Friday, December 12, 2008

Famous

I always wanted to be present somewhere on Wikipedia. And today I have discovered that I am! I am especially proud of this: the 2nd cited article for Ray Tracing (graphics) says: P├ęter Dornbach. "Implementation of bidirectional ray tracing algorithm". Yay!

(I did not edit anything myself. Honestly.)

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Android = iPhone?

From this side of the ocean, the way people think about mobile phone prices in the US seems very unusual.

With the launch of the first Android phone imminent, I read tons of articles like this quoting that the expected price tag is $199, "in line with what Apple's charging". The same article does not spend a word mentioning how much an iPhone customer pays during the first 2 years, or speculating what it would take for an Android phone customer.

Please, wake up. $199 does not matter. $60 each month for 2 years does.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Google Chrome

Working at Google means some excitement each day. Coworkers are working on projects I have never heard before, so when we make an announcement, it frequently comes as a surprise: "Oh, did we work on this?"

With the announcement yesterday this was not the case. Everyone at Google knew that we are working on this. Hence, I was very excited, because know you know it too: the Chrome browser is public! At the moment it's only a blog post and a cartoon, but hopefully you will all learn more in a day.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Firefox leading the way ... Haha :)

While I have to admit that Firefox is having a great impact on the browser world, I personally think that the crowds doing them are no different than the crowd during the concurrence... For example, look at this:
http://tech.slashdot.org/article.pl?sid=08/07/22/0012210

Christopher Blizzard, Firefox evangelist: "... they would not have done it, if we would have not built Firefox. And the same is true for Apple, they are doing a lot to keep up with us."

A couple of random facts to keep things on the ground:
  • Opera 9.51 does 83 out of 100 on the Acid3 web compatibility test. Safari 3.1 does 75. Firefox 3.01 does 71. (All of them are the latest production versions today.)
  • Example: on Picasaweb, Opera actually works (even though the site claims it is not actually not tested) whereas Firefox 3 does not (even though Picasaweb says it's supported).
  • Example: Firefox is lagging behind in mobile. There are successful mobile browser products based on WebKit, Opera and IE deployed on millions of devices. Where's Firefox?
Firefox 3 is important. It is a great step forward, uses less memory etc. But they have to admit that their goodwill advantage is much more important than their technical one. And if they do not innovate on their own, they may be hit from unexpected directions.

Monday, July 21, 2008

Lego forever

Whoever knows me probably knows my relationship with Lego. This has raised to a new dimension that I even managed to surprise my spouse. Instead of words, let pictures tell the story:



To cut the story short - you can download Lego Digital Designer from the Lego site (free of charge), and build whatever you want on your PC. This is what I did in my free hours (like waiting 5 hours on JFK). The result on the first image above. The second shows its real world counterpart - of course you can order it!. More images here. I wish you good building!

Thursday, July 10, 2008

How many spaces is a tab?

Tricky question - real programmers do not use tabs, except in Makefiles. From now on everyone can see how many spaces we use in Google-land. Plus lots of other rules. Fluent C++ is a plus:

http://google-styleguide.googlecode.com/svn/trunk/cppguide.xml

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Open Source Protocol Buffers

Google tries to be the cool guy and from time to time donates one of its many building bricks to the community. Apache license, everyone does what they want with it.

This time it's Protocol Buffers. What is it good for? To store any structured data - something like XML, but better:
  • Simple. Minimalistic, nothing is over-complicated.
  • Fast. Parsing, writing, checking all very efficient.
  • Compact. Takes little space.
  • (Of course it's available from C++, Java and Python)
And the most important:
  • Peter uses it every day in his work (like everyone else around here).
More on the Google blog:
http://google-opensource.blogspot.com/2008/07/protocol-buffers-googles-data.html

Download from here:
http://code.google.com/p/protobuf/

Something else I use every day:
http://code.google.com/p/googletest/

Pictures from Seattle and New York

I know, it has been a while since I posted something... To keep you up to date, here are some pictures from the trip I have made in June. First, I visited the SMX conference in Seattle. It was an experience... Before, it was not obvious that there is an entire industry based on beating PageRank... :) Then, I had some business in New York (my first ever visit). Enjoy the photos:

The Space Needle in Seattle:


Rebooting the plane during the flight (powered by Linux):


Shot in the NYC Google office:


One of the many means of transportation in NYC:


More on:
http://picasaweb.google.hu/dornbach