So next week I will be in Montreal for the annual Python Software Foundation conference: PyCon. My coworker and I will be presenting a project we developed at UCF that uses Django, AWS, and a bunch of other tools that allow us to help 60,000 students learn in a better environment.
Next Friday’s post will probably be late, depending on what the internet connection is like up there.
Hey All! I’m in Montreal right now for the annual PyCon conference. I will be presenting PiMAME PiPLAY on Sunday during the poster presentations. I’m excited to be showing off the software and getting feedback from fellow Pythonistas.
My flight in was horrible. Finding my way around Montreal was horrible. But now that I’m here and settled, it’s awesome! The first day of PyCon has been interesting. It feels a little disconnected since we are in a new conference building with multiple floors and the hotels are seperated. The previous ones in California were all connected and on one main floor. Either way, I’m having fun and the talks are good.
PiMAME PiPlay Kickstarter
So, 2 pieces of big news. My Kickstarter has been 100%+ funded. Within 18 hours you all helped to fund my project to 100%. It is increasing every day. I’m overwhelmed and humbled. Thank you all!
I have had to change the name from PiMAME to PiPlay. As I stated in the Kickstarter update, it has come to my attention that I am possibly violating the trademark(s) of the MAMEDev team. This is something that I never meant to do, as I have nothing but the utmost respect and awe for the team that develops MAME.
PiMAME has evolved past just MAME, and it is a perfect time and opportunity to update it.
I will be updating all the names once I get back from this conference.
This week just flew by. It feels like it’s still Wednesday. Maker Faire Orlando has come and gone, and I have to say, it was incredible. I was manning my booth the entire time which always had a crowd but I was able to catch a 10 minute break to eat something and look around. There were so many cool displays, and so many interested people who were interested. By the end of the day my throat was sore and I had lost my voice. It was totally worth it.
I will say this, the X-Arcade Tank Stick is built like a tank. It got hit by hundreds of kids during the Maker Faire and it stood up to the challenge. I’m going to take it apart because I think the right joystick got a little banged up but it was still working.
Python in 24 Hours
Someone who I am very honored to call a friend has just released her new book! Katie Cunningham has just had her book, “Sam’s Teach Yourself Python in 24 Hours“, published. I got mine in the mail today so I haven’t gotten a chance to go through it yet, but I have a feeling it will be great. Congratulations Katie!
Pokemon X and Y
Pokemon X and Y come out tomorrow. I love Pokemon, but I haven’t played one of the core series since Red and Blue (I know!). Most of my office is picking the new one up, so I figured it’s time to once again catch ’em all! Between work, grad school, and PiMAME, where I am going to find the time to play…
I upgrade PiMAME to use the newest version of Raspbian, and recompiled the kernel to have the Xin-Mo module fixes in place. I wanted to hold off on the release until I had more to add, but I think i’m going to do an image only release for this, since you can’t really just do a kernel upgrade with an install script. It will also include the PiMAME intro video.
Once that is released I am going to be working on totally revamping the main menu system and web interface. I have some cool things coming down the pipeline!
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.
Tomorrow is my birthday. I am looking forward to celebrating with a ton of friends. I feel like the past year has been amazing to me. Great job, great coworkers, great fiancee, great projects, everything is going great 😉
I am looking forward to what this year is going to bring me.
Monoprice IPS Monitors
CES ended this week, and with it came a lot of announcements. Monoprice, the amazing company that brings you 99cent HDMI cables, is coming out with their own branded 27″ IPS Monitor. The monitor uses the same panels that Apple and Dell uses, and has a resolution of 2560×1440. For less than $400! I’m saving my pennies for this monitor.
Python for Kids
(Full Disclosure: I’m currently technically reviewing a different book from No Starch Press)
At PyCon 2012 I met up with No Starch Press. They were showing off their new book, “Python for Kids”. This week a review copy came in the mail. I have only skimmed through it, but I am liking what I see. Don’t let the title deceive you, while it is written in a large and easy to read format, the book is aimed at everyone. I hope to have a full review in the coming weeks.
PiMAME 0.4 is coming VERY soon. I’m shooting for late Sunday, depending on how hungover I am after my birthday party. I posted on Reddit and the Raspberry Pi forums that I am looking for help. If anyone is interested in helping out on the project, send me an email, a comment, a contact-me message, smoke signal, etc. Just let me know.