Pi, Ninja Box and possibly Blu-ray support for Linux? David Hayward explains.
Hayward has been using Linux since Red Hat 2.0 in schools, businesses and at
home, which either makes him very knowledgeable or a glutton for extreme
What can we
say about the Rasberry Pi that hasn’t already been said many, many times over?
It’s small, cheap and represents great British ingenuity. It’s fab, and we love
so does the rest of the world, which may explain why when it on sale last week,
it sold out within seconds, possibly 3.14 seconds? Did you get yours?
getting up at some ungodly hour of the morning, and trying several times, we
gave it up as a bad job and wandered off in search of something else (coffee),
but many punters did manage to get a hold of one, and have already started to
show it off on YouTube and other places. Unfortunately, they all seem to be
using it as a small media centre, as opposed to a development board, which is
what the first batch were originally intended to be – a spring board for
developers to write on to herald in the second batch.
least demand is good, and getting Linux out there into the world and into the hands
of users who wouldn’t normally bother with isn’t going to do it any harm.
may, 2012 is certainly going to be an interesting year full of Raspberry Pi
projects and other wonderful creations. Should the good weather hold up, we
Linux uses could be enjoying a very fruitful year.
Vizo Mini Ninja Box
is shrinking, we have the aforementioned tiny Pi, and now we have the Ninja
Box, a very small unit, which is designed to trigger a response to certain
comes with a number of sensors, as far as we can gather, which can be set up to
respond across the internet and your local network. For example, you can
install a motion detector and a camera, and point the thing out to your back
garden. When something triggers the motion detector unit, a picture is taken
and the Ninja Box will automatically send the image over to your Dropbox
account, or Facebook, or whatever.
the developer calls the Ninja Cloud, you can set the box up to integrate with a
number of popular sites and services, with many more being just around the
actually a rather interesting project, much like the old electronic kits you
used to be able to buy, but taken a more modern and sociable networking step
further. The project is currently on Kickstarter, looking for funding to the
tune of $24,000, but it has now reached a grand total of $81,608 (at the time
of writing) of pledged cash, and can be found at kck.st/zrBc6v, should you wish
to get involved.
VLC on Linux
VLC plays pretty much any format you
feed it with, including DVDs
has recently released a new version of the popular media player VLC. This
simple little application has had the pleasure of being able to play pretty
much every kind of media type for some time. However, Blu-ray has, until now,
been something of grey area.
experimental Blu-ray library, VLC can now play some Blu-rays without the need
to resort to copyright removing software first. The emphasis is on
experimental, so don’t expect it work flawlessly on the first attempt. Some
tweaking may be necessary, and you won’t be able to view the Blu-ray menus
VideoLAN we say, bringing free Blu-ray playback to the masses! Installation
instructions can be found on the VLC site, bit.ly/yfH6BX, along with the ever
helpful forum. Until next week, folks.