Rickard Andersson

Introducing Affirmative

As I mentioned a few posts back, I’m keen on getting into Mac development. At first, I was just intrigued with the concept of Grand Central Dispatch, but now I’m just generally into it. I needed a “Hello World” application to get me started, so I figured I would do an application that verifies SFV files. There are other apps for the Mac that do this, but what the hell, choice is good, right?

So, without further ado, I present to you Affirmative!

When I started the project, I figured CRC32 calculations were a perfect fit for Grand Central Dispatch. I toyed with the idea of using GCD, but it turns out that doing CRC32 calculations is I/O bound, not CPU bound. That is, the bottleneck is the hard drive, not the CPU. Spawning multiple threads to calculate the CRC32 checksum using GCD actually worsened performance as all the threads were waiting on the hard drive instead of crunching numbers. With this information in hand, I decided to stay away from GCD for this project and do a relatively common two-thread application instead.

Stay tuned for more apps. I actually have a pretty good idea of what I’m gonna do next.

Goodbye hard drive!

I ordered an SSD today, an Intel X25 80GB (2nd generation). They’ve been sold out everywhere for ages now, but I think I might have gotten a hold of one. I can’t wait to give it a spin (even though it doesn’t actually spin). I have a fresh Snow Leopard install on my current regular 7200rpm drive that I’m going to copy over to the SSD so I can compare. Heck, I might even record a short video if the difference is really as noticeable as people are saying.

I will of course have to keep one or two regular drives for storage, but OSX and all my apps are going on the SSD.

Inside the Meltdown

Just wanted to recommend an excellent PBS Frontline documentary on how the US economy went bad so fast and the whole housing bubble/mortgage debacle.

This is just one of many great documentaries available for viewing at pbs.org.

Snow Leopard review

I just plowed through John Siracusa’s review of Snow Leopard over on Ars Technica. All 26 pages of it. If you only read one review of Snow Leopard, and you like your reviews indepth, this is the one. I particularly enjoyed the parts pertaining to Grand Central Dispatch (GCD) and OpenCL. Just the page on GCD alone made me want to get back to OSX development. Maybe it’s time to start up Xcode again and give it a go.

Now all that remains is a great idea for an application. I’m all ears!

Ridley Scott’s Alien prequel

I’m getting all giddy thinking about this. Ridley Scott is one of my favorite directors and I love the Alien franchise. If ever there was a movie I was going to see on opening night, this is it.

As of yet, there is very little information on the project, but I remember Ridley Scott talking about a prequel in the DVD extras for Alien. If I recall correctly, one of the things he talked about was that he wanted to make a film that gets to the bottom of what happened to the “Space Jockey“, the giant fossilized alien sitting in some kind of chair in the derelict ship on the moon LV-426.

The Space Jockey

According to Wikipedia, the original space jockey prop was 26 feet (7.9m) tall and the actors in that particular scene were Ridley Scott’s own children. He used his kids to archive the special effects technique called forced perspective where an object appears larger and taller than it actually is. That’s the kind of moviemaking and commitment I hope Ridley Scott can bring back to the Alien world.