Tag Archives: GL

The Five Coolest Subarus to Celebrate Parent Company Fuji Heavy Industries’ 60th Birthday

By Alexander Stoklosa

1958 Subaru 360

Subaru—both the name and the company—has been around for decades, but it’s slightly outlasted by its parent company, Fuji Heavy Industries, which is celebrating 60 years of business. Created from the pieces of several Japanese companies that survived World War II, Fuji Heavy Industries (FHI) branched out into a number of manufacturing enterprises, but the most visible of its creations, at least here in the U.S., is Subaru. So what better way to pay tribute to FHI on its big six-oh than to call out five of the coolest Subarus of all time.

Subaru 360 (1958–1970)

The 360′s reason for being is a familiar one: it was designed as a “people’s car” for the economically strained post-war Japanese populace. Much like Volkswagen’s Beetle or Ford’s Model T, the 360 aimed to put a generation on wheels cheaply and reliably, and a big (pun intended) part of that design was the car’s miniscule size. It fit into Japan’s “kei car” footprint bracket, similar to modern small rides like the Honda Beat and Suzuki Cappuccino. As such, the 360′s simple name had less to do with its circular look and more to do with its 360-cc engine size. Setting the stage for the, er, unique-ness of later Subarus, the rear-mounted, air-cooled engine featured two cylinders arranged in a line—sweet.

1979 Subaru BRAT

Subaru BRAT (1978–1993)

If the 360′s odd engine layout was a sliver of a precursor for Subaru’s quirkiness down the road, the BRAT was confirmation that the automaker was something different. Based on Subaru’s relatively pedestrian GL neé Leone, the BRAT was a small, two-door pickup truck with four-wheel drive and a wholly dangerous-looking pair of rear-facing seats welded to the bed floor. Those chairs—which effectively placed occupants’ heads above the highest portion of the roof—were put back there to circumvent the U.S. government’s 25-percent “Chicken Tax” on imported trucks. Roll-over protection? Who needs stinkin’ roll-over protection when you’re driving an awesome small truck with awesomely terrifying rear seats whose name is an acronym for Bi-Drive Recreational All-Terrain Transporter?

1991 Subaru SVX

Subaru SVX (1991–1997)

Despite naming it one of the biggest sales flops of the past 25 years a few years ago, we maintain that the SVX is one sweet ride. The odd-looking, futuristic coupe featured genuine Italian design penned by none other than Giorgetto Giugiaro. A 230-hp flat-six lived under the hood and powered all four wheels through an electronically controlled all-wheel-drive system. To achieve that sleek, wraparound-glass look, only portions of the side windows actually rolled down, which is neat if you think the DeLorean’s similar treatment was just the bees knees. It might have been slightly too forward-thinking for its time and far too expensive, but the SVX was a triumphant tribute to Subaru’s engineering prowess wrapped in its signature outside-the-box thinking.

2002 Subaru Impreza WRX

Subaru Impreza WRX / …read more

Source: FULL ARTICLE at Car & Driver

Setting up a Pandaboard for KWin development

The Pandaboard is a nice little ARM powered device which is meant for development and suited for example to test KWin on real OpenGL ES hardware. This weekend I decided to set it up again, I had done it before, I had installed KWin on the PI, so I’m not a complete NOOB for ARM hardware. I wanted to test a few things and see how the latest changes to master do on a non x86 architecture.

I got the memo about Linux is for normal users and not for LEET, but I do not understand why it has to be so difficult to setup a device which is meant for development. In the past it was as simple as dd an image to an SD-card, plug it in and done. Well those times are over.

My requirement for a base distributions are rather small:

  • Up to date kdelibs, because compiling is slow on the device
  • Working drivers for GL hardware

With this combination we can rule out most distributions like for example Debian (issues with both) or openSUSE (no drivers). I decided to try Linaro 13.02 which offers an image for Pandaboard and is Ubuntu 12.10 based, which means we can easily install KDE packages.

Linaro is still rather simple: dd to SD card, plug in and go. Just that you don’t get any output on the screen. I already thought my Pandaboard was broken. What’s a little bit tricky is that the Pandaboard has two HDMI connectors (one as HDMI, one as DVI) and at least openSUSE reports that only the real HDMI works. But with Linaro I did not get anything on either screen or TV.

So I had to connect to the Serial port to get some output. And look there: it boots. Once I was logged in I was able to figure out that the system is pretty basic, e.g. no X installed. But even after installing X I did not get anything on the screen: it complained about missing /dev/fb0. That was then the point where I considered trying a different distribution. (Search did not help).

Next choice was Kubuntu. This also used to be rather simple: dd to SD card. Downloaded daily build of 13.04, dd to SD card, plugged in and screen turns on. But instead of starting the system, the installer is started. Well since 12.10 you need to install. Obviously the system is not able to install to the SD card which is plugged in. So I got an USB stick, dd to stick, plugged in and nothing. The pandaboard doesn’t boot from USB stick. Now it got difficult: search for a second SD card. Found one, dd image to the second card, moved the first SD card to a card reader, plugged everything in and installed to the SD card at the card reader.

After installation, I swapped the SD cards, plugged in and nothing. System doesn’t boot. Well maybe the system expects at a different device, so I plugged the card reader …read more
Source: FULL ARTICLE at Planet KDE

OpenGL in Qt 5.1 – Part 4

This article continues our series on what is new in Qt 5.1 with respect to OpenGL. Earlier articles in this series are available at:

OpenGL Debug Output

The traditional way to debug OpenGL is to call glGetError() after every GL function call. This is tedious, clutters up our code, and doesn’t warn about performance issues or other non-error situations. In the last couple of years various debug extensions have been proposed and have proven their usefulness. These have very recently been unified into the GL_KHR_debug extension for both OpenGL and OpenGL ES.

