Sunday Grab Bag

They said that it could never be done! But here it is: a Sunday grab bag.  A little something to read while sitting in your shreddies, eating a bowl of Shreddies and singing “It’s a Sunday Grab bag! Doodle ooo doo, doodle ooo do do do doooooo!” to the tune of The Final Countdown. Sorry if it’s a bit rushed — I’m off to the zoo to have poo flung at me by doolally chimps.

A one-button audiobook player for the visually impaired

First up is a project that embodies the keep-it-simple principle. I love the elegance and simplicity of this and the fact that it’s extremely useful.

Simple. Elegant. Useful.

Its creator, Michael Clemens, says, “This little Raspberry Pi based project is a gift for my wife’s grandmother for her 90th birthday. Being visually impaired, she is hard to entertain but loves to listen to audiobooks. The problem is, that she isn’t able to handle a ghetto blaster or MP3 player. The solution to this problem was – tadaaaah – a one button audiobook player

Differences between the Rev1.0 and Rev2.0 Raspberry Pi schematics

Over on the ever-useful Wiki, AndrewS details the differences between the two versions, with a very smart and thorough schematic comparison.  “I’m really pleased with how well the ‘graphical difference display’ worked out”, he says. “I also spent a chunk of time adding ‘Rev2.0’ columns (amongst other wiki edits)”.

Raspberry Pi Rev 1.0 and 2.0 schematics overlaid

Thanks for the hard work Andrew and to everyone else contributing to the Wiki.

Raspberry Pi driving a huge LED panel

Petr Jakeš is using the Raspberry Pi to drive a large LED panel. He says, “We are using SPI port to control 6144 LEDs (192×32 matrix). The hardware is still flaky a little bit (see glitches in the left bottom corner), but consider it as a proof of concept :D”


Petr is going to post some details on this when he gets a chance!

Emulation isn’t just for games consoles:  the ICL1900

Last month David Holdsworth gave a talk on software preservation to the Computer Conservation Society in the Science Museum in London, where he demonstrated a Raspberry Pi emulating the venerable ICL1900 mainframe and running the George3 operating system and the RSRE Malvern Algol68-R compiler.  You can try it out for yourself. The page also has David’s presentation on software conservation.

Pi Cars: Raspberry Pi controlled RC cars

If there is a better way to introduce children (well, anyone) to physical computing and programming than using Scratch to make RC cars skid about the house? No, there isn’t! I’m definitely going to be trying this myself and I’m already wondering if it will work with helicopters. Pi Cars currently have five of their cars to give away to people who come up with the best ideas of what they will do with them (Raspberry Pis not incuded!)

Connecting the Raspberry Pi to a radio transmitter