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Pimoroni is 3

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For Pimoroni’s second birthday, we finally outgrew the old spring-storage workshop in Neepsend.

After hunting for a while, we found a new home near the train station in Sheffield. The new Pirate Ship is almost 8,000 sq ft of workshop and office that works pretty well for us, especially since it’s close to Street Food Chef and the Rutland Arms.

We’ve been here a year now and can say we’ve finally settled in. In fact we’ve almost filled the place, since we’ve continued growing at the same pace as the two previous years. This is pretty amazing, and means we’re now providing employment to more than 20 people.

new-warehouse

People! Having jobs! Because of your awesome support for Pimoroni! This amazes us :D

We now have Rick who runs the packing department. Matt and Kelly are the new shop team. Connor has joined Production to spend more time with laser cutters, and we of course have Phil “Gadgetoid” joining Jon and Paul in development.

connor-and-phil

We also had our first work experience peeps this summer, with Ben Dunicliffe and Amy Mather spending a week helping out the Pirates.

As well as expanding the Robot Lab and Lasertorium to make Flotilla (getting really close to being finished) and our awesome HATs, our shop has grown as Raspberry Pi and Making get more popular. The Raspi 2 launch was a really intense couple of weeks and everyone worked their heinie off to make sure people got their stuff as quickly as possible.

We’ve also managed to do some events again somehow, and appear at Maker Faires around the world, Deer Shed Festival, Picademy, and of course the occasional MegaJam, Cam Jam and Birthday Party.

york-jam

Our plan is to continue the trend and keep making awesome things, and growing to become as awesome in Europe as Adafruit and Sparkfun are in the USA! We still barely have time to breathe on the average Pimoroni day. We wouldn’t have it any other way.

We’ve saved up a few special things for our birthday to celebrate, and so, from today, as well as getting a whopping 15% off (with code PICADE), you can also order these shiny new things:

Picade

After finally delivering the Picade a year after the Kickstarter ended we were happy never to see another one for a while. We felt we let the community down a bit, as people were always asking when it was going to be released.

Picade-new-2015

Our guilt finally got the better of us, and so we dusted off the plans, refined the PCB and got serious about it.

PCB_v2_grande

The results is the Picade you can actually buy. It has a kickass PCB made by Ragworm (who else!) which has a novel 3-colour solder-mask/silk on top, the first we’ve made or seen.

Console_3_of_3_large

We’ve also made a smaller ‘Console’ version, which is perfect for a Raspi 2 and your HDMI screen. It houses the PCB, Pi, audio and controls in a neat, more portable box.

Piano HAT

Zack Igielman got talking to us after making his PiPiano on IndieGoGo. He wanted to make it a thing, but didn’t particularly want to spend time going through the production process, which we can really appreciate. Hardware is hard.

Piano-HAT-(3-of-4)

We gave it the full Pimoroni art-treatment, and the result is the Piano HAT. Possibly our shiniest board.

Pibow Tangerine

We made some custom Pibows for the Ubuntu Orange Matchbox. Lovely people. We liked the colour so much we decided to release it as an official Pibow colour: the Pibow Tangerine (rhymes with Yellow Submarine).

tangerine

Coupe Royale

The purple A+ Coupé has made the jump to join the other Coupés for the Raspi 2 and B+. Everyone loves purple.

We also have a couple of other little surprises coming over the next few days, just to keep you interested :D

Again, thanks for believing in us and supporting us! We’ll keep making awesome stuff in piratical fashion. Arrrr!

– The Pirates of Pimoroni

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The MagPi issue 36 is here and we’re in print!

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It’s with an almost rude amount of excitement I can announce that issue 36 of the Official Raspberry Pi Magazine, The MagPi, is here!

It’s bigger and – dare I say it – better than ever too, with 100 pages of amazing projects, interviews, features, tutorials and reviews.

Click the pic to buy the print edition from the Swag Store today & have it delivered to your door.

Click the pic to buy the print edition from the Swag Store today & have it delivered to your door.

It’s not just here in the virtual – download your free PDF edition today – sense, though. It’s also here in the physical – take me to the smallest room of the house – sense too.

As of today UK readers can pop to a local branches of WHSmith or their local newsagents and buy the magazine RIGHT NOW for £5.99.

US readers will be able to pick it up from Barnes & Noble or Micro Center in two short weeks (or just grab a copy from the Swag Store).

Click to see everything in the current issue

Click to see everything in the current issue

One of my favourite articles from #36 is Minecraft Splat, which is a multiplayer Raspberry Pi-remake of Nintendo’s modern classic, Splatoon, made in Minecraft Pi. Martin ‘Minecraft‘ O’Hanlon (of stuffaboutcode.com fame) kindly agreed to give it a shot for us and he delivered in spades. If you enjoy that, you’re sure to love Adventures in Minecraft, which he co-wrote with The MagPi’s Technical Editor David Whale.

#36_Minecraft Splat

Subscribe today!
If you’d like to subscribe to the print magazine it’s really rather easy. All you need to do is call +44(0)1202 586848 or visit The MagPi Subscriptions site.

You can save up to 25% on the cover price and have it delivered to your door before it even hits store shelves. If you order while the first issue is still on sale, you’ll get issue 36 sent out straight away. 

Also, if you’re a teacher, after school club leader, part of an educational scheme or simply want to horde as many issues as possible (we don’t mind), you’re entitled to a massive discounts on multiple copies. Please let us know and we’ll be happy to help.

