Just occurred to me today that you younger folks who have the benefit of awesome tools like might not even know that POV-RAY exists.

Pretty amazing what people are doing with this stately old piece of code these days. Check out the hall of fame, I think you'll find an image or two to be impressed by!

Many years ago, when computers were crawling, embryonic half formed things compared to what we use today, this thing was AMAZING and let anyone ray trace. It was *empowering*.

@feoh I had to work with Povray for a compsci class.

Definitely more fun than SML or Prolog.
Was cool but I wish images didn't take so long to render.

@paradox Doesn't take so long to render anymore!!! The samples now render in 1920x1280 in less than a second on my laptop.

@feoh Hmm. I wanna say that I used whatever the latest version of it was about a year ago. Would it really have been optimized that much in that time?

My computer isn't exactly terrible either. I had to wait 5-10 minutes for an image of that resolution to fully render.

@feoh it was and *is* amazing, and coincidentally I discovered this yesterday: and am having a blast with it.

@tardisx That book *does* look like a lot of fun. Enjoy and maybe post some of your renders? :)

@feoh that is a good idea. When I actually have something to show (that isn't a red line on a black background) I may do that.

@feoh not sure where, but I think I've seen the "glasses" picture from this page before, seems oddly familiar

@feoh I still use povray any time I need a clean render and maybe animation. It's so insanely fast now, not the hours per frame of my yout.

@feoh Interesting.. @textfiles just released an episode about raytracing featuring POV-RAY that I listened to last night.

#raytracing #povray

@paradroyd @textfiles I had no idea he was on the fediverse! I totally love his podcast. In a lot of ways I feel like he and I wove very parallel paths through the tech scene of the 80s and 90s! Like the recent ep where he talks about getting hold of a Sun 3 with a giant SMD HD - we had exactly such a system and exactly such a drive, and in addition to providing storage for our Sun3 it heated our computer room in winter! It was a Fujitsu Eagle & sounded like a 747 taking off when it spun up. Good times :)


Yeah.. I saw you pop up the last time that you were temporarily Twitter-exiled.

@textfiles @paradroyd I dine the community here 1000% more creative, quirky & interesting than Twitter, but then my “footprint” there is considerably smaller than yours :)

@feoh I had some similar experiences, but instead of Sun, it was all DEC. PDP11s and VAXs and all of the supporting stuff.

@paradroyd What were the PDP-11s running? We had one running RSTS/E in high school :)

@feoh I didn't personally interact with the OS on the PDP 11 (an 11/70, If I remember right), but I think it was running RSX-11. It was on it's way out shortly after I started working there. It was replaced by a VAX 8550 running VMS, which was later replaced by a VAX 6000, running a later version of VMS.

The VAXs fed a wall of DECserver 100s and 200/MCs. the 200/MCs fed into another wall of Case-Rixon statistical multiplexors, which, early on, at least, crunched down to 2400 baud aggregates.

@paradroyd One of the things I really admired about VMS is it's totally possible to 100% self teach everything you need to know about running that OS just from the built in help. Thorough and accessible, and the structure of commands and options is painfully, awesomely regular :)

DCL was kind of alien if you're used to the *NIX shell but it has its virtues as well.

@feoh Yeah..the documentation WAS really good. Both the MANY printed orange manuals that came with it and the online documentation.

@feoh I got so used to managing the DECservers and their versatility that about a year ago, I went looking for a DECserver 200/MC on Ebay to play around with. I found one and bought it.

DECservers have no onboard firmware. They load it over an Ethernet network using the LAT protocol.

I figured out that
the standard Raspbian (Raspberry Pi) repositories have a LATd daemon you can install via APT that will serve a DECserver it's boot image, (which it would normally get from a VAX, etc)...

@feoh The Raspbian LATd will also facitlitate connecting to services (computers, things attached to server ports, etc) using the LAT protocol.

So I set that up on one of my Raspberry Pis.

Then I plug my DECserver in, it'll go out over LAT (no TCP/IP involved) and get it's boot image as if it's getting it from a Vax. Then I can take one of my computers or terminals and connect to services over the DECserver's serial ports.

It all works amazingly well.

@sergio_101 @paradroyd @textfiles You should sub anyway because it's a really excellent podcast, but do note that that's the only POVRay episode in the feed.

@feoh @paradroyd @textfiles i checked out the description while i was there, and it's totally my thing. i subbed!

@feoh I love POV-Ray. I remember using it in the bad old days, and I've been trying to re-teach myself the language recently. It's a really cool piece of software and I am glad it's still around for us all to enjoy today!

@feoh I loved POVRAY. Many happy floating shiny spheres. Thanks, I had forgotten the name until now.

@feoh @Jo The fact that you can describe geometric objects in POV-Ray in text form means it is still the default option in the scientific community as it is REALLY easy to export actual data to it.

No bullshit triangle meshes, just "put an ellipsoid here"

@feoh I still have some old POV-RAY creations floating about, having copied them from one computer to the next for mumble-mumble years

@bstacey @feoh @Jo I could post up some of the ones I've made in it like, this year.

@Canageek @feoh @Jo It suddenly occurs to me that it might be exactly the thing I need for a project I've been mentally bouncing around for a while.

@feoh I remember playing with povray way back. I wonder what the name was of the raytracer I ran on the Atari, but on my Pentium (100MHz!) it was povray.

@feoh I've tried POV ray in nineties and it was great, but rendering even small image took hours. And it wasn't anywhere near the complexity of these. Amazing what people can do with it.

@feoh ooh, are there mirror balls hovering above red and white checkerboards?? Cause that's what POV-RAY means to me. :)

@wizard Wow have they come a long way since then. Take the 30s and click the link :)

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