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Aquarium lighting and weather system

Post Syndicated from Liz Upton original https://www.raspberrypi.org/blog/aquarium-weather-system/

We spotted this aquarium project on YouTube, and were struck with searing pangs of fishy jealousy; imagine having a 2000-litre slice of the Cayman Islands, complete with the weather as it is right now, in your living room.

Aquarium

aMGee has equipped his (enormous) tropical fish tank, full of corals as well as fish, with an IoT Raspberry Pi weather system. It polls a weather station in the Cayman Islands every two minutes and duplicates that weather in the tank: clouds; wind speed and direction; exact sunset and sunrise times; and moon phase, including the direction the moon travels across the tank.

Screen Shot 2016-05-11 at 14.23.34

The setup uses three 100W and 18 20W multi-chip leds, which are controlled separately by an Arduino that lives on top of the lamp. There’s also a web interface, just in case you feel like playing Thor.

DIY LED aquarium lighting with real time weather simulation

DIY LED aquarium lighting project for my reef tank. The 660 watts fixture simulates the weather from Cayman Islands in real time. 3 x 100 watts and 18 x 20 watts multi-chip leds controlled separately by an arduino sitting on the lamp).

If you want to learn more, aMGee answers questions about the build (which, sadly, doesn’t have a how-to attached) at the Reef Central forums.

It’s a beautiful project, considerably less expensive (and more satisfying) than any off-the-shelf equivalent; and a really lovely demonstration of meaningful IoT. Thanks aMGee!

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Build your own Raspberry Pi terrarium controller

Post Syndicated from Helen Lynn original https://www.raspberrypi.org/blog/build-your-own-raspberry-pi-terrarium-controller/

Tom Bennet grows Nepenthes, tropical carnivorous plants that I know by the name of pitcher plants. To stay healthy they need a temperature- and humidity-controlled environment, and Tom ensures this by housing them in a terrarium controlled by a Raspberry Pi 3 and Energenie’s Pi-mote starter kit, which provides an easy way to control mains electrical sockets from a Pi. He has written step-by-step instructions to help you build your own terrarium controller, the first such guide we’ve seen for this particular application.

A terrarium in a cuboid glass tank with fluorescent lighting, containing six Nepenthes plants of various species

Nepenthes plants of various species in Tom Bennet’s Pi-controlled terrarium. Photo by Tom Bennet

Tom’s terrarium controller doesn’t only monitor and regulate temperature, humidity and light, three of the four main variables in a terrarium (the fourth, he explains, is water, and because terrariums tend to be nearly or completely sealed, this requires only infrequent intervention). It also logs data from its sensors to Internet-of-Things data platform ThingSpeak, which offers real-time data visualisation and alerts.

Line chart plotting terrarium temperature and humidity over a 24-hour period

24 hours’ worth of temperature and humidity data for Tom’s terrarium

One of the appealing aspects of this project, as Tom observes, is its capacity for extension. You could quite easily add a soil moisture sensor or, particularly for a terrarium that houses reptiles rather than plants, a camera module, as well as using the online data logs in all kinds of ways.

The very clear instructions include a full and costed bill of materials consisting of off-the-shelf parts that come to less than £90/$125 including the Pi. There are helpful photographs and wiring diagrams, straightforward explanations, practical advice, and Python scripts that can easily be adapted to meet the demands of different habitats and ambient conditions. Thank you for writing such a useful guide, Tom; we’re certain it will help plenty of other people set up their own Pi-controlled terrariums!

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Minecraft Pi (and more) over VNC

Post Syndicated from Helen Lynn original https://www.raspberrypi.org/blog/minecraft-pi-and-more-over-vnc/

RealVNC have released a free alpha (testing) version of VNC for Raspberry Pi that lets you remotely view and control everything on your Pi, including Minecraft, from a different computer. It works on every generation of Raspberry Pi, including Pi Zero. Here’s a demo:

VNC for Raspberry Pi alpha – playing Minecraft

With the VNC for Raspberry Pi alpha, you can play Minecraft, access the Pi’s text console and switch between workspaces – all over a VNC connection. We’ve also added hardware acceleration, making connections faster and smoother. To try it out, visit RealVNC’s GitHub: https://github.com/RealVNC/raspi-preview.

Previously, it hasn’t been possible to view software that uses a directly rendered overlay – such as Minecraft, the camera module preview and OMXPlayer – over a VNC connection. It’s a feature that lots of people have long wished for, not least because it means that schools and other organisations can use existing equipment, such as laptops, as displays for their Raspberry Pis, so it’s fantastic to see a VNC server that supports it.

Our Head of Curriculum Development, Marc Scott, has spent some time taking a look, and he was impressed:

The performance was great, once the settings had been played with a little, and set-up was easy just by following the instructions on the GitHub repo: https://github.com/RealVNC/raspi-preview#startVnc.

Once this is perfected, it will certainly be fantastic for teachers and students, who will be able to use their existing ICT infrastructure to connect and control their Raspberry Pis.

It’s fair to say the new version has been well received by the Raspberry Pi community so far:

CovAndWarksRaspiJam on Twitter

@RealVNC THIS IS AMAZING!pic.twitter.com/WReVGiRaUl

We’ve been looking forward to this since RealVNC tantalised us with a cracking demo at our fourth birthday party in March, and we’re delighted to see it out there. In releasing a public alpha, RealVNC are hoping for your feedback to help them make it as good as possible, so download it, give it a go and tell them what you think!

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A Raspberry Pi + IKEA arcade table to make yourself

Post Syndicated from Helen Lynn original https://www.raspberrypi.org/blog/raspberry-pi-ikea-arcade-table-make-yourself/

Barely a month slips by at the moment without my ordering some new flat-packed goodies from IKEA. Our family, still gradually settling into the house we moved into just before our eldest was born, goes about its book-savouring, toy-categorising, craft-supply-hoarding life within a sturdy framework of TROFAST, EKBY and BESTÅ. The really great thing is that much of this furniture lends itself to modification, and spannerspencer‘s PIK3A Gaming Table, using a Raspberry Pi and the iconic LACK side table, is a wonderful example.

PIK3A gaming table - a glossy red IKEA LACK table with inlaid monitor, joystick and buttons

Shiny retrogaming loveliness

The build instructions over at element14 are generously illustrated with photographs, bringing this project within reach of people who don’t have a ton of experience, but are happy to chuck some time at it. (If I give this one a go, I’ll probably start by getting a couple of tables so that I have a back-up. The mods to the table don’t need any fancy tools – just a drill, a Stanley knife and a hole saw – but these are the steps at greatest risk of mistakes you can’t undo.) The tutorial takes you through everything from cutting the table so as to avoid too many repeat attempts, to mounting and wiring up the controls, to the code you need to run on the Arduino and how to upload it.

