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Light It Up! – LED Tutorial

Today we are ecstatic to announce that we have started shipping out our pi-topCEED. To get you started we’ve prepared a trilogy of projects. Let’s start the plug & play!

Components needed: 

  1. LED x 1
  2. 100Ω Resistor x 1
  3. Wire x 1
  4. pi-topPROTO board x 1

Background: LEDs are a particular type of diode that convert electrical energy into light. In fact, LED stands for “Light Emitting Diode”. They are all around us in daily life: in our phones, our cars and even our homes. It is highly likely that when something electrical lights up – there’s an LED behind it. For more on LEDs check out this link here.
Step 1: In this tutorial you will learn to make your first LED circuit on the pi-topPROTO board, that can be found by following the link here.
Step 2: This image below shows you diagram of the LED circuit and an empty pi-topPROTO board onto which the projects can be built!

 

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Step 3:

  • Below is an image of how the circuit should be connected, with an LED, 100Ω resistor and a wire to complete the circuit.
  • The resistor is connected to ground and the negative terminal of the LED; a wire is connected to the 3V3 power source and the positive terminal of the LED. The longer of the two LED terminals is the positive terminal.
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Step 4: Once the circuit has been soldered in place (please follow the link here  or watch it belwo, to take you to our video showing you how to solder onto a pi-topPROTO board,) all you have to do is slide the pi-topPROTO board into the HUB!

We would warn you to be very careful with soldering and take the necessary precautions! 🙂
If you are interested in learning more about LEDS please follow the link here. Or, continue with the next Tutorial: CEEDUniverse Compass Tutorial.

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Intern project: The impact of game-based learning on classroom teaching

Hi all,

One of our interns is currently working on his final project “The impact of game-based learning on classroom teaching”, he has designed a questionnaire on CEED Universe – our educational game. The aim of his study is to assess the way lessons are currently taught in the classroom, and see if games such as CEED Universe can benefit students. For more information on the subject he recommends checking out this e-Book called Reality is Broken by Jane McGonigal.


The optimization of learning is very important to us; and so is supporting our pi-top Family members! Therefore, if you have some spare time to support him and fill in the questionnaire by clicking here (should only take a few minutes) – we would all be ecstatic. 🙂

Looking forward to hearing your thoughts!
pi-topTeam

Hi All,

As mentioned in our latest Indiegogo update: we have a software update for you all!

In the pi-topCEED video you likely noticed our learning game CEEDUniverse and we hope you are excited about the concept of an engaging game that intertwines real learning in a fun adventure. We are now ready to give you a sneak peak of how far CEEDUniverse has come since we launched the campaign 🙂 We have also integrated sound into the game! Look out next week for our video update on the pi-topSPEAKER!

 

Apologies for the delay in shipping emails we will be sending them out today and we have made our big website update where amongst other things you will have a login portal where you can update and finalise your shipping as a pi-topCEED Indiegogo backer. The email you receive will have instructions on how to go through the process.

Our next updates will focus on the general pi-topOS improvements and our brand new Raspberry Pi lesson plan integrated code editor. We have kept it slightly under wraps so far but we are very excited to show you this new feature bundled in pi-topOS!

As a side note – we have improved our freight shipping boxes – don’t they look pretty!

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Importantly the rigid corner design and honeycomb panels are recyclable and will reduce shipping damage to a minimum 🙂 whilst also reducing the amount of EPE Foam we have to use to protect the devices in transit by 90%. Part of why we design as much as possible that goes into all of pi-top is so we can reflect our company values on our supply chain.

Thanks all and keep an eye on your inbox’s!

Love,

pi-top Team

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Extra pi-topCEED acrylic slice colour vote results!

Hi all,

Thank you to all our Indiegogo backers who participated in the latest pi-topCEED extra acrylic slice colour vote! We’ve now got the outcome for you and the results are…

 

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As you can see in the screenshot of the Pie Chart above it was a very close call. However, the prevailing winner is: dark blue!

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There we go – the second official pi-topCEED acrylic slice colour voted in by you.

