Installing RetroPie on your Raspberry Pi

I have an “old” Raspberry Pi model A collecting dust on my desk.

“What can I do with you?”, I asked him one day.
“I want to be beautiful”, he answered.
“You will be my precious…”

And this is how I started working on what will (one day, eventually) became a wonderful home-made arcade cabinet πŸ˜€

First thing I have done is installing the software, so after some googling I found this nice linux distro called “RetroPie” . In order to have it up and running, as it’s usual in the linux world, there are some steps that need to be followed…..

Assuming you have downloaded the RetroPie img and copied it on a SD, the first step is expanding the filesystem to the entire SD:

sudo raspi-config

you need to reboot after that:

sudo reboot

then make sure everything is updated:

sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get upgrade
sudo rpi-update

next step is to run the Retropie setup, so go to the /home/pi/RetroPie-Setup/ folder and run

sudo ./

at this point you may choose to install the binaries or the sources. I guess it all depends on how much time you have at disposal πŸ˜€

now you’re almost done, all you have to do is copying the rom files to the SD and start playing! There’s a nice guide about it, just pick the method you like most πŸ™‚

Hi my name is Simon. I want to play a game.

Who’s Simon? Nobody? My God, are you living under a rock?
Simon is an elecronic game created in the late ’70 where you basically had to push some buttons in a specific sequence that gets longer and longer. Still nobody? Ok, here’s the wiki.

Why this introduction? Because Simon is a game, and I love games. Also, Simon is an ELECTRONIC game, I am learning electronics and probably there’s no better way to learn something than using funny examples as exercises πŸ™‚

After a couple of hours of experiments and tests this is what came out:

As you can see I’m using an Arduino board to do all the heavy lifting and just some LEDs, resistors and pushbuttons. My goal was to keep the number of components to the bare minimum (but I’m pretty sure there are better ways…)

Talking about code, I have used a very very simple State Machine (something like this one, but much simpler) with four states:
1) build a random sequence of LEDs
2) show the sequence to the user
3) wait for input and check for error
4) show the result and reset

Warning: may be addictive, do not play for more than 1 hour.

oh my God, it’s full of LEDs!

Too much time has passed since my last post. That’s not a good thing.
In my defense, I spent part of this time trying to learn new stuff πŸ™‚
I have always had the desire to learn a little bit of electronics. Nothing specific, just basic stuff…and I tried, oh yes, I tried. Each time I feel the urge to create something, full of hopes and ideas, I go to the local shop, buy capacitors, resistors, leds and then… then nothing. What usually happens is that I pick up a tutorial, usually a very complicated one, start mounting the pieces and then something goes wrong. Since I lack the basics (and most of the theory also), I’m usually not able to understand what is broken and eventually I give up.
No, I’m not a smart guy.

Thankfully, the guys at Autodesk published a very nice website for people like me, 123D Circuits!
In a nutshell, it’s a circuit building and simulation tool. With it you can pick the components you want (some of the basic ones, but you can even use Arduino) and combine them till something start working, hopefully in the way you were expecting πŸ˜€

This time I decided to start simple, trying one piece after another BUT before placing something on the breadboard I read the specs, search the easiest tutorial and, when available, the datasheets.

Here’s one of the first experiment I made, just a couple of pushbuttons controlling two leds, but it’s a start πŸ™‚

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