Tag Archives: Community

From the community: unboxing and setup of Arduino 101

via Arduino Blog


Circuit Basic recently posted a 9-minute video unboxing, Setting Up, and Comparing the Arduino 101 to the Arduino Uno.

The Arduino 101 (US only) and the Genuino 101 (outside US), created in collaboration with Intel, keeps the same robust form factor and peripheral list of the Uno with the addition of onboard Bluetooth LE capabilities and a 6-axis accelerometer/gyro to  expand your creativity into the connected world.

Watch the video below to learn the first steps on how to use this new board!

MakerBox, French Gift Boxes to Discover the Maker Movement

via MakingSociety


This Fall I’ve been involved in the very cool MakerBox project, coming from the indie French magazine Usbek & Rica.

MakerBox are gift boxes to learn how to make things.

So far, 20 MakerBox are available. That’s 20 different workshops where you will learn a new maker skill and build your own custom product in a local makerspace.

From wood furniture…


Roxanne Chair, designed by Pierrick Faure. Workshop at La Nouvelle Fabrique (Paris region)



Stool designed and made at WoMa (Paris)

To personal items…


Leather binding workshop at ICI Montreuil (Paris region)



Build your own skateboard at Ateliers Draft (Paris)



MakerBox leather shoes workshop at ICI Montreuil (Paris region)

To lamps…


Lasercut lamp designed and made at WoMa (Paris)

Or even an arcade gaming machine

MakerBox Arcade gaming machine workshop at ICI Montreuil (Paris)

We build an arcade gaming machine during at ICI Montreuil (Paris)

Find out about all the boxes here (in French).

So far, MakerBox counts 8 makerspaces partners. They are all based in France, and mostly in Paris. The offer should expand all over France and more.

What I like with this project is that it solves a real need. Many French makerspaces are in search of their business models, having regular workshops and exposure from non-makers can help them. Many people hear about fablabs and 3D printing in the news but don’t know where to start. MakerBox is here to guide them and show them what’s going on in the community.

The boxes will be available for sale starting December 17.

If you’re in Paris, you should come to the launch event :)


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The Official Raspberry Pi Projects Book is out now!

via Raspberry Pi

Rob from The MagPi here again! Two posts from me in one week? You’re a very lucky bunch.

One thing we’re very proud of at The MagPi is the quality of our content: articles, features, tutorials, guides, reviews, inspirational projects and all the other bits and pieces that have made The MagPi great for 39 issues and counting. When we went back into actual print in a big way with issue 36, we had people asking us whether we’d ever release issues 31-35 as printed copies; we assume they wanted copies to frame and hang on their walls, or maybe to donate to a museum collection. Either way, we definitely haven’t been ignoring your cries.

A picture of the cover of the Official Raspberry Pi Projects book

200 pages. Dozens of articles. Out right this second.



Instead of releasing these individual issues in the Swag Store like in the old days, we decided to give them the shelf space in bricks-and-mortar shops that they deserved all along. So please welcome The Official Raspberry Pi Projects Book, packed with 200 pages full of the best projects, tutorials, reviews and much, much more, out right now for only £12.99!

You’ll find it in the magazine racks next to (or very near) The MagPi, and to be honest the image doesn’t do the cover justice. It’s beautifully glossy and slightly embossed. It’s definitely worth popping down to WHSmiths just to be dazzled by its glory.

Otherwise, you can grab a copy from the Swag Store, get a copy in our app available for Android and iOS, or grab the free PDF of the whole thing!

A picture of the contents spread of the Official Raspberry Pi Projects book

With almost 100 articles in the book, there are definitely a few things for everyone.
Click for a larger image.

Even if you’re not so bothered about completing your collection of The MagPi (however much it breaks my heart), this is a book with 200 pages of fantastic Raspberry Pi content that’s extremely handy if you want ideas for more awesome stuff to do with your Raspberry Pi. I’d like to point out that it’s a darn good stocking stuffer as well, what with it being only five weeks until Christmas and all.

We hope you all enjoy this book, however you plan to use it. And don’t forget to look out for our very exciting issue 40, out next Thursday. You absolutely will not want to miss it.

Anyway, on Monday I put a Picard gif at the end of the post. So here’s another. [This is a thing with Rob; we’re humouring him. Tell us in comments if you want us to make him stop – Ed.] See you next time!

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Digital, free, forever: the first 30 issues of The MagPi

via Raspberry Pi

The MagPi issues one to 30 are now free, forever.

