Oct 24

Friday Post: PiPlay 0.8 Beta 7

Hey All,

Sorry about the lack of posts last week, dealing with family stuff.

I am excited to formally announce the release of PiPlay 0.8 Beta 7!

  • 0.8.0 Beta 7
    • Added changelog popup
    • Themes now support background music (uncompressed preferred)
    • Fixed problems with semi-transparent labels
    • 2 player controller config support added
    • Controller Config list sorted
    • Now using gunicorn for web frontend.

Get it now by by downloading the image or updating your current version with the PiPlay updater.

Have a great weekend!

-Shea

Oct 10

Friday Post: Custom Carts

Hey All,

Happy Friday!  This week I got in two cartridges that I am very to share with you all.  The first one is a custom SNES cart called StarFox Legacy!

StarFox Legacy contains three games:

  • The original StarFox
  • The StarFox competition game (a modified version that has a timer set and you have to rack up the most points before it runs out)
  • The unreleased StarFox 2.

To change games, you hold the reset switch down for 3 seconds.  It’s a really cart, and I’m glad I was able to acquire it.

The second cart is made for the Sega Genesis, and is a homebrew game some of you may know called FIX IT FELIX JR!!!  Yes, someone programmed a recreation of the game from the movie Wreck It Ralph!  It’s really well done, the label looks awesome, and I love it.

PiPlay 0.8 Beta 7 is coming!

Nothing too groundbreaking in this one.  Bug fixes for the controller setup, a popup window on first startup to give you some hints as well as a change log popup.  Some bug fixes, a little bit of speed improvements, background sounds.  I’m also switching out the python flask built in webserver for gunicorn.  It causes great speed improvements, uses less RAM and CPU.  When I switched to it, I noticed a lot of SNES games stopped stuttering.

I’ll be uploading the image this weekend and the updater should be available shortly.

-Shea

 

Oct 04

Friday Post: EDUCAUSE

Hey All,

This week I was at the EDUCAUSE educational conference which took place locally in Orlando.  I was speaking on my work with the LTI standard and the applications I have created for UCF.  My first talk was amazing.  It went as perfect as a presentation could go.  My second talk though….it was my first time doing a moderated panel session.  It was awesome.  I loved it….until the fire alarm went off mid sentence and the entire convention center started to evacuate!

I also got some coverage on the IMS Global blog (they are the ones who created the LTI standard): http://www.imsglobal.org/blog/?p=372

All in all, its been a great week, but I haven’t been this exhausted since PyCon.

On the PiPlay side, we are getting some bug reports in, and working on squashing a bunch of them.  The updater has been re-factored to now take into account version numbers, so you shouldn’t have to wait as long for updates.

The latest version of Raspbian with the new Epiphany browser is amazing.  It makes using the web on a Pi a decent experience, and not a chore like before.

You should try it out.

Have a good weekend all!

-Shea

 

Sep 27

Friday Post: PiPlay 0.8 Beta 6

Hey All,

If you’ve powered on your PiPlay today, you will notice an update is available!

Updates:

  • modified romlist layout to include area for game descriptions
  • added 2 player controller config support
  • added “button combo” support for PiPlay Menu actions
  • optimization, screen updates only happen on controlled events
  • removed horizontal romlist option in theme support
  • Wifi Config built in

The new disk image has been updated to the latest version of Raspbian which included Minecraft and the new Epiphany web browser.  Its a really great browser!

PCDuino

I got in a PCDuino3 to try and port PiPlay to it.  So far the hardware seems impressive, but the lack of community and documentation is depressing.  I need to keep plugging at it, because I think there is huge potential for a dual core chip with arduino headers.  I’ll keep you all posted.

IMG_4302 IMG_4303 IMG_4304

Have a good weekend all!

-Shea

Sep 19

Friday Post: Maker Faire and Kano Unboxing!

Hey All,

What a week.  Maker Faire was amazing but exhausting!  So many kids playing Street Fighter 2, and so many adults loving the nostalgia.  It was a great time.  Tons of 3D printers, awesome products, and great people all around.  I hope you enjoy the gallery!

I also received my Kano computing kit today.  I haven’t had the chance to boot it up, but I have made a short unboxing video.  The packaging is spectacular, and the custom keyboard is great to hold and use (tested it on my desktop).

 

The next release of PiPlay is coming together, I hope to release it this weekend.

