The MagPi Magazine www.themagpi.com


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by meltwater » Mon May 28, 2012 8:25 am
Hi guy!
Thanks for the excellent feedback and answers, we definitely welcome the feedback. I'll try to answer what I can...

Style...we are working towards sticking to one main font for the text body (normal and mono version), it'll take time for us to get that in place but most should have it (titles can be whatever though). Also, we have been looking again at what we can use for producing the mag, next month we may be using the same software (will depend on how we get on, so no promises yet). Anyway, we are learning (I hope) what works and what doesn't so we will listen to what everyone has to say.

StopPress...yeah I 2nd that. Will see if that can be "revised".

Computer music...yep.

In Control...croc clips would be a danger, but it does need to be clear how best to connect (an image would help I think). Labels would be obvious choice, while explaining the colour bands would be helpful, as you can see it is a monster of an article already (hopefully that can be covered another time if needed). As for the breadboad, it will be difficult to suit all models out there, it does give an idea on how to implement the circuit, hopefully not too difficult to transfer to another board if needed (there is a range of variations out there). LEDs - That is what I did when I tested the GPIO, although I like the circuit arrangement which Darren has chosen. If he can fit it in, then no problem, leaves room for people to have something to experiment with and expand on once they have got to that point.

I guess it is a hard balance between low basics and building up skills and content, in very little space!

Debian, yep he was working with a VM, we can assume that not everyone will not have a RPi, and even when we do all get them in the team we probably need to remember that some will still be running VMs etc. After-all, the RPi is just one way to run the programs.

IDE - Geany has been used a lot so far, but I think Joe was mentioned by Eben in a few videos. At the moment, I don't any of us have strong feelings about any particular one (personally I've switched between the built in Python one and Geany, but I've not done too much yet). Perhaps someone would like to write a IDE showdown, to advise what is good about each!

Python Pit - The linefeed paper...I think toning it down a little would be fine, it is certainly something which I like and makes it clear what is code and what is article text (at the very least you have a clear idea of how much you need to type).

Anyway, thanks for the great comments!

pwllheli - Really glad you found it helpful, there is a big learning curve as soon as you open up that anti-static bag, and as I've found when writing the guides, there are lots of little things which can easily trip people up when plugging it in for the first time (although credit is due, the distros are being improved all the time). I think it is paramount that people can start started as quickly and easily as possible, each bump they encounter is a nudge closer to giving up on it, I want people to be confident that they can pick it up, get started and feel happy they can show others how to do it too.


ADDED:
Resize partitions page - Thanks for the info, I think I'll change it to suggesting you run from the start menu and if problems they can use the commandline.
SDCard Readers - The SDCard setup and PiSetup recommend a card reader, by this stage they will probably worked out if they have an issue with their builtin one, if they are using it.
How to start GUI - The layout for this is going to be redone, with some additional info too.
Super-powers - this won't make it in this issue anyway...but it is something which could do with explaining with exceptional clarity. Plus would like some nice "superRpi" artwork for it!
Scratch Patch - Yep there should be more coming.
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by meltwater » Mon May 28, 2012 12:39 pm
Missed another comment!
Pisection: The 2V5 regulator.
In fact it is used by the DAC, and is used for the Composite Video Output. I may remove the usage reference totally, or reword: 2V5 Pin 5 of RG3 (LP2980 Voltage Regulator) used for Video Out.

I also hope to squeeze in some performance specs of the CPU and GPU, if I can fit them.

Need to find some first!
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by Jaseman » Wed May 30, 2012 4:01 pm
The Debian VM article and follow up article in issue 2 are really geared towards the large number of people that are waiting to get hold of a Raspberry Pi (Like me), but would like to perhaps have a little dabble with Debian and LXDE. The VM was fairly easy to setup - it's a bit buggy to be honest, but it's something to look at, if you don't want to do a full linux install onto a PC. There may be a few things in there that will be useful to existing Pi owners as well - especially if they are new to Linux.
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by Jaseman » Wed May 30, 2012 4:15 pm
Some of your observations rurwin are now academic as a number of those articles got pulled out of Issue 2 draft. The reasons for that are:

We reached our 32 page limit
We didn't have sufficient time remaining this month to get them to where they need to be.

BTW the reason for that 32 page limit - I feel we just don't have sufficient time and people to be throwing out much more than 1 page a day (31 days of the month) and have enough time for editing, formatting and testing each of the articles.

Those articles which have been removed should make it into issue 3. Then we can spend more time making sure we do it justice (Well that's the theory!)

Other comments most useful though, and I think we all share those opinions. I've been away in California for 16 days of the month - road tripping it around LA, Vegas, Yosemite, San Francisco and all along the west coast, so haven't been able to cast my eye over the page formatting, etc.

I'm glad to see that the rest of the MagPi team have been really contibuting to this issue in my absence. Issue 2 will have a bit of a mish-mash of styles, but I think that is to be expected due to the nature of the beast - it being very collaborative. It's also digging a little deeper than Issue 1 - It was always the intention for the first issue to be very introductory and light, and I think we will start to delve into the heavier stuff in future issues, but always trying to keep things at a pace that beginners can follow.