Hopefully that’s caught your attention. Some of you may now be wondering, “hang on, those issues of The MagPi were always free as PDFs, and so are all the newer ones as well!” And you’d be right: every issue of The MagPi has always been released as a free PDF download, and always will be, but we’re talking about our digital platform. Specifically, our app.

Did you know we have an app? It’s really great; it adds an extra layer of readability over the PDFs of the magazine, it remembers your place, and you can subscribe to it so that you always have a copy of The MagPi the moment it’s released. We charge a paltry £2.99 for single digital issues, half the price of our print ones, and £19.99 for a year’s subscription. The best part is, you don’t have to invest in a wheelbarrow to carry all your copies around with you everywhere!

Screenshot of The MagPi app with a selection of magazines in view

Just scroll down in the app to find the issues in beautiful digital HD glory


While these new issues are £2.99 we’ve also put up the first 30 issues of The MagPi for the low, low price of nothing. Zilch. Nada. Completely free.

We don’t want you to feel like you’re missing out on a complete set in our app, so it’s our promise to you that not only will they remain there, they’ll always be free as an excellent complement to your current and any future digital versions of The MagPi.

You can grab the app on the Google Play Store for Android devices and the Apple App Store for iOS now, and relive some great moments from The MagPi’s history.

Like when we showed you how to make an Engima-style cipher in issue 25:

The cover of issue 25 of The MagPi, showing an Enigma machine

Cryptography is important to know in today’s computer world

Or all the little robots that we made:

Two covers of The MagPi side-by-side, each showing a robot

Robots are cool

And don’t forget the great interviews!

An issue of The MagPi with Lady Ada on the front

We love talking to important people about great things

So grab them all today and make yourself feel like Captain Picard, picking up an (i)PADD after a long day of telling off Wesley, so he can dig into some of his favourite literature of early Twenty-First Century Earth. We’d like to think he’d have given The MagPi a shot between Shakespeare and noir adventures.

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Major League Hacking Local Hack Day

via Raspberry Pi

18,000 stickers, 2,000 selfie-sticks and 8,000 slices of pizza hurtled across the planet last week to 14 different countries. It was a day that almost 4000 students had been eagerly awaiting.

Major League Hacking (MLH) have been organising hackathons in the USA and Europe for several years, but Saturday was an event with a difference. Local Hack Day was a 12-hour mini-hackathon on school campuses all over the world, and was billed as “the largest student hackathon ever”. The vast majority of the events were organised and run by the students; bringing together their local hacker community to develop, share and celebrate their skills in building awesome technology.


Of the 87 venues that participated in Local Hack Day, 58 of them, in places as far apart as the US, Canada, UK, Puerto Rico, Bahia, Mexico and Limassol, were able to accept under 18s. This is a huge deal. For your average kid, attending hackathons is not easy. With the exception of tailored events such as YRS Festival of Code, most hackathon venues won’t allow under 18s to attend for child safety and safeguarding reasons. MLH have continuously strived to include the next generations of young hackers, and the Local Hack Day was an extraordinarily inclusive event, letting those children whom identify with the hacker community to participate or even help organise the global event.

At the school where I used to teach, Bourne Grammar School, just such a young lad exists.


To say James is a keen hacker would be an understatement. It’s not just that he enjoys technology and programming, probably more importantly, he recognises the importance of the hacker community and is eager to get involved. It was James who learned about Local Hack Day, and proposed that his school host an event, but that wasn’t enough; he wanted to be the one to organise it all. The head of Digital Strategy at the school, Stephen Brown, was more than happy for James to take centre stage and run the whole day, and what a stunningly successful event it was.

As James’ former Computer Science teacher, I was invited along (although I’m not sure whether I was wanted for my skills as a mentor or my ready access to Raspberry Pis. I suspect the it was the latter). I took my son, Jimi, along with me, who, at eight years old, must have been one of the youngest attendees across all the venues.


There were around 25 attending the Bourne Local Hack Day this year.

Having arrived, grabbed their swag and stickers, the kids soon got down to the important job of hacking on their projects. There were a tonne of amazing ideas, from the basic to the bizarre. We had computer games being made using anything from the Unity 3D games engine to the Raspberry Pi Sense HAT. There was some back-end work being completed on an app that enables people to brag about their latest purchases; a “Nandos cheekiness” measuring tool; a machine-learning algorithm to teach a computer to perform basic arithmetic using neural networks; and a selfie stick that automatically posted pictures to Twitter and tagged them using the Clarifai API. Jimi even got in on the action, combining his love of conkers with his love of physical computing.

kid with breadboard

Jimi tangles with a breadboard

Fuelled by drinks and crisps, kindly donated by the local Tesco, the kids worked solidly throughout the day, only breaking at 6pm when the pizza arrived. There followed a quick diversionary game of Age of Empires, where the teachers showed the kids who the real gaming champs were, and then it was back to hacking on their projects before the 9pm deadline hit.

