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

 

Sep 06

Friday Post: PiMAME 0.7.9

Hey All,

PiMAME 0.7.9

PiMAME 0.7.9 is now uploaded to SourceForge

A new release of PiMAME is being uploaded.  This time it’s 0.7.9, and the biggest edition is DGEN, a Sega Genesis emulator.  PiSNES now supports 2 players, and the script was updated to not overwrite some of the config files.  You can use the update.sh script right now to upgrade.  I’ll update this post once the new image is on SourceForge.

Pokemon Rumble U

So, I’m a sucker for collectibles.  Make little collectible figurines, add NFC, and let them interact with a video game, and I might as well just hand over my paycheck to the developer.  I have so far kept myself away from Skylanders, and Disney Infinity, because I KNEW I would spend too much, but now Nintendo has come into the market with Pokemon Rumble U.

It’s an inexpensive Wii U game.  Download only.  It’s like a combination of Super Smash Bros., Mario Party, and bullet hell games.

There are 649 in game Pokemon to catch/befriend/see, but the real fun comes with these:

There are 18 different figurines to collect, and each one levels up as you play.  When you bring them to a friends house, you can place the little figure on their wii u gamepad and it brings over all your stats and moves.

It’s using NFC tags inside the figure’s base to read and write this data, and if you hold it up to an Android phone with NFC, it will try and read the data.  So far I have been unsuccessful getting a good data dump, but it would be neat if I could back up my figures stats and try moving them to blank tags.

Have a good weekend all!

-Shea

Aug 09

Friday Post: Semester Startup

Hey All,

Happy Friday!

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.

Leap Motion

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.

Photo Aug 03, 4 07 24 PM

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.

Photo Aug 03, 4 37 12 PM Photo Aug 03, 2 48 54 PM

That’s all for this week,  I hope you all have a good weekend!

-Shea

Jul 28

Awww Yiss!!! Marvel Vs. Capcom on the Raspberry Pi!

Hey All,

Squid has released another awesome emulator port for the Raspberry Pi. This time it’s Final Burn Alpha, which is a CPS1, CPS2, System 16, and NeoGeo emulator.

Marvel Vs. Capcom runs great on it. Expect this to be in PiMAME ASAP!

https://code.google.com/p/pifba/

 

You will also see I’m running it on a Model A connected to Motorola Lapdock.  Runs great!

Have a good Sunday!

-Shea

Jul 26

Friday Post: Book Reports

Excuse the delay, I’ve been having connection issues all day.

Hey All!

Happy Friday!

This has been a trying week.  The wife and I are now house hunting, and the endeavor has been…exhausting.  Oh well.  Onto some good stuff.

Book Reports

The book I am writing is currently at the review stage, which is awesome.  Hopefully only another month or so and the finished copies will be available!  While we wait for that to be released, I have some other books I have been reading and I think this community will enjoy.

Super Scratch Programming Adventure!: Learn to Program By Making Cool Games

super_scratch_programming_adventure

This book has a really interesting background.  It was created by created by The Hong Kong Federation of Youth Groups and the MIT Media Lab.  The book teaches you how to “program” in the Scratch language/IDE.

Scratch is really neat as it’s a drag and drop visual language that is aimed at young / new programmers.  You learn programming concepts as you place blocks of “functions” in various areas to perform actions.

The book itself is well done, with comic book style artwork, narrative, and learning modules.  It’s an easy read, and a good start for a young programmer.

Instant Minecraft: Pi Edition Coding How-to

0636OS_mockupcover_instant-how to_0

Packt Publishing has just published this book about using the Minecraft API for the Raspberry Pi with Python.  I have a soft spot for Packt, as they are the ones publishing my book, but so far I have enjoyed this book.

From the beginning you are thrown into the Python interface and start manipulating the Minecraft world on your Pi.  It is relatively short, only around 50 pages, but I find that to be a good thing.  It’s to the point.  You go from nothing to building a full Revsersi game by the end.

I showed it off at the Orlando Science Center with FamiLAB last saturday and it was really neat to see the amount of children who ran up to see anything related to Minecraft.  Some of the parents were enthusiastic about being able to bring education to a video game.

I hope you have a good weekend and hopefully enjoy these books.

-Shea

 

Jul 15

Berrybootable PiMAME Test Image

Hey All,

I got a few requests for a BerryBoot image of PiMAME.  I followed the instructions and generated an image that should be compatible.  I haven’t had a chance to test it yet since I don’t have a Pi with BerryBoot installed.

You can get the image here: http://sheasilverman.com/rpi/pimame-0.7.6-berryboot.img

This is version 0.7.6.

Please let me know how it works!

Thanks!

-Shea

Jul 12

Friday Post: PiMAME 0.7.6 now with Gameboy support!

Hey all,

I felt bad about the delay with PiMAME 0.7.5 so I’m releasing the next version early.

New Features:

  • gpsp – Gameboy Advance Emulator
  • Gearboy – Gameboy and Gameboy Color emulator
  • ScummVM – A point and click adventure game engine.

If you are running version 0.7 or above, just run the ./update.sh script to get these additions.  The new image is being made and uploaded right now.

Jul 05

Friday Post: Conference Talk

Hey all,

For the past 2 months I’ve been heading up a small technical conference with my department.  We have done small 1 hour sessions before, but this was a lofty experiment.  14 talks, 5 hours, 2 tracks, with no budget.

It was a resounding success!  The Techrangers at UCF put on the Extended Tech Time Conference last Monday, July 1st, from 5pm to 10pm, in the Student Union.

We had over 60 attendees watch our talks while students, staff, and local companies talked about a wide variety of subjects.

We also had a Google Glass demo, which was really really cool.  Everyone seems to get “glass-face” the second they put it on.  It can only be described as getting a dumb grin, looking halfway up, and trying to focus both on whats on the screen and in front of you at the same time.  It only lasts a second but it makes for some really funny imagery.  It was tough to use it with my prescription glasses on, but this seriously makes me consider getting contacts.

13 - 13 13 - 14 13 - 15 13 - 16

I plan to have the videos up soon, but for now, here’s my talk about Gaming on the Raspberry Pi:

PiMAME

So I’ve been working for a week, trying to get this next release of PiMAME really stable.  The problem I keep running into is with DISPMANX and PiSNES/Dgen.  With DISPMANX, Dgen works, but PiSNES does not, without DISPMANX, PiSNES works but Dgen crashes.  I’m going to hold off on including DISPMANX and Dgen for this release.   The new things included in PiMAME 0.7.5 will be STELLA, the Atari 2600 emulator, and CaveStory.

This should be uploaded tonight.

Book 

So the first drafts for the book I’ve been writing came back, and they have very / minor revisions.  I’m really excited to see this project coming alone, and hopefully published very very soon.

Jun 28

Friday Post: PiMAME 0.7.5

EDIT: Really sorry guys, I found a show stopping bug while uploading.  I had to cancel it.  I’m really sorry.  It’ll be up soon.

Hey everyone,

I’m happy to announce that I’m releasing the new PiMAME image this weekend.  I will be uploading it tonight and it should be on sourceforge asap.

The new features include:

  • Dispmanx graphics backend
  • Dgen Genesis emulator
  • Cavestory
  • Pikeyd GPIO key daemon.

On another note, the latest special edition of Linux Pro Magazine is all about the Raspberry Pi.  The DVD includes a bunch of different SD Card Images, including PiMAME.

lmi_special_14_rasppi_2013_1

http://shop.linuxnewmedia.com/us/eh32029.html

 

Have a great weekend!

-Shea