Chapter 1

Computer Graphics: From Then to Now

To predict the future and appreciate the present, you must understand the past.

—Probably said by someone sometime

Computer graphics have always been the darling of the software world. Laypeople can appreciate computer graphics more easily than, say, increasing the speed of a sort algorithm by 3 percent or adding automatic tint control to a spreadsheet program. You are likely to hear more people say “Cooooolllll!” at your nicely rendered image of Saturn on your iPad than at a Visual Basic script in Microsoft Word (unless, of course, a Visual Basic script in Microsoft Word can render Saturn, then that really would be cool). The cool factor goes up even more so when said renderings are on a device ...

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