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.

Experimenting with Mecabricksí Online LEGO Modeling

Picture of SafePit's Mini ZX81 LEGO Model off of, 2016Iíve been trying to get back into my LEGO ray tracing the last few weeks, but find myself distracted. Not with other activities, but with research and all the cool things others are doing. My journey led me to Mecabricks, where it provided the image you see to the right. Not yet at my destination, I thought Iíd share this stop along the way.

Up Is Down in Faller, May’s ZX81 Program

“Faller,Walls and creatures always make for a nice game and Faller, our program of the month, has both. It takes a bit of imagination, but watch the icky spider climb up the wall towards you. Their goal, of course, is to knock you off and claim the wall for themselves. Like any good hero, you sit at the top and move over the spiders using Z and .. But be quick and knock them off using M to save the day. Just don’t be a faller should you miss.

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

POV-Ray Render of LEGO Model 353 Terrace House

Trying to get back into my LEGO ray tracing yesterday, I begin looking for old instructions on the internet again. Itís been awhile since Iíd done that. Like coming home after being gone awhile, I enjoyed browsing through the old and new scans that are out there. I remembered liking the old house sets and, when I landed on 353 Terrace House, I thought it would be nice to render it. Yet, something made me think Iíd already done that.

April 2016 Camp NaNoWriMo is Over - Winner Time

Camp NaNoWriMo Winner 2016As we close out April, it is time to submit my official word count for Camp. Yep, I hit my final count and can enter the winner's circle, but itís bitter sweet. Although I penned some more scenes for my novel, Steel Strong, it wasnít as much as Iíd planned. In fact, Iíd already lowered my goal to 25,000 as I knew it would be a tough month with all the activities I'm doing.

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, 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?