PiPOD

Arc/RPCs, peripherals, RISCOS operating system & ARM kit eg GP2x, BeagleBoard
JonC
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PiPOD

Postby JonC » Wed Dec 07, 2016 7:12 pm

Happy nearly Christmas folks,

So, I noticed this appear on ebay a few weeks back and became really excited thinking that someone had managed to route the Arc's I/O through to a PI so we could all benefit from modern storage/network etc.

However after a bit of reading I don't think that's the case.

Anyone clarify if this does or could do Arc I/O?

Cheers

Jon
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danielj
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Re: PiPOD

Postby danielj » Wed Dec 07, 2016 7:24 pm

I'm utterly confused. It's totally unclear what it's actually doing, the actual website doesn't make it any clearer. It's either piping video output from the RiscPC into a window, or it's running Aemulator under RiscOS on the PI and mounting the RiscPC's drives over the network? It makes absolutely no sense whatsoever!

d.

steve3000
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Re: PiPOD

Postby steve3000 » Wed Dec 07, 2016 8:03 pm

When I first read about this, I thought it would be something hardwired to the RiscPC, possibly using the DMA lines in the podule bus - which could be really interesting to play with (but would also have been expensive to build and would have required custom driver software).

However, after several reads-through of the pipod webpage, I came to the conclusion it is just a Pi running RISC OS 5, with some network based screen/input sharing software (VNC?) and ShareFS to share the drives of the host computer...

The requirement mentioned is that both the host and Pi have their own network connections on the same network... and the webpage says all software is already available on the Internet (so presumably no custom driver). Also I can't see any way they connect other than via a network...

So not a hardwired super I/O replacement, just two separate computers on a local network :(

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BigEd
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Re: PiPOD

Postby BigEd » Wed Dec 07, 2016 8:05 pm

(Crossed in the post - I think we have the same conception of what it is)

I get the impression that the host machine (with the podule bay) is just supplying power and space for the Pi. The Pi is running some flavour of RISCOS and is on your network, and the host machine runs the same RISCOS you had originally, with the extra trick of opening a window to the network-connected Pi.

It's a Pi-based RISCOS remote-viewable on your Acorn RISCOS machine, and housed inside it.

steve3000
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Re: PiPOD

Postby steve3000 » Wed Dec 07, 2016 8:20 pm

BigEd wrote:I get the impression that the host machine (with the podule bay) is just supplying power and space for the Pi.

Which isn't necessarily a bad thing if you're short on desk space...and don't mind switching on your RiscPC every time you want to use your Pi... :)

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danielj
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Re: PiPOD

Postby danielj » Wed Dec 07, 2016 8:34 pm

Who is RiscOsBits then? :?

hubersn
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Re: PiPOD

Postby hubersn » Wed Dec 07, 2016 8:49 pm

steve3000 wrote:
BigEd wrote:I get the impression that the host machine (with the podule bay) is just supplying power and space for the Pi.

Which isn't necessarily a bad thing if you're short on desk space...and don't mind switching on your RiscPC every time you want to use your Pi... :)


Ah, but if you are short on desk space, you should probably just can the Risc PC and use the Pi exclusively - ArchiEmu and Aemulor should cater for the compatibility issues.

Have fun
hubersn

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BigEd
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Re: PiPOD

Postby BigEd » Wed Dec 07, 2016 9:01 pm

danielj wrote:Who is RiscOsBits then? :?

See here: http://www.riscository.com/tag/andy-marks/
"Acorn and RISC OS Spares and Extras"

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riscosbits
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Re: PiPOD

Postby riscosbits » Wed Dec 07, 2016 10:00 pm

danielj wrote:Who is RiscOsBits then? :?


:-

I am!

And yes, you're kind of all right! It definitely isn't some kind of SuperPodule to marry up the RiscPC and Pi architecture in any kind of proper way - I'm just not that clever. And I couldn't afford to get someone to develop it. And I'm not sure there'd be any kind of market for it at the price it'd probably cost for the numbers it'd sell. So, no. It's not that! Sorry!

It does just utilise VNC to allow the Acorn to run inside a window under RISC OS 5 on a Pi. Obviously you could do it the other way around, but that would be silly and very cramped, and kind of missing the point. It uses the obvious ShareFS to move files between the two systems, too, because it simply "just works".

I could have powered it from the backplane or even the co-processor slot (as has been done) but that's just adding unnecessary cost to the hardware - it made more sense to split 5v off a molex into a MicroUSB. Much more in line with my soldering skills.

