Reid's For Fun


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

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.



Vargen Crown is June’s ZX81 Program

Vargen Crown, Screen Shot, ZX81, Steven Reid 1984

“Jealous of Vargen’s accomplishments, a rival kingdom has attacked and kidnapped your king. As head Knight, you mount a quest to return the King, hidden somewhere in the forest by his captors. But hurry! The King’s ransom has a time limit. Can you find the King in time and restore the Vargen Crown?”

Sounds great right? An adventure game set in a single screen. I had high hopes for Vargen Crown. Castles, keys, and puzzles, our program of the month covered the basics of adventure. Using just the ZX81 cursor keys, playing it will leave you unsatisfied and, I suspect, quite frustrated. It’s too bad as the game has a decent look to it. I chalk it up to being a young programmer, but that's not an excuse. Still interested? Let’s dig in and see what makes this game tick.

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


LEGO 352 Windmill and Lorry – My First Mecabricks Model

352 Windmill and Lorry

Up until now, all my Mecabricks work has been from me importing models. Sure, I’d tweaked a few pieces here and there, as I noted in my last post. Yet, I was still designing them in LDD and exporting them to render in Blender. LEGO model 352 is my first attempt at building something only in Mecabricks.


40065 Blue Jay / Kingfisher – New Blender Render

40065 Blue Jay / Kingfisher

I’m still messing around with Mecabricks. Originally modeled in LDD and rendered in POV-Ray, this is the Blender version. It’s shiny! I like the lighting, but would have preferred to put a nice sky like I did in the first version. Perhaps I should go hunt down some Blender tutorials and figure out how to do that. Maybe later. For now, the model looks great with its realistic bricks.


Something New: Rendering LEGO’s With Mecabricks & Blender

8029 Mini SnowspeederSince 1995, I’ve been rendering LEGO models using POV-Ray. For most of that time, I’ve used scripting to place and build those models. It’s been fun and I’ve learned a lot over the years, each model looking a bit better than the first. That said, I’m never quite happy and always looking for new ways to render my models and, below, are my recent attempts using Blender.