A new Arrival in the PiFace Family

Those of you who are friends of PiFace on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/raspberryPiFace will have learned yesterday about PiFace Control and Display.

The result of about 10 months work, it’s a very easy to use LCD screen with buttons for the Raspberry Pi. The idea for it came from wanting to get more people using Raspberry Pis. The small size and low cost of a Raspberry Pi mean that you can put it where you wouldn’t put a normal PC. In my case, I’d been using it to monitor wildlife in a remote part of Wales. Although the Pi is credit card sized and low powered,  monitors and keyboard aren’t.

PiFace Control and Display was designed to show the status of a Raspberry Pi without having it plugged into a monitor. It also has buttons that can be used to drive a menu so it is possible to interact with it.

I’d had the moment of inspiration when I wanted to build an Internet radio with the Pi to listen to. Obviously I didn’t want a big screen and keyboard so I came up with Control and Display. To make it even easier to control I added an infra-red receiver so I could change station from across the room!

Element14 interviewed me about it here:

I realised that there’s a whole raft of applications that need a way of controlling a Raspberry Pi and showing a brief status on the screen, and it was a great way to encourage youngsters.

As such, it was key to make it as easy to install as possible, and easy to program in Python. It’s one line to install, and two lines of Python code to print a message to the screen.

I’ll post over the next week more details.

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Making PiFace Even Easier

I’m amazed how fast time goes, so a quick update on the world of PiFace

We’ve worked hard to package up the PiFace Digital software into debian packages. It’s now possible to install it using apt-get.

The latest version of Raspbian has the packages included by default http://www.raspberrypi.org/archives/4959

We’re also nearly ready to launch the new website — there’s a sneak preview below. I’d hope to post the URL in the next couple of weeks once we’ve finished testing.

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