Turn Your Raspberry Pi into a Dance Party Doorbell

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Dash is smart enough to respond to voices and sounds and Dash can dance an This 5m length of EL wire electroluminescent wire is a flexible wire coated with phosphor which glows blue when applied with the appropriate volt Lithium ion polymer also known as 'lipo' or 'lipoly' batteries are thin, light and powerful. The output ranges from 4. Sew Electric is a set of hands-on LilyPad Computers and electronic technology have gotten so small and portable that they can be woven into the fabric we wear.

Readers will discover new pro Coding for kids is cool with Raspberry Pi and this elementary guide! Even if your kids don't have an ounce of computer geek in them, they can learn This book is a complete electronics course in pages! Author Forrest Mims teaches you the basics, takes you on a tour of analog and digital comp With 37 different sensors and modules, this kit covers just about every input and output you can poke a soldering iron at. Packaged in a clear plas This is the assembled version of the Pi T-Cobbler Plus. Any Pi with 2x20 conne Various input, output, power and sensor boards are available.

This package includes 20 5mm LEDs, 5 different colours. It is ideal for your Arduino phototype projects or This package includes 50 5mm LEDs, 5 different colours. This is 12 meters of smooth conductive thread spun from stainless steel fiber and wound on a plastic bobbin. Use it to sew up all of your e-textile This LilyPad Coin Cell Battery Holder has a small slide switch installed on the board, in-line with the power so you can shut off your project and This is a 1kg reel of 1.

Get ready, get excited, this is the product you have been waiting for all your life! It uses through hole components for ease of construction and everything is clearly label How many pockets does an OTG On The Go maker need to carry their boards, wires, miscellanea when away from their desk? The world may never know.

Looking for more Raspberry Pi Gear? The second option, sending it to another program, is another of the really powerful features of the Linux command line, because it allows you to chain a series of commands together to make one super command. There are a lot of commands that work with text that are designed to be used in this way.

A Smart Home: Creepy or Cool?

This will produce a reel of filenames that will quickly go off the screen. However, rather than direct it to the screen, we can send it to another command that makes the output easier to read. We can use the less command that we looked at earlier for this. If you want to know more and you should!

Its book The Linux Command Line is available from bookshops, or for free online www. This is because Linux has a permissions system that prevents ordinary users from changing system-wide settings. This is great for preventing you from accidentally breaking your settings. However, there are times when you need to do this. To use it, prefix the command with sudo. For example: sudo apt-get install synaptic will install the package synaptic and make it available to all users. By itself, it lists the files in the current directory. Is movies lists the files in the directory movies.

Is -a lists all files including hidden ones , and Is -I lists more information about each file. To download the Google homepage to the current directory, use wget www. There are many more options. See the man page for a detailed list. Note, this will only work if the remote computer has an SSH server running.

Note, this will only work if the remote machine has an SCP server running. Matches any single character, ft [abc] Matches a, b or c. Information about the computer ft top Displays the programs that are currently using the most CPU time and memory. Iscpu Lists information about the CPU. Text files ft head Displays the first 10 lines of a text file. Change 10 to any number with the -n flag. For example, dmesg head -n 15 displays the first 15 lines of the kernel message log.

Can use the -n flag like head. Can also keep track of a file as it changes with the -f follow flag. Installing software ft tar zxvf file. This will check that your system has everything it needs to compile the software, ft make This will compile the software, ft make install needs sudo This will move the newly compiled software into the appropriate place in your system so you can run it like a normal command. For example, sudo apt-get install iceweasel will install the package iceweasel a rebranded version of Firefox.

N owadays, computers keep their workings hidden. Or at least, it does what the creator of the software wanted it to do. Sadly, for most people, using a computer amounts merely to using software that someone else has written for them, rather than learning how to create their own solutions to problems. Combined, these two factors mean that, although computers are all around us, most people are ignorant of what goes on inside them. So Eben Upton, Robert Mullins trustee of the Raspberry Pi Foundation and others decided to redress this situation, by creating something hackable, cheap and intellectually free, which would be able to do everything that a desktop PC can do, at a fraction of the cost.

The BBC Micro was a raging success, and a generation of British children grew up with an intimate knowledge of computer programming thanks in no small part to its influence. This has now been removed, replaced by either the same interface delivered through the 3. O Use this to plug into a set of speakers and give yourself an instant, cheap hi-fi system. And if you have an Android phone, you probably have a compatible power supply already. Outside of this they all run the same software. If we were to to choose, the new Pi 2 is the one to go for as it offers so much more power.

The teeny-tiny Pi. T he HAT is a wonderous thing. HAT stands for Hardware Attached on Top, and it is exactly that: additional hardware that you attach to the top of your Raspberry Pi, making use of its handy GPIO pins to add additional capabilities and sensors. Those GPIO pins are the perfect way to get started with hardware programming, and drag the Pi away from the loving embrace of a monitor and keyboard and into the dark unknown of an independent existence.

