ZX Spectrum Next Retro Keyboard PC Relies on Xilinx FPGA, Raspberry Pi Zero “Accelerator” Board (Crowdfunding)

ZX Spectrum keyboard computer was launched in April 1982 in the United Kingdom, and 35 years later, a team of developers has now been working on ZX Spectrum Next somewhat resuscitating ZX Spectrum by emulating Z80 processor in a Xilinx FPGA, using an optional Raspberry Pi Zero board as an accelerator, and adding some modern features like HDMI output and WiFi. While the case is only a 3D rendering for now, they have a working board prototype with the following specifications: FPGA – Xilinx Spartan-6 FGPA emulating Z80 processor in 3.5Mhz and 7Mhz modes System Memory – 512KB RAM (expandable to 1.5MB internally and 2.5MB externally) Storage – SD Card slot, with DivMMC compatible protocol used in the original ZX Spectrum Video Hardware sprites, 256 colours mode, Timex 8×1 mode etc. Output: RGB, VGA, HDMI Audio – 3x AY-3-8912 audio chips with stereo output + FM sound Networking – Optional WiFi module Joystick – DB9 compatible with Cursor, Kempston and […]

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Using M12N Android Amlogic S912 TV Box as a Game Console (Video)

When Amlogic announced S912 processor, they mentioned it would target not only 4K OTT and IP set-top boxes, but also gaming consoles thanks to a faster and better Mali-T820MP3 GPU compared to the Mali-450MP GPU found in their previous S905 and S805 processor, and we’ve already seen that S912 is indeed faster in 3D benchmarks. So I decided to play several games to show the performance, the pre-loaded retro gaming app, and for people who have never used a TV box to play games show what it looks like, and how to play using M12N TV box, in conjunction with MINIX NEO A2 Lite air mouse and Tronsmart Mars G01 wireless gamepad. I played four games downloaded from the Play Store or Amazon Underground: Candy Crush Saga with air mouse Beach Buggy Racing and Riptide GP2 with the gamepad Dead Trigger with the air mouse in menus, and the gamepad during the game (requires key mapping) All four games played […]

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How to Run Ubuntu 16.04 Aarch64 (64-bit ARM) Cloud Images on Your Intel/AMD Linux Computer with QEMU

With the recent launch of several low cost Cortex A53 development boards, 64-bit ARM hardware is now pretty common and inexpensive, but if you want to run 64-bit ARM code on your x86 Linux computer, Riku Voipio, a software engineer working for Linaro, wrote some instructions to run Ubuntu 16.04 Aarch64 Cloud image in QEMU. Ubuntu cloud images are “the official Ubuntu images and are pre-installed disk images that have been customized by Ubuntu engineering to run on public clouds that provide Ubuntu Certified Images, Openstack, LXD, and more. ”  So the instructions are also useful if you want to easily try such packages on 64-bit ARM platform. I’ve tried those instructions myself on my Ubuntu 14.04 machine with and AMD FX8350 processor, and they worked pretty well, and the only things I had to find out by myself was to install a recent version of qemu. First, we’ll need to install qemu & cloud-utils, and download QEMU EFI firmware  […]

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PocketCHIP Hackable & Portable Linux Game Console Can Be Pre-ordered for $49

If you are interested in portable game consoles to run emulator, but can’t quite justify paying hundreds of dollars for device like Pyra or GPD Win, and Android game consoles don’t exactly fit your needs or match your expectations, PocketC.H.I.P based on the $9 C.H.I.P board, and part of the original Kickstarter campaign could be an interesting option, as it is now available for pre-order for $49. PocketCHIP specifications: SoC – Allwinner R8 Cortex A8 processor @ 1 GHz with Mali-400 GPU System Memory – 512 MB RAM Storage – 4GB NAND flash Display – 420 x 272 LED backlit display Keyboard – QWERTY keyboard Connectivity – 802.11 b/g/n Wi-Fi + Bluetooth 4.0 Video Output – 3.5mm jack for composite video and audio (HDMI and VGA available via adapters) USB – 1x USB host port, 1x micro USB OTG port Expansion – Through holes on the top giving access to GPIOs, I2C, SPI, UART. ADC. battery level, power signals, etc… […]

