engineering fundamentals

gif cred : @spiderholland

||| Part One ||| Part Two ||| Part Three ||| Part Four ||| 


“Oh, what fresh hell is that,” [Y/N] murmured under her breath as Peter drew out the schematics for her project. Raising a brow and tilting her head, she swore that Peter had just invented a new language. Running a hand through her hair, she shook her head. “I’m going to use the bathroom, I’ll be right back.” Picking herself up from Peter’s bedroom floor, she walked out the room.

“So, did you ask her yet?”

Peter yelped, jumping in his bones and then quickly turning towards his bedroom window to find Ned climbing through it. “Ned!? What the heck are you doing?!”

Nonchalantly, Ned struggled to get himself into his friend’s room. Cocking a brow, he motioned towards himself, “A little help would be nice.”

Unsure of what to do, Peter scrambled up from his spot on the floor and rushed to his friends aid. Yanking on him, he spoke low. “Seriously, dude, what are you doing here?!”

Ned snickered, “To make sure you don’t chicken out.”

Scrubbing his hands over his face, Peter groaned. “Why did you climb up the fire escape? Why not, I don’t know, ring the doorbell?”

Again, Ned snickered. “Would you have let me in? Besides, I know you don’t lock your window for quick Spidey emergencies.”

“Sh, sh, sh!” Peter growled. Now, he started to panic. “You need to leave,” pointing towards the cracked bedroom door, “[Y/N] will be back here any minute. What am I suppose to tell her when she finds you here? You can’t lie, you’ve almost told her I’m Spiderman on more than one occasions and I can’t lie to her because she knows I’m hiding something. And I definitely don’t want to ask her out with you standing here.”

Shrugging, Ned pondered. “Dunno.”

Smacking his forehead, “Oh god.”

“Hey, Peter? Can we switch it up and work on history? My brain hurts from all this engineer-” stopping mid sentence, she raised a brow at the sight of Peter and Ned awkwardly standing facing each other. “Ned? When did you get here?”

“Uh, just now!”

“Funny, I didn’t hear anyone knocking.” [Y/N] crossed her arms, her brow still raised. “What’s going on?”

Peter stumbled over his words, desperate to say something that wasn’t stupid. Ned on the other hand watched his friend walk himself in circles with sounds and noises that didn’t even sound human. Rolling his eyes, Ned patted Peter’s back hard.

“What Peter’s tryin’ to say is that he likes you, a lot.  A lot, a lot. Way more then Liz and trust me when I say that because the kid was obsessed with Liz. I mean who isn’t though, you know? She’s hot and really smart,” Ned winced, “not, not that you aren’t hot or smart [Y/N]. I just mean like, Peter was just really-”

“-enough, dude.” Peter muttered, slightly humiliated.

[Y/N] crossed her arms, amused by Peter’s bright red cheeks. Trying to ignore the fact that her own face was flushing, she chuckled. “I see, and what was your purpose to crash our study session?”

Ned smiled brightly, “To make sure he didn’t mess it up!”

Nodding, “And you think he would have been worse at admitting his feelings than what you just said?”

“Uh,” Ned thought, frowning as he went over what he had said. Looking over at Peter who looked a cross between annoyed and embarrassed. “Sorry, bro….”  

Peter hid his face with his hands, “It’s alright, buddy.”

[Y/N] sucked in air and let it all back out as she thought of what to say next. This wasn’t how she pictured her night with Peter going at all. They had spent the last few weeks getting to know each other and helplessly trying to get her to understand basic mechanical engineering fundamentals. “Ned, can you give us a moment?”

Ned bowing his head, sulked out of the room.

Smiling, [Y/N] lightly nudged Peter towards his bed. Sitting down next to each other, she chuckled at the obvious mortified expression. “So,”

“So.” He repeated under his breath.

Feeling her cheeks get red, she looked down at her hands and whispered. “If it helps any, I kind of, sort of, like you too.”

Snapping his head up, “What? You do?”

Nodding, “Yeah.” Giving Peter a sideways glance, she smiled. “I didn’t plan on it but you kind of crept up on me.”

