Off topic summertime workshops

Summer break is over and I wasn’t too lazy. This summer I started some workshops not only on creative computing … such as getting an electrified tethered flight plane into the air, refurbishing my MERKUR Vision arcade machine and doing some thinking on BoulderDash being a cellular automaton (but this is another story, read more on that here: Java FX checkerboard for fun and cellular automaton experiments).

While visiting the Deutsches Museum: Flugwerft Schleißheim, an aviation museum in Munich, my son and I stumbled over a show presenting tethered electrified flight planes where they even let us fly some of them. It was great fun for my son, even though the planes were just flying in circles. So we had the idea of building one of those planes ourselves.

Electrified tethered flight plane

The electric tethered flight plane needs lots of battery power as the power cable has to be light and long, making it a somehow big resistor …

Also a few month ago I stumbled over my old Merkur VISION arcade machine cabinet while looking for something in the basement. For the younger ones amongst us, an arcade machine is some kind of furniture with which you can play old computer games on a television, the correct term is Video game arcade cabinet. Then there was that Pixels movie out there in the cinema which my son and I watched. Adding one and one together you most probably know what will come next: Correct! I decided to refurbish that old arcade cabinet. I am not sure whether the arcade cabinet is really off topic for this blog … as I might program some BoulderDash inspired cellular automaton running all by itself. That piece of software I’d like to place on a PC powering that arcade machine. Then the arcade cabinet would be some sculpture providing a “culture dish” for Rockford. By the way: Who is Rockford? ;-) See Java FX checkerboard for fun and cellular automaton experiments, you might spot him on one of the images …

Merkur VISION arcade machine

Refurbishing an old MERKUR Vision arcade machine is much more work than I initially expected. The electrical stuff seems to be the smallest issue. The blue box on bottom left picture below (or bottom right picture above) is a multi arcade games module hosting hundreds of games. Them games are finally to be played on the arcade machines you see on the above pictures.

Merkur VISION arcade machine

All of the workshops are still longing for improvement and I’ll post on updates in this blog.