Mar
I got myself a Raspberry Pi Model 3 B a couple of months back. I picked it up from an Australian retailer that has them pre-setup ready to run as a RetroPie: http://www.thepishop.com.au

My ultimate goal was to replace the PC used in my MAME cab with this Pi. However, the expectation was that this would be a long term project as I'm not in a hurry - the PC works great as is. It's more future proofing.

So just messing around with it, I immediately had the problem that the amount of games I wanted to pile onto the SD card far exceeded what the SD card supplied could take. So I went down a little adventure of buying a larger one, and working out how to get the image on there and expand the file system (I used to be a unix/linux sysadmin so it's not too far a stretch for me, though it was a bit more cumbersome than I had expected).

I had a few problems but the main issue I had was that when it was all up and running, the SNES games ran terribly - dropped frame rate, slowdown, and music cutting in and out. I did a bit of research and found that this can be power related (not a factor here), heat related (possible but doubt it), or something is messed up in the image (more likely as I had some trouble setting it up as I mentioned). Anyway, I lost momentum on this and it's sat in my garage gathering dust for a few months now.

Fast forward to today, and I've decided to start messing around with it again. Mainly because it's too hot to mess around in the arcade!

So my first step will be to reinstall the image and start from scratch. I'll use this thread as a bit of a repair log or working diary.

Anyone else played with these? Have you had much success? Or do you use a Pi for something entirely different?
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Mar
Now I remember why this thing was a nightmare a few months ago. My work laptop has a pseudo admin account created that (almost) allows me to install what I need. But it still doesn't give me full access. Switching accounts, unlocking security settings and all of that stuff just didn't end up working - I still couldn't make changes to disks or run disk writing apps.

Eventually got there by logging in as root (they forgot to take that one away!), and manually running the installer through the terminal. Dodgy, but it did the job. 
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Hwaygo
Yea I love the idea of the retro pie. Haven't gone there yet. And now I'm finding myself with actual consoles to play old games.

Because of that I had a fix of old gaming without needing to go for the pie. It looks great though!

Another idea... Surely there is a torrent of the pie image with all the rooms ready to go...
[AOAGoN]
[KSy3fj]
[updolaabc99]
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Mar
There probably is. But I ended up getting the roms in one big package, and the OS images from the retropie site. Combining the two isn't really a problem. Though I guess one combined package might have it all optimised... I might have to have a look around.

Anyway, at the moment I've got the pi up and running again, the filesystem expanded, the wifi network configured, Mac keyboard config done (that was crucial, I couldn't use pipe commands without it!), and now starting to copy roms over SSH. I'm hoping I won't see that terrible performance I did before, but maybe it's all configuration based.. Soon find out!
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Mar
Actually now that you mention it, you're right that you can't beat the real thing. If I could have the real consoles all hooked up that would be ideal. It's certainly easier to do that these days with cartridges that emulate disk drives and so on, and having all the games on an SD card. But still, that's something I'll tackle once I have a real game room (my single car garage just doesn't cut it).

For now, having a MAME cab setup that has every game is pretty irreplaceable. Especially taking part in high score comps like with the 10 Pence Arcade podcast - you can't have all of those arcade boards! Though I am still trying to collect all of my favourite arcade boards.
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Hwaygo
Yea it's gotta be an optimisation thing.. I do find it frustrating when emulations run slow. 
I think the retro pie is a great way to have all your consoles in one place.. but I also like to have the right controller. You can play almost anything on a PlayStation style controller.. but it feels so weird playing old games on it..

Not that it would stop me.. but it means I'm stuck with a PS control because you can't play newer games on a SNES control.
[AOAGoN]
[KSy3fj]
[updolaabc99]
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Hwaygo
I think I've partly gone for the actual consoles because it really is actually easier haha.
Plug and play.. I guess it just depends on the expense of the console.. would love to get the mega cd but it's too expensive.
PS1 on the other hand is so cheap right now.
[AOAGoN]
[KSy3fj]
[updolaabc99]
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Hwaygo
But then you need to think about displays.. haha
[AOAGoN]
[KSy3fj]
[updolaabc99]
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Mar
Yeah you make a great point. Using the real thing is plug and play as that's what they were built for. As long as you can get around the issues with media life (disks or batteries dying), which is pretty easy these days with the various carts you can buy, then it should be much easier and a better experience on the real thing.

Having said that, I think emulators are a necessary evil in the hobby. First of all for preservation reasons, and secondly to enable people to experience games they otherwise couldn't.

My Pi is pretty much completely set up now. It took a good couple of days to get to this point (the copying of files across the network was actually the bulk of the process). The games are all running very well which is welcome. I still need to fiddle with the controller options but that's something that can come later - it was bought to go in the MAME cab so the real controls I'll be using with this thing will be done when I complete that part of the set up.

For my own sake (and maybe others will find this valuable) I'm going to list a couple of things that I did which I thought was of particular importance to get my Pi running;

- Running 'sudo raspi-config' to edit configuration such as;
  • Changing default password (important if you put your Pi on the network!)
  • Changing default hostname
  • Starting the SSHD server for remote access
  • Expanding the filesystem (crucial if you've swapped to a larger SD card)
  • Memory Split (giving the GPU access to more memory (in my case 256))
- Setting the correct keyboard (using a mac keyboard meant that the mapping of special characters I needed for unix commands wasn't working, this fixed it): https://www.raspberrypi.org/forums/viewtopic.php?t=6907

  • Specifically these commands: 'sudo dpkg-reconfigure locales' (from en_GB.UTF-8 to en_US.UTF-8). And 'sudo dpkg-reconfigure keyboard-configuration' (changed to suitable Macintosh variant)

- Grabbing Apple Pi Baker app to help make playing around with SD card images easier: https://www.tweaking4all.com/hardware/raspberry-pi/macosx-apple-pi-baker/

- SD cards you should probably avoid: https://elinux.org/RPi_SD_cards#Working_.2F_Non-working_SD_cards

- Getting the Pi on the wifi network: https://www.raspberrypi.org/documentation/configuration/wireless/wireless-cli.md

- I had hundreds of thousands of files which were uncompressed (roms and images basically), which were not only big as they were uncompressed, but also much harder to manage copying to and fro. This command (unix / linux / mac os) saved me a lot of hassle. It zips up all files as individual zips, and names them according to what the original file was: for item in *; do zip "${item}.zip" "${item}"; done

- For folders with yet more files in them, I just added a switch to tell it to zip recursive into the folders: for item in *; do zip -r "${item}.zip" "${item}"; done

- Copying all of those zip files across the network via SSH made life much easier: scp *.zip pi@MarPi:"/home/pi/RetroPie/roms"

So this process took quite some time (I've been doing this all day and each day since I made this thread), but at least it's all done now. I can just back up that SD card as an image and be safe in the knowledge that if anything blows up, I can just get this back up and running again in minutes.

And I think I'll bring along this Pi to the next PAX or big gaming event we go to. That'l give us plenty to do when we are back at the hotel drinking some brews!

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