About Me


Countdown Clocks



I am currently employed in an after school club as a playworker. I would like to work in a Primary school and support the new IT / Computer science curriculum

I have experience with Computers including Raspberry PI and GNU / Linux.

My current related activities include:

Arranging the Torbay Raspberry Pi Jam

Assisting with a after school programming / Hardware club at Curledge Street Academy

Running a minecraft group at Parkfield, were I recently installed a Debian based minecraft server with help from one of the groups younger members who has more minecraft expertise.

I also arrange Torbay Raspberry Pi jams.


2012 – Certificate in Contemporary Science – Cert Cont Sci (Open)

2010 – Supporting Learning in Primary Schools – Cert SLPS (Open)


I have had several articles published and one due to be published in the MagPI in the near future.

Some of my projects :






I am signed up to the Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) update service which is designed to keep data upto date and reduce the need for a new DBS check for every post gained.

I am committed to safeguarding children, young people and 
vulnerable groups and expect any school or establishment I am 
involved with to share this commitment.

QR Turtle update

A few months ago I was working on a program to scan qr codes with specific text (e.g forward10) and pass this on to turtle graphics.  I have now updated the repository with 4 new codes to allow for the fact I had to modify the program a little as 5 , 10 pixels are too short a distance to really notice


Now has 4 new png files for 25,50,75 and 100 pixels.

The QR codes were generated from the website at









The main program can now work more logically as there is now a code that says Forward25 which can be linked to the right turtle command rather than using my work around where scanning Forward10 moves 25 as that distance is easier to see on the canvas.

If you want to have a go please feel free to download the code, If you look at https://github.com/zleap/nestedloops there is code to save the graphics canvas as a file.

basic nested loop using turtle graphics and python
#added input checking
import turtle
import time
#set file name
fname= raw_input("Filename (must include .eps ")
ts = turtle.getscreen()
print "Saved image to: ", fname
print "All done. Click image to exit."





Nethack: Vulture-Eye

NetHack is a classic Unix game which is very popular among hackers

Vultures eye is a port that is based on Falcons eye and essentially keeps this project going just with a new name and based on the newest build of nethack 3.4.

The game can be downloaded from


If you are using ubuntu you need 2 of the Ubuntu deb(ian) packages

vulture-nethack_2.3.67-1_i386.deb and vulture-data_2.3.67-1_all.deb

Once downloaded save to a useful location e.g ~/vulture

You need to install the data first otherwise you get an error

sudo dpkg -i vulture-nethack_2.3.67-1_i386.deb
sudo dpkg -i vulture-data_2.3.67-1_all.deb

Run with vulture-nethack

You can download the source code from github and compile your self which does open up the possibility this can run on the raspberry pi which would be cool.

man page called up with

man vulture-nethack


Vultures eye

Vultures eye




Graphical; Install on Lubuntu 12.10

Once you have downloaded the 2 debian files







Right click on the DATA file and select gdebi (we will use gdebi for the purpose of this tutorial)










You will at some point be asked for the root password in a dialog box enter this










During the install progress bar











Post install (note the install and remove options)

Now repeat with the main vultures eye debian file.



to try and get working on the pi i had to install the following

sudo apt-get install libsdl1.2-dev

sudo apt-get install libsdl-mixer1.2-dev

sudo apt-get install  libsdl-ttf2.0-dev

















Nethack guide book









PrBoom – Open source DOOM

Screenshot from 2013-03-13 13:21:07


Prboom is a clone of the ID software doom software, which since being released as open source software has allowed the game to be ported to more platforms and kep

Screenshot from 2013-03-13 12:58:02

t alive in various forms.


Thus far I have

Got this installed o

n both my main desktop PC and raspberry pi

Copied the main doom wad file to both systems, this did require using sudoi to copy files over.