Cutting holes in an IKEA LACK table for buttons and other controls

Holes much neater than the ones I will cut

You can buy a new LACK table for £6 in the UK, although the nice red glossy version in the pictures will set you back a whole £2 more. A Raspberry Pi, an Arduino Leonardo, an old LCD monitor, some cheap computer speakers, a joystick, buttons, cables and connectors, and a power supply complete the bill of materials for this build. If you want to make it extra beautiful or simply catproof it, you can add a sheet of acrylic to protect the monitor, as spannerspencer has. He’s also included a panel mount USB port to make it easy to add USB peripherals later.

A cat standing on a PIK3A gaming table protected with a sheet of transparent acrylic

PIK3A, with added catproofing

The PIK3A Gaming Table went down a storm over at element14, and its successor, the PIK3A Mark II two-player gaming table (using a LACK TV bench) is proving pretty popular too. Give them a go!

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Pocket FM: independent radio in Syria

Post Syndicated from Liz Upton original https://www.raspberrypi.org/blog/pocket-fm-independent-radio-syria/

When we started thinking about the Raspberry Pi project back in 2009, our ambitions were small, and very focussed on local education.

We realised we were doing something bigger than that pretty rapidly, but all the same, some of the projects we come across leave us shocked at their scale, their gravity and their importance. This is one of them.

"Do you have a radio? 87.7 FM"

Do you have a radio? 87.7 FM

In Syria, a German group called Media in Cooperation and Transition (MiCT) has been equipping towns with transmitters called PocketFM, built around Raspberry Pis, to provide Syrians with independent radio. Each transmitter has 4 to 6km (2.5 to 3.75 miles) of range, which is sufficient to reach a whole town.

In many parts of Syria, it’s impossible and politically unwise to build large transmitters, so a small device like PocketFM that can be easily concealed and transported, and that can be run off solar power or a car battery, is ideal.

pocketfm

A group of around a dozen independent Syrian radio stations has come together to form a group called Syrnet, who work together on programmes and topics and produce a joint station to be broadcast via the PocketFM transmitters; MiCT deal with the mix, distribution and transmission. “The variety of voices in a broadcast effectively illustrates Syria’s state of mind,” says one of the broadcasters. Using PocketFM, Syrnet is reaching 1.5 million citizens in north and north-western Syria, including Homs and Aleppo; they are currently making efforts to widen the network to more regions.

radio stations

The project is about enabling freedom of expression; it also strengthens feelings of solidarity. “We are not for anyone, or against anyone. No one can escape our criticism, even ourselves.”

Between them, the participating stations have access to hundreds of reporters. As well as news, music and entertainment, they’re broadcasting vital information on security, health and nutrition. “One of our strongest programmes is called Alternatives. It describes how to keep warm without any fuel, or how to pick up the internet signal of neighbouring countries when the Syrian internet is down. The difficulties of life – and how to overcome them.”

Syria Radio Network

Syria Radio Network (Syrnet) is an initiative to support independent radio production in Syria with professional training and outreach. Syrnet is a mixed live programme, sourced from Syrian radio stations. Our program is available 24 hours and seven days a week.

In a warzone, radio can be one of the easiest ways to get information. If the power grid is down, you just need batteries.

“We lost one device in Kobane”, says Philipp Hochleichter from MiCT, who is the project’s technical lead. “But due to the bombing – not due to a malfunction.”

“At the moment our journalists are safe with the opposition, but it’s still a war zone with gunfire and shelling,” said Marwa, a journalist with Hara FM, one of the Syrnet stations, based in Turkey.

“I worry about our staff in Aleppo, but no journalist can be 100% safe anywhere in the world.

“For any journalist, telling the truth puts them in danger.”

These bold people are doing something extraordinary. We send them all our very best wishes, and our hopes for a swift end to the conflict.

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PA Consulting Raspberry Pi competition 2016

Post Syndicated from clive original https://www.raspberrypi.org/blog/pa-consulting-2016/

This thing will change your life

In October 2011, Raspberry Pi co-founder Jack Lang handed me a beta version of the Raspberry Pi. This changed my life. The Pi was familiar yet unworldly:  a computer the size of a credit card. As both a teacher and a maker it was a revelation. For the next year I nested in a skip in Cambridge, chittering gently and generally making a pest of myself, until the Foundation lured me into their very first office with a trail of Jaffa Cakes, and put me to work.

Homewood School's SportTrax GPS system

Homewood School’s SportTrax GPS system

It was the best of times…

In early 2013, Computing in the English National Curriculum was over a year away, and although things were starting to happen in the world of computing education, the Pi was still a little bit groovy and a little bit radical for the average ICT classroom. Fortunately, we weren’t the only ones who thought that this small computer could bring about big changes. PA Consulting spotted the potential of the Pi — still in its first incarnation — as a tool for making, problem-solving and collaboration. Each year they challenge schools to use the Raspberry Pi to invent something around a theme. I was lucky to be one of the judges for the first competition in 2013 and it’s been one of my favourite Raspberry Pi events since.

PA’s Raspberry Pi Competition 2016 – Finals

PA’s Raspberry Pi Competition 2016 – Finals Making the difference by inspiring the innovators of the future @PA_Consulting – #PAPiAwards16 – @PA_RaspberryPi http://www.paconsulting.com/raspberrypi Finalists event: 14 April 2016 The Raspberry Pi is one of the most exciting innovations of recent years.

We set this competition up four years ago because at PA we are passionate about technology and innovation, so it was really important for us to encourage the next generation to be as passionate as we are. — Anita Chandraker, Head of Digital at PA Consulting

The 2016 competition

This is the fourth year that I’ve helped judge the competition and each year we’ve been amazed by this innovation and passion. The 2016 final, held at the magnificent Institution of Engineering and Technology in London, was no different. The theme was ‘sports and leisure’, and students scrambled to explain how they’d built and programmed their inventions, which ranged from keep-fit games in Scratch to applications that wouldn’t look out of place at a tech show.

pa rory

I helped judge the Year 12-13 category which, after much tea and deliberation, was won by Highgate School with PiTime, a system for recording race times and taking finish-line photos. Despite stiff competition — Homewood School’s seriously professional SportTrax deserves a special mention — PiTime won because it was cheap, smart and solved a real-world problem for the team members, who are both competitive runners. Full details of all finalists and the winners in other age categories are on PA’s competition site.

