The MagPi Magazine www.themagpi.com


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by ashleigh.stone@doctors.org.uk » Mon Apr 30, 2012 5:22 pm
http://www.themagpi.com

Issue 1 of the MagPi has been released and can be found at our website listed above.

The MagPi is a free online community led magazine aimed at educating all levels of user, acting as a media to share projects and ideas.

All constructive comments are welcome.  Articles are now being accepted for issue 2.

Hope you all enjoy.

The MagPi team.
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by boley » Mon Apr 30, 2012 5:39 pm
Very attractive.  I've just skimmed it so far, but my overall impression is that it is very professionally done.  kudos.
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by daveg » Mon Apr 30, 2012 5:53 pm
Very impressive.

Congratulations to all involved.

Look forward to reading more and see how much I can absorb and retain
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by secretreeve » Mon Apr 30, 2012 6:21 pm
just read the mag and its fascinating. VERY well done

my ONLY critisism, page 8 "industial" i think you mean "industRial"?

kinda missed the r out when your talking about the component companies.
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by kirbyman62 » Mon Apr 30, 2012 6:51 pm
Looks great, congrats, I can"t wait for the next one. Would you consider taking C++ submissions? I"ve made a nice little hangman game that could be quite fun for younger kids. If not, perhaps someone could "translate" it to Python.

On the website, I would perhaps make the Twitter link clearer. I looked at the submissions page and thought at first it was a Twitter account, then realised it was in fact an e-mail address, so I presumed you didn't have Twitter. I then move onto the forum page and it turns out there is a Twitter account. Perhaps stick it in a constant area throughout all the subdomains.

Also, feels weird being the 4th follower of something that could turn out to be massive :D
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by Jaseman » Mon Apr 30, 2012 7:47 pm
@ kirbyman62 – You can have your own section on C++ if you like!

@ secretreeve – Well spotted on the spelling error – the draft has been around for nearly 2 months, and nobody else picked up on that – Sack the editor! :-)

Unfortunately that typo is there forever now – Those are the rules – once it goes from draft to final – that"s it! No more edits.

Thanks very much for your kind comments guys – and I hope more of you will get involved in the making of Issue 2.
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by bredman » Mon Apr 30, 2012 8:09 pm
Absolutely excellent - much better than I expected.

In particular the Python Pit is just what beginners need.

However... I remember my childhood days typing in programs from magazines and hoping that I could save them to tape. I noticed that the Python Pit give no instructions on how to save the bat and ball program. This could be the basis of a good article, but it is needed soon. Learners could get very tired of losing their work when powering off.

I was intrigued by the fact that the Python programs are not available as a download. This forces the user to type in everything by hand. This may be a shock to the consumer generation, but it is a good idea to force the learner to get personal with the code.

Keep up the good work. If I ever get a Pi in my hands, I may write something for you.
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by Jaseman » Mon Apr 30, 2012 8:38 pm
In my follow up to the Debian VM, I will be covering how to edit, save and run Python programs.  We didn't want to go into too much detail on that yet, because we are not sure exactly what the official distro will include.  During May, some of the team should have received their Raspberry Pi's - which will help!

Yes - you have to type in the programs - it's the best way to learn.
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by piguy79 » Mon Apr 30, 2012 8:44 pm
good job! can you save the magazine to your harddrive? if so what would you use to view it? what version of python did you use for the examples? how long till the next issue?

liz should put your link on the home page!!
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by Jaseman » Mon Apr 30, 2012 8:50 pm
piguy79 said:


good job! can you save the magazine to your harddrive? if so what would you use to view it? what version of python did you use for the examples? how long till the next issue?

liz should put your link on the home page!!



You can download the PDF version and save it to your hard drive by visiting here: http://goo.gl/Xxqy6

Open it with Adobe Reader

Python 3.22

We will start the draft of Issue 2 tommorow, and it will remain in draft until the last day of May when it changes to 'final / completed' status.
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by kirbyman62 » Mon Apr 30, 2012 8:57 pm

@ kirbyman62 – You can have your own section on C++ if you like!


Haha, that's very nice, I'm no expert though, I'm still very much a beginner myself, but I certainly wouldn't mind that at all. I do have exams though, so I wouldn't be able to begin immediately, perhaps Issue 3?
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by Jaseman » Mon Apr 30, 2012 9:05 pm
Sure - that is the beauty of being a community magazine - we are all learning as we go along, and help each other.  Hopefully you will find some other people to partner up with and collaborate on a regular 'C++ for Raspberry Pi' column.  We really want to encourage people to join in with making the magazine.
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by kirbyman62 » Mon Apr 30, 2012 9:14 pm
Excellent, I"ll start typing up some ideas soon enough.

