TV is dead, long live the internet. I've not watched TV for months now. Not because I'm one of those people with better things to do (alas!). It's because I've found better things to watch, and none of them are on TV. So here's a few of my Favourite YouTubers. Enjoy.
I've just finished porting the last game from 'Groovy' to 'Feather'. 35 Years ago, I loved the game "Repton 3", and "Repton Infinity" was even better, because it had its own programming language. Alas, it was fairly limited, and I wanted more. Today is the final chapter. My game Burton, is a modern take on Repton 3 - It also has the complete version of XOR in it (another BBC Micro game). And now Burton is written in my own language. It's mine all mine ;-)
I've just translated two of my games from the 'Groovy' language to my own language 'feather'. I tried to make as few changes as possible (much of the code is identical in both languages). I was very happy with the result. The feather code is about 15% shorter. That's quite a bit of cruft removed! Alas, the translation highlighted a couple of critical bugs in feather too. They were easy to fix, but it is a bit embarrassing that feather is still "fragile".
I've put a compiled version of my game engine Tickle on my website. There's also a few of my games there too. I've very pleased with the latest : Higgs Anomaly. A game in the style of the classic BBC Micro game Thrust.
I've seen lots of birds in the garden since I made my bird table. Robins, Blue Tits, Great Tits, and today I saw a Goldfinch.
Here's a good spotters' guide.
I just finished building a Bird Table.
26-Nov-2021 Still Enjoying my new e-bike
I've started making some Cycle Routes.
17-Aug-2021 The Family Album is Back
Many years ago, the Family Album part of this site stopped working, and I never felt like digging into the horrible Java code to get it working again. I think it's been over 10 years, so the data is old, and there aren't any recent photos.
17-Aug-2021 Website Rewrite
I've completely rewritten this site from scratch. Using Kotlin. So much less code now. More maintainable, as it is simpler, without all the cruft associated with the old technology such as JSP pages. Drop me a line if you see something that's broken.
1-May-2021 First Dose of Coronavirus Vaccine
At long last, I've had my first dose of the AZ vaccine. Did you read the whole of the bumf leaflet? I was surprised that it does NOT recommend abstaining from alcohol - I think that rumour started from a group with a grudge against alcohol! Bloody puritans. BTW, did you know the injection itself contains alcohol, alas not enough to get you drunk ;-)
There's also a "Wow"... It tells you how many blobs of virus are in that tiny injection... 50 billion - that's mass production on a grand scale. We live in an age of awesome magic, created by wizards we call "scientists". Let's not big them up too much though, backers and brewers have been doing a similar thing for millennia. With yeast (a fungus) instead of a virus.
BTW, did you know that someone has estimated the volume of all the Coronavirus across the entire globe... And it would fit inside a coke can. Obviously that will change over time... lets hope it doesn't get as big as a bottle of pop, before we vaccinate enough people to get it under control.
10 hours later... I've got man-flu. The nurse seemed nice, friendly and helpful, but I now know that she injected me with untold billions of genetically engineered monkey cold virus ;-) I'm not worried, those wizardly scientists know what they are doing, and they have checked that it works as expected.
28-Nov-2020 Genius 3D Printer
I bought another 3D printer, and I'm very happy with it. It is cheap, yet produces excellent prints.
If you are into 3D modelling, and especially if you've tried OpenSCAD, you may be interested in FooCAD. FooCAD let's you create 3D models using the Feather language. It has many advantages over OpenSCAD. Each FooCAD model can be used to generate one or more final products. When designing woodwork projects, I use it to generate a regular OpenSCAD model, an "exploded" model, so I can see how the parts fit together, a PNG image, a bill of materials and a "cut list".
During the covid-19 lockdown I decided to learn how to use Phaser and node.js to build an on-line game. Lockeddown let's you play board games and card games across the internet. I've been playing cribbage, backgammon and even a little scrabble with my Mum. At the time of writing it is still only a prototype - only one instance of each game is created!
