HarveyNick.com


Tags


Origin Story, Raspberry Pi, and the ZX Spectrum

One of the fun things about working for Google is that from time to time interesting people come into the office to give talks. We had Richard Dawkins a few weeks ago, who gave an interesting if… uncompromising talk. Yesterday we had one of the founders of the Raspberry Pi foundation. For those of you who aren't aware, the Raspberry Pi is an extremely small (exactly credit card sized) and cheap ($25), yet very capable computing platform. The foundation is the charity formed to produce this hardware. Why is a charity building computer hardware? Because there is a need for…

Nick JohnsonNick Johnson

New (ish) Year, New (ish) Blog

2011 was an interesting year for me. A lot changed. I turned 30. After 10 years of residency I moved away from Edinburgh, a city I love dearly, and took a job in London. With Google. As a result, I no longer work with Autonomous Underwater Vehicles for a living. Instead I build web services. Quite the change, I'm sure you'll agree. In the early months of the year I finally completed the corrections to my PhD, and then in the summer: I graduated. It took 6 years (all together) but I am now Dr. Nick Johnson. I also lost…

Nick JohnsonNick Johnson

Simplifying the Landscape

At the end of the last post I wrote about the actual implementation of my Clockwork Aphid project, I said the next step was going to be display simplification. At that point I'd generated a few landscapes which were just starting barely starting to test the limits of my computer, though they were nothing like the size or complexity I had in mind. That said, it was looking at landscapes containing 1579008 polygons and it was obvious that not all of these needed to be put on screen. Moreover, because my landscapes are essentially made up of discrete samples (or…

Nick JohnsonNick Johnson

Mercury Rising

Monday the 5th of September was Freddie Mercury day. The day he would have turned 65, had he lived. This makes me feel a little old, but that's not the point. The day's Google doodle (pointed out to me with furious glee by one of my coworkers) led me to YouTube and numerous videos of Queen performing live. As I often do, I'd forgotten just how good they were. I spent much of the day fighting the urge to pump my fist and throw shapes at my desk[1]. Since I had so much fun with this, I'm going to…

Nick JohnsonNick Johnson

Revisiting the Language Issue

Some time ago, I wrote a series of posts about language choice for my Clockwork Aphid project. In the end I decided to start the project in Java, this being the language I'm most comfortable with. Once the project reaches a stable state, with some minimum amount of functionality, the plan is to port it to C++ for comparison purposes, this being the language which is likely to provide the best performance. I still plan on doing this, but I've also decided to add a couple of extra candidate languages to the melting pot and get an even broader comparison.…

Nick JohnsonNick Johnson

The Ol' Homestead

You may or may not be aware that, though I now lived in London and previously lived in Edinburgh, I'm originally from South Yorkshire. Since I visited my parents this weekend for my father's 60th birthday[1], I though I'd take a moment to talk about a couple of Yorkshire related titbits which have crossed my mind recently. The first is the fact that no matter how far you go from your your roots, they have a way of inserting themselves into your life in unexpected places. The other day (or "t'other day" if we're going to be…

Nick JohnsonNick Johnson