Reid’s For Fun

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

Beyond the Atari: A Pitfall! Simulator for the ZX81

Pitfall! Simulator, ZX81 Screenshot of the Starting Room, 2023 by Steven Reid

While contemplating what ZX81 program to write about this month, I completely forgot that I had created a Pitfall! Simulator. It began as a fun project to occupy my time during winter break. My initial goal was to recreate David Crane's LSFR (Linear Feedback Shift Register) in Z80. However, after learning more about its functionality, I took the project much further than I had originally intended.

A Trip Down Memory Lane: Recreating “I Was Here” in ZX81 BASIC

Here, ZX81 screenshot, 2023 by Steven Reid

A recently posted meme reminded me of the silly things we did on computers. In the early eighties, most computers came with BASIC as their default OS. A common starting point was a s simple “hello world” program. But almost as often, someone wrote something a bit more personal. This is my tribute program to the “I was here” concept of those days.

How to Create an Infinite Maze on the ZX81

Infinite Maze, ZX81 Screenshot, 2023 by Steven Reid

I saw the Commodore 64 maze generator for years, but ignored it on my ZX81 for different reasons. For one, the characters needed didn’t exist on the ZX81 keyboard. The other was the lack of automatic scroll. Undeterred this month, I created my own version in Sinclair BASIC. I’m quite happy with the results, even if not quite the same.

From Abstract Aliens to Cosmic Baristas: My Quest for AI Artistry

Coffee time. 2023 by Steven Reid

Hard to believe, but I’ve been futzing with AI art on NightCafé for a month now. I’d dabbled with DALL-E for some time, but not consistently. The social aspect of NightCafé is probably the biggest draw. Besides sharing content and seeing what others have made, but I get prompt ideas and support. Perhaps the biggest advantage are the challenges. I‘m slowing getting better. Today, I got into the top 20% for the third time in an official daily challenge.

Let Freedom Shroom! July 4th Mushroom

Let Freedom Shroom! July 4th Mushroom.

I haven’t done a short blog post in some time but today is an opportunity. I’ve been playing around with AI generative art using NightCafe. It is quite a fun community. Whether you love or hate generative AI, it is the narrative of the day. Always one to try out technology, it is interesting to see what things emerge from various prompts.

Revisiting Word Clouds: A Fun and Visual Way to Analyze Text

Word cloud from “Chunky Graphics for the ZX81: A New Way to See the Mandelbrot Set.”

I was futzing around with my site yesterday, checking stats and stuff. Seems my Wordle article using word clouds is one of the more popular ones. I have a feeling it relates more the game than the word cloud I wrote about it. After a quick view, I realized that the site I was linking to wasn’t active anymore. Thus, I began a short journey to find something else?

Chunky Graphics for the ZX81: A New Way to See the Mandelbrot Set

Mandelbrot Set with Chunky Graphics, ZX81 Screenshot, 2022 by Steven Reid

After completing my Chunk Graphics mode, my thoughts went to how best to use it. My first idea was something new, such as a flight simulator. After pondering, I stuck with something current by modifying my Mandelbrot Set program. With three gradients, it would be an interesting use of the mode.

Solving the Sticker Mystery: Crafting the Perfect LEGO C-3PO Name Plate

C-3PO and Boushh by Steven Reid

I recently purchased the Princess Leia (Boushh) Helmet. It looks great next to my other helmets, including the custom C-3PO Helmet MOC I assembled some time back. The problem is C-3PO doesn’t have a matching name plate. I’ve been wanting to fix that for some time, but couldn’t find a decent template. Given up, I decided to create my own. Follow along to see how I made it.