Nov 20

Friday Post: IAAPA 2015

Hey All,

Happy Friday!

I was lucky enough to be able to attend a day of IAAPA again this year.  IAAPA is THE worldwide Arcade and Amusement expo.  I’m fortunate that it takes place in Orlando, FL, otherwise I wouldn’t be able to get this opportunity.

One of the highlights of the trade show was that Sega was there showing off the new to North America “Luigi’s Mansion Arcade”.  This has been in Japan for two years now, but this is the first time (other than one location test) that a Luigi’s Mansion Arcade unit has been in the States.  It’s a very neat game.  It’s an on rails shooter game, where your gun is an all in one flashlight and vacuum cleaner.  You stun the ghosts with the flashlight, then suck them into your vacuum.  It’s a lot of fun, and I hope it gets translated and a few places pick them up.

In Raspberry Pi related news, the Mag Pi has just released their Official Raspberry Pi Projects Book!

Pi-Projects_Cover-495x700

 https://www.raspberrypi.org/blog/official-raspberry-pi-projects-book/

200 pages of things to do with your Raspberry Pi!

Enjoy all!  Have a great weekend!

-Shea

 

Nov 14

Friday Post: Less than 24 hours left on the Deskcade Kickstarter!

Hey All!

Less than 24 hours left on the Deskcade Kickstarter!  So excited!!!

On  a related note, I picked up a Steam Controller to see what the hype was about.  It’s cool, but what’s really neat is that it can be a keyboard, mouse, or gamepad at the same time, depending on the game.  Whats not cool is it requires steam to be running to set that.

ss_d2f5e7325666df6119ff1d42be73bac9594c5b1e.600x338

ynsta (Staney Marcel) is writing some code to make it run locally under Linux without the steam driver.  The github repo is here: https://github.com/ynsta/steamcontroller

I’ve forked it (https://github.com/ssilverm/steamcontroller) and I’m going to see if I can get it running as just a joypad for now.  It can currently run on the Raspberry Pi, and I can see the buttons being detected and get the feedback.  It’s just not being passed into a uinput item yet.  Soon 😀

Also, I’m trying to get the bootsplash to work again in Raspbian Jessie.  Jessie introduces Systemd, which takes over for init.d.  Currently the bootsplash runs later in the startup, so by the time omxplayer starts, the login screen is about a second away from showing up.  I’m working on that too.

Here’s my current steps:

sudo nano /etc/systemd/system/bootsplash.service

Insert this:

[Unit]
Description=BootSplash
DefaultDependencies=no
After=sysinit.target local-fs.target
Before=base.target

[Service]
Type=oneshot
ExecStart=/usr/bin/omxplayer /home/pi/PiPLAY.mov

[Install]
WantedBy=base.target

Then run:

sudo systemctl enable bootsplash.service

and reboot.

You should now get a bootsplash on startup, but it may be running to late.  I’m going to try and fix that.

Have a good weekend all!

-Shea

Oct 30

Friday Post: 100% Funded!

Hey All,

In just a short amount of time the Deskcade Kickstarter has been 100% funded!

This is awesome! Thank you all for your continued support. Here is some play testing I took at FamiLAB:

I have been told very last minute that I am going to Austin Texas next week to participate in a committee standard meeting, to help shape the next version of the Learning Tools Interoperability standard. I hate flying, so I’m nervous about the trip, but its only 2.5 hours. Just gotta try to sleep through the flight and I’ll be good. On the plus side, there are some INCREDIBLE arcades in Austin. Going to try to get Pinballz Arcade, and ArcadeUFO.

Have a good weekend all!

-Shea

Oct 10

Friday Post: Orlando iX 2015

Orlando iX was amazing.  I was expecting nothing, and I got treated to an incredible 3 days of awesome tech heads talking shop and showing off their cool stuff.  From cool indie games such as Battery Jam, to a storytelling “robot” plush named Trobo.  The entire event was just filled with energy.

IMG_5772 IMG_5839 (Large) IMG_5841 IMG_5837 IMG_5835 IMG_5831 IMG_5830 IMG_5829 IMG_5825 IMG_5822 IMG_5821 IMG_5820 IMG_5819 IMG_5818  IMG_5810 IMG_5813 IMG_5812 IMG_5807 IMG_5795 IMG_5794 IMG_5790 IMG_5788 IMG_5786 IMG_5781 IMG_5779 IMG_5778 IMG_5777 IMG_5776 IMG_5775 IMG_5774   IMG_5833 (Large)

I had so much fun.  And I took this whole week off.  I spent most of this week just relaxing, sleeping, and playing a fan translated version of Mother 3.  So good!

Have a good weekend all!

-Shea

Oct 02

Friday Post: Raspberry Pi Display and Orlando IX

Hey All,

Happy Friday!

