Adventures in games, storytelling, and technology

Building the Solder : Time Desk Clock

I've been having a great time assembling some of the kits from Spikenzie Labs over the past few weeks. Yesterday, I wrapped up one of the more soldering-intensive projects that I've done -- the Solder : Time Desk Clock! I've done a little work with LCD screens and socketed ICs before, but nothing this large. Here's a few shots from the build log, along with some pointers if you decide to build the kit for yourself. First…

Finding happiness in text

For Miranda and Tristy, who helped me discover my love of tales. May the Minotaur live forever in our hearts. You could be forgiven for not knowing what a MUD is in 2016. Created in the late 1970s, they're the original "massively multiplayer" games - text-based online worlds full of mystery and adventure. As graphical horsepower has become easier to afford, the popularity of MUDs and their kin has waned in turn. Some MUDS, like GemStone…

Building your own calculator

I've been slowly teaching myself to solder and build simple electronics for about two years now. I especially like kit projects -- they're fun to make, give me a chance to hone my skills, and I usually end up with something neat at the end. Last week, I ordered one of SpikenzieLabs' Calculator Kits from Adafruit to replace our lost calculator at home. Now, I know that every smartphone under the sun has a calculator, but…

Taking the Super Nintendo in to the modern era

The Super Nintendo is my favorite video game console of all-time. Great games, durable cartridges, and comfy analog controllers made for a delightful experience. Unfortunately, the SNES came out in August 1991 - long before we had HDTVs, digital video inputs, flash memory, and wireless technology for peripherals. The system's got composite video cables, wired controllers, and all of the games rely on battery-backed RAM to preserve their data. What's a modern gamer to do? Luckily,…