Zerk Zone

Pages for the Creations of Ryan Armstrong

Gameboy Screenshot Gallery

Posted on July 8th, 2014 @ 3:54 pm by Zerker

Hello everyone. For the past month or two, I started a project to collect screenshots from (hopefully) every game released for the original Gameboy, and arrange them into a screenshot gallery. Here it is (with some samples), in TWO versions:

Black & White Gallery

Pea-Soup Green Gallery

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Jetpack levels

Posted on May 17th, 2014 @ 7:31 am by Zerker

So I was reminded recently that I have a bunch of Jetpack levels on my hard drive I’ve never uploaded. Many of these aren’t really that good, some are sort-of embarrasing (World of Words Part 2), but there are a few Gems I’m mostly proud of. Some might actually be created by my friends, but it’s been so long I can’t tell them apart any more. Here they are:

(more…)

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Filed under: Levels |

Media Player Sync Scripts

Posted on December 7th, 2013 @ 9:50 am by Zerker

Having had trouble with media-player sync solutions in Linux, I decided to roll my own Python script to synchonize my media player automatically, and cover format conversion & playlist restructuring. Like the gmusicbrowser script, it’s not particularly user friendly. However, it should be useful for a variety of media players. Let me know if it works for you.

You will need:

  1. Python 3.x
  2. sox
  3. avconv if converting from m4a or converting to mp3
  4. vorbiscomment if converting to ogg
  5. appropriate avconv mp3 encoder package if converting to mp3. This is ‘libavcodec-extra-53′ in Ubuntu

Included in the download are three files:

mediasync.py
The module that does all the work
mediasync.html
Documentation for said module
syncphoneall.py
An example export script that uses the module to synchronize my android phone.

When you download this, have a look at the syncphoneall.py file to get an idea of how it works, then modify to suit your needs.

Download

mediasync.tar.tar.bz2 (8.2 kB)

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gmusicbrowser playlist exporter

Posted on November 10th, 2013 @ 9:37 am by Zerker

So, this is a script I wrote a while ago to interpret the gmusicbrowser database format in python, then automatically create a series of playlists. It’s a little bit hackish and not particularly user friendly, but I’ve tried to document it reasonably well. If you’re a moderately technical user who uses gmusicbrowser, give it a shot and let me know if it’s useful for you.

Included in the download are three files:

gmusicbrowserplaylistexport.py
The module that does all the work
gmusicbrowserplaylistexport.html
Documentation for said module
exportplaylists.py
An example export script that uses the module to export a series of playlists.

When you download this, have a look at the exportplaylists.py file to get an idea of how it works, then modify to suit your database/export needs.

Note that this script was written for (and requires) Python 3.x.

Download

gmusicbrowserplaylistexport.tar.bz2 (6.6 kB)

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Filed under: Programs/Libraries,Python |

Cranberry Granola Bars

Posted on January 6th, 2013 @ 9:20 am by Zerker

This recipe is very similar to the Chocolate Granola Bar recipe, but with slightly adjusted proportions. This should work equally well with any other dried fruit. I’m not quite as happy with this recipe, so any suggestions are welcome.

3 cups Rolled (Large Flake) Oats
1 1/2 cups Additional Grains/Cereals
1/2 cup Coconut
1 1/2 cups Dried Cranberries
1 1/2 cup Water
6 tbsp Cornstarch
1/4 cup Liquid Honey
1 tbsp Brown Sugar
  1. Preheat oven to 350 F (175 C)
  2. In a bowl, mix the rolled oats, grains, cranberries and coconut.
  3. Measure the water, and add the cornstarch to the water (keep in the measuring cup). Stir the cornstarch until consistently mixed.
  4. In another measuring cup, measure the honey and add the brown sugar.
  5. Heat a large frying pan/stir fry pan on the stovetop at high heat, then add the cornstarch/water mixture. Stir and wait until the mixture is a consistent gel.
  6. Add the honey and sugar to the mixture and stir until consistently melted.
  7. Add rolled oats/coconut/cranberry/grain mixture and mix until evenly coated. Scoop onto a baking sheet, and flatten/shape as desired.
  8. Bake for approximately 15 minutes.
  9. Cut to desired size.
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Filed under: Recipes |

Chocolate Granola Bars

Posted on January 6th, 2013 @ 9:15 am by Zerker

And now for the Granola bars. These chocolate ones are my favourite. I use PC Ancient Grain/7 Reasons cereal for my “additional grains”, but you can always use additional nuts/seeds/etc if you aren’t allergic to most of them.

3 cups Rolled (Large Flake) Oats
1 1/2 cups Additional Grains/Cereals
1/2 cup Coconut
1 1/2 cups Chocolate Chips
1 cup Water
4 tbsp Cornstarch
  1. Preheat oven to 350 F (175 C)
  2. In a bowl, mix the rolled oats, grains and coconut.
  3. Measure the water, and add the cornstarch to the water (keep in the measuring cup). Stir the cornstarch until consistently mixed.
  4. Heat a large frying pan/stir fry pan on the stovetop at high heat, then add the cornstarch/water mixture. Stir and wait until the mixture is a consistent gel.
  5. Add the chocolate chips to the mixture and stir until consistently melted.
  6. Add rolled oats/coconut/grain mixture and mix until evenly coated. Scoop onto a baking sheet, and flatten/shape as desired.
  7. Bake for approximately 15 minutes.
  8. Cut to desired size.
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Shortbread Cookies

Posted on January 6th, 2013 @ 9:12 am by Zerker

Now for the second cookie recipe: Shortbread!

