Rhino Groomers

Dear Rhino riders (users),

I am not the most articulate or eloquent of folks but do read this with an open mind. This is just my view of things.

I am a developer who started with computers in the early 80s, ZX81, Vic 20, Commodore 64, BBC Micro (my intro to computers and programming)

BBC micro 32K can you imagine? Anyway back to the point. Micros were a giant leap for an average kid in the 80s. you could actually get your name on the screen, get colours, shapes, can make it move, can make it talk, yes BBC did have a speech synth! and so did other micros!!

The micros were an interactive toy for a particular type of kids and I still dont know what that types is…
Kids wanted to learn more and more stuff to get cool things on the screen, effects, speed, shapes all those stuff. some of us could even remember memory address to service routines, vectors etc.

This influenced a lot of kids to get in to programming and especially in to graphics programming. If you ask some of the veteran CAD coders for their story then I am sure most of them would have had a micro in the 80s.

Then the hardware technology began to accelerate at a very high rate and then came the IBM PCs and the clones and micros slowly started to disapear and with that went the opportunity to easily do graphics programming until the advent of windows 95 and DirectX and then OpenGL…

Why I have mentioned all this is that I have not felt the same until I got my coding hands on Rhino and I feel so invigorated. Rhino/McNeels & Associates offer me a lot through their product and their business model.

Open everything, well almost, they do have to make money and so do we. They offer RhinoCommon, OpenNURBS, NFR for developers, even the web site is open sourced.

Those who embrace open source are those who have belief in their ability and care about what they do, IMHO.

After all this rambling what I am appealing here is for Rhino groomers (who would like to help/volunteer to make everything Rhino better)

McNeels provides free support and we have to give something back to them, there IS more happiness in giving than in receiving said a very wise man 2000 years ago and it is true.

I am looking for voluteers to join me to help McNeel and Associates with whatever help they need and whatever you could offer. It is only right to reciprocate what we gain.

One thing I know for sure is that I will always be willing to help M & A with whatever skills I have and afford. In The end, as a result everyone benifits. Rhino breeders (developers) have more time to do what they do best, developing rhino.

We, the Rhino groomers, make Rhino and its programming model accessible and popularise to attract more developers like the micros did in the 80s.

Rhino is a genuine product and lets all contribute to bring out the best in Rhino.

Fellow Rhino rider and a willing Rhino groomer

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What I would like to appeal to the McNeels(Rhino devs and others) is to facilitate a mechanism to enable volunteers to add to documentation, perhaps to mark a contrib to documentation as from the community and be able to add to the existing doc and then alert relevant folks for review. what i mean here is for the API docs. The individuals/volunteers with the permission must be able to do this.

The AIM is to enhance the information for developers. There is so much from M & A even Mathematics required for NURBS…

There should be a way to link forum q&a to docos

:smiley: :smiley: Perhaps all I have asked for IS already there, if so then please point me in the right direction :slight_smile:

Everything that is on GitHub you can add to via the fork/pull-request workflow and McNeel has 99 projects there, see http://github.com/mcneel/ and list all repositories. Making a pull request does require McNeelies to accept your changes into their source.

Are there topics that are not on GitHub that you would like to contribute to?

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Hi Reuben,
Welcome to McNeel discourse. You found the hot sport where most McNeel activities are being discussed in public.

In addition to what @menno said there also is the Wiki where you can log in with your account and add any content or you may also manage user-requests and bug reports and track it on Youtrack
Thanks, Jess

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We would love any help with developer documentation. I may be able to point you in the right direction if you had a sample of an existing piece of document that you would like to improve.


All good, I am obsessed with what I am doing at the moment, to get one of the features going in my project and then my Rhino riding will be done for that session and then start grooming my Rhino by looking where everything is to find my way round the park then I will look into what Dale and Daniel Belchers list of todo and work my way through.

I think I can learn a lot about Rhino this way, it is a win win activity for me.

Keep in touch.

Reuben Alfred
0431 229 160

I can remember !

  1. First language: BBC BASIC, BIG TRAK
  2. Had difficulties: SQL, VBA. …
  3. Most used: Python, Excel
  4. Totally hate: VBA
  5. Most loved: Python <3
  6. For beginners: Python, Grasshopper
  7. Curious about: C#
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Thanks for that Graham!

BBC Basic was a kickass language wasn’t it?

basic with a 6502 assembler coupled and could do machine code within BASIC. remember VDU codes and how we created sprites using VDU codes, and ADSR pitch envolopes? HAHAHA!

32K of memory for a comp, wow!

interestingly for all i have done i never could afford a micro, parents died very early so had to code on somebody elses micro:)

I am not too keen on anything that does not have the C/C++ lineage not that others are inferior it is just that the syntax of other languages make me dislexic :stuck_out_tongue:
Python is a good language, looked in to it for Panda3D. it is a cute game engine.

yeah look in to C#/grasshopper/rhinocommon we are here to help just like others are helping me.

