Creativity Within Constraints: Having Fun with PICO-8

I’ve been learning about and playing with PICO-8, a “fantasy console” (as their website phrases it). It’s a virtual machine with specs designed to be extremely limited compared to modern computers. With a 128×128 display, 16 colors, and a program size confined to 32K, you’re dealing with what would now be considered pretty dated specs.

But that’s the point of PICO-8. It was designed with constraints so that creators could build things within well-defined boundaries. Experimenting with it is ultimately a fun exercise in creativity within those constraints. Read more on Creativity Within Constraints: Having Fun with PICO-8…

Running QBASIC in a Browser – My Nostalgic Trip Back to the 1990s

Recently, I saw Windows 95 running under Electron. The project definitely brought up some old memories from when I was young and new to computers in the mid-1990s. Back then, I spent all of my time outside of school learning how to write code in BASIC.

I discovered that the Windows 95 under Electron project uses a v86, x86 emulator running in JavaScript, and I decided that it would be fun to experiment with the emulator and get QBASIC up and running in a browser. Maybe I could recreate my programming experience from my childhood, all in a browser! Read more on Running QBASIC in a Browser – My Nostalgic Trip Back to the 1990s…

7 Reasons Game Development Is the Perfect Side Hobby for Software Developers

If you ask any software developer, there’s a decent chance that they have tried their hand at game development. It seems like a natural fit since it uses many of the same skills. What’s more, programmers come into it with the knowledge that most aspiring game makers lack: how to write good code and create effective software. Read more on 7 Reasons Game Development Is the Perfect Side Hobby for Software Developers…

Fixing the External Monitor Color Problem with My 2018 MacBook Pro

I recently upgraded to a 2018 MacBook Pro. I’m enjoying the additional cores and memory (😀) and coming to terms with the touchbar (🤨). A low point of my first week came when I plugged into my external display, and the image looked really bad. In this post, I’ll describe what I learned and how I managed to fix it. Read more on Fixing the External Monitor Color Problem with My 2018 MacBook Pro…

How to Draw the Path of a NavMeshAgent in Unity

One of the most convenient new features added to the Unity game engine is the NavMesh system. These built-in components allow for automatic pathfinding with minimal configuration in a scene. They also offer an impressive amount of customization out-of-the-box, such as dealing with more complex geometries and adding multiple custom agent sizes and step heights. Read more on How to Draw the Path of a NavMeshAgent in Unity…

Solving Bathroom Contention with MQTT: Atomic’s A2 Office Gets a PottyMon

It’s been nearly four years since Scott Vokes made the first version of the “Callaloo” bathroom occupancy monitoring system in our Grand Rapids office. As we grew in size and moved to a brand new building, I revamped and expanded the system to fit our new office. And now with our Ann Arbor office growing in both team and office size, it’s time that they got a Callaloo system of their own! Read more on Solving Bathroom Contention with MQTT: Atomic’s A2 Office Gets a PottyMon…

How Many Sprints Does it Take to Change a Lightbulb?

I haven’t touched a light switch in weeks. Over the past few months, I’ve been rolling out a smart light network throughout my house. To successfully complete the project, I followed a simple Agile process that we use all the time at Atomic to help clients navigate large software projects with lots of stakeholders. If you’re thinking about starting a software project, or you just want to play around with home automation, here’s what you’ll want to do. Read more on How Many Sprints Does it Take to Change a Lightbulb?…

Programming Meets Music with Sonic Pi

At the recent GOTO Chicago conference, Sonic Pi creator Sam Aaron gave a rocking presentation about his code-turned-music program, which is aimed at getting anyone from kids to professional musicians interested in software development. After the keynote, Sam gave a performance for the conference, an entertaining demonstration of the power of code. Read more on Programming Meets Music with Sonic Pi…