Jul 25

Friday Post: Small and Large Updates

Hey All,

A few good updates this week :)

The PiPlay 0.8 Beta4 got a very small update (0.8b4.1)  You can get it by selecting the update option.

It fixes a few small config items, like the finalburn alpha emulator not looking for the proper config file, and Dgen missing the proper binary files.

A bigger update is coming later this week with 0.8 beta 5.  Mark figured out how to speed up the menu by at least 50%.  A lot of optimizations were made, and it will be incorporated into the code ASAP.

Have a great weekend all!

-Shea

Jul 18

Friday Post: Space Madness!

Hey All,

For the first time in a long time I feel rested.  I did a sleep study to find out why I was so fatigued all the time even though I was getting around 8 hours of sleep. ( I’m not counting that my other waking hours have been spent on the Kickstarter, PiPlay, and Work with no breaks ;) )

The study people hooked me up to a machine that essentially blows air at you, and holy crap, it helped me sleep through the night like a log.  I was up at 5am, didn’t need any caffeinated drinks in the morning (but force of habit…) and I’ve been going strong all day.  If I feel this good and energized after one night,  I’m excited to see what will happen after a few weeks!

PiPlay

PiPlay 0.8 Beta 4 has so far been really good.  Only a few relatively minor bugs to fix.  I am going to push the update this weekend and a new image as well.  Be on the lookout for that.

Raspberry Pi Model B+

Last Monday the Raspberry Pi Foundation released the latest Pi board, the Model B+.  While the core hardware stays the same, the board includes 4 USB Ports, more GPIO pins, improved board layout, and a switch from SD Cards to Micro SD cards.  My board came in today, so I took some pictures of it.

IMG_4088 IMG_4089 IMG_4090 IMG_4091 IMG_4092

 

Have a good weekend all!

-Shea

Jul 12

Friday Post: PiPlay 0.8 Beta 4 Released!

Hello Everyone!!!!

The latest version of PiPlay is available to download!

Download - The image requires an 8GB SD Card

This release has been a huge amount of work, from multiple people whom I consider friends.  Artists, Testers, Family, Programmers, Designers.  I appreciate all the help that went into this.

From the Github stats: Excluding merges, 4 authors have pushed 46 commits to master and 47 commits to all branches. On master, there have been 221,966 additions and 54,318 deletions to the code.

New artwork was created just for this release.  The web frontend was overhauled. So much has been put into this.

Now the fun part.

Testing.  I’ve spent a lot of time testing this release, on as many joysticks, tvs, monitors, and devices I have available to me.  It looks good to me, but I expect there to be bugs.  I would appreciate any and all feedback about this release.  If you have any issues, comments, or suggestions, please tell me.

Updates:

  • Theme Support
  • DISPMANX
  • Cave Story reimplemented
  • Joystick Support
  • Latest version of Raspbian with Xin-Mo support
  • ZX Spectrum, Sega Master System, Neo Geo Pocket Color, Turbo Grafx 16, and Game Gear emulation have been added.
  • Tips & Tricks
    • MAME is not installed by default.  There is a tool in the menu to install MAME.
    • Press the K + S button on your keyboard at the same time for a listing of all backers.
    • To setup your controllers, keyboards, and joysticks, use the Controller Setup app.
    • Press tab (or the 2nd button on your joystick) to bring up the settings popup menu.
    • There are multiple themes available from the settings popup menu.
    • If you access the IP address of your Raspberry Pi from another computer, you will have see the Web Frontend which allows you to upload games files and manage your Pi.
  • Known Issues
    • Menu Speed – i know it can sometimes feel slow or sluggish.  We are working hard to optimize it.
    • Dual Shock Support – Limited dual shock support.  I had numerous issues with finicky controllers.  I am hoping to put official dual shock support in the next release.

