Saturday, July 18, 2020

Still Alive In Florida

Who knows how long before everyone in Florida is infected by the Corona virus. I just hope things get better. So far, Northwest Florida has been somewhat calm. Most people are obeying the mask rules and the number of No-maskers are low but not zero.

I had originally wanted to post more on this blog, but I've been stressed out with my job. So, I've been trying to lose myself in hobbies and projects that's the total opposite of what I do for my work. This means that I'm trying to do things that don't involve using the web too much. No coding. Light/limited social media engagement.

For now, I still post on Instagram but that's generally a byproduct of playing around with photography. For the most part, I'm keeping myself busy reading comics, playing video games and modding Game Boy Colors.

I'll try to post here every once in a while to let you know if anything major happens.

Thursday, June 4, 2020

Who Wants To Play Video Games? It's BMO from Adventure Time

About 4 years ago, a time which now feels like eons ago, I learned the process of encoding an image and compiling into a ROM for use in an original Game Boy. The process was tedious and quirky, but it made me appreciate the games in my collection and respect all the hard work the original game programmers had to have put in making them. At that time, I was able to put together a ROM that would display a face in the Game Boy screen. The face was inspired by the character BMO (Beemo) from the cartoon Adventure Time.

Fast forward to 2020. Everyone is stuck at home during the COVID19 lockdowns and quarantine and I'm bored as hell. At some point in my efforts to become unbored, I started modifying old Game Boy Colors and adding in backlit screens to them. When parts became scarce as global transportation and supply chains slowed down, I couldn't continue modifying Game Boys, so I decided to revisit making  Picture ROMs. It was at this time I discovered GB Studio, a tool for creating your own game for the Game Boy.

GB Studio was a game changer for me. All I really wanted was to be able to easily make  Picture ROMs and this program made it possible. Now, don't get me wrong. The process is not a one-click deal. It still required some photo/image editing skills to create the images, but compiling it became a lot easier using GB Studio.

As I played more with GB Studio, I looked through all the options and features which led me to figure out how to make a pseudo-slideshow. Some simple button action paired to slideshow and you have a very basic interactive BMO.

Playing with GB Studio made me realize that I want to actually build a real Game Boy game someday using the tool, but I'm content with what I achieved during the lockdown. Sure, it's totally basic and the advance game makers out there are probably laughing at me, but I don't care. Actually, buidling something that started in my imagination and having it become real in my hand feels awesome.

Saturday, May 23, 2020

To Mask or Not to Mask

It's the weekend of Memorial Day 2020 in Pensacola, Florida. I had to run some errands to the grocery store to resupply on food and other materials and I noticed that most of the people that were not working at the store were not wearing any type of protective face masks. They weren't even practicing social distancing.

I'm quite aware that the State of Florida has aggressively lossened up the limits for most businesses brought about by COVID19 lockdowns. Unsuprisingly, most Florididans are taking this as sign that the Pandemic is over and that the need to protect themselves is no longer needed. Part of me hopes that the people are right, but only time will tell. 

As for me, I'll continue to wear a mask and gloves. Everyone is responsible for their ownself. The state of Florida isn't going to do anything to help you if you get sick because they screwed up. 

Wednesday, May 20, 2020

New Comic Book Wednesday in the Pandemic World

Tomorrow is the first New Comic Book Day (NCBD) since my local comic book shop, Pensacola Pop Comics,  opened back up during the Corona Pandemic. I'm looking forward to see what new comics will be available.

For anyone in Pensacola, Florida that's thinking of heading out to Pensacola Pop Comics, here's what the store had to say:

Retiring My Old Blog

I decided to retire my old blog. It had been roughly 4 years since I posted anything there and I've had since 2007. It's hard for me read my old posts, but I didn't want to just delete them all. So, I'm retiring it and I'm here on this new one starting fresh.

Tuesday, May 19, 2020

Modding Game Boy Colors

During the Pandemic, a lot of people are picked up new hobbies to pass the time. As for me, I started  modding broken Nintendo Game Boy Color systems.

It all started out with a box of old broken Game Boy Color (GBC) systems that I found while doing some cleaning during one boring weekend early in our lockdown. I originally didn't care much about the GBC. Whenever I would end up with one, I would stash them in the box in hopes that I'd do something with them in the future. Well, I guess the future arrived.

Fixing up handheld systems is not something totally new to me since I had worked on the original Game Boy (GB) and the newer Game Boy Advanced (GBA) doing some back lighting and re-shelling about 5 or 6 years ago. At the time, there wasn't anything exciting you could do with the the GBC. Yes, you could re-shell the system, but the front-lighting mod that was popular at the time didn't really appeal to me. It was too tedious and the results were not really that great.

Recently, the GBC modding scene has flared up again with China pumping out clones of backlighting mod kits that were once too expensive to the weekend modders like me. This allowed casual tinkerers to easily add a backlit screen to a GBC and the results were far superior to the front-lit mods of the past.

So, during the Great Isoloation of 2020, I decided to go through my box of GBCs and give them all new life. I also picked some broken units online to work on. My overall goal is to build a backlit GBC of every case color currently available. Once I get everything together, I'll post a picture in the blog. For now, you can go to my Instagram and find my ongoing posts about them.

Monday, May 18, 2020

Starting A New Blog

As I'm writing this, the world is in the midst of the Corona virus pandemic.

Everyone has been encourage to stay at home and practice "social distancing" if they have to venture out. This means keeping at least 6 feet away from people. Also, wearing a face mask is pretty much expected, but a lot of people don't because they are ignorantly defiant. 

People who normally work in offices are now working from home. Virtual meetings have become the new norm. The office coffee is now your own coffee. For now, I'm one of these people. On the flip side, a lot of people have lost their jobs as their employers have temporarily closed down. 

In the state for Florida, the practice of "Ignorant Defiance" is basically everywhere. Too many people don't care about "social distancing" or they believe the pandemic is some kind of hoax despite the growing number of positive cases and deaths. 

I'm starting this blog as a way to pass time so don't take anything I write too seriously. Plus, if things get really bad. I'd like to leave something in the great digital sea of data to say that I was here.