07
Jun 13

Fixed the Street Fighter II CRT!!

A month and a half ago, I got a free SF2 machine. However, it was putting out a green screen. Since that time I’ve been repairing the display and today I finally had a real breakthrough.

Somebody at work had a B&K 467 Rejuvenator device and came by to my office today. He gave the ol’ K7000 monitor on my arcade machine a nice rejuvenation and now the SFII arcade machine is functional!

In the end, there was definitely a short in the green gun, which we cleared using the rejuvenator. There was also likely a small short in the blue gun. The blue gun was fairly weak, so we boosted that up. The red gun was very weak, so that improved the most. The rejuvenator device really came through in this one and in the end I was right about it being a CRT issue and not some issue with the chassis.

SF2-2

SF2-1

The next step is to replace the joysticks and buttons. The left joystick is missing a switch, so the player can’t walk forward. Both joysticks are a little worse for wear in general (squeaky and hard to rotate), so I’m going to replace them both. I also need to replace the fluorescent bulb in the marquee. After that gets replaced, it’s gonna look super classy.

If you haven’t been following along, check out all the blog posts about this arcade machine that I got for free.


30
May 13

Simone app for iPad and iPhone

Remember this toy?

If you do, you’re old.

“I want you, Simon”

I decided to write my own version of this toy for the iPad and iPhone. It was pretty easy to make. If you’ve read this blog before, you know that I’ve written my own synth music player. I just re-used that code, wrote up a simple game state machine, hooked up some buttons, tightened the graphics a bit, and voilà a Simon clone!

Here are a couple of screen shots for the iPad and iPhone:

Photo May 29, 23 11 37

 

Photo May 29, 11 18 39 PM

And of course, here’s a video of it in action.

I have no plans of releasing this. It was done just for a laugh. If you are curious about writing something like this, leave a comment below and I might write a post on it.


24
May 13

Los Campesinos! – This Is A Flag. There Is No Wind – Chords

This is an amazing song. It’s simple and raw with a lot of emotion. I found the chords at chordify.net, but they aren’t exactly right. Here’s what I think they should be. (The climbing bass line is what gives this song a lot of its tension, so I’ve included it. I don’t really play guitar, but I just worked some of this out on a keyboard and it seems right. Let me know if there are any corrections in the comments below.)

This Is A Flag. There Is No Wind – Los Campesinos!
[Intro] x2
E/B E/G#
Caug Caug/F#
C#m C#m
A/C# A/C#

E (not voiced)
CAN WE ALL PLEASE JUST CALM THE FUCK DOWN?

E/B E/G#
An analogy that makes sense to most
Caug Caug/F#
This opportunity it found me unmarked at the far post
C#m C#m
But I blazed it right against the crossbar
A/C# A/C#
Of the pub that you had worked in since you moved here from Bath spa

E/B E/G#
We agreed we couldn’t trust the guy that didn’t like a single sport
Caug Caug/F#
But those bow-legged suitors hadn’t given me much of a thought
C#m C#m
They said it smelled delicious but it smelt of burning flesh
A/C# A/C#
Not meant to be malicious but this is the cross we bear

E/B F#m/C# A
The story of the winter I forgot how to speak / my mind was
E/B F#m/C# A
like a nation’s flag but my breeze was too weak. / How they
E/B F#m/C# A
dragged me to the hospital sayin’ I had gone deaf, / but I
E
heard everything they said. It’s just I
A
had no interest.

[break]

E/B E/G#
Our friends have put the two of us on suicide watch
Caug Caug/F#
And every second spent away we spend watching the clock
C#m C#m
There are photos of us holding hands outside of the frame
A/C# A/C#
I was there, but wonder where our fingers were all the same

E/B E/G#
It’s like a self-restraint (It’s the size of a fingernail)
Caug Caug/F#
And then we chew it down (Yeah we chew it down all the same)
C#m C#m
Sad eyes for sad goodbyes

It’s a crime
A/C#
It’s a crime
It’s a crime
It’s a crime

E/B F#m/C# A
The story of the winter I forgot how to speak / my mind was
E/B F#m/C# A
like a nation’s flag but my breeze was too weak. / How they
E/B F#m/C# A
dragged me to the hospital sayin’ I had gone deaf, / but I
E
heard everything they said. It’s just I
A
had no interest.

If you enjoyed this, please follow me on twitter.


23
May 13

My Windows Phone App Download Stats After Two Years

Two years ago, around April 2011, I wrote a Windows Phone app called lil todo. How’s it doing today?

Before we get to the numbers, some context is useful. lil todo was written for fun and a bit of necessity. I had a Windows Phone and was curious to learn how to write an app for it. I also found there weren’t any good GTD-style to-do apps in the market for the platform, so I wrote my own.

It wasn’t written to make money (it’s free!), so I didn’t do any marketing. It’s been updated a couple of times to fix bugs or add minor features, but for the most part the app you download today is the same one released two years ago. In summary, it’s a neat little app that most people have never heard of, unless they do a search in the Marketplace for it.

LilTodoAmongstTheCompetition

With that out of the way, how popular is the app? Two weeks after release, the app was downloaded 218 times. One month after release, the app was downloaded 342 times. For the first few months, the average daily download was around 5-10. After a year, the downloads eventually plateaued to around 2-3 a day. After one year in the market, the app was downloaded about 1400 times.

Let’s skip ahead to two years. Here’s what we see today:

Screen Shot 2013-05-23 at 8.03.06 AM

There are a lot of interesting things going on in this graph:

  • Today, the app has been downloaded over 5800 times.
  • The cumulative downloads slope is getting steeper. Today the app is downloaded roughly 10 times a day.
  • Each change in slope is preceded by a spike in daily downloads. I suspect these are when either a new phone is released or the platform is made available to new markets.
  • There was a huge spike in downloads in February, 2013. What the heck happened then? (A major new market was added? Bad data?)
  • Not on the graph: Total number of reviews for the US market is 19. That’s pretty low in comparison to a lot of other, more popular to-do apps.
  • Not on the graph: Total US downloads: 1500. Total India downloads: 1400. That means about half the downloads are coming from the US and Indian markets. The next biggest downloads are from Germany, Colombia, Chile, and Finland (around 300, 260, 230, and 230, respectively).

So there you have it. Even an app that was never localized to non-English locales and is barely updated is still getting downloads.


22
May 13

This Neat Trick Could Make You $200,000

Want to make $200,000? It’s simple:

1. Create some grey goopey substance as a meal replacement.

2. Try it out for a few months.

3. Don’t get ill or weak because of it. (Pro-tip: It helps if you’re 24 years old and in relatively good shape to begin with!)

4. Crowd-fund your idea and make $200,000.

5. Call it “Soylent” in a non-ironic way. (Extra, freebie pro-tip: don’t make it green and definitely do not make it out of people.)

That’s all it takes, folks. You can read more about this crazy idea in my previous blog post, Soylent Snake Oil.