I alo had an idea, perhaps a section explaining basic programming concepts? Things like if statements, loops etc that are universal to all languages. It"d certainly help the people writing code sections and the kids in general if they understood this sort of thing.
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by jojopi » Mon Apr 30, 2012 9:16 pm
I am seeing a number of issues with the website.

The "text version" that appears if flash is not available seems to have no content.  This is particularly unfortunate because it means that raspi users running midori can neither view nor download the magazine.

With cookies disabled, a huge 404 panel overlays most of the page, and it is not at all clear that this is cookie-related.

Even with cookies, javascript, and flash all enabled, the "Download as a PDF" button does not work in either firefox or chrome on linux.  It seems to be rendered underneath the flash window.

Finally, themagpi.com with no "www." points to a godaddy advertising page.
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by Jaseman » Mon Apr 30, 2012 9:43 pm
@ jojopi - Thanks for letting us know.

I'm sure we can sort out any access issues.  If you are having trouble getting the magazine - please let us know.  Also, we are happy for others to host non-flash mirrors elsewhere - or print off hard copies for distribution.  I'll even email it to you if you are still struggling.

We are not-for-profit, and the magazine is free to all.  The domain name was a free donation and all of the work was done freely by part-time volunteers - and we WILL make mistakes along the way.  YES - It's not perfect, but we have put a lot of effort into getting at least something together which we hope you will enjoy.
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by trikidiki » Mon Apr 30, 2012 10:16 pm
Well done. You've done a good job.

Just a minor gripe. Some of the colour combinations for text and background colour make it difficult to read.

Good luck with your upcoming issues!
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by teh_orph » Tue May 01, 2012 7:14 am
Hi there,

congrats with your first issue - well done!

Just a heads-up the page rendering of the web page side of things is quite knackered in Opera and is especially unintuitive to use if you have Flash on click-to-enable.

Cheers :)
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by piguy79 » Tue May 01, 2012 7:52 am
hey i couldn't find the contact section on your website so i decided to post here. i would like to see a section for the magpi on downloading the operating system and extracting it and flashing it on an sd card. i know it's been covered by other sources but i'm seriously concerned that i'll mess it up. i will be using a vista pc. if you could do it in the style of your debian section i think i (or any monkey) could figure it out. also if you could include instructions on backing a card up i'm sure it would come in handy. like if i make changes on an sd card and want to save my progress on my pc's hardrive. and then how to take that saved progress from my pc and burn it onto another sd card. thanks!
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by meltwater » Tue May 01, 2012 8:04 am
My previous post didn't work…

trikidiki: Let us know which ones don't work well and we'll try to avoid similar combos.  It is a learning process for us, so we will tweak how we do it each time and hopefully improve as we go.

Don't forget that the next issue will be available in draft format as we create it (like this one was), so by all means keep an eye on it and give us any feedback as it takes shape.  I imagine draft for issue 2 will be appearing in a few days.

teh_orph: I don't think any of us are professional web-designers (but I'll speak for my own skills at least), so we weren't aware of what might cause problems.

High on our list is to ensure the site plays nicely with the RPi, but we have held off attempting to do that until we have a real one to test with (unless you have lots of experience in these things it would just be guesswork).

Any advice would be welcome though, we could do with some experienced web-designers on-board.

piguy79 said:


hey i couldn't find the contact section on your website so i decided to post here. i would like to see a section for the magpi on downloading the operating system and extracting it and flashing it on an sd card. i know it's been covered by other sources but i'm seriously concerned that i'll mess it up. i will be using a vista pc. if you could do it in the style of your debian section i think i (or any monkey) could figure it out. also if you could include instructions on backing a card up i'm sure it would come in handy. like if i make changes on an sd card and want to save my progress on my pc's hardrive. and then how to take that saved progress from my pc and burn it onto another sd card. thanks!


Yes, we hope to do something like that in the next issue (excellent suggestions too for backup etc).  Unfortunately, without any Raspberry Pi's to work with we didn't feel we could reasonably write such a guide without being able to truly test it on a number of setups.

We are hopeful that some of us will be getting our raspberry pi's at some point this month (we woke up early on the 29th and did the same as the other 200k people).

As soon as we have them, we can make a start on a number of articles we have planned, for hardware and software.  Should make life a little easier then.
______________
http://www.themagpi.com/
A Magazine for Raspberry Pi Users
Read Online or Download for Free.

My new book: goo.gl/dmVtsc

Meltwater's Pi Hardware - pihardware.com

Like the MagPi? @TheMagP1 @TheMagPiTeam
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by teh_orph » Tue May 01, 2012 8:08 am
Well I see you implement a bunch of things in Flash - isn't there no Flash on the rpi? (or is it just Flash video...?)
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by meltwater » Tue May 01, 2012 8:22 am
teh_orph said:


Well I see you implement a bunch of things in Flash - isn't there no Flash on the rpi? (or is it just Flash video...?)


