Jan 17

Friday Post: 31

Hey All,

So I’m 31.  I feel like this year is going to be amazing.  I’ve felt burnt out on a few things, been struggling to find time to do everything I wanted.  But this year I’m going to work on better time management.

I’ve finished the tough part of my book, the writing portion.  The revisions are also done.  All thats left is to proof read the final copy when it’s ready.  This book took a lot out of me.  If I say I’m writing another book after this, punch me.

My goals this year are:

  • PiPlay
  • Finish some of my game backlog
  • Release a Swift app

I’m currently working on a swift based controller that interfaces with PiPlay.  I’m excited about it.  The code is done, but the design is ugly.  If you are good with Xcode / app design, shoot me an email!

This weekend is Otronicon at the Orlando Science Center.  It’s a convention filled with Digital Media, Gaming, and Simulation.  If you are in Orlando you should check it out.

Have a great weekend!

-Shea

Jan 02

Friday Post: 2015!!!!

Hey All,

Happy New Year!!! 2014 was an amazing year for me:

  • Got contracted to write a second book (almost done)
  • Ran a successful Kickstarter
  • Had YTD 64,000 downloads of PiPlay
  • Spoke at PyCon, Computers in Libraries, and EDUCAUSE conferences
  • Participated in Orlando Maker Faire
  • Was able to hire the very talented Elizabeth Williams to be part of my team at work
  • Developed software that is helping 60,000 students
  • Added a very cute and very annoying kitten to our family
  • Learned a few new technologies that I had been putting off
  • Watched my wife get a great new job
  • Watching my friends start families
  • Made some new friends

Not to say everything has been great, but the good has totally outweighed the bad.  I have to thank all of my readers as well.  I couldn’t have done without you all.  Thank you!

Amiibos

So I’ve been hit by the Amiibo bug.  I started cutting out these stands for my collection.

IMG_4653 IMG_4654 IMG_4655 IMG_4656 IMG_4657 IMG_4658 IMG_4659 IMG_4660 IMG_4661 IMG_4662 IMG_4652I may have gone a little overboard.

PiPlay

The next version of PiPlay is really coming along.

snapshot

You can see our game listing screen now shows a lot more info.  We are also moving a lot of our configs into SQLite DB files for faster retrieval.  This is going to be an awesome release!

Happy 2015 everyone!

 

Nov 15

Friday Post: MakeSmith CNC Router

Hey All!  Happy Friday!

This has been a “short” week for me.  Had the day off on Tuesday for Veterans Day, and today campus closed early because our football team is going up against Tulsa.  Go Knights!

PiPlay happenings!  Mark has been working on an advanced database scraper tool.

IMG_20141114_163640

It’s going to be awesome once it’s get a little more polished.  I’ve been working on some more controller stuff.  I’ll have more to say about that soon.

MakeSmith CNC

A few months ago I backed the MakeSmith CNC router kickstarter.  The project was created to design and sell a CNC mill / router that cost less than $200.

cncnew

IMG_4466 IMG_4467 IMG_0147 IMG_0148 IMG_0149

My kit arrived yesterday, and I’ve gotten what appears to be the base put together.  The instructions are in the form of a bunch of YouTube videos, so I’m watching each one a few times, and then attempting the install.  I have forgone using wood glue at the moment, just in case I mess up or need to redo something.  I figure I will just reinforce the joints after everything is attached.

Have a good weekend all!

-Shea

Oct 24

Friday Post: PiPlay 0.8 Beta 7

Hey All,

Sorry about the lack of posts last week, dealing with family stuff.

I am excited to formally announce the release of PiPlay 0.8 Beta 7!

  • 0.8.0 Beta 7
    • Added changelog popup
    • Themes now support background music (uncompressed preferred)
    • Fixed problems with semi-transparent labels
    • 2 player controller config support added
    • Controller Config list sorted
    • Now using gunicorn for web frontend.

Get it now by by downloading the image or updating your current version with the PiPlay updater.

Have a great weekend!

-Shea

Oct 10

Friday Post: Custom Carts

Hey All,

Happy Friday!  This week I got in two cartridges that I am very to share with you all.  The first one is a custom SNES cart called StarFox Legacy!

StarFox Legacy contains three games:

  • The original StarFox
  • The StarFox competition game (a modified version that has a timer set and you have to rack up the most points before it runs out)
  • The unreleased StarFox 2.

To change games, you hold the reset switch down for 3 seconds.  It’s a really cart, and I’m glad I was able to acquire it.

