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Matt Richardson is a Brooklyn-based creative technologist and video producer. He's a contributor to MAKE magazine and Makezine.com. Matt is also the owner of Awesome Button Studios, a technology consultancy. Highlights from his work include the Descriptive Camera, a camera which outputs a text description of a scene instead of a photo. He also created The Enough Already, a DIY celebrity-silencing device. Matt's work has garnered attention from The New York Times, Wired, New York Magazine and has also been featured at The Nevada Museum of Art and at the Santorini Bienniele. He is currently a Master's candidate at New York University's Interactive Telecommunications Program.
Shawn Wallace is an editor at O'Reilly and lives in Providence, RI. He is also a member of the Fluxama artist collective responsible for new iOS musical instruments such as Noisemusick and Doctor Om. He designed open hardware kits at Modern Device and taught the Fab Academy at the Providence Fab Lab. For years he was the managing director of the AS220 art space and is a cofounder of the SMT Computing Society.
Matt Richardson is a Brooklyn-based creative technologist, Contributing Editor at MAKE magazine, and Resident Research Fellow at New York University's Interactive Telecommunications Program (ITP). He's the owner of Awesome Button Studios, a technology consultancy.
This book is a very nice introduction to the Raspberry Pi. The book is easy to read and the book is fairly short (180 pages). I was able to go through a chapter or 2 a night and finish off the book in less than a week.
Each chapter gives enough information to give the reader a basic understanding of the topic. The chapters are not complete references of the subject matter. At the end of each chapter are references that can be used to get more information. In the Kindle version of the book these are hyperlinks. Many of the references were free.
This book gives all the information needed to execute the example code. The examples were short and interesting.
I'm waiting to get a compatible webcam before completing chapter 9 and I didn't do all the examples in the chapter on Scratch but other than that I read the entire book and executed all the examples. I very much recommend this book and give it a rating of 5 stars.
I had a few problems but still stick with my 5 star rating. Problem 1: Running Headless Page 31 had a link to Raspberry Pi Hub. I couldn't get this to work. I found another example on the internet I had to modify and follow, [...]
Problem 2: NameError: name 'i' is not define I was getting a compilation error with the sample code on page 42. I finally had to add an "i=0" before the while statement and an "i=i+1" inside the while statement.
Problem 3:Playing Video-pygame.mixer.quit location not clear The text following the example on page 57 says that pygame.mixer.quit needs to be included "before you play". I thought this meant before the movie.play() command. However, I needed to include it before the movie = pygame.movie.Movie("foo.mpg") command or I would get video and no audio.
This succinct 161 page handbook gives a clear introduction and all features needed to setup and have fun with the vastly popular Raspberry Pi educational PC (over 500,000 have been sold by Farnell one of the two largest international distributors of the $35 Pi). Clear and complete descriptions are given of the setup and "gozinta's" of the Pi and SD-card, use of the Linux Operating System and programming in the Python and Scratch languages, as well as interfacing this hardware and use of web-based applications. While this excellent and compact treatment is among the best I have found for general use and hacking of the Pi--where this handbook clearly out-shined all other books for me was in the interfacing of the Pi's hardware with other devices, switches displays and chips. In particular, one problem I've had with the Pi and other Linux development boards up until now has been in obtaining the same sort of analog to digital interface and reading of analog input sources (such as sensors and biological signals) that is possible with the inexpensive but limited (no operating system) Arduino board. Appendix C of this excellent (and complete in a compact) handbook fully describes how to interface an analog to digital converter to the Raspberry Pi including use of the I2C serial interfacing protocol and programming of this interface in Python. This is the only manual I have seen to date that fully describes hardware interfacing and electronics hacking with the Pi (and similar Linux-based development boards like the Beaglebone). My complements to Matt Richardson and Shawn Wallace and O'Reilly publishers.
--Ira Laefsky MS Engineering/MBA Information Technology Consultant and Participant in the Philadelphia-based Hackerspace Hive 76 formerly on the Senior Consulting Staff of Arthur D. Little, Inc. and Digital Equipment Corporation
Right off the bat: a lot of the graphics are pretty poor and this book has no index. There's still lots of excellent and very useful information, and I will be using this book in my own ongoing experiments with my fleet of Raspberry Pi's as well as recommending this book to advanced users of the Pi. But, the physical production of this publication is a hindrance.
Matt Richardson and Shawn Wallace do an excellent job with the content of the book. They range pretty far with what you can do with the credit card sized computer, the Raspberry Pi, from Unix cron jobs to the Python programming language to the Scratch graphical programming environment to interacting with the web. There are a lot of very good ideas which are explained well. Which is PRECISELY why it needs a decent index (and there is NO index). Looking up how to do something is very clunky when all you have is a table of contents.
The target reading level for the book appears to be for the slightly advanced user, though high level programming skills aren't required (low level programming skills ARE required). If you're a true beginner, or just really new to hobby programming in general, I'd recommend Eben Upton (co-creator of the Pi) and Gareth Halfacree's Raspberry Pi User Guide as a simpler and more accessible work (and it is better produced with very nice photos and a nice index). Heck, you should probably own BOTH this book and the Upton/Halfacree title.
On the quality of the graphics: I personally prefer photographs to sketches, especially when it comes to describing the Raspberry Pi board itself.Read more ›