Egglescliffe CE Primary School's Colour Smash

Egglescliffe CE Primary School’s Colour Smash

Success story

As well as showing off their creations, the finalists had the chance to meet experts from industry and the world of tech. One of these sages was Tom Hartley, winner of the 2013 competition with teammate Alyssa Dayan for their AirPi. He says that the competition, “… opened up a world of opportunities for me — things I never could have imagined became possible.” Tom is currently studying Electronic and Information Engineering at Imperial College, and it’s wonderful to think that the competition and the Raspberry Pi have played some small part in this.

Tom Hartley speaking to kids

Where does your pebble walk to, Grasshopper? Tom Hartley sharing WISDOM.

Digital making is central to the Foundation’s ethos. It’s a crazy Venn diagram of fabulous skills, from problem-solving, collaboration and creativity through to programming, electronics and soldering. All put in a Klein bottle and given a good shake. PA Consulting saw this very early on and we’re pleased and proud that they continue to run such an inspiring competition.

Digital making is also a powerful and beautiful thing: it changed my life, it changed Tom’s life, and it’s changing the lives of young people all over the world.  So get involved, whether it’s though a Raspberry Jam, a local hack space, Code Club or just by browsing our resources for ideas. And if you are a teacher then please enter the PA Competition next year — even if doesn’t end up changing lives it’s a lot of fun and a great day out for the students 🙂

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Learn all about the new Raspberry Pi Camera Module v2 in The MagPi 45

Post Syndicated from Rob Zwetsloot original https://www.raspberrypi.org/blog/learn-new-raspberry-pi-camera-module-v2-magpi-45/

Earlier this week, the brand new Raspberry Pi Camera Module v2 was revealed to the world, its headline feature being an 8-megapixel sensor. It’s been a few years since the original came out and the new camera is an excellent little upgrade to the existing model; you can find out all the details in our complete breakdown in Issue 45 of The MagPi magazine, which is out today.

Picture perfect, the new Pi Camera Module v2

Picture perfect, the new Pi Camera Module v2

As well as covering the camera and giving you some projects to start you off with it, we also have a look at the ten best Pi-powered arcade machines, which should give you some ideas for a retro games system of your own. There are also tutorials on creating lighting effects for costumes with a Pi and some NeoPixels, making an Asteroids clone in Basic, and building an IoT thermometer. We also have Astro Pi news, excellent projects, reviews, and everything else you’d expect from your monthly MagPi.

A model railway, in-part powered by Pi Zero

A model railway, powered in-part by Pi Zero

Highlights from issue 45:

  • Replicate an Astro Pi experiment
    Create a humidity sensor, similar to the Sweaty Astronaut code
  • Hacking with dinosaurs
    The MagPi heads to the Isle of Wight to see how some animatronic dinos are being hacked with Pi
  • Original games on the Pi
    Play three brand-new games on your Pi thanks to YoYo and GameMaker Studio
  • Moon pictures
    Find out how to use the camera board to take amazing photos of the moon
  • And much, much more!

How to buy
As usual, you can get The MagPi in store from WH Smith, Tesco, Sainsbury’s, and Asda as well as buying copies online from our store. It’s also available digitally via our app on Android and iOS. If you fancy subscribing to the magazine to make sure you never miss an issue, you can do that to on our subscription site.

Free Creative Commons download
As always, you can download your copy of The MagPi completely free. Grab it straight from the issue page for The MagPi 45.

Don’t forget, though, that like sales of the Raspberry Pi itself, all proceeds from the print and digital editions of the magazine go to help the Foundation achieve its charitable goals. Help us democratise computing!

We hope you enjoy this month’s issue! Before anyone asks, no, the magazine unfortunately does not come with a free camera. Sorry!

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Wall-mounted Raspberry Pi games console for kids

Post Syndicated from Helen Lynn original https://www.raspberrypi.org/blog/wall-mounted-raspberry-pi-games-console-for-kids/

YouTuber buildxyz is happy for his kids to play video games, but he’s keen for them to have a properly decent selection, and he wanted something that would look a little better in his living room than your average games console. He also wanted a no-nonsense way to retain parental control over the amount of time the children spend engaging with this particular kind of entertainment. Using a Raspberry Pi 2, an Arduino Uno, an old monitor and speakers, and EmulationStation, he came up with this.

RPiKids: Raspberry Pi2 / Arduino / EmulationStaion Powered Kids Entertainment Center

Share this video: https://youtu.be/SEao9h7Zg9Y www.buildxyz.xyz I hope you enjoyed my remix of the Illusion of Gaia from SNES

An accomplished hobbyist woodworker, buildxyz constructed the cabinet from Baltic Birch plywood and custom laser-cut and 3D-printed parts, adding old speakers he had lying around and an HP monitor.

A rotary combination lock on the front allows buildxyz’s kids to enter a passcode for time-limited access, and sits inside a NeoPixel ring from Adafruit that shows the current status of the timer. An Arduino Uno controls power to the set-up, polling for a press of the rotary lock’s integrated push-button to turn on the Pi, which runs RetroPie and EmulationStation; the Uno shuts everything down gracefully either when the button is pressed again or when a player runs out of gaming time. When the kids figure out that the current system allows them to brute-force the passcode, they’ll be rewarded with unlimited access for a while, until buildxyz fixes this intentional vulnerability.

This is a simple and well executed project that, buildxyz comments, is “far more reliable then I anticipated.” We hope he and his kids have tons of fun using it, and my experience with kids and screens makes me think the whole family is likely to benefit from the fact that you plainly can’t argue with an electronic timer. You can read more about buildxyz’s project on Hackaday or in his build log, and if you’ve used a Pi to make a gaming set-up that meets your own particular spec, please tell us about your build in the comments!

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Optimizing Disk Usage on Amazon ECS

Post Syndicated from Chris Barclay original https://aws.amazon.com/blogs/compute/optimizing-disk-usage-on-amazon-ecs/

My colleague Jay McConnell sent a nice guest post that describes how to track and optimize the disk spaced used in your Amazon ECS cluster.

Failure to monitor disk space utilization can cause problems that prevent Docker containers from working as expected. Amazon EC2 instance disks are used for multiple purposes, such as Docker daemon logs, containers, and images. This post covers techniques to monitor and reclaim disk space on the cluster of EC2 instances used to run your containers.

Amazon ECS is a highly scalable, high performance container management service that supports Docker containers and allows you to run applications easily on a managed cluster of Amazon EC2 instances. You can use ECS to schedule the placement of containers across a cluster of EC2 instances based on your resource needs, isolation policies, and availability requirements.

The ECS-optimized AMI stores images and containers in an EBS volume that uses the devicemapper storage driver in a direct-lvm configuration. As devicemapper stores every image and container in a thin-provisioned virtual device, free space for container storage is not visible through standard Linux utilities such as df. This poses an administrative challenge when it comes to monitoring free space and can also result in increased time troubleshooting task failures, as the cause may not be immediately obvious.

