Hackers of a certain age will remember that before the internet was available to distract us from our work, we had to find our own enjoyment. Luckily, Windows was there to help, in the form of “Minesweeper” – a classic of the era that involved determining/sometimes guessing where a selection of mines had been hidden on a grid of squares via numerical clues. near them. For those who miss those simple moments, [Martin] brought the game to physical space with its 3D printed travel game version.
A number of pre-determined playing fields can be inserted (by a friend… or foe, we presume!) and covered with tiles, which the minesweeper can then remove with their plastic shovel to reveal the clues. The object of the game is to avoid discovering a bomb and place flags where the bombs are hiding.
Game aficionados may recall that a bit of guesswork was often unavoidable, which sometimes ended in disaster. On the computer version, this simply involved clicking the Smiley Face button for a new game, but in this case a new sheet would have to be inserted. Blank sheet templates are included to produce your own evil bomb sites, and all the pieces store neatly in a handy clamshell design that would be ideal for long car journeys when the data pack on kids’ tablets is exhausted.
We wonder what other classic games might lend themselves to a travel remake and look forward to Doom’s first 3D printed travel set!
If you’re above solving your own minesweeper games, you can learn how to write a solver in Java here. continue reading “Meat Space Minesweeper Game Hits the Mark”
For those unfamiliar with the details of Harry Potter’s vast work of fiction, this introduced a few ideas that have really stuck in the collective consciousness. Besides containing one of the few examples of time travel done properly and introducing a fairly comprehensive magical physics system, the one thing that seems to have had the most impact here is the Weasley family clock. , which shows the location of several of the characters. . We’ve seen them built non-magically before, but this latest version looks to slash the price of it considerably.
To do this, the release relies on several low-cost cloud computing solutions and smartphone apps to solve the location problem. The app is called OwnTracks and is an open-source location tracker that can report data to one of many services. [Simon] sends MQTT data to a cloud-based solution called HiveMQCloud, but you can basically send it anywhere. With managed location tracking, he turns to very low-cost Arduinos to control the stepper motors that point the clock hands to the correct locations on the face.
Although the build relies on a 3D printer for some of the clock’s inner workings, it does significantly reduce the cost compared to other options. Especially compared to that Weasley family clock that has been integrated into much larger timekeeping equipment, having an option for a lower cost location tracking clock face like this is certainly welcome.
We’re used to so-called “Hackintoshes,” non-Apple hardware running macOS. One we featured recently was even built into the case of a Nintendo Wii. But [Dandu] did better than that, running MacOS on an unmodified Wii, original Nintendo hardware (French, Google Translate link).
How was this seemingly impossible task accomplished? Seasoned Mac enthusiasts will remember when Apple machines used PowerPC processors, and the Wii uses a PowerPC chip that is a close cousin to those used in the Mac G3 series of computers. Since the Wii can run a Linux-based operating system, it can therefore run Mac on Linux, in theory providing an environment in which it can host one of the PowerPC versions of macOS.
The installation sequence had more than its share of difficulties, but he finally managed to get the Wii running under MacOS 9, the latest classic MacOS. It runs DOOM, Internet Explorer 5, and iTunes even on these limited resources, although the latest package had display and sound issues. He then tries a MacOS X version, but without success.
It’s fair to say that it’s not exactly a way to get your hands on a cheap Mac, and remains more of an exercise in pushing a console beyond its original function. But it’s still an interesting diversion, and maybe someone will end up getting a version of MacOS X working on the Wii too. If you’re curious about the Mac-in-a-Wii that inspired this work, you can see it here.
The war on internet ads rages on, as the arms race between ad blockers and ad makers continues to escalate. To make a modern Internet experience enjoyable even from a distance, many people turn to DNS-level filters to prevent advertisements from entering the network. This solution is not without collateral damage, however, as the available blacklists sometimes filter out something that should have happened to the user. For these emergencies, [Kristopher] created the Pie Stop, a physical button to activate a temporary relay on his Pi-Hole.
Whereas [Kristopher] is able to recognize a problem and create the appropriate whitelist for any of these incidents, other family members do not find this task as simple. When not around to troubleshoot, anyone can press this emergency stop to temporarily stop DNS filtering and allow all traffic to pass through the network. It is based on the ESP-01S, a smaller ESP8266 board with only two GPIO pins. When pressed, it sends a custom command to the Pi-Hole to disable ad blocking. A battery inside the case makes it easy to place it anywhere near anyone who might need it.
With this button deployed, network problems can be effectively avoided, even with the most aggressive DNS-level ad blocking. If you haven’t thought of deploying one on your own network, it’s hard to live without them once you see how powerful they are. Take a look at this one that also catches spam.