Reid's For Fun


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



A Quick Blender Render of a Colorful and Happy Dinosaur

40247 Dinosaur by Steven Reid

With the recent release of Blender 2.79, which officially supports filmic color and denoising filter. Keeping current, Mecabricks released the latest advanced blender add-in that supports it. Besides the above changes, it supports the Principled shader also introduced in 2.79. Adding all that up, it was time to do a little testing.


Tabular Is My Simple and Easy ZX81 Word Processor

Tabular, ZX81 screen shot, by Steven Reid, 1983To date, most of my programs have been games and animations. It may come as a surprise that I also wrote a word processing program. Using a custom printer command, I designed a font that would allow you to use lowercase letters. Letís explore Septemberís program of the month to see how that worked.


Overcome Your Attachment to the Weighted Companion Cube

Nooooo! Not again! by Steven Reid

Portal was one of those games that game out of no where. Released as an add-on to the Orange Box, the Half-Life 2 box edition for consoles, the puzzler shined. Combining wry humor with entertaining game play, Portal gained a place in pop culture.

In one of the more memorable levels, you are given a weighted companion cube. This heart embossed cube replaces the more generic ones used in early, and later, levels. Given a game filled with loneliness, the companion cube helps fill that void.

Portal does such a good job of hamming it up, that it comes as a surprise when you must dispose of the cube to continue on. It’s heartbreaking, even if the cube is an inanimate object. As an iconic part of the game, I was excited to replicate it in LEGO bricks.


Quickly Avoid the Spiders in the ZX81 Game Tarantula

Tarantula, ZX81 screen shot, by Steven Reid, 1984Tarantula, Augustís program of the month, was part of a pair of games that made me think I was a game developer. At the age of fourteen, I didnít let problems like the lack of a distribution channel tarnish my dreams. Although I didnít make it into gaming, itís still fun to look back on what could have been.


Spider, I See You Hiding in the Window

Window Spider, by Steven Reid

I was actually working on a different model when an idea struck me. Wanting an object to look abandoned and old, I grabbed a spider web and threw a black spider in it for fun. But, the web was too large, so I left it off to the side. Getting back to it yesterday, inspiration took a different direction.