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gadgets

The Arduino is a cheap and readily-available hardware development platform based around an open source, programmable circuit board and Arduino Project For Dummies has recently been published.

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For those who want to find out more about the Arduino and make the most of its incredible capabilities Arduino Projects For Dummies is the perfect starting point.

The Arduino is a cheap and readily-available hardware development platform based around an open source, programmable circuit board. It’s being used in workshops, classrooms and homes around the world for fun, for art, for science and even for profit.

Arduino Projects For Dummies is authored by Brock Craft, who introduced Arduino into the UK along with its creator, Massimo Banzi.

Starting with a quick refresher on the basics, it features 11 projects which are fun to build and introduce different aspects of the Arduino board. These include: Building an Arduino clock; Automating your garden’s watering system; Constructing a Keypad Entry System; Creating an RFID reader; Installing a tweeting cat flap; Automating the home; and Building a robot car.

Primarily aimed at designers, hobbyists, engineers, developers and scientists, Arduino Projects For Dummies will take the user gently through the basics, then show them the awesome possibilities of this tiny blue board.

Arduino Projects For Dummies is available now, priced £17.99.

The Arduino is a cheap and readily-available hardware development platform based around an open source, programmable circuit board and Arduino For Dummies has recently been published.

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The Arduino is a cheap and readily-available hardware development platform based around an open source, programmable circuit board. It’s being used in workshops, classrooms and homes around the world for fun, for art, for science and even for profit. Just published, Arduino For Dummies does not assume any prior knowledge or skill on the part of the reader, and provides all the information needed to get up and running.

In his book, John Nussey guides the readers on key areas such as: where to buy Arduino; installing Arduino; creating basic projects that produce light, sound and motion; getting data in and out of the Arduino; connecting the Arduino to servos and sensors; and extending the capabilities using shields and specialist hardware.

Primarily aimed at designers, hobbyists, engineers, developers and scientists, Arduino For Dummies will take the user gently through the basics, then show them the awesome possibilities of this tiny blue board.

Arduino For Dummies is available now, priced £16.99.

For new and inexperienced users who want to maximize the performance of their Samsung Galaxy S 4 smartphone, just-published Samsung Galaxy S 4 For Dummies will be an invaluable guide.

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Aimed at the user who is intimidated by the technology and baffled by the documentation and online support, all aspects of the suite of devices are covered. From setup and configuration, to extensive use of the phone features and capabilities – texting, e-mailing, accessing the Internet, maps, navigation, camera and video, social networking, taking pictures, watching movies, downloading apps, synching with a PC, and expanding the phone’s potential with new software releases – this book’s approach is ideal to help users to get the most out of their Samsung Galaxy S 4 Android smartphone.

 

Samsung Galaxy S 4 For Dummies is available in paperback and e-book, priced £17.99.

Millions of people can now transform their normal TV into an internet-connected ‘smart’ TV for just £9.99 with the launch of the NOW TV Box.

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Available from today at nowtv.com, the compact and easy-to-use box connects your TV wirelessly to the internet.  Once connected, homes with the NOW TV box will enjoy convenient and contract-free access to BBC iPlayer,  Demand 5, BBC News App and Sky News, plus NOW TV – offering instant access to Sky Sports and Sky Movies. They can also access other popular online services such as Facebook and Spotify – all delivered over broadband to the big screen TV.

Despite the explosion in connected devices such as Sky set-top boxes, games consoles and connected TVs, there are still up to tens of millions of regular TVs in the UK that cannot currently connect to the internet.  The NOW TV box provides an affordable and simple way for any broadband-connected home to join the online TV revolution.

Until now, unless receiving catch-up as part of a pay TV subscription, consumers have needed to pay tens or even hundreds of pounds to purchase internet-streaming devices to watch catch-up TV on a regular TV.  With the new NOW TV Box, for less than a tenner, customers can access the best in catch-up TV.  But on top of this, they also have the opportunity to upgrade to access live sport and on demand movies from NOW TV.
Smaller than a pub beer mat, the NOW TV Box measures in at a trim 84mm x 84mm x 24mm and can be up and running in minutes. Simply plug the box into your TV set via the HDMI cable provided, connect to your wireless internet connection and you’re away.

The box launches as new research from NOW TV reveals the nation’s ever-increasing appetite to watch what they want, when they want.  Over two thirds of Brits have now taken advantage of on demand services on their main TV sets – whether via Smart TVs or other connected devices, with  two in five of us  streaming must-see shows or settling down to a movie on a weekly basis.

