Nov 07

Friday Post: DISPMANX_vnc and Homepass

Hey All,

Happy Friday!  I want to send a Very Happy Birthday to my Father.  This weekend is his birthday and I’m very proud to be his son.

I’ve been very busy these past few weeks,  I’ve been contracted to write a second edition of my Raspberry Pi Gaming book, and it’s taking up a lot of my time.  Even though its a subject I’m very familiar with, i’m finding out tons of new things I can do with the Raspberry Pi that have cropped because of my need to record and capture things coming from the Pi’s framebuffer.

I’ve been using a few tools, mainly ones involving DISPMANX to copy the framebuffer into a png file.  It’s called raspi2png and it works really well.  Sometimes its difficult to trigger raspi2png at the right time though.

One thing I have always wanted was a way to ssh / tunnel into the actual console terminal.  Not a new tty device, and not from XWindows, but the one that displays on /fb0.  Enter dispmanx_vnc.  I had never thought of using VNC to tunnel the framebuffer,  but Hanzelpeter has done just that with dispmanx_vnc

There’s definite input lag, and I can only achieve about 15fps, but it is the best way I’ve found to record and capture straight from the framebuffer right now.  I can ssh into my Pi, run the dispmanx_vnc command, then use a VNC viewer (I used tightvnc) to control the main display.  I’m so excited about this 😀

Other news, if anyone has a 3DS, then you know about StreetPass.  It’s a way to virtually meet others who are around you with their 3DS.  There are a bunch of mini games built into the 3DS that require you to meet people using Street Pass in order to advance. There is also Street Pass Relay, which Nintendo created last year.  This allows those who are connected to a Nintendo Zone wifi access point to StreetPass with others from around the world, who are also connected to a Street Pass Relay. So of course this has been reverse engineered, and you can now turn a Raspberry Pi into a “HomePass” StreetPass relay.

Original instructions here .  There is a premade SD card available here, but I have yet to try it out.

Have a good weekend all!

-Shea

Aug 01

Friday Post: Book Review

Hey All,

So, this week K and I went on a last minute cruise to relax and get energized for the upcoming school year.  It was a much needed vacation.

During the cruise I ended up reading (and eating) a lot.  Here are some of the things I read which I thought were great:

Seconds

Seconds by Bryan Lee O’Malley, who is probably best known for the Scott Pilgrim series, is a standalone graphic novel about a girl, her restaurant, and how life happens.  Don’t go into it thinking it’s going to be another Scott Pilgrim with video game and pop references.  It’s about life, and dealing with all the things that come with it, and how we all sometimes wish for a second chance at events.  I read the entire thing in one sitting.  I could not put it down.  I highly recommend it.

Mega Man Gigamix

I bought this on a whim when I was going to a conference and ended up not having time to read it.  I finally opened it up and even though it says Vol. 1, it’s actually a sequel to Mega Man Megamix.  With that being said, Gigamix works on it’s own, and has two fun stories.

Wizzywig

Wizzywig is the story of Kevin “Boingthump” Phenicle Jr. as he grows up during the early days of the computer revolution, where his curiosity runs faster than the law can keep up.  The story is a very loose adaptation of what happened to Kevin Mitnick.  At times it can be a little pushy on it’s message of corruption and redemption, and the art style can be a bit too over the top sometimes, but all in all, it works.

Super Scratch Programming Adventure

I reviewed this last year, but I decided to reread it as I have been wanting to work more with Scratch.  It’s a graphic novel that teaches you how to program by following the adventures of Scratchy the cat and his friends.  It’s a little hokey, but it does its job well, and by the end, you will have learned how to make a bunch of different types of games.  The version I have is for 1.4, but they have recently updated it to cover version 2.0.  There are also a bunch of demos available at http://scratch.mit.edu

Like I said, it has been a relaxing week, and I’m ready to get back to my projects!

Have a great weekend everyone!

-Shea

Mar 14

Friday Post: Book Stats

Hey All,

Happy Friday!  I got an email this morning from Packt giving me the stats for my book sales from October to December of 2013.  I’m happy to report that I have sold over 200 copies.  Thank you all so much!

