RABIN’S WORK HISTORY AND ACHIEVEMENTS
AS RECALLED AND RECOUNTED BY HIS FATHER INCLUDING
INFORMATION FROM HIS FRIENDS AND COLLEAGUES
Rabin always worked quietly and seldom
described his work and achievements in detail. But Rabin did seek my (his
father’s) advice and help when necessary especially in matters practical. I
worked with him on the construction of the equipment for the
What follows, then, is an account of Rabin’s
work and his achievements as gathered from his CV, from the accounts given by
his friends and colleagues, from those who benefited by his achievements and
from all that I can remember.
ACADEMIC WORK & VACATION PURSUITS
Rabin was a ‘Vacation Trainee for 6 weeks
Engineering, Operational Engineering Radio Services
Rabin did Vacation work totalling 14 weeks at
the Neurology Department,
As noted elsewhere, in this website, Rabin got
his first degree in Electronics and Computer Science then went on to work for
His electronic project (for the BSc) was to
design an integrated electrical and electronic system for cars which would
reduce all the wiring down to a single ribbon incorporating ‘chips’ which would
service the whole system.
While working on his PhD. Rabin also worked as
a teaching assistant. He taught in the BSc/MSc Graphics Course, and the new “Applications
Design”. He provided technical advice on C and User Interface
programming (X11 R4, X11 Toolkit Intrinsics and Motif) for final year project
Rabin built and
Maintained X11 R5 and Motif 1.1.3 for the Computer Science Research Department.
Rabin went on a university sales tour with Saatchi & Saatchi Direct Ltd. for
to 1991 he tutored and supervised in the laboratories at QMW. Supported X11 environment. Managed the
graphics laboratory sessions while the lecturer was on sabbatical leave.
In 1988 designed and constructed a VME bus, 24
bit graphics card in 6 weeks.
CAREER HISTORY FROM 1993
Senior Research Engineer with Canon Research
Rabin joined Canon
Research Europe/Criterion Software as a Senior Research Engineer and stayed
there until he left in June 2004 to work for (and with) the Sony Technology
Group – SCEE (Sony Computer Entertainment
While with Canon, in
Rabin worked on
RenderWare (RW), from its origins as a software only
rendering library, produced by a small research group, to its current place as
the pre-eminent games graphics middleware product supported by a multinational
organisation. (3D graphics, C, C++, various assembler –x86, MIPS, PowerPC, ARM)
architecture and provided the basic framework/build system of the next
generation of RW libraries. (API design, gnumake, sed, sh scripting)
holds PATENTS in -
access video memory control’ GB2352380, ‘Geometric Texturing’ US6714195
Look elsewhere in this website
for the details of the award he got from Canon
Provided RW for Sony ‘s
GSCube demo on a very tight schedule with access to final hardware restricted
to on-site in the final week. Demo was a real time version of the bar room
scene from PDI’s film ‘Antz’,
to hard deadlines – SIGGRAPH. Complexity mitigation – made RW automatically
Rabin was the site
hardware specialist, helping to take the Criterion Games Burnout team from
initial exposure to PS2 released title (The original Burnout) in a year. (Technical mentoring)
An appropriate tribute will be included in the
Rabin had the skill and
ability to work all the way down to the hardware, acting as a problem solver of last resort. He assisted with
the finding and fixing of subtle problems with the GameCube version of RW which
was preventing release of “Blitz” by Midway Games. Devised a code generating
scheme to work round the limitations of Symbian OS. Rapid
Earlier in the life of
RW, he re-engineered to permit hardware support on PCs, working closely with
hardware partners to deliver on their launch and show schedules. During this
period, Rabin was completely responsible for the hardware support side of RW
creating/supporting Device Driver Kit for IHVs. This enabled “Scorched
Planet”, bundled with an early Matrox graphics card, the first title to earn
Criterion more than $1 million. (This was excellent customer/partner
relationships and, also, refactoring.)
Rabin worked with Intel
on P55C (MMX) optimisations for RW to coincide with that launch, and an
efficient driver for AGPlaunch bundle. (Auto-generated code using CPP. Vector
Adam Billyard (CTO
Criterion Software Ltd) writes:
Rabin’s PhD work was very cool and
still very relevant to graphics we do today and going forward. Namely, the work he did on Bezier patch
decomposition that is amenable to h/w implementations. Specifically he did some good work on reducing
the cost of subdivision termination conditions.
- Rabin had an encyclopaedic knowledge
of UNIX / mail configuration and was frequently called upon in the early days
to help the sysadmin sort out knotty problems – it was all I could do somedays
to get him back to his “day job”!
- The very early commodity graphics h/w
was pretty “challenging” to use (eg GLINT) and Rabin did a great job massaging
RW into a form that can utilize this tech.
- Canon funded a graphics research
project in the late-90s in which Rabin created what essentially is a pixel
shading language with which we constructed different shaders. Its still in use
today for offline processing.
- I’m pretty sure I recall that because
Rabin was given responsibility to look after any new hardware we ever got in –
which particularly for prototype h/w would typically require lots of
configuration – he was asked to setup a very early Nintendo GameCube
development kit (codename Dolphin), one of the very first in the country. He never lived it down that it promptly
exploded in smoke because he’d forgotten to switch it 240V from 110V! Rabin was a serious man but it always raised
a smile from him when reminded of this.
Rabin joined SCEE in
June 2005. He soon established himself as a mentor and problem solver. His
colleagues were able, always, to use his skills and expertise in a variety of
ways. They turned to him comfortably and confidently. (He was their ‘GURU’ as
one colleague happily referred to him).
Rabin did a great deal
of work on the preparation of Play Station 3 and played an important part in
getting it ready, on time, for the launch date.
Colin Hughes from SCEE
Rabin joined SCEE to work in research and development for the
new Playstation 3 console.
He started work on an emulation project, and contributed greatly to the global team - working in
As one of our leading engineers he was responsible for an integral part of the project, and he developed several ideas that were patent worthy.
Rabin studied the Japanese language for many
years. He appeared for examinations which he passed, and was able to read,
write and speak it. This skill, therefore, stood him in good stead in all the
work he did for both Canon and Sony.