The winners with their Raspberry PI Selfie-stick

The winners with their Raspberry PI Selfie-stick

The chosen winner at Bourne was the Raspberry Pi/Clarifai Selfie-stick, which was a lovely little hardware hack, but this was definately an event where the taking part was more important. Hackathons are amazing events, where inspiration, teamwork, genius and insanity all seem to combine to produce awesome projects, and it’s important that children get to experience them as well. So thank you MLH, and I look forward to Local Hack Day 3, whenever that may be.

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POC21 Gives Birth to 12 Projects and a Vibrant Community

via MakingSociety


Just on time! I was lucky enough to come back to France for the final exhibition of POC21.

POC21, which stands for Proof of Concept 21, is an indie satellite event of COP21, major international climate change conference happening in a few days in Paris for governments to agree and take action to save the planet.

Many activists fear that COP21 will be mostly talks and not much action and decision-making.

A team of Germans and French open source enthusiasts led by Open State and OuiShare decided to make something happen on their own. They spend the year preparing POC21: gathering hundreds of makers in a castle near Paris for one month in order to build open source projects solving sustainability issues.

POC21: 157 makers gathered for one month building open source projects for sustainability!

POC21: 157 makers gathered for one month building open source projects for sustainability! Image : Stefano Borghi

The month is now over, and no need to say it’s been quite a ride!

A total of 12 projects have been build. All of them fully respect the open source hardware definition. They are fully available for everyone to make and modify. They are made using accessible and affordable materials and building techniques.

And they offer concrete solution for sustainable living on a small and local scale.

Take for example OwnFood: the team created a full permaculture greenhouse and instruction set able to feed a family for years.

Or Faircap, a bottle cap featuring a natural filtering system so that you can drink any water.

ShowerLoop is another exciting project. The team managed to build a system to recycle water from your shower indefinitely. The water is also cleaned in real-time and heated. And it can be build with the help of a local fablab for a low cost.

ShowerLoop in demo at the final POC21 exhibition. Image: MakingSociety CC BY SA

ShowerLoop in demo at the final POC21 exhibition. Image: MakingSociety CC BY SA

The Bicitractor is designed for small farm and farmers on a tight budget. This tractor can be build with a few tools for a low cost, it doesn’t pollute and can be customized depending on the work needed in the fields.

The few tools needed to build Bicitractor. image: MakingSociety CC BY SA

The few tools needed to build Bicitractor. image: MakingSociety CC BY SA


And what about the $30 Wind Turbine that does in fact cost $30, can be home build with a few easy tools, and generates current at 1 kW in a 60 km/h wind, and has been tested to absorb at least 105 km/h.

$30 Wind Turbine at POC21. Image: MakingSociety CC BY SA

$30 Wind Turbine at POC21. Image: MakingSociety CC BY SA

For extra permaculture inspiration, I also want to mention Aker, a full set of designs for gardening (outdoor and indoor) ready to download and CNC in a fablab or at home.

Urban gardening with Aker set of designs. Image: MakingSociety CC BY SA

Urban gardening with Aker set of designs. Image: MakingSociety CC BY SA

Participants said a few times that not only did they build 12 projects but also a surprised 13th one: a framework for community living.

The month at the POC21 castle was indeed a giant experiment for learning how to live and collaborate between hundreds of participants from many different countries.

The daily check-out improvements over the month. Image: MakingSociety CC BY SA

The daily check-out improvements over the month. Image: MakingSociety CC BY SA

I love how the team was able to analyse social situations and adapt the daily activities. And they also documented their discoveries.

Huge kudos to the Open State and OuiShare teams and the hundreds of makers, mentors, sponsors and visitors of POC21 for making it happen and inspiring us!

Rainbows on POC21. Image : Stefano Borghi

Rainbows on POC21. Image : Stefano Borghi

What seems at first like cardboard projects for dreamers took shape as an actual alternative living model. From transformational festivals giving birth to communities such as Boom in Portugal or Envision in Costa Rica, to the hundreds of sustainable communities popping up all over the globe, an initiative like POC21 truly helps growing our community, which is gaining an awesome momentum.

Next step for POC21, getting a permanent space in Europe for long-term experiment in sustainable living?


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