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EricBall's Tech Projects

Tempest MAME 2015 - new PC

Posted by EricBall, 28 August 2015 · 55 views
A while ago my son asked when I was going to fix the Tempest cabinet.  The fire cleanup crew removed the PC I was using to the Tempest cabinet and insurance wrote it off (although I did get the hard drive back).  So the first step is to obtain a PC.  MAME is still primarily a single threaded app, so I used https://www.cpubenchmark.net/...

No Windows 10 for me

Posted by EricBall, 06 July 2015 · 352 views

The Acer Aspire One netbook we bought after the fire has turned out to be a decent computer (especially with a RAM & SSD upgrade).  It came loaded with Windows 7 Starter Edition and (bonus) MS Office Starter Edition.
The free upgrade to Windows 10 sounded like a good idea.  Not only would I get all of the ongoing security updates etc....

BattleBots 2015

Posted by EricBall, 29 June 2015 · 131 views

Watched the second episode last night, which covered off the remaining 8 battles in the first round.  Unfortunately, that made it a little rushed compared to the first episode which only covered 4 battles.  It also meant that a bunch of the teams didn't get their 15 minutes of fame before getting knocked out.
I'm now regretting deleting t...

Unity - handrolling meshes

Posted by EricBall, 16 April 2015 · 217 views

The other day I decided I needed to set myself a goal to work on in Unity.  A game project to help focus my self education.
What I settled on is a Battlezone style game.  (Not a port - just the basic ideas.)
So one of the things I need is a tank to shoot at.  Which means I need to create a model which Unity will then display....

learning Unity

Posted by EricBall, 26 March 2015 · 213 views

For those who've never heard of it, Unity is a cross-platform game creation system: http://en.wikipedia....ty_(game_engine)
You can use it to develop games for current systems including Windows, OSX, web, IOS and Android.  Free to download & use and practically free if you ever decide to sell your creations.
Lurking on gamas...

FTP - Little Alchemist

Posted by EricBall, 05 March 2015 · 169 views

Back in the early 90s I got sucked into the Magic: the Gathering collectible card game craze.  Little Alchemist is a "free to play" mobile version of a collectible card game.  And while you can spend real money buying cards (just like I used to do with MtG), it is quite possible to have lots of fun playing without spending a dime.
In the...

Clash of Clans

Posted by EricBall, 03 November 2014 · 342 views

My son managed to convince mom to install CoC on his iPhone.  After watching a little bit, I put it on my HTC.  It's pretty cool, although I wonder how Supercell is making any money given lack of IAP pressure and the TV advertising.
IAP - in app purchases, or the way "free-to-play" games make money.  In the case of CoC, $$ buys you g...

Minecraft studio Mojang has been bought by Microsoft for $2.5B

Posted by EricBall, 15 September 2014 · 245 views

Additionally, creator Markus "Notch" Persson, partner Jakob Porser and CEO Carl Manneh will also be leaving Mojang.  Even before the sale Markus has tried to move away from Minecraft, but felt that selling out was they only way to continue to be himself.
I do wonder how MS plans on recovering it's 2.5 billion dollar investment.  (Esp...

Road Not Taken

Posted by EricBall, 06 August 2014 · 248 views

A couple of years ago my wife and I played an MMO called Glitch.  IMHO Glitch was doomed from the start because it only charged real money for vanity items and it wasn't social enough or fun enough to play indefinitely.  However, the stylized artwork was was very well done and one of the more enjoyable parts of the game.
When I first saw...

I knew I shoulda taken that left turn at Albuquerque

Posted by EricBall, 22 May 2014 · 381 views

I've been playing Half Life (1) on the new 27" iMac - bigger is better!  I've gotten most of the way through chapter 11 - Surface Tension, but I've discovered I bypassed getting the Tau gun back in chapter 10 - Questionable Ethics.  Sigh.... I even managed to get through the whole drain hatch / minefield section without killing the hel...

August 2015

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