Jun 27

Friday Post: PiPlay Video

Hey All,

Thought you would like to see this:

The next release of PiPlay is so close I can taste it.

A few notes:

  • the final menu will load faster as I still have un-optimized images and debug code added.
  • the controller config does more than the just the SNES, I just kept it at that for demo purposes.
  • More emulators have been included, just weren’t added to the config.yaml in the menu yet.

Have a good weekend all!


Jun 20

Friday Post: Snow In June?!?

Hey All,

For those who don’t know, my day job involves creating tools and apps that help students and faculty at my university have a greater learning experience online.

This week I was in Utah for an educational conference where I got to present on those tools. It was a very rewarding experience.

It also snowed!


Work on PiPlay has been going REALLY well.  We are close to finishing, and it feels like right now we are just putting on the polish.  You can see all the updates at https://github.com/ssilverm

A very good friend of mine Charlie (http://charliesamways.carbonmade.com/)  designed the new graphics for the controller setup program.  If you need any awesome work done, I highly recommend him.


 Have a great weekend!

Jun 14

Friday Post: Joysticks

Hey All,

So, I’ve been looking at more joysticks, and I want to tell you about an experience I had with a cheap $15 Chinese joystick I imported.  I buy a lot of items from China.  This time it was a disaster.  I believe I ended up inadvertently getting a return rather than new stock, so I’m waiting for the vendor to explain the issue before I give up on them entirely (the other products I purchased were in good working order).

The joystick i purchased is supposed to be a Welcom WE-6200.  There are a lot of joysticks that look like this one, just browsing aliexpress will bring up dozens of similar products.

The one I received had:

  • solder on the underside,
  • a crack in the case that was “covered up” with sharpie
  • buttons that didn’t fit well.
  • mushy and sticking buttons
  • directly soldered connections rather than quick disconnects.

IMG_3985 IMG_3986 IMG_3987 IMG_3988 IMG_3989 IMG_3990 IMG_3991 IMG_3992 IMG_3993I

Other than that, it does work.

PiPlay is coming along.  I’m finishing up the joystick config system.  I’ve add mednafen to the list of emulators.  I’ve done some code modifications to it to enable it to work on console with DISPMANX.

Have a good weekend all!




Jun 08

Very Late Friday-ish Post: Compiling

Hey All,

Sorry for the very late post, I’ve had some family visiting from out of town and spent the weekend catching up.

For PiPlay, I’ve been spending some time getting into the nitty gritty of some of the emulators.  PiFBA happens to have a config file hardcoded in it’s source code.  Because I use PiFBA for a few different systems, I needed to have individual configs.

My patched version of PiFBA is available here as source code: https://github.com/ssilverm/pifba-config-patch

Looking back, it wasn’t that difficult to patch, but my C++ is rusty, and I needed some friends help to get it running.

I’ve also been playing with SDL and DISPMANX.  One of my favorite emulators is Mednafen, but it has a problem running on the console.  If you use DISPMANX and try to run Mednafen, you get an SDL error (due to not needing SDL_GetVideoInfo()).  I’m recompiling Mednafen right now which replaces the SDL_GetVideoInfo() call with generic video heights.  DISPMANX should scale correctly anyway, so I will see how it looks.

On that note,  I also had to deal with my favorite compiling issue on the Raspberry Pi: hq4x and running out of memory.

This is why I love the Raspberry Pi (and Linux).  I learn something new everyday.  To add or subtract swap space, type:

sudo /etc/dphys-swapfile
Change 100 to the desired amount of swap.  I used 300 for hq4x
/etc/init.d/dphys-swapfile stop
/etc/init.d/dphys-swapfile start

The swap space will be created, and you can now compile without crashing (usually).

Have a good week everyone!