For the first time in a long time I feel rested. I did a sleep study to find out why I was so fatigued all the time even though I was getting around 8 hours of sleep. ( I’m not counting that my other waking hours have been spent on the Kickstarter, PiPlay, and Work with no breaks 😉 )
The study people hooked me up to a machine that essentially blows air at you, and holy crap, it helped me sleep through the night like a log. I was up at 5am, didn’t need any caffeinated drinks in the morning (but force of habit…) and I’ve been going strong all day. If I feel this good and energized after one night, I’m excited to see what will happen after a few weeks!
PiPlay 0.8 Beta 4 has so far been really good. Only a few relatively minor bugs to fix. I am going to push the update this weekend and a new image as well. Be on the lookout for that.
Raspberry Pi Model B+
Last Monday the Raspberry Pi Foundation released the latest Pi board, the Model B+. While the core hardware stays the same, the board includes 4 USB Ports, more GPIO pins, improved board layout, and a switch from SD Cards to Micro SD cards. My board came in today, so I took some pictures of it.
So, I’ve been looking at more joysticks, and I want to tell you about an experience I had with a cheap $15 Chinese joystick I imported. I buy a lot of items from China. This time it was a disaster. I believe I ended up inadvertently getting a return rather than new stock, so I’m waiting for the vendor to explain the issue before I give up on them entirely (the other products I purchased were in good working order).
The joystick i purchased is supposed to be a Welcom WE-6200. There are a lot of joysticks that look like this one, just browsing aliexpress will bring up dozens of similar products.
The one I received had:
solder on the underside,
a crack in the case that was “covered up” with sharpie
buttons that didn’t fit well.
mushy and sticking buttons
directly soldered connections rather than quick disconnects.
Other than that, it does work.
PiPlay is coming along. I’m finishing up the joystick config system. I’ve add mednafen to the list of emulators. I’ve done some code modifications to it to enable it to work on console with DISPMANX.
Sorry for the very late post, I’ve had some family visiting from out of town and spent the weekend catching up.
For PiPlay, I’ve been spending some time getting into the nitty gritty of some of the emulators. PiFBA happens to have a config file hardcoded in it’s source code. Because I use PiFBA for a few different systems, I needed to have individual configs.
My patched version of PiFBA is available here as source code: https://github.com/ssilverm/pifba-config-patch
Looking back, it wasn’t that difficult to patch, but my C++ is rusty, and I needed some friends help to get it running.
I’ve also been playing with SDL and DISPMANX. One of my favorite emulators is Mednafen, but it has a problem running on the console. If you use DISPMANX and try to run Mednafen, you get an SDL error (due to not needing SDL_GetVideoInfo()). I’m recompiling Mednafen right now which replaces the SDL_GetVideoInfo() call with generic video heights. DISPMANX should scale correctly anyway, so I will see how it looks.
On that note, I also had to deal with my favorite compiling issue on the Raspberry Pi: hq4x and running out of memory.
This is why I love the Raspberry Pi (and Linux). I learn something new everyday. To add or subtract swap space, type:
Change 100 to the desired amount of swap. I used 300 for hq4x
The swap space will be created, and you can now compile without crashing (usually).
Wooo it’s Friday! Next week I’m speaking at UCF’s Information Fluency conference. I’m very excited. Presenting an application I wrote that helps with Online Learning.
Time to get to work on PiMAME. Making great progress. Can’t wait to release it 😀 One of the issues I ran into was that I didn’t realize git sub-modules don’t update to the latest code, they stay at the commit they were committed in. Anyone who has been using the installer for 0.8 has been running on older code, which explains why the bug fixes weren’t being seen. It was a silly mistake on my part and will be fixed soon.
Misumi is offering a free $150 credit for new customers placing an order via credit card. In the reddit thread advertising this promotion, a few people have put together a build list with part numbers for making your own 3D Printer. This will greatly decrease the price of building your own RepRap. I’m going to try and build a Smartrap Mini.
I got an email today about a new hardware company that’s making items for the Raspberry Pi. They are called UUGear, and they are making some pretty good looking sensors and add-ons. I haven’t yet had a chance to test their products, but the online store should be opening soon.
I was playing the Titanfall beta over the weekend, and I can’t remember ever being this excited over a game. Mechs, freerunning, jet packs! It’s like my inner 12 year old was asked to make a video game and he delivered. Sorry for the terrible quality video. Here is a couple minutes of my Titanfall gameplay:
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.
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
I have one week until the Fall semester starts at UCF. Everyone in our department is rushing to make sure we are all ready, everything is updated, and everybody’s happy. I’m excited. I think this semester is going to be wonderful.
Over the week I bought a Leap Motion device. Ever since I saw the preview of it, I was awe struck. This device has the ability to make a huge paradigm shift in the way we provide input and controls to our computer systems. It makes me even sadder to say that I returned it. I had such high hopes for the device, but, there were just too many things wrong on the software side.
The hardware is top notch. It just works. The software was crummy at best. It requires a lot of CPU power to run. I tried it on a Core 2 Duo, and the input lag was horrible. On a Core i5 it was fine, but I shouldn’t require that much CPU power just for an input device. The app store was also disappointing. There were a lot of apps available, but the vast majority cost money. The third party free mouse driver software wasn’t top notch. It made using the computer a chore. In reality, the software made it feel like a poor man’s kinect. 🙁 I am willing to give it a second chance, because the hardware is top notch. They just need the dev team to put some polish on the UX.
Raspberry Pi Pip-Boy
This is really cool. Panda from Hardware Libre posted this in the comments and on the PiMAME forums. This is a homemade Raspberry Pi Pip Boy.
Raspberry Pi Camera NoIR
So, last week at FamiLAB, Gordon Hollingworth, Director of Software at the Raspberry Pi Foundation, paid us a visit and talked to us about hardware, software, and a cool version of the Raspberry Pi camera that is being released.
It’s called the Pi NoIR, and it’s the Camera Board without the IR filter. Without the IR filter, you are able to capture part of the infrared spectrum, which you can test out by pointing your TV remote to the camera and pressing a button. What is invisible to your eye will show up on the camera sensor, and on your screen. A flashing beam of light coming from the remote control. There is a whole genre of IR photography, and this will allow you to get started in it.
That’s all for this week, I hope you all have a good weekend!