28–05–2021

The ZX Spectrum is quite the beloved retro computer here in the UK (and in other parts of the world too I believe). It was cheap, it looked cool and it enabled a lot of young folks to get into computing and create their own software. Designed and built by Sinclair Research in 1982, there were a number of different models over the years. The most popular among retro aficionados seems to be the Spectrum +3 or possibly the Spectrum 128. …


26–04–2021

Masks have become somewhat more normalised these days. I won’t go on about the, well, utterly terrible pandemic that’s still raging on at the moment, except to say quite a few things have changed — some in deep and subtle ways. I used to check I had my wallet, keys, phone and handkerchief in my pocket before I went out. Now, I need to check to see if there’s a mask in there too.

I thought it might be fun to try and turn this mask thing around and make something of it — try and be somewhat…


28–03–2021

The Polybius arcade cabinet is an urban legend. It’s been going around the gaming community for some time now. In short, the legend tells of a mysterious arcade machine appearing in an arcade, somewhere in Portland in the 80s. This arcade was rumoured to be an experiment in mind control by the US Government, with men in black arriving to remove the machines soon after. The whole thing is a wonderful modern myth; Ahoy has an excellent video about the Polybius story which is well worth your time.

Of course, this means folks in the arcade enthusiast world love…


26–02–2021

Why are images still a pain? They seem like that to me. Getting a good image from one place to another seems more complicated than it needs to be. Ever since flickr changed hands I’ve been wondering how to deal with all the different images I generate and consume. To be fair, even when flickr was the one decent thing yahoo owned, I still had issues organising things. Add to that the subscription model that adobe now uses and I figured I needed to devote some serious time to sorting out my image processing and sharing.

We live in…


18–01–2021

For ages, I’ve wanted to do some sort of alternative Queen’s Speech. For these not familiar, the reigning monarch in the UK gives a speech, recorded earlier in the year, but broadcast on Christmas Day. Personally, I’m always a bit fifty-fifty on it, but I do love a good parody. Since Deepfake technology has been mentioned rather a lot in the news -and because I work in A.I.- I felt this year was the perfect time. …


12–12–2020

Quick reminder! You can get my posts fresh in your inbox if you join the mailing list here

I’m telling a little bit of a lie here really. When I say fish, I really mean poisson and when I say poisson I really mean Poisson Disc Sampling. Turns out, Poisson disc sampling is really useful in my A.I research. Problem is, it’s not the fastest process in the world, particularly when python is involved. So what can we do? …


24–11–2020

At the beginning of the pandemic, there seemed to be a spate of virtual tours, popping up all over the internet. At the time, it seemed like a good idea, though many seemed not to be very popular for very long. Nevertheless I thought I’d jump on the bandwagon and try my hand at making something similar. I figured I’d post all my 360 Antarctica videos in a sort of tour-format and see if anyone was interested.

Something immersive

When I go on big trips, I like to have a bit of a project to do on the way. On the…


21–10–2020

As part of my PhD program I’m supposed to undertake 3 months of work experience outside of my research. It’s a good idea in theory. For me, it felt a bit odd; I’ve had full-time jobs before now and I’m somewhat older than my cohort of students, but rules are rules so I dutifully looked for a placement. My brother-in-law Phil runs a company called Voltsport and asked him whether or not he fancied a programmer for 3 months, free of charge. He said he’d love one and had a project in mind — writing the software for a…


17–09–2020

side note — you can now get my blog posts direct to your email. Simply sign-up to the mailing list here

Since the pandemic of 2020 started, I’ve been working remotely up in Scotland, away from my A.I. box down in London. Even before COVID-19 struck, I’ve often been working remotely, attached to some network I don’t know or trust. In such cases, a Virtual Private Network (VPN) is absolutely necessary. Not only that but given the appalling state of the internet at the moment, I need a little bit of extra protection. …


16–08–2020

Last month, I decided to enter my first ever GameJam — the Gamemaker’s Toolkit Game Jam 2020 hosted by itch.io. If you aren’t familiar with GMTK, it’s a Youtube channel, created by (mostly) one bloke who has some interesting insights into how games are made. You can find his youtube channel here. It turns out he has quite the following; the GMTK game jam is the biggest that itch.io has ever hosted and it continues to grow, year-on-year.

When I was about 18 or so, I really saw myself in game development. It’s never actually happened! I’ve written…

Benjamin Blundell

Freelance Research Software Engineer and Bioinformatics Student.

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