This weekend I will be doing a last minute presentation of PiMAME with FamiLAB at the Orlando Science Center.  I will then be preparing for PyCon in Montreal, where I will be doing a poster session on how PiMAME was built in Python.  I will also be attending Instructurecon in Utah and speaking about LTIs and how we program and implement them at UCF.   It’s going to be a fun two months of traveling 🙂

I have gotten some great feedback on PiMAME 0.8, and I am going to be working on some fixes this weekend (these are my two low hanging fruit goals to complete):

  • Tankstick / Numpad support
  • Configurable Buttons through config.yaml

Have a good weekend all!

Jan 17

Friday Post: January

Hey All,

It is the middle of January and it already feels like a year full of events has occurred.  I turned 30.  It’s a weird feeling not being in my twenties anymore.  It will take some getting used too.  I spent my birthday with good friends.

My new computer has been built and is running beautifully.  Had to return the old PSU because one of the fan blades cracked, which was causing it to overheat.  Picked up a Corsair modular PSU and it’s been running 24×7 with no issues.

2014-01-12

PiMAME was featured in the January / February issue of Raspberry Pi Geek.  It was given a 2 page spread, as well as reviews of other gaming environments for the Pi.

RPG_UK_02-2013

 

PyCon 2014

I was notified that I was chosen to give a poster session at this years Python programming conference, PyCon, in Montreal.  I am very excited to be showing off the work I have done with Python and the Raspberry Pi.  It’s going to be April 9th through the 11th.  The past two conferences have been amazing, and I am excited to be able to have more of a role this year. More information is available at us.pycon.org

Adafruit

Back in 2012 I hacked together a crude but effective USB power cord with a switch.  Adafruit is now selling a professionally manufactured cable that does the same thing for only $2.95.

Mine:Photo Jul 22, 4 13 45 PM

Adafruits:1620_MED

 

I’m so glad this cable has finally been made.  It was a pain to hand make them!

Have a great weekend all!  PiMAME news next weekend 😀

 

-Shea

 

Dec 13

Friday Post: Speechless

Hey All,

Happy Friday!!  This week marks the end of the semester.  Finished my finals and got an A!  Pushed a lot of work code to our production servers, and waiting for them to turned on on Sunday.  Months of hard work finally coming online.  It’s been an exciting week.  Been playing around with joysticks and working on some issues.

I was also featured on the front page of the Raspberry Pi official site!

Cool things on the way! Have a great weekend.

Oct 11

Friday Post: What’s free time?

Hey All,

Happy Friday!

This week just flew by.  It feels like it’s still Wednesday.  Maker Faire Orlando has come and gone, and I have to say, it was incredible.  I was manning my booth the entire time which always had a crowd but I was able to catch a 10 minute break to eat something and look around.  There were so many cool displays, and so many interested people who were interested.  By the end of the day my throat was sore and I had lost my voice.  It was totally worth it.

I will say this, the X-Arcade Tank Stick is built like a tank.  It got hit by hundreds of kids during the Maker Faire and it stood up to the challenge.  I’m going to take it apart because I think the right joystick got a little banged up but it was still working.

Python in 24 Hours

Someone who I am very honored to call a friend has just released her new book!  Katie Cunningham has just had her book, “Sam’s Teach Yourself Python in 24 Hours“, published.  I got mine in the mail today so I haven’t gotten a chance to go through it yet, but I have a feeling it will be great.  Congratulations Katie!

Pokemon X and Y

Pokemon X and Y come out tomorrow.  I love Pokemon, but I haven’t played one of the core series since Red and Blue (I know!).  Most of my office is picking the new one up, so I figured it’s time to once again catch ’em all!  Between work, grad school, and PiMAME, where I am going to find the time to play…

PiMAME

I upgrade PiMAME to use the newest version of Raspbian, and recompiled the kernel to have the Xin-Mo module fixes in place.  I wanted to hold off on the release until I had more to add, but I think i’m going to do an image only release for this, since you can’t really just do a kernel upgrade with an install script.  It will also include the PiMAME intro video.

Once that is released I am going to be working on totally revamping the main menu system and web interface.  I have some cool things coming down the pipeline!

Have a great weekend!

-Shea

Sep 27

Friday Post: Raspberry Pi Gaming Published!

Hey All,

I have awesome news! My book, “Raspberry Pi Gaming” has been published this week. The eBook version is currently available on Amazon.com, and the hardcopy should be available next week.