Add specification. For this reason, the majority of HATs are not compatible with the original hardware inputs and outputs to the Pi itself! Give it an eye on the world! Teach it to love! Alright, maybe not that one. Pi Sense Hat We sense a disturbance in your wallet The 8x8 RGB LED matrix is probably a decent first indication of its abilities, as it can be used to display data gleaned from each of the on-board sensors by way of colours, shapes, graphs and more. You owe it to yourself to have this in your collection.

Turn a Raspberry Pi into an Awesome Media Center Using OSMC

For more, see pll6. Speaking of which, Adafruit has been kind enough to put four microswitches below the tiny TFT panel, so you can make up for the lack of a touchscreen by fashioning your own rudimentary input system with, again, no soldering required. Maybe not. But imagine the applications: a phone home - figurative or literal - function on a roaming robot; your own portable 3G router; or fallback for your home network should your wired connection go down, to name just three possibilities.

If your codebase supports GPIO, it supports this. Yes, really.. But one of the key drivers of home electronics is experimentation, which outside of the Pi and Arduino world would usually be done on a breadboard, a copper-linked board with through- holes into which you can shove all the resistors, LEDs, capacitors and other components you could possibly want to use. The Explorer HAT offers a mini breadboard, but also breaks out a whole bunch of useful things: 5v tolerant inputs, 5v outputs, capacitive inputs along the edge of the board, coloured LEDs for output, analogue inputs for all those tricky sensors and pots, and a pair of H-bridge motor control drivers.

Perfect for. For more, see pll2. T he applications for these two are obvious, right? The PianoHAT offers up an octave of tiny keys so you can turn your Pi into a mini keyboard, and the DrumHAT offers up eight dinky drum pads for the maximum in miniature rhythmic fun. But think outside the box for a second. Consider the fact that it adds eight individual touch sensitive buttons, each with corresponding and individually addressable LEDs to your Raspberry Pi. Its practical applications should be pretty clear.

So many possibilities, so little time! For more, see p But this HAT is both reasonably priced and a brilliant way of getting high- quality audio output from your Pi without sacrificing too many CPU cycles. Plug your incoming audio into the 3. Building a headless Spotify box? Get one.

Skywriter HAT Write like you mean business. T om Cruise has a lot to answer for. Not just Eyes Wide Shut. Not just those suspicious teeth. You can use it to set up gesture control, a virtual pointer, tapping and more. T he Raspberry Pi is the heart of many arcade systems. With Retropie installed, you can even create a multi-system machine with a glorious user interface. The lot! But since when has needing something been a barrier to having it? Or, get out the Dremel to tweak the layout, or use the components to cobble together a system of your own devising. Is it a Pi? T he Arduino is arguably the platform that, more than any others, spawned the Raspberry Pi.

A mini marvel perfect for embedded systems, it lacks the raw power of the Pi but makes up for it in sheer numbers of accessories and low-wattage applications. Install this HAT and you can plug in and stack your Arduino shields or even consider new ones, as the platform is by no means dead with little to no configuration required. Indeed, we show you how to make a banana instrument with it over on p It adds twelve individual contact points that detect, yes, capacitive touch, so you can wire them up to anything conductive - a thin strip of metal, for example - or water filled, and detect when the touch of a human body drops the capacitance of the object.

Beats the usual five senses. It could just as easily be the outside influence that helps your project come to life, and with the Bitscope Micro you can transform your Pi into a suite of tools that every electronics buff requires. Its an 8-channel logic analyser that can also deal with serial logic and protocols! So pick up one of these reasonably priced, lightly equipped boards, and do something special with it. What crazy way could you use the 9x9 neopixel display? How can you embrace the four coloured buttons and buzzer? And how can you use them together? You might think of a dice roller, a Simon-type game, a code- breaking excercise.

Knock together a full old- school game, perhaps, or a demo making full use of the LED matrix. Combine this with other hats. Do something awesome. Then share it with us and the clever folks at Linux Format magazine - who knows, you could make it in to print. Email the team at lxf. Why, it does whatver you want it to do In brief The Pi 2 is the strongest in a line of products from the Foundation and can run a number of distros. In the years after its release the Raspberry Pi has become the most popular single-board computer on the market and spawned many imitators, but none with the rich community that has grown organically around the Raspberry Pi.

The community have done wonderful things with these resources but now the specification boost that they were waiting for has arrived. But rather than stick with a single core, this version comes with four cores which speeds up the Raspberry Pi by as much as six times. The first test on our list is booting both Pis from cold to login prompt. Once at the desktop we tested a few common applications.

Running the online SunSpider benchmark in the new optimised browser gave a glimpse at real-world performance. Over the suite of tests there was a 2.

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Considering the complexities of multi- threading this sounds like a reasonable expectation. Applications written for the original Raspberry Pi are fully compatible with the Raspberry Pi 2 , though - building upon the rich projects that have been written since the initial launch of the Raspberry Pi.

The Raspberry Pi 2 fulfills a lot of the requests made by the community and provides a stable and well-supported platform for hackers, makers and learners to carry on with excellent projects for many years to come. But it holds up! Ports are no longer dotted around all the sides but concentrated on two, and there are now two extra USB 2. Adding these extra ports has effectively led to a redesign.

