2.04.2005

Sunrise in a Computer

So I've been a little obsessed with the driving simulator lately. We got the first track working today, just some dirt hills but it's a major step. You can move the sun across the sky and the hills cast shadows on themselves and on the car. In this picture the sun is very near the horizon which is why it's dark and why you can see the shadow from the wheel rims next to the car. I'm having a guy build my dream car, the Porsche 917 so I can put it in the game and drive around a virtual version.

I've been wrong about a lot of things in the past but I think this driving game has a lot of potential. The best case scenario is as follows. Because it's free, our simulator is downloaded by countless car nuts over the Internet (we're somewhere around 5,000 downloads right now). People begin to understand the benefits of Open Source software because our game is something tangible unlike the less than mainstream Linux or Apache.

My deep seated love for Open Source thinking is based, oddly enough, on the belief that it is good for capitalism. Yes, if our simulator is popular it will probably prevent development of commercial simulators. Then again, all of those smart people that have been re-inventing the wheel, no pun, for the last 15 years can move on to projects that push the envelope in areas neglected by open source developers.

Robots and open source are both driving automation. Automation leads to efficiency which leads to a growing wealth divide but more importantly to more average wealth. Of course with more wealth you have more tax revenue which if redistributed correctly (healthcare?) leads to a higher standard of living for the median citizen.

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