News

News

Built some Alexa apps...and found a love for old time radio along the way

3 minute read Published:

My father-in-law bought my mother-in-law an Echo Dot for Christmas. She listens to old time radio shows from Internet Archive at night and they were looking for a way to play her shows through the Dot. In digging around a little bit, I found Alexa development was pretty easy to start goofing around with and ended up writing Radio Fun Time, which provides a voice interface to the Old Time Radio Researchers’ public domain old time radio shows published on the Internet Archive.

Updated the Seven Minute VPN Script and Build Your Own VPN

1 minute read Published:

Have a couple of updates to share: I’ve updated the Seven Minute VPN scripts to: Block ads by setting the VPN server itself as a DNS server using dnsmasq and populating /etc/hosts with a boatload of known ad networks from Steven Black’s master hosts file. Install OpenVPN 2.3.15 as an RPM built from source instead of pulling Amazon’s package, as OpenVPN’s audits are complete and a few vulnerabilities discovered.

Making 8-bit Arcade Games in C

1 minute read Published:

So I bet you thought programming assembly on the web for the Atari 2600 was the ultimate. But check it: You can now use C to develop Z80 CPU-based game platforms like Space Invaders, Galaxian, Sega/Gremlin as well as the Atari vector and Williams platforms. (Atari vector and Williams used the 6502 and 6809 chips, respectively, but Steve tweaked them so that they work with the Z80 compiler.) Type your C source code on the left side of the browser and watch it compile and run in real time on the right side.

First of the 7 Minute Server Series: VPN Servers

3 minute read Published:

I’ve been using a proxy server for awhile, Squid and Privoxy, for fun and also because I saw too many cable and mobile ISPs acting shiftily (why, when I’m connected to Google, do all my connections go to an AT&T server, hmmm?). But the difficulty of setting up a proxy on a cellular connection was annoying — who wants to get Apple Configurator up and running and is that really a feasible solution for a non-technical person who should be able to control their phone’s outbound connections?

Introducing Making Games for the Atari 2600 (and its companion IDE!)

1 minute read Published:

The Atari 2600 was released in 1977, and now there’s finally a book about writing games for it! My partner, Steven Hugg, just released a manual and companion Web-based IDE that’ll teach you about the 6502 CPU, NTSC frames, scanlines, cycle counting, players, missiles, collisions, procedural generation, pseudo-3D, and more. Steve covers the same programming tricks that master programmers used to make classic games. Create your own graphics and sound, and share your games with friends!

TV Time Warp: Experience TV as it used to be!

1 minute read Published:

If you’ve got an Apple TV, check out our newest Puzzling Plans release: TV Time Warp. TV Time Warp is a simulated television museum from yesteryear. Flip through the years as if they were channels and experience TV as it used to be! You’ll see shows from the 1950s and 1960s — complete with commercials. We generate hypothetical TV schedules 24⁄7 to show you what would have been on at that time — for example, soap operas during the day, variety shows at night, and cartoons on Saturday morning.