Extended PI

So last year I used part of my bonus to by myself a Raspberry PI, it’s something I’ve wanted for a while now and I thought I’d get a head start to learn the ropes well before Little Troll set his sights on one.

If you aren’t aware of the Raspberry PI, it’s a tiny single-board computer, primarily aimed at teaching computer science, the revision of the board I own (3) has built in wireless, so doesn’t require a separate dongle. The HDMI output is the primary method of seeing feedback from the device, when you are using it with a GUI, this is fine with you have a spare TV or Monitor to use, however in a home with only one TV, it’s a little rude to commandeer the TV especially when you are a guest at someones home.

Luckily for Christmas I was gifted some money and amazon vouchers so, I decided to push the boat out and purchase an official  7 inch touchscreen and a case to hold both the PI board, the screen and the additional wiring.

I liked the idea of the screen and it’s been perfect for the small projects I wanted to attempt while travelling for New Years, one of these was of course firing up Retro PI, which definitively works well on the smaller screen and with some controllers hooked up. I was also pleased that it can all run off a USB Power Bank, allowing us to play games where-ever we fancied.

The only issue with the screen housing is that swapping OS/Boot MicroSD cards isn’t too easy.

My next project is Assembling the AIY Voice project from Google which is effectively a voice controlled assistant, this was my Christmas Present from Little Troll so may try and get it built with him tagging along, before he starts back to school after the Christmas break.

Future projects include getting my Blink(1) working with the PI and learning more Python.

Hello 2018

I admit that I’ve been pretty pants at blogging over the last few years, I would like to improve on that, I enjoy sharing thoughts, ideas and ponderings with cyberspace.
So when Vero blogged that she was going to challenge herself to blog each day in January, I though it had been a few years since I did Blaugust and I kind of enjoyed having a goal that can keep me focused.

So this is the start of my new 2018 blog posts, firstly I decided to quickly look back at 2017 and what have been my favourite parts. I’m going to avoid all the worldwide political nonsense because, it gets me worked up and this isn’t Facebook 😛

RolePlaying

I enjoyed role playing so much in my youth but once I started work it fell by the wayside, 2017 for me was the year that I returned to Role Playing and to Dungeons and Dragons. For my clan I started a pre-scripted adventure that has given us 10 months of giggles, admittedly some all of the sessions just descended into chaos and fits of laughter. But I have known these folks for the best part of thirteen years I know that when they are laughing, they are having fun and after all isn’t that the point.

That said I have started running the same campaign with some other friends and it too descended into fits of laughter, so I think the common denominator is me ,Welshtroll purveyor of finest RPG giggles.

I have finally got to GM a Fate game, after owning a collection of the books for some time, I convinced my clan that we could a break from DnD with an excursion into an Achtung! Cthulhu game, which is proudly named “Who do you think you are kidding Mr Shoggoth?” the game of cause has turned into a mixture of Kelly’s Heroes and ‘Allo ‘Allo!

Music

Alongside some new albums by some of my favourite bands I have had the pleasure of discovering (new to me) artists this year, I drift more into the world of electronic music, finding that it complements the heavier stuff and finding some music with a darker cyberpunk theme has been bliss.

Earlier in 2017 I decided that I would give Google Music a bash as my amazon music experience had be fraught with hurdles and miscommunication, that resulted in me having no service from them, but still being emailed monthly to say that my subscription is about to end. I have found that discovering music much easier on Google Music and have made purchases based on those discoveries.

This was how I discovered Makeup And Vanity Set who’s albums I find wonderfully though provoking, in that there is often an album theme that you can use to start the ideas of what each songs is trying to convey.

Streamers and Streaming

This year I have watched more streamers than ever before, thanks to twitch affiliates I have also managed to show my support for those streamers directly either with subs or cheers. As it stands I barely watch any live or recorded TV now, there is a great deals of folks who keep me entertained and with whom I can interact with both during and after streams.

I have always been cautious of considering people as content, (stemming back to how games companies have often delivered a game/world that is sparse on predefined content and expect players to be that content for each other) but I have to admit there are some amazing streamers and communities that have dispelled that belief when it comes to streaming.

Personally I have been streaming on and off this year, hampered slightly by my episode of vertigo. However I’ve been quite pleased with how it has been going and I’ve enjoyed myself quite a bit.
In 2018 I hope to continue to stream with increased with regularity, plus not forgetting that we have signed up for GameBlast for the third year in a row, raising money for the amazing charity Special Effect.

