, providing methods of tracking bugs, enhancement requests and overall progress from start to finish. SVN is a source-code version control system that tracks changes made to the source-code.


500 Internal Server Error Courtesy of the Zend Optimizer

Last night I went to log in to the CMS administrator pages for this website in order to add to this website. To my horror, I was greeted with a 500 Internal Server Error. This was quite puzzling since it had worked fine up until that day. For the next several hours, emails flew back and forth between kiwihosting.net.nz technical support and me, as we collectively searched for a solution. I suspected that they had changed something on the server that resulted in this problem. However, they stated that they had not made any changes for several weeks. The error looked serious, since PHP performed a 48 MiB core dump every time that page was accessed.


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