Monday, May 29, 2017

"Wonder Woman" First Reviews

Article: 'Wonder Woman': Film Review - The Hollywood Reporter

Review: Film Review: ‘Wonder Woman’ - Variety

Review List: "Wonder Woman" (2017) - Rotten Tomatoes

The reviews are in for "Wonder Woman," this year's first DC superhero entry. The first reviews are in!

"Wonder Woman" debuts this Friday, June 2.

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Thursday, May 25, 2017

"Star Wars" at 40

Article: Memories of Seeing Star Wars in 1977 -

Coverage: Star Wars at 40 -

I was there in 1977 at the premier of the original "Star Wars." It first started showing at 25 theaters in the U.S. And, we in St. Louis, Missouri got to be one of the first!

It is still easily my favorite "Star Wars" film. And, yeah, I still call it "Star Wars." Not "Episode IV," not "A New Hope" (which a lame title anyway for such a great movie!). Just "Star Wars."

It was at the (now gone, unfortunately) Creve Coeur Ciné. It seated close to 1000 people, it had 70mm projection and 6-Track Dolby Stereo. When we got there on that Friday night, the 7 p.m. show was sold out. So, we got tickets to the 9:30 show. We had time to kill. And, because this was at a time when we were not eating well, we went across the street to the Schnucks, which had their Station Restaurant. We had ice cream. Then, we came back to the theater, got popcorn, and sat on the floor waiting for the show to start with many others.

We got to go in, get our seats, and took in the next great two hours! After it was over, we were pretty knocked out by it! But, telling you what a different time it was, our question to each other wasn't "what was your favorite special effect?" but "who was your favorite character?" Mine was, of course, R2-D2. Duh! ;-)

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Raspberry Pi Audio

You have a Pi. You want to get music and sounds out of it. This is how you do it!

The Raspberry Pi has evolved over its numerous models. I am currently using a Raspberry Pi 2 Model B, but these instructions will follow for the current Raspberry Pi 3 Model B.

Hardware: First, you have two options when it comes to how you hook up your 1/8" (3.5mm) male cable-equipped speaker. One is the 1/8" (3.5mm) jack that has been on the Pi since Day 1. Second is to plug a USB Sound Card into a USB Port.

1/8" Audio Jack

USB Ports

USB Sound Card

By default, the sound will come out of that 1/8" jack. If you have a USB Sound Card, you will need to configure your Pi to use USB as your audio output device. This is how you do it:

1.) This instruction is for Raspbian with Jessie. For other Operating System variants, go to this tutorial: Setting Up USB Sound Card. From a Terminal Window, key
sudo nano /etc/asound.conf An empty file window will appear. Cut and paste the following into that file:

pcm.!default {
type hw card 1
ctl.!default {
type hw card 1

asound.conf file in Terminal Window

Save the file by keying CTL + x. You will be asked if you want to save the file. Type y (for yes) and hit ENTER.

Software: Next, you want an audio player. I am going to highlight two options. One you might know about, one you probably won't unless you're used to working on Linux!

First, the one you probably know: VLC Player. This is an Open Source app that has three main positives: 1.) It's small in size, 2.) It plays pretty much everything you throw at it, and 3.) It is made for pretty much every Operating System, and every flavor of those Operating Systems.

NOTE: I am using Raspbian Jessie with Pixel, which is the recommended Operating System on (Raspbian Downloads). Also, before installing any new software, you need to run the following:

sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get dist-upgrade

You might be prompted to include a
-f to repair broken packages. Key the entries as described and see how it goes. Add the -f according to the instructions, if asked to.

Set Up VLC Player:

Open a Terminal Window. Key:
sudo apt-get install vlc and ENTER. The install process will proceed and will complete. Once done, VLC Player will be available under Sound & Video.

VLC Player once installed

Command-Line Audio Player:

For the more adventurous, you actually have a command-line audio player already built into your Raspbian Operating System. It is called Omxplayer. You simply navigate to the place where you have your audio files are stored. Once there, you can play an audio file using the following syntax:

omxplayer song.mp3

omxplayer playing an mp3 file

Key ESC when wanting to quit. Remember, in command line, you need to key things in correctly. That means, getting capitals right, etc. You will find that it might be easiest to change file names to something simpler to be able to key them in more easily. Next, here is how to play streams with Omxplayer. Use the following syntax:


omxplayer playing a BBC Radio 3 stream

This is a fun way to try a basic way of playing audio. But, VLC Player is naturally going to be an easier solution that you are used to using.

So, there you have it! A primer on how to make audio happen on your Pi! Leave any questions or comments in the space below. Thanks!


