Today is GeekOut Bristol Meet, taking place from 2pm at the Old Market Tavern. One thing we love to do here at GeekOut, is provide some unique themes for the events. This month’s theme was more to get people chatting about technology as a whole. As such, to get people chatting, I started to create some very basic little infosheets about a couple of pieces of tech throughout history. Check out our pieces – and let us know if there were any amongst these that you didn’t know about!
Welcome one, welcome all, to GeekOut Media’s Top 10 Gifts for Gamers. Now we decided to come up with some basic guidelines for what we would or would not include in this week’s list, the last weekend before Christmas – So, here’s what we settled upon:
- Must be a gift you could buy a friend or family at a reasonable price (Under £50)
- No Official Consoles – They’re too expensive for this list.
- No specific Video Games or Board Games.
With the rules for this list out of the way with, let’s unwrap this week’s list! (more…)
As we all know, Minecraft was a pretty big deal when it first got it’s official release. When version 1.0 came out, it was go time and it was already viral at that point. Filling up shop spaces, making merchandise and Mojang getting some incredible office space in the process, the voxel-based builder game was an internet phenom. It knew no bounds in terms of sales and then at the end of 2014, something happened we did not expect. Mojang was bought by Microsoft – and many people, myself included, were sceptical about the choice. We thought that was the end of Minecraft… And how very wrong we were.
The Raspberry Pi is a subject I’ve sort of dipped my toes in many times in the past, but recently my little brother started talking about it. He then promptly decided he wasn’t interested in it, but it made me think… What would I do with a Raspberry Pi? When I thought about it, I came up with a list of three inventive uses for the Raspberry Pi. Now that I’ve been musing over this for a long while, I think it’s time to lay down my hand and see what you all think about what I would do with one.
The Raspberry Pi is ultimately a teeny tiny computer, with power that makes earlier consoles weep and moan. How can something so small and cheap not only rival them, but often be better equipped than them? How can the company, the Raspberry Pi Foundation, keep afloat by making these so damn cheap? Well it’s because they’re not really in it for the profit. However, I’m sure they get enough to be able to make do! We love you, Raspberry Pi Foundation.
I’ve yet to get myself a Pi, but I am considering getting one over the coming months/early next year. However here’s what I would need for my project:
- Raspberry Pi Model B+ (£16)
- WiFi USB Dongle (£6)
- 7″ Raspberry Pi Touch Display (£42.99)
- Wall mount (£10)
Total Cost: £74.99
I’m sure I have an SD Card lying around somewhere.
This project wouldn’t be cheap, but basically the idea is simply to have a wall organiser of sorts. It’s a low-stress use for a Raspberry Pi, however this follows on from the exceptionally clever idea to turn your Raspberry Pi into a touch screen Google Calendar. However this isn’t where I would stop. A lot of what I do with GeekOut takes time and I often forget the order I should be completing my tasks… So sometimes, a post might go up an hour or two later (Sorry!)
With this in mind, I’d have at least two, perhaps up to three screens I could swipe between.
Having Google Calendar in a nicely presented view on a touch screen device would always be a good thing. This would be the first thing I set up. I’m quite an organised person when it comes to days and my family and I share our holidays and events on Google Calendars. But further to this, I could add in anything to do with my Geek events into the calendar. By having this personal organiser to my side, I know I won’t need to go to Google Calendar on my computer any more, but rather just a quick swipe to check out what’s happening within the week.
I’m sure by following the instructions in the instructable, this should be a pretty easy win.
I will have to work on the design of it, but basically I work on websites like Trello to keep on top of all of the projects we have here on GeekOut. There’s a lot of older projects that have been put to the side. However simply enough, I need to have a system to input tasks (perhaps via my main computer) which then feeds into the tasks screen on my Raspberry Pi. Could this be done with a simple android tablet? Probably – I do have one of these lying around too, not doing too much right now.
Finally, if there was one more thing I’d use it for…
Thunderbird… Or perhaps Claws… But basically an email client.
Considering the Raspberry Pi can have Raspbian as a distribution, I am sure there is a reasonable email client for the light-weight machine. With this, along with Google Calendar and a task screen, all to help me get through a productive work day, everything can be done with a few touches of a screen, rather than having two tabs and an email client open at all times here at home whilst I work on GeekOut projects.
Whilst this may or may not come to light, this has basically been what I would do with a Raspberry Pi. A simple task organiser of sorts, along with a touch-screen calendar view to show the days activities and email client all rolled into one. Potentially, I could do all of this with my tablet which is just sat upstairs currently a bit upset with me as the charger has given out (boo!) Nevertheless, what do you think of my idea for the Pi? Do you have anything that you’d do differently than the above? Let me know in the comments below, or over on Facebook and Twitter.
There’s no denying it, the Raspberry Pi has been an incredible success story. Some people have used them as a portable computer, but many more people have come up with some of the most inventive uses for this little device.
For those of you who haven’t heard about the clever device, the Raspberry Pi is a low-cost, tiny little machine which is capable of being a fully fledged computer. It’s impressive in that it comes with its own operating system (Raspbian is the default) and this machine is no bigger than a credit card in size. It has found its way to plenty of classrooms to teach children and students how to program, as well as being used in many different offices and departments across the world.
