Articles by Steven


Steven has written 423 articles, Page 5.
Adventures in Lighting and Improving My Lego Waterfall
With my Advanced Blender script buy, I decided to revisit my Waterfall model. Created using various LEGO CAD software, it is a study in tools as much as rendering. As such, I thought it would be fun to compare its evolution to date, and review how it has improved over time. Adventures in lighting—9…
Posted Mar 24, 2017 3 min read

Bet and Win in Stud, a Simple ZX81 Poker Game
For March’s program of the month, I offer up Stud. Written in 1984, it was my first computer card game. Calling it a card game is disingenuous as Stud is a simple high/low betting game. There are no rules or even a deck of cards. Yet simple can be fun in this random poker game. An infinite deck of …
Posted Mar 24, 2017 3 min read

I love my LEGO images—how I made them better with Mecabricks
Yep, I did it. I purchased a template to render LEGO bricks. Given the many years spent developing my own, I never thought I’d say that. To be fair, it was about time. Mecabricks creator Nicolas Jarraud (aka Scrubs) developed a great product…
Posted Mar 19, 2017 3 min read

Having Fun With Change, Logs That Is
Last year, I ran across a nifty web changelog service. Although more than I needed, I liked the simple look for tracking changes. Looking for an opportunity to learn Bootstrap, I added it to my test site…
Posted Mar 04, 2017 2 min read

How To Render Beautiful LEGO Pictures In 5 Easy Steps
Infographics are a popular, and fun, tool to share information. I thought I’d give it a try using Canva’s infographic template, but I needed to choose something to talk about. Sticking to my current passion, the topic I chose was rendering LEGO images using Mecabricks and Blender. How to Render Bea…
Posted Feb 26, 2017 1 min read

Pictures Are Pretty, How to Make a ZX81 Draw
Sometimes one function can do a lot. For February’s program, picture uses a line drawing routine to draw a pretty picture. Okay, pretty is in the eye of the beholder. But, nonetheless, it is a picture. The fun, though, is in watching it draw. A computer and a boat, together are art…
Posted Feb 25, 2017 4 min read

Progressive Change, How I Made My Snowspeeder Better
Although I enjoy seeing the finished product of my LEGO renders, it is the process that engergizes me. The acts of learning, refining, and failing each add to my body of knowledge. Let’s explore some of that using my 8029 Mini Snowspeeder. Without continual growth and progress, such words as i…
Posted Feb 05, 2017 3 min read

Start the Year with LEGO Emoji, How I Lost and Gained Motivation
It feels like 2017 is just kicking off, yet here we are at the end of January. Time sure seems to be getting away from me lately. I blame the the heater skelter of the holidays and uncomfortable weather. Well, and taking a not so great vacation didn’t improve my mood any…
Posted Jan 28, 2017 5 min read

Can you hack the computer and save the world?
“Agent 51, your goal is within reach, but there is a problem.”“Understand,” you reply. Professional as always, you only allow a hint of annoyance in your voice. “Explain.”“Well, the plans are in the room in front of you, but the floor is a trap…
Posted Jan 22, 2017 5 min read

How To Make And Break Big Bricks Using Little Ones
At the end of November, during some time off from work, I dabbled rendering a series of LEGO models I call Big Bricks. Starting out as a “can I do this?” effort, led to me building variations on that theme…
Posted Dec 30, 2016 6 min read

Check Out My New Look For The Site And Programs
After a serious bout of procrastination, I updated the look of my ZX81 site to match that of my main site. In doing so, I’ve corrected the various errors that cropped up from my hosting upgrade. Clean and comfy, time to enjoy the new features this theme offers. More polish, less fluff…
Posted Dec 29, 2016 3 min read

Can you guess the right code to win?
I used to play Mastermind when I was a kid, a simple code breaking game. One player would set up a sequence of colored pegs and the other would have to guess it in a set number of turns. My version, called ZX Master Mind, has the computer creating the code…
Posted Dec 22, 2016 4 min read

Can You Avoid Death in the ZX81 Game Stick Shift?
Dodging games were the rage back in the early ’80s. Wanting to add my own take on the genre, I created Stick Shift, November’s program of the month. The goal is simple. Dodge other cars, oil spills and spikes while not crashing into the wall. Mess up? Well, it’s game over for you…
Posted Nov 24, 2016 3 min read

Lost on the Moon
Inspiration flows from various sources. For some time I’ve wanted to create a messy model, one with greebles and imperfections. A space article about a moon—I don’t remember which—provided the push I needed…
Posted Oct 30, 2016 4 min read

Bugers Will Kill You in October's ZX81 Program of the Month
While working to improve the way I display my ZX81 programs, I ran across one that didn’t have a picture. Finding that odd, I did some research and found that I’d written a page for it back in 1999. To my surprise, I’d never uploaded it…
Posted Oct 25, 2016 3 min read

Funny LEGO Faces using Brick-moji
When I ran across Iain Heath's Brick-moji, there was this instant need to build them myself. My wife thought they were cute, which was enough for me. Not long afterwards, I had my first render of the face with its tongue sticking out and tears of joy. Brick-moji by Steven Reid, on Flickr Seriously…
Posted Oct 13, 2016 3 min read

Trail Blazer is my ZX81 Tribute to Tron’s Light Cycles
One of the coolest movies when I was a young teenager was Disney’s Tron. What geeky kid didn’t want to watch a movie about computers and video games? Sprinkle in some computer animation and how could I not fall in love. Needless to say, Tron was the inspiration for more than a few of my programs…
Posted Sep 18, 2016 6 min read