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Robert Gordon University Computer Society
This week we took a look a getting up and running with some Raspberry Pi’s. We connected the Pi’s up to some 55inch 1080P NEC MultiSync V552 LCD panels and also to the projection system of the first year lab (N533), transmitting the video output of a Pi to six Epson projectors.
As you will see, we just had a look at some apps, like Scratch and of course had to spend a bit of time playing Minecraft. Perhaps in the coming weeks we can get into a bit of programming and throw some Arduino into the mix as well.
This evening was a bit too wet to test out the DJI Quadcopter with a GoPro attached so we tested it out instead just with the GoPro App on an iPad. As you can see the results seem to be quite good and one of the members took a little walking tour around the dining area on level 2 of the Riverside East Building. Upon exiting the actual building the signal was lost as you will see in the video below.
After that we went to the Multimedia Lab N530, were we decided that we would explore the Raspberry Pi for the following week. To assist in this we setup a Google Group with areas for both the Raspberry Pi and Arduino, so members can find some interesting tutorials during the week that we can take a look at during the next meeting, perhaps get an OS or two installed & do a bit of programming. As such it was decided to meet up next week in the Multimedia Lab N530 at 17:30. We also sorted out some membership forms for the year ahead.
We also watched a few videos from the UIST competition, and mentioned that if the weather is any reasonable we may do another trekking adventure at the weekend just around Aberdeen, perhaps Kincorth Hill, Tullos Hill and on towards Nigg Bay.
To see more RGU CompSoc videos check out our YouTube Channel.
RGU CompSoc’s first meeting of the year took place last Monday 6th October 2013. Take a look at the previous post to see more info. At that meeting we flew a DJI Quadcopter around for a while and also looked at our entry for the USIT 2013 Student Innovation Contest. A number of videos were posted of the quadcopters in action along with some images. In addition quite a few photos of the competition entry were posted.
Since the Competition was held on Thursday 10th October, it seems appropriately timed to release some videos of our entry in action. Below you can see a wide angle shot down into the Atrium of Riverside East of people gathering around to take a look at the system, followed by a series of close up shots, showing its operation. One in particular show the spelling out of “RGU”. Should you wish to perhaps see the videos directly on YouTube then take a look at the CompSoc’s channel.
If you wish to know more about the competition and the winners then take a look at the following page (http://www.acm.org/uist/uist2013/contest.php).
Today Monday 7th October 2013 we held the first RGU CompSoc meeting of the 2013/14 Academic Year. We spent a good bit of time flying a DJI Phantom Quadcopter about the grounds at the eastern end of the Riverside East Building. We also did a bit of flying around inside the Atrium area of Riverside East as can be seen in the videos below. We initially met up at the dining area on level 2 just in front of Costa Coffee chatted for a while and made the usual introductions, especially as their was quite a few new faces from first year computing present. In all we had about 20 people in attendance, which was a great start to the new year.
Following on from the videos here are some photos both inside and out-with the Riverside East Building. You will see quite a few photos, of a project developed by 4 of our 3rd year Computer Science students who are presently on Work Placement at various companies in and around Aberdeen. As you can see from the pictures they have build a system using the PumpSpark system and Arduino. This will be submitted as an entry to the UIST 2013 Student Innovation Contest taking place on Thursday 10th October. We will post some videos of it in action and tell you more about it after the competition. As for now just enjoy the photos, and hope to see more of you again next Monday at the same time and place: 17:30 level 2, dining area, by Costa Coffee.
RGU CompSoc’s first meeting of the 2013/14 Academic Year will for the first time take place at the Garthdee Campus. The plan is to meetup in the main dining area, level 2 of Riverside East at 17:30 Monday 7th Oct just in front of Costa Coffee. If the weather is reasonable we may do some Quadcopter Flying, may also take a look at some of the Arduino Kit that recently arrived.
May also chat about Hackerdeen, “the first hackerspace in Aberdeen!” that was setup over the summer months & initiated by some RGU CompSoc members. More info can be found on Google Groups, Twitter, Google+, check out http://hackerdeen.org.uk for more info. Has grown to 30 members on Google groups since it was setup about 10 weeks ago.
