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…]

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…]

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…]

Apr 272016
How To Free Up Some Space On Your Raspbian SD Card? Remove Wolfram & LibreOffice

There are occasions when you may want to free up some space on your (micro)-SD card. If it’s getting full, or you want to store large media files, or install a large application, you may find you run out of space. There’s an awful lot of good stuff in the default Raspbian Jessie distro these days, but you may not be using all of it on all of your Pis. So, let’s have a look at which of the pre-installed packages take up a lot of space and could give us “an easy win” here. […more…]

Apr 252016
New 8 Megapixel Raspberry Pi camera 2.1 launches

The new 8 Megapixel Raspberry Pi camera is released today. It’s fully backward compatible with all camera-enabled Raspberry Pis produced to-date. It uses a SONY IMX219 sensor capable of 3280 x 2464 pixel stills. It’s mechanically almost identical to the previous camera model (V1.3) except for rounded corners on the PCB – and there’s no red LED on the front. There’s also a NOIR version being released at the same time. They both support 1080p30, 720p60 and 640x480p90 video. Here’s a video overview… Specifications Lens: Fixed focus Megapixels: 8 megapixel native resolution sensor Camera Resolution: […more…]

Mar 042016
Raspberry Pi Family Photo updated to include Pi3B 29 Feb 2016

It’s become a bit of a new model launch tradition now that I release a new “Pi family photo” with all the main revisions of Raspberry Pi in it. I’ve done things a little differently from last time in order to get a better resolution result. As usual I make this 1500px version available to the world under a CC-BY-SA-4 licence with the only condition being that the RasPi.TV credit stays intact. Aside from that, it may be used as you wish. I have ‘gone to town’ on this one slightly. Where previously I’d always […more…]

Mar 032016
How Much Power Does Raspberry Pi3B Use? How Fast Is It Compared To Pi2B?

The Raspberry Pi 3, launched this week, is more powerful than the Pi2. It also requires a bit more electrical power if you’re going to be hammering those four A53 CPU cores. How much more? The recommended PSU is 5.1V, 2.5A, which is 0.5A higher than for previous Pis. That doesn’t mean the Pi itself needs that much, but with four USB ports onboard, the PSU has to cater for power-hungry USB devices as well. I usually publish some power measurements each time a new Pi is released. But this time I learnt something new […more…]

 Posted by at 11:23 am
Feb 292016
Raspberry Pi 3 model B launches today - 64-bit quad A53 1.2 GHz BCM2837

Raspberry Pi 3 model B launch is today’s big news. The new Pi sports a 64-bit quad-core ARM Cortex A53 CPU with VideoCore IV GPU packaged into the new BCM2837 chip. This 1.2GHz CPU offers ~50% speed improvement over the Pi 2’s BCM2836. Video Overview Pretty much all the information and impressions I have of the Raspberry Pi 3 model B are in this short video… …but if you prefer to read, it’s all here too… Now With Built-in WiFi & Bluetooth The other major news is that the Raspberry Pi 3B now has built-in […more…]