Reid's For Fun


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

Beach Fun for 2022

Beach, Steven Reid, 2021

January has rolled around and it felt fitting to update my blog’s title screen image for the New Year. I was fortunate enough to get away to warmer areas and was able to capture this picture. It is my mood of late, looking out towards the horizon. My goal is to make this blog relaxing and open, a refreshing place to come and enjoy life for a bit. Perhaps a lot of what I share is looking back with my retro work. But there is that mystical quality to it all. If anything, I can relax with a drink each time I visit my site. Hope you can as well.


Digger Deeper Into My Water Bug II Game for the ZX81

Water Bug II, ZX81 Introduction Screenshot, Steven Reid, 1984

Now, Water Bug II is an interesting game for me. I was so excited when completing the first version, that I wanted to build another version with ten more boards. The funny thing is, the games look a lot alike. In fact, if you weren’t paying attention, I wouldn’t be surprised if you thought you were playing the same game. Let’s dig deeper on both the similarities and the differences.


Water Bug Was My Attempt at a ZX81 Action Game

Water Bug, Board 1 ZX81 Screenshot, 1984 by Steven Reid

For most of the day, I’ve been thinking about my Water Bug game as I never really gave it a proper write-up. Finally got around to playing it again, I was surprised to find elements in that I thought were unique to Water Bug II are actually in this version. That made me want to walk through each board, understanding better what I had done, what worked, and what didn’t. Let’s dive right in.


An Early and Bad Attempt at a Yars’ Revenge on the ZX81

Yars’ Revenge, a ZX81 Screenshot, 1983 by Steven Reid

Like many teenagers in the early eighties, I was playing video games on my Atari VCS. Yars’ Revenge was a popular purchase, and I spent many hours dodging that stupid missile and trying to take down the shields of the Qotile. It then should come at no surprise that I tried to recreate that game at 13. My attempt on the ZX81 didn’t look horrible, but it sure played bad. Let’s see how much.





Your Imagination Is Required With Comp Control for the ZX81

Comp Control,  Commands Screenshot, 1984 by Steven Reid.

As a young teenager, I often wrote programs that I would integrate into other play. In this case, I had probably watched War Games again. The idea of a computer talking to you made for some fun fantasy play. Comp Control a little pretend play where my lowly ZX81 mimicked a much more sophisticated world. I’m sure I was running around my room thinking up some crazy way to save the world.


Revisiting Running Blender in Apple Silicon Using a MacBook Pro M1

Spring Fall v2 by Steven Reid, on Flickr

While watching a review for the new M1 iMac, they ran the typical Blender test as a benchmark. That wasn’t overly surprising, but the reviewer did say something that peaked my interest. Apparently, the latest version of Blender now supported Apple Silicon. Tucking that tidbit away at the time, I got around to downloading LTS 2.93 today and giving it a whirl.


Trying My Hand at Animation by Moving a Sailboat on My ZX81

Picture In Motion, 2021 by Steven Reid

I was hoping to have finished Gem Quest by now, but May didn’t afford much time. With Summer arriving and the pandemic seeming to be winding down, at least in Boise, my attention is elsewhere. With a short list of ideas, I decided to play off last month's theme. Picture in Motion isn’t new, but it is more interesting to watch.