Our second week of adventures in the world of Minecraft saw things ramp up a notch with everybody becoming far more competitive than the previous week. The video below should give some idea of the celebrations that ensued as the final game of the evening came to a close.
This evenings CompSoc meeting (Tuesday 19th Feb 2013) was spent playing Minecraft, in all we had about twenty in attendance including both staff and students. The gaming session began around five o’clock in the evening in the C27/28 labs and carried on until about 20:00. Today’s event was really just a test run to see how it would perform with a good few people playing & a number of different maps. We plan to run this again next week, same place, same time, but hopefully with lots more players. The video below should give some idea of what took place this evening, enjoy.
Today we took a look at some Enterprise Operating Systems and some Unix commands. Some mentions include HP-UX – focused heavily on security and workload management with reliability provided through multi-system installations and clustering.
Solaris is also quite a popular platform, it being a Unix OS that can be used as a workstation or server, supporting SPARC, IA-32, x86-64 platforms. Has a mixture of open source / closed source. Its also highly scalable with good support for symmetric multiprocessing. Installation is supported via both text and graphical installation options.
Finally we took a look at Red Hat Linux supporting x86, x86-64, Itanium, PowerPC, IBM System z. Mainly focused on the commercial target market from workstations to servers and supercomputers.
Some thoughts the floated around were to build one of our own custom linux distributions.
Some CompSoc Project Ideas
Linux based system
RGUnix custom distro
Pre-installed custom s/w
Optimised for certain users (students?)
Choose what type of installation (minimal?/graphical?)
Android Custom ROM development
Could perhaps get a number of machines running from the USB Memory sticks to work in parallel, connecting them up via some cables and a switch. Something like MPI could even perhaps be included in the build. Made use of the coin flipper from random.org to help decide the exact route we wish to take.
Would need all s/w development IDE’s / text editors etc. typically required by students.
ReactOS also was also mentioned during the discussions.
Also took at look on play.com for USB Memory sticks.
Useful links and Videos
The following are a few links to some useful pdfs giving an overview of various unix commands.
Unix Commands 01 pdf
Unix Commands 02 pdf
Unix Commands 03 pdf
Unix Commands 04 pdf
Unix Commands 05 pdf
Unix Commands 06 pdf
Unix Commands 07 pdf
You may find some of the videos below to be of interest
The Computer Society – RGU CompSoc has held a number of events during the semester so far. The start of the year brought about a new name for the society along with a new logo. The wordpress and twitter feeds were updated to reflect this. In addition a facebook page was setup too to run in conjunction with the previously established flickr and youtube channels.
It’s quite safe to say that the society has been far more active this semester than in many of the past semesters of the past few years. One of the members will be giving a talk next week for example titled “NASA JPL Coding standard for C programming language in mission critical embedded systems”. With a number of other interesting topics still to appear over the coming weeks such as Vim and Unix to Real-Time critical embedded systems.
2nd Oct 2012 – Getting Going Again
9th Oct 2012 – Motion Capture and the Libec Swift Jib 50
13 Oct 2012 – Hillwalking Adventures around Loch Muick
16 Oct 2012 – The Raspberry Pi
23 Oct 2012 – Microsoft Dreamspark & The Apple Special Event – iPad Mini
30 Oct 2012 – Microsoft Kinect for Windows
6 Nov 2012 – Network Attached Storage
13 Nov 2012 – Windows 8
The following are just a few photos giving some sense of the various activities talks and workshops that have taken place over the past few weeks.
Today we took a look at Windows 8 Probably the most noticable change is the lack of a start menu. The new interface is very much designed with the mobile and tablet world in mind.
Has a number of Editions including
Windows 8 Pro
Windows 8 Enterprise
Windows 8 RT
This article discusses some irritations and how to solve them, covering elements from playing DVD disks to Lock Screens.
Windows 8 – Tuesday 13th November 2012
NASA JPL Coding standard for C programming language in mission critical embedded systems
Vim text editor & How to work on remote unix machine
Software engineering in Ada
Real-Time critical embedded systems
Why to choose Ada over C/C++?
