Category Archives: Uncategorized

Anatomy of a simple Ant build.xml file

I very often start a new Java project by copying over a boiler plate build file, which I thought others might find useful as a quick start.  I usually have a minimum of three directories in a project, bin is where the compiled class files go and is in the runtime classpath, lib is where… Read More »

NodeMCU Arduino pin confusion and SD card access

I chose NodeMCU’s ESP8266 board, mainly because it was cheap on ebay but also because it seemed to have everything I needed (as many pins broken out as possible – more later and enough of a circuit to get started with) Knowing it was compatible with not only NodeMCU’s firmware (uses Lua) but also MicroPython… Read More »

3d Printing with PETg (why I’m a fan)

… or maybe fan is the wrong word as you’ll see … I’d never had much luck with the fans that came with my other wise high quality printer, alas they only ever produced a very weak barely noticeable stream of air.  This had the biggest impact when printing highly angled overhangs with PLA.  While… Read More »

Using an Arduino to run a Z80

Years ago I had the bright idea of using a micro controller to support a Z80 to make a simple computer.  After ordering the parts for various reasons it never got done, looking now there are a tonne of people who have had the same idea, so taking the parts out of a dusty container… Read More »

JavaFX Scene Builder without the nag screen

While it’s tempting to just grab a ready made executable from Gluon, it comes with a really irritating feature, it repeatedly but intermittently asks you to “register”.  Not wishing any more spam than I already get I decided to decline their “kind” invitation (again and again and again….), eventually it got tiresome enough to drive… Read More »

Cyanogenmod is dead :-( Long live Lineage OS :-)

If you’ve more than a passing interest in Android you will have heard with some concern that Cyanogenmod has shut up shop, while there has been a growing unease with the behaviour of Cyanogen Inc. having an independent “rom” vendor is something that is more than just convenient. Its only really taken Lineage OS a… Read More »

Sad news for stats

Sadly I just learnt that Hans Rosling has passed away I first discovered Mr Rosling via and you have to admire his passion and enthusiasm for his subject, which if you watch one of his talks you’ll discover is truly infectious – I never would have believed I could have found a talk on… Read More »

using Irrlicht and ODE together

Both Irrlicht and ODE (Open Dynamics Engine) are long standing and mature projects, ideal if you just want things to work without drama!  Of course you have to put up with some C++ coding but at least the Irrlicht API doesn’t force any of the vagaries of “advanced” C++ on you, and you can keep… Read More »

3d printer X & Y axis calibration

But what about the Z axis ? well a screw thread or better yet a lead screw has an exactly engineered thread, it may be slower than a toothed belt but you’re very unlikely to find your Z axis needs calibrating… That said there is a good chance that X & Y axis may well… Read More »