Disk space errors can result in new tasks failing to launch with the following error message:

 Error running deviceCreate (createSnapDevice) dm_task_run failed

NOTE: The scripts and techniques described in this post were tested against the ECS 2016.03.a AMI. You may need to modify these techniques depending on your operating system and environment.

Monitoring

You can use Amazon CloudWatch custom metrics to track EC2 instance disk usage. After a CloudWatch metric is created, you can add a CloudWatch alarm to alert you proactively, before low disk space causes a problem on your cluster.

Step 1: Create an IAM role

The first step is to ensure that the EC2 instance profile for the EC2 instances in the ECS cluster uses the “cloudwatch:PutMetricData” policy, as this is required to publish to CloudWatch.
In the IAM console, choose Policies, Create Policy. Choose Create Your Own Policy, name it “CloudwatchPutMetricData”, and paste in the following policy in JSON:

{
    "Version": "2012-10-17",
    "Statement": [
        {
            "Sid": "CloudwatchPutMetricData",
            "Effect": "Allow",
            "Action": [
                "cloudwatch:PutMetricData"
            ],
            "Resource": [
                "*"
            ]
        }
    ]
}

After you have saved the policy, navigate to Roles and select the role attached to the EC2 instances in your ECS cluster. Choose Attach Policy, select the “CloudwatchPutMetricData” policy, and choose Attach Policy.

Step 2: Push metrics to CloudWatch

Open a shell to each EC2 instance in the ECS cluster. Open a text editor and create the following bash script:

#!/bin/bash

### Get docker free data and metadata space and push to CloudWatch metrics
### 
### requirements:
###  * must be run from inside an EC2 instance
###  * docker with devicemapper backing storage
###  * aws-cli configured with instance-profile/user with the put-metric-data permissions
###  * local user with rights to run docker cli commands
###
### Created by Jay McConnell

# install aws-cli, bc and jq if required
if [ ! -f /usr/bin/aws ]; then
  yum -qy -d 0 -e 0 install aws-cli
fi
if [ ! -f /usr/bin/bc ]; then
  yum -qy -d 0 -e 0 install bc
fi
if [ ! -f /usr/bin/jq ]; then
  yum -qy -d 0 -e 0 install jq
fi

# Collect region and instanceid from metadata
AWSREGION=`curl -ss http://169.254.169.254/latest/dynamic/instance-identity/document | jq -r .region`
AWSINSTANCEID=`curl -ss http://169.254.169.254/latest/meta-data/instance-id`

function convertUnits {
  # convert units back to bytes as both docker api and cli only provide freindly units
  if [ "$1" == "b" ] ; then
    echo $2
  elif [ "$1" == "kb" ] ; then 
    echo "$2*1000" | bc | awk '{print $1}' FS="."
  elif [ "$1" == "mb" ] ; then
    echo "$2*1000*1000" | bc | awk '{print $1}' FS="."
  elif [ "$1" == "gb" ] ; then
    echo "$2*1000*1000*1000" | bc | awk '{print $1}' FS="."
  elif [ "$1" == "tb" ] ; then
    echo "$2*1000*1000*1000*1000" | bc | awk '{print $1}' FS="."
  else
    echo "Unknown unit $1"
    exit 1
  fi
}

function getMetric {
  # Get freespace and split unit
  if [ "$1" == "Data" ] || [ "$1" == "Metadata" ] ; then
    echo $(docker info | grep "$1 Space Available" | awk '{print tolower($5), $4}')
  else
    echo "Metric must be either 'Data' or 'Metadata'"
    exit 1
  fi
}

data=$(convertUnits `getMetric Data`)
aws cloudwatch put-metric-data --value $data --namespace ECS/$AWSINSTANCEID --unit Bytes --metric-name FreeDataStorage --region $AWSREGION
data=$(convertUnits `getMetric Metadata`)
aws cloudwatch put-metric-data --value $data --namespace ECS/$AWSINSTANCEID --unit Bytes --metric-name FreeMetadataStorage --region $AWSREGION

Next, set the script to be executable:

chmod +x /path/to/metricscript.sh

Now, schedule the script to run every 5 minutes via cron. To do this, create the file /etc/cron.d/ecsmetrics with the following contents:

*/5 * * * * root /path/to/metricscript.sh

This pulls both free data and metadata every 5 minutes and push them to CloudWatch with the namespace ECS/.

Disk cleanup

The next step is to clean up the disk, either automatically on a schedule or manually. This post covers cleanup of tasks and images; there is a great blog post, Send ECS Container Logs to CloudWatch Logs for Centralized Monitoring, that covers pushing log files to CloudWatch. Using CloudWatch Logs instead of local log files reduces disk utilization and provides a resilient and centralized place from which to manage logs.

Take a look at what you can do to remove unneeded containers and images from your instances.

Delete containers

Stopped containers should be deleted if they are no longer needed. The ECS agent, by default, deletes all containers that have exited every 3 hours. This behavior can be customized by adding the following to /etc/ecs/ecs.config:

ECS_ENGINE_TASK_CLEANUP_WAIT_DURATION=10m

This sets the frequency of the task to 10 minutes.
For this change to take effect, the ECS agent needs to be restarted, which can be done via ssh:

stop ecs; start ecs

To set this up for new instances, attach the following EC2 user data:

cat /etc/ecs/ecs.config | grep -v 'ECS_ENGINE_TASK_CLEANUP_WAIT_DURATION' > /tmp/ecs.config
echo "ECS_ENGINE_TASK_CLEANUP_WAIT_DURATION=5m" >> /tmp/ecs.config
mv -f /tmp/ecs.config /etc/ecs/
stop ecs
start ecs

Delete images

By default, Docker caches images indefinitely. Cached images can be useful to reduce the time needed to launch new tasks: if the image is cached, the container can be started from the cache. If you have a lot of images that are rarely used, as is common in CI or development environments, then cleaning these out is a good idea. Use the following commands to remove unused images:

List images:

docker images

Delete an image:

docker rmi IMAGE

This could be condensed and saved to a bash script:

#!/bin/bash
docker images -q | xargs --no-run-if-empty docker rmi

Set the script to be executable:

chmod +x /path/to/cleanupscript.sh

Execute the script daily via cron by creating a file called /etc/cron.d/dockerImageCleanup with the following contents:

00 00 * * * root /path/to/cleanupscript.sh

Conclusion

The techniques described in this post provide visibility into a critical component of running Docker—the disk space used on the cluster’s EC2 instances—and techniques to clean up unnecessary storage. If you have any questions or suggestions for other best practices, please comment below.

