Monthly Archives: July 2013

ASUS: another transformation.

New Asus concept in Computex 2013.

 

For the period or the PC “declines” for the benefit of tablets and Smartphones, ASUS found a niche in the convertible devices, on the border between the genres. As usual I am interested only in the “Windows” part.

After the tablet convertible into ultrabook (Transformer Book), tablets with keyboard (Vivo) or the All-in-one PC transforming into tablet (Transformer All-in-one), here is Three-in-one πŸ™‚

 

Indeed, ASUS presents a concept of computer Three-in-one: tablet, mini PC and ultrabook:

Amazon.com: ASUS Transformer Book

ASUS Transformer Book Trio (clic to search in Amazon.com)

The concept is very interesting:

  • Connect the “keyboard” (central unit) to a screen at the house to take advantage of a large surface and serve in the same time as a tablet;
  • Link both (ultrabook) for a nomadic use.

So well (as for Transformer All-in-one) that the tablet is under Android. I’ve nothing against this OS… But as a user I would have preferred to keep a continuity between the various modes (thus have the choice for Windows 8 or RT for the tablet). Furthermore, to administrate different system at home complicate things (where from my choice Windows 8 / Windows Phone 8 / Xbox).

On the other hand, in the work, to have an Android tablet besides a Windows PC and the whole tactile can be formidably complete for multi-Platform development πŸ˜‰

Source: ASUS

 

In the future I’m going to keep a close watch on this kind of multi-purpose product πŸ˜‰

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How to be Green – Pareto Guide to Sustainability

Interesting post to Sustainability πŸ˜‰

 

How to be Green – Pareto Guide to Sustainability.

 

Have a good read!

Update of the Windows ecosystem…

For a month, things evolved on Windows side…

 

Let us begin with Windows Store (in June 21st, 2013).

Microsoft centralizes various services which can be used in the Windows Store gallery (Windows 8) so that developers can find them in the same place.

In this is added AppCelerator directed on the resources of development (tools, tutorials, guides, demos and advice).

Source: Microsoft

Also let us note the update of the SDK and a guide for Windows 8 towards Windows 8.1 application migration (available in download).

Source: Microsoft

 

Then, Windows Phone (in June – July 8th).

On the menu, an extension of the support until 2016 and a company pack, leaks on Windows Phone 8.1 (new notification center, UI changes, quad-core support, etc.) and the Toolkit June update (correction of bugs, localization).

Source: Windows Phone Developer Blog

 

Finally, the Xbox One (at the beginning of July)…

Being gone back for the internet connection and the DRM, it’s the turn of the publication of independent games. The independent developers can publish their games themselves without passing by a publisher.

Marc Whitten quote:

Our vision is that every person can be a creator. That every Xbox One can be used for development. That every game and experience can take advantage of all of the features of Xbox One and Xbox Live. This means self-publishing. This means Kinect, the cloud, achievements. This means great discoverability on Xbox Live. We’ll have more details on the program and the timeline at Gamescom in August.

Source: IGN

 

Things move in the right direction πŸ˜‰

DirectX 11.2, some new for Windows 8.1 and Xbox One.

During Build 2013, Microsoft presented DirectX 11.2.

DirectX

DirectX

But what’s new (and especially interesting) in this technology?

The one who mainly held attention they are “Tiled resources”. She allows, roughly, to assign big resources (understand textures) shared between the system memory and the graphic memory. The objective is a better use of the resources of the graphics board and the possibility of showing more detailed graphics. We can also imagine type MegaTexture’s application, for example (MegaTexture).

Video: What’s New in Direct3D 11.2

 

NVidia published explanations on the various cases of use on its blog (by Henry Moreton, one of the GeForce GPU architects):

Source: Higher Fidelity Graphics With Less Memory At Microsoft Build

 

Among the evolutions, we find the pre-compilation of shadersΒ (HLSL), improvements of profiling / debugging, improvement the latency CPU / GPU (useful to reduce the consumption of the mobile equipments), the resize of the “frame to buffer” (variation of the resolution to make vary the performances / quality), finally the “Trim” command used to mark temporary buffers in the video memory so that they are freed during the putting in break of an application (allowing the other applications to have the memory, nice πŸ˜‰ ).

Source: DirectX 11.2 Tiled Resources

 

The constraint of all this? DirectX 11.2 will be available only on Windows 8.1 and Xbox One… Selling point obliges (logic). Otherwise, good news, a “simple” software update of the drivers of graphics card will return all this available on a large number of GPU (AMD supplying the graphics card of the Xbox One and Microsoft having worked with the GTX 770 of Nvidia for the demo of Build):

  • The GeForce 400/500/600 will be compatible with Direct3D 11.2 and will support “Tiled resources “.
  • Radeon HD 5000/6000 will be compatible with Direct3D 11.2 but will not support “Tiled resources “.
  • Radeon HD 7000 will be compatible with Direct3D 11.2 and will support “Tiled resources “.

Source (FR): Directx 11.2 Gpu Actuels

 

In any case this “Tiled resources” management is going to be interesting for large landscape rendering πŸ™‚

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