[Rd] Compiling R for the Sony Playstation 3?

elw at stderr.org elw at stderr.org
Mon Aug 6 01:19:30 CEST 2007

>> Beyond that, there may be a few more things that can be done to make R 
>> run "stupidly fast" on ps3 or IBM Cell blades.

> Wouldn't the right way to go here be to make it use the PS3 graphics 
> hardware, in a http://www.gpgpu.org/ kind of way? Or are the Cell 
> processors on the PS3 graphics processors too?

The accelerated-graphics bits in the ps3 are not exposed to the linux 
kernel, due to NDA/licensing/SuperSekritTypeStuff at Sony.

But, yes, post-reverse engineering, that would be nice.  :-)

My understanding is that Sony expects to be able to make games for the PS3 
hardware for the next decade or so.  This seems fairly reasonable, given 
that they only stopped making games for the PS**ONE** two or three years 
ago.  I still occasionally see them in stores, even.

> Of course if you are doing this for fun I'd like to see a Nintendo Wii 
> port, just so I can play Super Mario Generalised Linear Modelling by 
> waving the controller around.

There is a python script available to make the wiimotes act as a standard 
X11 mouse device (on linux, via /dev/input/mice);  I hear that this works 
just fine.  The link to instructions is here:


I bought a Wiimote and a Nunchuck (which has a couple extra buttons, 
trigger, a 'hat'-style analog joystick, and a few more accelerometers) a 
couple months ago with the intent of eventually doing some experimenting 
with them.  No time available, yet.

[What I want is to be able to fly through large social network graphs in 
R... rendered in OpenGL.  Is that too much to ask?  :-)]


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