This weekend is Orlando IX.  It’s the first time this event is happening, and they are trying to make it like Orlando’s SXSW.  Let’s see if they can pull it off.  My coworkers are going to be there representing UCF, while me and some friends are going to be showing off PiPlay, and our custom arcade cabinets.

I recently got one of the Official Raspberry Pi Touchscreen Displays, and it is amazing.  I love it.  PiPlay looks great on it.

2015-09-26   2015-09-27 (1) 2015-09-27

2015-09-30

2015-09-30 (1)

I’ve been working on some prototype cases for the display 🙂

Wish us luck, this weekend is going to be crazy!

-Shea

 

Sep 11

Friday Post: Orlando Maker Faire is here!

Hey All!

Orlando Maker Faire is here!!!  If you are in Orlando, make your way to the Orlando Science Center and come see 300+ exhibits including PiPlay and our custom arcade machine!

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Factur, FamiLAB,  PiPlay, and Free Play Florida also have the worlds largest arcade machine being setup!  It stands at 15 feet tall and plays Bubble Bobble!

IMG_1827 playing_some_bubble_bobble__1024

The screen is 60″ and the buttons are 2.5″.  This thing is a beast.  More pictures to come!

I am exhausted from the push to get this all done today!  Hope to see you there!

Aug 07

Friday Post: Raspberry Pi iBeacon

Hey All,

Now that Hack Day at the office is out of the way, I would like to post about what I learned and some examples to get you started.  The following is some example code and an introduction to iBeacons.

Setting up a Raspberry Pi to be an iBeacon

Longer guide available here: Adafruit PiBeacon

On a fresh install of Raspbian, login to the terminal and type:

sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install libusb-dev libdbus-1-dev libglib2.0-dev libudev-dev libical-dev libreadline-dev

Next we want to download, build, and install BlueZ, a bluetooth stack for Linux and the Raspberry Pi.

sudo mkdir bluez
cd bluez
sudo wget www.kernel.org/pub/linux/bluetooth/bluez-5.11.tar.xz
tar xf bluez-5.11.tar.xz
cd bluez-5.11
./configure --disable-systemd
make
sudo make install

Now that BlueZ is installed, plug in your Bluetooth Adapter and reboot your Pi with:

sudo reboot

When it is finished rebooting, log back in and go into the bluez folder by typing:

cd bluez/bluez-5.11

Check that your bluetooth device is listed by running:

tools/hciconfig

You should see a few lines appear about hci0 and that it is currently down.

Issue these commands to bring up your bluetooth device:

 sudo tools/hciconfig hci0 up
sudo tools/hciconfig hci0 leadv 3
sudo tools/hciconfig hci0 noscan

Now we are going to turn the device into an iBeacon.

 sudo tools/hcitool -i hci0 cmd 0x08 0x0008 1E 02 01 1A 1A FF 4C 00 02 15 E2 0A 39 F4 73 F5 4B C4 A1 2F 17 D1 AD 07 A9 61 01 00 00 01 C8 00

The long set of character E2 0A 39 F4 73 F5 4B C4 A1 2F 17 D1 AD 07 A9 61 is actually the iBeacon’s ID.

The next four numbers: 01 00 are the major id and show up as 100.

The next four numbers 00 01 are the minor number and show up as just 1.

You don’t have to worry about the numbers before E2 and after the minor value 00 01.

You can set the major and minor to anything from 0 to 9999. This is how you will be able to tell apart different beacons in your app. The app is currently set to recognize Major 100 Minor 1 and Major 100 Minor 2.

If you change these numbers on your device, make sure to update the app.js code as explained below.

If you reboot your Pi, you will find that the bluetooth device has been reset and that it is no longer functioning as an iBeacon.

To fix this we are going to edit /etc/rc.local.

sudo nano /etc/rc.local

You will want to place the following code above the exit 0 at the end of the file.

sudo /home/pi/bluez/bluez-5.11/tools/hciconfig hci0 up
sudo /home/pi/bluez/bluez-5.11/tools/hciconfig hci0 leadv 3
sudo /home/pi/bluez/bluez-5.11/tools/hciconfig hci0 noscan
sudo /home/pi/bluez/bluez-5.11/tools/hcitool -i hci0 cmd 0x08 0x0008 1E 02 01 1A 1A FF 4C 00 02 15 E2 0A 39 F4 73 F5 4B C4 A1 2F 17 D1 AD 07 A9 61 01 00 00 01 C8 00

Press ctrl-x then y to save and quit.

Now reboot your Raspberry Pi and it should become an iBeacon on startup.

Application Side

We are now going to create the iBeacon app. The instructions below are to do this on a Mac with XCode, PhoneGap, and an iOS device with a developer subscription.  You can also do this on Android with Linux, OS X, or Windows, the Android SDK, and PhoneGap.

