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Kiwi's Software Wows Google, NASA

New software used worldwide to connect multiple screens to form one big image is the work of a New Zealand student. The University of Waikato's Paul Hunkin developed ClusterGL in 2008 for use with Waikato's display wall as a side project. When Hunkin applied for Google's Summer of Code internship, the company was more interested in ClusterGL and paid him to further develop the software for its own curved display walls called Liquid Galaxy. The display walls consist of several screens in a circular arrangement that run Google Earth in parallel for an immersive virtual experience. The U.S. National Aeronautics and Space Administration's Johnson Space Center also uses the program. "The problem that you have when you want to make a really big wall of screens is that you need to use lots of computers, but computer programs are usually written on one computer, so it's quite difficult to spread them over a multiple of computers," Hunkin says. "My system lets you take any normal program and split it up to run across as many screens as you want."

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Paul Hunkin (University of Waikato)

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