UTP News

Spoilers!  Videos featured here may actually appear before they are available on YouTube or other video sites.  You may not be able to view them before they actually go "live" but you will be able to read the descriptions which may contain spoilers.  If you want to be surprised, don't read!


Midge Nebula Screen Saver

posted Oct 16, 2016, 1:26 PM by Troy Cheek   [ updated Oct 16, 2016, 1:27 PM ]

Midge Nebula Screen Saver

I have a program that uses random numbers and color averaging and all sorts of other stuff to create images that I think resemble nebulas (nebulae).  My mother used to sit with me and watch these images generate for hours.  She passed away recently.  I decided to combine the randomness with some pictures I had of her to make her part of the art.  Here's a full hour of nebulae and Midge.

It seems that YouTube has been randomly unsubscribing people. If you're seeing this, you may want to bookmark the channel page or follow me on Google Plus below to be alerted to new videos.

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Mary "Midge" Cheek

posted Oct 11, 2016, 5:29 PM by Troy Cheek   [ updated Oct 11, 2016, 5:41 PM ]

Mary "Midge" Cheek

My mother recently passed away.  I threw together a few pictures I had handy.  I might find more later and do a better version when it hurts a little less.

We were planning a family trip to Gatlinburg.  She was having trouble sleeping and wanted to go to the hospital for a breathing treatment so she wouldn't slow us down.  When she got admitted, she told us to go on without her.  The breathing problems turned out to be a symptom of heart failure.  She passed in her sleep, surrounded by her loved ones.

Mary "Midge" Vivian Rogers Cheek.  Born: May 14, 1945. Death: October 10, 2016.

Vlog #40 - Nvidia Shield Tablet K1 Test Video

posted Sep 10, 2016, 12:28 PM by Troy Cheek   [ updated Sep 10, 2016, 12:29 PM ]

Vlog #40 - Nvidia Shield Table K1 Test Video

My Amazon Kindle Fire HD 7 died and I looked for a replacement.  I stumbled across the Nvidia Shield Tablet K1.  This isn't a full-blown review, just me talking about the new tablet and some tablet experiences in general, just to see how the camera and microphone work.  So far, it's been a pretty fun toy to play with, but I'm hopeful it will also be a useful tool.  I'm also hoping it will run the camera app that goes with the drone I got last Christmas.

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Vlog #39 - Yet Another Windows Fail

posted Aug 11, 2016, 1:03 PM by Troy Cheek   [ updated Aug 11, 2016, 1:04 PM ]

Vlog #39 - Yet Another Windows Fail

While trying to get a USB device to work the way I wanted (which was incidentally a way the manufacturer never intended), I installed some USB drivers that caused Windows not to be able to boot up.  Restore and repair options failed, so I had to nuke and pave.  That is, format the hard drive and install a fresh copy of Windows.

Uncle Troy's website: http://www.troycheek.org/
Uncle Troy Presents: http://www.youtube.com/user/troyhcheek
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Vlog #38 - Mandela Effect: Jif or Jiffy 2

posted Aug 2, 2016, 3:10 PM by Troy Cheek   [ updated Aug 2, 2016, 3:11 PM ]

Vlog #38 - Mandela Effect: Jif or Jiffy 2

I posted a video a while back where a game show contestant trying to get another to guess the word "jiffy" (a small unit of time) used "peanut butter" as a clue.  That doesn't make much sense since there's never been a brand of peanut butter called Jiffy.  Or has there?  Another example of the Mandela Effect, where people not only remember things wrong, but lots of other people remember it wrong the exact same way.

Mandela Effect: Jif or Jiffy Peanut Butter?

posted Jul 14, 2016, 3:18 PM by Troy Cheek   [ updated Jul 14, 2016, 3:21 PM ]

Mandela Effect: Jif or Jiffy Peanut Butter?

While I certainly remember that choosy mothers (and later, choosy moms) choose Jif brand peanut butter, I also remember an older advertising campaign telling mothers to fix their children a snack in a jiffy with Jiffy.  I remember noticing they'd changed the name from Jiffy to Jif in the late 1980s.  Many years later, I learned of the Mandela Effect and found that this was another of its examples.  Jif peanut butter has apparently never been sold as Jiffy and I was just remembering it wrong.  Well, if I'm remembering it wrong, so is this game show from October 17, 2012, The Pyramid S01E33.  The word they're trying to guess is jiffy (small unit of time), but when the player can't guess it his partner goes straight to "Peanut butter.  Peanut butter, not Skippy!"  Once the round is over, the player is upset he did not get the obvious clue for "Jiffy."

Star: Oscar Nunez.  Player: "Rob"

Nebula Generation (aka The Screensaver)

posted Apr 9, 2016, 7:47 PM by Troy Cheek   [ updated Apr 9, 2016, 7:48 PM ]

Nebula Generation (aka The Screensaver)

I kind of got addicted to generating images for this video.  I just like watching the computer draw them.  In the end, I decided to focus more on the drawing than the finished product.  All the math and drawing was done with GFA BASIC 32.  All the video editing was done with FFmpeg (and YouTube does not like that based on how long it's taking to process) but the resulting upload was only 500 MB for a 1 hour video which beats the 4 GB file my usual video editor created.  I may need to work on adjusting the settings.

I was thinking of making this a "real" screen saver, but it loses a little something when it takes 2-3 minutes to create an image instead of the 30 seconds I've edited it down to here.

Maze Wars

posted Jan 12, 2016, 2:54 PM by Troy Cheek   [ updated Jan 12, 2016, 2:54 PM ]

Maze Wars

Back in the early days of playing with my TI-99/4A home computer, I typed in a program (called A-Maze-ing?) from a magazine (Compute?) that generated mazes.  With small changes, the same program could be used to solve mazes.  I've re-created that same program on pretty much every computer I've ever had access to with whatever programming language I was using at the time.  With slight changes, it also acts as a random flood color fill algorithm thing.  I've posted videos here of maze generation and of competing color fill.  This video combines the two.  I rather like the effect.

As per the usual, this is programmed in GFA BASIC 32, an unsupported and obsolete language that I still use because it reminds me of GFA BASIC for the Atari ST, which I in turn used because it reminded me of Turbo BASIC XL for the Atari 8-bit computers.  My friend Bryan calls this "fossilization."  I call it "It's my rut and I'm happy in it!"

Bouncing Line Demo

posted Jan 9, 2016, 12:48 AM by Troy Cheek   [ updated Jan 9, 2016, 12:49 AM ]

Bouncing Line Demo

Ever since my first computer with an actual graphics mode (sorry TI-99/4A!) I've been writing some version of this program.  It's a colorful bouncing line demo which I first coded on an Apple ][ back around 1984.  It's similar to the old Mystify Your Mind screensaver.  This version was programmed in GFA BASIC 32.

COMESAIL

posted Jan 5, 2016, 6:01 AM by Troy Cheek   [ updated Jan 5, 2016, 6:17 AM ]

COMESAIL

Another song played on the Antic Music Processor on the old Atari computers in 1988.  This file came with the Antic Music Processor disk and showed off all its capabilities.  It's a version of Come Sail Away by Styx.  I don't know whether to be impressed or not that it's close enough to the original that YouTube flagged it as a copyright violation.

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