Nov 23

Friday Post: Happy beginning of the holidays!

Hello All,

Happy beginning of the holidays.  Thanksgiving, Black Friday, Cyber Monday… To all my friends here in the US, I hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving.  I spent some great time with my family.  To all my friends in other countries, I hope you are having a wonderful week 🙂

Raspberry Pi Camera

The Raspberry Pi Foundation today released the first video of the Raspberry Pi Camera.  It looks like it’s going to be an awesome piece of kit.  $25, 1080p video, 5MP pictures.  I cannot wait to order one!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=8N7kgtL0-Ts#!

Wii U

So I was able to purchase a Wii U Deluxe set during Black Friday.  I was not expecting to come home with one.  I was really just driving around looking at the lines.  Toys ‘R Us had opened at 8, it was 8:20, and the line was short, so I decided to go in.  I went to the back of the store, where the electronics section was, and asked if they had any Wii U’s in stock.  I was completely shocked to be given a ticket for a deluxe model.  My fiancee didn’t believe it either.  2 hours later (yay, waiting in line to pay) and I’ve got this thing hooked up.

The first thing it needed to do was download a huge update.  It took about 2 hours to download and install. After that, it was smooth sailing.  The system is awesome.  The gamepad is not just a gimmick, it works amazingly well.  It acts as a universal remote for my TV and my Cable box.  It’s much faster to browse the  cable guide using the Dpad than using the remote itself.  Netflix is better on the Wii U than on the Xbox 360.  To be able to select from the queue on the gamepad, watch it on the TV, or press a button and switch the stream straight to the game pad is so cool.  It’s seamless.

Nintendoland is this consoles version of Wii Sports and Wii Play combined.  You can use the Gamepad to play the games in single player mode, but to use 2 player you need to use Wiimotes.  It’s nice they kept backwards compatibility.  The ninja minigame is a lot of fun.

I also purchased New Super Mario Bros. U.  The game is gorgeous in hi-def.  The multiplayer mode can be a relationship killer though.  Just warning you!  The game plays like all the other NSMB games, but that’s a good thing.  It’s great fun 🙂

Spark Fun Free Shipping

For Cybermonday,  Spark Fun will be doing free shipping!  Happy Hacking!

Megacynics DeskCade

To anyone who hasn’t read the webcomic Megacynics, you should start.  It’s a great comic, Ash and Steve are cool people.  I recently made a DeskCade for them.  This time I tried it out of Acrylic.  It took less time, but cost a bit more in raw material.  I’m really happy with the look of it though.  I have to find a better materials supplier.

Ornaments

I’ve also started making some ornaments on the laser cutter.  I’m thinking of starting an Etsy store for them.  I’m taking requests, so leave a comment!

 

Take care all!

Sep 16

It’s Alive!!!!

Hey All,

Excited to post today.  I was out shopping today at Walmart and I came across a portable battery pack charger on clearance.  I had tried to use a friend’s Duracell Portable charger and while it would power the Pi, it only outputted 500mA so it wasn’t able to power my LCD.  I took a chance and picked this battery pack up and what do you know…it worked!

It’s a Kodak Power Pack KP1000 – 5v 700mA.


I’m now one step closer to my portable gaming station 🙂

-Shea

Sep 01

Friday Post: Arduino Keyboard Joystick

Hey all,

It’s been a long week, and I am really glad I have a long weekend to sleep in.

When the Arduino Leonardo was announced I was really excited to see it have built in USB HID support and could act as a keyboard, mouse, or joystick.  I was even more excited to find out that my year old Teensy++ (Arduino compatible board) was based on the same chipset that the Leonardo now uses, and is able to act as a keyboard as well!

This is a new feature that was introduced in the Arduino 1.0 IDE.  You can now send keyboard presses with this simple line of code: Keyboard.write(‘a’);  If I wanted the Up joystick to be the up arrow on the keyboard, I would just use: Keyboard.write(0x0E); .

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My goal is to use my Neo Geo AES controllers as an input for MAME.  The Neo Geo pads don’t have any control boards built into the unit.  The console itself interprets each pin individually, just like an actual arcade board.  The pad uses a standard midi gameport (DA-15) connector, with each pin representing one button.

My idea is to make a Neo Geo pad to usb adapter using the Teensy++ as go-between.  The Neo Geo pins will be wired up to the digital pins on the Teensy, and the Teensy Arduino sketch will interpret each button press as a keyboard press.

