Tag Archives: books

A Raspberry Pi-controlled book scanner

via Raspberry Pi

Today we’ve an excellent project from our forums to share with you: Jonathon Duerig, known as duerig on the forums, posts about the standalone book scanner he has built, controlled by a Raspberry Pi 2 and using the Raspberry Pi Touch Display as an interface. It’s a large and fairly imposing object, based on The Archivist DIY book scanner and using Tenrec Builders‘ open source book-scanning software, Pi Scan.

Pi Scan book scanner

Books rest on a V-shaped cradle that the scanner’s operator lifts up towards a similarly shaped 3mm glass platen by pulling down on a handlebar, thus pressing flat the pages, which are evenly lit from above. The Raspberry Pi controls two Canon PowerShot ELPH 160 cameras, each angled perfectly to capture one of the visible pages of the book. The Pi allows the user to set the zoom level for each camera, automatically sets and locks focus, and captures the images, saving them to an external SD card. The scanner’s touchscreen interface is made with Kivy, a Python GUI development system for touchscreen devices.

Looking at this build and the projects it draws on, I was pretty astonished by something that regularly bowls me over when I’m looking at open source projects, and by which I hope I never stop feeling awed. The level of duerig and others’ commitment to the overall open book scanning project and its quality and integrity is remarkable. We are proud that Raspberry Pi is a useful tool to communities like yours and projects like this.

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Learn to love the command line with The MagPi

via Raspberry Pi

Conquer the Command Line, written by resident Bash expert Richard Smedley for The MagPi, offers ten chapters of essential tips and tricks to help you master the command line…

When we first turned The MagPi into the official Raspberry Pi magazine, we made two very distinct commitments. One was to ensure the magazine represents the needs and celebrates the achievements of the Raspberry Pi community. The other was to ensure all the content we produce should be available free, now and forever.

Last week The MagPi released the first offering in a new series of e-books called The MagPi Essentials. The first release is designed to help you learn to love the command line, and, like everything else we produce, it’s available as a free Creative Commons-licensed PDF.

Learn to love the command line

Learn to love the command line by trying our Essentials e-book

Here’s an excerpt from the introduction to get you in the mood:

Sometimes only words will do.
Graphic user interfaces (GUIs) were a great advance,
creating an easy route into computer use
for many non-technical users. For complex tasks,
though, the interface can become a limitation:
blocking off choices, and leaving a circuitous route
even for only moderately complicated jobs.

(Re-)Enter the command line: the blinking cursor
that many thought had faded away some time in
the 1990s. For getting instructions from user to
computer – in a clear, quick and unambiguous form
– the command line is often the best way. It never
disappeared on Unix systems, and now, thanks to
Raspbian on the Raspberry Pi, a new generation
are discovering the power of the command line
to simplify complex tasks, or instantly carry
out simple ones.

In short: if you’re one of the many Raspberry Pi users not comfortable when faced with the command prompt, don’t panic! Conquer the Command Line is designed to help you feel at home, and equip you with the skills you need to find your way around the Raspberry Pi terminal (or any other GNU/Linux computer for that matter).

Here’s a quick breakdown of what you can expect to learn:

  • Read and write text files
  • Find and install software
  • Manage removable storage
  • Use Secure Shell for remote access
  • Create Raspberry Pi SD cards
  • Customise the command line
  • and much, much more.
Click the tablet to download your PDF copy

Click the tablet to download your PDF copy (2.3MB)

We’ll be following up Conquer the Command Line with a new book in The MagPi Essentials range soon. Assuming enough of you want them, we might even be tempted into releasing a printed A5 box set of the series too.

If you’d like to support the Raspberry Pi Foundation’s charitable aims you can also buy Conquer the Command Line on your favourite Apple or Android device for £2.99 / $3.99. The MagPi app itself is entirely free to download and comes complete with the first 30 issues of the magazine entirely free!
app_store google_play

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Electronics and Embedded Design Books

Here’s a quick status update on the site. I’ve started revising the old resource pages, beginning with the Books and References page. Most of the books listed were out of print or old editions, so I’ve started replacing them with comparable books that are currently available. The list is pretty short at present, I’d love to get some input on recommended books you’d consider essential for an open hardware designer. Post a comment below and let me know what to add. Some CC or GFDL licensed ebooks would be really nice if anyone knows of any.

Also, I’ve put up a poll to get some input on what sort of Open Hardware project readers are most interested in seeing. This first poll is to find a general direction for a project and once we get enough input, I’ll put up another to narrow down some features. You can find the poll in the right column of page. If you haven’t picked an option yet, please do.