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.
I got a few requests for a BerryBoot image of PiMAME. I followed the instructions and generated an image that should be compatible. I haven’t had a chance to test it yet since I don’t have a Pi with BerryBoot installed.
For the past 2 months I’ve been heading up a small technical conference with my department. We have done small 1 hour sessions before, but this was a lofty experiment. 14 talks, 5 hours, 2 tracks, with no budget.
We had over 60 attendees watch our talks while students, staff, and local companies talked about a wide variety of subjects.
We also had a Google Glass demo, which was really really cool. Everyone seems to get “glass-face” the second they put it on. It can only be described as getting a dumb grin, looking halfway up, and trying to focus both on whats on the screen and in front of you at the same time. It only lasts a second but it makes for some really funny imagery. It was tough to use it with my prescription glasses on, but this seriously makes me consider getting contacts.
I plan to have the videos up soon, but for now, here’s my talk about Gaming on the Raspberry Pi:
So I’ve been working for a week, trying to get this next release of PiMAME really stable. The problem I keep running into is with DISPMANX and PiSNES/Dgen. With DISPMANX, Dgen works, but PiSNES does not, without DISPMANX, PiSNES works but Dgen crashes. I’m going to hold off on including DISPMANX and Dgen for this release. The new things included in PiMAME 0.7.5 will be STELLA, the Atari 2600 emulator, and CaveStory.
This should be uploaded tonight.
So the first drafts for the book I’ve been writing came back, and they have very / minor revisions. I’m really excited to see this project coming alone, and hopefully published very very soon.