So, over the weekend we had a family emergency and had to drive across Florida. Everyone is ok. Everything is good. With all that stress, I apparently caught an ear infection and it has knocked me on my ass.
I’m still feeling out of it, but I pushed the release last night. Please let me know if it works.
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:
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
### BEGIN INIT INFO
# Provides: asplashscreen
# Default-Start: S
# Short-Description: Show custom splashscreen
# Description: Show custom splashscreen
### END INIT INFO
This has been a fun week. Trying to fight of the germs going around now that everyone is settled into classes. This is usually when the colds start going around. A few coworkers are already coughing. I may need to put up a fort around my desk. On the plus side I am seeing Yellowcard this weekend!!!
The PyCon call for proposals deadline passed. I put in 2 talks and a poster session. I am volunteering this year as part of the program committee, and I am really excited about going. I hope one of my proposals makes it.
I caught all of the Pokemon NFC figures. Yeah, I have a problem. The Gamestop near me allowed me to bring in my Wii U and scan the Pokeballs before buying them so I could pick out the ones I needed to complete my collection. Some Gamestops really are awesome.
In exciting news, I saw the final pdf of my book, and it is being sent to the printer now!!! In a few days I’ll have the Amazon link to post.
The laser cutter at FamiLAB bit the dust. The controller board’s heatsink fell off causing a short and frying the board. I had some prototypes I wanted to cut so I ended up uploading my SVGs to Ponoko.com and getting them cut there. They quoted me $18 to print out a prototype DeskCade, which isn’t bad considering the amount of space I had left free on the material. I could probably have printed two for the same price if I spent more time rearranging the parts. On the plus side, they said it would take 10 days for cutting and 5 days for shipping. I ordered it on Thursday and it was shipping by Wednesday, so I’m really happy about that.
I can’t wait to see the quality of the parts!
PiMAME update should be soon. This will be include a custom kernel for the Xin-Mo controller.
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.
Excuse the delay, I’ve been having connection issues all day.
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.
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.
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.
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.
If you haven’t seen Pacific Rim yet, do yourself a favor and go see it. It will make your inner 12 year old boy very happy After watching the movie I had to pick up the Gipsy Danger Jaeger action figure:
A FamiLAB member has been working with an Oculus Rift development kit for the past few weeks, and very generously allowed me to borrow it for a few days. The device is well worth the money, and was comfortable to wear with my glasses. That said, it makes me want to get contacts so I can wear it with even more comfort.
I played Team Fortress 2 for a while and Half Life 2. A few of my coworkers tried Surgeon Simulator 2013 with it and that was really hilarious to watch. We also loaded some 3rd party drivers which allows more games to run that aren’t meant to on the device, and even though there were bugs, it was still playable. The big disappointment with the device right now is the low resolution screens. You really notice the pixels at first, but after the immersion kicks in, you learn to ignore it. Luckily Oculus VR has stated that the consumer version will have much higher resolution screens.
Engrained Products Raspberry Pi Case
The awesome people at Engrained Products sent me one of their Pi cases to try out. It’s fantastic. I’m really impressed with how they put in the little cuts so that the wood can bend freely. Also the cut gears are a great touch. I’ve been using the Adafruit case but I am going to switch to this one.