Articles by Steven


Steven has written 330 articles.
How to Make Digital Rain on Your ZX81
symbols fall from the top of the screen in my version of digital rain.--> I’ve been wanting to create my own version of digital rain for some time. The effect is well known from the Matrix movies, which used florescent green characters…
Posted 6 hrs ago 6 min read

Time for More Ocean Fun in Blender and Mecabricks
I generated water in a previous model, but I wasn’t overly happy with it. It was a bit too smooth—more like bath water. So, I tried again with a different LEGO model. And, this time I’m pleased with the results. 2882 Speedboat by Steven Reid, on Flickr Building a better ocean…
Posted 2 days ago 3 min read

Having a Little Photography Fun with This Year's Challenge
Since the start of the year, I’ve been participating in a weekly photography challenge in an attempt to improve my photography. Although I shared them on Flickr, I wasn’t blogging about them…
Posted 3 days ago 3 min read

How to Track Runs Using My Simple and Easy Race Tracker
Iíve been thinking about starting a running blog for some time now. Okay, Iím usually running at the same time. Call me crazy, but I enjoy it. So much so, I have completed quite a few races since I started running again. To kick things off, I offer up my Race and Run Tracking tool. A little history…
Posted Feb 10 4 min read

How to Add Stickers to Complete My Renders
Taking some time to unwind before my workout, I traced out the last few stickers needed to finish this set. Although I had the images from previous POV-Renders, they weren’t of a high enough quality. I’m not done with this set yet. But, it is close to what is sitting in my storage cases …
Posted Feb 04 8 min read

Watch This Great Remake of Flywheel on the TRS-80
While digging around my site’s SEO this morning, I ran across these great videos from Jim Gierrie. Both depict his remake of Flywheel on a a TRS-80 MC-10. He had shared in a comment on my site, but I’d missed it given how busy last year had been…
Posted Jan 28 3 min read

Fight Your Way to Victory with This ZX81 Space Shooter
Nothing starts the year out better than a space shooter. The top of the printout was quite faded, so I wasn’t sure about ZTSXXSTZ when I started to type it in. But, once I got the first few bits working I realized I had something worth sharing. Playing it for the first time…
Posted Jan 20 4 min read

Donít Just Fix a Mistake, Try Something New
While uploading my last render, I noticed that something was wrong with my Windmill. It didnít take long to figure out what. When Iíd rotated the top part, I must have grabbed the wrong rotation point. Easy fix, but I needed to do more then render it again. Time to play in Blender. 550 Windmill (fi…
Posted Jan 14 2 min read

Enjoy the New Year with a Pair of Renders
Starting the year off with new renders of old LEGO sets. Both of these are from 1976 and are great examples of the styles from that era. Trying out some different lighting techniques, I enjoyed rendering these as much as building them. 455 LearjetGreat little airplane from the late 70ís, the cover …
Posted Jan 06 2 min read

2017 Was A Fantastic Year For Renders
Last year is over, but it was one of my more prolific years for LEGO renders. I ended up sharing 67 renders on Flickr, plus a few other renders I did only for Mecabricks. I even have a few test images squirreled away I won’t be sharing…
Posted Jan 02 6 min read

What Can You Do with a Simple ZX81 Animation?
Although may of my early programs were games, I spent a fair amount of time experimenting. Decemberís program, Slow Down, is one of my animation experiments. It is a straight forward sprite animation, with a twist. I used the ZX81 against itself to slow it down. If youíre ready, letís dig deeper. T…
Posted Dec 26, 2017 4 min read

Here Are a Few Renders to Kick of December
Trying to keep with my promise, here are my latest LEGO renders. Each is an experiment. Iím trying different techniques, or testing new ideas. Some work, and some donít. But, thatís okay. Life is about learning and trying. Why shouldnít my hobbies be the same? Letís dig in. A little Disney goes a l…
Posted Dec 06, 2017 6 min read

Time to Catch up on My Lego Renders
Although I havenít posted many picture lately, I havenít been idle. Old, new, large, and small, Iíve been trying out a few different things over last two months. Of course, this was between working, running, and other projects. So, time to catch up! Here are five images to round our your day. Somet…
Posted Dec 03, 2017 4 min read

Star Fight Is a Simple ZX81 Shoot íEm up Game
Back in 1983, Star Wars imagery flooded my life. With the release of Return of the Jedi that year, it only fueled the inspiration of my young teenage self. So, it shouldnít come as a surprise that I would create games with that look and feel. Star Fight, this monthís program, is one such game. Slow…
Posted Nov 26, 2017 5 min read

Windmill Is a Quick and Dirty zx81 Animation
There are a ton of windmills in Idaho. Mostly big ones for power, but you see a few smaller ones used for irrigation and wells. But, when I wrote this month’s programs I don’t remember any around where I lived in Indiana. No matter. I still wrote a simple windmill animation…
Posted Oct 30, 2017 5 min read

Bringing New Life to an Old Lego Taxi Garage Set
Browsing through my collection of ideas on Pinterest, I ran across a great vintage taxi set. At first glance, it seemed Mecabricks would have all the pieces needed. Yet, that wasnít the case. A few key pieces were missing, which required some ingenuity on my part. 368 Taxi Garage by Steven Reid, on…
Posted Oct 15, 2017 2 min read

Not to Be Defeated, Time to Get Wineskin Working Again
After upgrading to macOS High Sierra, I ran into a minor problem. Seems my WineSkin wrapper for EightyOne, my ZX81 emulator, stopped working. I have alternatives, but the screenshots I take from EightyOne are too nice to pass up. As luck would have it, there is a fix. Whatís this Wine you speak of…
Posted Oct 12, 2017 3 min read

A Quick Blender Render of a Colorful and Happy Dinosaur
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…
Posted Sep 29, 2017 2 min read

Tabular Is My Simple and Easy ZX81 Word Processor
To 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…
Posted Sep 25, 2017 6 min read

Overcome Your Attachment to the Weighted Companion Cube
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…
Posted Sep 03, 2017 4 min read