The major advantage now being that we have people with Pi's to test things out.
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by ashleigh.stone@doctors.org.uk » Thu May 31, 2012 7:44 pm
We are pleased to announce that issue 2 of the MagPi is now live!

To view our latest issue, please visit www.themagpi.com.

We hope you enjoy.

The MagPi team.
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by antiloquax » Thu May 31, 2012 8:44 pm
The second issue is great! I haven't read it all yet, but the information on setup looks excellent.

My RPi arrived on Monday. I am hoping to be able to contribute something to the next issue.
I'm thinking along the lines of Python, Scratch or maybe some C.
Anyway, I'll be in touch.
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by kirbyman62-2 » Fri Jun 01, 2012 10:03 am
My Pi arrived yesterday, so I'll get onto writing some C++ articles. What would you guys use for the editor? I'm using Nano, as it's installed by default, but it's not brilliant (where are the line numbers?). Considering the age group, I don't want to get too complex with installing new ones, and some people might not be able to get Internet on their Pi (like me), which add another layer of complexity fiddling around with USB sticks and the like.

Issue 2 is looking great, congrats again.
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by grumpyoldgit » Fri Jun 01, 2012 11:14 am
I've had a quick skim through it and the contents look great. Really nice close up photos of the Pi and lots of detailed descriptions of what does what. Plenty for everyone. That's my evening sorted!
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by antiloquax » Fri Jun 01, 2012 12:08 pm
@kirbyman62-2
I think it would be useful to have a discussion in the Magpi about editors / IDEs (as Meltwater suggested a couple of posts back).

For people using Debian, there's Geany, Joe, Python's own IDLE as well as some other programs I haven't looked at (Dr. Python - I think).

I am using Arch and I like using Vim as my editor/IDE.

To some extent this is a matter of personal preference and taste. I like the comments by Zed A. Shaw in his "Learn Code the Hard Way" books. He tells you to avoid IDEs as they can make you lazy.

The only thing that strikes me is that is would be a good idea for beginners to use something that supports a range of languages (so not the Python IDLE). This means that when / if they want to play with a different language, they will not need to learn a new editor.
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by bigsi111 » Fri Jun 01, 2012 12:11 pm
I've just downloaded issue 2 and printed it. Great quality and info.

Thanks so much for all your hard work.
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by kirbyman62-2 » Fri Jun 01, 2012 2:32 pm
antiloquax wrote:@kirbyman62-2
I think it would be useful to have a discussion in the Magpi about editors / IDEs (as Meltwater suggested a couple of posts back).

For people using Debian, there's Geany, Joe, Python's own IDLE as well as some other programs I haven't looked at (Dr. Python - I think).

I am using Arch and I like using Vim as my editor/IDE.

To some extent this is a matter of personal preference and taste. I like the comments by Zed A. Shaw in his "Learn Code the Hard Way" books. He tells you to avoid IDEs as they can make you lazy.

The only thing that strikes me is that is would be a good idea for beginners to use something that supports a range of languages (so not the Python IDLE). This means that when / if they want to play with a different language, they will not need to learn a new editor.


I agree it would be helpful to have an article on writing code, perhaps one for compiling and running as well. I'm getting Vim set up and it isn't too hard but the setup for those without Internet may be a bit complex for younger children.
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by meltwater » Fri Jun 01, 2012 5:56 pm
I think leafpad you can enable line numbers from the menu options. IDEs are great but there is something about opening up any txt editor and writing code (you don't get tied to one particular setup, linux/windows/mobile phone even). But lazy or not, they do help with highlighting errors as they occur rather than finding out at runtime, which tips the success to fail rate for beginners.

My thought is we may be able to include more advanced topics/articles in due corse, obviously these inital issues are getting people started off.
If we can do it without putting off people still learning then why not.
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by antiloquax » Sat Jun 02, 2012 10:27 am
Hi meltwater,

Yes, you can have line numbers in Leafpad. I agree that some help is useful (syntax highlighting and auto-indent for instance).

I suppose Geany is the most user-friendly one. Vim does tend to put beginners off because of the use of "modes".

I was wondering if you want to run an article on the Arch release? I would be able to do something on that for you to have a look over.

I've also been having a play with assembly code. I'll put what I have together and send you it in the next couple of days.
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by williamhbell » Sat Jun 02, 2012 2:27 pm
kirbyman62-2 wrote:I'm using Nano, as it's installed by default, but it's not brilliant (where are the line numbers?).


While there are no line numbers in nano, one can get to line 10 via

Ctrl-w Ctrl-t 10

Regards,

Will
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by williamhbell » Sat Jun 02, 2012 2:30 pm
williamhbell wrote:
kirbyman62-2 wrote:I'm using Nano, as it's installed by default, but it's not brilliant (where are the line numbers?).


While there are no line numbers in nano, one can get to line 10 via

Ctrl-w Ctrl-t 10

Regards,

Will


Hi,

The line numbers can be displayed by using the -c option. Try adding

alias nano="nano -c"

to your .bashrc file.