Today we took a look at NAS (Networked Attached Storage).
We spend a good bit of time looking at the Synology DS207+. This particular NAS we were looking at was that of a society member with the drive being located in France, so we were accessing it through a web browser.
The video above gives a good idea of the unboxing process.
We had eight people present for our meeting this evening. A post about accessing Dreamspark was made available on the Schools blog back in February. We took a look through the tools, development environments and applications available from Dreamspark for Academic Institutitions. Quite a few interesting applications and tools are to be found on the site. It was decided to take a look at the Kinect for Windows SDK at the next meeting. We will need to check with the technical support team during the week to get the SDK installed in the B13 lab.
Programming Competition Ideas
It was mentioned that it may be fun to host a programming competition, in particular perhaps a 24hr meetup. One person mentioned that it may be interesting to take a look at http://www.topcoder.com.
We also took a quick look at one of the cineskates that was recently purchased by the school (available from http://cinetics.com). It looks like a really nice system allowing for some dynamic and interesting footage to be captured. The following are some nice examples of the cineskates in action. The following is a link to the use of suction cups with the gorilla pod focus and ballhead x.
Apple Special Event
We also watch the live stream of the Apple Special Event that began at 18:00. The new iMac that was unveiled was just amazingly thin. The edge is 5mm thin (80 percent thinner than the previous model).
Just prior to going to the C8/9 lab to watch the Apple Special Event one of the members took a photo of the following iMac. It was nice to see a slide during the special event presentation showing all the generations of iMac, with the iMac in the photo below standing out from the line.
We also took a look at http://www.cpubenchmark.net/high_end_cpus.html to get an idea of the CPU power of the new machine. It was mentioned that the iPad has made a huge impact in the world of education. Materials are now available for 80 percent of the US curriculum.
At todays meeting of the CompSoc one of the Members (David) gave us an overivew of the Raspberry Pi. We took a look at the device itself and some of the software features. In particular we took a look at the Terminal, a few games and xmbc. Running under xmbc David ran a 720P video that had been created in Blender. He also mentioned about a project to build a supercomputer by connecting up 64 Raspberry Pi’s together. One site of particular interest was http://www.themagpi.com.
We also took a quick look at the revamped version of the wordpress site and twitter feed and watched a video of our recent hillwalking trip to Loch Muick. A few other bits of admin were also gone through such as membership forms, the constitution of the society and budget request forms. A Facebook page was also setup during the meeting, so hopefully that will help to attract more people to the meetings. The next meeting will take a look at some of the tools available from Dreamspark.
The Photos below should give some sense of what the meeting was like.
Our second meeting of the year was focused on a lecture provided by @dcdoolan on the new Motion Capture system recently purchased by the School of Computing Science and Digital Media. A 30 minute lecture was given detailing all the hardware elements of the system, along with some videos showing the assembly process.
After a short demo of the motion capture system we went back to the C8/9 lab to take a look at the Libec Swift Jib 50 and Remo 30 that had arrived just the day before. Again @dcdoolan gave an overview of the system and everybody gota chance to try out the remote camera controls.
A new logo for the Society was also presented by @callumcoward The next planned event is a Hillwalking adventure around Loch Muick on Saturday 13th October. The following meeting on Tuesday 16th Oct will look at the Raspberry Pi. The following are a few photos from the meeting.
The first meeting of the 2012 Academic year was held on Tuesday 2nd October 2012 in B13 at 17:00. Ten people turned up to the meeting and a number of plans and ideas for what the society should do was discussed. One of the big changes put forwards was to change the name of the society from CTRL Byte to RGU CompSoc. Some ideas for what we might do in the following weeks was suggested. Tuesday the 9th would be spent with a lecture on the Motion Capture System recently purchased by the School. The following week (16th Oct) would be about the Raspberry Pi. Plans were also set in motion to organise one of our usual hillwalking events on Saturday 13th Oct. We had ten people to turn up to the meeting and got a good few membership forms sorted out and membership fees paid. We concluded the meeting by taking a trip to RGU:Union for some pool.