Zoo

Lego, Brickworld

In 2016 my wife and I joined FortLUG. We spent some time brainstorming for something unique to contribute to the club’s display. As a result we first displayed our Lego zoo at Brickworld Fort Wayne in 2016. Between December and March we deconstructed, sorted, and reconstructed the zoo for Brickworld Indianapolis. The first major improvement was to create a stronger, and more modular design. This allowed us to pack a zoo about three times the size in a similar space.

Archeology

In the process of migrating to my new blog, I ran across several images I had never posted. These are all from at least 10 years ago. The poor minifig was mutilated at least 15 years ago.

At the time I only had one or two universal joins so I had to get inventive.

Shape Services new iPhone/iPad/iPod touch app 🔗

reviews, iOS

iDisplay

Shape Services new iPhone/iPad/iPod touch app, iDisplay is quite a nifty idea. I have really been wanting Apple to let me use my iPod as an extra display, and this lets me do that. iDisplay uses WiFi instead of USB so it’s a bit laggy, but it gets the job done. For five dollars it makes a great extra display for viewing documentation or previewing some icons or sprites. Especially when compared to the price of a USB display if you already have an iPad. However, this is not saying it’s without frustration.

iDisplay requires installing software on both the iPad and the host computer. Installing the desktop server requires a reboot. This is acceptable, although annoying. I have a 13 inch MacBook and a 1080p external display, so I always have display mirroring disabled. However, after installing the iDisplay server and rebooting, mirrored display mode was turned back on, which was quite vexing. When I turned display mirroring off, my default display disappeared. It turns out a new display for iDisplay was enabled, and was the default display (even though I hadn’t started anything yet). I couldn’t get the client or server to start in this situation. Eventually, through guessing where the system preferences window was, I moved it back on screen and changed the default display. Now I could finally get started testing.

I ran iDisplay through a fairly normal routine with my iPod Touch. It’s great for previewing images while developing iPhone apps. iDisplay is nice, but doesn’t feel like it was ready to be released. Both the server and client crashed several times during testing. The server has a menu bar icon, that’s enough. It shouldn’t also put an icon on my dock and the cmd+tab list. It really should only add the display when a iPad is connected, but it doesn’t. This can make finding misplaced windows a pain. At least the server has a “show in window” option that shows the iPad display in a window.

This app isn’t bad. It provides a very useful feature if you already have an iPhone OS device. Although I probably won’t use it much until the next version. And I bet the next version will be great on an iPad. As it is, iDisplay isn’t good either. It’s very buggy and lacks a lot of necessary features. I think they released it early so it would be out for the iPad launch. Get iDisplay if you need it, but know it will probably be a pain to setup.

Sim City has always been

reviews, iOS

Sim City has always been one of my favorite games. I spent endless hours playing Sim City 2000 (SC2000) in DOS on the family 486. Years later, I got Sim City 3000 (SC3000). It was fun, but didn’t have the same feel. Always worrying about garbage disposal quickly became a big nuisance. Christmas 2008, I bought Sim City for my iPod. It’s a great balance between SC2000 and SC3000, but it quickly lost its sheen with some annoyances, like having to worry about garbage disposal with the small map size. Cutting down on traffic was a bit of a pain. In SC2000, I always had very successful subway systems to keep my road traffic down, but Sim City for the iPhone has no such ability. With the small screen it’s a bit hard to properly build things where you want. Overall, it’s fun, until the nostalgia wears off. Sim City is much better suited for the iPad.

Monsters 2.0

widgets, iOS

A couple days ago I released version 2.0 of my dashboard widget, Monsters. It turns out a lot of people like it. The first day it was out it was Apple’s #1 staff pick. Now it’s quickly climbing up the top fifty. If you enjoy this widget there is also an iPhone/iPod touch version.

Reviewing iPhone games 🔗

iOS, gaming, reviews

Alrighty folks. I’ve decided to start reviewing some iPhone games I’ve played.

First on my list, Galcon. I’ve always been a fan of RTS games. Most of the time I disliked the simpler RTS games, but this one is really quite something. You only have one unit type, but it works just right. You don’t have to worry about individual units fighting. Instead you are battling over ownership of different planets. You send units from one of your planets to a hostile or vacant planet, and you take it over if you have more units. The AI can be quite challenging and the maps are all randomly generated.

Galcon provides awesome fast game that you can’t just play one. Proven by the fact of how many times my brother has run down my iPod’s battery. I’d definitely recommend it any day.