Blender 3D Art

September 4th, 2018

Here is a 3D model I made recently using Blender, the free Open Source modelling package:

Ferrari 360 in Blender

There are still quite a few details missing from the model (eg the headlights!), but I’m happy with it for now and wanted to upload it to my site.

It is by far the largest project I’ve ever completed with Blender.
The picture has a slightly unusual aspect ratio as I made it to use as a wallpaper for my 21:9 monitor.

Click here to see some of my other experiments with Blender

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Z3 Puzzle Solver Examples

December 17th, 2017

Sujiko

The one thing I enjoy more than solving logic problems is writing computer programs to solve logic problems.

Microsoft’s Z3 Theorem Prover is a very handy tool for doing this.

You can find my collection of example puzzle solvers here.

So far it includes solvers for Border Sum Sudoku, Chain Link Sudoku, Futoshiki, Mosaic, Stars, Suguru and Sujiko.

The End Is Nigh

August 4th, 2017

The End Is Nigh

The End Is Nigh is a fun game that I have been playing recently by Edmund McMillen (and Tyler Glaiel), creator of Super Meat Boy, amongst other things.

One of the things I particularly enjoyed in the game were the collectable game cartridges that unlocked mini-games within the main game. I loved the retro-style title screens that each of the games has, although I was a little frustrated that you don’t get long to look at them in game and that they are displayed with a retro television effect which blurs the images.

So, I set about to see if I could find the images inside the game code.

Here’s what I found …

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CodinGame with Visual C++

April 29th, 2017

I’ve been enjoying some of the challenges and contests at www.codingame.com recently.

CodinGame

There was one thing about the site that frustrated me, which was that their web IDE only supports code in a single file. This isn’t such an issue for small problems, but as your code gets more elaborate it becomes more and more of a nuisance finding things and moving around in the file.

While they provide some nice features to help with that, such as code folding, my preference is to write regular C++ code, complete with header files, and to do that in an editor of my choosing.

So, here’s how to set up Microsoft Visual Studio for doing proper C++ development for CodinGame.

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Custom Xbox 360 Controller

June 16th, 2016

This is my custom painted Xbox 360 Controller:

Custom Xbox 360 Controller

This was just a quick side project to practice my model car airbrushing techniques, in particular to see how well the masking tape would work to make racing stripes, and how the gloss varnish would look

1/25 ‘09 Dodge Challenger

April 24th, 2016

This model kit was a birthday present from my brother. It has taken me quite a long time to get it looking like this!

Dodge Challenger

Click for more pictures and build info …

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DIY Arcade Joystick

October 24th, 2015

I recently received a couple of arcade fighting games in some software bundles I bought from humblebundle.com. Namely, Skullgirls and Street Fighter IV. While they are both playable with a regular XBox controller, they are designed to be played with a proper arcade style joystick. Like this one:

DIY Arcade Joystick - v2.0

This is my DIY Arcade Joystick made for roughly £20 using only basic tools. Read on for details on how I made it.

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Origami II

September 5th, 2015

Here are some origami models I have folded recently:

Origami Dragon

Origami Dragon (Jo Nakashima)

Folded from 20cm x 20cm Tissue Foil from origami-shop.com

This is the first model I’ve made from this kind of paper and I was impressed at how easy it was to work with and how nice the finished model looks.

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How to connect a Commodore 64 1541 disk drive to your PC over USB

March 29th, 2015

I recently dug out my old Commodore 64 computer hoping to retrieve some of the old code I wrote when I was younger. It was my plan to transfer it to my PC so that I could run it using the Vice C64 emulator.

C64 1541 Connector

As I no longer own a television I couldn’t connect up the C64 and see it working. Even if I could, I’d still have been left with the problem of how to get the data from the 5.25″ disks and onto the PC. There was a mass of outdated information on the internet about how to make a cable to connect to a PC parallel port, but it’s been many years since PCs have had those. There were also a couple of nice looking products for extracting data from floppies (Kryoflux) and for connecting a drive over USB (ZoomFloppy) but given that I didn’t even know if my disks would still work, I didn’t really want to pay a lot of money for one of those.

And then I found this article. I don’t own a Teensy, however, I do own the very similar Minimus AVR and it turns out that it was perfect for the job!

Read on for instructions on connecting your Commodore 1541 to your PC, no special electronics knowledge required.

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Hearthstone Ladder and Arena Simulator

August 8th, 2014

One of my favourite games at the moment is Blizzard’s online card game Hearthstone.

Hearthstone

This article is about my attempts to answer the following questions about the game:

Roughly how many games would I expect to have to play and win to reach Legendary rank in Ladder play?

How good a player would I need to be to make a profit (in in-game gold) playing Arena?

Read on for the answers.

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