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Raspberry Pi Roundup - 13th May 2015

Raspberry Pi Raspberry Pi Roundup

Desktop

Simon Long from the Raspberry Pi Foundation has just announced a big update for the standard desktop GUI. Improvements include:

  • New interface for setting up network connections (including wi-fi).
  • New interface for volume and audio settings.
  • New interface for changing desktop appearance.
  • Speed and compatibility improvements for the Epiphany web browser.
  • An updated Minecraft API compatible with Python 3.
  • A new version of Sonic Pi.

More details and instructions on how to update your Pi can be found here.

Beacon

Instructables user hackbp has written a tutorial which shows you how to transmit an image over radio waves. He uses a method known as SSTV Martin 2 to convert an image into ‘lines’ which are then sent in binary form over the airwaves. It’s the same method used by high altitude balloons to transmit their images back to Earth. I do note, however, that he hasn’t dealt with receiving the data and reconstituting the images at the other end, which is a shame, but the tutorial might be useful to get you started. Read more here.

Kettle

FatCookies decided that he wanted to be able to turn his kettle on from his phone. So, he took an old power supply enclosure, ripped out the insides and replaced it with a Raspberry Pi and a relay board, some wiring and, of course, hot glue to keep it all in place. He then hooked it up to the kettle, provided power for both and created a Python script to activate it. He hasn’t yet finished the software to give him a web interface, and the kettle has to (obviously) be filled and the switch turned on, but it’s a nice proof-of-concept. Read more here.



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