Tuesday, 9 February 2016



Gerty has been doing very well with her lunging, and training.

Monday, 8 February 2016

Solder, Short Circuit and Surgery

I started the weekend finally trying to sort out a little board for ken to mount in his blacksmith shop, using three LEDs to give a flickering flame effect...


I can run nice pinned wires from the arduino to the header I've included here, and it allows me to change the intensity of things, the resistors help keep the different channels dimmer for the LED's and so the light is not over powering.

However, whilst working on this board I found the soldering iron was being a real pig, it took forever to get to temperature, solder would not really melt - despite being fine previously - and then I found the handle to be very warm, and the solder would instantly vapouriser if touched on the iron's shroud.

So, I powered it off, let it cool, checked the tip... Nothing seemingly wrong, I plug it all back in, and as I flick the power switch the whole house goes dark.. Yep, I tripped the house's main fuse.. WHOOPS.

But, this freaking iron, I think it's dead.... I may have to start researching and flutter my eye lids at the wife to let me go buy a proper nice, temperature controlled soldering station.

And now finally, I have my date for my ankle surgery, yes they need to go back into the right ankle joint and have a tinker around, I went for my pre-op on Friday, and they operate in a fortnight... However, right now I have an appointment with a respiratory doctor and a stinking cold... Gah.

Gaming wise, I've been playing lots of World of Warships, but I'm also still playing Crown of the Gods, a clone of Lord of Ultima.


And project-wise, for code at least, I've started working on my own SDL2 based, XML driven 2D UI, for adding overlays or creating tools in C++, this is going to be useful for high-speed customisable and internationalization tasks I need perform; both at home and at work.

Friday, 5 February 2016

World of Warships


I'm enjoying World of Warships, here we see a lovely shot over the forward turrets of my new Kongo class Battleship.

DCC Train Test Bed

I've spent some time this evening actually getting around to setting up a length of 00 Gauge railway track, in order to test my DCC base station and sniffer builds.

I've lots of electronics lying around and to be honest I need to knuckle down and play about with them more.


You can see I have a reference DCC station here, a Gaugemaster unit, I'd much prefer to have the actual ESU Ecos system on the real-layout, but Ken wouldn't let me bring it home... not least as it'd leave him with nothing to play with.

Anyway, you can see this is actually longer than my desks, so it goes way off into the ether, and I've propped the left end up (just to stop it sagging under it's own weight) with a cardboard tube I had lying around.

Then, in the center above the mini screw drivers you can see the pile of Arduino Uno boards I have, and then the mess of electronics in various re-purposed glass jars.

And my quality £3 volt meter just poking into view... Hey, hey, it's not a Fluke, but it does the job for now.

Tuesday, 2 February 2016

WarThunder: That's It I'm Done (I Quit)

After experiencing this... Ludicrous situation in "Realistic" battle in WarThunder, and recording, and reporting the issue... I finally, got a reply...


And you know what, I'm tired of getting replies which tell me I'm a fool.  First of all they keep insisting on a DXDiag report, despite my playing on Linux and hence using OpenGl, but I indulge them and provide the graphics report... Quite why my having a GeForce 770 GTX or a 260 GTX2 or whatever makes a difference in this situation, I'll never know, but it all just seems they obfuscate dealing with the actual problems by asking other questions.

And then for the chap to say to me "I'm not going to given an opinion without all the information"... After giving a 500 word explanation, I gave up, I quit...

Yes, I've quit WarThunder... I had a good run, I enjoyed parts of the game, but I find other parts so frustrating, and the main problem is the Russian attitude to everyone working there, the customer is most certainly the bottom of their feeding pond, and that attitude is just wrong.

Which is a shame, it's by far the most accessible and prettiest flight-sim out there, just their accuracy and attitude stink.  Their grasp on history for the era is very much tainted by the post patriotic war teachings of the Soviet Union, but that's understandable they were brought up in that era in that academic stance and culture, so they're going to be defensive and re-write the truth.  But I've heard them even opinionated that English people have a "Different Memory" of the second world war to the Soviets, well aside fom fighting it for longer, and supplying them with arms, which they conveniently deny, yes of cruse we did, we're a small island nation who were beaten on land, you are a huge land nation beaten to a bloody pulp through the paralytic effect of despotic leadership, the purges he'd carried out and the cult to which you all had to cow-tow in order to keep your life, let along fight the invader, even General Zukov had to cow-tow to Stalin in the end... But to let that still tarnish your memory of the truth is just beyond me.

So, what am I going to play?... Well, I've already re-installed World of Warships, and I'm enjoying it, and yes I know WarGaming; like Gaijin; is a Russian company, but unlike Gaijin they have head quaters at least in Europe, Cyprus to be exact.  They support the same dog shelter the wife and I have been supporting for years!... For example.





I'll therefore be spending more time there, I've already unlocked the Kongo Tier V Japanese battleship, and I'm back in the swing of things.... As my stats tell you in Co-op at least.


I've also got Crown of the Gods, Special Ops, Sniper Elite and a bunch of other stuff in the pipe-line to enjoy.

IL2 Cliffs of Dover, Battle of Stalingrad and DCS World will also have to step into the place for flight sims I have.

That's all.... MagzTV said it better than me... "WarThunder, fix your shit".

Wednesday, 27 January 2016

Chrome Flags

This week I have, amongst other things, been playing a newly released to Open Beta game "Crown of the Gods", a clone of a closed game I have lamented on these pages past "Lord of Ultima".

Immediately my impressions where the development team have done a good job, however, I soon ran into issues on my lower powered machines, especially the desktop PC in the office which is woefully underpowered.

Now, I run Chrome, and I wondered whether the tricks Google have under the hood could help, and you know they can...

If you open chrome and browse to the url: chrome://flags/

Then you will be greeted by a rather scary looking screen....


Do not worry, but, if you look down on the list you will see this ditty:


Confusingly labelled, this is saying the accelerated 2D canvas (in JavaScript) is Disabled, when this is Disabled.  Enabling it, enables the disabling of the accelerated 2D canvas... Which is English means, it enables the acclerated 2D canvas... Enabling this option, resulted in a boost to the smoothness feel of the game for me.



Another one further down also was strangely disabled for me:


Enabling this brought my game experience up into the solid 50+ fps range, even on this tired old machine.


And of course, whenever you change an option, you have to relaunch Chrome, which is provided in the page with a button at the bottom:


I'd recommend you change only one option at a time, and make a note what you have changed, because you may want to swap things back later.

Sunday, 17 January 2016

Planes, Trains and Plastering Trowels

Today I have mostly been plastering...


This was the opening for the old gas boiler, it was an open hole in the wall, so I had to build a timber frame into the brick work, plaster board that and then skim over it.

It's been a success, though I do have to wet & dry sand the top and sides a little to smooth them in, however, when the whole wall gets a coat of paint, and the new electric fire is hung back over the hole you'll never know.


Ken's train set is also coming along more, as you can see here, he's ballasted and started to decorate the station, there's lighting and tree's.

We've got an Arduino Uno powered dynamic lighting effect set, awaiting delivery of some ultra bright LED's.  And of course the arduino powered detection/occupancy system is still awaiting delivery of the magnets and reed switches.

Finally, I've been broadcasting my WarThunder game-play to Twitch again...


Come join me there for game play, programming, soldering projects and other bric-a-brac.