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Thread: A good day for LaserBoy!

  1. #11
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    I checked out your ILDA file. Format 3 is kind of obsolete but I do support it in Spaghetti. But, when I get your Format 3 header I get an error when reading the data length right after the 4 format bytes. The ILDA standard says the data length should be an unsigned 32 bit value but when I read those from your file I get huge numbers which indicates that your format is not per the standard. The next four bytes that are used to indicate number of points also yield a crazy huge value. I'll check into it some more later to see what you are doing.

    I can read in your Format 2 color tables just fine.

    Spaghetti uses Format 4 and 5 for output since it allows 24bit colors without using color tables. It's a much nice format in my opinion.

  2. #12
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    It's all right here:

    http://www.akrobiz.com/laserboy/ilda_file_format.html

    Are the ILDA version 4 and 5 format standards posted anywhere in the public domain?

    All I can find is a link for ILDA members only.

    James.
    Last edited by James Lehman; 05-08-2008 at 17:52.

  3. #13
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    Why would you create your own non-standard ILDA format header but still use the format codes that are defined in the standard? Why not choose different format codes (0006 for instance)?

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    I know Matt P. We've had several phone conversations. He told me about the 24 bit proposed standard before it was ever published in any white paper. At that time, he was the chair of the ILDA technical standards committee. While I was adding these concepts to LaserBoy, it was published as a proposed standard. Then I announced that LaserBoy could do the new 24 bit color tables. A while later I asked for some examples of the new file format and that is when I found out that the proposed standard had been changed.

    You're a programmer! Does it make any sense to you to do it the way they do? Would you ever use a 32 bit number to store never more than 16 bits? It's wrong. I have no desire to implement something that is so obviously busted.

    Does it make sense to you that the ILDA standards for format 4 and 5 are only available to ILDA members? Since I am not a member, I feel like I have no license to implement them. Why should I? How are these things "standards" at all?

    James.

  5. #15
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    In this case maybe it's good that this program is open source, as it should be easy to implement the final standard and keep the old standard as an option. Do you really have to pay ilda to just be compatible with the standard?

    Speaking of open source, have you considered hosting the code on a CVS like sourceforge?
    Last edited by drlava; 05-08-2008 at 19:24.

  6. #16
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    Unhappy James + wine = fun!

    OK here we go....

    I believe that computers are truly an embryonic, 21st century extension of human consciousness.

    We are a unique generation of humans! Most of us were born into a world where computers were extraordinarily rare and expensive. Within our life time, computers have become completely ubiquitous! No one born into this world, ever again, will know a world without computers... everywhere!

    Whatever you know about computers was, most likely, an expensive lesson for you. That is to say, you spent some time and brain effort to get it.

    How much time did you spend learning the native language that you speak, read and write? Don't remember? Ah Ha! Such is the power of the human mind! We absorb all sorts of sense out of very little information input; provided we have the right stimulation and motivation. It is what gives us humans an edge in survival and why we have such a developed cerebral cortex.

    I believe that all of the parts of the human brain, that are different than other animal brains, are for the purpose of complex communications between us as humans. This is how we form the most critical component of human survival; society. It is also the "how and why" of such marvelous things as art, dance, music... all that we say is beautiful and created by humans...

    We know what language does for us as humans. It gives us the ability to communicate a state of information. That is to say, that we can tell accounts of things that have happened or things that we wish would happen.

    A computer programming language, like C++, is a way of telling a story that has not happened yet! It is a set of contained future possibility! It describes an extension of the human though process that can exist and be "computationally" useful and accurate outside of the mind of its human creator! Such a thing never existed before "the computer".

    THIS is absolutely necessary to become a normal mode of communication for every human sometime in the future.

    It won't be C++. But it must be something as real and transparent as the English Language that I am using right now to describe this concept!

    Now lets get to it....

    Can you imagine what it would be like if you had to PAY to use English ? !!!

    The Nitty Gritty...

    If you think that Microsoft is all there is to computer science then you are missing a whole lot of the big picture! MS has one driving motivation; money. They are a marketing company! As such, they have accrued nearly infinite financial recourses to protect themselves as the only real monopoly in the computer operating system market.

    This is not a good thing!

    They have a long history of absorbing and convoluting computer science technology. They make the standards obsolete and the "Microsoft way" so easy that everyone just goes along with it.

    The point is; Microsoft doesn't want you to know ANYTHING about what your computer is or how it works! They are actively abstracting and obscuring it from you and your progeny!

    Get over it!

    With computer system virtualization, it becomes evident that the idea of "a computer" is really just that; Something that can be virtualized, emulated, abstracted... no longer attached to the notion of physical hardware or an operating system.

    The idea of a computer in the future will be an extension of the human though process; free for everyone to use to communicate "potential" human thoughts.

    ...apply all of this hoopla to laser technology...

    This is what LaserBoy is all about! It runs in any modern OS. It is open sourse, generic C++! I didn't invent ANY of the standard file types that it reads or wites, although I added some "legal" extensions to the MS RIFF wave file format.