Peter stared at [Y/N] with wide eyes and an open grin. He didn’t know what to say, all he wanted to do was do a happy dance and fist pump the air a few times but he knew that if he did that, it would be even more embarrassing than what Ned had just done.

Clearing his throat, Peter looked down at his hands. “What do we do now?”

Running her hands down her legs and then standing up, she motioned towards the books that laid sprawled on the floor. “Well, we should get back to studying-”

“-Lame!” Ned uttered as he walked into the room with his arms crossed.

[Y/N] gently rolled her eyes as she sat down on the floor. “Wanna let me finish, Ned?”

Annoyingly motioning her hands for her to do so, he huffed. Muttering some words under his breath about them being idiots for studying.

Turning to Peter, she smiled. “As I was saying, we should continue to study and once we both pass, then we can decide what we’re going to do for our first date.”

Peter smiled back, “Uh, yeah, definitely.”

What?!” Ned exclaimed. Running a hand through his hair, he rose a brow. “What is wrong with you guys. You two basically professed your love and you’re going to focus on school?” Shaking his head, he groaned. “No, you two should be practicing kissing not practicing who took over Poland.”

Peter and [Y/N] exchanged looks before saying at the same time, “Get out, Ned.” Both of them laughed as he huffed and puffed out of Peter’s room.

As their laughter quieted down and they started to get back into the groove of where they were before Ned interrupted them, Peter piped up. “I’m not opposed to the kissing thing…”

Looking up from her history textbook, she quirked a brow. “How about this, if you ace your history test, I’ll consider it.”

Peter chuckled, “Oh, I’ll ace it, alright.”


||| Part One ||| Part Two ||| Part Three ||| Part Four ||| 

The Legend of Heroes: Trails of Cold Steel PC Guest Blog #1 from Peter “Durante” Thoman - Performance

When XSEED approached me about contributing to their in-progress The Legend of Heroes: Trails of Cold Steel port, I was immediately excited about the prospect. The Trails in the Sky series features some of my favourite JRPGs on PC, so I looked forward to making this later game in the franchise the best it can be on PC.

Of course, back at that point I didn’t quite anticipate just how involved I would get - I was expecting to do some optimization here and there, maybe amounting to a week or two of full-time work. Reality would turn out different, and in this series of articles I’ll give you some idea of why.

The series is currently planned in 3 parts, leading up to the release of the game on August 2nd:

  • The first part, which you are reading right now, deals with performance aspects, primarily framerates and loading times.
  • The second part will describe the graphical enhancements and options available in the PC version, and how they came about.
  • Finally, the third part will go into some specific features of the PC port that aren’t direct graphical enhancements, and explain some of the challenges in implementing them. 

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It is important to view knowledge as sort of a semantic tree - make sure you understand the fundamental principles, ie the trunk and big branches, before you get into the leaves/details. Otherwise there is nothing for them to hang on to.
—  Elon Musk
Brain to robot: 'Move, please'

Using the power of thought to control a robot that helps to move a paralysed hand: a project from the ETH Rehabilitation Engineering Laboratory could fundamentally change the therapy and daily lives of stroke patients.

One in six people will suffer a stroke in their lifetime. In Switzerland alone, stroke affects 16,000 people every year. Two thirds of those affected suffer from paralysis of the arm. Intensive training can – depending on the extent of damage to the brain – help patients regain a certain degree of control over their arms and hands. This may take the form of classic physio- and occupational therapy, or it may also involve robots.

Roger Gassert, Professor of Rehabilitation Engineering at ETH Zurich, has developed a number of robotic devices that train hand functions and sees this as a good way to support patient therapy. However, both physio- and robot-assisted therapy are usually limited to one or two training sessions a day; and for patients, travelling to and from therapy can also be time consuming.

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An example of Lenz's Law

An example of Lenz’s Law

Video’s like these; apart from being extremely satisfying to watch, are a perfect representation of one of the most fundamental laws to almost all motors and machinery, Lenz’s Law.

Lenz’s law states that: “An induced electromotive force (emf) always gives rise to a current whose magnetic field opposes the original change in magnetic flux”.

Confusing on the surface, but remembering that:

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