22-Mar-2020 Coronavirus Links
A few links that may be worth a read.
9-Sep-2019 Feather Language
Recently, I've been writing my own computer language called Feather. I've written some simple languages before, but this one, is by far the most complicated.
It's fun to make choices about how the language behaves. For example, today I decided to have two divide operators. One for "integer" division, and the other for real division. Neither Java, nor Kotlin have both.
I'm particularly pleased with the support Feather has for running operating system commands. It's a really cool feature for a scripting language.
7-May-2019 Box Planter
Wooden planters always rot, and plastic planters are degraded by the sun, so what should large planters be made of? A wooden shell, with plastic boxes to hold the soil. In that way, the wood doesn't rot, as it isn't in contact with the soil. The plastic doesn't deteriorate, because it is completely hidden from the sun.
In first job, I wrote software on an AS/400, and I fondly remember the text-only PDM software. After using it for a couple of years, I wrote my own improved version. Neither the unix command line nor typical mouse based GUIs have quite matched the powerful combination of AS/400 commands, and PDM. So, 20 years later, I've created a modern take on the ideas behind AS/400 and PDM's list based tool more ...
I've just started designing proper circuit boards. Up till recently, I've been using strip boards/vero boards. I'm now using KiCad to design - it's great fun! My first project,ModoDevo, is a set of modular development boards, for both Arduino, PIC, Raspberry Pi etc.
12-Jul-2016 My 3D Projects on GitHub
I've created quite a few 3D designs, some are very general, that other people may find useful. So far I've only put them on GitHub, but I intend to publish them on YouMagine.com too.
06-Jun-2016 EURO 2016 Sweepstake
Thanks Nalin for organising the sweepstake again.
21-Feb-2016 Cavern Quest
I've finished the first version of the TRS-80 classic "Cavern Quest".
Do you share my sense of humour? Here's some my favourite xkcd comic strips.
New Look. New Software.
I finally got around to updating this web site. The old look and feel was dated, and there were numerous bugs which I hadn't bothered to fix. I've put all of my code on github.
22-Jan-2015 LED Strip Lights
I bought some LED strip lights to jazz up Mum's conservatory, and I wanted more than the standard controller offered, so I created my of custom control box.
7-Jun-2014 World Cup 2014 Sweepstake
28-Mar-2014 Bluetooth Audio and Charging Station
I use my tablet as a radio, and wanted to stream the audio to my stereo using a bluetooth dongle. However, I didn't want it permanently on, and I also wanted a charging station for my tablet and phone. My solution is a Bluetooth Audio and Charging Station.
15-Oct-2009 Kalas Garden
A photo diary of the work I've been doing in Kala's Garden.
1-Jun-2009 New Theme
I've created a new theme for this web site, as well as fixing numerous bugs, and adding a few extra features (such as Keyboard Shortcuts).
1-Apr-2009 Emma's Page
I created a wiki page for Emma. If you want a page for yourself, go ahead - this wiki is editable by everybody.
30-Oct-2007 Advocating Ubuntu Linux
Ubuntu Linux has recently entered the retail market. For the first time, it is easy to buy a computer installed with Linux. This website now sports adverts for a few of these computers. Click those links :-)
11-Oct-2007 My New Wiki
I've changed the software, I used to use something called JSPWiki to run this part of the web site. Now I'm using my own wiki application, called Pinkwino
As a techie, I'm a little late entering the world of podcasts, and rss feeds. I'm hooked now though. Click for a few of my remcommended Podcasts.
8-July-2007 Fiona's Websites
I've created a mock-up of Fiona's web sites :
2-July-2007 Dynamic DNS
I was asked how to add a fancy border around a flyer created in OpenOffice Writer, and I didn't have a good answer. I would create flyers using Inkscape, but I still want some border clip-art. I didn't have any, so I made my own.
15-Apr-2007 Open Street Map
I've started contributing to the Open Street Map project. Our aim is to create a complete map of the world free of copyright restrictions. The map is published under the Creative Commons "share-alike" copyright.
