Showing posts from July, 2008

Nebula Class Toybash

This project has been on my TODO list for many years. I finally dusted off the pieces last weekend and took it to a reasonable stopping point. At least, for a few more years. It's a conversion of a Playmates Galaxy -class U.S.S. Enterprise NCC-1701-D into a Nebula -class ship. I'd picked the ship up on eBay ages ago, and separated(poorly!) the hulls, but then it sat for a few years. The hulls are joined together by screws inside the secondary hull, so it can be disassembled for further work. The wiring and electronics are intact. The sound effects buttons are in pairs, and there wasn't room for one of them, so only two buttons/sounds remain. I swapped the button leads around so it has "photon torpedo" and "jump to warp" as the functional SFX. The nacelle lighting also still works. (Not shown in pictures.) Since this is a kitbash, it diverges from the actual Nebula -class design, and more closely resembles the Nebula-class prototypes used as

vnIIc Update - Keyboard/Joystick support

Crossing something off my TODO list (and giving my brain a rest for a while) I dusted off some in-progress work on vnIIc and published version Changes: Keyboard support - as you type on the Apple II client, keys are sent back to the Windows server. If the vnIIc window is not active, key events are sent to Windows . So you can, for example, type into Notepad. Joystick/Paddle support - paddle states are sent to the Windows server as well. If the vnIIc window is not active, these are translated into mouse events . Open/Closed Apple (a.k.a. Joystick/Paddle button) support - these are mapped to the left and right ALT keys . Sorry, you can't click the mouse with the Apple. Screen region selection - click the "+" button at the top of the window, then drag your mouse to select part of your desktop to focus in on - great for streaming non-full-screen applications. Most of this has been done for a while, but unpublished. The initial protocol was one way only. I&#

Words of Wisdom

I'm feeling a little out of it today, so I thought I'd spend some time reading something light and fluffy. I chose Voyage of the Space Beagle by A. E. van Vogt, first published in 1939. A couple of choice quotes (emphasis mine): For better or worse, the fight usually takes place within the framework of a legal system that tends to protect the entrenched minority. [...] Sooner or later, one group gains ascendancy. Once in office, the leaders restore "order" in so savage a bloodletting that the millions are cowed. Swiftly, the power group begins to restrict activities. The licensing systems and other regulative measures necessary to any organized society become tools of suppression and monopoly. It becomes difficult, then impossible, for the individual to engage in new enterprise.  And: In the long run, however, there can be no excuse for any individual not knowing what it is possible for him to know. Why shouldn't he? Why should he stand under the sky of his

Uploaded Treasures

I have a "box of treasures" - trinkets that I've had since... well, forever. In the interest of preserving/uploading my memory, here's the contents with commentary. Oakley Centre Oakley was a "gifted and talented" school I attended in Calgary from grades 4 through 9. When I started in September 1981 it was an experiment with a mere three "homerooms" (one each of grades 4, 5 and 6), sharing the Dr. Oakley School building with a program for special needs children. By the time I "graduated" in June 1987 it occupied the entire building and covered grades 3 through 9, and the school was closed at the end of that year. (A band of classmates composed and performed a song with the refrain "We were the first ones here and the last to go" at the grade 9 grad dance.) The school's official opening was not until March 1982 - until then, I guess it didn't count. I was one of two students chosen to hold the official ribbon (the ot