Oct 132016
How to Estimate Your Vocabulary Using a Python Script and the Scrabble Word List

The other day I read an article on the BBC website which suggested a method to estimate your vocabulary. Essentially, you sample 20 pages of your dictionary and note down how many words you know on each page. Then you add up the total, divide by 20, then multiply this by the number of pages in your dictionary. This gives you an estimate of your vocabulary. (Results will depend on the number of words in the dictionary, so use the largest you have.) This seemed like a good idea, so I tried it. I used […more…]

Oct 072016
Pixel Tips and Tweaks - how to Tweak Aspects of the new Raspbian Skin

Last week. Simon Long from Raspberry Pi released a new version of Raspbian with several new features. The most visible of these is the new-look desktop skin, named PIXEL (Pi Improved Xwindows Environment, Lightweight). There’s a lot of user interface (UI) tweaks both functional and visual… new splash screen on boot stunning background images added a whole new set of icons larger ‘drag handles’ for resizing windows (that’s bugged me for years) windows now have rounded corners new font rendering package for better typography I think the new look is a big improvement and I […more…]

Sep 292016
How to Flash an SD Card with Larger than 4GB Image - Raspbian September 2016 update

Yesterday (28 Sep 2016) a new version of Raspbian was released with a brand new skin called PIXEL. I downloaded it on my Mac and tried to unzip it in the usual way. It threw an error, so I assumed the download was faulty and downloaded again. But the error persisted. GAH!!! My friend Albert Hickey (who runs the Egham Jam) had a similar issue on Windows… Les Pounder said it worked fine in Ubuntu though. Didn’t Unzip on Pi I tried unzipping it on a Pi, but that failed too. BOO! However, it was […more…]

Aug 052016
Playing With Papirus Zero

A few weeks ago I did a “mailbag” video/blog and ran a poll on which product(s) you’d like me to review. There was a clear winner right from day one. Pi-Supply’s Papirus Zero took first place and held it by a comfortable margin for three weeks. So I’m going to have a play with that one first and share my findings with you. Initial Impressions It’s a nice dainty little display. In my review pack there were two displays of different sizes; 1.44 inch and 2.0 inch. It just so happens that the height of […more…]

Jul 212016
RasPiO GPIO Zero Ruler

You may remember this time last year I KickStarted a 6-inch ruler with the most important RPi.GPIO code on it. I’ve been using it myself an awful lot in the last year when coding. So it won’t surprise you to learn that I’m now doing another one for GPIO Zero. Since GPIO Zero is about the easiest way imaginable to get into Python GPIO tinkering, I think this will be really helpful for people. I’ve already been using the prototypes and find them an extremely helpful reference. Here’s what it looks like… It’s twice as […more…]

Jul 082016
Mailbag July 2016 overview of PaPirus Zero, Displayotron Hat, Wombat board, PiOT relay board, PiUPS+, Motozero, Zeroview

This time last year I did a “mailbag” video which was well received. So, with the review box filling up, I thought I’d do another. This time I’m covering seven products. I was going to do a G+ poll so you can tell me which one is the most interesting to you, but their surveys are limited to 5 options and I need 7. So I’ve chosen to use a different survey mechanism. I hope it works out. There’s a list of products with links beneath the video and poll. Since this is mostly a […more…]

Jun 162016
Make A Full HD 15.6 inch Screen for $32 for your Raspberry Pi, DSLR or Video Camera

My Dell Studio 1557 laptop died some time back in early 2014. It started conking out a few months earlier, but I managed to “heat-gun” the GPU into submission and it worked for a few more months. My wife had an identical machine, bought at the same time, which lasted a year longer. So we had these two dead Dells with lovely, flawless 15.6 inch full HD, low-power screens in the loft, waiting to be targeted for termination. I’d wondered for a while about getting a driver board and seeing if I could re-use them. […more…]

May 242016
RasPiO Analog Zero - an 8-channel zero-sized board for Raspberry Pi

Exciting news today. I’ve just launched a new KickStarter project for a Pi Zero sized analog board. I’ve called it the RasPiO Analog Zero. It works with GPIO Zero and is very easy to use. Here’s what it looks like… …and here’s the KickStarter video showing some of the things you could use it for… If you like the look of it, please come and back us on KickStarter.

May 202016
Raspberry Pi Zero 1.3 Power Usage with camera

It’s only a few days since the Pi Zero 1.3 came out, but people are already asking for me to “fill in the gap” on my power chart. Which gap? The “Pi Zero shooting 1080p video” gap. With no camera port, the previous Pi Zero couldn’t do this, so there was no measurement to report. I’ve made some measurements this morning and here are the results… No Real Surprises I tried both old and new cameras and there wasn’t any significant difference (that I could measure) between them. The results are comparable to that of […more…]

May 162016
Raspberry Pi Zero 1.3 with camera port

A new Raspberry Pi Zero with camera port is released today. It’s revision 1.3. Some power circuitry was moved and some unpopulated pads at U13 were removed to make space for the new mini camera port which is right on the end of the Pi Zero 1.3. Other than that, the new Zero looks much the same as the previous version. I did a little walkaround video, showing use of the camera port and camera output. Adding a camera port to the Zero has opened up a whole new range of project possibilities. It’s added […more…]