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SoCoder -> Newsletter Home -> Newsletter

Created : 26 April 2023

#610 - F15

Weekly Newsletter


#610 - Thursday 27th April, 2023

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Every Thursday, The fun of AI is murdering my regular AGameAWeek schedule!


Hello World

Tonight, I'm playing with a thing called "Bark" which generates speech in the same way that the AI Music engines do, in that it's not raw, plain TTS, but is instead attempting to make sounds that sound like what you ask for, using what it thinks should be the sounds of speech.
In many ways, it's really quite an impressive technology.
.. But, right now, at least for me, it just isn't as good as doing things the old fashioned way.
It also isn't exactly fast paced at generating the audio. I'm getting speeds of about a minute for a single sentence, using the Google Colab edition, so god only knows how slowly it'd run on my own system.
And to think, the Amiga could speak perfectly well with its 7Mhz chip.


Max FPS Progress

Spinal continues to work on his Max Headroom-alike, and is managing to get things speeded up a fair bit, but is now looking for suggestions as to how he might be able to speed things up a little bit more.
If you know anything about Python, or have any optimisation tips, head on into the thread and see what hints you can give.

JSE Loading Bar

I've added a Loading Bar function to the GotoJSE engine, this week, so you can easily reproduce that spinning "Loading..." effect, or one of the other styles that I coded, from a generic bar to a weird critically triangular option, and a few more besides.
Doesn't have to be loading, either. If you're generating a level in the background, this could be a nice thing to have swirling away in the foreground, whether you know the percentage it's done, or not.

Pakz' Mine Project

Pakz has resurrected an old project, where the player navigates a maze within a mineshaft.
He's been redrawing all the sprites, and the results so far look really nice.


Where did April Go?

The April of Photography is almost over. Rychan's been joining in a fair amount, this week, so there's plenty of nice pics to see.
Food, Dolls, and shelves full of allsorts.

I suppose I have to start preparing for next month's "thing", now.
Time for another Mind Poke?


Bargain Tech

Rychan blags a cheap laptop for his Mum.
Quite a decently spec'd system, too. A nice Lenovo device that even has a numpad!
Man, I miss having a numpad.


Save the Date Again

Kees Von Ops has done a conversion of PuttyCad's game, for the Acorn Atom.
And I haven't a bloody clue what that system even is!


Minion has crafted a remake of the classic Pyjamarama for the Pico8 virtual system.
Cosmic, man!


Affordable Mortgage

The biggest issue with getting a mortgage is finding the insane amount that you need for a deposit, these days.
A 10% deposit might've made sense when houses were 10% of what they are now, but it's not 1987 any more, and kids aren't exactly raking it in.
Skipton Building Society have decided that, if people can prove they've been steadily paying rent for the past couple of years, well then it makes sense to allow them to switch to paying a mortgage, with or without that initial deposit.
Hopefully this comes to fruition, and helps a ton of people to make that first step on their way to a healthier bank balance.


Painted Pathways

I made a generic Painter clone, this week, and ended up with little geese chasing the player around..
.. Because GotoJSE only has quacks as far as Animal Sounds go.
Maybe I should add some more animals into the engine?!


Couldn't think of a fun Q word that I haven't previously done ALChoons with, so went for a completely surreal fictional word instead.
Hopefully there isn't actually a place called Quillimarie..!
I did Google it.. I think I'm safe..
.. Maybe!



The QOTD thread continues to struggle on, with hardly anyone bothering with it any more.
Might be time to scrap it, and come up with something else.
Anyhoo, this week's questions have included being childish, crazy dreams, and extreme distrust!


Lord of the Rings or The Hobbit

This is the third time in recent weeks that this exact same poll has shown up.
I opened up the big pile of polls, and ... There were another couple more copies of that exact same poll coming up in the next month or so.
I'm really not sure where they've all come from, because I'm pretty damn sure I checked for those the last time this happened.
Maybe I could ask the AI's to scan through the upcoming list and filter out anything that's too repetitive..
.. I wonder if they could do that?

Podcast Section

Pig Walkers

The QI Elves discuss Pigs, Lobsters, Ferrets, Axolotls, Shrubs and more, as show creator John Lloyd joins them in the brand new QI Podcast studio.


The Coverville host, Brian Ibbot, is going on a Mountain Biking challenge thing, so had themed this week's Coverville on Bike based songs.


Gates McFadden joins the ShuttlePod crew to discuss her life in acting, teaching and more.

Bonus Tube



Amazing Graphics


Greenie's Poetry of the Week

In days of old, we'd load our code
From tapes that whirred and clicked and glowed
But now we've got a brand new friend
Who's smarter than we could comprehend

It's A.I. and the future's here
And on our Spectrum it's quite clear
That we can do amazing things
Using logic, bytes, and lots of strings

No more waiting for tapes to load
Just watch our programs quickly goad
The processors to do our will
And execute our code with skill

The future's bright, the future's clear
And on our Spectrum it's quite near
So let's embrace the brave new world
And let our A.I. flag unfurl!

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