Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Python Lightning talks ideas

PYPTUG meeting

We are starting our preparation early for our January PYPTUG meeting. It will be in Kernersville again, if we can get the same conference room.

We already have our main speaker set up, but we really want to ramp up participation through lightning talks.

We are also looking for talks for February and subsequent months. These can be 30 or 45 minutes talks. If you are not a PYPTUG member, but you would like to give a talk and you don't mind driving to the Piedmont Triad, contact us ( twitter @pyptug or email us at pyptug _at_ gmail.com ) and we'll try to schedule something.

Lightning talks

A lightning talk can be up to 5 minutes or up to 10 minutes on
something you have learned about Python, a module, your favorite
editor or a project they did with Python.

Some ideas

Just a few suggestions for lightning talks, might stir something in those little grey cells of yours...

-how python replaced matlab at your university
-the ins and outs of the requests module
-paramiko vs sh
-how pythonic are you?
-how easy is easygui?
-dtrace enabled python
-how to program FPGAs with Python
-Python(x,y) saved my life
-all you ever wanted to know about generators
-the details of the _____ algorithm
-how to use mercurial
-my vim-fu is strong
-pep8, pylint and PyFlakes walk into a bar...
-the property keyword
-multilingual support in a python application
-why do you like python
-why do you not like python
-20 modules you cant do without
-python book review
-python blog review
-@decorators are bliss
-@decorators are evil
-pygames for everyone
-the python foundation
-python for iOS
-python for android
-pipy (just playing, it has nothing to do with python)

But, at the end of the day, you know more than I do what you are excited about. So go ahead, don't be shy and volunteer for a lightning talk!

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

A python module for workshops

The PYPTUG python PyHack workshops are about bridging the virtual and the physical, using Python. Since we use the Raspberry Pi, and it is still hard to get a hold of them in a timely manner, several potential attendees were asking if they could still benefit from coming to the workshop this saturday, without a Raspberry Pi.


But the answer doesn't stop there. We've made available a RPi.GPIO replacement for testing Raspberry Pi GPIO code on non Raspberry Pi platforms. Meaning, your laptop.

Your laptop will have a split personality


It is a Python module that implements a setmode(), setup(), cleanup(), input(), output(), tracks 54 GPIO states and directions, broadcom and board modes, placeholders for the 4 set_*_event() functions, has some error handling. There is even a debug mode (gpio.debug = True).

Enough to not get an error trying the code for the workshop.


Head over to the Raspberry Pi Python Adventures blog for the full instructions (right here) on getting this from bitbucket.


Leave a comment, we'll gladly help.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

PYPTUG November meeting hg repository

The November PYPTUG meeting was very nice, and we had a nice location. The conference room was full of antique furniture (chairs, couches, desks, libraries). The laptops and projector didn't even feel out of place, strangely enough.

webpy presentation

web.py - the antiframework framework
The code for this month's PYPTUG meeting (Monday, the 26th of November), is available on bitbucket. More specifically, the code for the web.py talk. This is good background information for those who will attend PyHack Workshop #03 in January.

Solid Hg

Assuming you already have mercurial:
$ hg clone https://bitbucket.org/fdion/pyptug

It is in the webpy directory.

The presentation is under pyptug/webpy/diapos (from diapositive, the original word describing what are now known as slides). The file is: presentation.html


In case somebody wants to generate similar slide shows:

It is generated from the file slides.md, which is markdown: http://daringfireball.net/projects/markdown/ and then you run it through landslide ( http://adamzap.com/random/landslide.html ) and it'll generate an html file for you. There are other, more advanced programs that do more fancy animations, but this will run pretty much on any browser, and any computer (in other words, it runs on a Raspberry Pi, no problem).


When / if screencasts are available, I'll post them to the blog. I'll check with David if the iPython notebook is on bitbucket, and if so I'll post that link too.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

PyHack Workshop #02: Get Your Motor Runnin'

PyHack Workshop

A monthly workshop using the wonderful Python programming language to do cool hacks, bridging the virtual and the physical. Presented by PYPTUG, in collaboration with Fablocker. We invite anyone who is interested in learning Python to attend.

