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


Reda avatar

i found the article “Raspberry Pi driving a huge LED panel” very interesting, i would like to know more how the project was made. Many thanks.

clive avatar

I’ve asked Petr, the creator, for more details or a contact.

dosstoned avatar

I want to view the LEDs too! But the website says: “Unable to play this video at this time. The number of allowed playbacks has been exceeded. Please try again later.”

clive avatar

Petr has said that he will post more sdetails when he gets the chance.

Reda avatar

i hope !

Benjamin avatar


Liz avatar

Oh heck – Clive, you’ve only gone and set a bloody precedent! Bang go my quiet Sundays. :)

I’m going to quietly enjoy some more squid and noodles before heading off to Narita. Cherish Clive, ‘cos you’ve only got him for a couple more days. (Although I am sorely tempted to chain him to a keyboard in Raspberry Towers and keep him blogging away for us next week while I spend my time drinking coffee and shouting at the monitor to alleviate the jet lag.)

ukscone avatar

we can keep holding the fort for a while if you want to stay a little longer as Clive still has a weeks worth of good wine to drink & he hasn’t find where the hidden twiglet stash is yet and it’s driving him nuts

Rick Seiden avatar

The link to the panel doesn’t appear to be working. :(

clive avatar

It’s OK here – maybe a Flash problem?

Matt Westcott avatar

Broken for me too – a blank Google Docs page saying “Unable to play this video at this time. The number of allowed playbacks has been exceeded.” If only Google had some kind of dedicated video sharing website… :-)

clive avatar

It’s now on YouTube and embedded in the blog!

Lynbarn avatar

GEORGE3 on a Raspberry Pi? That might not mean much to most of you, but to an old ICL COBOL programmer like me that is outrageous!! (in a good way!) I’ll have to dust off my old PLAN manuals – if I still have them! Now, if only the RasPi had a paper tape reader…

bottmint avatar

This is where the awesome kicks in. If you’ve got the know-how, you could build a tape reader for your pi!

Marc avatar

Hmmm, I’ve got an old punchcard reader somewhere, maybe someone else has an old data deck for reading into a fortran IV compiler?

bjh avatar

My friends at Evil Mad Scientist Labs have a great write up of creating visual diffs, with references to a number of tools:

AndrewS avatar

Cool! I’d been wondering if people had already done something similar to what I did :-)

Ed Field avatar

I’m very interested in the big LED display. I’ve been looking for something like this for a while. I’d love to know more details about the display in particular, and where to get one.

Russell Pollock avatar

The LED display is great, I love it. I wish I had the know how to make a idea I have but maybe some one else can make it happen. The Pi reader and the LED panel gave me the idea. A pico type projector and a Pi built in a Pi sized box so that you always had a screen to use anywhere you went. Built in different sizes so you could have mini 4″ – 40″, 40″ – 100″ then industrial 100″ – infinity!!! No really just a small projector like on some cell phones, with the option to just use the HDMI to plug-in like normal. Then I could use a virtual keyboard and mouse projected on the table and the projector showing the screen on the wall. My whole computer fitting in a pocket.
Just an thought.

TankSlappa avatar

A Sunday grab-bag eh?

I guess the strain was too much, hence no post so far today on Monday? ;o)

clive avatar

Just waiting for some photos!

Comments are closed