Over half the nation (56%) use more traditional internet-connected devices such as tablets, smartphones or laptops to access TV on demand whilst in the home.  For these people, the NOW TV Box will offer a simple and affordable way to enjoy catch-up TV, live sport and on demand movies on the big screen.

From launch, the NOW TV Box will let people access:

  • Sky Sports: Experience the best sporting action from Sky Sports with the Sky Sports Day Pass. In the next month alone, sports fans can enjoy the climax of The Ashes series, the return of the Premier League and Football League, Formula 1® Belgium Grand Prix™, the start of Andy Murray’s defence of the US Open title and much more, across 6 channels all for just £9.99 a day.
  • Sky Movies: Sign up for a Sky Movies Pass to access hundreds of films from Sky Movies – the UK’s most popular subscription service – including more of the latest and biggest movies 12 months before Netflix or LOVEFiLM Instant. New customers can also take advantage of a 30 day free trial of the Sky Movies Pass and enjoy the likes of Skyfall, The Dark Knight Rises and Argo in the next month.
  • Sky News: Stay up-to-date with all the latest breaking news from Sky News. Access a 24/7 live feed of Sky News’ award-winning coverage including all breaking news from home and abroad, as well as dedicated business, political and entertainment coverage.  In addition, catch up on specific stories at any time of the day via an exclusive on demand news library.
  • BBC iPlayer: The BBC’s popular video on-demand service which received 2.32bn programme requests in 2012 gives you the option to catch up on your favourite BBC programmes when you want to – and now on your TV set through the NOW TV Box.
  • BBC News app: Giving viewers access to BBC news reports, interviews and videos at the touch of a button on their TV.
  • Demand 5: Catch-up on a wide selection of Channel 5 shows for at least 7 days after they first broadcast.
  • Spotify, Facebook and flickr: Listen to music, catch up with friends and even share your photos all through your TV set.

Overtime there will be even more for people to enjoy with the addition of new content and apps to the NOW TV Box.

NOW TV is already available on PC, Mac, iPhone, iPad, selected Android smartphones, Xbox, PS3, YouView and Roku.

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If you have an HTC One and you find that you never have enough battery power then you need an external battery pack. How about a case with an integrated battery pack? That’s where the new juice pack from mophie comes in.

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Here is how mophie describes the juice pack :

This protective hard case with an integrated rechargeable battery is designed to double your power. No more worrying about bumps, scratches, or having to search for an outlet in the middle of the day. Just flip the switch and charge anywhere.

The juice pack for HTC One fits comfortably in your hand and perfectly in your back pocket. It complements the contours of your phone without adding too much bulk. Edge to edge security ensures you’re protected from the everyday wear and tear.

Designed to support key features of the HTC One, the juice pack’s pass-through design allows you to access the universal remote without removing it from the device as well as provide full accessibility to buttons, speakers and camera. You can flip through your favorite shows and stay powered up at the same time.

With it’s Pass-Through design, USB Charge and Sync, Stand-by Switch and LED Power Indicator features, you will never be left powerless or without knowing when you need to juice up.

Who are mophie?

mophie describe themselves on their website:

mophie is a California-based, award-winning designer and manufacturer of mobile intelligent devices and accessories. It is widely recognized and highly acclaimed for its creative designs and innovative solutions. Mophie was the proud developer of the Juice Pack, first ever “Works With iPhone” portable battery case certified by Apple Inc. All mophie’s products are developed to address real consumer and business needs and are seamless integrations of industrial, electronic, software and artistic designs. Mophie has operations in Michigan, California (Orange county), and China. Its products are available in Apple Stores, Best Buy, AT&T stores and other major retailers worldwide.

Specifications

Dimensions: 2.88 in x 6.06 in x 0.67 in
Weight: 5.05 oz
Battery Capacity: 2500 mAh

What’s in the Box?

The box contains the case, a manual and a charging cable.

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A Closer Look

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Using the juice pack

The juice pack actually came with a charge, so that was really useful. When you want to charge it yourself just plug the charging cable into the helium and plug the other end into your computer or other USB charging device.

You can check on the progress of the charge by pressing the button and see how many of the charging lights are lit. If all four are lit then you are done.

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Fitting your HTC One into the helium is simple – just pull the bottom of the case off, slide your HTC One in and then clip the bottom part back in. When you are ready to charge just click the switch on the back from red to green and away you go.

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Here is how the HTC One looks when its in the case.

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You can see all the buttons are still easily accessible.

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Final Thoughts

I have used other mophie products on previous phones and so when I head that they were releasing a juice pack for the HTC One I wanted to try it out.