It was easier to copy to my pi in the following way

copy wad file to home directory on the pi

copy to required location which if you READ the documentatScreenshot from 2013-03-13 13:07:15ion is


i have also added an alias in .bash_aliases

alias doom=’prboom’

See my blog post for more info on .bash_aliases

I can now type doom rather than prboom to run the game.

useful other options

prboom -nofullscreen


Screenshot from 2013-03-13 13:20:39



If you remember the original doom, there was a menu in dos that allowed you to set the various command line options for the game, hit ok and have these passed over when the game is run

prboom also has the same options and a few others

man prboom

I am therefore trying to create a similar mini front end. Having never done this sort of thing before Gordon Henderson has suggested using whiptail for the menu.

Thus far I have

#whiptail –title “Example Dialog” –yesno “This is an example of a yes/no
#box.” 8 78

#if [ $exitstatus = 0 ]; then
# echo “User selected Yes.”
# echo “User selected No.”
#echo “(Exit status was $exitstatus)”
whiptail –title “Check list example” –checklist \
“DOOM OPTIONSs” 20 78 4 \
“respawn” “Respawn Monsters” OFF \
“no monsters” “No Monsters” OFF \
“no sound” “Disable Sound” OFF \
“no music” “Disable Music” OFF \

Which produces the following.

Screenshot from 2013-03-14 10:45:13

All this does at present is send the choices to standardERR




Housekeeping on website

I am starting to do some cleaning up on this site. Removing pages that are either replicated elsewhere or are no longer needed.  Some pages have been copied / pasted to posts and are scheduled for publication later this evening.

Hopefully get a leaner site as a result.

Ubuntu 14.04 out

Looks like Ubuntu 14.04 Trusty Tahr is out


don’t forget to verify your iso’s with md5sums



0 AD


A free, open-source game of ancient warfare

Quoted from the game website -

“0 A.D. (pronounced “zero-ey-dee”) is a free, open-source, historical Real Time Strategy (RTS) game currently under development by Wildfire Games, a global group of volunteer game developers. As the leader of an ancient civilization, you must gather the resources you need to raise a military force and dominate your enemies.”

internet relay chat (IRC) channel: #0ad on QuakeNet.






Retro Computing


For anyone who wants to go back to the days of tape loading games but doesn’t want the hassle of actually setting up an old computer, World of Spectrum is a very handy resource

You can either install an emulator on your Operating system, Or you can play games in a browser.

Browser spectrum games

Jet set willy in a browser.

Jet set willy in a browser.



FUSE – Free Unix Spectrum Emulator – you can install on Debian based linux systems using apt by typing



Spectrum main screen


Harrier attack


sudo apt-get install fuse


Jet set willy and manic miner PC port (and source code)

Schedule test post

ubuntu 14.04 out today

Today sees the release of the next release in the Ubuntu family of GNU / Linux based operating systems






Torbay Pi jam write up.

12th April

Again we had a mix of things going on, Tom Brough brought Bob along, with more improvements / enhancements from last time. He can walk and was set in guard dog mode, which those of you who attended the last Exeter Jam will know he just sits there until activated by movement detected by the ultrasonic sensor. Most of the enhancements are with the walking mechanism.

Gordon Henderson Demonstrated the Fuzebox, with more enhancements to FuzeBASIC, it now integrates with Minecraft and has a host of other features, so any school getting Fuzebox will have lots of great things to do with it. It looks well worth the investment.

Myself and Tom also got Xubuntu 13.10 up and running on a old netbook, not quite pi but the pi jams double up as Linux user group meets so we can still support anyone with Linux related issues (the Pi runs Linux, after all). So that is another Windows box that may well one day not run windows. :) I also demonstrated toms Helicopter game and gave one of the young people the github details to download it.

Thank you to Dan Smith for donating an old laptop I left this running scratch and one of the young people attending spent some time on this.

A big thank you also to the following companies who sent us stickers and to Dan smith for sending out e-mails to get these for the jam.







Thank you also to everyone who attended either as part of running the event or just came along, your support is really appreciated.

Looking forward to the next Jam on 10th May.

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