This removes the need for a separate composite video output and saves space. The analogue audio output has also been improved. Skipping over the standard HDMI port, the last port is a micro USB, connected to a more efficient power circuit that reduces the power consumption by 0. Another refinement is on the underside: the SD card slot has been Features at a glance replaced with a tactile microSD slot. The number of USB 2. The extra pins breakout more of the SoC, giving you more pins for bigger projects and there are two new GPIO pins - pins 27 and 28 - which enable future add-on boards to use an EEPROM chip, and will automatically configure the add-on board on boot.

Adams confirmed to us that as long as the demand is there the Foundation will keep making them. Both models will also continue to benefit from software changes and upgrades. It doesn't really offer any substantial new features, but does deliver greater potential thanks to the enhanced GPIO and extra USB ports, all for less money and with lower power consumption. This time it has zero calories but does it still taste as sweet? Micro SD card storage is present on the Pi Zero, but the usual push-click locking mechanism has been removed. The micro USB peripheral port requires the use of an adaptor as does the mini HDMI port, but as always, a number of retailers have already filled that gap.

These connectors were taken off to reduce the cost of the Zero. We also tested a typical add-on board, in this case the Unicorn HAT from Pimoroni, and that too worked after installation. So the Pi Zero is compatible with a large number of the add-on boards. An loT thang We tested the Pi Zero with the latest version of Raspbian Jessie, updated just before the Pi Zero was released, and boot times were slower clocking in at 52 seconds from power on to desktop - this is comparable to the original Pi.

So who are the target market for Pi Zero? The makers are one group who will benefit from a low-cost platform with an expansive user base. The Pi Zero is an embeddable platform that will fit well into an loT Internet of Things project or any other permanent installation. Another group to benefit from the Pi Zero are those who cannot afford a computer.

With Pi Zero we reduce the cost to the bare minimum and offer a low point of entry for families to enjoy learning together. So why should you buy the Raspberry Pi Zero? If you love robotics, weather projects and hardware hacking then the Pi Zero is an ideal platform for low cost experimentation. Embedding the Zero into a project is now just as cost effective as using boards, such as the ESP and many of the Arduino clone boards.

By removing some of the components and leaving a distilled Pi experience, we have a cheap, embeddable platform that can easily integrate into the Raspberry Pi add-on ecosystem. Being compatible with add- on boards and using the same OS also enables access to the vast library of Raspberry Pi centric resources. The Raspberry Pi Zero now joins the family of boards and offers an exceptionally cost-effective first step into the world of computing, coding and electronics.

Thanks largely to a low price and massive community interest. Pipsta A micro printer for the Raspberry Pi. But what can it do? We investigate. Pipsta comes with a robust Python library that can be integrated into projects, and a DIY enclosure that protects the Pi. P rinters are hardly the latest and most exciting of products except, of course, for 3D printers which are en vogue in the growing consumer market.

A small printer that attaches to the Raspberry Pi sounds like a nifty idea, but what can it offer? Pipsta is a printing solution for all models of Raspberry Pi and it comes as a kit that will require around one hour to build, but no soldering as it comes with pre-built electronics. The Pipsta has three main components: The printer is a typical thermal print unit that takes special rolls of thermal paper.

This paper reacts to heat in the print unit to produce text and images. The controller also has its own power supply which connects to the front of the unit. The final component is the acrylic case that surrounds the unit, comprised of six individual sides that clip together and require no tools to build. The Raspberry Pi is fitted to the bottom of the case and a wire from one of the many Ground pins is connected to the print unit, providing a ground for the print head inside the print unit.

Access to the GPIO is possible if a little Easy to build The acrylic case for the Pipsta printer is easy to build and retains access to the all the ports. The Pipsta is a small unit, but it packs a punch when it comes to producing lovely print outs. The same is true for the SD card slot, but luckily the case can be taken apart enabling better access.

Small footprint The printer comes with an in-depth installation guide that covers every aspect of the process and is backed up by an online resource hosted on Bitbucket. We found installing the software straightforward, however there were a couple of configuration changes, namely to disable the standard Linux printer and to enable any user to print to the Pipsta, which might trip over a novice user. Last, you can download the Python software and examples, and extract them to the home directory.

Pipsta is programmed using Python and the pip package manager that you use in the installation process uses version 2. To try things out, we ran through the first supplied example, called Basic Print. There are other examples in the directory and the one that caught our eye was Image Print. This show you how to print grayscale PNG files with a fair degree of detail. In fact, we managed to reproduce the Raspberry Pi logo and a photo with and to our surprise the photograph actually turned out better than the Pi logo.

So what can the Pipsta printer be used for? There are already weather reports, fortune tellers and Twitter apps that use the little printer. You could use it to print badges for your next Raspberry Jam. As with everything Pi, the only limit is your imagination. In brief. T om Cruise first made it cool in Minority Report and Robert Downey Jr is still trying to top it: it seems cinema thinks there's nothing we want to do more than communicate with our computers by gesticulating manically in their general direction.

