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Posts tagged ‘Fun’


Cheese in Destiny

Datto and others started to call certain hiding spots in Destiny cheese spots meaning that it safer but less exiting way to handle a fight. When Bungie released the first DLC called The Dark Below the word cheese started to morph into the description for exploiting a glitch in the system to change the mechanics of the game so that it is easier to handle. In the raid Crota’s End warlocks could use self-resurrection to pass the bridge without having a sword or to deal with sword bearer or using the host’s quitting of the Game to make Crota kneel “forever”.

Update: Later I say that DLC gear is not giving Radiant Shards / Energy when dismantled. That is not true for Raid Gear though but for any DLC gear (Lvl 36 for Armor) that is obtained otherwise.

In my book a cheese is the exploit of a glitch to change the game mechanics to make it easier and faster to beat. Read more »


Rocksmith 2014: Bass and Shortcomings

Two weeks ago I finally could pick up my shinny red Ibanez Bass and started to play on Rocksmith with it. Having played the Guitar for over half a year rally paid off and many of the songs I could play quit well from the get go. I went through many of the lessons and played all the song at least once. With one or two exception I mastered all of the songs over 50% and that all within 7 days. So far so good. Now if that sounds too good to be true then you are right. Unfortunately for the Bass RS has a big shortcoming. It does not mark a note played too many as mistake and so if you pick the strings fast enough then you will hit all the right notes if they are on the same string. This is not very helpful to learn rhythm patterns.

Afterwards I went back to the Guitar which suddenly felt small and short. Here I finally have to conquer chords which I for most part tried to avoid because my hand tenses up and my hand and arm start to hurt. Now applying less pressure is easier said then done and after a while I am back to my old habits. With that in mind I started to play the parts with chords slower so that I can focus on the pressure and try to apply as little as possible. Especially on chord changes to barre chords I tend to apply way too much pressure to avoid half-pressed or mute strings. Guess practice makes perfect and for me it means even more practice.

RS has another shortcoming because it does not give good hints on why chords, bends or slides are not good. For example in Billy Idol’s White Wedding there are two chords played back and forth and I failed to play them right. Eventually I figured out that one chords has to be kept short (lifting my fingers are playing it) and to play the other chord slightly faster. Later there are two chords that are easy to be done because there is enough time to prepare aka breaks in between but most of the time it does not take it. Even though this is frustrating at the end I have to feel good which also applies when RS thinks I was perfect but I know I was


Minibloq on iPad: Here We Come

Update: The project makes good progress and so I move this discussion over to my XWiki Page which handles screen shots, videos and code much better than this blog. That said I took time out of my schedule to setup gitolite server on my server so that the project can be shared (aka cloned) and later people can start to contribute back to the project as soon as I decided on the license. In case you are interested in the project you can send me your public ssh key and I so you will get read access to the project.

Update: Now that the Minibloq Alpha software is available for certain backers I could build and run it on Windows XP using VMWare Fusion. So I started to create an XCode 4 project for it and hope that I could compile and run it on XWindows on my Mac. In case that fails I might start on porting it to become a native OS X application using the OS X UI rather than XWindows. A few days ago I got the Ethernet shield but I am not sure yet that I can program the Arduino board with it.

A while I was able to contact Julian from Minibloq to discuss my idea to port Minibloq over to the iPad. He liked the idea and so I started to proceed with my idea. These are the next steps I will take to start the Minibloq on iPad project:

  • Get an Arduino board -> Done
  • Get an Arduino project up and running on my Mac (need to buy some parts) -> Done
  • Figure out how to connect the Arduino Board to an iPad preferably using an USB cable -> It seems Ethernet Shield is the solution -> Received the Shield but did not find time to evaluate it
  • Figuring out how to program an Arduino Board from an iPad
  • Get Minibloq project to compile and run on my Mac OS X (as soon as the Alpha version is released on June 6th) -> Started the XCode 4 project
  • Evaluate all dependencies of Minibloq and see if they can be used on the iPad and if not what it takes to port or replace
  • Evaluate the GUI redesign of Minibloq

If everything works out I should have a good picture in mid June if Minibloq can be ported to the iPad and how long it would take. The final question after that is when shall we start with it because I don’t want to start doing porting while Minibloq is still under heavy development. On the other hand there might be many things like porting libraries or starting to design the GUI that can be done without having to do much catch up with Minibloq’s changes.

For now this was a good start and I am looking forward for the first release of Minibloq to get my hands dirty with it and to program my Arduino board.

By the way if any reader has any experience with connecting an Arduino board to an iPad (or any other method like with Ethernet or Bluetooth) please drop me a note on “schaefera AT me DOT com“.

This project could be a great after class program for my kids’ school where with an iPad, a cheap Arduino board and some electrical equipment the kids could create and program robots with very little technical knowledge. Eventually they will get that knowledge but with a lot of fun that comes way easier.

Cheers – Andy Schaefer


Blocklets, B-Squares, Minibloq, Arduino / DuinoBot and iPad == Kick-Ass Roboting

Lately I encountered some really cool projects on Kickstarter which are cool by themselves but together they could really make robotics a cool and fun activity. These are the projects I like and also back:

  • Blocklets: A cool, lego-like building system with a lot of potential
  • Minibloq: An open-source project to create a cool GUI to program and control robotic devices
  • B-Squares: Solar-powered squares to produce, store and use the electricity

Now these projects are all pretty cool but together they could create a kick-ass environment for robotics especially in schools. Now if it would be possible to convert Minibloq to the iPad I can image that this would make it dead easy to program robots. Doing that might not be easy but I think this is worth while. If Minibloq can be made to work as easy as Garageband on the iPad then it could be fun, educational and easy to deal with robots and devices like Arduino. Using Blocklets to create structures and vehicles and B-Squares to power them would make it possible to create bigger and more complex robots.

A few years ago I bought a Lego Mindstorm box and even though it was fun for a while it is too complicated to program, does not work with a Mac and is limited to the sensors it supports. Even though I like Legos a lot I am not going to buy a new set of Mindstrorm and I don’t think that the user interface is good, fast or easy.

Right now I am trying to see if it would be possible or even feasible to port Minibloq over to the iPad. Then I would need to check if it is possible to connect an Arduino board to an iPad (I think it might work using an USB to 30-pin connector). After that I want to write a little test program that would access an Arduino board from an iPad to get a feeling how that might work before starting to code the iPad App.

Cheers – Andy