It is really light-weight and its very durable. It is also really easy to use and adds a significant amount of battery power to your HTC One (although the HTC One had a pretty good battery life to begin with – but you can never have enough battery power!). Yes it makes your HTC One bulkier than it was without the pack attached, but I would happily trade the slimness of the “naked” HTC One for the juice pack any day of the week on the grounds I’m not worried about running out of power anymore.

If you have an HTC One you should really consider buying the juice pack if you don’t want to risk running out of power and on top of that it adds a lot of protection to the HTC One should you happen to drop it. Yet another excellent product from mophie. Now if they could just make one even thinner I would be even happier.

Available now for £89.95 the juice pack for HTC One is available in both black or silver finishes.

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Learn more from the mophie website.

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Is your smartphone talking about you behind your back? It’s probably not, but that doesn’t mean your phone isn’t saying a lot about who you are as a person. Read this infographic to find out what kinds of things strangers can figure out about you from your choice of smartphone.

73% of smartphone users are using it to check their email, and the largest segments of those email-obsessed users are probably BlackBerry owners. No one loves email like BlackBerry users.

With the average smartphone owner carrying about 28 apps, it’s no surprise that so many people choose iPhones because of the kinds of apps available on the Apple operating system. Apple phones have incredible app opportunities, which attract the most progressive app users.

While BlackBerry and Apple owners are easy to spot, the truth is that the Windows user is less easy to find. This person is usually as understated as his phone. Neither the owner nor the device is very fancy, usually. The HTC Windows phone is the hallmark of a person who is low maintenance and laid-back.

If you’re into Motorola madness, then you probably enjoy texting like a mad man. Motorola lovers are quick on the draw and even faster to respond to tweets. These phone owners are usually under 20 years of age, or experiencing mid-life crises.

Finding the perfect phone isn’t about a brand or a user type: it’s about who you are and what you need. Forget the stereotypes and get the phone you love, whether it’s the HTC One or even an old-school flip phone.

Read this handy infographic to find out more about average smartphone users. You’ll also learn interesting facts and figures about smartphone users, such as that 80% use their devices to access social networks.

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About the Author:

DJ Miller is a graduate student at the University of Tampa. He is an avid gizmo geek who spends most his time writing on anything gadget related. From video games to smartphones he likes all things techy . Feel free to connect with him on twitter @MillerHeWrote

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Google have revealed the tech specs for Google Glasses – their augmented reality glasses.

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Here are the specs:

Fit
  • Adjustable nosepads and durable frame fits any face.
  • Extra nosepads in two sizes.
Display

High resolution display is the equivalent of a 25 inch high definition screen from eight feet away.

Camera
  • Photos – 5 MP
  • Videos – 720p
Audio
  • Bone Conduction Transducer
Connectivity
  • Wifi – 802.11b/g
  • Bluetooth
Storage
  • 12 GB of usable memory, synced with Google cloud storage. 16 GB Flash total.
Battery

One full day of typical use. Some features, like Hangouts and video recording, are more battery intensive.

Charger
  • Included Micro USB cable and charger.

While there are thousands of Micro USB chargers out there, Glass is designed and tested with the included charger in mind. Use it and preserve long and prosperous Glass use.

Compatibility
  • Any Bluetooth-capable phone.
  • The MyGlass companion app requires Android 4.0.3 (Ice Cream Sandwich) or higher. MyGlass enables GPS and SMS messaging.

Would you wear them? I know I would! Let us know by leaving a comment below.

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Pure has announced the availability of Jongo S3, a portable wireless speaker with Wi-Fi, Bluetooth and 360° sound.

Jongo S3 is the first product in Pure’s new Jongo multiroom music system and works with the free companion Pure Connect iOS app (iPhone and iPad) which is also available to download today. Music fans can enjoy a 30 day free trial of Pure Music, Pure’s on demand music service with the app. Pure Connect offers an unparalleled combination of the best of radio and music in one place and takes the user on a journey of discovery with recommendations based on listening patterns and a selection of curated content from a range of trusted partners.

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The Pure Jongo S3 portable, rechargeable wireless speaker (SRP £169.99) can be used on its own or grouped together with other Jongo speakers to deliver the most flexible and accessible multiroom audio system on the market today. Jongo products use Wi-Fi to stream perfectly synchronised audio within a single or multiroom environment, while Bluetooth allows users to stream content from any audio app on their smartphone or tablet, including locally stored music, to a single Jongo product. Users can simply add extra Jongo speakers or adapters on the same Wi-Fi network to build their multiroom system.