I’m looking forward to working on this project.  I hope everyone has a great weekend and a restful Labor Day.

Aug 17

Friday Post: APC.io

Lo all.  Happy Friday everyone.  This post is going to be kind of short, as I somehow hurt my back and I can’t find any really good position to type in.

This week the Via APC single board computer went on sale at Newegg.  This is kind of a competitor to the Raspberry Pi, except it only runs Android 2.3 right now.  It’s also more locked down than the Pi, and is almost twice the price, at $55 after shipping.  I haven’t had it long enough to do a good review, and yes, I know I sound negative about it, but what I’m really hoping is it will be able to run Unity 3D engine games.  It’s already impressed me with it’s out of the box Youtube app.

Unity is an awesome game and physics engine, and to have an ARM based development board that can output 1080P and has normal PC interfaces could be pretty awesome for Indie Arcade Development.

Heres an unboxing video I took yesterday:

Have a good weekend everyone.  I have a surprise for tomorrow 🙂

-Shea

Aug 16

Made the frontpage!

I was very excited when I found out that on Monday, I made the frontpage of the Raspberry Pi website.  A big shout out to Liz for mentioning me and linking back here.  It made my day!

I really love working on this little computer.  I’m learning so much and using skills that I took for granted.  It’s really pushing some of the boundaries I had setup against myself.  I’m glad to be getting past them.

I’m also thinking of getting one of these and building a RaspberryPi bartop machine:

Aug 10

Friday Post: Descent and photography

Hey all,

Another Friday post here.  A couple of days ago Derhass made a post about getting Descent 1 and 2 ported to the Raspberry Pi with OpenGL ES.  Descent was an amazing game released back in the early 1990’s.  It had true 6 range freedom of movement in a spaceship with 3D modeling.   An amazing game at the time, and one that I could NEVER beat.  I’m in the middle of writing a tutorial on how to patch and compile the game, as well as hosting the binaries themselves.

Today on the Raspberry Pi frontpage is a really cool piece on time lapse photography titled “Painting with light (and a Raspberry Pi)”.  The images are really fantastic:

Time lapse photography

Hope everyone has a good weekend.  I’ll be writing the tutorial up this weekend and should have it posted soon.  Thanks for the view!

-Shea

 

Aug 06

Youtube in my Raspberry Pi? or Is that an LCD in your pocket or are you just happy to see me…

LCD Screen

This weekend has been fun.  I got my 2.0″ LCD Display from Adafruit in!  It’s an amazing little screen.  Bright, Sharp, Colorful.  MAME, Quake, NeoGeo games all look great on it.  A concern I had was how to power the little screen.  It can take 5v – 12v, and the connector is just two bare wires for power.

After testing the screen with a regular power supply, I decided I wanted to see if I could power it via the GPIO power pins on the Raspberry Pi itself.  I was concerned about the amperage it would require, but after connecting it to pins 2 and 6 (5v and GND), and powering on the Pi, they both turned on and I was watching Raspbian bootup.

Youtube

On the Raspberry Pi Forums, gcala contributed a post with a how to on getting Youtube to play from the command line to omxplayer.

Here is a video I took after getting youtube-viewer running on my Pi:

Hope you all enjoy this!

-Shea

Aug 03

Friday Post: Woo! Long week…

Hey all,

This has been an interesting long week.  I’m really happy with the feedback I’ve recieved regarding the Raspbian binaries I released.  I got linked to by Adafruit which is awesome!  I purchased one of thier little 2.0″ LCD TVs.  Still waiting for it to arrive, but I plan to do some fun things with that small screen and the Raspberry Pi.  Bensoutlet.com has on sale the Motorola Lapdock for $59.99 which is a really good price.  Theres a 14 page forum post about how people are using it to make Raspberry Pi laptops.

My next goal is to write up some tips and tricks for the emulators that my commentors have posted, and still working on getting Love2D to work.

Hope everyone has a good weekend!

-Shea

Jul 23

Raspberry Pi “On/Off” Cable

What started out as a funny thought is now reality.  I spent about an hour splicing, soldering, taping, and heat shrinking this fun little cable together.  It’s a microusb to microusb extension cable.  I split it in half, cut off the data wires, soldered the ground cable back together, wrapped electrical tape around it, then soldered each end of the Vcc wires to the power switch.  I taped them up, then tried to heat shrink as much as it as possible.

My frankenstein cable works 🙂

P.S.: All the items needed I got from Sparkfun.com (except the usb extension cable)