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ElectricSheepPi – Use your spare RaspberryPi to run evolving digital art! July 18, 2017

Posted by GuySoft in open source, programming.
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Electric Sheep running on a RaspberryPi

Electric Sheep running on a Raspberry Pi

Hey all,
So its been a while since I had time to release something fun. After developing CustomPiOS I thought I might write something to demonstrate how easy it is to make your own RaspberryPi distribution with it. So I made one that runs Electric Sheep on boot. Its called ElectricSheepPi.
Electric Sheep is a collaborative abstract artwork that keeps evolving as you vote for “sheep”. So it makes nice visuals and is great to play on a spare screen and Pi. Raspberrypi 2 works, Raspberrypi 3 is recommended for smooth visuals. You can see examples of the visuals on youtube.

To run it

  1. Download the image
  2. Flash it like any distro
  3. set up wifi, set your wifi settings with the file electricsheep-network.txt or electricsheep-wpa-supplicant.txt.
  4. Plug to HDMI display, internet and boot

Its easy to write a custom distro with CustomPiOS!

To write I had to write a module for CustomPiOS, it was just 32 lines mostly copied from the electric sheep install manual. To make stuff start on boot I used the gui module which lets you start any gui application full screen at boot, that’s 2 lines in the config file.

Thank you Doc’s Tech for hosting the image yet again!

OctoPi – 3D Printer Web Server Distribution for the Raspberry Pi August 4, 2013

Posted by GuySoft in diy, Electronics, Hamakor, ITU, linux, open source, programming.
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OctoPi logoOctoPi logo

OctoPi logo

Update2: New mirror opened after Dropbox suspended my public links due to traffic. Download the image here.

Update: Dropbox have suspended my Public links due to “extreme traffic activity” so in a few hours I should be syncing the image to other mirrors. Other hosting would be appreciated!

Hey all,

I am happy to say that I am a backer of the Rigidbot 3D printer, (which you can pre-order already), I am expecting it to arrive in August. In the meantime, I have ordered a Raspberry Pi to play with and started visiting a local maker community known as XLN.

This led me to find a really cool project called OctoPrint, which lets you control 3D printers using a Raspberry Pi over a web interface, however people were not installing it on their Pis because there was no out-of-the-box solution. Today I am happy to announce that a solution is here! I give you Octoprint + Rapberry Pi = OctoPi. A raspberry Pi distribution which runs OctoPrint out of the box, with support for time-lapse video on webcams (there is also an experiential version in the works that supports streaming from a raspberry Pi camera).

Just dd the image on to an sd card, put the sd card in your Pi, boot it and connect to the network and printer, then point your browser to http://octopi.local and you have a fully functional 3D printer server! Plug in a webcam and can also make time-lapse videos. Just as simple as that. More details for windows users can be found on OctoPrint’s download page.

The OctoPi image can be downloaded here.

The sources are available on github, and could also serve as a framework to automatically build other Raspbian-based Raspberry Pi distributions.

Pull requests, forks and issue reports are welcome. Also it would be helpful if someone could help me mirroring, since currently the images are hosted on my Dropbox account.

Thanks to Gina, the developer of OctoPrint, for such a great software! PlugWash on #raspbian for the build tips and Richard Mitchell for the last touches to OctoPi’s logo.

Share and enjoy,


3arabi – Arabic chat to English translator December 4, 2010

Posted by GuySoft in Crictor, Hamakor, ITU, open source, programming, python.
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3arabi Logo

3arabi Logo

Hi  all,

As some might have noticed, Arabic speakers on the net use a form of writing called ‘Arabic chat‘ or 3arabi, which involves using Latin characters and Hindu-Arabic numerals to write words in Arabic. I wrote a small service called 3arabi that lets you translate this Arabic chat directly to English.

Apparently there are tools to do transliteration (converting Latin letters back to Arabic), and also translation. But nothing that does them both. That is why I wrote a small script that uses Google’s transliteration service and ‘Google Translate’. This does the job, but is not perfect, however, it does actually help me understand some messages.

The source is also available in GitHub (its in python). If anyone contributes better code I’ll merge it back to the service.

Thanks to Ira Abramov for hosting the service!

Thanks to Rajesh who wrote the transliteration API though after using it I moved to the javascript google tool with his help.

Thanks Muhammad Khatib who wrote Google Translate python API and for releasing it.



Update: Google seem to be blocking the translation service, thinking its spam, if anyone knows how to contact them and asking them to lift that ban would be appreciated.

Using CHDK to photograph blackboards in University Courses August 5, 2010

Posted by GuySoft in Crictor, diy, Hamakor, ITU, linux, open source, programming, python.
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CHDK in University

CHDK used in university for capturing blackboards

Hi all,
During last semester I developed a set of scripts that lets me photograph pictures of the blackboards during my university courses, categorize them while I am taking them and automatically generate PDF document for each course week. Because physics equations are not the simplest things to input in to a laptop in realtime, I have developed the following method. I am writing the post because I have a feeling this tool could help people in many ways, since it did change how I study in lectures.

You can see my blackboard photographs here (and here is a simple pdf example, if you get lost in the Hebrew).

How it works in a nutshell

The Work Flow

The work flow - photograph, store, generate pdfs

During the lesson I take the photographs of the blackboard with a script I wrote for CHDK. In the script you set the course and week of the semester and this is stored per-picture on the SD card.

