Play thousands of retrogames with this DIY table arcade game player

[This post is sponsored by Glowforge. To get $100 off a Glowforge Basic, $250 off a Glowforge Plus, or $500 off a Glowforge Pro use the link]

My 15-year-old daughter and I love retro video games. We often go a retro video game arcade in Pasadena, California, and we also play a lot of computer games from the 1980s and 1990s. We thought it would be fun to build a dedicated machine at home that we could use to play these retro games.

After a bit of online searching, we found out it’s easy to use a Raspberry Pi, which is a $35 single board computer the size of a credit card, along with a free Linux based operating system called RetroPie that has emulators for every arcade and console imaginable. We could use a Raspberry Pi and RetroPie to play every arcade game we want. And with our Glowforge laser cutter, we could easily make an arcade cabinet for ourselves as well quickly make them for friends and family.

In this 2-part video series, which was underwritten by our friends at Glowforge, I’m going to show you how we did it.

Parts and Materials

First, we bought all the parts and materials we needed to make the cabinet. We got a Raspberry Pi Model 3 B+, a 32GB MicroSD card, a power supply, a 10-inch HDMI monitor, a set of arcade buttons and a joystick, a pair of speakers, some cables and a box of various machine screws and nuts and standoffs. Read the rest

Cool Raspberry Pi retro-game player

Love Hultén makes beautiful game devices based on the Raspberry Pi and RertroPie. His latest design, which has a speckly textured finish, is called the Geoboi. Read the rest

If you want a large, cheap display for your Raspberry Pi, here's a good one

I use an Acer 25-inch monitor with my Macbook Pro and like it a lot. This 21-inch model (920 x 1080) is a highly rated sub-100 dollar model, and is perfect for people who want a large monitor for their Raspberry Pi, perhaps to play retro-games. Read the rest

Karaoke casemod: it's surprisingly easy to hook up a karaoke machine's CRT to a Raspberry Pi

Brett writes, "As a critique of the IoT buzz, I hacked a portable karaoke machine, stuffed a Raspberry Pi in it, connected it to the internet, and installed Docker on it." (tl;dr: he needed a portable CRT for an installation, found one embedded in a thrift-store karaoke machine, and got it wired up to the Raspi on the first try and discovered it made a perfect and delightful casemod). Read the rest

Mice can get into amazingly tight spaces

I spent the last few days fighting off a mouse infestation in our RV. So far I've trapped and tossed six of the furry little bastards out on their asses. As I began the search for where they were getting into our rig, yesterday, I got to wondering how much space they can actually squeeze through.

According to this video, I'm doomed. Read the rest

Count your bees with a Raspberry Pi and machine learning

Sure, you worry about your bees, what with colony collapse disorder, but they're hard to count! Read the rest

Linux for Makers, by Aaron Newcomb

I've had very little experience with Linux but now that I'm using Raspberry Pis (a cheap single board computer that runs Linux) I need to know how to use Linux. Online how-tos are good, but Linux for Makers, by Aaron Newcomb, is better. In fact, this book is pure gold. It assumes zero prior knowledge of Linux. Everything is clearly explained. I learned how to install Raspbian Linux on an SD Card (Raspberry Pis use SD cards as their hard drive), log the output of a script, schedule jobs with cron, use lots of different commands, write scripts, use PI with IFTTT, and lots more.

Read the rest

Free PDF download of MagPi, a magazine about Raspberry Pi projects

Raspberry Pi is a credit card sized (or smaller) Linux computer that costs about $35 (you also need a monitor, a keyboard, SD card, and power source). The organization that developed it is called the Raspberry Pi foundation and they publish an excellent project magazine called MagPi. The PDF version is free to download. Issue 69 just came out and it has some good projects:

Affordable 3D printing. Buy your first 3D printer and use a Raspberry Pi with OctoPrint to control it. Set up Bluetooth on a Raspberry Pi and use it to stream music to your speakers. New Google AIY kits. Discover the latest Voice and Vision kits. Now with Pi Zero WH included! Transform a retro cam. Turn a classic Kodak Brownie camera into a modern digicam using a Camera Module. Make a Pi Zero TV Stick. Upgrade any TV into a PC with a modified Pi Zero W. Read the rest

A Raspberry Pi-powered Rubik’s cube-solving robot

This week on Maker Update: a Pi-powered Rubik’s cube-solving robot, hacking your own tabletop pinball machine, a look at Fiber Fix tape, and a new issue of Make magazine. This week’s Cool Tool is Fiber Fix repair tape. Read the rest

Excellent new project book: Creative Projects with Raspberry Pi

The Raspberry Pi is a credit card sized Linux computer that costs about $30 (some versions are only $10). Because they are cheap, tiny, and versatile, they are an excellent basis for lots of different projects. Creative Projects with Raspberry Pi (out today!) by Kirsten Kearney and Will Freeman is loaded with build instructions, resources, and pointers to a bunch of cool projects: coffee roasters, weather stations, mobile phones, handheld gaming consoles -- 35 in all. The photos are big and clear, and the introduction at the beginning will get Raspberry newbies up to speed.

