Archives: 'Fun'

DDR Tournament FAILURE!

Sunday, August 24th, 2008

For all those that thought I was insane at DDR, you may still be right. But compared to others at RPI, I’m not that good =/.

Saturday was the RPI Freshman Olympics! I competed in the DDR tournament (what else would I do) at the heavy level. The tournament consisted of the same 3 songs, played be everyone, and the highest score won. The songs were Silent Hill (7 feet), Spin the Disc (8 feet), and Burning Heat (9 feet). Things started off pretty bad, somehow right in the middle of Silent Hill I managed to get off rhythm (or, the song switched off rhythm and I didn’t notice), and got 8 misses/almosts in a row… I did basically the exact same thing during Spin the Disc, which is very out of character for me. Usually, I’m much more reliable. Burning Heat gave me a shot at redemption, however most of the other “serious” players used a bar (actually a chair) to hold on to while playing. This basically sealed my fate. While I nailed the first 3rd of the song, there was some pad slippage and I basically floundered through the rest of the song.

The result? 6th place. But! Of the non bar users, I finished 2nd. Perhaps I should practice more with the bar…

Guitar Hero!

Sunday, May 25th, 2008

Over Spring Break I became somewhat obsessed with Guitar Hero. But being that I’m a frugal guy (well, rather I have no money at the moment), I couldn’t afford a real guitar. So I decided to build my own for the PC version!

Initially, I toyed around with just a normal keyboard. But there were a number of problems: the ideal place for the frets is the F1-5 keys, however there’s a nasty gap between F4 and F5 that makes hitting orange notes difficult. Additionally, there aren’t optimal buttons to strum on. So, I decided I wanted to build a custom solution. I taped one of my old keyboard and my Speedpad to a board, attached a bit of string for the shoulder strap, and my first iteration was done. While crude and extremely ugly, it worked. The speedpad worked marvelously for frets. However, I wasn’t able to strum very well on fast songs, as I have to press buttons rather than move the strum bar (still haven’t fixed this).

I decided I wanted to make my solution a little less makeshift. I wanted it to look nice as well. So, I drew up a quick plan: I’d take apart the keyboard, create a body, then make the whole thing look nice. I decided on a Flying V type design, but the proportions are quite off due to the size of the keyboard. Here’s some WIP shots of attaching the styrofoam body to the wooden frame:

Gluing the back

Another shot, old keyboard bezel in the background

“V” pieces waiting to be attached.

Some of the keys that were removed from the keyboard

After the glue has dried. The black thing is the keyboard stripped of keys

After gluing everything together, I was quite happy with the design. But it was still rather ugly, and it needed some sort of finish. Since I had ample amounts of Aluminim tape, I decided to coat the guitar in the tape to create a chrome-esque finish. Here’s some shots of the final result:

The guitar in its entirety.

SpeedPad is attached with screws for easy removal (I still need it to play other games).

Detail of the two strum keys

Ta-da! It plays quite well, though its still hampered by the lack of the ability to strum up and down. It makes quick notes hard, but if I use two fingers (ie pointer and middle) it works out fine. The closer (and more responsive) frets make it easier to play on than most other guitars. It’s pretty sweet!

Here’s a final shot with my guitar along with my whole setup.

Bush poster is a joke, see here.

Hillary lolcat

Sunday, January 20th, 2008

Captioned by me!

A Clock I Want

Saturday, January 5th, 2008

Someone buy me this for my birthday, it’s quite clever.

Blogged with Flock


Saturday, January 5th, 2008

More than meets the eye!

Blogged with Flock

DIY Hard DDR Pad

Thursday, January 3rd, 2008

I was tired of slipping and sliding on my soft DDR pad, so last night (at like 2:00 in the morning) I decided to convert my soft pad into a hard pad!

