Apr 17

Friday Post: PyCon 2015!

Hey All,

PyCon 2015 is over.  It was an amazing time in Montreal.  My coworker and I presented ProctorHub, the homegrown proctoring solution that we created for our university.

We met a lot of fellow educators, tons of fellow pythonistas, and learned a ton!

A PiPlay kit was also auctioned off during the PyLadies auction, where it brought in $200!

All of the talks are up on YouTube:

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCgxzjK6GuOHVKR_08TT4hJQ

I’ve also picked up two of these nrf24l01+ Transceivers.

11038420_10104069360076632_3430831120835634129_o

I have a neat project I’m working on involving a Raspberry Pi and an Arduino.  Hopefully I’ll have the prototype to show next week :D

Have a good weekend!

Apr 03

Friday Post: PyCon 2015, also Make!

Hey All,

So next week I will be in Montreal for the annual Python Software Foundation conference: PyCon.  My coworker and I will be presenting a project we developed at UCF that uses Django, AWS, and a bunch of other tools that allow us to help 60,000 students learn in a better environment.

Next Friday’s post will probably be late, depending on what the internet connection is like up there.

Also, Make featured PiPlay in their latest video!

Have a good weekend everyone!

-Shea

Mar 27

Friday Post: PiPlay 0.8 Beta 9 Released!

Happy Friday Everyone!

 

I am proud to present the very latest version of PiPlay!  PiPlay 0.8 Beta 9!  I feel like this is the best release yet!

While this was mostly a bug fix and compatibility update, we do have one awesome new features implemented.  When you upload, drag and drop, ftp, or somehow copy a game file to the roms folder, our file watcher will pick that up, and automatically update the PiPlay Menu.  No more running the Rom Scraper, or getting popups about unscraped files.

Update now via the PiPlay Menu, or download the latest image!

 Changelog
  • Numerous bug fixes!
  • Updated to latest Raspbian
  • SQLite Backend
  • Webserver now a background process via supervisor
  • File Watcher automatically scans for game files and updates the PiPLAY menu
  • Raspberry Pi 2 comparability
  • Controller config updated
  • Moved more repos to GitHub
  • Master games list updated
  • Toggle menu item visibility (in beta mode still)

Have a good weekend everyone!

Mar 22

Very Late Friday Post: 2 Years!

Hey All,

Sorry for the very late post this week.  Trying to figure out why I’m having such connectivity issues to my web host.  Replaced the router.  Still happens.  Modem is fine.  It’s not my host.  But my ISP can’t see it as being down since it comes up 5 minutes later.  I can VPN into work and access my host from there.  So weird.

Anyways,

Tomorrow marks my 2nd Wedding Anniversary.  It feels like it’s been a day and a half :) K, I love you.  Thank you for putting up with me.

PiPlay

0.8 Beta 9 is coming along.  It should be released in a day or so.  This is the best version yet, and I’m so sorry for the Beta 8 release.  Trying to get everything working on both the Pi and Pi2 has been a challenge.  But I think this version will be great.  We have upgraded to the latest Raspbian image, moved more emulators into GitHub / Git and now can update most of PiPlay with a Git Update.  Mark has created an awesome file watching script which automatically updates the frontend when a new file has been uploaded.  No more running the scraper, it all happens in the background.

Mario Party 10

Mario Party 10 came out this week.  I had a chance to play it with a group, and, well, it feels like Mario Party Lite.  The game is gorgeous, the levels are beautiful, but there are only three game modes.  Amiibo Party, Bowser Party, and “Mario Party” which isn’t like previous games.  Everyone works together to get to the end in a vehicle, basically pooling dice rolls.  The classic game has been shortened and moved to Amiibo Party.  It feels like a lot of content is missing.  The load times are also really long.  I really wanted to love this game, but I feel like its a demo.  I’m hoping patches and some free DLC fix that.

SmartiPi

I backed the SmartiPi kickstarter a short while ago, and received my case the other day.  I think this is one of the best designed cases out there.  It easily wraps around the whole Pi, and has LEGO compatible pegs on the case.

IMG_4913

 

Have a great week(end)!

-Shea

Mar 14

Late Friday Post: Pi Day!

Hey All!

Happy Pi Day!!!  Sorry about the late posting.  My internet has been acting up for the past two days.  Yay.

The past few days have been the Orlando FIRST Regional Robotics Competition hosted at UCF.  I am a FIRST Alumni from 2002, a member of Team 108 SigmaC@Ts.  It was so awesome to see the competition again after all these years.

PiPlay is coming along.  Fixed the bugs with the joysticks.  Working on improving more things.

Thanks!

-Shea

 

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Mar 06

Friday Post: Bugs!