The second cart is made for the Sega Genesis, and is a homebrew game some of you may know called FIX IT FELIX JR!!!  Yes, someone programmed a recreation of the game from the movie Wreck It Ralph!  It’s really well done, the label looks awesome, and I love it.

PiPlay 0.8 Beta 7 is coming!

Nothing too groundbreaking in this one.  Bug fixes for the controller setup, a popup window on first startup to give you some hints as well as a change log popup.  Some bug fixes, a little bit of speed improvements, background sounds.  I’m also switching out the python flask built in webserver for gunicorn.  It causes great speed improvements, uses less RAM and CPU.  When I switched to it, I noticed a lot of SNES games stopped stuttering.

I’ll be uploading the image this weekend and the updater should be available shortly.

-Shea

 

Oct 04

Friday Post: EDUCAUSE

Hey All,

This week I was at the EDUCAUSE educational conference which took place locally in Orlando.  I was speaking on my work with the LTI standard and the applications I have created for UCF.  My first talk was amazing.  It went as perfect as a presentation could go.  My second talk though….it was my first time doing a moderated panel session.  It was awesome.  I loved it….until the fire alarm went off mid sentence and the entire convention center started to evacuate!

I also got some coverage on the IMS Global blog (they are the ones who created the LTI standard): http://www.imsglobal.org/blog/?p=372

All in all, its been a great week, but I haven’t been this exhausted since PyCon.

On the PiPlay side, we are getting some bug reports in, and working on squashing a bunch of them.  The updater has been re-factored to now take into account version numbers, so you shouldn’t have to wait as long for updates.

The latest version of Raspbian with the new Epiphany browser is amazing.  It makes using the web on a Pi a decent experience, and not a chore like before.

You should try it out.

Have a good weekend all!

-Shea

 

Sep 27

Friday Post: PiPlay 0.8 Beta 6

Hey All,

If you’ve powered on your PiPlay today, you will notice an update is available!

Updates:

  • modified romlist layout to include area for game descriptions
  • added 2 player controller config support
  • added “button combo” support for PiPlay Menu actions
  • optimization, screen updates only happen on controlled events
  • removed horizontal romlist option in theme support
  • Wifi Config built in

The new disk image has been updated to the latest version of Raspbian which included Minecraft and the new Epiphany web browser.  Its a really great browser!

PCDuino

I got in a PCDuino3 to try and port PiPlay to it.  So far the hardware seems impressive, but the lack of community and documentation is depressing.  I need to keep plugging at it, because I think there is huge potential for a dual core chip with arduino headers.  I’ll keep you all posted.

IMG_4302 IMG_4303 IMG_4304

Have a good weekend all!

-Shea

Sep 19

Friday Post: Maker Faire and Kano Unboxing!

Hey All,

What a week.  Maker Faire was amazing but exhausting!  So many kids playing Street Fighter 2, and so many adults loving the nostalgia.  It was a great time.  Tons of 3D printers, awesome products, and great people all around.  I hope you enjoy the gallery!

I also received my Kano computing kit today.  I haven’t had the chance to boot it up, but I have made a short unboxing video.  The packaging is spectacular, and the custom keyboard is great to hold and use (tested it on my desktop).

 

The next release of PiPlay is coming together, I hope to release it this weekend.

Small list of changes:

  • modified romlist layout to include area for game descriptions
  • added 2 player controller config support
  • added “button combo” support for PiPlay Menu actions
  • optimization, screen updates only happen on controlled events
  • removed horizontal romlist option in theme support
  • Loading time speed up
  • Wifi Configuration Tool

Have a great weekend all!

-Shea

Sep 12

Friday Post: Tiny Vacation, Maker Faire Orlando, PiPlay

Hey All,

I apologize for not posting last week, I just needed to take a small break.  Brain has been pretty fried.

This weekend is the Orlando Maker Faire.  This year marks the beginning of us being a full fledged Maker Faire, rather than just a Mini Maker Faire.  It’s kinda cool.  I will be showing off PiPlay and Pimoroni’s Picade inside of FamiLAB’s booth.  The Maker Faire is at the Orlando Science Center.  If anyone is in the Central Florida region, you should stop by!

The next update of PiPlay is coming along nicely.  2 player control setup is in, a wireless config utility has been added, the rom listing menu has been heavily optimized for much faster scrolling, and some other general bug fixes.  I’m hoping to release this over the weekend after Maker Faire.

Have a good weekend all!

-Shea