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Raspberry Pi Possibilities


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#1 bbking67 OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Jan 20, 2012 2:36 PM

http://www.raspberrypi.org/

I'm sure that lots of folks have been thinking about this, but I think it could be incredibly cool for Atari 8-bit and other retro enthusiasts.

If an interface was built to directly communicate with the raspberry Pi (or other really small computer), software could be developed or adapted to have an integrated peripheral emulator, IP bridge, etc.

Has this been considered?

How feasible is it to do this? Would the interface have to be USB or is there a batter way?

/bbking67

#2 nathanallan OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Jan 20, 2012 8:47 PM

Why so small text?? Dial that up!

The Raspberry Pi *is* a great thing, and it looks like ti would make an excellent gaming and developers' platform. I'm looking into it, might be making a team to do some cool stuff :) Doing something liek that would be excellent after the loss of the store :(

#3 bbking67 OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Jan 20, 2012 9:23 PM

I have no idea what happened there with the text... ghost in the machine.

I think interfacing the raspberry Pi to an Atari (or any classic computer) would be very cool... you could use the Atari to terminal in to the machine to issue command, etc and then the raspberry Pi could emulate peripherals, connect to network resources, etc. Many very cool posibilities...

Edited by bbking67, Fri Jan 20, 2012 9:43 PM.


#4 amiman99 OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Jan 20, 2012 9:57 PM

I'm too watching the development of Raspberry Pi, wanting to use it as an Amiga emulator, like Minimig.
I think there will be 2 versions, one for $25 and other for $35.

#5 griz OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun Jan 22, 2012 8:38 AM

Why so small text?? Dial that up!


No kidding. He he. Most of us have eyes that are starting to get old no?

I think there will be 2 versions, one for $25 and other for $35.


That was the target. The $35 unit has an ethernet port and twice the ram IIRC. I think it would make for a great little server. Also an easy way to make a miniature mame cabinet. :)

#6 bbking67 OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun Jan 22, 2012 4:34 PM

I'm blaming the IE8 I am forced to endure at work for the teeny tiny text.

#7 falcon_ OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Jan 24, 2012 10:54 AM

The RasperriPI is TOO KWWL - mainly the price! If it were $200 there
wouldn't be as much to rave on.

I'm glad to see someone else thinking like I would/have. ;) There could be
much power available to _alter_ the A8 in magical ways we haven't thought
about yet! There is a video on YT of the Rasperri playing Quake1 on 1080p and
it's decently smooth! Is 128 Meg ram enough??? :D

dream=on

Imagine - installing a rasperripi INTO your atari for feature upgrades and
unlimited software and development on your XL/XE.... It could provide
interpretation or execution of code hosted on the rasperri. You could
program A8 games/apps using custom Python or Java or BASIC or even LUA!
Oh and C++ or Objective-C or LISP! Tools to make better entertainment
using the ole A8 hardware...

dream=off

Could be interesting. :)

falcon_

#8 RevEng ONLINE  

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Posted Tue Jan 24, 2012 11:43 AM

Even better, it's actually Quake 3, not Quake 1...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e_mDuJuvZjI

...not sure if that's the $25 model with 128M RAM or the $35 model with 256M, though. (specs here)

#9 eeun OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Jan 24, 2012 11:44 AM

It's a really impressive device, and I've joined their mailing list in attempt to ensure I can snag at least two of the boards soon as they're available for purchase.
Just saw a demo of it running XBMC at full 1080p, so I think there's finally a small and electricity-sipping replacement for my original Xbox.

The big issue with Atari augmentation is not so much the hardware as getting someone to develop software. An Arduino could perform a lot of the same tasks we'd assign to the Raspberry (excluding full system emulation), like drive emulation, additional interfaces, etc., and it's been available for cheap for years but so far it looks like only one person has stepped up to do some coding so far. That's not a criticism of anyone, or our community at large, it's just the number of people who could take on the task by way of talent, motivation, and having the free time, is going to be painfully small.

#10 kogden OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Jan 24, 2012 4:47 PM

The best thing to do with a Raspberry Pi is stick it in a small chassis with an integrated keyboard (maybe a simplified keytronic laptop keyboard) and realize that it itself is a "home computer" with similar goals as the original wave of home computers....

-Simple external expansion with a TON of different devices.... USB was inspired by SIO though they have little in common. Devices could even have integrated 2-port hubs and be daisy chained.

-Simple CPU architechture (relative to most nowadays) that is found in everything from toasters to smartphones that isn't near as painful as x86 to write assembler code for.

-Decent enough onboard GPU capable enough for fluid high-rez 3D graphics at 720p, in many cases 1080p. I heard rumors of OpenCL as well....

