Halloween cupcakes

We did some baking today. Halloween cupcakes with strawberry icing, salted caramel and gin’n tonic flavour buttercream icing. Yum!


Vtech Pre Computer 1000



This was a car boot purchase, a Pre Computer 1000 than can run off batteries or a mains adapter. It didn’t come boxed and as usual with car boot purchases is always a gamble.

When tested, it worked. Originally this was sold in the late 80’s to early 90’s for children wanting to learn and use a simple computer. It has a slot in the left hand side for additional cartridges although these seem to be quite hard to come by.

The full qwerty keyboard lets you input answers to questions on a simple LCD screen with various beeping noises indicating activity on the computer.



Raspberry Pi 3B with new DVB TV µHAT

Saturday morning, we got home and found my new µHAT waiting for me on the door mat from The Pi Hut at £22.99 including delivery.

I grabbed the nearest Raspberry Pi 3B that wasn’t already being used for a project.



Unboxing the Hat… Not much in there.


The hat, some standoffs/spacers, an ariel socket, a header extension and some screws for the standoffs.


Fir the header extension.


Push the Hat onto the GPIO pins on your Pi. Screw the spacers into place. I couldn’t use the third spacer on my model of Pi as there is no hole to attach. Push the ariel socket into place on the end of the Hat until it clicks and locks in place.


The guide says use the latest the version of Raspbian. My Pi already had a fairly recent o/s, so I decided to boot it up and do the updates.


Wanted to find the unique serial number for my Pi..


Started doing the updates…


Updates all done, ran the command to install the TV software.


And it failed.


So started again from scratch but this time started with a fresh copy of the latest Raspbian image. It worked this time.


Omce installed, a wizard starts and asks you to create login credentials for the administrator.


Once the TV software is installed on the Pi, it acts as a streaming TV server which you can access from other computers. You are asked to go to a PC and enter a URL to access the server remotely but this didn’t work. Tried again but using the Pi’s IP address and you receive a login request for the administrator credentials you set up earlier.


Then the wizard starts for configuring the TV software and channels. I found it fairly intuitive but here is the full guide.


After the software finds the channels, you click on a TV icon next to one of them and here I am watching BBC One on my Laptop being streamed from the Raspberry Pi.



Sidney Wood & The Lost Canal

It was a sunny and warm start to this morning. I checked the weather forecast and it predicted some rain for the afternoon.

I decided to take one of my dogs, Mindy, the younger one who can cope with long walks. It was about a 1.25 hour drive to get to the start of the walk. The first part is busy roads and Motorway. The second half of the journey is some beautiful surrey countryside. I kept passing pubs and antique shops that I thought, I must pop back to these at a later date.

I was following a walking guide from Surrey Council’s website:


There are a number of walks available for all abilities. I chose one that was moderate and not too far to get to. I noticed on their site they have a downloadable guide which I downloaded and printed and includes a map. I also noticed they recommend an App, called iFootpath. This costs £1.99 and so I decided to give it a go. The App gives you access to the same guide and also an interactive map that shows your position on the walk. You can download the guides and maps for many different walks and I found it much easier to use than a printed version.

When I got to the Sidney Wood car park, I started following the directions from the guide. I was really surprised how good they were and managed not to get lost even once. Its a beautiful walk. I started late morning on a weekday so only saw 3 other people on the whole walk and this was in the car park.

Its a shame to see the canal not being used but part way round you do come across one of the locks that has been recently restored so hopefully it may be brought back into its original condition one day.

Check out the link to the album of pictures I took below. There are pictures for every step of the walk and some of the sights along the way.

Sidney Wood & The Lost Canal Walk 11.10.18

Testing a Sega Master System Console

Another console for testing. This was a car boot purchase and you never know if they will actually work or not. You have to take chance that the seller is being honest when they say it works.

As I haven’t dug out any games yet, I could only test this with the built in game, Super Hang On. It is also missing its RF lead so had to borrow one from an Intellivision temporarily.

Below is me not playing Super Hang On very well:

BBC B Microcomputer, Cub Monitor & Cumana Dual Disk Drive

This is another retro console i’m testing from my collection. Its a bit rough but still works. It has a missile command games ROM fitted. The Microvitec Cub monitor still works well but the Cumana disk drive doesn’t seem to want to read disks at the moment. It shows Fault 18 at 0/0 when trying to read a 5.25″ disk.

In the video below, you can see me testing the Missing Command game really badly. Think I need a joystick. Using the cursor keys is fiddly.