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ClassicGMR

Jumped into the Pi frenzy

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So I grabbed myself a Raspberry Pi 3b from fleabay a week ago. (Also got one for the missus as well...)

I installed RetroPie on it this morning... 3 times. First two times I did it something went wrong. First install got halfway through and corrupted. Not sure why. Second install *I* corrupted for lack of Linux knowledge. Silly me playing in the command system when I only know DOS commands. :)

Third time's the charm!! EVEN THOUGH it took me an hour to get the keyboard to stay on the US setting... I have a few systems loaded on the 32GB card and loading more now as I type. I also learned about Selph's superior scraper program and started getting info and artwork from the web. My XBox 360 Rock Candy controller is the perfect gamepad for this setup. I wish I had done this sooner!

Any advice for the newbie? :) What's your setup and experience with the Pi?
 

Quote

 

* Raspberry Pi 3b

* RetroPie 4.3

* 32GB EVO microSD-HC card

* Rock Candy XBox 360 controller

 

 

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Welcome aboard!  Create an account over at the RetroPie forums and post post post!  Anytime you have issues, try to be as descriptive as possible.  There's a lot of great guys over there, including me, who would be willing to help you out.  Their main website has a documents section, and it's really informative.

The #1 best advice I can give is to make lots of backups of your SD card.  Do one thing at a time and make a backup.  If you do something to screw up, you only have 1 thing to restore without having to start all over from scratch again.  I can't tell you how many times that saved me.  I keep at least 3 of the most recent backups.  That way if something doesn't go right, I can go back a couple backups in case the issue came from something further back. 

The Linux console can be very daunting.  But it's really not that bad, especially if you have DOS experience.  Many of the commands are the same.  LS instead of DIR is the biggest change.  The TAB key is very helpful in typing out long paths.  And then you use a lot of shorthand.. like MV for MOVE, etc.  The only thing I'm not comfortable with is writing my own scripts from scratch.  If I look at somebody else's work though, the flow of the script makes perfect sense to me.  I just wouldn't know where to start.  Luckily, most of the script work is already done at this stage of RetroPie's maturity.  You might just have to go in and manually tweak some things.  NANO is the built in text editor.  The other thing to know is that you're signed into the console as the user "Pi" and not as "ROOT" which would be like a Windows administrator.  Anything you need to do will probably require "SUDO" typed in first, meaning "as a super user, DO this"...  It's confusing at first, but I've gotten a little more comfortable with it since I've been playing around with it over a year.

Backup always!  The single best advice.  If you go in and start messing around with stuff, you'll absolutely hate yourself for not having a backup to restore from to bring your system back to the way it was when it was last working.

If I might recommend a few tools....   Win32DiskImager is what I use for backup/restore.  Putty is what I use to SSH (command line/console from your computer to the Pi).  WinSCP is what I use for SFTP to the Pi for transferring files.  Sure, you can use the default built in method of attaching a USB jump drive, but that takes time and effort.  Having everything stored on my computer, and just transmit over through SFTP allows me better control.

Once you get everything the way you like it, BACKUP AGAIN!!!  I actually perform a backup every couple of weeks, just to be safe.  SD cards are very fragile and can get corrupted very easily.  I backup my KODI box weekly too.  Can't be to careful, and you'll regret it if you spend a lot of time "building" just to have it crap out on you.

When I first started playing around with RetroPi, there was a "white screen of death" issue, where the EmulationStation frontend would run out of memory on the Pi to support more than like 5 gaming consoles installed.  Now, thanks to the opensource community and my beta testing (with others), we've fixed that!  There's been so many improvements and enhancements to RetroPie, it's an exciting time to jump on board!  Themes (I prefer the Comicbook theme), video snaps, custom collections, RetroAchievement support, Network play support (including internet, though I've not been able to get it to work for me), built-in leaderboard support (through RetroAchievements), etc.  

If you need some further advice or inspiration, have a look at my NintendoPi (or NESPI) project thread, or Felix's NEStalgia project thread.  We both spent some time and effort detailing our build progress and processes.  Might help you along the way.  And of course, you got your own thread here now too, so feel free to ask for help!

