Sunday, January 15, 2017

Fresh Start on OpenGL

This year started a little different from what I expected. For a good part of December, I've been dealing with the aftermath of a snapped timing belt on my only car. With my Kia Rio, that meant the engine was pretty well done for, and replacing it was going to get real expensive real quick. Getting driven to and from work isn't fun when it's your only option! But after much frantic searching, I now find myself in a new-to-me car! Maybe I can keep this one from accumulating random junk over the next three years better than I did with the other...

I think I've also figured out one issue that's been bothering me to no end. On my side project, PyQt2d, I kept running into the same problem. The program would run fine on two computers I have, but totally crashed on another, saying GLEnd was causing an error. Well, I now know, that's because my current computer doesn't support the by-now incredibly outdated GLBegin and GLEnd functions that were abandoned waaay back in 2010 with the release of OpenGL 3.3! Silly me.

So now comes the next task: getting my head around Variable Buffer Objects and GLSL shaders. I think this will be really good, though, because before now, I didn't know that's how most OpenGL applications are working now. Anything WebGL, OpenGLES, etc., uses VBO's. So if that's the future, by golly, I'm fine with learning!

On the plus side, I really look forward to starting to understand GLSL shaders. I've always been intrigued by how they can make incredible Chrome Experiments come alive, or turn my MineCraft world into a photo-worthy thing of beauty! Many of the things which I'm learning here also translate into C++ code, which gives me a head start on my college courses, which is always a nice thing.

With the end of the year comes the end of a successful college term. Some progress ahead, some behind, but at the end of the day I've got the number of credits I was shooting for. This next year, I'm going to be tackling more mathematics courses, finally starting some C++ coding courses and will also be finishing up with the last Leadership Course from College Plus. With this last one, I'll be attending a leadership "Capstone" event, where I'll travel to Colorado and meet with other College Plus students for a week. It's going to be a big jump for me--a long drive, time off work, etc.--but I think it will be good.

Looking forward to what this year will bring!

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