Again, we can’t thank you enough for all your amazing support in our quest to bring affordable hardware and accessible computing to the world.

The new Raspberry Pi 3 is here!

Be the first to get yours from pi-top now!

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We are celebrating the 4th Birthday of the Raspberry Pi and the launch of the Pi 3 by releasing a limited number of the brand new pi-topPROTO boards.

 

We are offering the new Raspberry Pi 3 in two amazing bundles:
1. Raspberry Pi 3 + 8GB SD card (pre-installed pi-topOS)
2. Raspberry Pi 3 + pi-topPROTO + 8GB SD card (pre-installed pi-topOS)

What is the pi-topPROTO board?


You can spruce up your pi-top with the pi-topPROTO! It is our first official add-on board for the pi-top. 

The pi-topPROTO provides full access to all 40 GPIO pins. These pins are the physical interface between the Pi and the outside world.  Additionally, there is a ton of prototyping space for adding cool gadgets (ADCs, real time clocks, motor drivers etc).

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It is an add-on board for pi-top‘s PCB Rail that breaks out the Raspberry Pi’s GPIO pins unlocking unlimited possibilities!

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Also, since it is powered from pi-top‘s Hub you have access to 18V, 5V, 3V and an always-on 3.3V (even when pi-top is powered down), with much higher current outputs than the Raspberry Pi alone can give. Here’s a link to an awesome gif!


What about the Pi 3? Key Features:


pi_angled_webThe new Raspberry Pi 3 is built on the latest Quad Core Broadcom 2837 ARMv8 64 bit processor which is faster and more powerful than it’s predecessors! Some noteworthy additions include:

  • Improved power management
  • built-in wireless connectivity
  • built-in Bluetooth

Meaning you can now use all your USB ports freely! For more detailed information please head over to our interactive Infographic!

We are super excited about this beauty and to see what fun projects everyone comes up with in the near future.

Much love,
pi-top Team

Indiegogo update 9 for pi-topCEED

Hi All!

It has been a busy few weeks here at Pi-Top HQ, and we are excited to share these shots of the pi-topCEED and the new more space efficient pi-topCEED Hub. We have some final tweaks to make to the hinge mechanism and case before we pull the trigger and start CNCing the mould when Ryan goes back to Shenzhen on the 18th. We hope you are excited by the improved design!

All is going smoothly for April delivery and we are really happy about the way this product is going forward.

We have also chosen 5 complimentary Acrylic Slice colours which we will be showing off early next week and soon after we will hold the colour vote for the $130,000 stretch goal!

We will be checking back with you soon!

All the love,

Ryan, Jesse & the pi-topTEAM

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The new design provides easy access to the ports on the Raspberry Pi.

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You will be able to choose between green and grey closer to the shipping date.

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The power button has been integrated into the case.

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The case is 30% thinner than our original!

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The modular rail is now made of steel! The big change here is that all the addon boards will have small magnets so they are super easy to swap in and swap out. We have tested this extensively and it’s a fantastic way to add whatever functionality you wish to your pi-topCEED.

Unfortunately Indiegogo doesn’t let us put gifs in these updates but you can go here to see our newest addon board (pi-topProto) magnetically connecting to the rail and easily sliding into the modular connector.

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The hub size has been reduced by 17mm, which adds plenty of space for any addon boards to go into the rail.

Huge thank you to all our backers 🙂 We are working hard to make pi-topCEED as great as it can be!

How to extract pi-topOS for Mac & Linux

Hi everyone,

We’ve written out two methods for you to extract the pi-topOS!

Method one: Mac and Linux (terminal command method)
Method two:  Mac (graphical method)

These tow solutions are to unzip the pi-topOS file for whoever has downloaded the zip file into the Downloads folder (located in /Users/<username>/Downloads):

Mac and Linux (terminal method): 

  1. Open the terminal application on your computer.

For this tutorials command, we presume that your default location is in your home folder. (see image below)

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Image 1: This is where we assume your file to be located for the command.

2. Type out the command (below) into your terminal application:

`cd Downloads && tar xzvf pi-topOS.zip`

and hit Enter to begin extracting the zip file (see image below). Please note that the command it case sensitive – so please copy it exactly as written above!

