‘Arcade’ – Sinclair Spectrum White Lightning Feature – Part 1

White Lightning

This is part one an a series of Spectrum White Lightning articles originally written in the late 1980s (when I was a teenager) for inclusion in our ZX Spectrum fanzine, ‘Arcade’. Having re-read my scribblings almost 30 years later, I don’t pretend to understand any of it. It might be useful. It might not. If you do find it useful or, at least, interesting, please leave a comment below.

From the user manual:

“White Lightning is a high level development system for the Spectrum 48K. It is aimed primarily at the user who has commercial games writing in mind and has the patience to learn a sizeable new language. It is not a games designer and stunning results probably won’t be produced overnight, but it does have the power and flexibility to produce software of a commercial standard (with a little perseverance!). ” Continue reading “‘Arcade’ – Sinclair Spectrum White Lightning Feature – Part 1”

Sinclair ZX Spectrum ‘Zynaps’ Review – A Fragment


Zynaps is an arcade shoot-em-up computer game produced by Hewson Consultants and released in 1987 for the Sinclair ZX Spectrum personal computer (and other platforms).

As one of our favourite titles, we decided to include a review for Zynaps as part of one of the first issues of our Spectrum fanzine, ‘Arcade’. The text below is a far as we got … Continue reading “Sinclair ZX Spectrum ‘Zynaps’ Review – A Fragment”

‘Arcade’ – A Sinclair ZX Spectrum Fanzine

ZX Spectrum

In the mid-1980s, I was a computer-obsessed teenager. The computer was Sir Clive Sinclair’s rubber-keyed wonder, the ZX Spectrum.

Like other devotees, I possessed piles of Spectrum games, magazines (Sinclair User, Crash, Your Sinclair), and more peripherals than you could shake a Kempston joystick at.

I spent countless hours playing games, reading about games, typing in games from listings published in magazines (and then trying to make them work), and making trips to WHSmith to buy more games and magazines. Continue reading “‘Arcade’ – A Sinclair ZX Spectrum Fanzine”

Laravel – My Journey – Part 6 – A Basic GitHub Workflow

Getting Started with Laravel and Github

Perhaps it’s just me, but I initially struggled with integrating GitHub into my Laravel workflow. I wasn’t sure whether I should create a repository on GitHub.com first, then install my Laravel application and then push it to GitHub. Or should I install my application first or what? Anyway, through trial and error, I established a VERY simple workflow that seems to work for me.

As ever, the leitmotif for this series is: take everything I say with a pinch of salt. This is a BASIC workflow and does not cover all of the possible scenarios that you may encounter in your own workflow. Don’t forget to read the disclaimer!

Continue reading “Laravel – My Journey – Part 6 – A Basic GitHub Workflow”

Laravel – My Journey – Part 5 – Bootstrap 4


Surprising, I have more to say about Laravel. However, this time I’m going to talk a bit about integrating the Bootstrap framework into my Shopping List application.

Those of you who have slavishly followed my ineptitude from it origins in Part One of this series will know that my fledgling application has reached a point where we actually have to present some content to the user. Part 4 briefly touched upon Laravel’s Blade templating engine, and how it can be used to take data passed to it from a controller and return it to the user. Rather excitingly, I am now going to look at making that data look nice. Step forward Bootstrap 4 (beta … beta 2) …

Continue reading “Laravel – My Journey – Part 5 – Bootstrap 4”

Laravel – My Journey – Part 4 – Room With a View


No-one is more surprised than me that this series has reached its fourth instalment. So far, I’ve laid the groundwork for my Laravel Shopping List’s backend. I have a database, I have the models, I have the controllers. But I haven’t anything to show the user yet. I’ll need that. Let’s see how Laravel’s Blade templating system takes my data and presents it to the user …

Continue reading “Laravel – My Journey – Part 4 – Room With a View”

Laravel – My Journey – Part 3 – Controllers


In MVC architecture, controllers interact with data (via models) based on a user’s request and pass it to a view so that data can be displayed to the user. In my application, a user may request a list of products. Laravel will route this  request to a controller.  The controller will request all the products from the database and then return the results back to the user via a view.

In this article, I’ll look at the controllers required for my Laravel Shopping List application. I’ll also touch upon routing as this is integral to the application flow.

Continue reading “Laravel – My Journey – Part 3 – Controllers”

Laravel – My Journey – Part 2 – Model Relationships

The ‘M’ in MVC

The ‘M’ in MVC stands for model. What is a model? In object-oriented programming, a model is a representation of a real-world object, such as a person, a product, a car, or a list. The representation takes the form of data that is related to the object in question. Not only that, but that model includes rules that relate to the data that represents it.  My nascent Laravel shopping list application will require some models … but which models? Continue reading “Laravel – My Journey – Part 2 – Model Relationships”

Laravel – My Journey – Part 1 – Shopping List Application

LARAVEL Multi-user shopping list application

At the start of July 2017, I started a 12-month work placement as a web developer. The placement is with Two Superior Studios Ltd, a small studio based at Plymouth Science Park. Two Superior primarily work with the Laravel PHP framework. Prior to this placement, my PHP skills were a little rusty, and I’d not even heard of Laravel nor used an MVC framework.

It’s now October. Having worked on a number of client projects and got my feet wet, I decided it was time for me to create my own application. Continue reading “Laravel – My Journey – Part 1 – Shopping List Application”

DAT501 – t3X: 3D Interactive Twitter Visualisation

Twitter visualisation
The Brief

You are asked to create and present an artwork or performance in public exhibition. Your project should explore a creative use of technology, be it digital, mechanical, biological or not yet invented. It should be a response to work and ideas which you have encountered during the module either in the presentation sessions, on the field trip, or in your own research. Continue reading “DAT501 – t3X: 3D Interactive Twitter Visualisation”