Category Archives: Books

Mars Trilogy

Red Mars, book coverI recently finished reading the Mars trilogy by Kim Stanley Robinson. The trilogy, consisting of the books Red Mars, Green Mars and Blue Mars takes place primarily on Mars (d’oh) and describes the development of a community on Mars. Starting with the early settlers, primarily scientists, the books describe the political, ethical and practical problems faced when terraforming (or not?) an entire planet and building a new community consisting on people from all the countries of the world in a world where giant corporations have more power than the sorry remains of a U.N. unable to make and enforce policy.

While reading the books I was very impressed with the fact that Mr. Robinson seems to be fluent in biology, geology, physics, psychology and economics. The books seems to be a very well researched. Long passages describe discussions and thoughts the characters have on one or several of these topics, at times this was even a bit excessive and tiring. Overall the books very very enjoyable, science fiction books providing food for thought on the societies of the future – but they are not easy read action books.

Testing Ubuntu

I gave up on the old computer, and have now bought a “new” old computer from David from my dorm. The specs on the new computer is roughly the same as that of the old one. The only really important changes is that I now have 1024 megs of memory and a Geforce4 Ti instead of the old Geforce 2 MX.

After having reinserted my old disks I found that I could no longer boot my Windows XP or Fedora Core 1 installation. Now reinstalling Windows XP on new hardware but unchanged product key is likely troublesome with activation codes and all I decided to cut right to the chase and install Ubuntu as the first thing.?Â?  At first I was thinking of waiting for Fedore Core 5 which are currently set to be released sometime next week, but I decided to stop waiting and try something new.

So far I really like this Ubuntu system, I have never felt a GNU/Linux system running Gnome to be more responsive, it is a massive improvement on this machine compared to Fedora Core 1, or maybe it is just the added 512 megs of RAM that does the trick?

While apt-get finished downloading the 170 megs of updates to the system I installed from the CD I am going to brush my teeth and go to bed with my newest book. The book is?Â?  Scattered Suns, the fourth book in the Saga of the Seven Suns series which just keeps getting better and better. I bought the book this friday and now I am afraid that I am almost done reading it. I’ll have to wait for at least a couple of months for next book in the series, Of Fire and Night,?Â? ?Â?  which is scheduled to be released July 2006, one should never start reading series still in writing! I even got my neighbours Mette and David hooked on the books too, although they are way to cheap to buy them on their own, they just keep pestering me with loan requests :)

Exam Day and Lots of Books

As Rune reports we did not Advanced Algorithms - Data Structures, Turingget much work done friday because the exam in Advanced Algorithms – Data Structures was placed in the meeting room right across from our office. Because of this a bunch of people hang out at our office waiting for their turn. The picture shows Burger, Casper, Lars and Mikkel (and me by way of a reflection in the door). When the exam finished, we had an hour to work before going of to the PhD reception of Malgorzata Biernacka, PhD receptions always have the same basic menu, one component of said menu is salmon and cheese, two things I really like. I think Rune and I filled our plate three/four times during that reception, Slackenerny would be proud.

Mikoline is visiting this week and today we went downtown for books. I had ordered Herb Sutter’s, Exceptional C++ and More Exceptional C++, I look forward to reading them both. I have said it before, I really like the danish library system, it was incredible easy to get those book even though they were nowhere in Ã…rhus, I simple used bibliotek.dk, found them and ordered them and could then go pick them up today after receiving an email saying that they have arrived, how is that for service! I also borrowed three books in the Carl Hamilton series. After visiting the library we went to the GAD bookstore in Bruuns Galleri where I bought book two and three in the Saga of the Seven Suns series. I finished the first book in the series a couple of days ago, and I really enjoyed it.

Fancy “New Media”

Martin has created a planet aggregating the blogs of the DAIMI-crowd. I think it is a brilliant idea, mostly because it is kinda geeky. Now all you computer-science fan-girls and fan-boys have a place to crowd!

Today I have been hanging out with Mikoline and have been sleeping for most of the day. I have just started reading The Saga of the Seven Suns by Kevin J. Anderson, I have bought the first book of the series and it seems to have everything you would want from a good space opera.

The Commonwealth Saga

A few weeks ago I finished reading the book Judas Unchained which, together with Pandora’s Star make up the Commenwealth Saga duology. Written by British science fiction writer Peter F. Hamilton the style of the books is similar to his earlier Night’s Dawn triology. I am not going to write a full review here, there are better places for such things elsewhere, but I would definately recommend the books to everyone interested in science fiction, I enjoyed them very much.

I have started buying my books instead of just borrowing them through the excellent Danish library system. So I have the books up for loan, I know that my neighbour, Mette, wants to read them (well if she does not, I will force her anyways) but when she is done you can borrow them if you know me (and I know you, and trust you ;) )

Enlightenment

IEnlightenment Foundation Libraries, Evas have been playing with the Enlightenment Foundation Libraries(EFL) enlightenment 0.17 from CVS for quite some time now, it a bit today. I have been running is nice to play with developing software. Using evas and ecore I was able to produce a little test application in no time.

Yesterday I went shopping in the city with Mette and David from my dorm. I ended up buying some wodden mind puzzle, the objective of which is to assemble a star from several parts, a handgrip gel for strengthening of the wrist and fingers and Pandora’s Star which is the first book in a series written by Peter F. Hamilton, the author of the brilliant Nights Dawn trilogy.

Reality Dysfunction

I just finished reading the Nights Dawn trilogy by Peter F. Hamlinton. It was really a remarkable book, and I had to buy the second book in the series because I could not wait for the library to get it from the guy who had it borrowed. If you are in need of some really high class science fiction I really recommend these books totalling in more than 3000 pages.

I have had some fun at work these past days where I have implementet a cloth renderer. I started out using a fairly simple spring system but I started implementing a more physically realistic model where the spring forces are calculated via Hooks law for springs and velocity and position is found using integratiCloth simulation with verlet integrationon. The result was fairly chaotic since I used Eulers integration method which is a highly inaccurate approximation of the real integral. Tomorrow I plan to move to verlet integration as explained in Thomas Jacobsens (of Hitman fame) article. The application is written using the OpenGL Performer graphics engine by SGI (which is used only for displaying the mesh) and the virtual reality framework vrJuggler, it is written to work with our GNU/Linux rendering cluster counting 4 machines (one machine for each of three projectors, and a controlling workstation). I am looking forward to see it in stereo in the Panorama.