First, you want to install cordova. On a Mac or Linux machine use:

npm install -g cordova

(If you don’t have NPM on a Mac install the amazing tool Homebrew and then install node.js)

Then create your app directory:

cordova create beacon com.yourname.beacon beacon
cd beacon
cordova platforms add ios

(for android do cordova platforms add android, but make sure the android sdk is installed)

Add some basic plugins:

cordova plugin add org.apache.cordova.device
cordova plugin add org.apache.cordova.console

and the ibeacon plugin:

cordova plugin add https://github.com/petermetz/cordova-plugin-ibeacon.git

Now lets rename the www folder in the folder. We don’t need it, it’s the default phonegap application, but it could be a useful example later.

mv www www.example

Now let’s clone the ibeacon example!

git clone https://www.github.com/ssilverm/ibeacon-www www

Edit lines 7 – 23 of app.js to match the ID, Major, and Minor of your beacons. They will trigger the page changes on your device.

app.beaconRegions =
  [
	{
		id: 'Page1',
		uuid:'E20A39F4-73F5-4BC4-A12F-17D1AD07A961',
		major: 100,
		minor: 1
	},
	{
		id: 'Page2',
		uuid:'E20A39F4-73F5-4BC4-A12F-17D1AD07A961',
		major: 100,
		minor: 2
	},


  ]

You can see how the above code is set to the same as the iBeacon we set up above, as well as another beacon with the minor value set to 2.

The next steps are how to build your iBeacon app for an ios device like an iPhone or iPad. I don’t have an Android device, but as long as you have the Android sdk the functions should be the same. Change ios for android.

When you have finished editing app.js, save it and then type:

cordova build ios

After a few minutes your terminal should read Build Succeeded.

Open the platforms/ios folder and double click on the beacon.xcodeproj file to launch XCode. With your device connected you should be able to run your app on the device.

Make sure location services are enabled for the app.

Now go walk around to where you set up the beacons and the pages should automatically change as you get closer to them. It will also revert to the main page as you move out of range.

Screen Shot 2015-08-07 at 11.06.17 PM

I hope this has been helpful!

Have a great weekend all!

-Shea

GitHub Code: https://github.com/ssilverm/ibeacon-www

 

Aug 01

Friday Post: Forgetting to set DNS

Hey All,

So for the past month I’ve been racking my brain trying to figure out the issue where PiPlay says Could not check for updates.  I KNEW it was because of my server move but I couldn’t figure it out.  I couldn’t reproduce it on my end.  I really thought that it was because the requests module coudln’t do redirects.  Tonight I was dealing with a PiPlay issue with a cool teacher in Canada who is making games with her students, and we were troubleshooting a bad wifi card.  We got everything working, and then the can’t connect to piplay server message came up, and I was going to admit defeat, but I then saw it was going to WWW.pimame.org.  I had set up www on piplay.org, but I had never setup the WWW redirect on the old domain.  I feel dumb.  One DNS change and a 5 minute propagation and everything is working now.

On a side note, I designed this warp pipe planter in OpenSCAD, and printed it out today.  I drove out to a local nursery and picked up some venus fly traps, and voila!  One Super Mario Bros. “Piranha Plant” in my own home 😀

11807716_10104381579905592_3981371305566672176_oYou can download the STL file at thingiverse, and it will be up on my Etsy as well.

 

Jul 25

Friday Post: Even more 3D printing…

Hey All,

This has felt like one of the longest weeks of my life.  Had a couple meetings about Maker Faire Orlando, pushed out some software that 60,000 students will be using in a month. It’s super stressful.  Luckily it’s Friday and I can end up sleeping until Sunday 😀

I was hoping to have some cool stuff to show this week about the 3D printing software, but of course at the last minute stuff wasn’t working.

My 3D printer is a Micro3D 3D printer.  It’s a small $300 3D printer that is only now just getting people to hack on it.  With 3D Printing, you usually have two steps from model to plastic.

The first step is to run your model (an .STL file) through a slicer.  There are many slicers out there, Cura, Simple3D, Slic3r, etc.  These literally slice your model into layers which are written out as Gcode.

Gcode is an industry standard for 3D Printing and CNC milling that can control extruders, X Y and Z axis motors, temperature controls, etc.  Everything your print will do is going to be from a line of gcode commands.

The printing portion is actually a program that reads the gcode and sends it to the printer to act out.

OctoPi

There is a really cool open source suite of tools called OctoPrint, that combines a gcode processor and a beautiful web frontend to manage your 3D Printer.  A Raspberry Pi distribution was made call OctoPi which allows you to control most 3D printers from your Pi!

octoprintscreen

Because the Micro3D is so new, support is just starting to come out for it and the gcode processors are a little iffy at the moment.  I was able to get OctoPi to talk to my printer and manually move the axis, but it could not process the gcode properly.  Bummer 🙁

I am sure this will be fixed in the coming weeks though.  I am really happy with this printer.

Be on the lookout for a new PiPlay image.  It’s been too long!

-Shea

IMG_5401This hasn’t been cleaned up yet 😀

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