Hey All,

First of all, yes, I’m aware of a really dumb bug in PiPlay 8 Beta 8.  I’m going to release an update this weekend that should fix it.  I don’t know how I let a release slide with a joystick bug, but I did, and I’m sorry.

I changed my Raspberry Pi battle station setup so that hopefully testing will be a bit easier.

IMG_4853[1]

On another note, this week at work has been amazing.  One my applications was selected as a winner in an educational app challenge.  My team won 3rd place.  I am very proud!  My team was also selected to present at the New Media Consortium on our work with Learning Tools.  :D

Have a good weekend all.  I look forward to releasing the bug fix update.

-Shea

 

Feb 27

Friday Post: DIY Joystick

Hey All!

Happy Friday!  This week I took video of myself building a small Arcade Joystick for the Raspberry Pi.  I hope you all enjoy.  Let me know if you have any questions!

MagPi

The latest issue of the MagPi is out, and in this issue, not only have they announced that they are officially part of the Foundation, but they have also reviewed PiPlay, RetroPie, and Raspicade!

PiPlay received the “Best Features” comment, while RetroPie and Raspicade received “Best of the Bunch” and “Best for Newbies” respectively.

mp1 mp2

It’s a real honor to be mentioned in the MagPi :)

Have a good weekend all!

-Shea

Feb 25

Raspberry Pi Gaming Second Edition Published!

Hey All,

I am VERY excited to post about this.  I have been working on this book for the better part of a year, it has truly been a blood sweat and tears kinda project.  I felt burnt out at times, frustrated, ecstatic, relieved, rewarded, and angry all during the writing of this book.  But it’s done and I couldn’t be happier.

I am pleased to announce that my book, Raspberry Pi Gaming Second Edition has been published and is now available to order from Amazon.

3673_Raspberry Pi Gaming Second Edition_cov_0 (1)

Whereas the last book was mostly a cookbook style in writing, this book teaches how to:

  • Program games utilizing the Scratch language
  • Install multiple operating systems
  • Set up your Raspberry Pi computer
  • Install and configure game system emulators
  • Control your Minecraft world with the Python programming language
  • Explore different kinds of joysticks, controllers, game pads, and other input devices
  • Install applications in Linux

Thanks again to everyone who has helped me, supported me, and given me the opportunity to make this a reality.  You all rock.  Thank you readers and PiPlay community members :)

-Shea

Feb 20

Friday Post: PiPlay 8 Beta 8!

It’s now available on SourceForge!

Hey All,

PiPlay 8 Beta 8 is here!  Mark has put a huge amount of time into the new frontend code.   We have moved form YAML files to a SQLite database.  Many items have been sped up.  The web frontend now has a database administration section.

This is a huge update.  Probably the best I think we put out… but because of the Pi2, we have had to do a lot of extra testing, and may have missed some stuff.  Please please please let us know if something isn’t working, or if something slipped through the cracks.  I want this to be the best release ever!

This new image will work on the Pi2 and B, B+, A, and A+.  I have spent the past week pulling out hair trying to get everything to work.  I have had to remove Stella, the Atari 2600 emulator for the moment.  When I can get it working properly on the new kernel, I will add it back in.

The image is currently being uploaded to SourceForge, so in a few hours it should be available.

Thanks for your patience, and thanks to all the testers.  If you find any bugs (I’m sure there are some) let us know in the PiPlay forums.

Feb 13

Friday Post: Termboy

Hey All,

Happy Friday!

So I have had my Pi2 for a week, and I gotta say, it’s a great piece of kit.  PiPlay is coming along nicely.  Having some hiccups on the Pi2 that I need to fix before I do a full release.

TermBoy

With that being said, I saw on Hacker News today a port of a gameboy emulator to the Go language, that also only utilizes the console.  It’s called Termboy, and while it doesn’t run that fast on the Raspberry Pi, it’s still a neat little tech demo.

We first download the proper console font and install it:

wget http://kbd-project.org/download/kbd-2.0.2.tar.xz
tar xf kbd-2.0.2.tar.xz
sudo cp kbd-2.0.2/data/consolefonts/default8x16.psfu /usr/share/consolefonts/

Now we download the latest GoLang version (The apt-get version of Go is 2 years old)
[code]
wget https://storage.googleapis.com/golang/go1.4.1.src.tar.gz
tar xf go1.4.1.src.tar.gz

Set the path for where we want our Go packages to be downloaded

mkdir godownload
export GOPATH=/home/pi/go/godownload/

Build Go

cd go/src/
./make.bash

One that has completed, it’s time to download Termboy and build it.

cd ../bin/
./go get github.com/dobyrch/termboy-go

Now goto the bin folder where our newly built termboy executable resides, and run it like so:

cd ../godownload/bin/
./termboy-go /path/to/game.rom

More PiPlay news soon.  Promise!

-Shea