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wizzel
Mar 31, 2018

The Future of Amibian...?!

13 comments

Hi Gunnar,

first i'd like to say that i appreciate all the hard work that has been put into Amibian by

you and the testers. We can't be thankful enough for Amibian!

 

Recently i was thinking about what to do with my 2 Raspi Pie 3's and

it came to my mind that one Raspi should be a fully fledged recalbox for all the Console/Arcade stuff and the 2nd Pi should be a fully Fledged Retro Computer

in a FUZE Case just booting up into the systems (with no games) and i put Amibian on it...

 

That's when i asked myself: "Is there a Distro anywhere in the world where one can simply choose his favorite Computer System and boot right into it?" And the answer was:

"Amibian". Well, sort of...

 

Amibian can boot into Amiga, C64, ZX Spectrum and ScummVM, right now.

But Gunnar, this is a chance that comes once in a lifetime!

 

How about expanding Amibian (in the distant future) to a full Retro Computing Platform?

What i like to see (or others, too?), would be Amiga/Atari ST, C64/Amstrad CPC/Atari 800XL and DOSBox in one Package and then slowly expanding upon that.

 

A dream would be to have - let's say an "Emulation Station" with these systems to be selected with the arrow keys/Joypad and upon pressing <Enter> it would boot right into the selected system. In the Options one could select a system to boot directly into or boot into the menu.

 

So, i know this is all a pretty far fetched dream and it's just an edgy sketch of what Amibian COULD be in the future, but i felt the need to post this vision here.

 

Why? Because NOBODY! (AFAIK) has ever done that for the Raspi. There is no Retro Computing Platform/Distro for it. All that exists are pre-build images for Atari ST, ZX Spectrum, C64 and a few others. But let's face it: What we really need is to put all Computers into ONE SINGLE CONVIENIENT to handle DISTRO. Nobody likes to play DJ on changing microSD-Cards these days.

 

We need some sort of "RetroPie/recalbox"-Project but JUST FOR OUR BELOVED COMPUTER SYSTEMS!

 

So what are your thoughts on this topic Gunnar? Do you believe it could be done in the distant future? Maybe with more help from the community out there?

Or do you know anyone who's working on this? Maybe i have overlooked something?

 

Thanks for readling this looong post.

 

Gordon

Gunnar
Apr 2, 2018

Aren't you just describing retropi ? I havnt tryed retropi so I'm not sure.

wizzel
Apr 2, 2018

No... RetroPie is for launching Games (ROMs) from a gazillion systems. Just for playing Arcade/Console stuff. I know that it supports Computers, too but that's not what i'm talking about.

What i mean is that we need to combine all Distros with Computer Emulators into one.

That Distro would bring up a menu (just like in Combian64 2.7) and the user selects it's favourite Computer System. Just like Amibian but with more Emulators!

nilly667
Apr 6, 2018

Please don't, there is plenty of images emulating all kinds of systems in the one setup. Stay with Amiga emulation, and i do like the addition of C64 but keeping that as a addon is preferable.

 

And wizzel retropie is what you'r talking about, or lakka and some more i dont remember the name of, just add the roms for the systems you would like to pop up in the menu. Just add roms for the computer type emulators and you'r all set.

wizzel
Apr 7, 2018

Puh..., what can i say to describe it right... I'm NOT talking about RetroPie. RetroPie is for launching ROMs/Games and NOT for booting up DIRECTLY into Computer Systems.

 

I know that you could only add your favourite Systems to RetroPie, but then again you need to select a ROM/Game and that's not what i want. I want to boot into each Computers GUI (GEM/Basic/Amiga OS etc.).

 

What I don't want is another "select your rom to play a game" system. But i do want something like Amibian with more added Computer Emulators and maybe a bit more fancy GUI (not the average text menu). I know this can be achieved with Emulation Station, but technically i don't know how to do that.

 

I'm planning to buy the only "Computer Case" for the Raspi and have it running such a Distro.

Take a look here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g_tffjnvUAw

 

All Distros that i know of are just for selecting and playing Games, except Amibian/Combian.

