Nov 29

Friday Post: Joystick debugging

Hey All,

This has been a fun week.  K and I have finished painting the house, we’ve been slowly bringing things in.  All the fun joys of moving to a new place 🙂

This week I’ve been making progress with Joystick support in PiMAME.  I’m hoping for 0.8 to have full joystick support implemented and an easy to use system to configure it.

Remember Cyber Monday deals this coming monday!  SparkFun and Adafruit are having some great sales.

-Shea

Nov 22

Friday Post: IAAPA 2013, Homeownership, and Happenings

Hey All!

Happy Friday!  K and I are officially homeowners!!!  WOOOO!!!  This long stressful process took way too much time, and too much energy.  I don’t believe how wiped I am just from signing paperwork for a couple hours.  This is a huge weight off my shoulders, and a big time sink now gone.

1458661_10151742643346314_335252549_n

 

IAAPA 2013

For the past few years I have been attending IAAPA, which is the big amusement part and arcade entertainment expo in Orlando.  It’s really a remarkable event, and this years was no different.  Some of the highlights was a Korean pavilion showing off a ton of new Korean companies and the games / motion simulators coming out of there.  Stern Pinball was showing off the new Star Trek pinball game.  It was a lot of fun.  The best part of the day was the Namco Bandai booth.  They had a bunch of new games, but the exciting ones were a new Mario Kart arcade racing game, and MachStorm, an AceCombat / Afterburner inspired game with an immersive cockpit.  I will be posting pictures in another post.  One of the more apparent things this year was much less piracy, stolen cabinet designs, and game clones.  Previous shows there were blatant ripoffs and large displays that almost seemed to encourage it.  This year, not so much.

Holidays

The holidays are approaching, and I hope everyone who reads this has a good one.  I am going to have time off work, which will be spent working on PiMAME.  I’m hoping to have a January release of the new 0.8 version, and I welcome everyone to contribute to the github repos.

Kano.me

Kano computing is raising a kickstarter for a very innovative Raspberry Pi kit, and they have already reached the 500k mark.  These guys are really nice and I have high hopes for them.

http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/alexklein/kano-a-computer-anyone-can-make

HWHardSoft Pi Cabinet

HWHardSoft has been working on a cool Pi case, and his preorder is now available.  http://www.hwhardsoft.de/english/projects/raspberry-pi-mini-cab/

Have a great weekend!

-Shea

Nov 15

Friday Post: More PiMAME Menu stuff.

Hey all,

Happy Friday!

I am beyond stressed.  I think I’m buying a house next friday.  If all goes according to plan.  Knock on wood, everything will go right.

Anyways,  I have put up some new github repos for PiMAME.  It’s regarding PiMAME 0.8, and it’s for the new web frontend and the pimame menu / launcher.  They are no where near ready for use, but if you would like to help with the programming, feel free to fork the repo and send a pull request.

https://github.com/ssilverm/pimame-menu
https://github.com/ssilverm/pimame-web-frontend

Have a good weekend everyone!

-Shea

Nov 08

Friday Post: Things to come!

Hey All,

Happy Friday!

I just got back from our second tech time conference that I coordinated.  It was awesome.  Exhausting, but so darn worth it.

Anyways,  a coworker and I are working on a new PiMAME menu system, and I thought you all should see a sneak peek of the design work!

Screen Shot 2013-11-06 at 5.25.35 PM

 

I’m really excited!

Stay tuned!

-Shea

Oct 25

Friday Post: Rough week but PiMAME 0.7.10 is coming!

Hey all,

It’s been a rough week.  K and I have been looking at houses and we’ve had nothing but bad luck.  We just lost the second house we had under contract because of appraisal issues.  Housing is such an industry that could benefit from technology.  I don’t understand how in 2013 I still need to FAX documents, “secure email” is a “works best in IE” website, and personal information is expected to be blurted out anywhere and everywhere.

I work for a university, I’m used to red tape and bureaucracy!  I didn’t think buying a house would rival that!