 

I was going to touch on my games from 2017 but I think that will wait until another post, mostly as it was so good.
See you tomorrow

Ruiner Hob Combo

I was torn between spending cash on Destiny 2 or grabbing some indie titles that I had my eye on. I know there are some folks I follow who are looking forward to Des2 but my clan mates seem to be on the fence about playing at launch. I was in two minds as I’d not played the first game but enjoyed watching a number of streamers airing their gameplay.

After doing a twitter litmus test, it seemed a number if folks weren’t planning on getting the game immediately at launch, this cemented my decision that I should opt for the indie titles.
Besides, the indie titles are out now instead of Des2 which isn’t out for almost a month.


Ruiner

The first title I bought is one that I’d not been tracking but on seeing the artwork, theme and mechanics, I found it rather appealing. With a violent Cyberpunk aesthetic, Ruiner is a isometric twin-stick shooter, that has more of an RPG feel to it rather than the run and gun approach of legacy games like Alien Breed.

The game slowly introduces an ability system which grants you additional functionality to overcome the waves of adversaries, these range from shields to timing down time. The abilities are good but don’t leave you feeling too overpowered against the mob, they can give you the edge.

I am only about 3 hours into the game, but I have to admit the game feels rewarding, there are some fun side-quests and your main contact is named “The Girl”, who is fond of using ascii emojis in all communcations.
?(´?`)/


HobThe second game I purchased was HOB, which is the 3rd title from studio Runic Games (of Torchlight fame) and a game I have been keeping my eye on for ages.
Rather than going down the isometric dungeon crawler path again, HOB is more of an exploration game of action and puzzles. With this in mind the first thing that strikes you about the game is the artwork, again Runic have produced a fantatsic looking environment that is really vibrant.
The second thing you will notice is that game attempts to direct you without using text and words, this can leave you at loss what you can and cannot interact with but if you keep exploring you will progress.

The game has some scenes were the game seems to go into a 2D platformer side view only the game retains depth so you can use it when required, This reminded me of accessing hidden areas and puzzles in the game Blade Kitten.

To cap all of this off the Runic Team has returned to Matt Uelmen to create a fantastic soundtrack for their new masterpiece.

I’m only a handful of hours into the game but I’m enjoying it so much.

BPPV and I

After getting a head-cold from co-worker I awoke one morning shortly afterwards and was barely able to stand due to dizziness. Benign Paroxysmal Positional Vertigo (BPPV) usually affects persons over 50, but its seems that once you’ve had it you are more likely to get it again. For me this is at least the third time, possibly fourth time that I have been afflicted with intense dizziness and nausea.

It’s thought that small debris/calcium often referred to as crystals enter unexpected parts of the ear causing it to send the wrong information to your brain that you are still moving when you are not. It’s OK though as without treatment it often clears up after several weeks or months.

In order to treat BPPV there are a two main methods “Epley Manoeuvre” and the “Brandt-Daroff exercises”, both of these aim to help to move the debris into a place that doesn’t cause vertigo any longer. So far I haven’t had much joy with the Brandt-Daroff exercises, I’m continuing to take Cinnarizine daily to help me feel more normal, but frankly I’d rather the blasted thing was gone.

As I’m not able to drive at the moment so I’ve not been able to commute to work, but thankfully I have been able to work from home on my Laptop, which I am rather grateful for as not having something to focus on during the weekdays would drive me up the wall. Having me around in the daytime is certainly getting to Munki and impacting her daily routines. Some days I don’t feel the effects too much and wonder if things are getting better, usually to contrast a good day is followed by an awful day where I struggle to sit upgrade for any extended period of time.

Fingers crossed the exercises help to get rid of this soon.

Wizard 101ing again

Little Troll has started playing Wizard 101, he has played it before but with a toon on my account, but this time he has his own account and seems to be more engaged than previsouly. In all honestly it’s nice to have a break from all that Minecraft chat.

If you haven’t played Wizard 101 the game is focused around quests and magic. Battles are resolved via card, players build up a deck of spells in the form of cards

KingsIsle have positioned their 101 games (Wizard/Pirate) as one of the front runners when it comes to Child friendly Multiplayer Online games. All forename & surnames have to be fabricated from three lists, 1 for forename and 2 for surname. Dependant on the age of the user the chat is filtered accordingly, and the user maybe limited to only using predefined phrases that are accessible via an in-game menu.

With games such as Roblox are drawing in large number of players, many of which are young children, for me the ability to ensure the safety of my child is naturally paramount. I tried out Roblox as LT was asking about playing it, however my very first experience of the game on logging in was some character dancing infront of the spawning location with a username that wasn’t, in my opinion, very savoury.

As I’ve been digging around in my account settings and history, I was interesting to see that Munki and I set our accounts up when Little Troll was about 1 month old.
Most likely looking for no time consuming things to do in the periods when he was asleep 😀