KDAB engineer Giuseppe D’Angelo has exposed the functionlity of the GL_KHR_debug extension via the new class QOpenGLDebugLogger which will also be part of Qt 5.1. The QOpenGLDebugLogger class can be used to either request previously logged messages from OpenGL or to emit a signal each time OpenGL logs a message. The QOpenGLDebugLogger::messageLogged() signal can be connected up to a slot where you can respond to the message appropriately, say by outputting using qDebug(), handling the error etc.

The signal can be emitted either asynchronously for minimal performance impact on your running application, or synchronously and with a larger performance impact. Although the synchronous approach has a cost, it does have one massive advantage. Setting a break point in a slot connected to the messageLogged() signal will allow you to break execution and see the stack and the exact OpenGL function call that caused the error or
warning. This is incredibly useful when debugging OpenGL applications and not a glGetError() call in sight!

Using the above mechanism, OpenGL is also able to provide informational messages to us as well as errors. These may include data about where particular vertex buffer objects reside (GPU or CPU memory), if the correct usage hint has been given for a buffer object, or if we are violating it and causing the driver grief resulting in performance issues. All of these and more are now trivially available to us. It is even possible for your application or Qt to inject their own messages into the OpenGL logging system and we can filter based upon message type, severity etc.

Using the QOpenGLDebugLogger is very simple:

void Scene::initialize()
    m_logger = new QOpenGLDebugLogger( this );

    connect( m_logger, SIGNAL( messageLogged( QOpenGLDebugMessage ) ),
             this, SLOT( onMessageLogged( QOpenGLDebugMessage ) ),
             Qt::DirectConnection );

    if ( m_logger->initialize() ) {
        m_logger->startLogging( QOpenGLDebugLogger::SynchronousLogging );

    // Populate a buffer object
    m_positionBuffer.setUsagePattern( QOpenGLBuffer::StreamDraw );
    m_positionBuffer.allocate( positionData,
                             ...read more 
Source: FULL ARTICLE at Planet KDE

2013 Mitsubishi Outlander Sport Commercial: Crashing Symbols Loudly [The Ad Section]

By Don Klein

2013 Mitsubishi Outlander Sport Commercial: Crashing Symbols Loudly [The Ad Section]

Award-winning ad man-cum-auto journalist Don Klein knows a good (or bad) car commercial when he sees one; the Ad Section is his space to tell you what he thinks of the latest spots. The ad’s rating is depicted via the shift pattern at the bottom, but everyone has an opinion when it comes to advertising, so hit Backfires below and tell us what you think, too.

When I was a middle-class kid going to my middle-class high school in my middle-class hometown, being labeled “pretentious” was a heavy-duty condemnation. The rich kids from neighboring Essex Fells were pretentious; we were “honest” and “down to earth.” Of course, what we really were was jealous, but we wore our collective cloak of humility, woven from sturdy grass roots, like a badge of honor. It kept us safe from, among other things, the green-eyed monster. So I totally get that there’s something powerful about the have-nots getting their due, especially if the haves can be taught a lesson as part of the bargain. That’s the energy (negative though it may be) that Mitsubishi is tapping into with its “End Pretentiousness” campaign.

When the copy says, “great design should be inclusive, not exclusive,” it means that you shouldn’t have to be rich to drive an SUV that looks like the SUVs that rich people drive. (Although I’m not sure which “great design” it is referring to; is the Outlander Sport any better looking than a Kia Sportage or Hyundai Tucson, both of which are in the Outlander’s price range?) But even if we give Mitsubishi that one—even if we agree that the Outlander Sport is every bit as well designed as a BMW or Mercedes or other SUV that costs a lot more—why isn’t it enough to just say that? Why smash the crap out of those symbols of wealth?

Since they’re being used as icons of pretension, I can only guess it’s because Mitsubishi thinks middle-class Americans are angry at rich people, angry enough to literally “lay to waste” (a direct quote from a Mitsubishi press post) their ice swans, champagne towers, and chandeliers. Well, maybe they are angry. And maybe they have good reason to be, what with rich people being so annoyingly pretentious and all. But then why in the world do they want to emulate them? Isn’t pretending to be pretentious even more pretentious than actually being pretentious?

Yet Mitsubishi is so sure it has hit upon a productive nerve that it’s extended the “End Pretentiousness” theme to its social-media campaign as well. Thanks to a dedicated Facebook app, you can upload photos of your pretentious friends’ stuff (or your pretentious friends themselves) and watch with self-righteous indignation as an Outlander rends them asunder along with the magically suspended crystal chandelier and all that perfectly good champagne. But if these people are so pretentious, why are they your friends in the first place? And why does the Outlander in the app get dusted off by two butlers before it dusts its next victim? Tell me again who’s being pretentious?

But maybe I’m looking at this all wrong. Maybe Mitsubishi is really aiming this spot at premium SUV buyers in the hope that it will get them to trade down and to swap out their chandeliers and champagne for Ikea lamps and Miller Lite. To junk the GL and get a Mitsu. Why not? After all, it looks just as good.

3rd GearYeah, right. A more plausible explanation is that guys, especially those with jealousy or anger issues, like to see things get blown up. There’s just something about that Y chromosome that makes witnessing graphic destruction an inherently satisfying experience. Hey, Michael Bay built a whole career on it. And it’s not by random chance that “Explosions A to Z” was one of the most-popular MythBusters episodes. So if that’s what’s really going on here, then maybe Mitsubishi is onto something with this commercial. Especially if its target audience thinks like middle-class high-school kids who fancy themselves “down to earth” and haven’t yet acknowledged their green-eyed monster within.

Source: FULL ARTICLE at Car & Driver