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Image 2: This is what it should look like in your terminal.

Leave the terminal window open until you are presented with a prompt allowing you to enter another command, indicating that the extraction is complete. The image file will have been extracted into your Downloads folder ready to be installed onto an SD card.

Mac (graphical method):

If you are happy to install third party software, the simplest method is to install ‘The Unarchiver’ from the App Store. This will also help for future uzipping of files! If the attached link does not work. Simply open the App Store, search for ‘The Unarchiver’ in the top right, and you should see it appear in the search results (see image below):

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Image 3: Depicting App Store with “The Unarchiver” in top left corner.

Click the relevant ‘install’ button to download and install it onto your computer. You may be required to enter your Apple ID and password. At this point, you can return to the Downloads folder in Finder, right click the pi-topOS zip file, and select ‘The Unarchiver’ from the ‘Open With’ toolbar menu (image below):

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Image 4: Depicts how to use ‘The Unarchiver’

This will extract the zip file into your Downloads folder ready to be installed onto and SD card!

We hope this helps and you enjoy the new update! 🙂 If you have any questions or feedback on the new pi-topOS update just drop us an email at support@pi-top.com.

All the love to you amazing people.

Your pi-topTEAM

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Pre-announcement: pi-topOS

Hi everyone,

New year, new features! 2015 was an intense year for the Dev Team at pi-top. Our small team have worked hard to improve the operating system (OS). Monday we will be releasing the update to all pi-top family members. Keep an eye out!

Have a great weekend making!

Love,

pi-top Team

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The Argument For Game-Based Learning

“90% of European jobs require ICT skills, and yet there will be 900,000 unfilled ICT positions in the EU by 2020. Less than 15% of European students have access in school to high-level ICT teaching. In some EU Member States, such as Greece and Croatia, fewer than half of pupils even have access to the internet at school.”  – “Should computer science be taught in European schools

One in four teachers in European countries say they do not have enough ICT training. Per the figure above, there is a serious need for better training of teachers in ICT and STEAM fields, but this is not a gap that will be closed immediately.

The question, then, becomes one of how teachers can encourage and mentor students by proxy, allowing them to keep pace with ICT education in the rest of the developed and highly-integrated developing world.

This is where gamification has a place in the curriculum.

A survey conducted by TalentLMS showed that:

  • 89% of those surveyed stated that a point system would boost their engagement.
  • 82% are in favor of multiple difficulty levels and explorable content.
  • 62% stated that they would be motivated to learn if leaderboards were involved and they had the opportunity to compete with other colleagues. – “Gamification Statistics for 2015

These are figures based on a survey conducted by adults, but the gamification of learning taps into a process by which children are already conditioned to engage. How many under-12s have a playstation, or an existing passion for PC games? Certainly, not all of these children will have discovered these avenues of engagement with the help of their parents, so not only, by extrapolation, can children and young learners engage with new technology and systems through games, but it is also not necessary to have adult guidance in their uptake.  In the context of education, then, is it necessary for the teacher to have the same knowledge of the game that their students do, at base level, or is it enough to be able to keep track, with a built-in set of objectives which allow students to explore problems themselves?

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Holiday competition: 3D print your holiday design!

Hi everyone,
This holiday season we have a little challenge for you to design a 3D printable object using 3D slash on your pi-top! 
We will 3D print  your design for you and ship it to you for free beginning of 2016.
All you have to do is:
  1. Create your object in 3D slash – tap into your inner maker-self! It can be anything you wish.
  2. Snapshot – take a picture of yourself with your pi-top displaying your creation on screen. You have to be in it to win it!
  3. Send it – email us your photo to  holiday@pi-top.com! #My3DprintGift

The winner (chosen by our team) will be featured back to the pi-top community on Facebook!*

 

[ 3D design photo submission deadline: 09:00 GMT Monday 14th December, 2015! ]

The lucky winner will be announced on 21st December!

Good luck,
pi-top Team
*For more information please read the terms & conditions here.