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Blog Entries posted by NickK

  1. NickK
    Igor - it lives.. again.
    Apple have just replaced the MBP's complete circuit board for the failed GPU under the GPU repair scheme. Free to me.. but if it hadn't been covered it would have been at least £800. However my battery snuffed it during the time under the desk so that was replaced too. The Apple bods noted my hard drive was also on the way out - I'd known this for a while.. so I've fixed a replacement myself. In short the screen, keyboard, and case are about all that remain of the original MBP... 
    However I now have a working graphics chip again  bring on the deconvolution fun again.... and the laptop that means I can now use the telescope in the garden again for astrophotography!
    I'm tempted to switch over to a ODroid based INDI installation, simply because it's less hassle having a completely designated controller. How well Kstars and INDI work.. hmm will have to see.
  2. NickK
    Well I managed to get a nice evening dogfooding: http://stargazerslounge.com/topic/192900-atik-osx-drivers-r100-example-app/page-7#entry2530845
    With some very basic first setup imaging - including the flame nebula and the horsehead.
    However the attempting to process the 5 minute subs this morning in PI was fine.. but then attempting aladdin this morning at the same time was too much for my poorly MBP. After a good 2 hours of power button pushing it got beyond a blank screen and DVD drive whirr to start up... upon entering the desktop:

    Thanks Apple..

