Jan 07

Friday Post: 2017! New Year New Stuff!

Hey All!

Happy New Year! Less than 99 days till the baby is due. I’m building stuff for the nursery, getting stuff ready. Feels more like demolition because it was our game / media room and most of the week was spent moving stuff out.

I installed my first ceiling fan today! Feels good, feels accomplished.

I am also working on a homemade DDR pad for Stepmania. It’s still not great on the Pi2/Pi3. I can get it running at 30FPS, but the audio is too choppy. I want to try to offload the audio to a USB sound card and just output it via HDMI, but I don’t know if that will help.

Found an awesome Mario mushroom power up beanie. ¬†This kid is going to be a geek ūüėÄ

The PiPlay Advance board is coming along! ¬†I am super happy with it and it’s almost ready to release!

Oct 17

Awesome news and MakerFaire Orlando 2016 coming up

Hey All,

I have extremely awesome and happy news to report!  K is pregnant!!!!  We are having a baby!

In other news, MAKERFAIRE ORLANDO 2016 is this weekend at the Central Florida Fairgrounds!!!!

Come see me, FamiLAB, and hundreds of other exhibits showcasing the biggest show and tell on Earth!

Jacob and I have recently finished revision 3 of PiPlay Advance, and it’s looking awesome!

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We are currently testing out a variety of buttons, but it’s coming together really nicely!

And finally, the Elections are coming up soon, and my race for Florida House District 49 is heating up. ¬†I’m very excited to see what happens in the next few weeks. ¬†That being said, I have the most amazing supporters out there!

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Have a great week all!

-Shea

P.S.: In sadder news, at 91, my Grandmother Bernice passed away peacefully two weeks ago.  I was very hesitant about posting this, because it makes it feel so real now.  She lived an amazing life, and got to hear that she was going to be a great grandmother.  I miss her, and I love her, and it sucked that Hurricane Matthew hit the same week as the funeral, so everything had to be rushed.

Thank you all for being there for me.

Sep 11

Updates Updates Updates

Hey All,

Sorry for the long delay in updates. ¬†Been extremely busy with the campaign and some personal projects. ¬†I needed the break but I’m back.

Good News

The Florida primaries are over, and it is only myself and a Democrat in the race for Florida House District 49. ¬†I am currently polling in the high 30s, which is pretty damn good considering I’m an Independent¬†with about $1000 left running against a politician who has raised over $100,000.

Does money help? ¬†Of course, but the more I talk to people and tell them my platform, and more importantly, what type of person I am, the more support I am getting. ¬†I am so thankful for the wonderful support my friends and family are showing me during this campaign. ¬†It’s been amazing so far. ¬†Can’t wait until the November election ūüėÄ

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The PiPlay Advance board is coming together! ¬†We have another iteration we are getting ready to test! ¬†More news on that soon ūüėÄe6e6230260da234de488a393ef5bd7cb_preview_featured

I’ve been playing a TON of Overwatch lately, and in a few of the maps, you can run around some arcade machines. ¬†They look like traditional Japanese Candy Cabs, and I love them. ¬†I really want to make my own real¬†version sometime, BUT, I was able to do the next best thing. ¬†A modder released the model files for the arcade into Source Film Maker, and I was able to export them OBJs, convert them to STLs, and then clean them up in Tinkercad, so I could 3D print them.

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Sad News

In sad news, last month my Grandfather passed away.  I want to thank the other campaigns for offering their condolences and being decent about the whole thing.  It took a toll on my family of course.  Right after he passed, my Grandmother went into the hospital (for what looks like a heart attack), but she is doing better.  It was just a heck of a month.

Today is also 9/11, and I would be remiss if I didn’t mention anything about it. ¬†I remember 15 years ago, a senior in high school, watching the events unfold on TV in a class room. ¬†The administrators were going room by¬†room turning off TVs and telling the teachers to go back to their lessons. ¬†I’m glad my teacher turned it back on when they left.

At 17, all I could think about was how my cousins lived in NYC at the time, and hoping they were OK, but not really worried, because they were also kids, what would they be doing close to the towers?  I remember a lot of confusion and worry about what was next.  I remember a lot of ignorant and hateful comments being spoken in the following weeks, and a lot of misinformation from my fellow classmates.  I was just numb.

15 years later, the big thing I take from 9/11 is that we should never respond to these tragic events with reactionary legislation. ¬†The PATRIOT Act is probably one of the worst bills that was pushed through during that time. ¬†In hindsight we see that, but we can’t forget the lesson in case of future events.

Thank you.