The compact Pure Jongo S3 offers rich, detailed and vibrant sound and comes with four tweeters for 360° audio, and an upward-firing subwoofer for powerful bass. Thanks to its five speakers and individual power amplifiers, Jongo has surprisingly punchy audio and with a simple press of the “audio” button on the rear of the unit, the user can select flexible audio profiles to make the most of any environment including 360° sound for community listening (stereo or mono); forward facing stereo or outdoor boost.

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A rechargeable battery pack is included as standard and provides up to ten hours of listening per charge. Jongo S3 comes in black, or piano (white with black speaker grilles), and has optional user-fit coloured grille packs in burnt orange, lime green, mango or white (from SRP £12.99).

The Pure Jongo S3 is available at all good electrical retailers including John Lewis and Amazon.

If you have an iPhone 5 and you find that you never have enough battery power then you need an external battery pack. How about a case with an integrated battery pack? That’s where the new juice pack helium from mophie comes in.

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Here is how mophie describes the juice pack helium:

Ultra-thin, 1500mAh protective battery case made for iPhone 5. Feel the difference in the palm of your hand; 13% thinner than any of our previous iPhone juice packs. It’s so thin, you won’t believe there’s a battery inside.

Engineered with edge-to-edge protection and outfitted with 80% more battery life to keep your iPhone 5 safe and charged, the juice pack helium allows you to truly Do more. Its elegant, thin design makes it the perfect accessory, easily fitting into any pocket or handbag. The enhanced forward-ported acoustics redirects the iPhone audio towards you, optimizing playback and maximizing your experience.

Simultaneously charge your iPhone and juice pack together with the included micro-USB cable. Use the LED indicator to check battery levels before you head out and flip the standby switch when you’re ready to use the juice pack’s battery or when you need to recharge your iPhone while on-the-go.

Who are mophie?

mophie describe themselves on their website:

mophie is a California-based, award-winning designer and manufacturer of mobile intelligent devices and accessories. It is widely recognized and highly acclaimed for its creative designs and innovative solutions. Mophie was the proud developer of the Juice Pack, first ever “Works With iPhone” portable battery case certified by Apple Inc. All mophie’s products are developed to address real consumer and business needs and are seamless integrations of industrial, electronic, software and artistic designs. Mophie has operations in Michigan, California (Orange county), and China. Its products are available in Apple Stores, Best Buy, AT&T stores and other major retailers worldwide.

Specifications

Dimensions: 2.49 in x 5.49 in x 0.59 in
Weight: 2.44 oz
Battery Capacity: 1500 mAh
Product Compatibility: iPhone 5

What’s in the Box?

The box contains the helium case, a manual, a charging cable and a pass-through headphone adaptor.

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A Closer Look

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And here is the helium next to my iPhone 5 just to show the thickness.

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Using the juice pack helium

The helium actually came with a charge, so that was really useful. When you want to charge it yourself just plug the charging cable into the helium and plug the other end into your computer or other USB charging device.

You can check on the progress of the charge by pressing the button and see how many of the charging lights are lit. If all four are lit then you are done.

CDW Review of mophie juice pack helium for iphone 5 - 39

Fitting your iPhone 5 into the helium is simple – just pull the bottom of the helium off, slide your iPhone 5 in and then clip the bottom part back in. When you are ready to charge just click the switch on the back from red to green and away you go.

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Here is how the iPhone 5 looks when its in the helium case.

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You can see all the buttons are still easily accessible.

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If you want to use headphones you may need to use the included pass-through headphone connector.

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Final Thoughts

I have used other mophie products on previous iPhones so when I heard about the helium I couldn’t wait to try it.

It is really light-weight and its very durable. It is also really easy to use and adds a significant amount of battery power to your iPhone 5. Yes it makes your iPhone 5 slightly bulkier than it was without the helium attached, but I would happily trade the slimness of the “naked” iPhone 5 for the helium any day of the week on the grounds I’m not worried about running out of power anymore.

The mophie juice pack helium is now a permanent fixture with my iPhone 5 and I am confident that for most, if not in all my daily activities, I won’t run out of battery again, which has probably been my biggest criticism of the iPhone.

The inclusion in the box of he pass-through headphone cable was a good idea and it ensures that any set of headphones should work perfectly even if you are using the helium.

If you have an iPhone 5 than frankly you need the mophie juice pack helium if you don’t want to risk running out of power. Yet another excellent product from mophie. Now if they could just make one even thinner I would be even happier.

Available now for £59.95 on www.mophie.com, the juice pack helium is around 13 percent thinner than previous juice pack air versions released for the iPhone 4S and iPhone 4, and is available in a metallic gunmetal soft touch finish.

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Recently we were invited to experience an evening with SOL REPUBLIC, and we got to see and listen to some pretty cool headphones.