3231OS_mockupcover_instant-how to (2)

 

Raspberry Pi Gaming at Packt Publishing

What you will learn from this book

  • Install a Raspberry Pi operating system
  • Set up PiMAME
  • Install RetroPie
  • Emulate PlayStation, SuperNES, MAME, and Atari 2600 games
  • Create your own Minecraft world and extend it with the API
  • Play in Open Arena matches with your friends
  • Go on an adventure with Cave Story
  • Fix common issues and troubleshoot your device
  • Keep your Raspberry Pi up-to-date

I hope you all enjoy.  I’m very excited and proud of this project!

-Shea Silverman

Sep 20

Friday Post: Editing

Hello All,

This has been a fun week.  Trying to fight of the germs going around now that everyone is settled into classes.  This is usually when the colds start going around.  A few coworkers are already coughing.  I may need to put up a fort around my desk. On the plus side I am seeing Yellowcard this weekend!!!

The PyCon call for proposals deadline passed.  I put in 2 talks and a poster session.  I am volunteering this year as part of the program committee, and I am really excited about going.  I hope one of my proposals makes it.

I caught all of the Pokemon NFC figures.  Yeah, I have a problem.  The Gamestop near me allowed me to bring in my Wii U and scan the Pokeballs before buying them so I could pick out the ones I needed to complete my collection.  Some Gamestops really are awesome.

In exciting news,  I saw the final pdf of my book, and it is being sent to the printer now!!!  In a few days I’ll have the Amazon link to post.

The laser cutter at FamiLAB bit the dust.  The controller board’s heatsink fell off causing a short and frying the board.  I had some prototypes I wanted to cut so I ended up uploading my SVGs to Ponoko.com and getting them cut there.  They quoted me $18 to print out a prototype DeskCade, which isn’t bad considering the amount of space I had left free on the material.  I could probably have printed two for the same price if I spent more time rearranging the parts.  On the plus side, they said it would take 10 days for cutting and 5 days for shipping.  I ordered it on Thursday and it was shipping by Wednesday, so I’m really happy about that.

I can’t wait to see the quality of the parts!

PiMAME update should be soon.  This will be include a custom kernel for the Xin-Mo controller.

That’s it for now.  Have a great weekend!

Sep 13

Friday Post: Raspberry Pi Happenings

Hey All,

Happy Friday!  Long week.  This week at work I learned how to deploy a Django app to an old Solaris server (Read: spent way too much time reading the error log because of incompatible SPARC modules).  It was good though, because now I know of some really good debugging methods and have more Apache experience.

Xin-Mo Dual Controller and PiMAME

One of the louder feature requests for PiMAME is getting the Xin-Mo Arcade Encoder modules working.  A link to a guide on how to patch the kernel and making a new module for the Xin-Mo was posted to the PiMAME forums.  My Pi has spent the last night compiling the new kernel, and it seems to have worked.  I will be posting a beta version of PiMAME for users to test with this new kernel and that should get these Xin-Mo encoders working right!

Raspberry Pi Hub

Pimoroni is introducing a new powered hub for the Raspberry Pi.  They are a good company, and do a LOT for the Raspberry Pi foundation, so when these get a US release, I’ll be picking one up.

Raspberry Pi Geek Magazine

A few posts ago I mentioned that Linux New Media had published a Raspberry Pi Handbook and included a little blurb about PiMAME (yay!).  They just announced that they are publishing a bimonthly magazine dedicated solely to the Raspberry Pi.  The name could use some work, but I’m going to give it a chance.  It’s called the Raspberry Pi Geek.  Use code RPGOTHR10 to get 10% off.

rpg_us_01-2013_1

I don’t have a problem, I can stop collecting these any time…

photo (10)

Have a good weekend all!

-Shea

 

Aug 30

Friday Post: My book, Raspberry Pi Gaming, now available for pre-order!!

Hey All,

Raspberry Pi Gaming

So I have some amazing news!  For a while now I have been working with Packt Publishing and writing my book, “Instant Raspberry Pi Gaming.”  Today the book is available to pre-order on Packt’s website.  The preorder is currently for the e-book version, but the hard copy will be available on Amazon very soon.

3231OS_mockupcover_instant-how to

I am so excited for this book!  I hope many of you enjoy it.

NaCade

In other news, shutz from the PiMAME forums built this awesome Raspberry Pi arcade machine, The NaCade:

FXZXNI8HKPX6H1B.LARGE

http://www.instructables.com/id/NaCade-The-Naked-Raspberry-Pi-Arcade-Machine/?ALLSTEPS

-Shea