-Video output to the two most common television inputs (in the US at least), composite for those who prefer eyestrain and HDMI for those who valued their vision and bought a cheap LCD TV. Many parents already buy such LCD TV's for their kids here.

-Integrated high-speed SDIO for OS and storage. That's as close to a cartridge slot as you'll probably come to these days.

-MASSIVE library of available software due to Linux ubiquity.

Slap in a BASIC interpreter that starts by default after booting the kernel and you basically have a 21st century A8. I'd love to see a simple 3D graphics library integrated with BASIC..... Player/Missle 3D.... PM3D heh... define world, load models and go.

My only issue so far is the default software stack. Some IT guys will buy them for their kids but running typical modern desktop software designed around quad-core desktops with 2GB+ of RAM isn't going to be pleasant on a 600MHz ARM. Now a software stack designed around the limits of the machine would be fantastic. Things like Word processors, graphics apps, etc could easily be written within the machines specs.

X11 is also a terrible environment these days to teach someone how graphics work. A slim but nice looking UI toolkit/window manager with a simple API wrapped around DirectFB would be a better approach for education I think. And both GTK and QT can target DirectFB instead of X11 as well. So a lot of X apps could be ported. Done right it would be very responsive and great for games and experimenting with development.

Basically, I'd stick with the Linux KERNEL but dump the GNU userland and build a simple OS around it with standardized components. I'd offer the GNU userland and libs as a compatibility package that can installed for people who want it. There is also an X11 server that can be run on top of DirectFB for legacy app compatibility.... hmmm....

Not just being a nostalgic fanboy but today's "Atari" could get back into the home computer game if they wanted. Just a little development elbow grease and proper marketing and they could ride the Raspberry Pi wave but also stand out with better performance and cleaner API's with most of the hard work done by the open source crowd. I'm pretty convinced those brits are going to sell the s**t out of those things. I know I'm buying a couple. Atari also has the cash to get broadcom to even sell them those ARM SoCs. No startup will. Power without the price heh.... ARM Yourself would be a good catch phrase too.

I doubt Atari would do it but I've been mulling over trying to actually do something similar and actually turn a decent profit. I wonder how hard venture capital is to come by these days.... Cheap touch tablets are great for CONSUMING content, not creating it. People are starting to realize it. A low-cost computer that's easily put away, easily portable and can be hooked to large readable displays would be more useful for kids learning about computers or even general home usage for typical computing tasks. Especially with the integrated keyboard. SD cards provide cheap mass storage.

#11 Blues76 OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Jan 1, 2013 4:18 PM

I would like to ask the people that have understanding the internal working of the Atari, what would it take to make the Raspberry a modern Atari "8-bit era" computer...

What I'm saying is rewriting the OS to work with raspberry PI directly to the hardware with some modern functionality.

While I'm not an expert in Atari 8-bit internals, I think this could find lots of challenges.

Other than using an emulator in top of linux, I think is difficult to bring a "compatible"

I mean, other than using an emulator in top of linux , I'm not sure this could be possible.

Say you could re-write the OS to work with raspberry pi hardware. Then you will be to port all the applications (re-write the assembly)

What may be possible is to write a thin layer that can handle the compatibility, while allowing the new apps to be work in this modern "atari" 8 bit era system...

Anyways, I was wondering what do the experts think here...

#12 LoTonah OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Jan 1, 2013 7:56 PM

I guess anything is possible, just don't expect miracles.

I just got my Pi three days ago, and I'm having fun with it, even though I haven't gotten much up and running yet.

If you want retro on the Pi, try RiscOS. It is the OS from the Acorn Archimedes computer, running on the Pi. Looks pretty Amiga-ish, and the Amiga always reminds me of a suped-up Atari 8bit.

#13 TMR OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Jan 1, 2013 8:08 PM

The RasPi is a computer, making it act like an Atari 8-bit (or anything else for that matter) will always involve emulation at some level. To implement an A8 in hardware, the way to go is probably something like FPGA because, whilst it isn't necessarily guaranteed to be perfect, you're essentially running a hardware clone that's been wedged into a likkle chip.

Edited by TMR, Tue Jan 1, 2013 8:09 PM.


#14 Tempest OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Jan 9, 2013 11:04 AM

I've been looking into getting one of these, but for the life of me I can't imagine what I'd do with it. I don't really watch TV or movies so using it as a media server isn't that useful. My PC is right next to my gaming stuff so there's no reason to use the Pi as a music player or server. I suppose I could automate something, but what? It seems like it has all sorts of neat possibilities, but none of them seem to be all that useful to me.

