So last week I was at InstructureCon giving a presentation on ProctorHub (UCF’s passive proctoring solution). InstructureCon was held at Keystone, Colorado this year, and it kicked my butt. Those mountains and high elevation are no joke. It was incredibly hard to breath that first day.
Everything went well, presentation was awesome, met a lot of great educators doing all sorts of neat e-Learning.
The best part of the trip was that They Might Be Giants performed after the keynote.
Happy 4th of July! Go eat some hotdogs, grill some burgers, and watch some fireworks. That’s my plan for today 🙂
In other news….
Amazon is selling the Monoprice Maker Select 3D Printer at the incredible price of $279 with Prime shipping! The Maker Select is based on the Prusa i3, and is considered one the very best reprap open source printer. This price point is killer as well, since it is normally $350.
I couldn’t resist and purchased one (so my Makerbot clone will be up for sale in the near future lol). I’ll be posting a review of it soon!
Sunday Sucked. I haven’t felt this numb and exposed in a long time. My deepest sympathies and love go out to all the families, victims, and survivors in this awful tragedy. The only shining light in all of this was how we as a community reacted to the aftermath.
To quote Mr. Rogers: “When I was a boy and I would see scary things in the news, my mother would say to me, “Look for the helpers. You will always find people who are helping.”
My thoughts on gun control:
I have grown up around guns. I was taught how to handle them, fire them, clean them and store them safely. From an early age my mother and father put into me a healthy amount of fear and respect when dealing with firearms.
We need to extend the 3 day waiting period to all firearms, not just handguns. The waiting period should also be increased, and having a concealed weapons permit shouldn’t waive that requirement.
My thoughts on gun violence:
What happened in my home town was a tragedy. I never want to blame the weapon, for that shifts blame to an inanimate object. It is a person’s own decision to brandish and use a weapon. It should be easier to get mental health care than it is to get a gun.
This has been a fun month. Between campaigning, work, and Raspberry Pi stuff, I’ve been busy 😀
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’s a scholarship, a car, someone’s 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’t help but see the irony in me asking for donations: https://donate.sheasilverman.com
In other news, the first revision to the PiPlay Advance PCBs came in, and they are awesome!
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.
I have some exciting news. I’ve been wanting to announce this for a while now, but tonight is the night. I am running for Florida’s House of Representatives District 49 as a No Party Affiliation candidate.
The Bernie Sanders campaign has resonated very closely with me. I believe that honest, transparent individuals can make a difference. I believe that everyone deserves healthcare, an education, and that with technology, we can provide those resources.
BUT, what I’m more excited to show off is a very early prototype of a project a coworker and I are working on!
It’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 😀
I also picked up some really cool Nintendo retro consoles this week.
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.
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!
I’ve also almost finished the Storm Trooper Helmet
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