-Shea

May 28

Politics and PCBs

Hey All,

This has been a fun month. ¬†Between campaigning, work, and Raspberry Pi stuff, I‚Äôve been busy ūüėÄ

Politics

So I’ve been campaigning a lot this month.  I am running for the District 49 Representative in Florida’s House.  I love my district.  One thing that is crazy to me is the amount of money being put into this election.  I have raised around $2000.  I’m very proud of that number.  It’s coming from friends and family who believe in me.  It’s humbling.  My Republican opponent has raised around ~$7000.  I’m sure it’s more now. And now there is a second Republican who has entered the race.  On the other side, my Democrat opponent has raised over $90,000!  $90,000.  That is an absurd amount of money for a State House race.  I’ve heard the average is around $40,000.  

That is insane to me. ¬†That‚Äôs a scholarship, a car, someone‚Äôs student loans. ¬†And instead it’s going to a campaign for ad buys and t shirts. ¬†I hate it. ¬†I truly believe campaigns should be publicly funded at all levels. ¬†On that note, I can‚Äôt help but see the irony in me asking for donations: https://donate.sheasilverman.com

PCBs

In other news, the first revision to the PiPlay Advance PCBs came in, and they are awesome!

Conferences

This week I was in San Antonio, Texas for the IMS Global Learning Impact Leadership Institute conference, where I gave two presentations on the LTI (Learning Tools Interoperability) standards.  I was also there because my team at UCF won 2nd place in the LTI App Challenge for ProctorHub, our free passive proctoring software!

 It was a very different conference than I am used too.  Most of the software conferences I have been to have been very low level.  Getting into the nuts and bolts of how things work.  These educational conferences are very high level.  It’s an interesting paradigm change but I think we got some good stuff done.  I was able to give anecdotal evidence regarding some of the gaps in the current standards, and what could be done to improve them at all levels.  Stuff I introduce today will help to change the shape of educational software in the next few years.  

MegaCon is also this weekend. ¬†I’ll have some pictures up from that event soon.

Have a good weekend!

-Shea

Apr 12

AdvanceMAME 1.4 and AdvanceMESS 1.4 for Raspberry Pi3

Hey All,

I compiled AdvanceMAME 1.4 and AdvanceMESS 1.4 for the Raspberry Pi3.

On the Pi3, games like Street Fighter II and The Simpsons run like butter with full audio. ¬†It’s great!

You can download them here:

http://sheasilverman.com/rpi/raspbian/pi3/advancemame_1.4-1_armhf_pi3.deb

http://sheasilverman.com/rpi/raspbian/pi3/advancemess_1.4-1_armhf_pi3.deb

To install run:

sudo dpkg --force-all -i advancemame_1.4-1_armhf_pi3.deb
sudo dpkg --force-all -i advancemess_1.4-1_armhf_pi3.deb

On another note, our first “PiPlay Advance” boards came in:

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There was of course an issue with our pin routing, so we had to order a new revision of the boards.  So excited to see this project start coming together!

-Shea

Mar 18

Friday Post: Cool Stuff

Hey All,

Got some cool stuff to post!

First off, got my Pi3 and have pics to show.

IMG_20160305_123135035_HDR IMG_20160305_123142557_HDR IMG_20160305_123151811_HDR IMG_20160305_123201893 IMG_20160305_123221663 IMG_20160305_123230360 IMG_20160305_123255506 IMG_20160305_123303098 IMG_20160305_123338411Love this device so much!

BUT, what I’m more excited to show off is a very early prototype of a project a coworker and I are working on!

12722257_10104959026967052_78897063_oIt’s a Raspberry Pi Zero powered portable gaming system styled after the Nintendo GameBoy Advance using an SPI TFT and some other little cool things.

This is the first PCB I’ve ever helped design, and I placed the order for it this week. ¬†Boards shipped today, which means they will get here between 8 and 40 days. ¬†Argh, the waiting sucks!

On another note, Pokken Tournament came out today for the Wii U. ¬†It’s a really cool Tekken inspired Pokemon fighting game and so far I am loving it! ¬†My Nintendo Network ID is SSilver2k2 so if you want to fight, add me ūüėÄ

I also picked up some really cool Nintendo retro consoles this week.

IMG_20160318_212020422 IMG_20160318_212026477 IMG_20160318_212054261 IMG_20160318_212134085

This is the Sharp Famicom Twin.  It is the Japanese version of the NES (Famicom) and the Famicom Disk System combined into one unit.  I also picked up the Family BASIC addon which allows you to do rudimentary programs in BASIC (HuBASIC) for the NES.  BASIC programs can be saved and loaded off of a cassette tape player, or loaded from any audio player.

Have a good weekend all!

-Shea

 

 

 

Mar 04

Friday Post: The Flu Sucks

Hey All,

Sorry for the lack of updates, I got the flu and it kicked my ass! ¬†I’ve also been dealing with school, my grandma being sick, work, and just so much stuff on my plate. ¬†But yay It’s spring break right now, so I’m back for a bit.

