Issue 17 of The MagPi released

Issue 17 of The MagPi has been released in PDF and online (via Issuu) formats.

Of note in this issue, and for those of you who didn’t see the Kickstarter (which raised a crazy $127,537 on a goal of just $1,889), this issue covers BrickPi in depth. BrickPi is an easy to use shield that sits on your Pi and lets you control LEGO® Mindstorm sensors and motors. Now the clever thing here is that LEGO® will happily sell you the parts without buying the actual Mindstorm kit, ie: you can save money by not forking out for the NXT Intelligent Brick and get much greater freedom of control by using your Raspberry Pi instead. This is a very neat shield.

In addition some other highlights include articles on eye tracking (which has the unfortunate side-effect of making the user look like a founding member of the Borg Collective), an interesting aside on the DS18B20 digital temperature sensor, using the Serial Peripheral Interface (SPI), and using long range radio communications make for great reading.

There's no rubbish here: not a poorly tree in sight

It’s been a few weeks since I’ve really looked through The Pi Store, so it’s time to take another look. For those of you who may not know, The Pi Store is a bit like the Apple App Store or Google Play in that it provides an easy to use browsing, downloading and installing interface for The Raspberry Pi.

While The Pi Store contains a much smaller collection of applications than its cousins there is not a sausage of rubbishness to be seen. Don’t get me wrong, Google Play (for example) contains a wealth of amazing applications, but it also contains a large (too large) quantity of repetitious applications that don’t offer anything different from the masses. In essence: lots of great stuff hidden in the forest of poorly trees.

Contrast to The Pi Store and we currently have 82 applications available* that would make a worthy addition to any Pi.

From Pi3D (that’s 3D via Python programming) to copies of The MagPi, to emulators for MS DOS, Playstation 1, the Atari800, ZX Spectrum and MAME, to business tools like Asterisk and FreePBX, via LibreOffice and NeoRouter (VPN) to 3D games like Open Arena and Doom, to strategy games like Freeciv, through the text adventure King’s Treasure and on to the world of surreal with Lunar Panda (“The year is 3016 and Pandas are now the dominant species of planet Earth.”) ... pauses for breath... And onwards to graphics with GrafX2 and remote control with WebIOPi. It really is a fantastic collection of software.

The Pi Store is well laid out and easy to navigate. Many applications are free and some cost a quid or three. It’s worth taking a look.

The Pi Store, available now through all good web connections.

* Observant people will notice that there are many many more applications that can be installed on a Linux computer such as the Pi, hence don’t take this to mean there are _only_ 82 apps available for the Pi.