I'm sure there are other things which wouldn't work either, so we thought rather than guessing, we'd focus on the mag once we had a reasonable site up to start with.  I'm not sure if there is any flash support, but it may do HTML5 or it may get added.  Anyway, it is something we can work on, hopefully this month.
______________
http://www.themagpi.com/
A Magazine for Raspberry Pi Users
Read Online or Download for Free.

My new book: goo.gl/dmVtsc

Meltwater's Pi Hardware - pihardware.com

Like the MagPi? @TheMagP1 @TheMagPiTeam
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by Jaseman » Tue May 01, 2012 8:31 am
You can email us: editor@themagpi.com or emailthemapgi@gmail.com

We shall certainly be covering setup of the SD card.  While we were writing Issue 1, none of the team actually had a Raspberry Pi to test our own tutorials on.  We wouldn't want to put instructions out there without testing that they work properly, plus the fact that linux distro's for the Pi are constantly being refined and improved upon at the moment.  It is still not 100% clear in my mind whether Fedora will be the standard distro (As the FAQ page states), Debian, Arch or something else.  Liam Fraser mentioned in his video that there were still some issues with the Fedora ARM distro.  Eben was running Debian in his recent webinar on 'Programming the Raspberry Pi', which is why I suspect that Debian will end up being 'the one'.

There are a few other inconsistencies, which I'm sure will be sorted out in time.  For example, Eben's video on programming was using Python 2, as are the downloadable python examples on this site.  Eben's video also used the 'JOE' text editor, which doesn't appear to come as standard with the non-ARM distro's of Debian that I have seen.  Also it has been stated by the makers of the official manual that Python 3 will be the supported version.

We don't want to jump the gun here, which is why we held back from that type of article prematurely, and then finding that the early articles of The MagPi are no longer relevant or correct.  These are still very early days for the Raspberry Pi - but I am sure things will fall into place over the next few months.
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by meltwater » Tue May 01, 2012 8:55 am
Since the skydrive account which hosts the pdf is getting a beating, we thought it best to include another mirror.

It'll get added to the site at some point:

http://goo.gl/Fnkny

You can also download directly from Issuu (http://issuu.com/themagpi/docs.....ue_1_final) if you create yourself an account (it also allows you to "subscribe" and "like" the magazine).  Issuu even mention a print and post service they are planning, although no idea how likely that is!
______________
http://www.themagpi.com/
A Magazine for Raspberry Pi Users
Read Online or Download for Free.

My new book: goo.gl/dmVtsc

Meltwater's Pi Hardware - pihardware.com

Like the MagPi? @TheMagP1 @TheMagPiTeam
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by gordon@drogon.net » Tue May 01, 2012 9:13 am
What a terrible site. Sorry.

I'm sure the content is fine, but after fighting with your website, I gave up.

I get a flash panel and when I enable that (flashblocker in-place), I get more flash and an option to click a link to download a PDF file - which takes me to a Microsoft site (!!!) then it refuses to open and suggests I get Adobe Flash reader (!!!) When I finally manage to get the PDF and read it in xpdf, it's OK, but rather primitive.

When I enable flash, I get the most stupid of stupid page flipping skeuomorph of a "book". It's not a book, it's a computer monitor. If I want to turn pages, I'll buy a dead tree version. I want continuous scroll (with fast wind through to V) because that's what a web page is.

Try looking at other "magazine" style websites and see how they work - e.g. Wired, The Register, Make, etc. They're fast, easy to navigate and "just work" without having to go through hoops and loops just to make them display.

And do yourselves a HUGE favour and do it in HTML only. Just plain old HTML. With pictures. (and a nice stylesheet) I'm really sure it would take you much less time to put together too, it would let us copy & paste (or download) things like program listings and make it far easier to navigate.

Gordon
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Gordons projects: https://projects.drogon.net/
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by meltwater » Tue May 01, 2012 9:31 am
The style we have chosen is a magazine, not a blog site or news page.

I know not everyone will want that, but you can easily download the pdf and view that way or print it "old school" style.

There are plenty of blogs etc which have plenty of raspberry pi content available if that is how you prefer to view it, but that is not what we are aiming for.

Anyway, sorry if the pdf (if that is what you preferred out of the options available) was not as easy to get to as you would have liked, as we have mentioned, we will be revisiting the site design over the next month.
______________
http://www.themagpi.com/
A Magazine for Raspberry Pi Users
Read Online or Download for Free.

My new book: goo.gl/dmVtsc

Meltwater's Pi Hardware - pihardware.com

Like the MagPi? @TheMagP1 @TheMagPiTeam
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