Fun Retro Computing

Pinball Arcade Trial Achievement

I really hate to brag, but I wanted to share this life achievement. The Pinball Arcade Trial running on Windows 98 informed me that I got the highest score possible for the trial version.


Geomagnetic storm

Some front yard shots from the geomagnetic storm on May 10th, 2024. I never thought we’d see one of these in South Carolina!

The sky wasn’t as vibrant to the naked eye due to all the ambient light in my neighborhood, but the iPhone 15 Pro’s sensor picked it up great with a three second exposure.


Uploading media from the Jetpack app to WordPress web

It was cool to see this feature rolled out! Kudos to our teammates who worked hard on this. It was a fun thing to hack on in Munich.


Keychron Q6

I’ve been eyeing the Keychron Q6 since the middle of 2023 and finally have one in my possession. Here’s why it’s a winner in my book:

  • Full size – you can’t beat the speed of a numpad!
  • Wired – one more unnecessary battery avoided.
  • QMK firmware – highly flexible and open source.
  • Hot swappable switches – in case I get bored with Gateron Browns.
  • Made out of aluminum – a sturdy 5 lbs!
  • Knobs are cool.
  • South-facing RGB LEDs.
  • Has a handy switch to toggle between Mac and PC modes.

After an hour or so of using it, so far so good! It’s exactly what I hoped it’d be, and a leap in modernization and build quality from the New Model M that I’ve been running. I’ll still use Buckling Springs on my retro machines, of course, but it’s so nice to have LEDs, a knob for volume, dedicated function keys for brightness and Spaces, and the flexibility to do whatever I want with custom firmware. 😎


San Francisco 2024

We had a great time ringing in 2024 with friends in San Francisco!

Some highlights:

AI SwiftUI

ChatGPT SwiftUI Christmas Tree 2023

Revisiting last year’s challenge, let’s see how this year goes with GPT-4.

I used the same prompt from 2022:

Draw a Christmas tree using SwiftUI

Interestingly this time it included the Triangle type and it was almost line-for-line the exact one I substituted in last year.

import SwiftUI

struct ContentView: View {
    var body: some View {
        ZStack {
            // Background

            // Christmas Tree
            VStack {
                ForEach((1...5).reversed(), id: \.self) { i in
                    TreeLayer(width: CGFloat(i) * 60)
                    .frame(width: 40, height: 50)

struct TreeLayer: View {
    var width: CGFloat

    var body: some View {
        ZStack {
                .frame(width: width, height: width * 0.75)
            // Add decorations here

struct Triangle: Shape {
    func path(in rect: CGRect) -> Path {
        var path = Path()
        path.move(to: CGPoint(x: rect.midX, y: rect.minY))
        path.addLine(to: CGPoint(x: rect.minX, y: rect.maxY))
        path.addLine(to: CGPoint(x: rect.maxX, y: rect.maxY))
        return path

struct ContentView_Previews: PreviewProvider {
    static var previews: some View {

And here’s the output for 2022 and 2023! 🎄😀


Munich 2023

I didn’t get out much in Munich as it was an intense week of work, but one morning I did take a walk in the park that borders the Eisbach river. It was cold, rainy, and quite enjoyable.

Arduino Projects

GFX prototype tool

I’m starting to dust off some seasonal projects and realized I hadn’t made this simple tool public which others may find handy. With projects like the NeoPixel Tree it can be much quicker to code visual sequences locally instead of waiting for new firmware to upload to the MCU every time you want to tweak something.

The tool just wraps around the Adafruit GFX Graphics Library and instead of outputting to physical pixels it runs through SDL2. It’s somewhat similar to what I did in swift-gfx-wrapper but keeps it all in C.

GitHub repo:


Amsterdam 2023

Amsterdam was so nice! Great food, going to Tony’s Chocolonely, meeting friendly cats, avoiding bicycles, a ride in the canal, and visiting the Anne Frank memorial just to name a few highlights.

Projects Video

RC Gyro

Maybe if I share videos of half-finished projects it’ll motivate me to finish them!