The Joy Of Getting It Wrong

When I was 12 I built a computer.

It wasn't like anything you'd recognize today; it was made largely of transistors, light bulbs and cardboard (actually, quite a lot of cardboard) and it couldn't multiply 95 x 6.

When I displayed this monster at the school open day, one of the transistors "blew" as I was giving a demonstration, probably because I was using train set transformers with twice the required voltage. Smoke billowed from the back. All seemed lost but then, because of the cardboard sandwiching the layers of circuits I could see an ever-growing black spot where it was on fire. Quickly, I cut open the card, soldered in a new transistor, turned the power back on (it wasn't called rebooting then) and I was back in business.

95 x 6 still got 573 though.

I think this was the moment I knew I had to be involved with computers. I loved the idea of bringing something new into the world that wasn't there before. This time it was hardware but later on it became software. Also, you never know when seemingly bad design decisions (the cardboard) can surprisingly reveal something new if you’re prepared to look. On odd occasions like the above, there can even be a little frisson of excitement.

This was better, even than (colour) television!
So that's what this website is about - the joy of making stuff with computers. Let’s start off with some games…

Game Releases

I have released two mobile game titles; the first in July 2013, a casual word game for iOS called Word Association Football. The second game, Spin Off!, is an educational turn-based racing game that was released in May 2014. Both games were coded as an experiment in iOS development using the Lua language and a 2D game framework called Gideros Mobile. I’ve made a number of blog posts regarding this (now open source) framework including the self aggrandising 20 Minutes to Awesome. You may want to check it out; in it I attempt to portray a glimpse of how I believe coding will be practised in future but with tools that are freely available right now.

Get in touch

If you find anything you like here, please share links with others and follow my Twitter feed @thebowerhaus. For any comments or suggestions please drop me an e-mail. I can be reached at

Andy Bower