THEC64 a Retro Functional Commodore 64

Retro Games has set December 2019 as the release date for their reimagined full-size fully functional C64, named THEC64. This somewhat smaller version of the original Commodore 64 comes with 64 games, a joystick and may include a handheld game console. THEC64 computing power is limited, but Basic is still functioning and can be booted, as well as Vic20 Basic. The original replica was a small keyboard facsimile of the original keyboard, called the C64 mini. The keyboard was just for “show” but did have 64 games included, which many people suspect are the same games that will be available on the “full-size” reissue. There are quite a few people willing to help out with the launch of the THEC64, offering video tutorials of how to program the fully functioning retro computer. There is a website called 64Bites, devoted to the Commodore 64 and it’s Basic programming, and this leads directly to programming on THEC64. To add to the teasers …

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Fullfill your Nostalgia with Development Kits based on Intel 8080, Motorola 6802, Z80… Processors

Intel 8080 Processor Development Kit

Intel 8080 processor was released in April 1974, Motorola 6802 in 1976, and people in their late 40’s, 50’s or older may have experimented with those more than 40 years. People may still have those at home, but surely it’s not possible to purchase those in 2019 if suddenly you’ve got that nostalgia feeling getting at you, right? Apparently, it is, as Wichit Sirichote, an associated professor at the Department of Applied Physics in King Mongkut’s Institute of Technology, in Bangkok, Thailand has designed a few development kits based on those older processors. Let’s take the 8080 devkit as an example to check out the features of such kits: CPU – NEC 8080 CPU clocked at 2.048MHz Memory & Storage – 32KB RAM, 32KB EPROM Memory and I/O decoder chip – GAL16V8D PLD Oscillator – 8224 chip with Xtal frequency of 18.432MHz Bus controller – 8228 chip with RST 7 strobing for interrupt vector Display – 6-digit 7-segment LED display …

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Raspberry Pi based Hyper Keyboard Pi & hgTerm Handheld PCs, and RasPi Arcade Stick

hgterm DIY Raspberry Pi Handheld Computer

There are so many products and projects based on Raspberry Pi that it’s difficult to keep track, and many are often not that interesting, not because they are not useful, but instead because it just feels we’ve seen those before. But this week I’ve come accross three projects that looks to be newsworthy including two handheld computers with a 4″ display, and one retro-gaming console with standard arcade buttons and controls similar to what is found in Pandora’s Box/Key 5S. hgTerm DIY Raspberry Pi  Handheld Computer hgterm is a portable computer based on a stripped down Raspberry Pi 3 where the Ethernet port, HDMI port, and most of the USB ports have been removed. It features a 4″ touchscreen display, a Bluetooth keyboard all housed in a 3D printed case. It’s not actually a product that you can buy (yet), but a project made by Igor Brkić which you can reproduce by following the introduction on his website. The short …

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Roshambo Retro Gaming Console Kit Features Rock64 or RockPro64 Board

Roshambo Pro Retro Gaming Console

Recalbox, Lakka TV, Retro Arena, and Batocera are some of the retro gaming distributions optimized to run on development boards. You can install those by yourself, and enclose the board is any case, but if you want something more fancy, Cloud Media is now selling Roshambo retro gaming kit based on Rock64 (RK3328) or RockPro64 (RK3399) SBC’s. Roshambo and RoshamboPro retro gaming kits are compatible with respectively Rock64 and RockPro64 boards, come with a shell with carrier board, power supply, cooling fan (Pro model only) and support cables. The kits support 256GB or 512GB SSD cartridges provided by the company, and optional game controllers with analog triggers and buttons are also available for purchase. Pine64 Rock64 / RockPro64 boards are compatible with Recalbox, Lakka TV, Retro Arena, and Batocera distributions, but bear in mind ROMs are not provided, so you’d have to install your own, or play free games only. There are five kits to build your own Rock64 / …

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Batocera.Linux OS Combines Kodi & Retro Gaming for Raspberry Pi & ODROID Boards

batocera.linux

There are already several ways to run retro games on development boards, with for example RetroPie, and derivatives like RetrOrangePi, Lakka and Recalbox. Batocera.Linux is another option that I had never heard about so far, and works on PCs, as well as Raspberry Pi and ODROID boards, with ODROID-N2 support having been added very recently. batocera.linux operating system can easily be run from a USB flash drive on your computer without altering your existing OS, while it will boot from a standard microSD card on Raspberry Pi and ODROID boards. Beside retro-gaming support, the OS also includes Kodi media center for playing videos, or listening to music. You may even play games in it since retro-gaming support was added in Kodi 18. The partial compatibility table above shows all platforms have a different level of support, and for Intel hardware support more emulators than Arm based boards. The Orange arrow means it works but performance is poor, and the yellow …

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GameShell Kit Review – Part 2: An Hackable Retro Gaming Console

Gameshell Review

ClockworkPi GameShell is an hackable retro gaming console combining Arm Linux and Arduino boards that happens to come in kit form, and that’s lot of fun to assemble as we’ve seen in the first part of the review of ClockworkPi GameShell. Since then I’ve had time to have more fun, play some games, and experiment with the device, so I’ll report my experience and point out the good parts, as well as some of the shortcomings I came across. We can press the power button to start it up, and after a few seconds we get to the main menu with several icons including… the self-describing Settings, Retro Games with MAME, MGBA, NESTOPIA, and PCxs emulators that require your own ROMs/BIOS, as well as Indie Games with ready to play games like OpenTyrian spaceship shooting game, or NyanCat. Moving on to the right of the menu we’ve got the famous RetroArch emulator that allows you to easily download cores, Cave …

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Wechip R69 Allwinner H3 TV Box goes for $19 Shipped

Wechip R69

A few years ago, it was relatively easy to purchase sub $20 TV boxes with some patience, but with the increase in RAM and flash prices, it’s been more difficult to find those ultra-cheap TV boxes. It turns out there’s such a deal now on Aliexpress where Wechip R69 TV box is sold for just $18.99 shipped. Now with an Allwinner H3 processor, 1GB RAM, and 8GB flash, I would not necessarily recommend such device for your media needs, but they can be useful for some specific use cases like a simple digital signage, or even to run Linux with some efforts. Wechip R69 also looks to be similar to Sunvell R69 TV box that is officially supported by RetroOrangePi, but with the pin-to-pin compatible Allwinner H2 processor, so it could make an inexpensive retro gaming console as well. Wechip R69 specifications: SoC – Allwinner H3 quad-core Cortex A7 processor with Mali-400MP2 GPU System Memory – 1GB DDR3 Storage – …

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Kodi 18 “Leia” Released Ahead of FOSDEM 2019

Kodi 18 Leia

As one should have expected based on the abstract of the upcoming Kodi presentation at FOSDEM 2019, Kodi 18 “Leia” has just been released a few days before the 2-day open source developer event. It’s been nearly two years since the release of Kodi 17 “Krypton”, and it took a little longer than initially expected for Kodi 18 to become stable enough for an official since there have been so many changes including half a million lines of code added by 36 open source developers, close to 10,000 commits for almost 9,000 changed files. Some of the improvements in Kodi 18 include: Retroplayer gaming with support for gaming emulators, ROMs and game controls. Digital Rights Management (DRM) decryption support to play subscription content Improved Music Library with better filtering, faster API access, and more Live TV improvements including support for new back-ends like Zattoo, Teleboy, and Sledovanitv.cz, as well as enhanced EPG and PVR support among other things. Binary addon support …

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