Archive for the ‘Raspberry Pi’ Category

I am pleased to announce that I finished the last edits on the final copy of the book this week and it has been sent off to the publishers.

Raspberry Pi Cookbook for Python Programmers

First of all, I would like to thank the many people who have supported me through the creation of the book, it has been a mammoth task to undertake.  When I first started this project I had no idea how much it would take over everything to achieve it.

At various times the book has impacted on all aspects of my life, writing it while away on family holidays (even when in a tent!), times when I’ve been travelling, at family events, most evenings/weekends week in and week out.  I have been fortunate to have very supportive family, work and friends.  I am incredibly grateful for their support and understanding during this time.

However, having the book complete and being able to look back on all the topics covered, the examples and projects it includes and I wouldn’t have believed when I set out to write “A Raspberry Pi book that I would want to read” that I would be able to produce such a result.

I really hope that everyone will enjoy reading (and using) it as much as I have had writing it.


But it is there, an epic road-trip through what the Raspberry Pi represents to me, it has been an amazing journey and I look forward to hearing all about everyone elses adventures as you all take a trip through the land of Raspberry Pi on your own adventure!


Order Now!

I am told that the book will be published in April, including the printed versions.

As a bonus, it will be bigger than advertised, weighing in at a whopping over 390 pages (originally planned around 350!).


You can also get it from Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Safari Books, O’Reilly (see the Packt site for details).

Introducing a new series of guides…

This guide will focus on exploring the many ways in which the Raspberry Pi can be used.  In the guide I will show you some neat tricks you can keep your Raspberry Pi available to you wherever you go.


The idea for this guide occurred to me when I forgot to bring a network cable with me, and I had to look through my “bag of goodies” to determine how else I could connect and make use of the Raspberry Pi.  At the time I counted 6 other ways I could have used it.

First we will cover the basic  methods of connecting to and using the Raspberry Pi, but I will keep revealing more methods (and guides) which cover the more unusual but also exceptionally useful ways in which you can use your Raspberry Pi.

I currently have 12 ways planned (the 1st 5 are the most obvious ones), but I expect there will be more by the time I have written all the guides.

If you connect with the Raspberry Pi in an unusual way then let me know (@pihardware or via my contact info)…if I’ve not got it on my planned list I’ll be sure to mention you and add it to the list.

A very quick message about the Raspberry Pi Cookbook for Python Programmers book.

It is coming, we are working hard to get it released as soon as possible, hopefully it will be ready very soon.  It is in the final editing stage so really isn’t too far off now.

I’d like to write a longer post (and I will when I can) but I will get back to working on it!  I will say, it still is a labour of love, and I can’t wait for everyone to have a go with all the things I’ve put in there (see my previous post for a full round-up of what it covers).

It is still available pre-order:

And also from Amazon:


As always, massive thank you for the support and understanding.

Tim Cox.

My book is available for Pre-Order.

Tim Cox’s Raspberry Pi Cookbook for Python Programmers


Packt are selling the pre-order eBook version of this for just £3.05 ($5)! – that is £3.66 with UK VAT included  Note the ebook offer is now finished.

It is not available yet, as they have extended the page count to allow me to fit in another chapter.  But it should be ready early into the New Year.


Publisher has updated the release date to be March 2014.  Sorry for the delay but hopefully we can get it to you before then, with the extra content in.

This will make it even bigger than the 360 pages originally planned, making it a massive book on everything Raspberry Pi.

It will simply be amazing to share all the great stuff I’ve had fun doing while writing the book, it has been absolutely fantastic doing it all!

What is in it?

Here is a quick round up of some of the things the book includes:

Raspberry Pi Setup, NOOBs, Networking, File Sharing, Remote Access, Connecting using Wifi, Updating Software

File access, Creating Menus, Making GUI applications, Drawing on the screen, Making graphical games

Using the (very powerful) GPU, Creating 3D graphics, Create 3D environments, Build a 3D maze to explore

Controlling Hardware, Using LEDs and Buttons, Shutdown and Configuration control using hardware, Colour Multiplexing of LEDs

Using I2C, reading Analogue data, Plotting and recording data, Extending the GPIO, Sending information across the internet for remote logging

Using the Raspberry Pi Camera Module, Creating a time-lapse video, Stop-frame animation, using QR codes to read stories

Creating a Pi-Rover bot, building a Pi-Bug Hexpod, Controlling motors, Using servos, Sensing objects and obstacles, Using and calibrating electronic compass

Interfacing with USB devices, Sending and receiving  data over serial and bluetooth, Controlling remote sockets for home automation, Using SPI devices

Everything is done using Python3, with clear and detailed explanations of the how everything works so that you can adapt and use all the information in your own projects.  The book gradually introduces using Python as you progress through it and including how to structure and develop your code efficiently,  as well as ensuring that the low level detail is explained effectively so you can re-apply your new skills in your own projects.

