If you’ve ever wanted to tackle an electronics project but didn’t quite know where to start, my latest article for The MagPi Magazine should get you up and running: it’s a look at resources for learning beginner-level electronics.
Centred, naturally enough, around the Raspberry Pi itself, my feature walks through a number of different resources: books, including Phil King’s Simple Electronics with GPIO Zero, all-in-one electronics kits of components and project sheets, online courses, and video tutorials for everything from connected LEDs and switches to the Raspberry Pi through to core concepts surrounding precisely what electricity is and how it works.
As with all Raspberry Pi Press publications, The MagPi Issue 77 is available for free download under a Creative Commons licence from the official website, or you can pick up physical copies in your favourite newsagent, supermarket, or from the comfort of wherever you are right now via the Raspberry Pi Press Store.
It’s always nice to see your name in a new publication, and doubly so when it’s the magazine’s very first issue, so imagine my pleasure when Future Publishing’s Create Magazine hit shelves this week and brought my feature on building your own Linux PC along for the ride.
Presently exclusive to North America, Create – styled [email protected] – is billed as offering “adventures in technology” to a mixed audience ranging from those with considerable technical proficiency to relative newcomers. This broad focus can be seen in the content on offer from the launch issue: my relatively technical guide to building a desktop PC from parts sits alongside tutorials on installing Minecraft on an old Apple MacBook and booting up a Raspberry Pi for the first time, along with building your own drone and seeing how camera lenses are made.
The PC-building feature itself was originally written for Imagine Publishing’s Linux User & Developer Magazine and first appeared in Issue 161, alongside my detailed reviews of a number of Steam Machine PCs and my four-page news spread. Written in partnership with Overclockers UK, which kindly provided the parts required for the build, the guide walks the reader through choosing components with an eye on price, performance, and compatibility with the Linux kernel – the latter being a key point that can be overlooked by system builders more used to building Windows-based machines – before putting everything together in an attractive case and installing the operating system.
Those who missed the feature the first time around and are located in North America will find Create Issue 1 on shop shelves now, while international readers can purchase a copy from Future’s web store.
Each year, Imagine Publishing takes the content from its Linux User & Developer publication and repackages it in ‘Bookazine’ format – a portmanteau of ‘book’ and ‘magazine,’ equivalent to Dennis Publishing’s rival ‘MagBook’ brand. The Linux & Open Source Genius Guide Volume 7 is the latest, and includes as one of its central offerings a cover feature I wrote for the magazine.
Originally published in Linux User & Developer Issue 148, the Ultimate Distro & FOSS Guide 2015 does exactly what it says on the tin: attempts to provide the information required for users to sort through the thousands of Linux distributions and free software packages available and pick the one that best fits their needs.
It’s a spin on the traditional format: rather than simply listing the ‘best’ distributions in general, I took a selection of categories and selected the front-runners for each: Linux for developers, for enterprises, for security professionals, and for those looking for a distribution with rolling-release development methodology.
To keep things interesting, the piece also included five related free and open source software (FOSS) packages related to each category, aside from the last which instead highlighted five general-purpose FOSS packages to which I gave my personal seal of approval. The result is a detailed guide which is significantly larger and more involved than in previous years, and one which was a pleasure to research.
There’s plenty more to be found in the ‘Bookazine,’ of course, and if you’re interested I’d recommend heading to your local newsagent, supermarket, or staying in and picking up a copy electronically via Zinio or similar services.
"This guide is amazing, very on point with relevant and updated information for all ages." "Excellent! A+!" "Well done. This is what I like most in Raspberry Pi. The documentation." "The book and the hardware would be a great Christmas present for the clever kid (of any age) in your family." "10/10" - OpenLibra
"Not only should it be an essential purchase with the micro:bit, I would recommend getting the book before getting the micro:bit. Definitely recommended." "This is an amazing educational tool." "For a newcomer I would recommend this book and the BBC micro:bit. Together, they will make an excellent coder/DIY enthusiast out of you or your child." "This is definitely the book to get you started." "The best book on micro:bit I've found so far." "A wealth of information on micro:bit and it's easy to read." "Just started reading your book, and it's exactly what I was looking for."
"I'm constantly reading tech manuals. This book is above and beyond ANY tech manual I have ever read! It is readable, understandable and a fine companion for the Pi." "I have been using computer manuals for 40 years and this is one of the best I have ever read." "All I was looking for is combined in this fantastic book." "I bought this book on my Kindle and it has transformed my understanding." "A brilliant book to help you out." "This book is a must have and works very well on my Kindle - thank you so much for writing it."
A big reason I love GStreamer and my HDMI capture card for testing out hardware: I can shrink the window down tiny-style and keep an eye on a running benchmark and it handles the scaling automatically. Handy!