A realtime Mandelbrot fractal zoomer for PS3

I made a fractal zoomer on the mandelbrot set for the jailbroken Playstation 3. All the computations are done using the SPU's of the Cell processor. The generator is able to render more than 10 frames per second, and for some parts of the Mandelbrot set the framerate can achieve 60 fps ;)

It works as an installable package, to be installed from USB storage via the "Install Package" game menu option of jailbroken PS3's.

Use the analog sticks to scroll and zoom, then you can make a screenshot using the "square" button. Screenshot images are stored to USB storage. Use the "start" button to reset the original settings, and hit "cross" to exit. Enjoy !

A realtime Mandelbrot fractal zoomer for PS3

A realtime Mandelbrot fractal zoomer for PS3

Visit the prod page on pouët.net

See a demonstration video on YouTube

Browse the source code on GitHub

Coast II Coast 4ktro for Atari ST

I went to Sillyventure 2010 in Gdansk, Poland. It was a demoparty only for Atari computers (8bit, ST/STE/TT/Falcon). This party was really cool, and many thanks to Grey/Mystic Bytes for having organized almost everything alone ! That was really impressive work.

At this party, I presented a 4 kB intro for the Atari ST. Its name is ``Coast to Coast'', as a homage to the Black Monolith Team screen named ``Coast'', released in 1991 in the well known Punish Your Machine megademo for the Atari ST. This intro features realtime-rendered Mandelbrot fractals where each pixel value is really computed (ie, we actually compute a Mandelbrot suite), unlike BMT who actually decompressed pre-rendered images, or Leonard of Oxygene who uses ugly approximations.

This intro also features a nice chip tune by Dma-Sc, and a dot flag effect in fullscreen.

I hope you enjoy it as much as I enjoyed making it !

The intro on Pouet.net

Video on the Dead Hackers Society website

A real time raytracer

I began playing with ray tracing. Unlike some geeks who almost started programming by writing raytracers, I never thought it would be of any interest, since it generally could not lead to real time animation. Then, the PS3 arrived.

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Freezer 3D engine released

A few weeks after having released the retrostation ps3 demo, and after having done massive cleanup, autotools setup and written a small set of sample programs, I now release the 3D engine and animation system of retrostation, in the form of a library package, whose codename is "Freezer".

Freezer is distributed under the terms of the GNU Lesser General Public License

The Freezer source code is on Github. If you want to contribute, please get in touch with me. My e-mail address is in the README file of the package.

"retrostation" demo released !

I am very proud to announce the release of my PS3 demo called retrostation.

I know it is a bit late compared to sony's decision to completely remove the Install Other OS functionality from the new firmware release of latest April 1st. However, I started this project more than two years ago, so I definitely wouldn't stop this until it is done. I also know about people who still haven't updated their system, because they are aware of what they will lose, so this is a way to show them what they can do with a ps3 system, even without hardware 3D acceleration.

The demo is an animation of different kinds of 3D objects. Some of these have been designed by Mic of Dune, who did a really good job. Others are coming from old Atari ST demos. I let you try and find out from which demos they come from ! Objects of the last kind are algorithmically generated: blobs and text in separately-animated pieces.

The music has been composed by Dma-Sc of Sector One, who also did a great job in the final design of the whole animation. I personally also use my own demoscene nickname in the demo, which is Zerkman of Sector One.

The demo runs on any PS3 system with a linux OS installed on it. It runs in framebuffer mode. Ensure you set the screen mode to 720p 1280*720, and disabled the Xorg server before running the demo.

I hope you'll like the demo as much as I liked making it.

The entry on the pouët.net website is here. From there, you can download a binary version of the demo, as well as a video of the demo (HD 720p, 60 fps).

Cross compile a Debian kernel for PlayStation 3

A previous article in this blog was dealing with building an optimized Linux kernel for Debian GNU/Linux on a PlayStation 3. This however required to build the kernel on the PS3 itself, while you may also have a powerful multi-core PC which should be able to do the job a lot faster.

This article deals with compiling a kernel Debian package on a PC running Debian GNU/Linux, through the use of a cross compiler.

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A PlayStation 3 firmware update file extractor

Official PlayStation 3 firmware update files basically are uncompressed archives containing different subparts.

The pupextract program I wrote basically is a one-hour project which just takes a firmware update file as input, and separate the different subparts into different files. One of these output files, which I called update.tar, is a simple GNU tar archive, containing the (encrypted) files for the firmware update. Another one contains the end-user licence agreement (EULA), while some contain basic information such as the release version number, and others contain empty or unknown data.

Not sure it will be useful for many people, but I decided to release it under the GPLv3 free software licence.

Download source code of pupextract v0.01

Distributed programming using Git

I am being used to programming on *nix systems for many years. I quite early discovered the interest of using source code managers (SCM's) such as CVS at first, then Subversion (also called SVN) when it imposed itself as a valid replacement for CVS.

I used them a lot, first for simplifying some collaborative working tasks, such as code sharing and history keeping, and second for home projects, in a easy way for backup, history tracking, and working on the same set of files on different computers at the same time.

This came to become seriously problematic when I tried to use Subversion for both collaborative work, and centralizing my work among different computers.

And then, Git appeared, and it solved all my problems.

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