Pond probe

    What every discerning newt desires: a pond probe to illuminate the deepest reaches of the wild with:


sample bottle, spikes, absorbent foam, Velcro and a magnet to collect deep water samples and:

a {on-borrowed-time} bulb, lump of fool’s gold and a cat’s eye to shine / reflect so that location can be determined.


sorry newts!




Calculator reboot


    What to do with a calculator that has sustained damage resulting in some missing buttons?

Remove most of the remaining buttons then create a game with a complex dossier of rules that seek (not entirely successfully) to put the ‘fun’ into ‘functionality’!




Early gaming

    It doesn’t get much earlier than Pong – my thanks to my sisters who, on occasion, let me loose the family gaming system. This required:


a/ nobody being able to watch tv for the next hour

b/ a hunt around for new C size batteries

c/ twiddling the tuning button with extraordinary patience until the flickering on the tv resolved into white lines on a black background

  • tis still a mesmerizing prospect!



PS there is an Apple Watch pong now!


Honorable mentions must go to Tomy and Nintendo for these gems too (albeit 10 years later):



286 / 486 beginnings

    here’s one from the archives: my first PC, a 286 running at 16mhz

(Turbo, 8mhz otherwise) a full 1 MB of RAM and a whopping 10MB RLL hard disk! In 1992 the KB was still a thing.

Once the hdd got too full it was time to run ‘Stacker’ which compressed that precious space to squeeze more on.

After some upgrading fun, this hulking machine became a 486 (sx) with 4 MB of ram and 420 MB IDE of storage. Not much by today’s standards but quite a transformation, resulting in the ability to run Windows 3.1 and, eventually even Encarta ’96 !







Scrap Store – the fun begins!

For great value electronic kit (broken toys for the most part) Scrap Store is hard to beat.

Now for some dismantling and corroded battery removal.

 I had some help making an initial assessment of the loot..

Note a startled expression when the dog sat up and barked.!


1st day of {Secondary} school

Left for the start of my Secondary adventure this morning having watched my son bond with Big Trak – tis time for his father to ensure that he can stay one step ahead!

My thanks to Lydiard Park Academy Trust who gave me a perfect welcome today. The IT / Computing team are brilliant – seamless in their vision for excellence in delivery of this fabulous subject. Looking forward to teaching tomorrow – feeling a welling up of excitement that the time has come to focus on one subject – and to be able to explore that subject alongside a truly great team.