Reid's For Fun


My personal blog for all the things that interest this computer guy. Web development, programing, LEGO ray tracing, ZX81 retro computing, writing of stories, novels, interactive fiction, and photography.

Laser Blast is Aprilís ZX81 Program of the Month

Laser Blast, death screen, ZX81, Steven Reid 1984April is close to wrapping up and I was able to find time this weekend to type in another ZX81 game. Laser Blast, this monthís program, has you saving the world. Kind of clichť I know, but hey this was 1984. George Orwellís novel didnít come true, but at least we could blast alienís with lasers. Use the Z and . keys to move and M to shoot your ray of death. But beware. The alien has a guided missile and itís heading right for you.

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


My 2016 Site Makeover

Cleanblog Theme for reids4fun.com, 2016Finally making the leap, I released a new template for my primary website this weekend. As noted in the past, Iíve been fed up with my 2006 based theme and have been testing out new designs for a few months now. Transferring most, but not all, of the design ideas from my test site, I just couldnít wait any longer. Tweaking continues, but you can enjoy the new look now.


2016 Camp NaNoWriMo Kickoff

Camp NaNoWriMo Participant 2016As the rain falls on the last Sunday in March, I know that my website design will soon be put aside for a bit. It has been fun, yet other activities are looming. With spring comes Camp NaNoWriMo and I look forward to writing. That doesnít mean Iím planning to drop everything, but I do want to finish the story I started last year.


Jumpstarting Web Design Using Bootstrap

Iím feeling pretty good about the structure I want for my web site. Plugging away on my test site, Iíve updated my old blogging script to present unique titles with modern slugs, improved categories and decent paging. In the backend I have page redirects working to reduce duplication, added stub 404 pages to prevent caching of bad links, and turned on decent logging to track errors. Yet, the look is still circa 2006. It may be flat, but it isnít responsive and needs an update.


Computact is Marchís ZX81 Program

Computact start screen, ZX81, Steven Reid 1984Ah, spring time. As winter melts away, the weather goes haywire and itís time to enjoy the bouts of sunshine, rain and the occasional thunderstorm of hail. Perhaps itís fitting that in the middle of this meteorological mayhem that Computact came back to life. An outwardly simple landing game that is almost impossible to play. No matter, it demonstrates some interesting use of ZX81 BASIC as Marchís Program of the month.

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


Rethinking Workflow Using Cloud

MacBook, unsplash.comDo you find yourself fighting your editor? The common text editors of today work quite well as long you work they way they want you to. Yet, when you stray from their paradigm, even when they seem to offer infinite flexibility, it can be a chore to get even simple things done. What is a developer to do?


Februaryís ZX81 Program: Telaport

Telaport, 1984Digging through my listings, I struggled deciding what to offer for February. The first one I found was an adventure text game. Too close to last month's program, I decided against it for now. Further down in the stack, I found a code breaking program, but after entering it in I realized it needed work. The next program I pulled out, a graphic game called Teleportóignore that spelling for nowóended up being just right.

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


Does Your Site Need a Refresh?

After ten years, Iím sick of my web siteís look. During my early web development days I would change the design almost yearly. My original LEGO site went through many refreshes until I abandoned it for Flickr. My blog, now, feels old and neglected. Not only that, Iím not happy with the format or flow of content either.


360voice Is Gone

While working on a new theme for my Reidís for Fun site, I flipped over to my 3v sub-domain to check something. While there, I noticed that all the user bars were failing with an API error. I quickly jumping over to the 360voice site and found it dead. Only the ďSafari Canít Connect to ServerĒ error stared back at me.


Januaryís Program: Star Probe

Star Probe, 1984Wow, 2016 and I'm still digging programs out of my stack of print outs. Kicking off the new year, I'm grabbing a story based program. I wrote Star Probe, our program of the month, in the style of a Chose Your Own Adventure bookóand yes, I actually owned most of them. Although you can only enter numbers, Star Probe is actually an example of interactive fiction. Though not as advanced as an Infocom game, Star Probe delivers an interesting, if short, story to the player. Before I spoil where I drew my inspiration, go play it. It will only take a few minutes. Just try to ignore the horrible grammar and spelling of a 14-year-old.

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