Friday grab bag

Adafruit Web IDE

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


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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.

Raspberry Jam

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 [email protected], and I’ll pass your message along.

Train times

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.