Live blog from the Nvision finale


Yes, it's real, live typing
— 5:16 PM on August 27, 2008

The Mythbusters are going to blow stuff up, or so we hear, and we're going to attempt to document it—live from the San Jose performing arts center.

3:14PM: Nvidia's Dan Vivoli is onstage now, announcing some attendance numbers for the various parts of Nvision--and there were many parts, everything from a game developers conference to an emerging companies conference to the GeForce LAN and ESWC tourney.  Total count: About 9,200 people, he says.

3:17PM: Bunch of folks are onstage who together gamed for 36 hours without sleep.  Guinness world record guy is here to pronounce on it.  They were only allowed 10 minutes of break time every hour.  203 were able to complete it, which is apparently a world record.

These guys get prizes, including custom shoes with the Nvidia logo.

He's presenting a certificate for the world record. 

3:21PM: Time for an Nvision video montage.  Quivering with joy here.

 It is, indeed, a video montage.  Loud pop music playing in the background.  Look, video cards!

 "That was cute" says the lady next to me.

Time for more awards.

3:26PM: This is for the winners of the NVScene digital art competition. Interesting abstract CGI creations.

Also had a machinima contest.  Winner was called "The Ship."  These are apparently available online for viewing.

And a demoscene contest.  Sweet!  Going old-skool here.  I want to see the winners here.

And we get to see some of them...  pulsating blobs! Man, I love these things.  Takes me back to the Amiga days.

Boy, those have come a long way since the days of Agnus, Denise, and Copper.

3:32PM: Now for an award for exhibitors.  Notice that none of this yet involves the MythBusters blowing stuff up.

 

The winner's out on stage.  A little mic trouble, but he's good now  He has some freaky way of combining live video with 3D rendering in real time.  Makes for some very cheesy TV effects, but eh.... could be put to good use.

3:34PM:  Emerging companies summit also will have an award, it seems.   Rolling a video about them.

Some pretty cool stuff in there.  Of course, it all works well in video.  Text, eh, not so much.

3:39PM: The Mythbusters have still not blown stuff up.

3:40PM: Jeff from Nvidia is up to talk about the emerging companies summit.  He's going to hand out an award.  Jon Peddie, Mark Rein helped judge.  Nurien wins!  Fan service FTW!

3:42PM: Still no mustache and beret.

Instead, the ESWC guy is going to hand out the tourney awards.

PGS.MYM from Poland won the Counter-Strike tournament.

Yeah, I'm not typing all of these out on this Eee PC keyboard, folks. 

They're handing out gigantic faux checks for $12K, $13K, $13K, and $40K.

3:45PM: Vivoli has "one last thing."  The last thing is processors.

Wants to illustrate how a GPU works.  Decided to go to two guys who are experts at taking complex things and bringing them to light....

Jamie Hyneman and Adam Savage.

Adam was a child actor, the stock boy in the Mr. Whipple commercials.  LOL

We have mustache, beret, horn-rimmed glasses, and a goatee, ladies and gents.

Adam: We're going to give a practical demonstration of how a GPU works.  A comparative demo with CPUs.  With blowing stuff up and shooting things.  And robots!

Out comes the CPU robot... Leonardo.  He's a painter.  Going to paint a picture like a CPU might do it, sequentially.  On this canvas, right here.  Using paintballs.

Laser targeting on Leo here.  Jamie is running the controls.  Trying to get it aimed right. 

Draws a happy face by shooting paintballs.  Crowd loves it.

Now for the GPU...  We want to paint the Mona Lisa, but she's pretty complicated.. don't think Leo can do it.  We're gonna need a bigger bot.

Holy poop it's the size of a small bus.  1,100 paintballs simultaneously shot!

2,100 gallons of air pumped through, 80ms for them to reach their targets.

Jamie: It's kinda like a parallel processor, or a GPU.

Jamie's giving a safety talk   Handing out tarps.  I am in the front row.

Welcome to the Gallagher show!

We're supposed to cover our ears when it fires.

Arming..

SPLAT!  We have...  A very large, low res Mona Lisa.  Paintball bits scattered everywhere when that thing shot off.

They turn it to the crowd to show....  huge applause.

But...  they haven't blown anything up.

Adam: We did not fake this thing.  Jamie's shirt has paint on it.

Slow-mo instant replay time.  Man, the paintballs were all airborne simultaneously.

Adam: Jamie and I designed this, but full disclosure, Kerner Optical built it.

And....  we're finished!

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