It’s free – now and forever
Finally, it’s very important for me to stress that The MagPi is a Creative Commons publication. This means it’s free to download and share in PDF format.

Why bother buying it at all? Well, like the Raspberry Pi itself, all the proceeds of The MagPi magazine are channelled back into the Raspberry Pi Foundation, a UK charity dedicated to making affordable, programmable computers available to everyone, all over the world.

We think it’s important that children and adults from all walks of life have access to the internet and applications, and have the opportunity to learn to code if they want to. We hope you feel the same way.

The Raspberry Pi makes all of this possible and I very much hope The MagPi Magazine helps make it fun.

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Bike computer for the myopic

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We found this video titled “Build a better bike computer” at IEEE Spectrum. Edited to add: the video, while excellent in all other ways, stubbornly resists embedding in this post, so if you want more than the enticing image below – and we’re sure you do – you’ll have to put yourself through an extra click to view it on IEEE Spectrum’s site.

Gordon, Pi Towers’ resident pro bike racer and mountain bike nutcase (ask him to show you his X-rays some time) demurs: he says (I quote): “That’s big and stupid”.

Gordon also shaves his legs, and says that he wants to fill his bike frame with helium; his cycling needs are the needs of the few.

The rest of us rather liked this Kindle bike hack.

Bike computer

This build uses the Kindle as a display – but, rather than sending information straight to the display, publishes speed, distance, and navigation data to a webpage, which the Kindle’s experimental browser then reads on the hoof  fly wheel. Thanks are due to David Schneider, the mind behind; David, please ignore Gordon. He’s a curmudgeon.

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DDR meets the Simon game

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Back in the heady days of the late ’90s, a number of my friends and fellow students were irritatingly good at Dance Dance Revolution. They devoted countless hours to it, and carried on earnest and lengthy discussions about technique. So I can feel only gratitude that this appealing crossover wasn’t around to further detain their attention.

Uberdam Cavaletti teaches computing at a professional training school in Xanxerê, Brazil, where each year they hold an event to show off projects the students have been working on. Last year one of these projects involved a Raspberry Pi, a DDR-style platform and a much older electronic game.

DDR Simon game

The starting point for Uberdam, his colleagues and students was Simon, a compelling game from the late 1970s in which players had to press coloured buttons to replicate increasingly complex sequences displayed by the device. They were running an existing Python clone of this game, Simulate by Al Sweigart, on a Raspberry Pi; Uberdam’s class had the idea of allowing a player to use their feet to play, instead of a keyboard and mouse.

In their DDR-alike version, a Raspberry Pi displays the sequence for the player to replicate via a projector, and capacitive sensors underneath the coloured platform detect steps, allowing the Pi to check the player’s performance.

There’s more about the game in Uberdam’s blog post (in Portuguese); I first spotted it in Hackaday’s piece.

Meanwhile, if you like the idea of making your own electronic games, you don’t need heaps of experience. In the Make section of our free resources you can find out how to make a Sweet Shop Reaction Game using Scratch and a Quick Reaction Game using Python, both great places to start!

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Attend a Picademy@Google in Birmingham

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This year we’ve seen an explosion of Raspberry Pi Certified Educators thanks to the number of free teacher training events called ‘Picademy’ that we’ve been able to facilitate. Aside from our own in-house training, there have been five regional Picademies, three of which have taken place in Google’s Digital Garage in Leeds. Thanks to the generosity of Google.org, we are able to offer even more continuing professional development opportunities to educators, this time in Birmingham!

digital-garage-birmingham

Picademy will be awesome at the new Google Digital Garage Birmingham!

Picademy@Google is for classroom teachers of any subject at primary, secondary or post-16 level. The courses and workshops in Leeds are run by renowned community member Les Pounder, who gives much of his time to helping adults and children create weird and wonderful projects. You may have seen some of his Picademy work on Twitter recently.

Picademy@Google Birmingham will be every bit as good! Highly regarded community member, Minecraft wizard, and creator of stuff about code Martin O’Hanlon will be leading teachers across a diamond block path to Raspberry Pi enlightenment. Here he is doing his best Steve impression:

IMG_5082

Martin was at the venue for the launch and said:

The opening of the Google Digital Garage at the Library of Birmingham was a great event attended by Eileen Naughton, MD of Google UK and Ireland, and Sajid Javid, Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills.

The venue is incredible and it’s really exciting to be able to use this amazing space to bring Picademy to Birmingham – opening up the opportunity to teachers across the West Midlands to get the benefit of the Raspberry Pi Foundation’s free CPD course.

All our training events in Birmingham will take place at the latest Google Digital Garage inside Birmingham Library, and are completely free to attend. If you are interested in take part and becoming a Raspberry Pi Certified Educator, please complete this form. The following dates are available:

  • 27th – 28th August
  • 1st – 2nd October
  • 2nd – 3rd November
  • 7th – 8th December

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Pneumatic tooth fairy

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With the expanding global population, Jeff “BabyWrassler” Highsmith realised, the Tooth Fairy is probably finding it tough to keep on top of her job. He decided to help her out with a tooth transportation system using pneumatic tubes, controlled by a Raspberry Pi. This wonderful video is brought to us by Make:

Jeff’s past projects include his older son’s Mission Control Desk and his younger child’s bedroom Apollo Mission. We desperately envy these children.

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