Don't forget to backup! :P  lol

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Personally, I use Recalbox. It's got a few less bells and whistles than retropie, but I like it. Think the main difference is themes and video snaps, but on systems with limited storage, I prefer not to have videos filling the space. 

https://www.recalbox.com/

Oh, if you also use recalbox, you can also use my windows app which greatly simplifies game management:

https://sites.google.com/view/magoarcade/software/recalboxer?authuser=0

Working hard on the next release which also includes ability to manage the metadata from the app - this also uses Selph Scraper to batch scrape and its own scraper for individual game scraping. 

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Wow this has been a fun few weeks. I can't remember the last time I spent so much time on a project I enjoyed. :)

My Retropie is about 75% finished as far as setup and BACKUPS(!!!) go. I still want to go through the systems and set up Box Art in the Marquee section. It looks pretty good with the systems I have done it for already. Everything has a video clip. I either downloaded it from Emumovies or chopped up a Youtube gameplay video. In some cases I found PSP trailers which is really nice. How about a commercial for your game instead of just a gameplay video?? I'm in!

Got my PS3 controller set up and persistent through reboots. Changed my intro splash screen to an awesome video I came across. I now have it booting to a 256GB USB drive instead of the 8GB SD card.

It did take me forever to figure out the PSOne emulation and get it to stop skipping and freezing. Smooth as ice now. :)

My favorite part of all of it so far? Destruction Derby 2(PS1) and Puzzle Quest(PSP) both work flawlessly! Accomplishments.... aaaaaahhhhhhhh.... so sweet. :)

Next up: powered USB hub and an XArcade Solo to house it all.

 

EDIT: INCREDIBLY pissed off right now. All I did was reboot the Pi - nothing else in the last few days at ALL - and I'm dealing with a "Kernel panic-not syncing: VFS: unable to mount root fs on unknown- block(179,6)" error. I'm about to test how small it actually is and flush it...

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I bought into the Retro Pi3 scene a while back and found it to be just OK. I only intended it for use with Retropie. The Pi3 is fine for what it can do, but I was disappointed with where the power level cut off. I also found it to be a little more finicky than I expected it. I saw many articles and forum posts that reinforced periodically backing up the image 'just in case' something goes wrong. For the Pi3, those are words to live by. Now, I just accept that sometimes bad things will happen and an occasional reload is the fix.

I am keeping my eye on the Odroid XU4 at the moment since it has quite a bit more juice than the Pi3; I just haven't decided if I want another project to throw my hat in on.

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I think it's just because of the hardware.  SD cards probably aren't designed to have power going to them all the time.  All the reads and writes happening to it also don't help it's longevity.  Still, it's a fun project to to do for sure!

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1 hour ago, hansolo77 said:

I think it's just because of the hardware.  SD cards probably aren't designed to have power going to them all the time.  All the reads and writes happening to it also don't help it's longevity.  Still, it's a fun project to to do for sure!

True. For around $70.00, it was something 'newish' to tinker with. It's been a long, looooong time since I fooled around with anything Linux based. Gotta admit that I felt a little more noobish than I expected.   :P

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10 hours ago, RedDog said:

I am keeping my eye on the Odroid XU4 at the moment since it has quite a bit more juice than the Pi3; I just haven't decided if I want another project to throw my hat in on.

+1 on the Odroid XU4. I've had 3 and all solid. That alongside RecalBox = a reliable combination. 

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3 hours ago, stigzler said:

+1 on the Odroid XU4. I've had 3 and all solid. That alongside RecalBox = a reliable combination. 

I may look into that. While I AM enjoying the Pi3 project the constant SD card corruptions are driving me batty. the eMMC option the ODROID offers seems like I would appreciate it more. Plus... who doesn't like more power?

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I also installed recalbox on a pi and had no problems... Think I chose my ad carefully though. Can look up which one if needed. Dunno if it's the image or card making the difference... 

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Did you buy a cheap SD card?  In my RetroPie machine, I'm using SanDisk.  It's been solid since I installed it almost 2 years ago.  On my dedicated Kodi box, I've got a cheapy MicroCenter brand card.  Literally, MicroCenter sells store brand 32gb cards for $9.99.  For Kodi, $.99 for a 4gb card is good enough.  I've not had to replace it yet, but do regular backups just in case.  I can afford $.99 for a new one.  But for a system like RetroPie that demands performance and solidity, I've gone with a more expensive, better quality card.

