CodinGame with Visual C++

April 29th, 2017

I’ve been enjoying some of the challenges and contests at recently.


There was one thing about the site that frustrated me, which was that their web IDE only supports code in a single file. This isn’t such an issue for small problems, but as your code gets more elaborate it becomes more and more of a nuisance finding things and moving around in the file.

While they provide some nice features to help with that, such as code folding, my preference is to write regular C++ code, complete with header files, and to do that in an editor of my choosing.

So, here’s how to set up Microsoft Visual Studio for doing proper C++ development for CodinGame.

Read the rest of this entry »

Custom Xbox 360 Controller

June 16th, 2016

This is my custom painted Xbox 360 Controller:

Custom Xbox 360 Controller

This was just a quick side project to practice my model car airbrushing techniques, in particular to see how well the masking tape would work to make racing stripes, and how the gloss varnish would look

1/25 ‘09 Dodge Challenger

April 24th, 2016

This model kit was a birthday present from my brother. It has taken me quite a long time to get it looking like this!

Dodge Challenger

Click for more pictures and build info …

Read the rest of this entry »

DIY Arcade Joystick

October 24th, 2015

I recently received a couple of arcade fighting games in some software bundles I bought from Namely, Skullgirls and Street Fighter IV. While they are both playable with a regular XBox controller, they are designed to be played with a proper arcade style joystick. Like this one:

DIY Arcade Joystick - v2.0

This is my DIY Arcade Joystick made for roughly £20 using only basic tools. Read on for details on how I made it.

Read the rest of this entry »

Origami II

September 5th, 2015

Here are some origami models I have folded recently:

Origami Dragon

Origami Dragon (Jo Nakashima)

Folded from 20cm x 20cm Tissue Foil from

This is the first model I’ve made from this kind of paper and I was impressed at how easy it was to work with and how nice the finished model looks.

Read the rest of this entry »

How to connect a Commodore 64 1541 disk drive to your PC over USB

March 29th, 2015

I recently dug out my old Commodore 64 computer hoping to retrieve some of the old code I wrote when I was younger. It was my plan to transfer it to my PC so that I could run it using the Vice C64 emulator.

C64 1541 Connector

As I no longer own a television I couldn’t connect up the C64 and see it working. Even if I could, I’d still have been left with the problem of how to get the data from the 5.25″ disks and onto the PC. There was a mass of outdated information on the internet about how to make a cable to connect to a PC parallel port, but it’s been many years since PCs have had those. There were also a couple of nice looking products for extracting data from floppies (Kryoflux) and for connecting a drive over USB (ZoomFloppy) but given that I didn’t even know if my disks would still work, I didn’t really want to pay a lot of money for one of those.

And then I found this article. I don’t own a Teensy, however, I do own the very similar Minimus AVR and it turns out that it was perfect for the job!

Read on for instructions on connecting your Commodore 1541 to your PC, no special electronics knowledge required.

Read the rest of this entry »

Hearthstone Ladder and Arena Simulator

August 8th, 2014

One of my favourite games at the moment is Blizzard’s online card game Hearthstone.


This article is about my attempts to answer the following questions about the game:

Roughly how many games would I expect to have to play and win to reach Legendary rank in Ladder play?

How good a player would I need to be to make a profit (in in-game gold) playing Arena?

Read on for the answers.

Read the rest of this entry »

Trials Fusion Bot

June 18th, 2014

I’ve thoroughly enjoyed playing both Trials Evolution and the recent Trials Fusion sequel. The Trials games are physics-based off-road motorcycle simulators, requiring the player to negotiate tricky ramps and obstacles, using just throttle, brake and leaning the rider forward and back.

Trials Fusion

The objective of the game is to complete each track as quickly as possible with a minimum number of faults. Since levels play out exactly the same each game, this game seemed to me to be the ideal candidate for adding some automated assistance.

I pondered how to do this for quite some time, trying various ideas. Eventually I came up with a solution I was happy with.

Read the rest of this entry »

Sujiko Solver

January 21st, 2014

This is a partially filled in Sujiko puzzle, taken from the cover of December’s Beyond Sudoku magazine.


It’s a pretty straightforward puzzle - simply fill in the digits one to nine in the cells such that each set of four cells around the centre circles adds up to the number shown in that circle. There is more information on the inventor’s webpage here.

Since solving these puzzles is relatively easy, and having just finished reading this book, I decided to try and come up with something more interesting to do with them. I had a number of questions that I wanted to answer…

Read the rest of this entry »

How to mod Rogue Legacy

October 4th, 2013

One of my favourite games at the moment is indie game, Rogue Legacy. It’s a fun little game that involves hacking and slashing one’s way round a randomly generated castle.

Rogue Legacy

Me being the way I am, I couldn’t resist doing a bit of hacking of the other kind. That is, I decided to have a little poke around with the game’s data files and see if I could view them and/or modify them.

It turns out that yes, it is possible (although not straightforward!) to customise the in-game graphics. So, if you’d like to find out how to have your portrait hanging on the castle wall in your own personalised version of Rogue Legacy, then read on.

Read the rest of this entry »