2 cups Butter, Softened
1 cup Icing sugar, sifted
2 tsp Vanilla
3 cups All-Purpose Flour
1 cup Cornstarch
  1. Preheat oven to 300 F (150 C)
  2. Beat butter on medium speed of electric mixer until light. Gradually
    add icing sugar and vanilla, beating until creamy. Gradually add flour
    and cornstarch, beating until smooth.
  3. Drop dough by spoonfuls onto ungreased baking sheet.
  4. Bake in centre of 300 F (150 C) oven for 25-30 minutes, or just until
    set and starting to brown around the edges.
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Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies

Posted on January 6th, 2013 @ 8:56 am by Zerker

So, just for fun I decided to post some of my recipes. Right now, I mostly just make Granola bars (which will be posted shortly), but I used to bake cookies a fair bit as well. Here is the Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookie recipe that used to be my favourite:

1 cup Butter, Softened
3/4 cup Brown Sugar
1/4 cup White Sugar
1 1/2 cups Flour
1 tsp Salt
1 tsp Baking Soda
1/4 cup Water (Hot)
2 cups Oatmeal
1/2 cup Coconut
1 cup Chocolate Chips
  1. Preheat oven to 350 F (175 C)
  2. Cream butter, adding brown and white sugar. Add flour and salt. Disolve
    the baking soda in the hot water, then add the solution to the mixture.
    Mix in Oatmeal and Coconut, then add Chocolate chips.
  3. Drop dough by spoonfuls onto ungreased baking sheet, flattening as
    necessary.
  4. Bake in centre of 350 F (175 C) oven for approximately 10 minutes.
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Xargon Mapper and Resource Extractor

Posted on December 11th, 2012 @ 7:55 pm by Zerker

About and Dependencies

This is a series of Python scripts to generate maps of Xargon, as well as extract most of the Xargon image resources. These scripts require the Python Imaging Library (PIL) and Python 2.x (tested with Python 2.7.3). PIL unfortunately does not yet support Python 3, which prevents these scripts from being forward-compatible at this time.

Windows users should be able to download Python and PIL from the above links. Most Linux/Unix varients should be able to install Python and PIL via your package manager of choice; Ubuntu users can install the python and python-imaging libraries. OSX users should already have Python, but you may need to compile PIL yourself via the source download at the PIL website.

The scripts also obviously require Xargon, either the shareware or full versions. The full version has been released as Freeware, so it should be easy for you to get what you need.

A full development log for this tool is available on the VGMaps Forums.
This tool was developed without the use of the Xargon source code by manually
decoding the game resources, so some of the techniques may be useful for decoding other games.

Please note the palimage#.png image files are used to obtain
the assorted Xargon colour paletted variations, and are required for
this tool to work.

Usage

There are two scripts included in the package that are intended to be executed directly.
xargonmapper.py is the main map generation script,
xargongraphics.py is a script to extract the contents of a Xargon GRAPHICS resource file. In addition to the three scripts above, several supplimentary scripts can be run to gather debug outputs of one form or another, and are listed under the Other Scripts heading.

The genep1.sh, genep2.sh and genep3.sh are pre-made shell scripts to generate map images for each episode of the game. You can edit these files to change the path to Xargon for alternate configurations. Sorry, no .BAT files are provided for Windows users, but the .sh files and the below instructions should get you going.

xargonmapper.py

Usage: python xargonmapper.py [Graphics File] [Tiles File] [Map File(s)...]

Generates map images for every Xargon map file indicated. Requires the
corresponding GRAPHICS file for the images to use, and the TILES file
for the map tile to graphics resource mapping. All files should be from
the same Episode of Xargon.

xargongraphics.py

Usage: python xargongraphics.py [Graphics File]

Extracts all graphics resources from the specified GRAPHICS file from
Xargon. Output is stored in the Episode#Images and
Episode#OriginalImages folders, where # is the episode number of the
input file. The OriginalImages folder contains the original 256-colour
images without any additional processing, while the Images folder
contains 32-bit RGBA images after colour index 0 has been set
transparent.

Other Scripts
xargonmap.py

Usage: python xargonmap.py [Map File(s)]

Generates the following debug information for each specified Xargon map
file:

[mapname]_flat.png
A false-colour image of the map, where each tile
value is represented as a different colour.
[mapname].csv
A simple CSV containing each tile value
[mapname]_info.csv
Auxiliary information about a map from the footer.
Contains all the unknown header-type information,
as well as the strings.
[mapname]_objs.csv
A full listing of all objects in the specified map,
and all their associated fields.
[mapname]_strings.csv
A listing of all the strings in the map, as well
as the guessed mapping to object reference
values.
xargontiles.py

Usage: python xargontiles.py [Tiles File]

Generates a debug CSV file for the mapping specified in the given
TILES file from Xargon. Output is written to tiles.csv.

xargonfontgen.py

Usage: python xargongraphics.py [Graphics File]

Generates BDF fotn files for the two identified fonts stored in the
Xargon GRAPHICS file. The BDF files can then be converted to .pil files
for use in the main mapper via the pilfont.py script. The BDF files can
also be used in any software that supports BDF.

Download

xargonmapper.tar.gz (194.2 kB)
xargonmapper.zip (212.6 kB)

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Filed under: Maps,Xargon |

Xargon Episode 3 Maps

Posted on December 9th, 2012 @ 10:52 am by Zerker

Finally, here’s Xargon Episode 3. As before, the a tutorial of my process is over at the VGMaps forums.

(more…)

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Filed under: Maps,Xargon |

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