Alto's Adventure

Posted on March 23, 2015 in Reviews, Software & Games.

It's not often that I post a review on my blog, but once in a while something comes along that I feel I should just give a little nod to.

Alto's Adventure is a beautifully stylised game for iOS, with changing weather, simple objectives, and the replayability of Super Mario.

The premise of the game is simple. You play as a snowboarder attempting to get as far through the world as possible, while collecting points for stunts, and rounding up escaped Llamas.

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Owl Pellets

Posted on February 19, 2015 in Outdoors.

Yesterday Laura's Mum found eleven Owl pellets sitting under a tree in the garden. Pellets are effectively fur balls coughed up by Owls after they've digested their food. They can be an interesting way to find out what type of Owl is in the area, and what they may have eaten.

Of course we couldn't pass up the opportunity to dissect them and find out what was inside.

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Defining the Google Blink

Posted on February 06, 2015 in The Web.

This animated image shows the blinking text cursor on the Google homepage

I often arrive at Google and forget what I was planing to search for in the first place. I assumed there must be a name for this particular forgetfulness, but couldn't find one. So I decided to make one of my own. I give you the Google Blink.

Defined as:

The moment you arrive at Google, and stare blankly at the blinking cursor having forgotten your query. This phenomena is likely linked to having to check the time twice, because you didn't pay attention when you first checked.

E.g. I spent 10 minutes with a Google Blink. When I finally remembered what I was Googling for the moment had passed.

Rigging the AR Drone with head lights

Posted on January 29, 2015 in Tinkering.

This weekend I set about adding some bright LED strips to the front of my AR Drone's indoor hull. The large curved strips of foam seemed like the perfect testbed for adding some night time lighting to my drone.

The lights

I started with an LED strip that I bought from Amazon; these things are great, they run on just 12v, and can be cut into any length so long as the number of LEDs in the strip is a multiple of three.

Being careful to position the strip so that the LEDs wouldn't blind the drone's camera, and that they would include a nice curve to each side, I worked out roughly how long I wanted one piece. Where to cut was dictated by the convenient dotted line placed between every three LEDs. Cutting along this line provides convenient contacts to either solder to, or use small crimping connectors.

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Bookworm - My first Craft plugin

Posted on September 21, 2014 in Code, The Web.

Screenshot of code from the plugin

This weekend I finished writing my first Craft plugin. During the move of my site from Wordpress to Craft, I needed to replace the plugin I was using to list my books from Goodreads.

The Craft documentation was an invaluable resource to me whilst building my plugin. It needed to be able to provide a settings panel, and to allow templates to call multiple lists of books.

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