For a little while last night, I worked on the Linkage program. I’m trying to report errors in mechanisms without marking every single element as broke.

Everything Broke

In the picture above, the inputs are the wrong length or on the wrong place and the mechanism binds. What I intend to have happen in the future is show error marks on only those elements that are actually binding and ignore all of the other elements that can’t be simulated because of it. It’s a little bit tricky because the code to detect the errors cannot run within the code that does the movement of the simulation – the movement code gets called and if it doesn’t work, it’s often because other elements have not been moved into position yet.

I made good progress until I added one test in the code that made all errors disappear. The simulations don’t run on broken mechanisms but they also show nothing wrong. It’s been a while since I worked on the Linkage software so it’s going to take just a little time to figure out. but when I’m done, having a single error that shows “This element cannot be simulated because it is unpredictable (floppy).” will be pretty nice to have in those situations.


I bought a new game (like I do every week or two these days) and I somehow had the motivation last night to set it up and play. Barrage is a game involving water and hydroelectric power. The box art is a little strange because it’s dark and dreary looking with giant towers that look like they have Tesla coils on top. Of the dams that I’ve seen, it’s always been in the daytime and they are always white and clean looking. I’m going to write a separate post with a review of my first 1-on-1 game me-against-me. What I wanted to say in this post is that it was the first night in a while where I didn’t either work for my job or play computer games (or just watch TV). It’s been hard to get motivated to do stuff most evenings with having to social distance, not get haircuts, and with some weird pressures at work that seem to ebb and flow rather randomly. Look for the Barrage review next. And after that, maybe a new Linkage program with better error checking in a week or two.