Supercomputer In A $300 Laptop

I wrote an app this weekend for visual, interactive image processing on a computer GPU. It took about 60 seconds to do all of the manual work to turn the image on the left into the image on the right.

ScreenHunter_5436 Dec. 21 16.41   ScreenHunter_5443 Dec. 21 19.52

09 Jun 1906 – The Earth Warmer: Glaciers Disappearing.

I’ve written large apps which can do this before,, but this one is  designed to be very lightweight, easy to use, and fast on any modern computer.


About stevengoddard

Just having fun
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42 Responses to Supercomputer In A $300 Laptop

  1. Bob Campbell says:

    That’s fantastic Congrat’s

  2. catweazle666 says:

    Frightening, isn’t it?

    It is now about a week plus 50 years since I went on a computing course during the first week of the school holidays and was subjected to computers for the first time…

  3. Gail Combs says:

    It was about 45 years ago when I was required to write a program in basic (punch cards of course) to run a Gas Chromatograph in college. Never did take any real computer courses just sort of winged it and read a lot of instrument manuals.

    • cdquarles says:

      I had to punch codes and data for the x-ray crystallography my chemistry professor was doing. FORTRAN 66/IV code accompanied by roughly 100 data cards in the deck. No, I didn’t drop them :P. That was 1978. I took two computer courses at the University. Punch card FORTRAN, dumb interactive terminal BASIC.

    • philjourdan says:

      And I bet you looked down your nose at those “geeks” carrying around the boxes of cards of an Assembler program. So did I, until I took the course. 😉

  4. In the fall of 1977 I took a computer science class at Santa Barbara City College. The teacher was raving about the first home computer, the Commodore PET. They were on back order so I couldn’t buy one. Nobody ever heard of Apple. By November they were selling TRS-80’s in Radio Shack. I almost bought one but the guy said there was no software, I had to program it myself. So I bought a chess playing computer instead, called “Boris”. It was the first one, and I still have it. It’s not very strong, I can usually beat it.

  5. annieoakley says:

    When I was in college the computers were in a bunker and only available to Business Majors.

    • Dan_Kurt says:

      Circa 1965 @ an Ivy Graduate level: Department had a punch card writer and using FORTRAN, I (we lucky few) would program large stack of cards. When finished would carry the stack of cards to the World Famous MBA school, the place that had the big bucks that enabled them to have the actual hardware, the computer, tended by priest like experts in actual white coats who took the stack of cards from me. (If they spilled them it was ok as a sequence number was always included in a column in the high 70s on the card.) The next day I would return to the computing center and often receive the output or more often the report of a RUN TIME ERROR. Debugging time was spread over a lot of days which spread into weeks. We who were permitted to use the system at arms length considered ourself blessed. Friends at lesser institutions were still wedded to slide rules.

      Dan Kurt

      • Gail Combs says:

        Despite the one time we got to program the computer running the GC (we also handed a deck of cards to the High Priest) I never saw a computer until the 1980s when we FINALLY got a hand-me-down from accounting. After that we started to see computers hooked to our lab equipment. Not having to do the tedious calculations for GC analysis by hand was such a relief.

      • philjourdan says:

        I was 10 years behind you, so in my Senior year, I got to touch a terminal!

  6. Don says:

    What’s a computer? LOL

  7. Send Al to the Pole says:

    What IDE do you use for this, Tony? I’m new to software, but I’m using visual studio and eclipse. I really like them both. Maybe that is cheating from your perspective because they check your syntax and struc
    ture while you’re building, and I’ve had some simple programs that ran perfectly the very first try.

    • I normally use QCreator, Eclipse, Visual Studio or XCode. This app was built on Visual Studio – only because someone screwed up Qt 5.2 and pulled out their OpenGL support, so I can’t use QCreator.I should probably port it to Eclipse so that it will run on Linux too.

      • HankH says:

        I’ve been assuming that Visual Studio’s dependency on the .NET framework would make MONO a natural pathway to Linux. Is there non-managed code in your source code that would preclude the MONO path? I guess I’m curious why a port to Eclipse is a better alternative? I have some VS projects I will be porting to Linux soon so your comment struck me as a pathway I may be overlooking. Anyway, good work, Steve 😀

      • daveburton says:

        Written in… C++? C#? VB? Python? Ruby? Java?

      • catweazle666 says:

        I must confess I’m very fond of Power Basic these days – especially the console version.

        Just the job for writing those little routines for stripping junk out of files and other chores, easy to write .EXEs less than 10 Kb big.

        It has easy access to the windows API and easy-to-use inline assembler.

  8. Steve Case says:

    I took personal typing in high school and am self taught on Excel. Most of what I do with images is good old Microsoft Photo Editor and Paint.

    • Gail Combs says:

      I didn’t even manage the typing course so I am still using hunt and peck.

      • philjourdan says:

        My mother made me take it because “it would help with typing term papers in College” (I had an old Royal manual). I am so glad she did. A semi semi, A semi semi…..

        • Gail Combs says:

          I wanted to join the track team, take shop and drafting but I wasn’t allowed to because I was a ‘girl.’ So when Mom suggested taking typing I refused because it was a ‘girls’ course and the only time I was given a choice. I was made to take Home Ec so I deliberately got Ds and Fs. It went real well with my As in math and science and drove the vice principal nuts. How do you handle a kid, who was in your history class and did well, who is deliberately getting bad grades as a protest against school policy?

        • philjourdan says:

          I have never been a “ladies” man. but you are right about typing. The ladies out numbered the guys 3-1, so at least it was enjoyable for me! 😉

    • cdquarles says:

      I learned touch typing in high school as well. That was a ‘business’ course. Mrs. Kidd was quite the character.

  9. AZ1971 says:

    I’m in need of a new laptop and was wondering – if you can reveal the details, of course – what brand and model you use for $300. That’s a price point I can live with.

    • I have a Toshiba AMD A6 laptop, which I upgraded to 8GB memory. Unfortunately, a few months ago all of the low end manufacturers started sealing the memory compartment so that you can’t upgrade them – which really sucks

  10. talldave2 says:

    Pure awesome. Oh, the tweets we will tweet!

  11. Sparks says:

    Nice image processing skills,

    I can write and compile code in any language reasonably well mtself, I began with Qbasic and moved onto Pascal then C++, I enjoyed working with Delphi but its becoming more and more redundant really.. It depends on the application. I used to mod games (Opengl and directx) and work on AI for fun, and tts and speech recognition. I’m still surprised by what people purchase out of ignorance when it comes to software.

    Everyone’s a computer expert these days lol

    • philjourdan says:

      Yes, and it is scary! While not a universal truism, a general truth is that programmers know nothing of hardware (I know of a couple of exceptions and I am sure there are more). The worst damage I have seen done to a computer is by software guys.

      • Sparks says:

        I Like writing code that interacts with hardware, I was big into robotics. I still use some assembly, My opinion is that popular software will all be based on high level languages, and these languages will be given more access and control over operating systems, and we’ll end up back to IBM’s original plan of control. 30 years lost! although, at least some people got rich out of it all. lol

        • philjourdan says:

          I started out writing assembler code for an HP mini. You are more a hardware engineer, than a software coder. Software coders take the compilers written by the likes of you and create useful (usually) programs. And know nothing of the underlying architecture.

          And there are a lot of you, but your numbers are dwarfed by those who have no clue about hardware, yet since they are programmers, they think they know.

      • Sparks says:

        I used to write code to control robotic lighten systems as well, I was employed at this.

  12. Sparks says:

    There’s a lot of code hours stolen.. try downloading a track that does not use stolen code to be mass produced and sold.

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