Reid's For Fun


My personal blog for what interests this computer guy. Web development, LEGO ray tracing, ZX81 retro computing, writing and photography.

Trail Blazer is my ZX81 Tribute to Tron’s Light Cycles

Trail Blazer, ZX81 screen shot, Steven Reid 1984One of the coolest movies when I was a young teenager was Disney’s Tron. What geeky kid didn’t want to watch a movie about computers and video games? Sprinkle in some computer animation and how could I not fall in love.

Needless to say, Tron was the inspiration for more than a few of my programs. Trail Blazer, September’s program of the month, is one of them. An homage to the light cycle segment, the goal is to crash your opponent first. But beware. All walls are deadly, including your own.


Like My Milk Truck? 5 Quick Ways to Find Inspiration

645-2 Milk Truck with Trailer, Steven Reid, on Flickr

Inspiration and Milk Trucks.

It was sheer luck that I found my latest build. Searching for a LEGO sticker set, I happened across this Milk Truck. As soon as I saw it, I knew I had to render it. As I’ve mentioned before, I’m a sucker for old LEGO sets, although I like modern ones too. Luck or not, there is a method to my madness. Join me for a few minutes and learn the fives ways I discover new models to render.


Floating House in LEGO

Floating House in LEGO by Steven Reid

Meandering around Flickr, I ran across a picture of Floating cube houses Havneby Rømø island Denmark by Arkitema Architects. With black walls and expansive glass windows, the design was striking. Inspired by the modern lines, I pictured how they might look in LEGO bricks. Below is the result of me acting on that inspiration.


Electon is August’s ZX81 Program

Electon, Screen Shot, ZX81, Steven Reid 1983I painted more borders on the ZX81 than just about any other shape. An easy way to confine movement, it shouldn’t come as a surprise that Electon starts by building a box. And before you ask, this month’s ZX81 program isn’t another version of snake. Instead, you use the Z, X, N, and M keys to move in an attempt to capture the Electon. Sounds easy? Better give it a try and see.



Can I get a LEGO Moo? – Cows and Barn

LEGO Cows and Barn

I follow a number of LEGO sites through RSS feeds, looking for inspiration on what to render next. A long time back, I booked marked this article, Build the Big E Cow. It was small, had instructions, and was kind of cute. Something my wife would like. I booked marked the site, thinking someday I’d get back to it. I finally did.


Blast From the Past – 373 Offshore Rig

377 Offshore Rig with Fuel Tanker

Hard to believe, but 20 years ago I started dabbling with POV-Ray to render models with virtual LEGO bricks. Set 373, my second rendered model, is over 20 years old now. Started in April of 1996, it’s seen many iterations over the years. This month I decided to build it once more—this time using Mecabricks and Blender.


3D Image is July’s ZX81 Program

3D Image, Screen Shot, ZX81, Steven Reid 1984Not everything I wrote on the ZX81 was a game, although I did write a lot of those. In fact, some of my first computer programs did nothing more than print pictures. 3D Image, a badly named program, is one of my experiments in animation on the ZX81. Depicting a sun at the end of its life, it’s an uses simple math to generate an image.

You can read more of this article or head on over to my ZX81 site to catch up on past programs of the month.


When Fast Isn’t Fast – the Bad of Incremental Updates

Boat, Unsplash.comPracticing a “get it done” attitude, I've recently added a constant stream of features to my site. Most visitors wouldn’t notice. They aren’t dropping by to relish my web design, nor are they interested in my latest tweaks to enhance their experience. Nope, they’re here to read an article. Or, more likely, they’re lost—but I digress. If the content is there, the looks, assuming the basics are present, is secondary.