#15 spamh8r OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Jan 9, 2013 1:17 PM

A friend of mine is using his to add MP3 music to an early solid state Ted Nugent pinball game. He commented that his son received one for Christmas as well, and that his first 'Hello world' experience was very similar-- an inexpensive piece of hardware, connected to the family TV, that asked a question and then printed onscreen in a loop. That which is old is new again. :)

There is a beautiful laser-cut case on Ben Heck's site: http://benheck.com/0...erry-pi-project that makes the Pi look very much like an early 8-bit machine.

#16 snicklin OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Jan 9, 2013 4:33 PM

The Raspberry PI to me is a modern day Atari. Not in what it does, but in the sense that it has power but at the same time, it has it's limitations which need working around.

It has grabbed my attention. I have a 256meg model on my desk and a 512 meg one in the post.

#17 AtariMagic! OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Jan 10, 2013 3:40 PM

Even better, it's actually Quake 3, not Quake 1...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e_mDuJuvZjI

...not sure if that's the $25 model with 128M RAM or the $35 model with 256M, though. (specs here)


likely 256 mb+swap file

#18 sack-c0s OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Jan 11, 2013 4:52 AM

I'd been wondering if the fact that you can gain enough control over it would mean you could use the GPIO pins to code up a device emulator - I thought of trying a 1541 emulator, but if that's possible then maybe SIO would work out too.

I know some folks say it's overkill dedicating a whole system like this to such a task, but I see it more as freely reusing something people have rather than explicitly going out to buy something new, regardless of how cheap that thing might be

Edited by sack-c0s, Fri Jan 11, 2013 4:58 AM.


#19 snicklin OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Jan 11, 2013 11:36 AM

I've got 2 of the little beasts. One is 256mb and is used as a way of accessing my NAS drive with a Linux interface across the network. I also have an automation system in development on there through Perl.

The second one has 512mb and I haven't set it up fully as I only got it last night, it'll eventually hold my automation system and maybe do some more Rastaconverting.

#20 Tezz OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Jan 11, 2013 12:16 PM

..One is 256mb and is used as a way of accessing my NAS drive with a Linux interface across the network.

Are you using XBMC Media Center Steve? how is it with 1080p playback? I was considering that but now have smart tv's around the house connected to my NAS and a dedicated pc media center in the living room.

#21 snicklin OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Jan 11, 2013 1:19 PM

Hi Tezz, well... I am using XBMC but only on the client side on a couple of Windows PCs. I've not tried it out with the Raspberry Pi as of yet. I was a bit underwhelmed by the power of the 256mb model (I expected low power, but not quite as low as that), but just from quick playing around with the 512mb model, it does seem somewhat quicker. I've also overclocked it to 800mhz, but apparently it'll go up to 1gHz, but I've not tried that yet. I'm trying to locate it now, I wouldn't mind playing around with it...

#22 snicklin OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Jan 11, 2013 2:30 PM

OK, I just found a site whereby I got instructions for a download of it. Anyway, I've just tried a couple of videos with it... I'd overclocked it to the maximum, 1gHz, +6 volts just to try it out. Anyway, both with a cartoon based video and with a real video, the playback was superb.

The strange thing is though, the menu was a little bit clunky, the mouse stopped working on a couple of occasions and maybe I'm doing something wrong, but exiting from the program would mean me exiting from the PI and having to reboot it.

My impression so far with this build, 6/10.

#23 Tezz OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Jan 11, 2013 4:09 PM

Thanks Steve, my brother gave me the same impression about it. Many are using similarily cheap linux based media boxes which perform very well. It's an impressive bit of kit nonetheless with a lot of possibilities for $35

#24 emkay OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Jan 11, 2013 11:59 PM

Thanks Steve, my brother gave me the same impression about it. Many are using similarily cheap linux based media boxes which perform very well. It's an impressive bit of kit nonetheless with a lot of possibilities for $35


That 35$ is a dream beyond all recognition . You get a super slow board with some -out of the place- Mobile Phone hardware, running hardly any modern OS.
Let's build a full working computer with it.... which means to add
-Power Supply
-Mouse
-Keyboard
-Boot Device
-Monitor

Until you have a working "Computer" on your Desktop. And then look at the price and what you get.

You finally get full working "Tablet"-devices with quadruple performaces for "100$" already.

3,50$ would fit better to that indigestible Raspberry Pie.



#25 Heaven/TQA OFFLINE  

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Posted Sat Jan 12, 2013 6:51 AM

Emkay... ;) again... I love the tiny device... :) so actually... my questions to the other PIs... is there a working A8 emulator? SNES? MegaDrive (Genesis), Atari ST? PC-Engine? if so... I am not an Linux geek so actually is there a "retro gaming PI image" out there?

I have installed the 2600 emulator but did not managed to switch off the blurring of the 160x200 display of the emulator? hints here?




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