The premise is simple: swipe your hand up, down, left or right a few inches above the board the website states from up to 5 inches away, but 3. We're not talking slow and deliberate swiping motions here - a flick of the wrist in the general direction will do the job.

If you like to prod at your tech too, the board will also register touch events. It has five touch-sensitive areas: the centre and the surrounding north, east, south and west edges. While you'll need to program the if or while statements yourself developer Hover Labs promises updates to the library to support this more easily , the board is fully capable of registering double taps and multi-touch events. In short, an elaborate combination of hand gestures and touch events is just a sprinkling of code away. Features at a glance Easy setup Setup via I2C is well documented on the official website for all four compatible devices.

While most development boards of this ilk might just support Arduino with a rudimentary Python library thrown in for Raspberry Pi enthusiasts, Hover has full installation instructions and code examples for not one but four platforms, including the Raspberry Pi, Arduino, pcDuino and the lesser known Spark Core.

Installation is a simple process too. As a rare and welcome bonus, the board's breadboard- compatible header comes pre-soldered too. Easy configuration We tested Hover with the Raspberry Pi and found it very straightforward to configure. Assuming you're already geared up for I2C communication, it's just a case of setting up the breadboard and downloading the provided Python library. While it's relatively basic, the library is one of the best documented we've seen for some time and it's clearly designed to help hackers and makers of all levels get the most from the hardware.

The example script for the Hover ensures you can quickly drag and drop Hover-compatible code into your project, though it would be nice for the team to update the library to support multi-touch out of the box - as it was, at least at the time of writing, the library hadn't been updated for four months.

That said, there are lots of great project examples and ideas to be found on the official Hover Labs website www. Adding Hover to just about any computer or application is pretty easy too. Using an Arduino Leonardo or similar you can plug in a Hover as a pseudo-HID, tricking pretty much any computer into thinking it's just another keyboard or mouse.

Clever stuff. Uses a custom version of the Raspbian OS to enable compatibility with the thousands of projects in the community. K ano has a simple goal: to enable computing to be as simple as Lego. The money funded the creation and development of the hardware components, a series of instruction booklets and the Kano OS software. Here we look at the package as a whole. The colour coding helps children to master building the kit with the help of the booklets more on those shortly. An extra accessory is the bright orange wireless keyboard with integrated trackpad, which can be used with the supplied dongle or via Bluetooth.

The kit comes with a robust and solidly built transparent plastic case with an integrated speaker. Packaging and docs The Kano kit comes in a we 1 1 -presented box with a quality feel to it. On the inside of the lid are the two Kano books: the first is an introduction Features at a glance Excellent packaging The packaging is well thought-through: the kit will fit through a letterbox but still look great.

Projects for all levels Kano comes with several great projects from old favourites Pong and Snake to Sonic Pi and Minecraft. The books follow a steady progression at almost the same pace as a Lego instruction manual, so kids can learn by doing it themselves rather than waiting for parents to assemble the kit for them. The user interface is heavily stylised with a mix of bright colours and shortcuts to applications that support the key purpose of the project, namely coding.

The packaging, documentation and components all ooze quality and are tough enough to stand up to rough handling by children. The Kano team have created a great package and will be expanding the kit into a much larger range in the near future, starting with their own version of a Pi powered camera. B itScope is an established Australian company which has been making oscilloscopes for over 15 years. And it weighs a mere 12g. One can even gain an additional two logic channels via the analogue channel trigger comparators. But with a little programming, the device can replay an arbitrary waveform defined by up to 1, points.

By connecting using one of the 10 helpfully provided grabber cables either the L5 pin for pulses or the L4 pin for waveforms to one of the input channels, you can even plot the Features at a glance DSO software It might not be the prettiest just to look at, but it does much more than a stand- alone scope. Logic analysis Investigate mixed signals, decode protocols and record incoming data, all at the same time. As Paul Hogan might say. While the software provided by BitScope is not much to look at, it is certainly comprehensive, and the company has clearly put a great deal of effort into making it run efficiently, particularly on the Pi.

The oscilloscope has an impressive 50Hz frame capture rate, which can be rendered in real-time. You can also download Chart for data recording , Logic for protocol and logic timing analysis and Meter for automated measurements or to use the probe as a glorified voltmeter. There is a generic Linux binary, too, as well as source code for the whole suite.

Virtually limitless All of the BitScope products are built around the BitScope Virtual Machine, which uses a scripting system to manipulate registers. It was officially launched in the UK in October , and you can now get it from Farnell elementl4. Some potential users will possibly be put off by this still- substantial price tag, and hardcore electronics bods probably already have all the signal analysis kit they require. It features a strong PCB- focused design and an easy to assemble kit of parts.

Control is via a well put together Python library enabling users to get started with robotics with very A mateur robotics projects can be very personal. But getting started in robotics is fraught with pitfalls so companies such as 4tronix have put together kits to help. The company is well known for using a PCB Printed Circuit Board as the chassis and by doing this it provides a strong platform for the robot while cramming in the electronics into one package. Agobo 2 uses micro-gear metal motors to drive the robot along and thanks to a built-in motor controller it has precise bidirectional control of the motors.

Sensor input is handled via an HC-SR04 ultrasonic sensor - similar to a parking sensor - and two line- following sensors that can detect a path at a glance PCB chassis Serial connection The Agobo 2 integrates the housing of the Raspberry Pi, batteries and motors into a strong single PCB. With Agobo 2 we have a dedicated serial interface for use with USB to TTL cables, which enables a serial connection from your laptop directly to the robot.

Agobo 2 also has a small momentary switch, which can be used to bring the project to life via the Python library more on that later. Agobo 2 is powered by a small mobile phone battery, which is connected to the Agobo 2 PCB to provide a regulated power supply to the components and Raspberry Pi.

A good robot needs the right software and 4tronix has put together a great Python library that covers the functionality of the robot. Ultrasonic sensors have their own function called getDistance that handles the complex calculations for computing the distance from an object using ultrasound. Line- following sensors also have their own function, which returns the current state of each sensor. Precise forward and backward motor control is possible, because of a series of functions that handle the motors together. This enables a robot to spin on the spot and turn in a graceful arc.

The functions are accessible by learners of all ages and abilities, and by using 14 lines of code we were able to create a robot programmed to avoid anything within 50cm of the ultrasonic sensors. Agobo 2 refines the original platform while retaining the same ease of use of the original, both in software and hardware terms. The kit requires only a screwdriver to build and the Python library even enables even a novice to simply get started with robotics. There are other robot kits out there but the Agobo 2 is a cost effective solution.

Verdict Agobo 2 Developer: 4tronix Web: www. Get ready to hack your name in lights. Some break out of the GPIO pins from the Raspberry Pi to the board enables possible integration into many different projects. A robust Python 2 library simplifies the use of the board for any level of user. P imoroni, the Sheffield based company of makers, has enjoyed great success with its various Raspberry Pi-related products and its latest board, Display-O-Tron HAT, looks to continue that trend.

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Measuring 65mm in width and 56mm in height, the Display-O-Tron HAT matches the screw holes present on the Pi perfectly and enables the boards to be secured for projects. Also present on the Display-O-Tron HAT are a series of capacitive touch buttons, which detect touch input which are exceptionally sensitive even through 3mm of acrylic and enable the Display- O-Tron HAT to be mounted inside of a case.

This is a refreshing feature for a HAT-based board as typically they prevent access to the GPIO, which reduces the number of projects that they can be used in. Due to its GPIO access we can connect external components, such as LEDs, buzzers and even motor controllers, which enables projects such as robots to be controlled and provide output via the HAT.

The only downside of this board is the Python library. Python 2 is still relevant but it would be great to see the library being updated with Python 3 support, which has been done with previous Pimoroni boards, such as the Explorer HAT Pro. Hacking should always be fun and with this HAT we have a fun platform for hackers of all abilities.

Well built and well supported by an easy to use Python 2 library. Careful with those jam-smeared fingers. D espite selling six million units, the Raspberry Pi has one port that has never been used: the display. Located on the reverse of the Micro SD slot, the display port was designed specifically for the newly released official Raspberry Pi display. The official Raspberry Pi display features a seven-inch screen with a resolution of x pixels and provides a capacitive touch interface. On the back of the screen are two thin connectors for the video and for the touch interface and these connect to a driver board.

This board has three ribbon connections: two from the display and a third which connects to the Raspberry Pi Display port. Your Pi can sit on top of the driver board and is secured in place by four screws. If the latest official Raspbian image is used, the Pi will automatically detect the correct resolution for the display Software installation is exceptionally easy and requires nothing more than a simple sudo apt-get update and sudo apt-get upgrade to install the touchscreen drivers. Portable touch The touch interface on the Raspberry Pi display reacts to input very quickly.

We tested it with a Pi 2 and found no stuttering or slowdown. The interface can detect ten points of touch at once, enabling multitouch possibilities for your projects. The display can be used with an HDMI screen, opening up the prospect of a dual display system, but that requires a few configuration changes for applications to use the correct screen. The official display will not replace your main monitor but it does fulfil two needs.

First, the need for a portable screen for use in backspaces and classrooms. The size of the display and its price-point lend it well to this. Second, the display can be easily embedded into a project enabling the Pi to power a number of touchscreen controlled solutions. The official Raspberry Pi 7-inch display is a lovely piece of kit. As it just works as a touchscreen, we will see this display powering a slew of great projects in the coming months.

The distro is based upon Debian Jessie and comes with a raft of improvements to hardware and software, which sees the distro mature into an all-encompassing platform for hackers and makers as well as a cost-effective second computer. S ince its debut in , the Raspberry Pi has used Raspbian as the official operating system. Looking back at the early versions of Raspbian, we see a rather basic OS that was still in its infancy, but with the latest release of Raspbian we have a whole new beast.

The latest Raspbian is based on Debian Jessie and ships with kernel 4. When you first boot up you will see a major difference to the boot process; it now boots to the Raspbian desktop by default, but this can easily be changed. Raspbian Jessie also ships with a new way to make system configuration changes and this is the Raspberry Pi Configuration application, a GUI for the stalwart raspi-config, which is used to overclock your Pi among other things.

Adding applications to the main menu is now made easier thanks to the Main Menu Editor, similar to Alacarte, which has been written in Python. A nice touch is the inclusion of scrot, an application used to take screenshots, something we use a lot when distro hopping. To further cement the idea that the Raspberry Pi can be used as a typical desktop computer, the Raspbian Jessie comes with the LibreOffice suite and the Claws Mail email client. Previously only root or sudo could use the pins. Settings The new suite enables anyone to tinker with their setup, from keyboards to overclocking their Pi.

Perhaps the biggest change is under the hood. Typically, only the root user or a user with sudo access is able to use the GPIO pins. This is a major change and will enable a much easier transition for those learning to code via the GPIO. This is commonly used to make games with Python but it has a rather steep learning curve. Any code written for Pygame Zero uses a text editor or IDLE, but to run it you will need to open a terminal and run pygzrun along with the name of your project.

With this latest release we see why Raspbian is considered to be the de facto distribution distro. Its mix of thoughtful refinements to established applications, raspi-config and sudo-less GPIO access, and new software, including LibreOffice, which enables the Pi to meet the needs of different user groups and not just coders.

The Raspberry Pi continues to dominate the single board computer community and the latest Raspbian release will further ensure its dominance, despite a growing threat from the Ubuntu Mate distro. W NEW! CCPag es? But these features come with a hefty price tag and a number of rough edges to a relatively new software base. That said, this is a powerful package for those who can work around the issues. R ight now the Raspberry Pi sports a plethora of portable options. September saw the release of the new touch-screen, and other companies such as Kano are working on their own portable setups.

Pi-Top started life as a crowd-funded project and combines both hardware and software. The hardware is a sturdy plastic laptop shell supplied as a kit and includes a It comes with or without a Pi 2. The kit is fairly simple to assemble but may require adult supervision for a few fiddly bits, such as attaching the LCD screen to the driver board.

The driver board handles connecting the Pi to the built-in battery, recharging the battery via an included external power supply, and sending HDMI video input to the LCD screen.

Step 1: Download From Github

The driver board and the Pi located to the right of the laptop are covered by a slide cover, for quick access to the Pi. The keyboard and trackpad are fine for daily use but the keyboard can feel a little spongy and imprecise at times. On the software side, you get the pi-topOS, built upon Raspbian Wheezy 7. On first boot you are prompted to set up your Pi-Top, which includes creating an online account. This is used to save your learning progress to the Pi-Top cloud-based learning system, which is aligned with the UK Computing curriculum for 13 to 15 year olds. The Pi-Top comes with a bundle of applications similar to Raspbian.

GPIO library, the most popular library for hardware hackers and makers. Of course, since the system is based on Raspbian, you are free to install your favourite applications via the package manager.

Raspberry Pi PhotoBooth: HTML5 & NodeJS

Learning experience During our tests there were a couple of issues. Logging in as an incorrect user prevented us from re-attempting a login with the correct details. A reboot solved this issue, but it did take time. Also, an update bug prevented pi-topOS from connecting to the update server despite constant reminders and using an Ethernet cable to connect to the router. Pi-Top also has its own software, a game called CEED Universe, which teaches coding and making concepts via an interactive retro game - a great idea that keeps children engaged while learning key skills.

CEED Universe is a lot of fun and provides a great level of interaction for children wanting to learn more. The software bugs will doubtless be tackled, but the cost is the main barrier. T he Raspberry Pi 2 is more powerful than we could have hoped for. Projects include building a cutting-edge Ghost blog to taking your first steps into the world of robotics. If you have a Raspberry Pi 2 to test out then why not try to get a full desktop version of Ubuntu up and running? We start with a fresh Raspbian install that has been configured to run an SSH server. The easiest way to do this is via the raspi-config Advanced menu.

Awesome, thanks for the reply! Yeah curious to know too if Home Assistant is compatible with snips. They're also heavy on privacy and essentially developed from the ground up with privacy being built into it BY design. Thank you! Snips is the bomb, been tinkering around with it past week or so and really enjoying it. Anything cool I should try out. Depends on how experienced you are with raspberry Pi.

Good to start with their more basic tutorials? Thank you so much!


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We work hard to give the best open-source VoiceAI platform for hackers and makers like you guys! I am using it for basic stuff mostly and the experience was very positive. If only there were giveaways or competitions to win one. It's not too pricy but my wallet disagrees atm. I can't thank you enough for what you have started.

I have been using HA for over a year now and enjoy it more every month. Have you guys thought about, or talked with anyone else who has thought about trying to make HA, or a subset of the HA functionality, accessible to non-technical people? I often show my setup to friends and family and the first thing they ask is "how do I do this?

It's in progress. We added a framework to allow integrations to be configured via the UI and are working on adopting the integrations to work with this. We're also adding users to limit permissions for certain accounts. These things take time, but we'll get there. I hope CedarMadness 10 months ago. Are there plans for an Android app similar to the iPhone app?