Tips & Tricks

  • MAME is not installed by default.  There is a tool in the menu to install MAME.
  • Press the K + S button on your keyboard at the same time for a listing of all backers.
  • To setup your controllers, keyboards, and joysticks, use the Controller Setup app.
  • Press tab (or the 2nd button on your joystick) to bring up the settings popup menu.
  • There are multiple themes available from the settings popup menu.
  • If you access the IP address of your Raspberry Pi from another computer, you will have see the Web Frontend which allows you to upload games files and manage your Pi.

Known Issues

  • Menu Speed – i know it can sometimes feel slow or sluggish.  We are working hard to optimize it.
  • Dual Shock Support – Limited dual shock support.  I had numerous issues with finicky controllers.  I am hoping to put official dual shock support in the next release.

I am looking forward to all your feedback!

Have a great weekend!

-Shea

Jul 04

Friday Post: 4th Of July

Hey All,

To my fellow Americans, Happy Independence Day.  To everyone else, Happy 4th of July, because Friday’s are awesome!

PiPlay 0.8 Beta 4 is 99.9% done.  I am doing some final testing, and it will be uploaded this weekend!!  I’m excited and can’t wait for everyone to try it out.

Laser cutters are cool!

2014-07-02 2014-07-03 (1) 2014-07-03These are photos of the aftermath of creating 15 PiPlay cases.  I love laser cutters!

Raspiado

A fellow redditor has started a kickstarter for a USB hub that attaches directly to the Pi.

It looks neat, and I’m going to back this.

Adafruit 3D Printed Raspberry Pi Gameboy

Adafruit is awesome, and this is even awesomer.

Have a great weekend everyone!  I’ll update / make a new post when the new PiPlay image is uploaded.

-Shea

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!

-Shea

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 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!

-Shea

 

May 30

Friday Post: Joysticks!

Hello All!

It has been a long week.  I plan on sleeping until Sunday.

PiPlay will be getting a joystick configuration utility in the next release.

Don’t mind the placeholder graphics.  The designer who did the PiPlay logo is making all the controller graphics to go in there :)

The next release is coming along really well.  I’m very happy with it so far.

I bought Mario Kart 8, so if anyone wants to race, friend me!  My NNID is SSilver2k2

On a cuter note, my wife and I went to the Humane Society and adopted a 6 month old orange kitten.

IMG_3931

Meet Applejack :)

Have a great weekend all!

 

-Shea

May 16

Friday Post: Themes

Hey all,

 I’ve spent the past week on a lot of administrative PiPlay stuff, but I do have a couple of neat things to show.

Theme Support

 Controller Config (very early)

Big thanks to Matt from the forums for coding up the theme support and Dan for helping with the controller configuration.

Desktop Arcade

On my off time (hah) I’ve been working on a desktop barcade machine.  I’ve done 2 days of 3 coats of paint, 1 day of sanding, and I’m getting ready to do another few layers of paint.

IMG_3867 IMG_3868 IMG_3871 IMG_3872 IMG_3873 IMG_3874 IMG_3875 IMG_3876 IMG_3883 IMG_3884

Have a great weekend!

-Shea

May 09

Friday Post: FUNDED!

Hey All,

Thank you so much for your backings and support.  Over 400% funded!  What did I do to celebrate?

Icee

 I got a delicious post-Kickstarter celebratory Icee :)

Updates

To keep you all updated on my progress, I created this:

PiPlay Update Board

As I finish tasks (or add new ones) I will be updating this board (notice the green filled in dots at the bottom) and letting everyone know.

PiPlay Case

I got the PiPlay case in my hands last night.  It looks and feels great.  There is only a minor alteration that needs to be done.

Everyone who backed a tier with the case will receive this version that has Kickstarter Edition branding.

PiPlay Case Kickstarter Edition

 PiPlay

Lots of cool work is being done on PiPlay.  Theme support is now built in, but it does have some quirks.  We are fixing that, and it should be part of the PiPlay 0.8 beta 4 release.

Bartop

I got in a Bartop Arcade Kit from Rich’s Arcade today.  I am going to take pictures as I build it, and put that up as it’s own post.

IMG_3865

Enjoy!

-Shea Silverman