A media player for Scott

Post Syndicated from Liz Upton original https://www.raspberrypi.org/blog/media-player-scott/

Projects don’t have to be hugely complicated to make a huge difference. In Luxembourg, Alain Wall has used a Raspberry Pi to make a very simple media player for his autistic son, Scott. It’s very easy to use, very robust, and easy to clean; and it offers Scott a limited (so not overwhelming) but meaningful degree of choice. Here’s Scott using his player. Watch to the end for the best smile in the world.

Dem Scott sain neien TV. Scott’s new TV

Hei ass den Scott deen sain neien Mediaplayer test. En kann sech seng Filmer selwer starten an stoppen. A media player nearly indestructible an controllable with 6 Buttons to choose a movie Deutsch: http://awallelectronic.blogspot.lu/2016/04/scott-tv.html English: http://www.instructables.com/id/ScottTV-a-Simple-Media-Player-for-My-Austic-Son/ or https://hackaday.io/project/11000-scotttv-a-simple-mediaplayer-for-my-autistic-son

Alain hooked up six big piezo buttons and some speakers to a 20-in monitor and a Raspberry Pi – this isn’t the most complicated build you’ll see around these parts. (You can see a how-to guide over at Instructables.) But it is one of the most effective: as Alain says, “Scott loves it.”

Here’s another video from Alain demonstrating the setup.

Scott TV Simple MediaPlayer For My Autistic Son Scott

This is a simple media player for my autistic son. It had to be easy to use, nearly indestructible and easy to clean http://www.instructables.com/id/ScottTV-a-Simple-Media-Player-for-My-Austic-Son/ Deutsch: http://awallelectronic.blogspot.lu/2016/04/scott-tv.html

Thanks very much for sharing the project, Alain; all the very best from us at Pi Towers to you and the rest of the family, especially Scott!

 

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Raspberry Pi telehealth kit piloted in NHS

Post Syndicated from Liz Upton original https://www.raspberrypi.org/blog/raspberry-pi-telehealth-kit-piloted-nhs/

I had to spend a couple of nights in hospital last year – the first time I’d been on a hospital ward in about fifteen years. Things have moved on since my last visit: being me, the difference I really noticed was the huge number of computers, often on wheely trolley devices so they could be pushed around the ward, and often only used for one task. There was one at A&E when I came in, used to check NHS numbers and notes; another for paramedics to do a temperature check (this was at the height of the Ebola scare). When my blood was taken for some tests, another mobile computer was hooked up to the vials of blood and the testing hardware right next to my bed, feeding back results to a database; one controlled my drip, another monitored my oxygen levels, breathing, heart rate and so on on the ward. PCs for logging and checking were everywhere. I’m sure the operating room was full of the things too, but I was a bit unconscious at that point, so had stopped counting. (I’m fine now, by the way. Thanks for worrying.)

intensivecare

The huge variety of specialised and generic compute in the hospital gave me something to think about other than myself (which was very, very welcome under the circumstances). Namely, how much all this was costing; and how you could use Raspberry Pis to take some of that cost out. Here’s a study from 2009 about some of the devices used on a ward. That’s a heck of a lot of machines. We know from long experience at Raspberry Pi that specialised embedded hardware is often very, very expensive; manufacturers can put a premium on devices used in specialised environments, and increasingly, people using those devices are swapping them out for something based on Raspberry Pi (about a third of our sales go into embedded compute in industry, for factory automation and similar purposes). And we know that the NHS is financially pressed.

This is a long-winded way of saying that we’re really, really pleased to see a Raspberry Pi being trialled in the NHS.

This is the MediPi. It’s a device for heart patients to use at home to measure health statistics, which means they don’t need daily visits from a medical professional. Telehealth devices like this are usually built on iPads using 3G and Bluetooth with specially commissioned custom software and custom peripherals, which is a really expensive way to do a few simple things.

medipi

MediPi is being trialled this year with heart failure patients in an NHS trust in the south of England. Richard Robinson, the developer, is a a technical integration specialist at the Health and Social Care Information Centre (HSCIC) who has a particular interest in Raspberry Pi. He was shocked to find studies suggesting that devices like this were costing the NHS at least £2,000 a year per patient, making telehealth devices just too expensive for many NHS trusts to be able to use in any numbers. MediPi is much cheaper. The whole kit – that is, the Pi the touchscreen, a blood pressure cuff, a finger oximeter and some diagnostic scales – comes in at £250 (the hope is that building devices like this in bulk will bring prices even lower). And it’s all built on open-source software.

MediPi issues on-screen instructions showing patients how to take and record their measurements. When they hit the “transmit” button MediPi compresses and encrypts the data, and sends it to their clinician. Doctors have asked to be able to send messages to patients using the device, and patients can reply to them. MediPi also includes a heart questionnaire which patients respond to daily using the touch screen.

Richard Robinson says:

We created a secure platform which can message using Spine messaging and also message using any securely enabled network. We have designed it to be patient-friendly, so it has a simple touch-tiled dashboard interface and various help screens, and it’s low cost.

Clinicians don’t want to be overwhelmed with enormous amounts of data so we have developed a concentrator that will take the data and allow clinicians certain views, such as alerts for ‘out of threshold’ values.

My aim for this is that we demonstrate that telehealth is affordable at scale.

We’re really excited about this trial, and we’ll be keeping an eye on how things pan out. We’d love to see more of this sort of cost-reducing innovation in the heath sector; the Raspberry Pi is stable enough and cheap enough to provide it.

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New 8-megapixel camera board on sale at $25

Post Syndicated from Eben Upton original https://www.raspberrypi.org/blog/new-8-megapixel-camera-board-sale-25/

The 5-megapixel visible-light camera board was our first official accessory back in 2013, and it remains one of your favourite add-ons. They’ve found their way into a bunch of fun projects, including telescopes, kites, science lessons and of course the Naturebytes camera trap. It was soon joined by the Pi NoIR infrared-sensitive version, which not only let you see in the dark, but also opened the door to hyperspectral imaging hacks.

As many of you know, the OmniVision OV5647 sensor used in both boards was end-of-lifed at the end of 2014. Our partners both bought up large stockpiles, but these are now almost completely depleted, so we needed to do something new. Fortunately, we’d already struck up conversation with Sony’s image sensor division, and so in the nick of time we’re able to announce the immediate availability of both visible-light and infrared cameras based on the Sony IMX219 8-megapixel sensor, at the same low price of $25. They’re available today from our partners RS Components and element14, and should make their way to your favourite reseller soon.

Visible light camera v2

The visible light camera…

...and its infrared cousin

…and its infrared cousin

In our testing, IMX219 has proven to be a fantastic choice. You can read all the gory details about IMX219 and the Exmor R back-illuminated sensor architecture on Sony’s website, but suffice to say this is more than just a resolution upgrade: it’s a leap forward in image quality, colour fidelity and low-light performance.