And i'm also aware that this could be done with Raspbian Stretch, too, but i'm talking about something

that looks and feels like Emulation Station.

 

@Gunnar: Maybe you could start by ripping off Combians Text GUI? It's a bit more sorted ;)

 

 

Gunnar
Apr 7, 2018

It was a plan to use the combian menu system, since combian is made from amibian and the maker of it is my friend. But honestly I like the menu as it is, reminds me of the old days.

wizzel
Apr 7, 2018

I'm totally fine with the menu and if you don't want to change it. As long as you keep updating/adding new Emulators to Amibian the menu won't be a big deal.

 

Thanks again Gunnar for creating Amibian. Without it, the Pi-World wouldn't be the same!

nilly667
Apr 7, 2018

I get exactly what you mean :). You dont have to start emulators right into a game with retropie, a few scripts and you could get exactly what you want, i DONT see this as the future of Amibian, Amiga is the future of Amibian :) And i hope Gunnar feels the same ;). Either way i've been longing for building a dist for RPi for awhile, we could do a collab and do something with Emustation if you want?

wizzel
Apr 7, 2018

Yes, i'd love to do that little "Retro Computer Distro"-thing in EmulationStation, but i don't know any internals of how to setup these scripts etc. Maybe you have some links for first-timers like me on how to setup some basic stuff in EmuStation? RetroPie isn't my cup of tea, but i know that it's the only Distro to make it happen (at least if you want a nice GUI, right?).

nilly667
Apr 7, 2018

We should continue this discussion elsewhere, as it ain't really about Amibian anymore!, i'm more of a programmer/designer, graphics isnt my strong side at all. And if we should go about this we would need some custom graphics, using available retropie art just wont cut it. How are you with artsy skills?

 

And best way to learn, i would say look at how others have done :).

wizzel
Apr 7, 2018Edited: Apr 7, 2018

Yes, i have some basic Photoshop skills and a little bit of VB6. Scripts and .BATches nothing new to me, either. Built my own recalbox-collection, so... you have the coding skills, let's give it a try. Can i PM you? (Can't find a way of doing so at this board??)

nilly667
Apr 9, 2018

Have a look at ChameleonPI, it is a classic computer dist, i might update Chameleon and add uae4arm instead of compiling a new dist.

wizzel
Apr 9, 2018

Just took a peek into ChameleonPi and i think it's a nice piece of work. There are 14 Computers to boot into, but 4 at least that only start with a chosen ROM file (file requester). The Project is old and we can for sure say it's somehow "abandoned". It's a good example of how this needs to be ported over to Raspbian Stretch. Despite the good ideas that lie beneath the project, there are a few issues:

 

1. The menu is python-based

2. The emulators are outdated

3. Configuring it is not very user friendly

4. Not compatible with the new B+

 

Although i read the documentation, i'm still too dumb to update the distro or the emus.

All this SSH/Samba Share sh*t makes me mad. RetroPie does it much simpler with just entering your Wifi conf. or use USB.

 

But knowing this was initially created for the Pi 1, it's simply amazing for it's time.

Maybe some day somebody ports this thing over to Raspian Stretch and EmulationStation/RetroArch.

And if one decides to do so, please take out the Arcade/Console emus. There's nothing better than recalbox or RetroPie for that purpose.

 

Your idea to put uae4arm into it is, let's say - not a good one. It makes no sense to throw new emus into and old distro (IMHO). That's why i opened this thread, hoped Gunnar and the community could develop

this thing (Chameleon? 1.0) in a more modern interpretation.

nilly667
Apr 10, 2018

Hi again, whats the problem exactly with a python gui?, i think it looks great and runs fine.

 

I have allready started to upgrade/porting chamaleonpi to stretch and, are updating the emulators and removing console emulators. also writing a small script to easily update the emulators later on from source.

 

I had before i stumbled upon chameleon started working on a small stretch install with emulationstation as gui, but i actually like chameloens simplistic gui more.

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