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SOL REPUBLIC is global consumer electronics company dedicated to enhancing people’s lives through better-sounding headphones. Comprised of music fanatics, SOL REPUBLIC develops its products from the ground up to make headphones that look, sound and feel unlike anything else in the market. SOL REPUBLIC has offices in California, Oregon and New York City and is developing an army of followers, fans and dreamers in its worldwide social media communities.

This is the first time that SOL REPUBLIC has come to the UK, and according to them, they are here a little earlier than planned.

Master Tracks Headphones

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Master Tracks are the ultimate manifestation of SOL REPUBLIC’s guiding philosophy to create headphones that have unmatched style and sound. With interchangeable headbands and cables, Master Tracks also allows users to change colours and styles for complete customisation. Like all SOL REPUBLIC headphones, Master Tracks are virtually indestructible. Constructed from SOL REPUBLIC’s proprietary polymer called FlexTech, headbands can be twisted, bent or dropped without worry. For the music fans who have amassed a collection of SoundTrack headband colours, Master Tracks X3 Sound Engines are retroactively compatible with current Tracks cables and headbands.

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Continuing with SOL REPUBLIC’s dedication to enhance people’s lives through better sounding headphones, Master Tracks also feature SOL REPUBLIC’s new X3 Sound Engine which not only deliver super-deep bass that stays amazingly tight with smooth, controlled highs but also delivers crisp sounding vocals.

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Master Tracks are available now for pre-order at SOLREPUBLIC.com and will be available at leading retailers in April for £169.99 in a choice of three premium finishes and optional separates in Ion Green, Progressive Purple and Fluoro Red SoundTrack headband colours. Master Tracks come with an MFi cable and an all-new reinforced nylon Ripstop Tracks carry case for easy portability and protection. Backed by a 1,000-day headband guarantee where SOL REPUBLIC will replace a band in the unlikely event that it is broken, SOL REPUBLIC continues to set the bar for headphone lovers everywhere.

There are even cool collaborations with the likes of deadmau5:

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and TokiDoki:

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And the cool thing is that you can change things around if you decide you want a different colour. Oh, and when you buy them you get to put them together yourself, which is rather cool.

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The sound quality is really good on the headphones and I look forward to seeing, and hearing more from SOL REPUBLIC in the coming months.

You can learn more about SOL REPUBLIC from their website.

Fitbit One and Fitbit Zip, the latest wireless activity and sleep trackers from Fitbit in the UK, now sync directly to select Android devices using the latest Bluetooth 4.0 technology thanks to a new app available today.

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This makes them the only activity trackers on the market globally and in the UK that offer Android owners the ability to track activity on the go, with live stat syncing and real-time progress updates direct to their phone or tablet.

The new app, available from the Google Play Store, allows Zip and One owners to use their smartphone or tablet as their dashboard, giving real-time progress updates and providing access to Fitbit’s rich graphs and tools on the go to keep them motivated throughout the day.

Using the Fitbit mobile app, users can set goals, see stats updated, and track progress when they are on the go. And because the Fitbits sync wirelessly throughout the day, users also receive notifications on their phone when they are close to their goals to keep them motivated and, when they meet their goals, to celebrate achievements.

The updated Android app will be compatible with the Samsung Galaxy SIII and Samsung Note II with more devices available shortly. This compliments Fitbit’s existing Bluetooth 4.0 capabilities on iOS Bluetooth Smart Ready devices, including the iPhone 4S, 5 and iPad 3.

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If you have a Raspberry Pi and you love Minecraft you can now download Minecraft PI Edition.

This is what was posted:

The first iteration of Minecraft: Pi Edition is now available! And it’s completely free to download. We’re adding new features in due course, but thought you guys would appreciate us getting something out to you as soon as possible.

Daniel Frisk has provided the following instructions on how to get started.

  • Minecraft – Pi Edition runs on Raspbian “wheezy” with XWindows. If you need to set that up, visit http://www.raspberrypi.org/downloads and follow the detailed instructions within.
  • Boot up your Raspberry Pi with Raspbian. If you haven’t set XWindows to start automatically upon boot, type in “startx”.
  • Next click the icon for LXTerminal to open a new terminal window. Use the following commands (in bold) to download and launch:

To download it: click here or visit https://s3.amazonaws.com/assets.minecraft.net/pi/minecraft-pi-0.1.1.tar.gz
To decompress it: tar -zxvf minecraft-pi-0.1..1.tar.gz
To run it: cd mcpi
Followed by minecraft-pi

Let us know if you download it by leaving a comment below.

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