Text Links to BBC Radio: BBC Radio URL's -

Audio Usage: Playing Audio on the Raspberry Pi -

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Wednesday, May 17, 2017

"Star Wars: Episode II" at 15

Article: 15 Things I Like About Star Wars: Attack of the Clones - DorkSideOfTheForce

Trailer: Star Wars Episode VIII The Last Jedi -

"Star Wars: Episode II" is perhaps the most vilified "Star Wars" film of all time! Regardless, it celebrated its 15th Anniversary yesterday. So, it's time to look back on it.

Even if others hate it, I like it! And, I would much rather watch "Episode II" again than "Force Awakens."

2015's "Episode VII" was basically a rehash of the original "Star Wars." But, "Episode II" had George Lucas behind it, and while the dialogue was troubled, and the acting too stiff, I still think the movie has tons of great stuff! The epic light-saber duel between Anakin, Darth and Yoda. The arena battle, the crazy monsters, all of it! To me, easily better, and much more watchable than Abrams' warmed-over recent installment.

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"Star Trek: Discovery" New Trailer

Article: 'Star Trek: Discovery' Official Trailer Unveiled - The Hollywood Reporter

Video: Star Trek: Discovery First Look Trailer - CBS

Just out is the "First Look Trailer" for "Star Trek: Discovery." Since this show will be behind CBS' pay wall (CBS All Access), predictably, the trailer premiered only on CBS, and you needed to run Adobe Flash for it.

This evening, did get it on YouTube, which is good.

"Star Trek: Discovery" will premiere its first episode on CBS broadcast, then move to CBS All Access at an undisclosed future date.

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Cannes Film Festival 2017

Article: Cannes: Download THR's Day 1 Daily - The Hollywood Reporter

Coverage: Cannes Film Festival - The Hollywood Reporter

Festival Page: Cannes Film Festival 2017 - Festival de Cannes

The 70th Cannes Film Festival is just hours away! Check out the coverage of what to expect this year. The Hollywood Reporter offers a Daily .pdf detailing each day's events.

Cannes Film Festival starts today and runs May 17-28, 2017

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Tuesday, May 9, 2017

"Hello World" Magazine for Educators

Information: Hello World Magazine -

Billed as the computing and digital making magazine for educators, the new magazine Hello World offers lots of articles on educators and how they are teaching coding to students.

Click here for their main page and you can subscribe and get .pdf issues for free!

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Monday, May 8, 2017

"Blade Runner 2049" New Trailer!

Trailer: 'Blade Runner 2049' Official Trailer - Warner Bros.

Movie Site: ‘Blade Runner 2049’ - Warner Bros.

The new, full trailer for "Blade Runner 2049" is out!

The new movie resumes the story thirty years after the classic "Blade Runner."

“Blade Runner 2049” premieres October 6, 2017.

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"Alien: Covenant" Reviews Are In!

Article: Alien: Covenant': What the Critics Are Saying - The Hollywood Reporter

Review: 'Alien: Covenant': Film Review - The Hollywood Reporter

Review List: "Alien: Covenant" (2017) - Rotten Tomatoes

The reviews are in for Ridley Scott's follow-up to "Prometheus." Hollywood Reporter has a round up of critics' reviews!

"Alien: Covenant" debuts Friday, May 19.

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Sunday, May 7, 2017

"Alien: Covenant" First Reviews

Review: 'Alien: Covenant': Film Review - The Hollywood Reporter

Review: Film Review: ‘Alien: Covenant’ - Variety

Review List: "Alien: Covenant" (2017) - Rotten Tomatoes

The xenomorphs are back in Ridley Scott's follow-up to "Prometheus." Both Hollywood Reporter and Variety have issued their first reviews!

"Alien: Covenant" debuts Friday, May 19.

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Monday, May 1, 2017

Raspberry Pi Initial Wiring

This details the initial wiring of my Raspberry Pi's GPIO Pins to my breadboard:

I started by using an Adafruit T-Cobbler. This board extends the pins of your GPIO to your breadboard. Once you have plugged the T-Cobbler into your breadboard, you need to establish power to the Bus Strips of your breadboard.

I have wired the 3V3 (3.3 Volt) pin to the corresponding Bus Strip's negative hole using an orange wire, the GND (Ground) pin to the corresponding Bus Strip's positive hole using a black wire, the 5.0V (5.0 Volt) pin to the corresponding Bus Strip's negative hole using a red wire, and the GND (Ground) pin to the corresponding Bus Strip's positive hole using a black wire.

Using these color wires follows electrical conventions. I used these 8-inch wires for now because that's all I had available! :-)


GPIO Pin Reference: All about the Pi's GPIO pins. - Pinout

Boot Assistance: GPIO and Physical Computing on the Pi -

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