While I was gone the Raspberry Pi 3 was released! ¬†How awesome is that! ¬†A 64bit Quad Core ARM core running at 1.2ghz with 1GB of RAM AND built in WiFi and Bluetooth. ¬†And it’s still only $35!

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I’ve also almost finished the Storm Trooper Helmet

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2016-03-02

Have a good weekend all!

-Shea

Feb 12

Friday Post: StepMania on Raspberry Pi2

Hey All!

So this week the Raspberry Pi Foundation released a new version of Raspbian that includes experimental support for OpenGL. ¬†This is a big leap from OpenGL ES. ¬†This is real OpenGL that tons of games and software use. ¬†No mobile versions required anymore. ¬†That being said, its super experimental. ¬†It basically breaks the official screen and the camera doesn’t work. ¬†It also only works in xwindows and not on the command line.

BUT! One of my favorite games (and the way I lost 50lbs) is now available on the Pi!  StepMania!  The Dance Dance Revolution simulation game!

Here’s how to compile it:

First clone the StepMania repo:

git clone https://github.com/stepmania/stepmania stepmania
cd stepmania

Install the dependancies:

sudo apt-get install cmake gcc g++ libmad0-dev libgtk2.0-dev binutils-dev git-core make libasound2-dev yasm libc6-dev libogg-dev libvorbis-dev libbz2-dev zlib1g-dev libjpeg8-dev libpng12-dev libxtst-dev libxrandr-dev libglew-dev libglu1-mesa-dev mesa-common-dev automake autoconf libva-dev

A lot of these you will probably already have installed.

Now cd into the Build directory and start the configuration process (and run it one more time afterwards)

cd Build
cmake ..
cmake ..

Now you will want to edit the CMakeCache.txt which has some of the configuration options.

nano CMakeCache.txt
Look for CRASH_HANDLER and set it to OFF, SSE2 should be set to OFF, and Full Release should be set to ON.
press ctrl-x then y to save.

Now lets compile StepMania!

make

Let that run until it is done, should take about 3 or 4 hours. ¬†When it’s complete run

cd .. 
./stepmania

and you should now be playing StepMania!

All of your configurations  will be under ~/.stepmania, and your songs and stages go under ~/stepmania

Have Fun!

Also, GO SEE DEADPOOL (if you are 18 and older!!)

-Shea

Jan 22

Friday Post: AdvanceMAME 1.4 debs

Hey All,

Updates maybe sporadic for the next few weeks.

AdvanceMAME updated to 1.4 so I have recompiled the source and made .debs out of it.  This will work on the Pi and Pi2.

AdvanceMAME 1.4 Deb Download

To install goto a terminal and type:

sudo dpkg --force-install -i advancemame_1.4-1_armhf.db
advmame

You will now have a directory in ~/.advance and will need to edit your advmame.rc file.

nano ~/.advance/advmame.rc

Add to the first line:

device_video_clock 5 - 50 / 15.62 / 50 ; 5 - 50 / 15.73 / 60

Then press ctrl-x then y and hit enter to save.

You can now place your game files into the ~/.advance/roms directory and launch a game with the command:

advmame gamename
advmame sf2

Have a good weekend all!

-Shea

Jan 09

(Late) Friday Post: and the winner is! Also Monoprice Maker Architect 3D Printer

Hey All!

The winner of the Raspberry Pi Zero giveaway is Aaron!  Congratulations!  I will be emailing you later tonight!

Onto other news. ¬†This has been a hell of a week. ¬†Had a small health scare with my grandmother, so we¬†drove 200 miles yesterday to visit her. ¬†We spent the night and drove back home today. ¬†Hence the late post. ¬†Shes doing better, so phew! ūüėÄ

This week I implemented a cool video encoding queuing system using Redis and Django.  The module I used is called Django-RQ, and it makes it super simple to convert your functions into queue-able objects using the @Job decorator.

This Tuesday is my birthday! Woo! ¬†I turn 32. ¬†I’m content. ¬†I also start classes that night. ¬†Yay lol. ¬†I bought this as a gift for myself:

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It’s a Monoprice Maker Architect 3D Printer for $300. ¬†It’s a major upgrade compared to my Micro, but it takes a lot more to get it going. ¬†I’ve had it for two days and I’ve finally got most of the settings dialed in.

When I went to visit my Grandma I took along my Kinect sensor and used Skanect to scan her, so I was able to quickly print out a very low poly version of her as a bust.

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The Skanect free version limits exports to only 5000 polygons.  Once I upgrade I can export at full resolution.

Have a good week / weekend all.

Thanks for reading.  I really appreciate it.

-Shea