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Android N Developer Preview Released with Multi-Window Support, PiP, Background Apps Optimizations…

Google has just released an early developer preview of Android 7.0 N (Nutella?) before the OS officially launched later this summer with new features such s multi-window support, TV recording,  Picture-in-picture, bundled notifications, and efficiency improvements. So let’s have a look at some of improvements: Multi-window – A new manifest attribute called android:resizableActivity is available for apps targeting N and beyond, allowing your activity to be launched in split-screen modes on phones and tablets. In addition, activities can also go into picture-in-picture mode on devices like TVs by setting android:supportsPictureInPicture to true. Direct reply notifications: Initially an Android Wear only features, the RemoteInput notification API has now been added for smartphones and tablets, and allows user to reply directly within the notification shade. Bundled notifications – The Notification.Builder.setGroup() method can be used to bundle notifications from the same app together. Efficiency Improvements – Doze has been further improved to save battery whenever the screen turns off, and work is still […]

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GPD Win Windows 10 Portable Gaming Console Launched on Indiegogo for $299

We already knew that GPD HK was working on a Windows 10 handheld gaming console powered by an Intel Atom x5-Z8500 Cherry Trail processor, and the company has now decided to launch what they now call “GPD Win” on Indiegogo for $299, and advertise it as a “5.5” Game Handheld Laptop”.GPD Win specifications: SoC – Intel Atom x5-Z8500 quad-core Cherry Trail processor @ 1.44/2.24 GHz (Burst) with Intel HD Gen8 graphics @ up to 600MHz System Memory – 4GB LPDDR3-1600 Storage – 64GB eMMC 4.51 flash + micro SD slot up to 128GB Display – 5.5″ capacitive touch IPS screen; 1280×720 resolution; Corning Gorilla Glass 3; full lamination technology Video Output- mini HDMI Audio – mini HDMI, 3.5mm headset jack, microphone and speaker; Realtek ALC5645 audio codec Connectivity – WiFi 802.11 b/g/n and Bluetooth 4.0 USB – 1x USB 3.0 port, 1x micro USB port HID – QWERTY keyboard with DPAD, two ALPS Joysticks (including one acting a mouse when […]

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Crowdfunded Projects Use Raspberry Pi and ODROID Boards into Home Theater PCs and Retro Game Consoles

I’ve been tipped about two separate projects launched on Indiegogo and Kickstarter that integrate Raspberry Pi or ODROID boards into their products. indieGO! retro gaming console and distribution leverages Raspberry Pi 2, ODROID-C1+, or ODROID-XU4 to play older games, while Pi2Media HT1 relies on either Raspberry Pi2, and later the upcoming UP Board or ODROID-C2 boards in order to offer a Surround 7.1 Home Theater PC. indieGO! Retro Game Console Beside the development board, indieGo! also includes a DVD-RW drive, an SD card reader, a mini-ITX case, a 3D-Printed I/O-shield and ARM board holder, a USB joypad, and two USB ports. indieGO!-OS is also a Linux distribution based on AEROS running Exagear which means both ARM (native) and x86 (emulation) executables will run on the device. Pre-isntalled programs include Wine, Kodi, Moonlight, AmiCloud, and EmuLA. The many emulators installed allow support for games running Playstation, C64, Dreamcast, Game Boy, Atari, Sega, PC, etc.. Emulators highlighted in Orange will run with lag, so […]

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Run x86 Linux and Windows applications in Raspberry Pi and other ARM Linux Devices with Exagear

A few weeks ago, I finally decided to buy a Raspberry Pi 2 board as it could always be useful for some testing, at least for comparison purposes. I ended up buying it from Ebay for $40, as it’s $3 to $5 more expensive locally. Nevertheless, I was not sure what I’ll use it first for, but after seeing a tweet for Exagear Desktop software that allows ARM boards to run x86 Linux or Windows applications, the latter through wine. The program is available for Raspberry Pi, Raspberry Pi 2, and ARMv7 devices for $19.95 to $29.95. I asked for a version for testing purposes, and I was given a Google Drive link to download Exagear for Raspberry Pi 2, as well as a 3-month trial key. Installation is very easy. I started by downloading and installing Raspbian Jessie the usual way on a 32GB micro SD card. It went pretty smoothly, and after installation, I had to run raspi-config […]

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