Kickstarter: Super Roman Conquest!

I'm pretty excited to see this game come to life. The art style is great already pretty neat looking and setting it in during the many barbarian uprisings precipitating the fall of the Roman empire is a great idea. 

Super Roman Conquest is a side-scrolling strategy game that gives you full control of your troops within a multi-layered, 3D landscape. Developed by veterans of LucasArts, SRC blends the nostalgia of our formative PC-gaming past with modern RTS design elements and a meta-game progression reminiscent of our favorite indie strategy games like FTL.  

PAX Updates with Videos!

Here is a quick look at some of the PC room at PAX. If you are here now, stop by the 3rd floor of the WSCC Anex, we have the entire floor for PC! That's just below the Expo hall. If your navigation skills are up to it you can try to find the secret entrance to PC from the Expo hall annex.

A quick vid of the PC Freeplay area.

A quick vid of the BYOC area at PAX Prime 2013.


Click to cycle through pictures

PAX Prime 2013

I am once again off to PAX, but this year I'm headed west! Pax Prime is August 30 to September 2nd this year. Four days long! I'm working as enforcer again this year, assigned in PC. Look for upcoming photos from the events as things progress and I get a moment here or there to upload some.  At the moment I'm killing time, waiting to board at the Cedar Rapids airport. 

For those wondering where I'm at here's my flight Itinerary and you can always check my location on my google+ page.

To PAX:

CID->ORD 8:50am to 9:50am (American 3089) 

ORD->SEA 10:55am to 1:25m (American 415)

From PAX:

SEA->DFW 11:05am to 4:55pm (American 1314) 

DFW->CID 7:00pm to 8:55pm (American 3418) 

 

Backpacking: Grand Teton National Forest - Wyoming

As I type out this post, I am riding in my car (not driving, that post falls to Stephen at the moment). Stephen Peterson and I are heading west to meet Stephens brother Thomas for a 5 day backpacking trip through the Grand Teton National Forest. I hope to add a few more updates as the day goes on and again when we exit the trail on Thursday or Friday.

Here is the brief overview: We are planning to hike the Cliff Creek Pass Trail (near the far western edge of the state) through the foothills of the Teton Range. This is my first multi-night trip in a while so I've been fretting over the packing a bit more than usual. The weather looks great, Thomas reports that the forecast is 50-70 degrees and every day sunny, you could hardly ask for better weather. 

All my preparation is (I hope) complete now. I'll be bringing primarily MREs for food because we have a dozen or so on hand. (And what else does one do with them anyway?) They are heavy (as backpacking foods go) but that will just get lighter as we go on. We have maps printed for the quadrants we will be in and several backup routes. As well as backup GPS maps loaded on my phone just in case. I'm hoping to be able to hit a couple of the local 2 meter repeaters while on the trail as well. Maybe they will have a Sunday night net on one in the area?

Anyway, that's all for now. More updates as we move along. We are currently near Pawnee State Recreation area in eastern Nebraska with about 450 miles to go. 

New Project: Raspberry Pi + LED Matrix

Introducing the PI:

Image courtesy of Switched On Tech Design (www.sotechdesign.com.au)

Image courtesy of Switched On Tech Design (www.sotechdesign.com.au)

Update: The project progresses nicely and I should be getting the full project blog up shortly. For now, enjoy the gallery here. More pictures added!

The Raspberry Pi (for the two people on the internet who do yet know) is a $35 miniature computer designed for use in the education and hobby fields. It runs the Broadcom BCM2835 SoC (System on a chip) which gives you the power of an floating point capable ARM processor (the ARM1176JZFS) running at 700Mhz, a Videocore 4 GPU which is even capable of BluRay quality video and 512MB of ram. It has digital video output via HDMI (analog as well using the passive analog over HDMI standard), component video output, stereo audio, 2 USB 2.0 ports, a 10/100 network interface and a number of general purpose IO ports for digital IO, synchronous and asynchronous serial etc. All this is crammed into an 85 x 56 x 21 mm package running on a standard 5v USB power source such as you probably use to charge your phone. A pretty sweet deal for $35!

While the PI is an ARM general purpose computer and could run many operationg systems, most people including my self run it with the recommended Rasbian linux image, a debian port if you could not tell from the name! Check out the official raspberry pi site for details.

LED Matrix Display:

For my first project with the PI, I want to get a 512 LED display working. Obviously the PI has neither the IO pins necessary nor the current sourcing capacity to run that many leds directly.  So we will have to look at some kind of driver IC. After a fair bit of poking around and reading through data sheets, I settled on the MAX7219 because it is quite cheap and looks pretty darn easy to use. They can each drive 64 individual LEDs which means I need 8 for this project. The chips can be daisy chained together and do not require individual chip-select lines so I should be able to do all of my output to the display with just three lines (Clock, DataOut aka MOSI, and ChipSelect which is really more like latch in the case). I'll go into more technical details on the project page. 

Software:

After writing the interface code (probably in C or Python or both) I want to use the display to show SNMP network data, gmail/facebook/twitter alerts, that sort of thing. I will probably write that code in python or maybe Ruby. Another though I've been playing with is to compile Ruby on Rails for the PI (I'd be surprised if this had not been done by now) and let rails handle the http interface for the sign and the data acquisition.

New Site!

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Congratulations!

You made it to the new site!

Now. Please remember this v6 site is still a work in progress so things are likely a bit shaky still!

After a bit (10 months) of hiatus and a number of other projects stealing my time. I'm pleased to announce that I will be upgrading the site to Squarespace's new version 6 system! So, what can you dear friends, relatives and prospective employers expect from this change? Well a new look to begin with, some streamlined navigation and (mostly) full-page layouts! Stay tuned for details and if you really want an early look browse on over to the temporary address: http://kael-hankins.squarespace.com/