It's the one thing I miss about Smart Things. I don't expect an official app. There are some 3rd party ones. Our frontend is a PWA which integrates very well into Android. Actionable push notifications can be achieved with the notify. HTML5 platform[1]. Nice writeup what you can achieve here[2]. The only thing that cannot be achieved with the PWA is sending location updates for presence detection. Not much to add other than thanks! Home Assistant was a key piece of not having to fiddle with lights while moving to a living room to do an early morning feeding for a baby. First, I wanted to say I really enjoy Home Assistant!

I was wondering, how has development been since you have been with Ubiquiti? Being paid by Ubiquiti to work full time on Home Assistant is awesome. I no longer work early mornings, late evenings and weekends. It has allowed me to start larger projects user system, Lovelace and able to break them down in smaller pieces that can then be picked up by both me and contributors. It shows. I pointed my new HA at our Unifi controller and suddenly a huge number of attributes were available on each wifi connected device.

I don't care who pays for it but Ubiquiti are not daft: Amazon, Apple, Google etc have all got their feet under the table with their hardware "assistants". Your salary plus a few other bits and pieces is not much cash in the grand scheme of things but the value gained is close to priceless I would suggest.

Oh and did I say thanks for your work? Absolutely bloody awesome. Try going the left direction. Way more fun. Lightbody 10 months ago. The price difference is well worth it. Lutron devices don't form a mesh network, though? And a limit of only one range extender. And only 50 devices? And it's true that there's some terrible Z-Wave hardware but there's also better and pricier gear. The two biggest drawbacks of Caseta for me were the vendor lock-in, and the cheap feeling switches.

With Z-wave you can pick your hub and devices. If things don't work how you want out of the box, chances are someone has already written the code you need for whatever hub you're using. If not, you can write it yourself. I solve my vendor lock in problem by ask having SmartThings. In fact, I have a zwave Schlage lock. I've tried both Z-Wave and Insteon, and have settled on Insteon. It forms a mesh network over both powerline and RF and it's been extremely reliable so far.

With Z-Wave, I had quite a few range problems. Klathmon 10 months ago. If you get high quality devices across your whole network, it works great. It's fast, it's reliable, and it'll work over pretty long distances with the mesh networking stuff. But even one shitty device can bring a whole network down, not to mention that you tend to gamble the first time you buy a device if you are gonna get a good one or not. Things are MUCH better now if you stick to zwave-plus only as the zwave people are taking a much more "hands on" approach to ensuring that you can't sell garbage with the zwave name on it, and they've added a ton of really nice improvements to the system.

But unless you are just starting out it's gonna be tough to get a full zwave-plus network. Please don't tell me this isn't a widely supported thing. Caseta is 50 devices. Caseta is the way to go. It was an unreliable mish-mash with varying levels of compatibility with iOS, Android, and Alexa.

Seeing or hearing "The device is not responding" was common. I scrapped it all and went Caseta for everything, giving every device a "one last chance" and swapping it out with a Caseta device if it failed to do what I told it to do. I haven't had an unscheduled outage since the the hub was installed. This stuff is going to be in your walls for years. Also, throw your wire nuts in the trash and use Wago lever connectors every time you unscrew a wall plate to replace something.

I used Elgato devices, I would have got more pleasure from burning my cash. Biggest waste of time I've ever experienced in my life. Thank you. A few minutes ago, I had never heard of Wago. And now I have the urge to replace every wire nut in the house. Just had a Caseta switch installed to control some LED recessed lighting. Hit the buttons and wait up to a second before something happens. And then try again. And fail again As for the buttons, I agree actually.

That's the one thing I like about some of my zwave switches. They are really nice. The signals are flawless and continue to work even if there are otherwise problems with my raspi. There is a wide range of dimmers for all types of loads even very small led loads and fan loads and physical remote controls. It took a few hours of my life to get certified and access the configuration software for radiora2, but I think it was worth it. Can you tell me how much the hub cost? Caseta is a fantastic product. Works well, looks great. Lutron switches in general have a high-end "feel" when you press them, and these are no exception.

I've had them for about a 18 months now with no issues. The Android app is pretty terrible, but gets the job done. Alexa integration works well with their hub. I've added a few Insteon outlets, fan controllers, and motion sensors over the last year as well; all solid. Lutron is generally considered a lower quality brand for their non-smart switches and outlets, and that does seem to apply to the physical build quality of their smart switches as well.

Flimsy isn't quite what I'd describe -- but I agree that the four buttons are clumsy and that my lower cost zwave buttons are nicer in some ways. But I haven't found any zwave switch that ties nicely into my wall plates as cleanly as Lutron dimmers. My solution for when I want a really nice sturdy single button is Lutron Maestro dimmers, which are even nicer but now 2X the Caseta costs.

The range of the smart hub is what concerns me. I see you can buy the plug-in dimmer switch to extend, but only one is allowed per hub. Otherwise the reliability of Caseta is attractive. Do you also have the hub integrated with other things like a thermostat? I'm curious as to how that's working out. Z-wave is designed to be repeated by any device with constant power. So door locks won't act as repeaters, but switches, plugs, light sockets, etc. The home-assist docs link to this blog post [1], which is a great walk through on some common pitfalls when building a zwave network.

