May 04, 2011

Full use

One of the minor frustrations of Alcyone is that I don't have anything that fully takes advantage of the hardware. It's running Win7-64 and it has 4 cores.

But now I've ordered something that really will do it. It's "Poser Pro 2010", and it's the first 64-bit version of Poser. I've been an intermittent user of Poser for several years; I think I started with Poser 3, way back when.

This wasn't very cheap. $430. But I just put in the order at newEgg, and I'll probably have it next week. Should be fun -- and, maybe, fully test out the new cooling fan. (Eeek!)

UPDATE: I had to pay full price because they didn't offer an upgrade from Poser 7. There's an upgrade to Poser 8, but it's 32-bit.

Another thing I'm hoping is that they have finally completed getting rid of all the structural cruft that was left over from when Poser was developed for MacOS Classic.

You know, the one which used cooperative multitasking and had no memory management and did a piss-poor job with threads, so that everyone did their own memory management and did their own internal cooperative multitasking instead of using threads, and... Gad, what a piece of shit.

Poser through version 6 or so was really unpleasant to use on any of the NT-derivative versions of Windows. It "knew" that it was the only app running on the computer, for instance, so when it was doing a render there wasn't any way to get it off the main screen. It refused to minimize. (If, for instance, you clicked the "Show the desktop" icon, which is supposed to force every app to minimize instantly, then when Poser noticed that it had been minimized it would put all its pieces back up again, as soon as it got around to it. Which, with its lousy internal structure, might take anything from ten seconds to a couple of minutes -- but it always happened.)

And because it was doing its own round-robin multitasking, there were times when it could take 30 seconds for it to respond to a mouse-click or an operating system signal.

But some of that got cleaned up in Poser 7. Transitioning the thing to 64-bit necessarily means it had to be seriously restructured anyway, and I'm hoping that part of that was to clean up the relationship with the operating system.

The product has gone through multiple corporate hands over the years. The original developers were all Mac freaks, and they ported it to Windows because the Windows market was 15 times the size. But deep down they believed that the Mac way was the right way, so they didn't conform to standard Windows GUI guidelines. So menus looked like Mac menus. They didn't use standard Windows mechanisms for that. And there were a lot of other things like that.

The biggest reason I hope they've finally modernized the design is because now, finally, OSX is here and so those fucking Mac-heads will finally design the product to use real threading, and stuff like that. But I have no hope that the Windows version will actually look like a Windows app. It's still going to look like a Mac app. Pearls before swine, and all that. We Windows heathen will get a taste of the good life, and we'll like it.

(Bitter? Me? what gave you that idea?)

Posted by: Steven Den Beste in Computers at 02:39 PM | Comments (6) | Add Comment
Post contains 568 words, total size 3 kb.

1 It's probably just a matter of they don't want to spend the money for the extra time it would take to change it. Never attribute to malice that which can be attributed to stupidity.  Or being really cheap, but I repeat myself. 

Posted by: ubu at May 04, 2011 07:06 PM (GfCSm)

2

I understand why they were resisting the urge to reconstruct the entire program. For the amount of effort it would have taken, they could have applied that same resource to implementing new features, like new rendering modes, or better simulated lighting.

Once the second company inherited the code, they were stuck with the cesspool which had resulted from the initial implementation for MacOS classic. It's the first guys, who created the hack, that I hate.

Posted by: Steven Den Beste at May 04, 2011 08:02 PM (+rSRq)

3 There is nothing so permanent as a quick hack "just to get this release out the door" The only time I've worked a job where I *didn't* have some spectacular example of that maxim to deal with was when we were clean implementing something new.

It only takes one business person yelling "NOW!  THIS!" to introduce these little buried treasures too.  (well, that and a lead/manager spineless enough to let them get away with it)

Posted by: Douglas Oosting at May 05, 2011 05:39 AM (N9Lwt)

4

Shortly after WWII, when my dad was a student there, Oregon State erected some quanset huts to "temporarily" house some things.

They were still there when I was a student at OSU.

Posted by: Steven Den Beste at May 05, 2011 09:26 AM (+rSRq)

5 When I was working on ClarisWorks, we had finally, FINALLY gotten the management to agree to the major re-write we'd been begging for for years, to finally eliminate "Bob Code" (That nobody dated touch) and other relics dating back to version 1.

Shortly thereafter Steve Jobs decided that Claris needed to be sucked back into Apple, and laid off 600+ people, taking the ClarisWorks team from 120 to 12.  They spent their time changing all occurrences in the program of "Claris" to "Apple".

It was also about 6 months after they offered us a re-price on our options, would would take another 3 years to fully vest, so right there Jobs cost me $25,000, and today, those 1000 shares would be worth...?

There ARE some things to like about the Apple UI that drive me nuts on Windows.  Mostly they're related to the handling of text areas and text selections, and they're probably mal-implemented on Windows because of the old look and feel lawsuit.  But that's a discussion for another time.

More on topic though, the main thing I hate about Poser is all the really BAD computer art produced with it.  "Hey look, this slider makes the boobs go to 11, let's leave it there."  I tried playing with the free DAZ 3D, but aside from the fact that you can't actually create anything in it, only use the free (crappy) or expensive models you buy from them, the hash they've made of the directories where all the model files are has become unmanageable.

Posted by: Mauser at May 06, 2011 11:59 PM (cZPoz)

6 PIMF, "that nobody dared touch"

Posted by: Mauser at May 07, 2011 12:00 AM (cZPoz)

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