July 2021

Sculptgl

Time was when 3D sculpting packages cost a lot of money and needed some serious hardware to run. Now, you can run a sculpting package in the browser on a fairly standard machine. Sculptgl offers free sculpting online through a browser app. I have just been working with students to do some 3D sculpting as…Read more

8 Bit Breadboard Computer

Ben Eater teaches computing and electronics. Perhaps the most extra ordinary things he has done is build an 8-bit computer on breadboards. Perhaps this isn’t so extra ordinary as the early pioneers in micro computing such as Steve Wozniac did exactly that. However, it still looks amazing. This is a fully functional 8-bit computer built…Read more

6502 Assembly Language

I remember, in 1986, writing a paint program for the C64 in BASIC for my GCE ‘O’ Level Computer Studies. I inserted a line of assembly language to clear the screen when you wanted to delete the screen contents. This would basically write zeros into all the memory locations of the screen buffer much quicker…Read more

SID Chip

The C64 was the third computer I ever owned after the ZX81 and the ZX Spectrum. One of the features that set the machine apart from its contemporaries was the SID chip. The Sound Interface Device, or SID chip had three channel programmable sound. You could set the attack/decay envelope to produce a wide range…Read more

Github Copilot

This is quite a significant development. If this lives up to expectations it will change the job of a programmer. Copilot is an AI which writes code based on comments by the author. Copilot is currently in beta, but once it is released this could potentially have massive implications for the generation of code. Instead…Read more

AI Dungeon

Wow, some amazing things are happening in AI at the moment. After so many years in which AI seemed to be nothing more than science fiction it is now beginning to become a interesting reality. AI Dungeon uses OpenAI’s GPT3, which is a phenomenal AI text generator. Now, you can play a text based adventure…Read more

SFX Compositing

As part of an animation and games design course I taught on in the UK me and the students had a go at doing some SFX compositing. This was pretty time consuming even with Mac Xeon towers. We used PFHoe to solve for the camera and then imported the solved scene into Blender. I seem…Read more

Unreal Engine

In my last year in the UK I had a great time teaching with the Unreal Development Kit. This was the free version Unreal Engine. That was back in 2013 and it was impressive even then. Looking at what the Unreal Engine is capable of now is extraordinary. The Unreal Engine was and is my…Read more

Codepen

Having done a lot of interactive visuals on OFx I really want to have a go at doing something similar online in javascript perhaps using three.js.