VideoCore IV includes a sophisticated image sensor pipeline (ISP). This converts “raw” Bayer-format RGB input images from the sensor into YUV-format output images, while correcting for sensor and module artefacts such as thermal and shot noise, defective pixels, lens shading and image distortion. Tuning the ISP to work with a particular sensor is a time-consuming, specialist activity: there are only a handful of people with the necessary skills, and we’re very lucky that Naush Patuck, formerly of Broadcom’s imaging team, volunteered to take this on for IMX219.

Naush says:

Regarding the tuning process, I guess you could say the bulk of the effort went into the lens shading and AWB tuning. Apart from the fixed shading correction, our auto lens shading algorithm takes care of module to module manufacturing variations. AWB is tricky because we must ensure correct results over a large section of the colour temperature curve; in the case of the IMX219, we used images illuminated by light sources from 1800K [very “cool” reddish light] all the way up to 16000K [very “hot” bluish light].

The goal of auto white balance (AWB) is to recover the “true” colours in a scene regardless of the colour temperature of the light illuminating it: filming a white object should result in white pixels in sunlight, or under LED, fluorescent or incandescent lights. You can see from these pairs of before and after images that Naush’s tune does a great job under very challenging conditions.

AWB with high colour temperature

AWB at higher colour temperature

AWB at lower colour temperature

AWB at lower colour temperature

As always, we’re indebted to a host of people for their help getting these products out of the door. Dave Stevenson and James Hughes (hope you and Elaine are having a great honeymoon, James!) wrote most of our camera platform code. Mike Stimson designed the board (his second Raspberry Pi product after Zero). Phil Holden, Shinichi Goseki, Qiang Li and many others at Sony went out of their way to help us get access to the information Naush needed to tune the ISP.

We’re really happy with the way the new camera board has turned out, and we can’t wait to see what you do with it. Head over to RS Components or element14 to pick one up today.

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Scratch performance – feel the speed!

Post Syndicated from Eben Upton original https://www.raspberrypi.org/blog/scratch-performance-raspberry-pi/

The Scratch programming language, developed at MIT, has become the cornerstone of computing education at the primary level. Running the Scratch environment well was an early goal for Raspberry Pi. Since early 2013 we’ve been working with Tim Rowledge, Smalltalk hacker extraordinaire. Tim has been beavering away, improving the Scratch codebase and porting it to newer versions of the Squeak virtual machine. Ben Avison chipped in with ARM-optimised versions of Squeak’s graphics operations, and of course we did our bit by releasing two new generations of the Raspberry Pi hardware.

We thought you’d enjoy these two videos. The first shows Andrew Oliver’s Scratch implementation of Pacman running on an Intel Core i5 laptop with “standard” Scratch 1.4. (Yes, that Andrew Oliver. Thanks Andrew!) The second shows the same code running on a Raspberry Pi 3 with Tim’s optimised Scratch. The Raspberry Pi version is roughly twice as fast.

Pacman running on a Macbook i5 under MIT Scratch

A demonstration of how much slower standard Scratch can be than the optimised NuScratch that’s available for Raspberry Pi

PacMan running on Pi 3 under NuScratch

This is “PacMan running on Pi 3 under NuScratch” by raspberrypi on Vimeo, the home for high quality videos and the people who love them.

This is a great example of the sort of attention-to-detail work that we like to focus on, and that can make the difference between a mediocre user experience and the desktop-equivalent experience that we aspire to for Raspberry Pi 3. We think it’s as important to work as hard on improving and incrementing software as it is to do the same with the hardware it runs on. We’ve done similar work with Kodi and Epiphany, and you can expect a lot more of this from us over the next couple of years.

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Raspberry Pi, Preserving Digital Heritage

Post Syndicated from Oliver Quinlan original https://www.raspberrypi.org/blog/pis-preserving-digital-heritage/

The Raspberry Pi computer was inspired by the machines of the 80s, which were used interchangeably for programming and gaming. In fact, many of you will remember typing in the pages of code from a magazine to make a game. Some people used them as a basis on which to build their own games, taking the early steps into what has become an important industry.

Micro User magazine was an important part of the early computing education of a lot of people who work at Raspberry Pi. Mike Cook, who now writes for our official magazine, The MagPi, was author of the monthly Body Building feature.

In the 1980s, Micro User magazine was an important part of the early computing education of a lot of people who now work at Raspberry Pi. Mike Cook, who now writes for our official magazine, The MagPi, was author of the monthly Body Building hardware feature.

Nowadays, computer games are a crucial part of our cultural history. We see this in the enthusiasm for retro games projects that people create with our computers.

A trip down 8-bit memory lane is a lot of fun, but there’s a serious side to the preservation of games too. The games and machines that inspired a generation of digital creatives are old and obsolete. There will soon come a time when they no longer work; a lot of work is done by organisations like the Centre for Computing History in Cambridge to preserve old hardware, but it’s an uphill battle against the moulds that find the medium inside floppy discs so attractive, the leakage of electrolytic capacitors, tin whiskers developing in solder, and a million and one other sorts of entropy. In the future, there could be no way to revisit this part of our culture in the same way we can with books and objects without the work of archivists and historians.

A tiny part of the Centre for Computing History's collection on display

A tiny part of the Centre for Computing History’s collection on display

The cultural side of games is clear in the way they represent real places. The Museum of London are exploring this with an exhibit of representations of London in games. The earliest example is in 1982 text-based adventure game Streets of London for the ZX Spectrum; more recent ones include Tomb Raider III and Broken Sword.

Streets of London

You can’t understand a game by looking at it in a museum case: it has to be experienced. The museum collection includes ZX Spectrum and Commodore 64 machines, but the curators found that these old computers were not robust enough for ‘hands-on’ exhibits. Long load times from cassettes, 30-year-old worn keyboards and obsolete monitor connections all hampered their efforts.

Step up the Raspberry Pi, and the resources for retro gaming provided by RetroPie and the many emulators it supports. This seems appropriate, given that the Pi is the inheritor of the DIY ethos of these early games machines. All the interactive exhibits are powered by Raspberry Pis, emulating Spectrums, Commodore 64s, and even a Windows 95 PC.

Commodore 64 emulator

What’s on-screen is only part of the experience, so the exhibits also have authentic input devices. Adventure game commands are typed (and mis-typed) into the squashy rubber-membrane keys of an adapted Spectrum keyboard. Platform antics are controlled with a C64-like joystick (instinctive flailing of the controller to make characters jump higher is optional). Even the original manuals are included, as referring to them was so often an important part of the experience.

