Redbull’s new creation contest comes to your workshop

We get bombarded with press releases daily. Our inbox overflows with brand new iPhone cases and cheap LED manufacturers in china. We generally have no interest in sharing obvious product advertisement with you. However, some people understand what we’re interested in. Redbull gets it. They’re embracing hackers and running contests that promote DIY/hacking. Last year, we saw some cool results from their contest.

So, we’re happy to announce that this year, they are doing it again! Only this time, the contest will come to the location of the entrants! If you qualify to be one of the final teams involved, they’ll set up to stream live from your home workshop/hackerspace for the contest. You might be thinking, “aren’t you just advertising for red bull?”, we feel that as long as they’re promoting hacking, they’re advertising for us!

You can catch the details after the break.

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Adding wireless to the Raspberry Pi

For those of us who haven’t received their Raspberry Pis yet, it may come as a bit of a shock to realize the RasPi doesn’t have an on board WiFi adapter. While the Model B RasPi has an RJ45 Ethernet plug, but the Model A must rely on USB-bound networking dongles. [Mike] over at Mitch Tech put up a great guide to using a Realtek WiFi dongle with his Raspberry Pi.

Stock, the standard Debian install recommended by the folks at Raspberry Pi has the drivers for the Realtek WiFi adapter, but no firmware. [Mike] goes over how to get the firmware for this series of WiFi adapters to keep the kernel from complaining. Interestingly, [Mike]‘s instructions also work for a slew of Realtek-based wireless dongles, so the installation instructions should work for a bunch of adapters available from DealExtreme or eBay.

[Mike] also has a guide for installing Quake 3 on a RasPi. Combine these two builds and you’ve got the perfect setup for a Raspberry Pi LAN party. Anyone want to host?

Putting an Atari POKEY in your pocket

The Atari POKEY served as the main I/O chip on the venerable Atari 400/800 and XL/XE 8-bit computers. While a chip designed to get voltages from game paddles and scanning a matrix of keyboard switches wouldn’t normally be remembered 30 years later, the POKEY had another function: generating very, very distinctive music and sound effects for those old Atari games. [Markus Gritsch] wanted a portable version of the POKEY, so he emulated one on a modern microcontroller. Now he’s able to take those old Atari chiptunes where ever he goes.

The build uses the Another Slight Atari Player by emulating a 6502 and POKEY chip inside [Markus]‘ PIC32MX-based microcontroller. There’s not much physical hardware [Markus] had to deal with – the board is built on a QFP proto board [Markus] picked up with a few buttons and a jack added for some simple I/O.

This isn’t [Markus]‘s first attempt at portabalizing chiptunes – last year, we saw a truly awesome portable SID player that used the same PIC32 microcontroller and an emulated 6502. Between the Atari SAP Music Archive and the High Voltage SID Collection, [Markus] has more than enough chiptunes for days of listening pleasure.