Reid's For Fun


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

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.



Sea Swallow Redux

Sea Swallow Redux

“Beware what lurks beneath the sea. Sharks, you say? No, not sharks. Something much, much worse. It comes from below and you’ll never see it until you find its maw enveloping you. What’s that? You don’t believe me? Sonny, I’ve seen it. I barely escaped myself when it took a liking to our boat.”

Cheesy story aside, this is anotherof my older LDD models from 2010, converted and tweaked to use Mecabricks.


Rendering The Enterprise D Only In Basic Bricks

Enterprise D

I’ve been a long time Star Trek fan, predating Star Wars by a few years. I have fond memories of watching the original series in re-runs, but it was TNG that rekindled my fandom. I even went to a convention while living in Indy. So, it should be no surprise that I built a version of the Enterprise D using only basic LEGO bricks. This is the story of my attempts at rendering it.