Spectrum keyboard

As custodians of cultural history, it’s also important that the museum uses the right processes to preserve the games. They have acquired copies of games on the original cassettes and disks, and carefully transferred them to modern media. This is important for copyright, to ensure the authenticity of the code, and for the completeness of the collection.

It’s easy to forget that games are important historical artefacts. They tell us about past experiences, and the way they represent places and events is a part of our cultural history. Although digital artefacts are quickly obsolete, people are going to great lengths to develop ways of preserving them for generations to come.

Seeing representations of London in video games alongside the art, objects and literature in the collection at the Museum of London shows just how much a part of life digital objects are now. It also shows how the history of the early video games era is being passed on through the Raspberry Pi. It’s not just inspiring a new generation of digital creatives. It’s also helping us all to remember and understand our digital heritage.

London in Video Games is on display at The Museum of London until the end of April, and the museum plans to continue to explore digital preservation and games emulation. We know there are lots of people in our community with expertise in emulation and archiving of retro games: let us know in the comments if you might be able to lend your expertise to projects like this.

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Astro Pi: the animated adventures of Izzy and Ed

Post Syndicated from Helen Lynn original https://www.raspberrypi.org/blog/astro-pi-animated-adventures-izzy-ed/

Right now, two Raspberry Pi computers are orbiting Earth on board the International Space Station.

Our intrepid Astro Pi units Izzy and Ed launched in December and were deployed by British ESA astronaut Tim Peake in February. We’ve seen the first part of their animated adventures; now we bring you the second part of their story, featuring some very special guests.

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We’re especially excited that our Astro Pis have met Robonaut, NASA’s humanoid robot, as well as human crew members from ESA, NASA and Roscosmos.

After Ed and Izzy finished running apps and experiments coded by UK school students, they entered a flight recorder mode where they saved sensor readings to a database every ten seconds. They each recorded their orientation and acceleration, as well as temperature, humidity and pressure, over a period of about two weeks. We’ve now made the data they recorded on the ISS available for everyone to download, so you can analyse it any way you like, and we’ve also prepared a Flight Data Analysis resource to help you interpret and handle the data. We’re really looking forward to seeing how you use these data to analyse and interpret the movement of the space station and the environment on board.

Both Astro Pi units have been tweeting about some of their activities, including some great Earth observation images from Izzy, and they’re also talking about opportunities to get involved with their mission. Follow Ed and Izzy on Twitter to see what they’re up to!

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New – Managed Platform Updates for AWS Elastic Beanstalk

Post Syndicated from Jeff Barr original https://aws.amazon.com/blogs/aws/new-managed-platform-updates-for-aws-elastic-beanstalk/

AWS Elastic Beanstalk simplifies the process of deploying and running web applications and web services. You simply upload your code and Elastic Beanstalk will take care of the details. This includes provisioning capacity, setting up load balancing and auto scaling, and arranging for application health monitoring. You can build Elastic Beanstalk applications using a variety of platforms and languages including Java, PHP, Ruby, Node.ps, Python, .NET, Go, and Docker.

Elastic Beanstalk regularly releases new versions of supported platforms with operating system, web & app server, and language & framework updates. Until now, you needed to initiate a manual update (via the Elastic Beanstalk Console, command line interface, or API) to update your Elastic Beanstalk environments to the new version of the platform or language.  This gave you full control over the timing of updates, but left you with one more thing to remember and to manage.

Managed Platform Updates
Today we are making Elastic Beanstalk even more powerful by adding support for managed platform updates. You simply select a weekly maintenance window and Elastic Beanstalk will update your environment to the latest platform version automatically.

The updates are installed using an immutable  deployment model to ensure that no changes are made to the existing environment until the updated replacement instances are available and deemed healthy (according to the health check that you have configured for the application). If issues are detected during the update, traffic will continue to be routed to the existing instances. The immutable deployment model also ensures that your application will remain available during updates in order to minimize disruption to your users.

You can choose to install minor updates and patches automatically, and you can also trigger updates outside of the maintenance window. Because major updates typically require careful testing before being deployed, they will not take place automatically and must be triggered manually.

You can configure managed updates from the Elastic Beanstalk Console. First, enable them in the Configuration tab:

And then manage them in the Managed Updates tab:

Available Now
This new feature is available now and you can start using it today. There’s no charge for the feature, but you will pay for any additional EC2 instances that are used to ensure a seamless update.


Jeff;

 

 

European Maker Week

Post Syndicated from Ben Nuttall original https://www.raspberrypi.org/blog/european-maker-week/

A large part of the Raspberry Pi community identify as makers. We all love to make things – from robots to yarn to pottery to art – and share our creations with others. European Maker Week is a celebration of this rapidly growing community, and it takes place between 30 May and 5 June in 28 countries.

European Maker Week banner: "a celebration of makers and innovators all over Europe"

EMW is an initiative promoted by European Commission and implemented by Maker Faire Rome in collaboration with Startup Europe. Over 80 events are scheduled for the week so there’s plenty to get involved with. And if you’re running a Raspberry Jam that week, you can submit it to the EMW website to be included on the map.

Map showing European Maker Week events in countries across Europe

European Maker Week events

This weekend, Maker Faire UK takes place in Newcastle. Maker Faire Rome, the largest in Europe, takes place in October, and their call for makers opens on 26 April – it’s a great opportunity to show off your latest Raspberry Pi project, or to attend and observe the great hacks on display in the city of Rome. This year a prize of €100,000 is available for the best maker project with the highest social impact.

Banners at the entrance to Maker Faire Rome: "16-18 Ottobre 2015" and "Scopri. Inventa. Crea."

20151018_132236

Maker Faire Rome

There are many ways of connecting with the wider maker community. We strongly encourage you to check out a Maker Faire if you get the chance, and if you’re near a hackspace, a maker space, a fab lab or a repair café, you’ll find people there who are happy to share skills and tools. And, of course, there are Raspberry Jams around the world for you to get involved with too, such Raspberry Jam Berlin, Pi and More in Trier, and Rhône Raspberry Jam. A jam doesn’t have to be a huge event, it can be a small gathering – why not think about setting one up? Head over to our Jam page to find out how to get started!

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Weather, security and temperature cam

Post Syndicated from Liz Upton original https://www.raspberrypi.org/blog/weather-security-temperature-cam/

We see a lot of Raspberry Pis being used as security cameras – check out this fine example that we blogged back in 2013 – they’re a cheap and effective solution for people who want to deter burglars and vandals.

This very serious-looking camera housing is only £5.49 on Amazon - click the image to buy.

This very serious-looking fake camera housing is only £5.49 on Amazon – click the image to buy, and then stick a camera board inside.