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The joy of troubleshooting the Raspberry Pi

In his Lifehacker essay looking back on his five years of tinkering with the Raspberry Pi, Thorin Klosowski says one of the desirable features of the Pi is the fact that it's not easy to use right out of the box.


The joy I get from finding a solution to some dumb problem is one of the main things that drew me to the Raspberry Pi to begin with. Thankfully, Raspberry Pi projects have gotten easier over the years. Where it was once a complicated process to build an SD card, it’s now pretty much automatic. Still, the Raspberry Pi is far, far away from being as user friendly as a PC or Mac. That’s a feature, not a bug. The Raspberry Pi is built to force you to learn troubleshooting, and that’s still one of my favorite things about it.

Before hobbyists latched onto the Raspberry Pi, it was a computer for learning how to code targeted mainly at kids. Since then, the appeal has broadened, but it’s still impossible for a project to “just work” out of the box. You will have to tweak something, dig into the command line, or spend a few hours buried in an obscure internet forum to find solutions to problems that only you seem to be having. You will slam your head against the wall, yell a little, and throw your Raspberry Pi at least once for every project you attempt to make.

For every project you complete, for every bug you squash, and for every typo you correct, comes a small, glowing feeling inside your stomach that is well worth the trouble of it all.

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RetroConnector makes tiny replica vintage computers to house tiny modern miniature computers

RetroConnector (aka Charles Mangin) makes tiny Raspberry Pi cases in the form of mininature reproductions of Apple IIs, Lisas and Atari XLs—and more besides. The pitch is simple: "Connect your old Apple computer to new computers and peripherals. Outfit your desk with nostalgic miniatures." Read the rest

Raspberry Pi revolutionized arcade game emulation, here's how to get started

Jeff Atwood (coincidentally the cocaine-dusted, AK-toting godfather of our comment system) writes at length about the absolutely fabulous things that the tiny, supremely adaptable Raspberry Pi computers have done for the emulation scene. His posting doubles as a useful how-to for those unfamiliar with the drill.

1. The ascendance of Raspberry Pi has single-handedly revolutionized the emulation scene. 2. Chinese all-in-one JAMMA cards are available everywhere for about $90. 3. Cheap, quality arcade size IPS LCDs of 18-23".

This is most definitely the funnest and cheapest way to get into arcade emulation when you want to step beyond apps. If you're not into messing around with linux and configuration files and whatnot, an Intel Compute Stick (which comes with Windows) is a more expensive but easier path than a Pi. But you'll still have to deal with the hardware. Read the rest

New Raspberry Pi 3 — speedier, with built-in Wi-Fi and Bluetooth LE

The Raspberry Pi got a major upgrade. The third revision of this tiny, $35 Linux computer is 50% faster than the Raspberry Pi 2 and has built-in Wi-Fi and Bluetooth LE. Alasdair Allan of MAKE has a good first look at the board.

MAKE: Meet the New Raspberry Pi 3 — A 64-bit Pi with Built-in Wireless and Bluetooth LE

Here's Eben Upton, founder of Raspberry Pi, talking to MAKE about the Pi 3:

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Help convince LEGO to produce "Lovelace and Babbage" play set / Raspberry Pi case

This delightful Lovelace & Babbage Analytical Engine is gathering support on LEGO Ideas (formerly CUUSOO) where the community can up-vote fan-made play sets into consideration for production.

Featuring Lada Ada Lovelace and Charles Babbage, this set pays beautiful, Victorian tribute to their collaboration on the mechanical general-purpose computer of his design, including her pioneering work in creating the algorithm that would be used to program it.


What's more, the lovely, monochromatic Analytical Engine model can be used to house a Raspberry Pi Linux computer. Swoon.

Creator Stewart Lamb Cromar also proposes two bonus sets, an "Ada Junior Classroom" and a "Babbage Tea Party".

If you're interested in making this set a reality, please head to LEGO Ideas and support the project. Currently at around 3000 votes, they require 10,000 to be reviewed by LEGO for possible production.

Lovelace ande LEGO Ideas set  Read the rest

Official case for your Raspberry Pi

For three years, makers have hacked together some terrific and janky DIY Raspberry Pi cases (like these). Finally, Ebon Upton and the Raspberry Pi Foundation have produced their own official Raspberry Pi case. Read the rest

Adventure Time's BMO made from Raspberry Pi

From MAKE: this cute BMO replica with a Raspberry Pi brain. Read the rest

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