Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Trees and the Eee PC Project

After the mixed bag of events from last month, mostly with the feeling of 'Meh', I've started to feel a bit better and have managed to get back on with my interests and hobbies alike. I had my Thyroid levels checked and they are normal. So, I have tried to get more rest whenever possible. Sleep is always a bit random when I sometimes only get four to five hours a night, mostly during a working week. Alhough, the feeling of slight Jet lag is always with me, being one of the conditions of an under active Thyroid. 😖

Lego :: ( MOCs | Tree )
I feel as if I'm back on track with the speed builds and for this month I present a couple of trees. These could quite easily be used for a Minecraft or similar rustic project using classic bricks. I think it has been good to have a short break, even though I have an abundance of ideas, not having to worry about getting a certain amount of videos edited per month is kind of a good thing. I want to enjoy the building design and process. I hope to get the speed build for the house done for June if I can with any other builds that become available. 😉
Eee PC Project ::
Over the last few months I have been trying to bring an Asus Eee 4G 701 PC back to life, in the form of getting an operating system fully working on it. Ideally, I wanted to get any version of Linux or Ubuntu running.

Alas, the only working OS I managed to install was Lubuntu with a minimal installation. You can run Live CD or USB builds without installation and that works to a degree. The original OS was Windows XP, but is long gone. I was curious to read that several people had got early versions of Android working, if a bit slow running for some. However, my attempt, even a brave one, wasn't enough to get everything up and running. It would have proved very interesting to get Android working and also fun at the same time. So, for now, Lubuntu it is! 😐

GameDev :: ( PC | Shooter )
Well, I've made a small start in the sense of getting a few variables set out for the next game. The rules will be set out by temperature, power ups of some kind and shooting mostly everything in order to gain that high score.
I am hoping to vary the backdrops / background. A space theme with stars and planets is always good, but I think this time I'll add some land. Probably on the same vain as Phantom - The Mission / Millennium.
I really liked my gamedev from a few years ago, I used to design about two or three a year. Even though I have slowed down a bit, I am proud of what I have achieved since 1988. 😃

And finally ...

Saturday, April 29, 2017

April Showers

This month has been strange and unusual in places, plus I think my under active Thyroid has been acting a bit on the random side, if that makes any sense. During my week off over Easter I spent a couple of days in bed with exhaustion and didn't really feel motivated to do much else. 😖

I think the weather has been quite a surprise, we've had typical April showers, but also a drop in temperature. I had put my winter coat away and switched to wearing a fleece. Only ending up to wearing my coat again because of a few frosts and 10c or less temperatures. 😨

Hopefully, May and June will pick up pace with projects. I must admit, I have been listening to a lot of music this month. Mostly, Electronica and a lot of 1980's pop and my radio station 📻 of choice is Classic FM, which celebrates being 25 this year. 🎶

Lego :: ( MOCs | House and Tree )
Probably for the first time, there isn't a speed build this month. Only a MOC consisting of a House and Tree on an 8 x 16 green baseplate. As usual, it's back to basics with the design, only using regular bricks. I think at some point in the future, I will do a revised version with roof tiles, windows and doors, there might even be a different tree as well. 😃
I could well of done a grand, larger house, but keeping it humble and simple made the point of the design. Perhaps a side garage with car could have been an option too! 😉

And finally ...

Saturday, March 25, 2017

Emoticons and the Aldi experience !

In some respects, I am happy to wave goodbye to March. Although, Mrs. A and I celebrated our birthdays, which were nice days for us both. 😃 The weather is changing with warmer temperatures, which is most welcome. Also, now that Spring is with us, the clocks go forward one hour for daylight savings. So, it will be lighter in the mornings and evenings as well! 😄

Next month with a time off over the Easter period, I hope to continue with my game engine in GameMaker Studio 2. This will include a bit of basic ground work on another shoot'em up game, which as it stands may take some time to produce, as it will only be a part-time project with whatever time I have to work on it. I also want to design some more with Simbrix and Qixels, they are fun to use. I quite like designing retro game characters with them. 😉

Lego :: ( MOCs | speed builds )
Everyday without realising it, we use Emoticons to express ourselves through Social Media and via Text messages. I just had to have a go at designing some myself and even though there maybe a tongue-in-cheek element to one of them, I thought they came out okay. The Smiley can easily be modified into other expressions, leaving anything up to the imagination. 😉

The Aldi Experience ::
I had known about Aldi moving into the area near Aris HQ since late 2016. My direct thoughts were, that this could only be a good thing. Upon my first shop a few weeks ago, when they opened in early March, was, WOW! 😊 Their stock not only carrries the essential everyday items, but more and at a much more affordable prices. I would also, personally say, that the quality is far greater without even thinking about it. Our regular weekly shops are now at Aldi with noticeable savings.
You also can't help notice prices going up at other Supermarkets on everyday items, by a few pence is to be expected. But in some cases putting an extra 25 pence is a bit unfair! To be honest, companies may rely on how they source certain products and don't really have any choice to raise prices. I have a fear that businesses and companies may well take advantage of the current decision of the U.K. leaving the E.U. ( Brexit ). I am happy to go with the flow of the process, however I wouldn't be too pleased if everything backfires and through panic, the cost of everything rockets! 😡