Last month, Workshop #1 featured the Raspberry Pi, and the RPi.GPIO library.

And of course we made a quick quiz game, the PiQuizMachine, a project that turned out to be quite popular, and was featured on the main page of the Raspberry Pi Foundation's website not too long ago (here).

Workshop #2

This month (December), we continue to feature the Raspberry Pi.

The theme will be Get Your Motor Runnin', and of course we'll connect some motors (DC and steppers) to the Raspberry Pi, and control them from Python. We'll explore more modules that help with hardware hacking, and we'll wrap it up with some interesting demo.

You don't know how to interface a specific motor? Bring it to the workshop, we'll figure it out.


All experience levels are welcome. You might have just done a Hello, World program in Python (or not even that), or at the other end of the spectrum, written your own package. All will learn something new.

It is recommended to create an account on BitBucket if you plan to follow along with your laptop and Raspberry Pi. If not, don't worry about it. The bitbucket repository will be posted on the PYPTUG mailing list before the event, and on this site after the event.


Saturday December 8 2012
At 3pm-6pm EST



1020 Brookstown Ave #17
Winston-Salem, NC 27101 

The door is on the side of the building. See also the fablocker.org website for more detail on the location.

Meetup RSVP

If you have a meetup account (it only takes a brief moment to create one if you don't), please RSVP for PyHack, on saturday December 8th 2012:


That way we have an idea of how many people will be at the workshop.

We also encourage you to join our mailing list if you plan to attend, as we communicate pre and post workshop links to bitbucket and things like that.

The PYPTUG mailing list is at:


Sunday, November 25, 2012

PYPTUG getting social

We are all very sociable in person. Just come and see for yourself at our next meeting. And we shortened our url so it would be easier to remember.

But, some prefer getting their links through twitter. So, as of today, we are ...

On twitter

PYthon Piedmont Triad User Group is now on twitter:

Talk about us with #pyptug

And also on...


Your favorite aggregation of all that is python is probably the above. We should now be part of that feed.

Public calendar

We've also made a google calendar available for our events:


Just in time for tomorrow's meeting where we will talk about iPython, web.py and possibly some lightning talks.

What next?

All of that beside our google group / mailing list, and this blog. Did we miss something? Let us know.

Sunday, November 18, 2012

PYPTUG meeting - November 26th

PYthon Piedmont Triad User Group meeting

Come join PYPTUG at out next meeting (November 26th 2012) to learn more about the Python programming language, modules and tools. Python is the perfect language to learn if you've never programmed before, and at the other end, it is also the perfect tool that no expert would do without.



Meeting room will be open at 5:30pm, giving some time to settle down, meet and greet. We will start with an introduction to PYPTUG at 5:45pm.

David Mitchell will do an extended presentation on iPython (http://ipython.org)

Some time is allocated for lightning talks. If you want to give one (5 or 10 minutes), do let us know as soon as possible on the PYPTUG mailing list (we ask PYPTUG members to also join this list):



Francois Dion will conclude on building Web applications (and other types) with Web.py (http://webpy.org)


Monday, November 26th 2012
5:30PM - 7:30PM


We chose a relatively central location for our members:

Kernersville Branch Library
Lower Level Conference Room
130 E. Mountain St.
Kernersville, NC 27284

This is at the corner of Main and Mountain st.

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Hot off the press

PyHack Workshop #01

Yesterday, PYPTUG held its first PyHack workshop at Fablocker in Winston Salem, NC. The Raspberry Pi was briefly introduced along with some background information on the foundation.


David Mitchell presented iPython, the iPython notebook (uber cool, look into it if you dont know what it is) and the Adafruit WebIDE, along with how to install this (which some set it up during the workshop) and some demo. This was quite interesting, and David's presentation is available here.

Source Code

Read more about it and check out the code on the Raspberry Pi Python Adventure blog.