12-Feb-2007 Broken Pages
I've noticed a few of the pages on this web site are broken, but sometimes I don't have the time to fix them, so I use this page to keep track of what needs fixing. Likewise, if you see a page which is broken, please add a link. Thanks.
23-Jan-2007 Quiz Questions
29-Dec-2006 VOIP (Voice Over Internet Protocol)
Steve bought me a box of tricks that makes it much easier to make telephone calls over the internet. The software for Linux isn't perfected yet, but it does work.
24-Oct-2006 I've Blocked Internet Explorer
I've decided to block all access to my web site from Internet Explorer. Find out why. So if you want to use my site, you'll have to get a standards-compliant browser. This wiki is still available for everybody to view and edit.
UPDATE I no longer block IE, I just add annoying banner to the top of every page, telling people about better browsers.
I've switch operating systems. I used to use Fedora, and I now use Ubuntu (both are GNU/Linux, just different flavours). Ubuntu has a very user friendly desktop - much nicer to use than windows. There are a few down sides.
Nostalgia for really simple, but addictive computer games lead me to recreate Rain. The original was only 200 bytes in size, so this version is gargantuan in size, but just as fun to play.
UPDATE : No longer available! Sorry.
11-Jul-2006 Fake Sites
I wanted to find out how google adsense worked, so I bought a few domain names, knocked up a few pages, and slaaped some adverts on them. Hopefully the sites will get picked by googlebot soon, and real people will start using the sites! The sites are : Soap News, Eastenders Gossip and Celebrity Gossip
27-Jun-2006 Wiki Spam
I've added a new tab to the navigation, and started adding some web-based games to the site.
16-Jun-2006 France Yoga Retreat
A friend of mine has small hotel / large house in France. She's planning on offering Yoga Holidays, so I knocked up a web site to attract customers. I've not been there myself, but from the pictures, it looks wonderful.
30-May-2006 Family Album 0.2.3
Yet another minor update, I've tried to make editing the family album easier for newcommers, so now there is a single "Edit" link, with lots more instructions on how to add people and photos.
29-May-2006 Mums Driveway Part 2
So very nearly complete.
18-May-2006 Options Singles
My Dad's Options web site now has a Wiki section, so all of the options member can contribute to their web site.
15-Apr-2006 Mums Driveway
14-Apr-2006 Google Calendar
Google is much more than a web search engine. I've been using their web based e-mail program gmail, and I've just found their new web based calendar. Gmail is excellent, so much better than hotmail, I highly recommend it. At the moment gmail is "by invitation only" (a marketing ploy I believe), so if you want the best e-mail program, Contact me, and I'l send you an invite.
5-Apr-2006 Word Blitz
Like word games? Well here's a new one. Its a cross between a word search, and tetris. Can you clear the grid before the time runs out?
04-Apr-2006 Google Top Spot
My web site is now in Google's database. I come top of the list googling for nick the coder, and I come third googling for nick coder (missing out the "the"). Hurrah!
10-Mar-2006 Steve's 40th Birthday Photos
Thanks to Dad (Peter) secretly picking up Levi and Matthew, Steve had a surprise family weekend on his 40th birthday. He had professional photos taken, which look superb (much better in real life, than on-line).
28-Feb-2006 Family Album 0.2.2
Yet another minor update, I wanted to make some minor imporvements before starting work on the next major release.
22-Feb-2006 Family Album 0.2.1
A few bug fixes, and lots of little improvements,
20-Feb-2006 Eastbound Platform
Eastbound Platform's web site is fleshed out.
15-Feb-2006 Family Album 0.2
The second release of my Family Album.
09-Feb-2006 Family Album 0.1
09-Feb-2006 New Look Website
I redesigned the look-and-feel of nickthecoder.co.uk. The new colours are the most obvious change, but more important is the addition of the purple tabs near the top of the page. My web site is composed of self contained pieces of software, but now I have tied them together by making them all share the same tabbed navigation.