Let’s not beat around the bush with this one, the Picade is a brilliant idea. A microcomputer that allows you to play all of the arcade classics in a really neat and well presented package, it’s a dream come true. It’s all very self explanatory, so it’s worth checking it out, although it does cost £180 for the kit.
This is one of my personal favourite uses for the Raspberry Pi and it’s incredibly simple. Effective, oh hells yeah, but it certainly is simple. But the best projects usually are. This instructable allows you to create your very own Google Calendar wall screen. You mount the screen, power it up and boom, you’ve got yourself a Google Calendar on the wall!
Yes, this is a homemade R2D2 that responds to voice commands and does quite a few neat little things. Whilst this is on the extremely advanced levels of what the Raspberry Pi can do, this is proof that if you’ve got an idea, a piece of kit like the Pi can really make a difference. The man who made this did it for his girlfriend, which is an adorable level of geeky affection.
If R2D2 isn’t your thing, check out this post about a Raspberry Pi powered K-9!
If you want to get a Raspberry Pi for yourself, the version 2 pi’s cost a little more than £30, making this a tinkerers ideal toy. It’s lightweight and portable, since it is only the size of a credit card, so it’s well worth the small investment if you’re looking to spice up your house with nifty little gadgets and do-dads. Have you seen any particularly clever uses for the Raspberry Pi or any microcomputers? Have you got one of these for yourself and have you done anything cool with yours? Let us know in the comments below, or over on Facebook and Twitter.
So, the team who came up with Embroidermodder 2 approached me, explaining their product and I thought “What a great idea!” but what is Embroidermodder 2?
As the name itself suggests, Embroidermodder 2 is something to do with Embroidery. Before we get into the Kickstarter campaign, here’s a very quick overview of what Embroidery is!
Embroidery is a sewing skill which dates as far back as the warring states era of China. To those unaware, this is the era that Dynasty Warriors (Great game series) loosely covers. Embroidery is the art of using sewing to decorate something (Usually fabrics) with thread and needle.
The skill of embroidery is an important skill within cosplay. A lot of lazier or newer cosplayers (Like me!) are more used to fabric paints. By making a “stencil”, you can go ahead and just slop some fabric paint over, let it dry and all is good for the fabric! However, in terms of that really professional finish, for the longer term and more skilled cosplayers, there is embroidery.
Embroidery is used extensively around the world, in fashion and in cosplay.
Why back Embroidermodder 2?
Well, first of all, I learned that this is a Open-Source Software. This means, if you’ve got some coding know how, you can alter some of the code, which will help you make your embroidery in any way you see fit. Useful!
This also means you are free to use the program at no cost to you, should you want to “try before you buy”. Just note, that “Try” is the full program!
For those non-coders, why back this?
The first and foremost reason is the cost. Embroidery software is something I was completely unaware of until I found out about Embroidermodder 2 – It’s extortionate!
When I typed in “Embroidery Software” into Google, this was the first result. £1,100 – I don’t know the software in question, but that is very expensive. Perhaps it’s for the professionals of the world – I really don’t know how good the software is, so I won’t judge that. Instead, I’ll say that Embroidermodder 2 should be a fair bit cheaper than that!
Are you someone who wants to get some embroidery onto your cosplays, but do not want to do it all by hand? Good idea, why not start easy by working with the embroidery software?
Embroidery software is a special application where you can create a digital version of your embroidery, then visualise it in a 3D rendered environment. Then, you can create an embroidery file of your pattern to be and put it into an embroidery machine. For mass production, embroidery machines really ease the time it takes.
How much do they need?
$55,000 is their target. They have 25 days (As of this writing) left on their campaign.
That’s a high and ambitious target – I hope they manage to get the funding they need for this project, as the idea is excellent.
Here’s some of the perks for backing them:
Pledge $5 or more
Our sincere thanks. Every bit helps. This will allow you to receive project updates on our Kickstarter campaign.
Pledge $20 or more
Your name listed in the credits.
Pledge $25 or more
Use of the Embroidermodder font in any project you desire. Plus your name listed in the credits.
Pledge $50 or more
Backer Pack, font, plus your name listed in the credits.
- Cross-Platform support (Windows, Mac and Linux, as well as Raspberry Pi and Arduino support!)
- The Arduino support shocked me, personally. It means you can, in theory, make your own embroidery machines if you want to get really “techy” about it!
- Creates embroidery files which should be supported by most embroidery machines.
- Scripting API (To allow the programmers out there to alter away at their embroidery program, adding extra functionality and so on!)
- Different stitching types
- Much more than I can list here!
Okay, so embroidery isn’t something we’d normally focus on here on GeekOut – But as a cosplayer, I can see the uses. It actually got me interested in the field of embroidery and hey, maybe further down the line I will have to give it all a go!
Strike that, further down the line, I know it will be useful for my costumes. I know of at least one costume that will need it, already… But that’s a costume for another day and way down the line in my life as a cosplayer in the making!
What do you think of this kind of software? Think mixing technology with such a refined skill is the way forward? Do you prefer to just do it by hand? Why not go and have a quick look, anyway?
Are you a cosplayer? Have you ever done any embroidery before? Why not share us some links for pictures of your projects if so!