Qutecom Portable – a sip phone for your USB Flash Drive April 18, 2010

Posted by GuySoft in Crictor, Hamakor, ITU, open source, programming.
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QuteCom PortableHey all,

I came across the need for a portable VOIP phone for windows, apparently there is no package out there for this.

So I repackaged QuteCom, a cross-platform softphone. Just adding a simple parameter did the job!

You can download the package here.

Extract it and simply run the “runme.bat” file in the folder.

The package is kindly hosted for me on Hamakor FOSS Society. There is also a wiki page with additional information about Qutecom portable there.

Cheaper Than SkypeOut!

Thanks to this package I can now call anywhere on my VOIP accounts. Where usually only skype was available, meaning I have a cheaper-than-skype providers 🙂 (Curently using voipvoip.com and callcentric). I really think standard VOIP should be more out there among the people giving a healthy competition.

Would love to hear feedback!

Bumble-B and an ADC with OpenGL make an oscilloscope February 22, 2010

Posted by GuySoft in Crictor, diy, Electronics, Hamakor, ITU, linux, open source, programming, python.
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Hi all,

During my small semester break I managed to connect my Bumble-b chip to an analog-digital converter (ADC).

With this I can read voltage changes and send the information to the computer to plot live.

Here is a demonstration video:

How its all connected


Pidgin and X-chat plugins to execute a command on new messages February 14, 2010

Posted by GuySoft in Crictor, Hamakor, ITU, linux, open source, programming, python.
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Hi all,

A while ago, when I coded message alert plugins for pidgin and X-chat so each time I get a new message my bumble-b LED display would flash, so I thought I might release the code here for people to use.

Both plugins will execute a command of your choice when receiving a new message.

Thanks to Simo Mattila who wrote the base code for the pidgin plugin 🙂

  • Source code for the pidgin plugin
    • You will have to follow the README file and compile the plugin. Then place the created .so file in ~/.purple/plugins/ .
    • In the plugin menu there would be a configuration window to set the command.
  • Source code for the X-chat plugin
    • You will have to set the command inside the python file. Then copy it to ~/.xchat2/
    • The X-chat plugin also is able to return the name of the user that sent the message.

Here is a video of the X-chat plugin in action:

I hope to find more time to posts the things I am doing, but as usual, university takes up all my time. Stay tuned

Introducing the Bumble-b and using it to control a LED matrix October 8, 2009

Posted by GuySoft in Crictor, diy, Electronics, Hamakor, ITU, open source, programming.
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The Bumble-b

The Bumble-b

Hi all,

The past week I have been playing around with my new Bumble-b, as I mentioned in my last post. Basically what I did with it is control an LED matrix. After doing that I made it in to a USB Device! Thanks to the simple library LUFA. Now I can use a simple echo > /dev/ttyACM0 command to send a text message to the display. Meaning that I have now /dev/matrix!

In this post I hope to explain how to use the Bumble-b, a  programmable USB chip, including its own built in programmer, for just $20. I would also like to encourage people here in Israel to start playing with this, since its cheap and easy to order way to get started with amateur electronics.

Here is a quick introduction video (followed by a detail post):

bumble-bWhat is the Bumble-b?

The bumble-b is a USB programmable AVR chip with a programmer built in to it (called a breakout board). It is an AVR chip, meaning that its based on something that is widely used (the model is at90usb162). Moreover, since it has a USB connector right on it , this makes the creation of USB devices really simple. But not only USB devices alone.

Connecting a programmable chip to a remote Controlled Car September 11, 2009

Posted by GuySoft in Crictor, Electronics, Hamakor, ITU, linux, open source, programming, Uncategorized, wireless.
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Car and the controller breadboard

Car and the breadboard

Hey all,

I have been playing with electronics the last few days, and I thought I might show you the outcome.

I basically took a remote controlled car, and connected it to a 16F84 programmable chip, and now I can control the car using C code.

Although I am using a car in this guide, you should be able to close and open any kind of switch. Anything under 15 volts.

For people who have don’t feel like reading all this (and also for those who do), here is an action-packed video of the outcome:

After you saw that, here is how I did this.

Astrophotography Using Canon Camera’s Hack Development Kit August 16, 2009

Posted by GuySoft in Astronomy, Crictor, diy, Hamakor, ITU, linux, open source, programming.
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CHDK booting

Hi all,

I am going to explain here how I managed to use the Cannon open source hack development kit , known as CHDK, to photograph stars and even create neat movies of the stars motion.

It all started this Monday, I was lucky to see that there is going to be Perseids meteor shower, a day in advance. So I had time getting the code ready before it was too late. I thought I would go somewhere next to Jerusalem and photograph, but in the end, friends of mine (Shy and Anna) from the Israeli Astronomy Association, which I am part of, told me they are going down south to the dessert, far away from light pollution, to take count of the meteors for the IMO. So I joined him, and my data is also available.

Before all the technical stuff, here is a video I made that shows you what this all comes to:

Now back to CHDK, and how this was done.

What is CHDK? And how do I install it?

CHDK is a firmware addon for Cannon powershot digital cameras. It supports most of them, mine is a simple powershot A590, costs to date about 700 NIS. Moreover, since its an addon, it will not void warranty, and can’t damage your camera. It has a lot of features (including games and an e-book reader!).