Monday, November 5, 2012

For PyHack Workshop RSVP


If you have a meetup account (it only takes a brief moment to create one if you dont), please RSVP for PyHack for this saturday, november the 10th:


And for the details of the workshop:

Saturday, November 3, 2012

sysPython Workshop

sysPython Workshop

For the past few weeks we've been working on a workshop for network and system administrators, data center, devops, apps administrators, ops managers, QA, continuous integration and deployment etc. Everything outside of your typical application development.

Make sure you are signed up to our mailing list:

We will announce very soon the place and date. It should be finalized by tuesday, the 6th. Like PyHack, It will be a recurring workshop, with the subjects on rotation.

However, I'd like also to point out that this is a community effort, so get involved. If you would like to participate, offer a "field trip" to your place of employment and do a presentation on a sysPython theme, get in touch. The more content for sysPython, the less rotation we will do.

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

PyHack Workshop Details

PyHack Workshop

A monthly workshop using the wonderful Python programming language to do cool hacks, bridging the virtual and the physical. Presented by PYPTUG, in collaboration with Fablocker. We invite anyone who is interested in learning Python to attend.

Workshop #1

This month, we feature the Raspberry Pi.

We will also demonstrate how to setup AdaFruit's WEB IDE for Python. We will also get you going with ipython, and with GPIOs. We will do a bit of tinkering, make a special interface cable, write some code and build the PiQuizMachine! By the conclusion of the workshop, we should be able to actually play the game (up to 4 teams).





All  experience levels are welcome. You might have just done a Hello, World program in Python (or not even that), or have written your own library. All will learn something new.

It is recommended to create an account on BitBucket if you plan to follow along with your laptop and Raspberry Pi. If not, don't worry about it.


November 10 2012
At 3pm


1020 Brookstown Ave #17
Winston-Salem, NC 27101 

The door is on the side of the building. See also the fablocker.org website for more detail on the location. It would be best if you could confirm on our mailing list if you plan to attend, so we have an idea of how many people will be at the workshop (we will provide some cheat-sheets, LEDs and resistors to all in attendance). The PYPTUG mailing list is at:



Q: I don't have a Raspberry Pi, should I come?
A: Yes, definitely. There is a lot to be learned, plus come and meet other people interested in Python.

Q: What should I bring?
A: At a minimum, nothing. But you might want to bring paper and pen, or a tablet or laptop, to participate in some way or shape. If you want to bring your Raspberry Pi, that would be swell.

Q: I hear we will make a special cable?
A: Yes, we will make a GPIO cable for the Raspberry Pi. If you want to make your own right there and then, please bring an IDE disk drive cable. Intrex in Winston Salem (and Greensboro) has one for $2.99 (CBI-IDE133        Ultra ATA 133 IDE Ribbon Cable, IDC40 x 3, 18" ) but I'm pretty sure everybody has at least one in a drawer somewhere. Ideally a cable with 2 connectors is best (we'll cut the third anyway) such as this one:

In the end though, we'll end up doing the equivalent of this:
Adafruit Raspberry Pi GPIO cable

So if you already have that cable, or even their complete Cobbler:
Adafruit Raspberry Pi Cobbler
Then bring that instead.

Optionally, bring a pushbutton, something like this:

Radio Shack sell 4 of them for less than $4. Radio Shack should also carry a 40 pin IDE hard disk cable, for about $5.

Q: Do I have to bring and IDE cable and make the special cable?
A: No, it is not required. You can participate as little or as much as you want in this workshop.

Q: Is there anything I can read beforehand?
A: Sure. As far as background material, The Mag Pi is a fairly light magazine
on the Raspberry Pi. It is free, and there have been 6 issues published up to now. For example, the first issue ( http://www.themagpi.com/view?issue=1 ) on pages 23 to 29 has a brief overview of Python syntax.

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

PyHack Workshop

We are working on starting a workshop on hacking with Python. Of course, the Raspberry Pi will be one of the featured items for discussion, but it will go well beyond that.

Make sure you are signed up to our mailing list:

 We will announce very soon the place and date. It will be a recurring workshop.

Saturday, October 20, 2012

PyCarolina: Lightning talk at 5:15

Will be inviting attendees of PyCarolinas 2012 to join PYPTUG today at 5:15pm. This is impromptu and unscripted....