    How was I to know that ILDA would come up with a 4th and a 5th... ???

    James.
    Last edited by James Lehman; 05-08-2008 at 23:52.

  7. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by James Lehman View Post
    Since LaserBoy waves are created entirely in the digital domain, they are fully normalized and can be reversed back into vector data, accurate down to the bit. But they are also much more saturated. There is a lot more energy making it to the screen per second than there is in the QM-32 waves.
    I've been asked to put this concept of "energy" and a comparison with the QM32 to rest. But while doing so, I think it would be most beneficial for people to see any comparisons side-by-side.

    James, will you be at SELEM to show your wares? I believe that Hayden and I will be there. That way any discussion about "energy" or other opinions can be manifested in laser light, and any true benefits will be obvious and visible. Otherwise all we have is a bunch of lofty words which may or may not mean anything in the end.

    Best regards,

    William Benner

  8. #18
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    Default RE ILDA

    In defense of the quote "Incredably Laser Laser Company Defense Association",* they do do a lot more then promote standards and host conferences you know. If it wasnt for iLDA,outdoor laser shows in the US would be outright banned a few years ago. So paying 75$-135$ for a student/hobbyist membership isnt that bad if you want to see 4 or 5.
    Its a small industry, IBM doesnt offer to send a few of their EEs and Software guys to a ILDA meeting to help out. So there is gonna be some fees.

    ILDA has in the past been open standard, its up to whom ever is on the current techcomm to make that decision.And that lasts for a year or more, because under ILDA's constitution, it takes year to vote in a chnage.

    Just try developing a "legal" USB device, its 1500 just to see the standards and get a small block of numbers assigned. Dont ask what the testing fee is. If you buy a Cypress usb pic, you can sublicense things on a per piece basis, but if you want it to do more then the cypress functionality, OUCH... Thats why you dont see USB dacs raining from space.

    If you want a big whopper of a bill, try developing a UL or CSA or CE or FCC certification... $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$ Ouch.

    Standards exist to protect us, go to a hospital and have a surgical instrument leak a little current instead of being tested to UL "Green".See how you like that, OH, Hi God, the company let something slip on uh, "final test", and I'm here early cause it leaked 300 uA into my heart. Come on Folks, would you like to go have a surgeon work on you with a "Open Source" instrument?

    While ILDA's official user base is quite small, the Chinese seem to like it, and it has benefitted many photonlexicon users.

    So by normal commercial standards, ILDA is cheap.

    Even if I dont agree with the techcomm, and I dont on a lot of things.

    The ILDA file standard is late 90's and the DtoA chip world was expanding back then., the existing techcomm at that time had no idea where the OS world or the chip industry would go either, so a 32 bit IEEE integer looked pretty good, and is a standard in most industry protocols for data aquisition and control, ILDA went with something that worked across systems. So its a pain in the neck to discard a few bits. So you have to left shift or right shift, which is a fast native processor instruction, but perhaps not so easy in modern bloatware operating systems. So what, it works, and I can send files world wide with few or no adjustments.

    Linux folks, is a evolved subset of AT&Ts UNIX, developed for running telephone switches and big DOD projects. AT&T let Linus Torvalds go, they didnt have too.
    So even the great freeware Linux has a corporate start.

    Nothing is free except air.
    And if the business types have their way, they would charge you to piss.
    (See the good broadway musical "URINETOWN", thats its plot)


    *ILLCDA is a invention of Patrick Murphy

    Steve

  9. #19
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    Good points, the documentation for many specifications runs a few orders of magnitude higher, and that's for profit, whereas ILDA provides a service. I saw documentation for free on the net somewhere, just can't remember where. It was probably old.

    Update: the cheap 6-channel usb audio card I linked to earlier works and can be upgraded to 8 channels with a little soldering. Bypassing the DC blocking caps (which were installed backwards anyway BIG SUPRISE) the result is this x-y scope plot from a laserboy generated wav (no blanking):

    The noise is mostly from the scope, but it takes about a second to draw this 48000 vertice image.
    Last edited by drlava; 05-09-2008 at 10:58.

  10. #20
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    Default energy over time

    Hi Bill.

    It's really just a matter that Pangolin and LaserBoy do similar things in very different ways.

    If you look at a Pangolin generated show with no blanking there is an obvious hot spot in every frame. I am guessing that this is a variable time soak to equalize the total number of samples in a frame scan.

    Looking at the ADAT waves at 48KHz, it looks like it is anywhere from about 200 to several hundred samples (at 48KHz) between every frame scan that is always blank and at a static position.

    Several hundred blank samples at a static point out of a couple thousand samples to draw the whole frame amounts to a pretty large percentage of time in-the-dark.

    LaserBoy doesn't do it like that. If you look at LaserBoy waves in a wave editor, you can't really tell where one frame ends and the next begins.

    That was the point I was trying to make.

    James.
    Last edited by James Lehman; 05-09-2008 at 11:35.

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