Thanks - I'm aware of this. Range has been pretty solid for me, in a pretty good sized home. But you can also go with RA2 Select and get 4 range extenders, which should make it a non issue for most people. I wish they had the same design as their other dimmers one large button, rocker for dim but they're still a great product regardless. Then you can install their nicer dimmers Maestro , though they also cost 2x the Caseta dimmers so it gets pricey. HomeSeer is also very good. Djvacto 10 months ago. I have a raspberry pi where I installed Home Assistant a few months ago when I moved into my new home.

I did a little bit of messing with it, but stopped while waiting to have more devices that could communicate with it. What are some of the more useful things people have found they are able to accomplish with this, and what was the best way to go about them? Your option was likely much less expensive, but aeotec does make a clamp-on energy sensor[0]. It's made for reading your whole-home energy but it should work for your purposes.

I thought about that, and like you said it was pretty expensive, plus it would require me to cut the power line for the dryer to pull one of the lines out. And then I was back at square 1 for the washer, which turns out uses little enough energy in a lot of cases to be hard to tell when it's "done" vs when it's just pausing between cycles or swapping water out. I also wanted to have the notifications continue until you actually empty it, and that required a door sensor anyway!

I really want to get one of those for the oven though, my wife tends to worry that she left the oven on she never has! What's your setup for the front door camera? That's something I'd like to add to my house, I know there are a packaged solutions but I want to build it. So I bought a ring a while back, I fucking hate the thing. It's unreliable, it's closed off, and has an awful API. But until I get around to replacing it, I also have normal IP cameras out front.

So i combined the API from Ring with the IP cameras that let you access the video stream to take a snapshot on motion or a doorbell ring, and use HTML5 notifications to send it to all my devices. SEJeff 10 months ago. Get a doorbird. More expensive with the same feature set as the ring but a few big benefits. Their REST api is documented and they support callback webhooks. So you can have your doorbird make a webhook http post with a blob of json telling home assistant it detected motion or someone pressed the doorbell.

This is great to know. I love this idea! VectorLock 10 months ago. This is a great list of things you can do. Just reading thing went a good way from changing my mind from "useless contrivance maybe a bit fun to hack on" to "actually sounds useful. Where do you buy your sensors, and which ones do you use? Sounds like they are all over the place so they need power and wireless or a lot of cabling All of the light switches are zwave as well, and they go in the wall behind the toggle switches, so from the outside you can't see any difference.

I get most of them from amazon, and i've used a bunch of vendors over the years. Aeotec, ecolink, linear, and a few no-name brands. Can you share specifically which zwave sensors you're having good luck with? I have had mixed luck with sensors. By far my favorite was the aeotec micro smart switch energy gen2 It's not sold any more, and it's not zwave plus, but I have like 12 of them and they are by far the best i've used.

I've also used fibaro but ended up removing it because there was a delay between when i flipped the toggle and when it would turn the light on, and that was not okay in my book. I am looking to replace the light switches with zwave-plus modules simply for the extra security, but i'm not in a massive rush.

In the sensors world, i use ecolink's door window sensors. They are cheap and work well enough, although I did have 2 out of about 20 that were bad and needed to be replaced shortly after installing them. I am also trying out zooz 4-in-1 sensors for motion right now. They work pretty damn well with a lot of control over sensitivity and range, so I'm happy. I have a rule that all my "modifications" must be easily undone, and can't impact the "thing" if it stops working. So where possible, I shy away from any modifications to the device itself that aren't extremely simple to undo.

A vibration sensor and hall sensor on an esp is cheap, works consistently, and is VERY easy to take off if I don't want it any more. I did hook into a humidifier once kind of like this, I hooked the esp up to the on-off button, but I try to avoid it if I can. For more ideas with actual code, the "home-assistant-config" tag on GitHub [0] is very popular to find those who have put their configuration into version control. Here's mine [1]. My current favorite ones: - My GF is a bit forgetful and sometimes leaves her purse behind when leaving somewhere.

I had an automation setup with an ibeacon in her purse and owntracks on her phone to detect when the purse is far away from her, and send me and her a notification - i built a bed occupancy sensor so hass knows if we're in bed or not, and disables automations that would otherwise be annoying mainly the motion-detected lights in the bedroom - i come home and say "hey snips, i'm home" which turns on the tv and sets kodi to a plugin that i tend to use.

I also have snips commands to tell me how much time is left on my 3d print job, and if the temperature of the nozzle spikes too high. Aha those are exactly what I was looking for a few years ago when I tried to do the same, I only found tiny ones with difficult to use interfaces. I own a 3d printer and just began toying with it, setting tts is bloody genius.

Sorry - TTS or snips? Snips is straight forward as mostly it is integrated into my home assistant, but with a lot of custom voice commands to pull specific data. Looking for their Discord because Dev community is mostly there! Plus i believe you get rewarded for helping em in their token. Not so much into Crypto but it seems to have some viable utility in their ecosystem.



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