By the end you will have a huge toolset of skills which you can apply on whatever your imagination inspires you to do.

Why this book?

I’ve been involved with the Raspberry Pi from the very start of it, and it has been an excellent journey (so far).  As a founder of the MagPi magazine, contributor of the Raspberry Pi wiki pages and active forum member along with 12 years of industry and engineering, software and electronics experience I’ve been trying out all I can with it.

Throughout, my goal has been the spreading that “Engineering Spark” to others, and the joy of creating and shaping the world around us.

The Raspberry Pi is the micro-computer from the 1980s supercharged.  If those BASIC computers got me hooked on Engineering all those years ago with their modest abilities, then there will be a whole army of new Engineers in a few years time with big ideas and exceptional skills.  For many, just like it was for me, it will be their first computer which started it all.

The book really takes everything I have found exciting and interesting with this little computer (as you can see above, that is a lot) and puts it right there for you to try too.  I hope that people will read this book and start their own Raspberry Pi journey, it has so much to offer and the book is aimed squarely at showing off what YOU can achieve with it.

Like any good cookbook, the pages should be worn and used, and it should be something which is always being pulled off the shelf to refer to and used.  Even before I have finished writing it, I was continuously referring back  and forth between the chapters, it has quickly become my own personal go-to reference.  I hope it will become yours too.

Image from RPiSpy's blog about alternative lenses for the Raspberry Pi - click on image to see it (showing @Bristol's rather iconic Planetarium)

Image from RPiSpy’s blog about alternative lenses for the Raspberry Pi – click on image to see it (showing @Bristol’s rather iconic Planetarium)

This Saturday we are once again going to be at the BCS (British Computing Society) Raspberry Pi Bootcamp located in the amazing @Bristol Science Centre.

This time the theme is Robots!



Just a very quick note to say thanks to everyone for an excellent day on Saturday.  It was a blast!

Thanks to the organisers, the attendees, all the parents and teachers and of course the very enthusiastic kids.

From what I could tell the demos went down very well, Darwin was keeping a close eye on everyone and the build-your-own traffic lights were all built to an exceptionally high standard.

I loved talking to everyone, and meeting so many people keen to give things a go and do some interesting stuff with the Raspberry Pi.  Great to see lots of teachers asking for info and resources, hopefully we can help where we can.  Feel free to get in contact, always great to hear how people are getting on.

As most of the people I met there know (I was a little excited!), my project I’ve been working on is keeping me very busy (still work to be done before it is ready), but I can now announce it!  [It went live on Friday night]

The 110% Raspberry Pi related project…

I will post a much more detailed post on it when I get time, but those wanting a sneaky look:

Needless to say, I am overjoyed to get my project to this stage, and I really hope that everyone can enjoy it even a fraction of how much I have had creating it.  As I said to a lot of people on Saturday, I have tried to pack in everything I possibly could to make the Raspberry Pi shine.  Having followed this little computer from the start (I emailed Eben back in May 2011 asking “What ways can/could I get involved?”), I’ve always wanted to share with everyone what this little device is capable of, from working on the wiki, helping on the forums, to co-founding the MagPi, to creating hardware kits and tutorials…

Anyway, back to work…

…oh there is also a discount code which runs out tomorrow (Monday 30th Sept) – BIG50 50% OFF electronic versions (including pre-orders).

[HUGE THANKS to everyone who has been assisting me with the project, as always the Raspberry Community is as awesome as ever]

I will be attending the 3rd @Bristol BSC Raspberry Pi Bootcamp on the 28th September (I missed the 2nd one in June as I was on holiday).

This time the British company ARM are supporting it.  If you are not aware, they are the people who designed the core of the Raspberry Pi processor and their designs are licensed to chip manufactures around the world to produce ARM based products.  ARM based processors are most likely running in your Set-top Box, Car, Heating System, Wifi Router and perhaps even your Phone and Tablet (you probably interact with ARM processors everyday without even knowing it).  They are also used throughout industry to perform vital tasks and functions (I often use them in my daily work).

Not bad for a company which started out with the BBC micro back in the ’80s, needless to say without them modern life, computing and gadgets today would be very different.

Early Saturday morning, ready for the workshop!

