A self-confessed bunch of students and amateurs have put together a rather cool system for watering plants featuring some soil sensors, an analog to digital converter and a solenoid valve to release the water. You can read all about it, and follow along with their steps, by reading the Instructable.
Minecraft over VNC
Albert Hickey has written a fantastic tutorial over on his WinkleInk blog. He has used a preview version of RealVNC which allows you to view and play Minecraft Pi Edition on a normal PC, in Albert’s case, a laptop.
Up to now, this has been impossible as Minecraft communicates directly with the framebuffer. RealVNC have done a top job on their software for this, so keep an eye out for when it becomes publicly available. He has combined this software with a tutorial written by Andrew Mulholland which allows you to use a USB cable to connect directly to a Zero over OTG (On-The-Go). This means that you can do this with just the one cable connecting the Zero to the laptop. Albert’s made the whole thing very accessible and it’s well worth trying it out.Read more on his blog.
SD from Android
Mike Redrobe has written an interesting Android app. It allows you to write Pi SD cards from your mobile phone. It’s called Raspi Imager and is available from the Google Play Store. For now, it installs NOOBS and NOOBS Lite and can be used on both the internal SD card (requires a rooted phone) or an SD card writer attached to the USB port. Download/install the app here.
Last year, Yasmin Curren was selected as one of the Raspberry Pi Creative Technologists. On 23rd April, I attended the CTs exhibition at Raspberry Pi Towers and saw her project. It was an interactive video-based experience about monsters living under the bed. It was genuinely disturbing, especially the ‘dare you press it?’ button which… No, perhaps I don’t want to re-live that! It was definitely one of the highlights for me – she had set the lighting low, the sound level to just the right place and created an atmosphere of foreboding. And that was just before you sat down in front of the house model! Yasmin has now written up the entire project so you can see what she’s been up to! Read it here.