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This was also my first private computer in 1981 (at work I had better machines). After assembling the pieces and connected it to the TV there was that blinking K asking for a Keyword to do something.

And the evolution of hard- and software felt sooo slooow for us young hotheads… since 1998 I use Rhino, still we have to wait looong time for new features, but over time I became more patient :wink:

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Thanks :slight_smile:

ZX81, when a brother of a friend of mine returned from working on a ship he brought one of these and yes plugged it in and played with it. membrane keys and then came zx sinclair.

My time with micros started in 1983 :slight_smile:

good old days, i would say!


rhino’s been around since 1998? what did it run on NT?

It was a 32 bit app which ran on Windows 95/98/NT if I recall correctly.

It’s kind of fun reading about all the walks down memory lane of you young whippersnappers. My first programming was in GATE on an IBM 650 RAMAC. My first homebuilt computer circuit was a half adder I wired up by tacking the components together in a free-space 3d arrangement which my mother (an artist) thought looked like abstract modern sculpture. Then:

IBM 7074 Assembler and FORTRAN
Attended our area’s IBM introduction festivities for the System/360
Dartmouth BASIC on the GE/Honeywell Multics system.
LPG 30 assembler
CAD on the home-brew system of the auto mfr I worked for.
Datapoint 2200 assembler
Datapoint 5500 assembler, DASL, Databus
(The Datapoint is historically interesting because it was a discrete logic machine whose architecture was the de-facto predecessor of the Intel x86 and thus all the PC’s and later Macs. Intel’s 8008 was designed for Datapoint. Look it up. Also first local area network: ARCNET)
Got Microsoft to write a FORTRAN compiler for Datapoint.
Adapted Versatec plotter software to plot on Printronix printer from Datapoint.
Made many acknowledged suggestions for features/improvements to Multiplan and Excel.
FORTRAN, MARK iv, Crosstabs, JCL on IBM 360/370

and then along came the “home computers”:
Built a couple of IBM PC clones from components (it was all the rage)
then decided Dell did a lot better job than I did and their computers just kept working.
Assembler and Basic on the Radio Shack Color Computer.
Assembler, Fortran, DOS Basic, Visual Basic on DOS and all the versions of Windows since the beginning, OpenGl (but, alas, not modern OpenGl. I couldn’t write a shader to save my life, and don’t comprehend how they fit into the great scheme.)
AND of course, Rhinoscript and VB plugins for Rhino.

I’m ashamed to say I’ve kind of run out of steam for learning new languages, so I’ve yet to tackle the snake, but a lot of folks seem to be having a lot of fun and doing great things with it. I’ve also acquired several Arduino and Raspberry Pi chips and kits but the grandkids don’t seem to be very interested so I haven’t done much with them either.


BTW, I suppose I should add that the main reason for getting into the Datapoint was that at the time the way we did our engineering jobs on the IBM/360 was by typing each program line on a punch card and then carrying the deck of cards to the IBM center for submission. After an overnight run we went back to the center to pick up the output. I’m sure you’ve all heard that story. At our company the trip was about 5 miles uphill each way. And that was after walking to/from the parking lot at each end.
I got pretty tired of it and convinced the company to lease a Datapoint which could type the card deck onto a cassette tape (later a hard disk) and then use an IBM 2780 emulator which I requested Datapoint to write to send the deck over the phone line (not just a 300 baud line like the timeshare teletype either: an honest-to-goodness synchronous 2400 baud full duplex line!) When the job was done the mainframe would send the print files back to the Datapoint where we would print them out. Simple but revolutionary concept for the period and saved an incredible amount of time.

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Thanks for that AIW!

All these machines you have mentioned I have never seen them physically but I would read every advert about computers in the TIME or News Week magazine.

ICL, IBM, Data General, Honeywell etc.

which my mother (an artist) thought looked like abstract modern sculpture.

that was soo funny!!

Yes I have Arduinos too…

Put your coding hat back on… if you could do assembler i cannot see why not c#, c,c++ python etc…
python is a good language and have a ride on Rhino, it is so much fun…

Yes, real stuff, punch cards and ‘sneakernet’ (sneak around to the other machine with the data yourself haha)

Since I was pretty experienced with VB as a .NET language and for quite a while it was the only one that had the visual forms designer, I didn’t get too excited about C# which just did pretty much the same thing in a slightly different way. I’ve used C on several occasions and even custom tailored a C++ program or two but the C++ syntax and way of doing things was a bit beyond the amount of effort I wanted to expend. Python, of course, is the “snake” I was referring to.

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Yes, the “home-brew” CAD system I referred to used a Data General if I’m not mistaken. The User interface was a 4096x4096 pixel analog CRT with a light pen for input. Looked like an air traffic controller console. Possibly that’s where it came from. System was built by Evans and Sutherland. That system eventually adopted the 2780 emulation approach for inter-console communication too.


I think you should get a website going with all these mainframe history…
I have never worked in a mainframe environment a little too young perhaps 10 years too young and in the wrong geographic location :smiley: