Rob’s in the US at the moment for a few weeks, covering the bits of the country we’ve not been to before, and he’s filled every waking moment with Pi-vangelism. You can read more about his schedule at this earlier post: the last unconfirmed date, in Kansas City next Friday, was just signed off today, and there are still places left at a few of the talks he’s doing, so check out the list to see if he’s visiting somewhere near you.
Last night, Rob took part in a hangout with MAKE magazine and Matt Richardson. (He’s calling in from his hotel room in this video, hence the depressing lighting environment.) He’s talking here about the history of the project, where we’re going, and what he’s up to on his odyssey across the midwest. It’s well worth a watch.
MAKE held a Raspberry Pi Design competition with MCM Electronics for US-based Pi owners, and have just released the results. I’m not sure what’s more impressive: the outstanding quality of the entries, or the fact that even though we spend much of the day furiously googling for new Pi projects, many of the submissions were new to us here at the Foundation. It’s great for us to watch other organisations running contests like this: not least because it’s a real relief not to have to judge them ourselves!
The Grand Prize went to Intonarumori, a collection of magic sound boxes made by a hacker/art collective called urbanSTEW. The STEW-folk say:
Intonarumori is a series of interactive sound boxes created by an art/tech collective, urbanSTEW. The project is based on a century-old futurist movement in which noise-generating machines were created. Inspired by this, urbanSTEW built six new noise machines, each equipped with a Raspberry Pi and various sensors/controls. The boxes are self contained and only need to be plugged in. Intonarumori was presented at a creativity festival where they were played by over 2,000 children/adults.
The Sunlight Foundation’s Lobbyist Meter won the Artistic category: we tweeted about this a while back (and it’s been in my “things to blog” folder for a while) because we thought it was a clever, snarky, funny way to bring attention to a very serious issue. You can read more about the Lobbyist Meter on the Sunlight Foundation’s website. Here it is, doing its transparent, democratic thing.
The Education category award went to a project you’ll all have seen before, if you’re regular readers: Emma Bennett’s beautiful school State Board project (which we have been using in talks as a demonstration of some of the very cool stuff we see kids doing with the Pi) won the prize. Read more about it in the post we wrote when we first saw Emma’s work, and see some video of the board in action below.
Everybody in our offices secretly wants a wooden case for their Pi, because we are all impractical, and we have all read Idoru. The Enclosures category was won by Chris Crumpacker for this beautiful piece of hand-tooled walnut. Chris, if you’re reading, please get in touch. We absolutely, positively need one of these to hold one of the Pis at Raspberry Towers.
Chris told MAKE:
Some times all you need is a bit of scrap wood for inspiration. I had some walnut left over from a previous project. I just love the look of walnut. I had seen other wood cases but they where always 6 pieces of wood glued or nailed together to make a box. I wanted it to be one hunk of wood and my intentions were to carve out a home for the Raspberry Pi.
The final category, Utility, was won by another project we’ve featured here: David Bryan’s cat feeder, which I enjoyed blogging about because it gave me the opportunity to use the phrase “liver-flavoured kibbles”.
Our friend Matt from Make (whom I totally failed to hook up with for drinks when we were in NYC last month – sorry Matt! We’ll see you at Maker Faire San Mateo) has been busy. This demo is absolutely superb. He’s rigged up a light on the front of his bike that works as a headlight and as a projector to show what speed the bike’s travelling at – Matt has plans to add some more features and make the whole thing rather more beautiful, and we’ll be putting video of the finished article up here as soon as he’s ready.
First up, Adafruit’s Raspberry Pi Web IDE is now in Alpha, and they’ve made some improvements which I think you’ll find very helpful. The package now includes:
Python step debugger
Node.js update to 0.8 from 0.6 for faster navigation, and page loads.
Package node binaries with the WebIDE for faster, and easier installs
You’ll need to reinstall to take advantage of the new features.
Web IDE debugger in action – click to visit Adafruit
We’ve been nominated for one of Techcrunch’s Crunchie awards! We’re up for Best Hardware Startup, and you can vote for us here. You can vote once a day; we’d really appreciate it if you could take a minute to show your support!
Mark Baldridge is taking a year out between high school and university, and he’s spending that year on hobby projects. This is one of them: a home-made pinball machine with a Raspberry Pi for brains.
Click to visit TechFruits for a tour of the system, and some video
We thought this was a brilliant project. Eben and I have always fantasised about having the time to refurbish an old pinball machine, but we’d never thought of building one from scratch – we’re in awe. Mark is also blogging his progress on his own website – check it out!
Getting Started with Raspberry Pi
O’Reilly have just published a new Raspberry Pi book under the Make banner. Full disclosure: I haven’t actually got my hands on a copy of Getting Started with the Raspberry Pi yet, so I can’t review it here. But I do know Matt Richardson from Make, who wrote it; and I know that he’s a great teacher and demonstrator, and a very engaging writer, so I feel pretty confident in telling you to go and check it out. When I last spoke to Matt, he mentioned that the book would contain a chapter on using the Pi with Arduino, which was something we didn’t include in Eben and Gareth’s The Raspberry Pi User Guide (the two books should complement each other nicely, if you have room on your sheves) – Matt’s book also contains a chapter on working with webcams. Click the image to visit the Getting Started with Raspberry Pi Amazon page.
Alan O’Donohoe led another London Raspberry Jam last week. We’re really excited to see that his message is getting out: every one of these events seems to be larger and more diverse than the last. (Alan has started holding the events at weekends, which makes them much more accessible for kids.)
Around 70 children, parents and teachers came to learn what they could do with a Raspberry Pi at a number of workshops – we sent Rob Bishop, our roving engineer, to join in. Alan has a short post about the event, and a photo album you can have a flick through. He’s looking for sponsorship so he can make the jams even bigger and better – if you can help, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org, and I’ll pass your message along.
Finally, here’s a project from Gareth James, a man who lives five minutes from the train station but always seems to get there just as the train is leaving. He’s made a very handsome picture frame which displays train times, powered, of course, by a Raspberry Pi. You can find out how he did it on his website.
We won a Makey Award at this year’s Maker Faire NY! The Raspberry Pi’s award was for this year’s Most Hackable Device. Here’s Eben receiving the award from Matt Richardson of Make. (We forgive you, Make, for calling him Ebon.)