  3. NickK
    Well I spent the day yesterday receiving a corrupt hard drive after a sudden black screen and then blank on boot.. given 10 minutes it restarted.
    Today I got another... exactly the same symptoms..
    It appears it's a wide spread graphics chip issue caused by the GPU desoldering it.
    What really annoys me is that this MBP was to replace a MBP that failed with the nVidia GPU-gate GPU.. so that's 2 MBPs dead/poorly. The mac mini that was bought to cover short any issue occur is still working...
  4. NickK
    So, after much pfaffing - my C++/OpenCL pipeline implementation is just starting to come alive! :D
    Previously it was using Apple GCD, however it quickly became clear that GCD's ability to sort out it's concurrency (it has it's own cl_command_queue) isn't strong part.. but I'm happy that it's starting to execute kernels and it shouldn't be too long before the pipeline is back at full tilt with some much needed OO refactoring :)
    This makes it rather portable too :D
  5. NickK
    Source: Garden Pier.. http://stargazerslounge.com/topic/226305-garden-pier/page-3
    Happy that I, finally, have this done. I've also put on a rapid curing cement in the hole.
    Currently sat waiting - just to see if we're ok for polar alignment :D
  6. NickK
    So the GPU version _had_ a few annoying bugs that caused it to crash the GPU.. but after an hour or so of bug fixing.. it lives!
    When I have time I'll get the camera out on a lens/scope and get a proper image but for tonight that's good enough :D
  7. NickK
    You know you're pushing the boundaries when the development tools get scared..
    GuardMalloc[ExampleApplication-42660]: If you really wanted to allocate so much memory, launch your executable with the environment variable MALLOC_PERMIT_INSANE_REQUESTS set to any value to circumvent this check.
    GuardMalloc[ExampleApplication-42660]: Explicitly trapping into debugger!!!
    GuardMalloc[ExampleApplication-42660]: Attempting excessively large memory allocation: 268435456 bytes
    GuardMalloc[ExampleApplication-42660]: If you really wanted to allocate so much memory, launch your executable with the environment variable MALLOC_PERMIT_INSANE_REQUESTS set to any value to circumvent this check.
    This isn't an error.. it doesn't stop anything working..
  8. NickK
    Workload at work is current about 250%.. covering for boss and getting product launched means working from home to save time travelling.. 7am, shower,breakfast, enter office… quick lunch at 12 and then often sandrine only sees going to bed.. very little time to read forums let alone do any programming atm..
    Next week it should ease off.. a bit..
  9. NickK
    In time for some SGL star party usage!
    A lot of water has passed under the bridge since 1.00, this latest release shows a real jump between 1.00 and now - it feels like a stepping stone. Perhaps a little bit of a pause after the 10.6.8 release considering some of my driver code goes back to 2011! I have many ideas and rework under the hood within ExampleApp is almost providing a base for these. However I have to balance these with ever growing demand on my time from work and home.
  10. NickK
    Folks, don't worry - I've not disappeared.
    I have been DIYing two things:
    * Spectrometer - giving me chance to dogfood the drivers further, I have some changes and I'm up to R1.15 from the previously released R1.13.
    * Bathroom - mrs would like the bathroom finished; including new wider towel radiator (think soldering pipe extensions under floorboards), underfloor heating loop and tiling. I managed to shatter the outer toilet so add a new toilet to the mix. This has been taking my 4 days of carryover vacation from last year and hence why it's gone quiet.
    I should be back next week on this - finalising the spectrometer too.
    Change log so far from R1.13 for the interested:
    // 1.13 Cameras now can create their relevant post processor, addition of virtual API abstracts implementation. Fixes 285 using non-legacy post processor.
    // ExampleApp no longer crashes at the end of a capture set.
    // 1.14 Added PostProcessor calculation of histogram,average and min/max if requested. Requires one less scan of image data as we're doing that anyway.
    // 1.15 Added Artemis 285 as ART-285, including image to ExampleApp - TestLegacyCamera appears as 285 not 16IC now.
    // Added 100ms delay for data read when FIFO disabled for Legacy driver (may remove later)
    // ExampleApp code tidy around the OpenCL prototypes
    // Modern cameras - existing driver amp behaviour corrected - amp was enabled, only to be possibly switched off on reading the CCD.
    // Some Modern cameras - Amp left on after preview mode exposure switches off.
    // * Supporting cameras - addition of keArtemisExtensionKeyDisableAmpOnCCDRead extension to force CCD amp off for maximum linear readout.
    // All Cameras now ensure amp is disabled on camera startup by default, amp is enabled only when required.
    // Titan read now has option of providing disabled amp read for long expsures (more linear and less noise but less sensitive).
  11. NickK
    Just finishing the final testing on the 10.6.8 build and I'll put together the 10.8+ 64bit build..
    The Example App has had an overhaul in the graphics display system. It's far faster and I have a couple more optimisations todo but I thought this would be a good point to release.
    You'll note that it lacks the ability to adjust the display brightness etc.. but I'll add that later.. however it scrolls, zooms etc and has a reticule...
  12. NickK
    Well I've been making some interesting progress - all should be apparent soon enough!
    However - James @ Flo also found a bug in the 1.00 drivers that leaves the preamp on! Nice spotting!
    I'm up to 1.05 now (multiple changes/fixes).. safe to say the image quality has just shot up with James' fix!
    I'll shortly be putting together the next release.. There's some good fixes and some additions to the driver that some will find useful.
    Meanwhile.. I'm doing DIY...
  13. NickK
    Well it's all gone a bit quiet recently as I've just moved house!
    Good news is it's ours and it has lots of space/garage/possible obsy.
    Bad news is the local street lighting is white but it's a sky of bright orange.
  14. NickK
    I spent last night giving the drivers a final testing and fixing a couple of bugs in the Example App. I'll compile a 10.6.8 over the weekend, however the main version is ready for a full release - it's left me in a poignant mood.
    Looking at the emails I started this project in July 2011, and since then I've moved jobs, been to two weddings, see at least 5 kids born to friends, met/engaged/married, moved house, 99% through a house purchase and had a honeymoon in Hawaii (including going up Mauna Kia).
    Well, it's an odd feeling when you've not got anything substantial todo in the background.
    So what's next..
    I played with realtime alignment, rolling my own from the base maths rather than using a library. I have another idea that I want to work on too - under wraps at the moment.
    I have a house move soon but I think the next big push is AOSX V2 out the door. For anyone that's forgotten, part of AOSX is to create an ASCOM form of layer for OSX. I originally started AOSX before the ATIK stuff, and the folks at ATIK are happy for their work to work under it, as are many other vendors. AOSX V1 had some fundamental flaws - such as single point of failure and passing all imaging traffic through a single application.
    AOSX V2 can control the EQ6/8, support QSI, Firewire/USB IS thanks to David (EQMac) and now ATIK too (which took a bit longer than I was expecting!). I'm in it for the long slog so we will be pushing forward with this over the coming months.
    I'd like to thank Sandrine for putting up with my almost obsessive coding. Seriously she's had to put up with quite a bit which is difficult for a french redhead! Naturally I'd like to thanks the folks at ATIK including Steve, Vince (for fixing my 383L when I stepped on the cables one night) and Jonathan.
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