Author: james

  • Stealing the Secrets of the NES – Agon Light Tilemaps in C

    Early computers weren’t powerful enough to draw full-screen moving graphics, so they had to use clever tricks. Let’s explore how Nintendo’s techniques for creating tile-based games on the NES can be applied to modern hardware. Using these methods, I built a scrolling tilemap system for the Agon Light using C programming.

  • Programming Bitmap Graphics – Agon Light using C

    In this video I look at how you can program the Agon Light to display bitmap images using C. I go through how to convert a PNG image into an RGB2222 format bitmap image, and then use the C library functions to load that into the Agon Light, and the VDP commands necessary to display…

  • Soldering a Solar Light in the Sun

    I bought a pair of cheapo outdoor solar lights from Amazon. One is on my shed round the back of the house, the other is on the shed at the front of the house. Yes, I have a bit of a shed obsession. After a few days the front one stopped working. I took it…

  • Sonoff Hacking to install Tasmota

    I bought some of those Sonoff BASIC smart switches off Amazon and flashed them with Tasmota. It’s a pretty painless affair, the programming contacts are right there on the board, and the case comes apart with your fingernails. What you’ve got to watch out for are idiot sellers on eBay trying to game the system…

  • I Just Broke WordPress…

    OK that was pretty strange. I wrote a blog post, hit submit and the front page of my WordPress installation just showed the white screen of death. The admin pages were working fine, but if I went into the post I’d just written to edit it, the edit screen crashed. Removing the post has fixed…

  • Programming Windows Screensavers – Agon Light Graphics Programming

    I’m learning how to program the Agon Light, and as a project thought it’d be fun to try and program two of the classic Windows 3.11 screensavers – Mystify and Starfield Simulation. My aim is not to simply program the Agon Light by cloning the Windows 3.11 screensavers, but to learn how to program the…

  • Figuring out a better video production workflow

    This is where I figure out a simpler way to make my videos, and it seems really obvious when I explain it. Which generally means it’s a good way to work. So when making videos I’ve gone through a bit of an evolution from loosely edited ramblings to scripted content where I carefully choose my…

  • Programming Language Easter Eggs

    Easter eggs are usually hidden inside our games and software, but did you know there are some hidden inside the tools and languages used to make that software? Come with me on a fun Easter diversion while we eat our bodyweight in chocolate, and look at six programming Easter Eggs. Some of these are from…

  • Custom HomeAssistant display using openHASP

    It’s my opinion that if you’re going to fill your home with smart devices, they need to be easy to control and monitor. Having to pull a phone out a pocket just to switch some lights on is annoying. Equally, having to open a browser just to see the state of everything is equally annoying.…

  • Agon Light Graphics Tests

    It’s the Easter holidays and I’ve got two weeks off work. Amongst highly exciting things like weeding the garden and waiting for a new washing machine to be delivered, I’m doing some programming. After spending a bit too long remembering how my own code works, I managed to create a simple starfield that looks quite…