Its been a little while since the thinkpad project was completed and the Raspberry Pi preview (some bits here May copy from that a little but now I have the Pi so lets get to this project.
The PI & Getting Things Ready
Like I said in the preview piece the project I am using a PI 3 B+ released in 2017 like the image one‚ it features a Bluetooth chipset and a 1.4GHZ Quad Core Broadcom arm based CPU which is more than enough to run most emulators with the exception of heavy ones such as Dreamcast‚ N64 and gamecube as they have complex cpu’s.
Thankfully i was able to track down everything I needed to start this project from the net as I mentioned in my preview piece.
Unlike the thinkpad restoration which runs windows and where I have the best part of 15-16 years background in from 3.1 to 10 I have never worked on a sbc before or really linux for that matter this was going to be challenging.
I could not believe how easy this was to get though i was half expecting to go through loads of github stuff‚ scream a bit and then finding
but no retropie has its own uk website and all i needed was one image file detailed as version for Pi 2&3 sitting at just over 600mb not a problem for the fibre internet I have access to at 200mbps
I thought even at this stage it was going too smoothly and it was‚ the guide for retropie recommends the formatting tool from the SD standards association site so I got it and ran it and no matter what I did it refused to format my micro sd card so I gave up with it and did a standard format which worked fine meltdown avoided
with the formatting done I decided to stop for a bit and restart a bit later on the same day.
Etching the image and getting the first boot of RetroPie
I was at this point wondering why the program to write the image file was called etcher because all it was doing was writing a pretty standard image file to another source nothing special in that really. unlike the nightmare I had with the sd card formatting etcher was making things easy for me 3 simple steps here that I needed to do it even picked up the SD card as the location to extract the image to (this is the process i took to do this below)
with the flash completed I thought RetroPie was out of the box ready to go well not exactly I did not fully realise that I would need to configure joysticks and the Bluetooth as I thought they would have detected and configured automatically yeah… no
Retropie Booting up
The first boot of PI & Retro-Pie felt a bit like the first boot of the Thinkpad as I just did not know what was going to happen or if it would boot properly at all thankfully I did not need to worry because it booted up nicely.
So far so good I knew I would need the keyboard shortly as I said in my preview so I hooked it up to the usb port on the Pi it has 4 next to the Ethernet port which becomes useful later on and before I knew it this screen appeared
with this screen it was now time to get two important tools working to allow me to continue.
With the screen now up my internet connection detected by the pi so that i could start to download the packages to make this work as it was intended to time to head to the options
Thankfully again retropie is so well put together it explains what each option but it does not explain which one you need to use to get the WiFi option working everytime I pressed on WiFi option it told me the WiFi location had to be set first ugh.. and after reading the net I found out that I needed to run the Raspi-config tool first and in here I quickly found the WiFi country option and booted it.
finding what needed was pretty easy and using the keyboard it was straight forward searching the country list until I found the GB entry for the uk and selected it setting it to channel 11 and now I was able to get the Wifi menu to work and with it setup all was good and time to move onto networking.
By this point I had been working on the Pi for 5 hours straight and starting to get a little tired of just working on settings but one area I needed to get going before calling it a day was to get the network interface and SSH enabled I found this pretty easily by going back into the raspi-config like i did for setting up the wifi.
I had read up before I started the project on the networking side as I listed the software in the preview so it was simple to get this up and running.
SSH (Secure Shell) is what I needed from this list as it would allow me to remotely access my Pi from my pc this is where Putty comes in
With SSH activated I booted up Putty on my desktop pc to check it was all working and punched in my my retropie IP address and putty asked to confirm some security stuff I accepted and I was greeted with the username prompt and the password and that was that I was now greeted with the Pi’s command prompt
With this checked and working I was able to move to more fun things and that is all going to come in