Me waiting at the start of the 1st boot camp last April

This time round I will be running The MagPi drop-in clinic (Colin Deady – the usual MagPiGuy isn’t able to make it this time).

I’ve have some treats in store, so I look forward to seeing you there if you can make it.

Make sure you give my virtual Raspberry Pi monkey “Darwin” a wave, and drop by to talk Raspberry Pi with me.

Say hello to the Virtual Monkey!

Say hello to the Virtual Monkey “Darwin”!

The PiHardware Challenge:

There will also be a “PiHardware Challenge“, this is an ideal chance for you to have a go at making your own circuit which you’ll be able to connect to a Raspberry Pi and watch it light up into life.  If you’ve not done any hardware projects with the Raspberry Pi before then this is the perfect chance to take the plunge and have a go.

Why not challenge your brother/sister/mum/dad/teacher/friend and see if they can make the circuit as well as you!

Bragging rights are awarded to those who’s circuit works when their challenger’s one fails.

While I have not had time to properly play around with the new Raspberry Pi camera, I did create a quick time lapse video with it.

Raspberry Pi Camera installed in my case (with yet another modification for easy mounting)

Raspberry Pi Camera installed in my case (with yet another modification for easy mounting)

A week or so later during some twitter based Camera discussions with @RasPiTV @RPiSpy, we had @_smstext join in.  His question was how to get a time lapse to start automatically on power up.

What a great idea, I already had to use my “porta-pi” set-up [a portable DVD Player with some internal modifications to connect to the Raspberry Pi] to perform the time-lapse, where it would be MUCH easier to simply place the Raspberry Pi in location, plug-in a standard mobile phone charger power pack and off it goes! Challenge accepted!

We all love Birthdays (well at least until the number of years get too high)!

Happy 1st Birthday to the MagPi

Latest MagPi with Massive Birthday Competition

As some of you may know the Raspberry Pi celebrated their 1st year of selling the Raspberry Pi during the ‘Witching Hour’ of 28th Feb this year (having released on 29th Feb 2012) and selling well over 1 million units in their first year.

This month it was the turn of the MagPi, as one of its founders I am very pleased to see we made it through a whole year.  Massive credit to the whole team, each and everyone have put in crazy hours at some stage or another to get the magazine produced and I really feel the results are well worth it.  It is important to remember that it is down to the combined effort of the team from all over the world, that the melting pot of skills produces such an excellent result.

Anyway, as proud of the magazine as I am, please do make up your own mind about it and feel free to read, share and hopefully enjoy its content with as many as you can (the whole point of the magazine is to share the skills/knowledge/enthusiasm which drives the Raspberry Pi community as a whole).

We encourage contributions, feedback and assistance from the community, as we want you all to have a magazine which you can all be proud of too!  Contact details:

If you don’t already know by now, the magazine is 100% FREE to download (from or view online at (in HTML5/Flash).  There are 12 Issues of Raspberry Pi filling, and a new issue is released at the beginning of each month, so don’t miss the next one!

You can follow @TheMagP1 on twitter (or more informally from the team @MagPiTeam).

Also, if you like to hear about what I am up to too then I am on twitter too @RSSTab (and I will be using @PiHardware for this site).

Birthday Presents…for you!



Posted: May 11, 2013 in Guides, Other Products, Raspberry Pi

New Guide to…

using the nook Simple Touch as a remote eink Raspberry Pi screen

The nook simple touch...done!

The nook simple touch…done!

What does this achieve?

Hacking the nook Simple Touch provides a low power touch-screen for the Raspberry Pi by using VNC over wifi (USB connection may be possible at some point) as well as SSH terminal access.

VNC and SSH will allow you to control the Raspberry Pi remotely over the network.  VNC will create a new remote session, rather than controlling the local session which may be displaying on the locally connected screen (this is different to when you use VNC on windows for example).

VNC allows control of the desktop.  Such as editing MagPi files using Scribus!

It should also be possible to control XBMC (Raspberry Pi media centre) and  send specific SSH commands via custom Android apps if required.

Essentially, you get a low power screen, with touch input and the flexibility of Android all rolled into one!

Oh, and you can fill up the memory with useful programming books, datasheets and code examples for those times when your Raspberry Pi is offline, but you still need your hacking/geek fix.

See the full guide here:

New Guide to…using the nook Simple Touch as a remote eink Raspberry Pi screen


Thanks for all the votes so far on what you’d like me to post next, I shall certainly get to work on a new GPIO Python lesson and post it as soon as it is ready (I know just the thing to cover!).  Keep voting though, since I shall check back and will pick the next item off the list to follow up with.