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I've had really good luck with Samsung Evo Select cards too, the read write speeds are phenomenal. The 128 was a tad pricy but worth the investment.

 

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I bought this at work today. This will be (probably) my last attempt at running the Pi. :P

SanDisk 32GB card

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Well then...may the force be with you....always...

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Well I can already tell the difference on this card vs the previous two. Setting up video snaps was much faster, the videos load faster, they SEEM smoother (that could just be me though) and I have abused the card somewhat. Nothing bad has happened at all. Backing up the image as we speak. :)

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oops RedDog, Yoda, I mean, you must thank..

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Backups are key! :)

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backup-infographic-hero-313x313.jpg

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It's true though.  It's such a simple thing to do too.  A quick backup of your SD card can really make you glad if you screw something up.  Especially when playing around in an OS you're not familiar with.  Saved me lots of times.

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Someone should recommend backups or something...

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31 minutes ago, stigzler said:

Someone should recommend backups or something...

Hadn't heard that...

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We do not train to be merciful here.

Backups are for the weak. Here, in the streets, and in competition. An SD card confronts you, it's the enemy. The enemy deserves no mercy.

What's the problem Mr. Lawrence?

 

mercy-is-for-the-weak.jpg

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"Sweep the leg!"

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Yeah so I have been contemplating buying a 3rd board to use in a different project now that I have this stable. (Wife stole 2nd board for her own use :) )

SOOOOOooooooooo........ Since I was spending the money anyway I bought a Pi 3B+. Should be here today. Now I just need to wait for them to develop the newer RetroPie build. Apparently this board either won't run on Jessie or just doesn't like it but now it needs Stretch. I already bought a 5v/3A power adapter so now this board will get that one.

Bah... who cares? I have the new board coming and will be ready to go when they release! MWUAHAHAHAHAHA!!!

EDIT: ALL RIGHT!!! Got my package yesterday afternoon... I ordered a Pi B+ instead of a Pi 3B+. Stupid fast fingers ordering before reading thoroughly. So that one is going back and the new one is already on order. Should have it Thursday-ish. Revel in my stupidity!! I know I am...

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So I got a very nice surprise yesterday. My Pi 3B+ came in already! It only shipped from Massachusetts so being only one state away I got it in 2 days. :)

Here's my post from Atari Age on the things I noticed so far:

Quote

First off I have never O/C'd the 3B and I am not doing it to the 3B+ either(yet?) so stock 1.2GHz and 1.4GHz respectively. The RAM is the same at 1GB and the GPU is the same as well.

Here's some better data than the "It's awesome and better than buttered toast!!" posting I put up last night:

Right out of the gate let me say this: I guess a small 200MHz increase can make a difference. icon_smile.gif

Boot times (started timer as soon as I pushed the power button):

3B+

32GB card and RetroPie 4.3.15 image only - 24sec

32GB card and 256GB USB (90GB used) - 1min 45sec

 

3B

32GB card and RetroPie 4.3 image only - 25sec

32GB card and 256GB USB (90GB used) - 2min 4sec

 

PS1 Destruction Derby 2 and Gran Turismo 2 ran flawlessly as long as you didn't use vibration feedback. On the 3B I would get a frame hesitation here and there - extremely minor almost not worth mentioning. On the 3B+ there was nothing TO mention. I saw nothing. Smooth running. icon_smile.gif

 

The scraper did MUCH better on the 3B+. Last time I set up I used the built-in scraper from the menu and scraped 41 Playstation games. I watched an episode of Friends on Netflix and started a 2nd before I finished. On the 3B+ I did all of them in 5min 27sec. The WiFi is vastly improved on the 3B+ and it shows.

 

PING yahoo.com on 3B: avg 65.405 ms with 20 packets sent 0% loss

PING yahoo.com on 3B+: avg 32.190 ms with 21 packets sent 0% loss

 

On a personal note I have 2 PS3 controllers - one white and one black. I already paired the black one with the 3B. I left that alone and paired the white one with the 3B+. Nice to have and easily differentiated!

 

As an aside: HOLY HELL IN A HANDBASKET! I can boot from a USB stick or drive instead of investing in crappy SD cards??

 

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