Category Archives: Random

Random stuff – when nothing else fits, make it a random category.

System Backplane for the Whizz80

The system backplane for the Whizz80 has been redesigned and refined.

I’ve been using Eagle to design the schematic for the Whizz-80 computer. I originally started to hand wire parts of the circuits on prototyping PCB board but found that point to point wiring was just too hard, so I’ve now decided to get PCBs manufactured instead.

So I’m starting with the System Backplane – this is a rather easy board to produce as it is almost a ‘stripboard’ but with a custom silk screen.

System Backplane of the Whizz-80 computer
System Backplane of the Whizz-80 computer

I can only produce a board that is 100mm x 80mm in size with the current version of Eagle that I am running (the Express version). This should be big enough for the sytem backpane, but for the IO board I might need something bigger.

I’ve sent the system backplane off to be manufactured. I’m getting 5 prototypes so hopefully I should get them in a week or so.

Back from hibernation

I’m now back from hibernation after a long break from updating my blog.  I’ve also spent a bit of time away from pioneer space sim.

I kind of got a little bit overwhelmed with the detail that pioneer space sim required. I just simply couldn’t keep up with the fast pace of some of the current developers, and it was becoming a chore.  It just wasn’t “fun” anymore, so I decided to take a bit of a break from it for a while. I’m sure I will get back into it once I have my ‘mojo’ back as I do enjoy playing space games.

In the meantime, in order to get myself back into the mindset of some more coding after my long break I’ve have been busy writing up and learning some Lua and LÖVE code for Movie Monsters. While there isn’t anything exciting to show just yet, I am learning lots about the LÖVE framework.

I also got in touch with some old friends over my break, and we have been spending time reminiscing over the old computer games and programming we did in the past. As a result I’m now starting to prepare a new computer game project. This one definately add an element of ‘fun’ back into my programming as there is a bit of ‘Nostalgia’ involved as it is my first ever computer game that I wrote (back in 1991).  I should have some more details shortly once I have finished gathering all the bits and pieces (and blow off the dust from the old computer printouts).

I’ve said it again, but I do intend on updating this blog a little bit more frequently now that I’ve cleaned out the cobwebs.

It feels nice to be back from hibernation. Lets see how long I can keep the updates flowing this time.

Riding a bike to work – finally

I am now finally riding a bike to work! It has only been about 3 years in the making from when I originally decided to take the challenge till today.

I purchased a Avanti Blade 2.0 bike about 2 years ago, rode it for about 2 weeks, and then put it in the shed for the spiders to build their webs on. 🙂

Last year back in October I planned on riding my bike a little bit more seriously. Back then I rode 8km and I struggled with it. Today I’m now able to ride from home to work each day (it is about 22km each way).

So far in the past 2 months I have ridden over 2,000 km and I am feeling great!

Riding a bike to work

Granted I am cheating a little, as I converted my bike using a conversion kit from BrizzieBikes, however it has mean the difference of not being able to ride into work, and catching public transport.

It isn’t all easy though. It is only a 200W motor (it is illegal to have anything higher in Australia) so it really just assists with climbing some of the really steep hills on my route in and back.

And of course in true geek style, my goal wouldn’t be complete without attaching a video recorder to my bike and recording by journey 🙂

Riding a bike to work

Riding a bike to home

Both videos were recorded using a Go Pro Hero2 that I loaned from a work colleague. The videos had been sped up  by 450%, and as a result the sound of the electric motor is quite high pitched and it resonated through the handlebars. During a normal run, they are very silent.

If you want to track my progress then you can follow me on strava. (Strava is a website that tracks your progress with other riders).

 

Long time between blog updates

Yes, it has been a long time between blog updates. Maintaining a blog and keeping it updated with new content is harder than I realised. I have a brain full of thought and ideas, it is just getting it out of my head and into a readable format is the challenge.

It also comes down to being a little more organised. Most, if not all the time, when I finish up for the day it is usually too late to write up anything as I’m tired and it is time for sleep. I think to myself “I’ll write up that idea tomorrow”. Rinse and repeat.

There are a couple of things that I have been doing lately that has kept me quite busy:

Pioneer space sim.

Yes, this is an ongoing project. While most of my time has been involved with other things lately (see below) I still continue to follow and support this project as I loved the original game and want to play it on my iMac. Lately the project has gained quite a few developers and there are changes being made daily. It is hard to keep up! Currently alpha releases are being released on the second week of every month and I run snapshots of the current master branch when I can. As always you caN find more info from the main site.

iOS Projects

While I have been writing small iOS apps for personal learning, I have been working on a ‘real app‘ with an old friend of mine. Naturally I can’t go into details (no there is no NDA, I’m just being a nice guy about it and not leaking any info) but I can say for a first real project, I’m quite happy with how it is going. I’m sure you will here me talk about it more on its development once it has been released on the App store.

Blender

Sadly, I have done very little with blender as of late. I am looking forward to the new version, which is rumoured to be out mid December.

Hopefully that should bring you all up to date and now that i have cleared the backlog of updates, there should be more frequent blog posts in future. Promise! 🙂

 

My first bicycle ride of the season

Yesterday I did my first bicycle ride of the season. A whole 8km.

Map of bike ride

While it might not be a hardcore bike ride, I haven’t ridden my bike since the start of the year. On top of that I also rode into work so there was the whole logistics of getting changed into work gear and riding home in the afternoon.

Mental note: Don’t have a few pints at the pub before a bike ride, it makes it so much harder to ride 🙂