Porting high quality graphics simulations to a low-cost computer architecture
Pratt, David R.
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Two disadvantages of using Silicon Graphics, Inc. (SGI) computers and SGI's IRIS Performer application programming interface (API) in NPSNET are the current inability to run the graphic simulations on more popular environments, such as personal computer (PC) operating systems, and the increased expense associated with the alternative of choosing graphics specific hardware over lower cost PCs. Work detailed in this thesis addresses these problems by porting the graphics code from NPSNET to relatively inexpensive PC hardware running the Microsoft Windows NT OS. Two independent approaches were taken. The first created a library of graphics calls which simulate the syntax and functionality of Performer calls, but which have been redefined in terms of the Gemini Technology Corporation's OpenGVSTM API, which is capable of running on the NT platform. The second proposed and implemented a prototype graphics display manager coded using only OpenGVS, rather than Performer, for a proposed platform-independent redesign of NPSNET. As a result of this effort, the goal of porting IRIS Performer graphics simulations to the PC has been accomplished, and a new architecture for NPSNET display managers has been validated.
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