MacResearch is running a nice interview with me about the WWDC event.
Archive for the ‘WWDC07’ Category
Since gWHIZ asked so nicely, here is a quick summery of the WWDC setup (list price as of today):
- 9 MacPro, ATI x1900 XT, 4 GB, 2×2 2.66GHz: $31.023
- 19 30-inch Cinema Display: $34.181
- 18 Vesa Mounts: $522
- Gigabit Switch and Cabling: I don’t know what was used, but it’s cheap nowadays
- Custom-built plywood wall: priceless!
The networking was probably the weakest link in the setup. All machines were on the same network. Optimisation is possible by putting the machines into two networks, both connected to the same frontend machine. Another optimisation can be implemented in Chromium by having a binary tree to submit the GL command stream.
Some money can be saved on the render nodes, since I don’t believe all the RAM is needed. Likewise, profiling might show that slower processors are sufficient.
Yesterday I got back from WWDC – what a week! In addition to the prepared demo of Google Earth, Amira and VMD, we have managed to get two additional applications to run on the display wall through Chromium: LigandScout (molecular modeling) and SOAP (GPS satellite analysis).
The display wall was gorgeous, and even bigger than expected. We had a total of 18 30-inch Cinema Displays, arranged in a 6×3 layout. The other hardware was also standard Apple hardware you’ll get at the store: nine MacPro’s with a ATI x1900 graphics card, gigabit ethernet and one MacPro as the master to run the applications.
People walking by were stunned by the size of the wall, and all applications looked fantastic and showed a variety of use cases. Often people lost a sense of scale and assumed we use 23-inch displays 😉
In the afternoons I’ve had some time to attend the conference, and heard quite a few interesting talks.
Drop me a note or a comment if you’ld like to see a specific application picture.
The last couple of days I have been busy preparing the WWDC demo of Chromium and Equalizer. We’ve made excellent progress, and certified quite a few applications (Google Earth, VMD, Paraview and Amira) to run on the display wall using Chromium.
On the Equalizer side, there is a new, improved version of the polygonal renderer using a much better internal data structure (a 3D kd-tree) and per-vertex normals. I haven’t been able to test it thouroughly, but I’ll have some time before the show to try it out on the MacPro cluster.
Tomorrow I’ll be travelling to San Francisco, and I am looking forward to an exciting show and to see you all! The scheduled times for the demos are Tue-Fri, 9am-12am.