Regards,

Will
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by Jaseman » Sun Jun 03, 2012 4:14 pm
Yes, Meltwater's letterbox is now world-famous.

Over 17,000 downloads in the first 3 days, and another 2,400 views on Issuu.

Strangely, last month we got more Issuu views than downloads - I think it was because the downloads are listed higher up on the webpage.

I'm sorry that Issue 2 is looking a bit cramped - We just had so much information to squeeze in to 32 pages. I thought we would be running out of things to print by now, but this is not the case. We already easily have enough potential content for the next issue. However, if you wish to contribute, I'm sure we will find room for your article - It might have to wait for Issue 4 though.

For those of you who are still unable to get hold of a Raspberry Pi - you are not alone. I've written three magazines about it, and I don't even have one yet. However at least 3 of our team members now have them, which is great. I did toy with the idea of getting one from Ebay. There seem to be plenty of them available - and they tend to sell at around £60. There are SO many of them on Ebay already, which makes me sad - Obviously a lot are getting into the wrong hands - People trying to make an easy buck, or people that didn't really want them, because they lost interest, whilst other genuine developers can't get hold of them. It's like when the Sun newspaper gives away free promotional lego sets - Some greedy gits snatch all of them up, so children can't get them, and the next few days after the promotion, they all suddenly appear on Ebay - SCANDALOUS!

This month we are trying to do as much of the magazine as possible using 'Scribus' which is free, open-source, publishing software that can be used on both Linux and Windows. We also tested it on the Raspberry Pi and it works there too (A bit slower - but it works). It may be soon, that we will be producing the magazine entirely using Raspi's.
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by williamhbell » Sun Jun 03, 2012 6:34 pm
Hi Jaseman,

If you have produced a marked up version of the "C cave" article using Scribus, can you send me the file back again? This would speed up the process for a second article.

On another subject, has anyone approached a printing house? It would be good to be able to buy a hard copy at the cost of printing and distribution. Perhaps one of the big computer magazines would be willing to distribute MagPI at cost?

Thanks and best regards,

Will
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by meltwater » Sun Jun 03, 2012 9:04 pm
An article on the various distros would be handy, hopefully we can get one in.
From what I can tell Rs and farnel are well into their own production units now, so they should be coming thick and fast. Hopefully they'll be catching up soon (although the longer it takes the more units out there.

And before anyone else points it out...I know that the RPi does not get posted through the letter box just in that small box...but a padded envelope isn't too exciting.
Paper distro would be nice for the mag but it is something which takes time to handle and we don't have much. If someone finds somewhere which do print on demand at good rates then I'm sure others would be interested.
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by williamhbell » Sun Jun 03, 2012 10:21 pm
meltwater wrote:Paper distro would be nice for the mag but it is something which takes time to handle and we don't have much. If someone finds somewhere which do print on demand at good rates then I'm sure others would be interested.


Hi Meltwater,

As one might expect, relative rates drop as the number of copies to be printed increases. Here are a few examples,
http://www.mixam.co.uk/products/magazines
http://www.headley.co.uk/
http://www.warners.co.uk/
http://www.magprint.co.uk/

One needs to know roughly how many people might be interested. Or perhaps try to get an existing magazine to take on some of the risk as a sponsor. Perhaps there is someone with printing expertise on this forum already?

Regards,

Will
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by Jaseman » Sun Jun 03, 2012 11:26 pm
I haven't looked at the article yet - let alone converted it to scribus - however I will make sure it gets returned to you as soon as that happens. I wonder... has it been tested on a Pi?
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by williamhbell » Mon Jun 04, 2012 7:04 am
Jaseman wrote:I haven't looked at the article yet - let alone converted it to scribus - however I will make sure it gets returned to you as soon as that happens. I wonder... has it been tested on a Pi?


Hi Jaseman,

Yes, Dave Shepley tested it out.

Regards,

Will
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by stevepdp » Mon Jun 04, 2012 3:06 pm
I have plenty of space and bandwidth available, would it be OK for me to help in the mirroring effort?
I'm not a part of the Raspberry Pi Foundation, I'm just an enthusiastic fan.
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by 0the0judge0 » Mon Jun 04, 2012 3:25 pm
We have had some reports that mirrors are down (the google drive link is currently down). If you cannot access the PDFs with the current mirrors, here are some new links:

Issue 02:
http://goo.gl/DQF1p
http://goo.gl/hAZUo

Issue 01:
http://goo.gl/Qkyu3
http://goo.gl/ZhLv3

If anyone is still having issues, drop us an email and we will send you the PDFs.

Thanks,
Matt
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by 0the0judge0 » Mon Jun 04, 2012 3:33 pm
stevepdp wrote:would it be OK for me to help in the mirroring effort?


yes, that would be great. Could you email us to sort out details? (email can be found at http://www.themagpi.com/)

Thanks,
Matt
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by stevepdp » Mon Jun 04, 2012 3:36 pm
Will do.

Edit: I've sent the email. Mirroring the data here.

Thanks
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