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EricBall's Tech Projects

programming iOS using SpriteKit chapter 3

Posted by EricBall, 12 September 2016 · 76 views
iOS, SpriteKit
The game part of my iOS app is 90% done.  (Which all programmers know means there's still 90% left to do.)  But the big challenges have been conquered - the touch & tilt controls and physics works.  There's still some to-dos to load a level, do a reset, handle pause etc.  but they will wait until I get the level builder working....

death of the 3.5mm 15mm TRRS socket?

Posted by EricBall, 08 September 2016 · 83 views

Reading https://www.buzzfeed...-headphone-jack gave me an idea.  What if you combined the Apple W1 wireless chip with something like a Chu Moy pocket amplifier.  So you plug your $tupidly expen$ive headphones into the pocket amp which is wirelessly connected to your phone.

Mucking around with fragment / pixel shaders

Posted by EricBall, 29 August 2016 · 98 views
iOS, SpriteKit, OpenGL
In my game there's a ball which rolls around the playfield.  While SpriteKit is very cool with baked in physics and lighting, it's a 2D engine.  So although it will rotate the 2D texture of the ball around the Z axis, that doesn't really convey the look of the ball rolling forward.  
My original idea was to go with a flat shaded sphe...

Mucking around with iOS SpriteKit

Posted by EricBall, 19 August 2016 · 101 views
STR, iOS, SpriteKit, Swift
I have this idea for a game, which I'm trying to program for iOS (using Swift).  As this is a considerable step beyond my typical C & ASM skill set, it's been slow going.  Swift itself is a post C object oriented / procedural language so isn't that difficult to understand, and I can certainly appreciate _not_ having to learn Objective C....

Laser Vector Display

Posted by EricBall, 26 July 2016 · 164 views

Earlier this month the family and I spent a week camping at (nee Six Flags) Darien Lake - riding roller coasters & other rides plus roasting marshmallows & drinking beer.  Every night DL has a laser & fireworks show set to music.  (Unfortunately the same one every night.)  The laser show part of the show in particular was partic...

Apple ][ copy protection

Posted by EricBall, 23 June 2016 · 426 views

For those interested in Apple ][ copy protection (and cracking of it) I have found two troves of information.
First is the 4am Apple ][ Library at https://archive.org/..._ii_library_4am  Attached to each archive is a text file where 4am describes his cracking process.  In most cases he simply follows the boot process, analy...

4K why?

Posted by EricBall, 08 April 2016 · 575 views

The other day I was browsing a warehouse sale which had a few 4K TVs (but no 3D, which I found interesting), and it got me to thinking about them.  Not because I want one, but strictly on a why? basis.
The local cable company is hyping their 4K TV offering, starting with local baseball and hockey games.  But when I'm watching my 55" HDTV,...

Jupiter Ascending related rant

Posted by EricBall, 19 January 2016 · 541 views

Yesterday I worked from home while my wife watched Jupiter Ascending.  This is a rant about the ending of the film versus the worldbuilding.

The universe of Jupiter Ascending assumes the creation of an immortality serum based on Human Resources  and takes it to a reasonable conclusion: those who control the production of the serum w...

flaws in Force Awakens (spoilers)

Posted by EricBall, 03 January 2016 · 766 views

I saw SW VII last weekend so I could stop worrying about spoilers.
While the Force Awakens is a great movie and a worthy and logical successor to Return of the Jedi, it is not without it's flaws.
First is the Death Star Mark III, complete with last minute destruction (IV & VI) following an attack on the shield generator (VI), a shor...

Pi Zero lust

Posted by EricBall, 07 December 2015 · 591 views

I'm temped to try to do something like https://shkspr.mobi/...box-controller/
The one tweak I would make is to solder the micro USB cable to the controller rather than splicing wires.
But then I have to remind myself of the number of other projects I have in progress, the number of game systems...