Anyways!  PiMAME 0.7.10 is being uploaded this weekend.

The updater version will include Alpha N64 emulation.
The SD card image will include that, a boot up screen, and the new kernel for xin-mo joysticks.

I will update the post when it’s finished uploading.

Have a great weekend all!

-Shea

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

Oct 04

Friday Post: Orlando Mini Maker Faire!

Hey All,

Couple really cool things going on right now.  First of all, I got the physical copy of my book in hand.  I’m so proud!  Also Adafruit linked to my blog.  I was so surprised when I got the email, thanks for the link!

1379824_10102403870096902_486567181_n

 

This past week I’ve been having tons of meeting about software our team has been working on.  It’s really validating to have our projects get the attention of the higher ups and other vendors.  We work on cool things that help our 50,000 students learn in new ways.  I love working for a place that allows us and encourages us to make a difference!

Orlando Mini Maker Faire

Tomorrow is the Orlando Mini Maker Faire at the Orlando Science Center.  There will be 4 floors of makers showing off their creations, and that includes myself and FamiLAB.  I will have a ton of pictures tomorrow, but if anyone is in Orlando, I encourage you to go.

Screen Shot 2013-10-04 at 10.04.56 PM

-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 25

Adding a Startup Movie to your Raspberry Pi

Hey All,

So I’ve been playign with trying to do a boot image or a boot movie with the Raspberry Pi for a while now, and all the comments and tips keep going back to a tutorial on how to boot a static image.  It works, but there are a lot of problems with it like failing gracefully and not returning the console window back if you aren’t booting to X.  So I decided to come up with another way.  This is based off the tutorial found here: http://www.edv-huber.com/index.php/problemloesungen/15-custom-splash-screen-for-raspberry-pi-raspbian and looks like this when finished:

Instead of using the program fbi, we will use omxplayer to playback a video file while the Raspberry Pi is booting in the background.

First off, you will want to copy the 15 to 20 second movie file to your Raspberry Pi device.  Anything shorter and the video will end before it’s finished booting and you will continue to see the kernel messages.  You can use any video file that omxplayer can play back, but I like .mov and .mp4 files.

  • You will need to edit your /boot/cmdline.txt file:
    • sudo nano /boot/cmdline.txt
  • Add quiet to the end of the line. It will look something like this:
    • dwc_otg.lpm_enable=0 console=ttyAMA0,115200 kgdboc=ttyAMA0,115200 console=tty1 root=/dev/mmcblk0p2 rootfstype=ext4 elevator=deadline rootwait quiet
    • Make sure that is all on one line.
  • Press ctrl-x, type y to confirm save, then press enter to return to the command line.
  • Copy your video somewhere to the Raspberry Pi.  I keep mine in /home/pi/ and call the video video.mov
  • You will now need to create a startup script that will run omxplayer at bootup.  I have modified the script from the above link.
    • sudo nano /etc/init.d/asplashscreen

#! /bin/sh
### BEGIN INIT INFO
# Provides:          asplashscreen
# Required-Start:
# Required-Stop:
# Should-Start:      
# Default-Start:     S
# Default-Stop:
# Short-Description: Show custom splashscreen
# Description:       Show custom splashscreen
### END INIT INFO

do_start () {

    omxplayer /home/pi/video.mov &  
    exit 0
}

case "$1" in
  start|"")
    do_start
    ;;
  restart|reload|force-reload)
    echo "Error: argument '$1' not supported" >&2
    exit 3
    ;;
  stop)
    # No-op
    ;;
  status)
    exit 0
    ;;
  *)
    echo "Usage: asplashscreen [start|stop]" >&2
    exit 3
    ;;
esac

:

 

  • Press ctrl-x, y to confirm saving, and press enter to return to the command line
  • Now you need to set the file to be executable
    • sudo chmod a+x /etc/init.d/asplashscreen
  • And activate it
    • sudo insserv /etc/init.d/asplashscreen

You should now be ready to go!

Reboot your Pi and enjoy the startup movie.

-Shea