Thursday, September 13, 2012

An invitation

Raspberry Pi Forever

We are inviting all Raspberry Pi owners, or those thinking about getting one, to join the user group. If you are in this area, do join!

De Facto

Python is the "de facto" language on the Raspberry Pi when it comes to hardware projects. Just a quick look at the tutorials on the web, and at kits and libraries, and Python is in the spotlight. This is bringing a whole new demographic to the Python community. Just perusing the forums of local hackerspaces, and you'll see mentions of the Raspberry Pi, and will let you discover new Python apps, utilities and libraries (Have you ever used Pronterface? PySerial?). Visiting some of the electronics kit makers and parts distributors web sites, and again, it is obvious that Python and Raspberry Pi hardware are well coupled.

Contagious fruit

Conversely, Python hackers, if you are not familiar with electronics, hardware hacking, makers and the like, you are probably in for a surprise. It is fairly addictive and quite fulfilling to be able to have a Python script to do stuff in the physical space, not just as 0s and 1s. So check it out:
Raspberry Pi foundation
Raspberry Pi Python Adventures Blog

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

What area do we cover?

Our primary area is the Piedmont Triad. This includes the cities of Winston-Salem, Greensboro and High Point, and those surrounding that area, such as Clemmons, Mt-Airy, Kernersville, Colfax, Thomasville, Lexington, Archdale, Burlington etc.

We are fairly close to another python user group in Charlotte, and another toward Raleigh, and we welcome members of those Python UGs to join this one too due to the short driving distance.

We also know that there are companies, universities and schools using Python in the general area, within an hour or two driving distance, and we encourage you to join the user group. Invite others to join too.

PyCarolinas 2012

PyCarolinas 2012 is happening on October 20 and 21st. Mark your calendars!

October 20th-21st

Kerr Hall
UNC EshelmanSchool of Pharmacy
Chapel Hill, NC
  PyCarolinas' website

Friday, August 17, 2012

More than a mailing list

Not only is this blog a pointer to the PYPTUG mailing list, it will also include information that might be of interest to our members. In particular, documents, videos, images etc, that are better suited in a blog than in a mailing list. At any rate, we are open to suggestions. Thanks, and dont forget to sign up for the mailing list here.

PYthon Piedmont Triad User Group

Welcome to PYPTUG!

This is the Python programming language user group for the Piedmont Triad of North Carolina, USA (PYthon Piedmont Triad User Group, or PYPTUG). This group was informally started in 2011, where meetings were between a few friends around lunch, and code was written on paper napkins. The group got into gear through a presentation at the PyCarolinas conference in 2012, and we've been having monthly meetings

To post to the PYPTUG mailing list, send your email to: pyptug@googlegroups.com

General information about the mailing list is at: https://groups.google.com/d/forum/pyptug?hl=en

This list is moderated, with posting only for members. Discussion has to be on topic, related to Python in some form. Even if you are not planning to attend meetings in person, you are encouraged to join and contribute to the community.


Our goal is to promote and advance computing, electronics and science in general in North Carolina using the Python programming language, and through workshops and project nights where people can learn, get help and mentor others. A secondary goal is to make you, the artist, the engineer, the investor, the manager, the programmer, the scientist, the teacher, better at your job.

Why Python

Short answer? Why not.

Slightly longer answer? It is almost english pseudo code, with barely any symbols to obscure readability. It can pretty much do anything that is possible to do with a computer, plus it scales on both side, for the machine and the human.

At one end of the spectrum, it can be used to teach programming to a young child using a $20 computer without the burden of functional or object orientation and boilerplate code, and at the other end, it can be used on high performance clusters following OO or functional patterns with a very large team of top notch programmers.

And that is the range of your typical visitors at a PYPTUG meeting, from less than 12 years of age, to retired, from artists to hackers, from individuals to teams working in large corporations, with projects ranging from deep sea exploration to beyond the stratosphere, and from recording music to automated buying and selling of stocks.

Hence, why Python.

So come and check us out, every month on the 3rd Wednesday and last Monday. See our meetup page for what is coming up :