Here’s my result:

First, I took apart one of my old soft pads that was “broken”. After opening it up and poking around, I found that the inner layers were merely out of alignment, and that the sensors themselves were fine. I taped the layers down one at a time to a piece of plywood with my trusty blue painters tape and ensured that they were perfectly positioned.

I found some wood squares that my dad cut for who knows what. First, I tried just taping them down, but an E on No. 13 said that having to retape the squares after each song wasn’t going to work. So, I found staple gun. But the staples weren’t long enough. So I grabbed some screws and a screwdriver and went to work.

The first prototype (pictured here) had some critical flaws. First, the screws couldn’t be too tight, or else the sensoes would be constantly pushed by the wood. My playtesting revealed that you had to stomp on the wood boards because it wasn’t very responsive because the design of the sensors necesitates some sort of curved force to work correctly. I decided I needed to make some revisions.

This afternoon, I ran to Lowes and picked up some rubber washers and felt feet. I used the rubber washers as spacers for the screws, and attached several feet underneath each wooden pad. I was proud of my handiwork, and after adjusting the tightness of a couple screws, I determined that it was suitable for use.

Initial playtesting was a mixed bag. I found it hard to adapt to the raised buttons. Apparently I had developed a style of “sliding” on the soft pad that resulted in some hurting feet when I tried it on this pad. I did like the tactile feedback the raised pads provided, but my scores said differently. I was getting more “random boos” on the hard pad than I used to on the soft pad. This was because the wood occasionally stuck down. I AA full combo’d a couple 7 footers, (which I think was luck), but most of the songs I played were riddled with random boos (mostly the left and back buttons). I kept adjusting the screws, but never really found a sweet spot.

So, I think I’m going to ditch the wood raised platforms and go with a flat surface. I still want some sort of tactile feedback, so I might try changing the texture of the edges of teh buttons with like velcro or something. I suppose it was mostly a waste of time (and of $15), but it turned out looking cool (thanks to my pro blue tape).

I’ll post again when I revise my pad!

Blogged with Flock

lolcat of the Week!

Friday, December 28th, 2007

Finally a good use for an iMac.

New site coming!

Saturday, November 10th, 2007

I just registered the domain name

It will be filled with anything but credible sources.

My first task is to make it look like a site that would have credible sources, then add things that certaintly aren’t credible sources.

One of my first plans is to upload my 1300+ picture lolcat gallery.

LolCat of the Week

Saturday, September 29th, 2007

Lazy Monday

Tuesday, September 25th, 2007

Well, accidentally pressed back and lost a lot! Summary: School was good, working for Intel Retiree’s website, and slept when I got home from school.

Things Accomplished in WoW

Summary: LWing to 373, 3v3 Arena went 9-2, 1768 rating, ~550 arena points.

Crave Gadget of the Week

Definitely this awesome Master Chief costume!

Imagine if he were sitting in this warthog!

But I’m not all that excited about Halo 3. Not a big console guy, and I don’t have a 360. But its still exciting!

/Cuttlefish (Slash-Cuttlefish): News for Geeks, Stuff that matters?

Excel 2007 Multiplication Bug – Like MIT, Microsoft can’t do math either!
Google eyeing its own ‘Second Life?’ – Just what the world needs, more virtual worlds!
Overall, a slownesday

Onion Story of the Day

Chinese Authorities Execute 10 Million Recalled Toys


  • President Ahmadinejad is in New York, and giving a speech at Columbia University! Too bad they won’t let him go to Ground Zero. Even if he is a horrible terrorist, I believe that he deserves respect. I follow the same logic on Bush too, (R-E-S-P-E-C-T) but atleast Ahmadinejad can string words together to make fluent sentences!
  • Dennis Kucinich is on Jay Leno tonight! You should tune in!

Woot News!

Expensive Speakers — NO. Uninspired “death” T-shirt — NO. Not today, Woot. But a couple of the upcoming Derby shirts look cool!

And finally, the moment you’ve been waiting for,

Lolcat of the Day