Small list of changes:

  • modified romlist layout to include area for game descriptions
  • added 2 player controller config support
  • added “button combo” support for PiPlay Menu actions
  • optimization, screen updates only happen on controlled events
  • removed horizontal romlist option in theme support
  • Loading time speed up
  • Wifi Configuration Tool

Have a great weekend all!

-Shea

Sep 12

Friday Post: Tiny Vacation, Maker Faire Orlando, PiPlay

Hey All,

I apologize for not posting last week, I just needed to take a small break.  Brain has been pretty fried.

This weekend is the Orlando Maker Faire.  This year marks the beginning of us being a full fledged Maker Faire, rather than just a Mini Maker Faire.  It’s kinda cool.  I will be showing off PiPlay and Pimoroni’s Picade inside of FamiLAB’s booth.  The Maker Faire is at the Orlando Science Center.  If anyone is in the Central Florida region, you should stop by!

The next update of PiPlay is coming along nicely.  2 player control setup is in, a wireless config utility has been added, the rom listing menu has been heavily optimized for much faster scrolling, and some other general bug fixes.  I’m hoping to release this over the weekend after Maker Faire.

Have a good weekend all!

-Shea

Aug 29

Friday Post: Updates, Winner, and shipping things

Hey All,

Happy Friday!  To my fellow Americans, have a wonderful labor day weekend and enjoy the 3 day weekend.  I should be relaxing! My team launched a very cool new program at the university after a year in development, and it’s being used and we are getting results.  It’s so cool!  I’m not relaxing though, because I’m up to my ears in Kickstarter rewards that need to be shipped.

I’m dealing with the USPS right now because a bunch of the SD cards I sent out never arrived with their envelope.  Shipping things really needs to be brought into the 21st century. I feel like I need a degree in advanced logistics just to figure out the zone and rate charts.  I feel like I did something wrong by putting an envelope in the mailbox.  Oh well,  I hope I’m stressing out over nothing.

On a brighter note,  updates to PiPlay are happening :)  Connor made a neat little WiFI setup tool, and I’m working on some small bug fixes at the moment.

Congratulations to R. B. for winning the joystick contest!  I have sent you an email and I hope you send me your address soon so I can send it out.

Have a good weekend all!

-Shea

Aug 22

Friday Post: Joystick Contest

Hey All,

This week has been rough.  Fall semester startup is always crazy, but this one was just over the top.  Pushed a brand new application to production, and promptly discovered a slew of bugs that hadn’t cropped up during testing.  So many little fires being put out.  As exhausting as it is, it’s such a fun environment, I don’t even care.  I can’t wait to push the second release next week and go through this all over again!

During the PiPlay Kickstarter, I ended up buying a bunch of different joysticks to test.  I’m going to hold a contest.  All you have to do is enter your name and email, and I will randomly select a name and the winner gets a free joystick shipped to them.  I will be accepting entries until next Friday!

I have a few different styles like this:

09e8a7da6a159c5e6515d204c5430276_large

 

On another note,  a LOT of emails from my blog were going to my spam folder (but not all of them).  I’m going through the folder and trying to respond, so I’m sorry if I didn’t get back to you.

Have a great weekend!

-Shea

Aug 15

Friday Post: Kickstarter shipments

Hey All,

As I’m sure you’re aware, I’ve been spending most of my time working on the PiPlay Kickstarter.  This has involved ordering samples, getting materials, designing hardware, and all sorts of fun things that goes along with PiPlay the application.

I’m really thankful to all the backers (and other supporters) who were able to make this a reality.

0cfaeeacd077645e6addbb6d231575f8_large 036b4257a8b09d0660981b47eef8806c_large350 SD Cards have been made with the PiPlay software, and above that is my living room filled with boxes of joysticks.

I’m going to have fun this weekend sending out shipments.

Now it’s time to work on the next release.

Have a good weekend all!

-Shea

 

Aug 08

Friday Post: PiPlay 0.8 Beta 5

Hey All,

Happy Friday.  One more week of break before the Fall semester starts up.  It’s going to be a busy month!

I’m happy to announce that PiPlay 0.8 Beta 5 is being released.  It should be available on SourceForge in a few hours.

Fixes / Improvements:

  • Smoother animations and framerate
  • More optimizations
  • Memory leak fix
  • Control Pad setup is now under the popup menu (press tab or the second button on your joystick)
  • This is the master image for the PiPLAY Kickstarter

Work is already being done on the next release, which will include 2 player controller setup support, thanks to Mark.

Have a good weekend everyone!

-Shea