Monday, 30 June 2014

Broadband speed test Quickie

Hmmm - 30mb done. Nothing sneaky there. 2mb up-link , now that looks bad. But not totally unexpected.

Saturday, 14 June 2014

12v fan controller quickie

Instant computer fan controller - takes less than an hour to build. and.. it works

Everyone knows that you can build one for yourself in an instant, but nobody can design one that will just work without too many component tweaks.
I substituted a BD437 for the BC140 (I suspect BC140 are hard to get these days.) And with no other changes, it runs a 8cm or a 12 centimetre fan perfectly well across their full operating range. (no heat sink on the BD437.)
Here is a pic of the circuit on breadboard - it should take very little time to compress this into a bit of vero or strip-board and upgrade it to a 2-channel  controller.
I user a polyester cap for the .33uF. Not the trimmer on the pot must never be allowed to get to 2kOhms of Vcc else it will fry the discharge transistor behind pin2. My final board will have a 2k2Ohm in place.
Here, we are attached to a 12cm fan:

Wednesday, 11 June 2014

Powershell best practices

I recently have had a lot of work on my plate. It might not look that way based on what you can see online. But I think it will show as general sloppiness and distraction in places. Powershell and Windows automation is my current passion - and so although there is nothing new in this Don Jones Tech ed video, it is a good place to come back to and understand the WHY.
Titled ; Windows Powershell best practices and Patterns, it is a must-see training up on "good" practices for all scripting language users.

The video has a free e-book here also going with it.

Tuesday, 3 June 2014

Ely Cathedral : Historical rebuild

Well, where to start, probably about 2 months ago when the idea started, to build a full-scale copy of Ely Cathedral in Minecraft.
We started just over 4 weeks ago. Here is a clip of how far we are already.
The aim of this project is to show children the insides of and provide an understanding or what a church is. The first time I visited Ely Cathedral, it was rather intimidating, but as with any place of great significance you can take something away without damaging it. In my case, it's lots of sights, smells, photos and a full-scale virtual copy. And a year-long pass to come back again.

I generally have 3 feelings come over me at some point, every time I visit this huge Holy site.
  • It was made by human hands, frail hands, but working on concert and often in dangerous times. It could have been made without God entirely, but it was not.
  • It is beautiful and has an earthy feel to the way the cool stone and smells that go with it say, "I am the earth". I am peaceful place and a place of rest to anyone no matter where from or who.
  • I am special and Holy (even frightening). But the place is of a scale that says I will always be here, but that I'm not just a building made of stone - the Cathedral says, I have a purpose of some sort.


So there you have it. If you have a legal copy of Minecraft (Around £17) for PC (Windows, MAC or Linux) all you do is.
  1. Click on the button "Add Server" and type "Mineguild" into the name box, and "" without the quotes into the address box.
  2. Then "Join" us and simply read the rules for participating on our Minecraft server.
  3. Next, press the tab key to get Minecraft into chat mode, and type /warp ely
  4. Walk around, you are right in front of the Galilee porch, but the whole site is accessible to you.


This Minecraft build does have some spiritual significance, to say otherwise would be me misleading my readers. But the function of the church and faith communities today is not just religious, so I'll expand a little.
I was christened a Methodist, became a happy-clappy (inter-donominationalist at 16) then became a Baptist when I went to technikon (a kind of polytechnic). I was a youth leader around this time, but turned down their formal confirmation process - but moved to another city and became a Methodist, started teaching in the Sunday school, met my wife, and had 2 boys given me. I then moved to the UK. And I'm a Baptist again - but now I'm more on a personal mission to overturn the one thing that almost derailed me when I was 16 years old: "computers are evil".

I am now an online moderator, I do enjoy playing the game , but being over 40 makes my take on the game a bit different. I'm there to keep the internet safe, and to indulge my pixel addiction.


How do we go about it, well for this, I'm going to take a snippets out of the Cathedral visitor brochure. "
Joyfully proclaiming the love of god in worship, outreach welcome and care."

"Most of the stained glass in the Cathedral is Victorian, depicting different scenes from the Bible." ...
"...and shows how all of history, starting with Adam, points to and is fulfilled in Jesus Christ".