So it's been a while. Sorry about that, I've been lacking the excess energy blogging requires, but from here on in I'll endevour to do better. I'll even make it a New Year's Resolution.
I haven't had time to do much new stuff with the Raspberry Pi, but I have found a new image that I now use as my base. It has XBMC already installed, and though I haven't played with it much, it plays all my videos and music out of the box, so I'm pretty happy. I used the instructions to install the precompiled version, as I've managed to break my original SD card (the physical card, not the install, which is new for me). Though he's since created his own archive so you can 'apt-get install' XBMC from there:
If you're really geeky and keen you can try and build it yourself, but it takes about 12 hours on the pi, and is kind of tricky (I am not really up to trying it myself, but would love to hear from you if you have).
I've done a little playing with Arduino since we spoke last. I love the Arduino microcontroller, so noob friendly. Most of my code is stolen, which is not just allowed on the Arduino, but encouraged. They have massive libraries of code for use with almost any sensor / servo / thingy / or doodad you can think of. Most of my 'coding' has involved stealing code for the whatsits I'm using and mashing them together, and then asking our resident guru (Pix again) why it doesn't quite work. I've just discovered the 'mapping' function (thanks Simon) which involves reading the input from a sensor, and mapping it to some kind of output device (so far I've used a speaker and a servo).
I'll post some more info soon, but to tide you over here's a picture of my claw which maps the distance you are away from the sonar to the how far apart the fingers of the claw are: