Video of RetroPie GPIO Adapter

I have uploaded a short demonstration video that shows the RetroPie GPIO Adapter in action:

The video shows the RetroPie GPIO adapter connected with two SNES controllers within a PetRockBlock PIE case. The current Raspbian distribution is running in the video with a RetroPie Setup Script installation. The controllers are polled by the gamecon GPIO module that can be installed with the setup script. The button is polled with SNESDev, which is also configured with the setup script.

 

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The RetroPie GPIO Adapter

If you want to use your Raspberry Pi for gaming you certainly want to attach some sort of controller(s) to it. Since the Raspberry comes with two USB ports one way would be to simply attach any sort of USB gamepad or joystick via these ports to it. Besides the configuration this approach has the disadvantages that one or both USB ports become occupied and, what I think is even more disturbing, that an active USB hub might become necessary to provide enough energy to the controller(s). Also, if you want to get the real retro feeling you certainly want to use original controllers. The GPIO pins of the Raspberry allow the communication with all sorts of hardware and attaching, for example, SNES controllers can be done in quite a few steps. A user-space program that polls the controller(s) in the background was presented here. In the following I am presenting a dedicated GPIO adapter for the Raspberry Pi that allows an easy and safe connection of up to two NES or SNES controllers.

 

 

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The RetroPie Project: An Interim Report

It has been some weeks ago since my last post, but things regarding the Raspberry Pi and the idea of the universal console did not stand still. Actually, there has been a lot of progress in many aspects of (what I will call from now on) the “RetroPie Project“.

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Gamecon driver module for NES, SNES, and N64 controllers Added to RetroPie Setup Script

Drawn by http://www.home.unix-ag.org/simon/penguin/

If you want to use original NES or SNES controllers with your Raspberry Pi, you could use SNESDev, which I have written about some weeks ago. SNESDev makes use of the user-space input module and simulates a virtual keyboard. This means that button presses on the controllers are mapped to key presses on the Raspberry. Another approach for interfacing a controller with the Raspberry from the software side is to use a specific Linux input driver. Marqs has adapted such a driver to the Raspberry Pi hardware and made it available to the public.

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A Wiki for the RetroPie setup script script and a debug log

From now on, there is a wiki for the RetroPie script. Furthermore, tackling problems related to the setup script might become a little bit easier from now on. Continue reading

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Your own cloud server with Owncloud on the Raspberry Pi

The management, synchronization, and sharing of files, calendar information, address book data, music, and photos is widely used nowadays. It is offered by many (often freely available) cloud-based services like Dropbox, Sugarsync, Flickr, Picasa and many others. The big players like Apple, Google, and Microsoft also offer multiple of these services and people can use all of these with just a single account. While these “free” services might be very comfortable the not-so-free part of all these services is that your most private data is actually stored on servers that are not under your direct control and your data is often also used to generate an advertisement profile of you. If you want to have your data on your very own piece of hardware right under your control Owncloud might be an interesting option for you. It offers all the nice services like CalDAV, CardDAV, and WebDAV, which allow for managing your calendars, contacts, music, photos, and files in general in your own cloud. In the following, I give a brief overview about the steps that are needed for an installation and I present a setup script that automates the whole installation and update process. The same script can later be used for updating your Owncloud installation.

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PetRockBlock PIE case for sale on eBay

This is just a short post. I have opened an auction at eBay for 10 days that offers the PetRockBlock PIE case in black.

Update:

The auction has ended. If you are interested in the case, please use the order form.

 

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