The good folks at Adafruit had one of those ideas that makes you slap yourself in the forehead for not coming up with it yourself. They’ve made a camera system which can upload images to the cloud, so you can check on it from wherever you are – but it also uploads other sensor data of your choosing (in this example, temperature) and graphs it using matplotlib. A sort of proto-Nest, if you will.

camera_monitor_picam_and_temp_on_pitft v1

We’re using Adafruit’s adafruit.io here: it’s their new Internet of Things API. It’s still in Beta, but pretty solid; we’d be interested to hear how you get on with it.

You can find an exhaustive how-to here. Jeremy Blythe from Adafruit says:

This project uses two Raspberry PIs – a sender and a receiver. The sender has a Raspberry Pi Camera and an MCP9808 temperature sensor to publish data to adafruit.io. The receiver, a dashboard somewhere else in the world, subscribes to this data feed and displays it.

This dashboard Raspberry Pi has a PiTFT and displays the image whenever it’s sent to the feed (every 5 minutes), the current temperature is overlaid on the image using pygame. The final cherry on the cake here is that if you tap the screen you flip to the graph view. This takes the data from the feed using the io-client-python data method, pulls out the last 24 hours and uses matplotlib to draw a graph of temp/time. Of course, you can see the feeds in the adafruit.io online dashboard too!

There’s a lot you can do in terms of feature-creep here; we’re thinking about what other sensors you could usefully add, and what else you might be able to do with a big dataset of images. Go wild – and tell us if you make one yourselves!

 

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Edinburgh Mini Maker Faire

Post Syndicated from Laura Clay original https://www.raspberrypi.org/blog/edinburgh-mini-maker-faire/

Not all the tech fun in the UK happens down near Pi Towers in Cambridge. Here in Scotland, the Mini Maker Faire has been the Edinburgh International Science Festival’s grand finale for four years now. This year’s was the biggest yet, so I headed over to see what was going on. There were plenty of projects using Raspberry Pis, loads of new maker spaces and Jams, and even a mildly terrifying giant robot stalking around the courtyard. I’m sure someone did a headcount of the children at the end, don’t worry.

rsz_wp_20160410_13_04_44_pro

The first person to spot my neon Pi T-shirt was Tony from Newcastle MakerSpace, promoting the MakerFaire coming up on 23 April and attracting over 10,000 attendees. His mini Pi-powered Pacman arcade cabinet drew a sizeable queue, and his dinky Pi Zero game controllers looked like the ultimate in portable gaming: just plug into a TV and play!

rsz_wp_20160410_11_52_25_pro
MakLabs are also springing up across Scotland, with the largest meeting in Glasgow. Their showpiece was a Bigtrak-style toy tank with a webcam, controlled by REST and with a Pi acting as a server. While the internet was somewhat patchy in a hundred-year-old former veterinary school, it was still an impressive build.

Aberdeen boasts the 57North hacklab. It was hard to miss their amateur radio station tracker, with a PDP-8 minicomputer for added flashing light goodness. The hulking unit consisted of a Pi, two screens and the open-source XASTIR tracking software, showing the various stations.

rsz_wp_20160410_12_01_57_pro

The newest Makerspace on the block is in Dundee, Scotland’s gaming capital, so it seemed fitting that a tiny minimalist Pi Zero platform game, using a Pimoroni pHAT, was pride of place. They’re running weekly meetups and hope to set up a Jam in the near future.

Finally, we spotted Robotical, a PhD project now seeking crowdfunding for its adorable walking robots. We watched a tense football match between two bots, controlled by Model B Pis in their back and with micro:bit remote controls to move them. (The red robot won, incidentally. My gaming reflexes aren’t what they used to be.)

rsz_wp_20160410_13_56_17_pro

It was great to see what the community up here is doing with their Pis, and I’m looking forward to the Edinburgh Raspberry Jam on the 30 April where there will no doubt be even more brilliant projects being demonstrated.

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Game Boy Zero

Post Syndicated from Liz Upton original https://www.raspberrypi.org/blog/game-boy-zero/

We see a lot of Pi Zero retro gaming mods, but I think this one might just take the biscuit.

Gameboy-Zero_3

This rather beautiful mod from Wermy (leave your real name in the comments if you’d like us to use it, Wermy!) has a few details that really make it stand out. Pi Zero in a controller or hand-held device isn’t new: we’ve seen it before. But this one’s got a couple of special features. First up, there’s this glorious cartridge hack:

Gameboy-Zero_2

What you’re seeing here is a customised Game Boy cartridge which has been re-soldered and gently Dremeled to house a micro SD adapter, which will accept any micro SD you pop in there, and enable the Pi Zero inside the Game Boy itself to read from it. (Wurmy’s running Emulation Station on the Game Boy Zero.)

People with sharp eyes will have noticed that the Game Boy Zero has one big cosmetic difference (aside from that display) from the original Game Boy. It has two extra buttons, so you can play SNES, NES, and later Game Boy model games on there. There are also a couple of shoulder triggers. (The buttons Wurmy has used are from a SNES, and he says they’re very similar in look and feel to what you’ll find on the original Game Boy.)

The screen’s a little composite display from Adafruit, which was a little larger than the original display, and required some careful removing of struts inside the case. Wurmy’s added three buttons inside the case to control brightness, colour and contrast, along with a USB Bluetooth adaptor – it’s a tight fit to get everything inside the case, but he’s done a stand-up job.

final layout

Here it is in action.

Game Boy Zero with custom SD card reader game cartridge

UPDATE: I set up a blog where I’ll be posting how-to guides for this project. You can also enter there for a chance to win the one I’ll be building! http://www.sudomod.com I made a RetroPie handheld using a Raspberry Pi Zero and an original DMG-01 Game Boy.

Wurmy’s documenting the build here (and running a giveaway so you can win one of these gorgeous little things): head over to read more!

Oh – and to preempt Pi Zero stock woe in the comments, we’ve got some news from Eben:

Raspberry Pi Zero production is restarting in Wales next Monday after a hiatus to allow us to focus on Raspberry Pi 3 (a million units built and counting :D). We have placed 250ku of new orders, and are aiming to produce at least 50ku/month for the rest of this year. Distribution will continue to be via Pimoroni, Pi Hut, Adafruit and Micro Center for now.

To thank you for your patience, we’ve taken advantage of the hiatus to add a (much requested) new feature. I’ll leave you all to guess what it is (it’s not WiFi).

We expect the new Raspberry Pi Zero units (with the new feature) to be available in two to three weeks’ time. They’ll be stocked exclusively in the usual Pi Zero stores: The Pi Hut, Adafruit, Pimoroni and Micro Center.

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