Stock Markets and the value of currencies can be so delicate at times, but it's the reaction to this that causes uncertainty. For several years Mrs. A and I have rented an apartment. To own a house is more of a distant dream with prices being far from affordable. Even though thousands of homes are being built throughout the U.K., it's a little too late. Whilst some landlords and larger housing associations with an ample portfolio of properties are arrogant enough to keep increasing the rent year by year squeezing out the last pennies from the poor tenant. Living in the south of England is known to be expensive! But I think since lack of affordable homes have been made available, renting has been the only solution. I do believe though, that sometime in the future, however near it maybe, there will be crash in the rental market. When this happens, it will be because no one will able to afford to rent at all! The only way this could be resolved, is where private or market rent landlords would be capped at what they can charge a tenant per month for an apartment, house or even room. The cost of renting per month is in some cases, the same as a mortgage payment. Even though there is a roof over our heads, renting SUCKS! 😒

And finally ...

Saturday, February 25, 2017

Bruce Lee and Hearts

It's been a relatively quiet month with not much going on. I had planned on doing a lot more creative projects, but decided to stretch out a few for April ( Easter ). This also includes starting another gamedev project which will inevitably be released and added to the game engine I am working on. Mrs. A and I did design a couple of hearts with Qixels for Valentine's day, these ended up as Badges and resembled retro life hearts. 😍
Lego :: ( MOCs | speed builds )
Bruce Lee was one of only a few games I ever completed on my Commodore 64 back in the 1980's, second to Commando. I think this build is pretty faithful to the original Sprite and the added depth with slight articulation makes it look great! 😊
There is one more arcade mini build with flat plates to come for March and then I may switch to using both, flat and regular bricks. Again, in keeping to a mini build state. Using a mix of bricks will help bulk up the design and would help if I don't have enough flat pieces.

Crowdfunding ::
Over the next few months, there should be the hopeful completion of some Kickstarter projects I funded. As an estimated delivery date approaches each project, there is always the wonder if it will exceed that date. Understandably, in some cases it will, as a lot of projects require time in and around the person or teams life. Currently waiting patiently for : The Mastertronic Archives, Project Sidologie and Reformation.

And finally ...

Saturday, January 28, 2017

Watch out for the Fog and also Dinosaurs !

If you have ever seen the original film, " The Fog " by John Carpenter, you will know it was an erry, creepy and somewhat scary horror movie. Oxfordshire has been experiencing some pretty dense Fog during this month and despite there not being Pirates with Cutlesses, driving in these conditions has been quite an experience. 😆
Lego :: ( MOCs | speed builds )
I have decided to start a series of mini builds based on video game arcade favourites, Arcade Mini's. This will of course be semi-regular with how to build videos made available whenever possible. You will notice that the format and style has changed a bit with more editing and a normal paced building stance. I do plan to continue doing speed builds, so keep a look out via this blog or my YouTube channel.
Space Invader is the first Arcade Mini and although it hasn't any articulation, it looks pretty cute and looks smart on it's stand. You will also notice that it mainly contains flat bricks with a layered build. I think it is easier to understand this way. 😉
Pac-Man following up as a second to the start of the Arcade Mini series, is a faithful build to the earlier design from 2015 using only flat bricks again. You might notice a pattern of brick types! 😊

Lego :: ( Creator 31058 Mighty Dinosaurs )
When I first saw the preview photos of this set, I was really impressed and couldn't wait for it's release. The T-Rex, Stegosaurus and Pterodactyl are good representations of the Dinosaurs. At the moment, I prefer the T-Rex and found the build very interesting. With the right coloured bricks you could make an interesting build of Godzilla, even with a few modifications. 😊
Mobile Phone :: ( Huwaei P9 Lite )
Although, I did like my Doogee X6 Pro, I began for find it a bit clunky in places. For around £65 GBP back in June 2016, it served me well. The main one thing that I couldn't get along with was the delay whilst using the touchscreen. Sometimes, I had to tap or use the required gestures repeatedly. At first I thought it might have been the screen protector. So, I removed this. For a while this was okay, but then the responsiveness lessened again. I am guessing that the screen calibration might have been slightly off! 😖 The device was never overloaded with Apps and I ran a good Battery Doctor and Memory Saver ( Clean Master ).
After using the P9 Lite for only a few days, the feel and use of the mobile phone is miles better. A worthy choice from Vodafone. Very happy! 😀

And finally ...