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 with BBC 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 PhD.
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 students.
Rabin built and
Maintained X11 R5 and Motif 1.1.3 for the Computer Science Research Department.
In 1990 Rabin went on a university sales tour with Saatchi & Saatchi Direct Ltd. for Hewlett Packard.
During 1988 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 Europe/Criterion Software
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
l 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)
l Designed the architecture and provided the basic framework/build system of the next generation of RW libraries. (API design, gnumake, sed, sh scripting)
l Rabin 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
l 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’,
(Work to hard deadlines – SIGGRAPH. Complexity mitigation – made RW automatically exploit parallelism)
l 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 ‘Burnout’ CD
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
l 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.)
l 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 assembler)
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 writes:
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.