Back when OpenGL accelerated hardware became a thing at the consumer level (and even non OpenGL, like the Rendition Verite v1000E !) games like Quake suddenly took on an entirely new life, with the amazing ‘realism’ that OpenGL could bring. And what an amazing change it was from the software renderer.
I had bought the Diamond Fire GL 1000, and it honestly kinda sucked. It did the OpenGL demo’s okayish under Windows NT, but Quake, not so much. But it was a sign of things to some, as I could run the 3D pipes screensaver without running the CPU at 100% But the Fire was meant more so for ‘adult’ or productive things, not for playing a game.
A long time ago, I had this 286 computer, and I thought it was so cool because I had a 287XL math co-processor. It basically was a 80387 math chip that was wedged to work on a 80286 computer. And it being the early 1990’s the one thing everyone loved to do was to show off rendering stuff.
I’ve long since lost all my stuff, but I do remember the ‘switch’ from DKBTrace to POV-Ray.
I did lament at the time that doing a good ‘quality’ render could take a week or more… And power in South Florida being a ‘best effort service’ wasn’t very forgiving for those of us on FPL. But it was still very neat and exciting for the time. OpenGL kind of killed that as now you could do ‘good enough’ stuff in realtime!
Anyways I was googling around checking out pageranks (I know so shameless) when I came across Kurt Bangert’s page, that included a POV-Ray scene with some fun filled Fortran stuff.
So after downloading the files, and the latest POV-Ray (3.7), and fixing a trivial line I was able to render the above picture in 16 minutes!!
I figured by now POV-Ray could support SMP, and found the new beta version, that supports SMP! So on my HP laptop with 4 cores, and hyperthreading enabled, I was able to render the scene in 1.5 minutes in 1024×768 resolution!!
The Fortran printout is the ‘adventure’ cave game, along with another variation of the snoopy Fortran calendar.