Nvidia ended the first Nvision visual computing festival with a bang, in a quite literal sense, after inviting Adam Savage and Jamie Hyneman of Mythbusters fame on stage to bring an end to official proceedings.
The two were tasked with using their scientific and engineering skill to demonstrate the difference between a CPU and a GPU... in a visual sense.
Now, the conclusion was obvious almost as soon as the two started talking about CPUs and GPUs moments after arriving on stage and I have to say I had one of those eye-rolling moments. Jamie was then handed a remote control and wheeled out a robot that then proceeded to fire paintballs at a screen, drawing a smiley face in blue paint on a white background.
There was a certain amount of coincidence in what was shown here - I mean, who's logo is blue on a white background? Yeah, and that led me to another eye-rolling moment. Knowing this was the Mythbusters though, things were only likely to get better - and, boy, they sure did!
The curtain was then pulled up as the stage was emptied, revealing a huge monstrosity covered by a white sheet. Savage said "underneath this sheet, there are thousands of pounds of aluminium and steel, a mile of high-pressure air hose, hundreds of pounds of compressed air and 1,100 specifically compressed paintballs in 1,100 barrels,
" as he pulled the sheet back.
I wasn't expecting what came next, as Savage started handing out tarpaulins to cover up those of us in the front row, right where I was sat, as he warned the crowd to "cover up, you might get splattered.
Following a huge rush of air, the screen opposite had a pixellated but easily recognisable picture of the Mona Lisa painted on it. The atmosphere inside the keynote was one of sheer amazement and awe - if only I had thought up something quite as cool and epic as this, I too could be as awesome as Adam and Jamie.
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I'll leave you with a video because, without one, there's no justice for how cool the Mythbusters' GPU paintball gun was. Discuss in the forums