And you could just can the RiscPC and use the Pi instead but where's the fun in that? Bizarrely, some people want absolute compatibility with older software - the stuff that Aemulor doesn't cope with, or that requires specific hardware so this simply gives them a way to interchange between RO3/4/6 and 5 inside windows using the same monitor, which I don't believe ArcEm can do. It also opens up the Acorn to modern monitors, and USB stuff, albeit over a VNC connection.

If nothing else, you can consider it an overpriced KVM with the ability to read USB sticks on the Acorn. Or an underpriced hardware version of VirtualRPC in reverse that doesn't need an unlock code! :lol:

I made it for myself, but it was easy enough to get quite a few carrier plates made as it was to get just the one, so I thought "why not?" - for some people who've since bought one, it's given them the opportunity to prod about with what feels like ultra-fast RISC OS 5 without losing compatibility with that dongle/podule/laser direct printer (!), and for others (including me) it's allowed them to bring their Acorn era stuff out of the closet, dust it off, and enjoy it again! I currently can't get "Three Blind Mice" out of my head after playing Oh No! More Lemmings!

If anyone wants to develop a proper PiPodule, I'm in the market for one though!

Andy

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danielj
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Re: PiPOD

Postby danielj » Wed Dec 07, 2016 10:10 pm

=D>
:D Hello Andy. Thank you for removing my confusion! It all makes sense now. I'm going to stick with:
Or an underpriced hardware version of VirtualRPC in reverse that doesn't need an unlock code! :lol:


:)

d.

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riscosbits
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Re: PiPOD

Postby riscosbits » Wed Dec 07, 2016 10:23 pm

I think one of the things that struck me when I only recently discovered these forums (fora?) is that some of the people here have forgotten more about Acorns and the hardware/software than I will ever know, and yet, whilst being nowhere near in the same league, I can get RISC OS to do things easily that some other users really struggle with. Sometimes people need stuff to be pre-configured for them so that they don't have to dabble in Dark Arts, and that's what I tried to do with the PiPOD - I just tried to make it easy for people to try newer hardware who would otherwise stick with what they know until it dies on them and then just give up on it all completely.

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BigEd
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Re: PiPOD

Postby BigEd » Thu Dec 08, 2016 10:16 am

I'm afraid I'm still a little unclear on the setup. Does the host machine keep its keyboard and screen, and the Pi runs headless and accessed by VNC? Or is it the other way around?

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riscosbits
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Re: PiPOD

Postby riscosbits » Thu Dec 08, 2016 12:09 pm

BigEd wrote:I'm afraid I'm still a little unclear on the setup. Does the host machine keep its keyboard and screen, and the Pi runs headless and accessed by VNC? Or is it the other way around?


You CAN do it that way if you like but the graphics restrictions on the Acorn mean that you'd be cramming a potentially very high resolution display into a window on a much lower resolution system.

By running the Pi as the main system, you can run the Acorn at full resolution in a window on the Pi display. That way it opens up to opportunity to use modern 1080p monitors. And abandon your old Acorn keyboard and quadrature mouse in the cupboard in favour of nice new USB jobs connected to the Pi and controlling your Acorn in that window.

Hope that helps.

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BigEd
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Re: PiPOD

Postby BigEd » Thu Dec 08, 2016 12:12 pm

Thanks!

hubersn
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Re: PiPOD

Postby hubersn » Thu Dec 08, 2016 2:34 pm

riscosbits wrote:And you could just can the RiscPC and use the Pi instead but where's the fun in that?


Using an array of emulators is also fun, but a completely different kind of fun :D

riscosbits wrote:Bizarrely, some people want absolute compatibility with older software - the stuff that Aemulor doesn't cope with, or that requires specific hardware so this simply gives them a way to interchange between RO3/4/6 and 5 inside windows using the same monitor, which I don't believe ArcEm can do.


ArcEm cannot, but ArchiEmu can. And the "absolute software compatibility" point is also discussable, because Risc PC's compatibility is limited by VNC and compared to ArchiEmu worse wrt pre-RISC OS 3.5 software.

And of course the Pi has the brilliant ADFFS for the retro gaming experience!

riscosbits wrote:It also opens up the Acorn to modern monitors


Ah, I thought every serious Risc PC owner already has one of the DVI ViewFinders, which allows connection to nearly every modern monitor :evil:

riscosbits wrote:I currently can't get "Three Blind Mice" out of my head after playing Oh No! More Lemmings!


Playing games via VNC? Can't believe that works in an acceptable way.

Have fun
hubersn

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riscosbits
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Re: PiPOD

Postby riscosbits » Fri Dec 09, 2016 5:12 pm

hubersn wrote:
riscosbits wrote:And you could just can the RiscPC and use the Pi instead but where's the fun in that?


Using an array of emulators is also fun, but a completely different kind of fun :D

riscosbits wrote:Bizarrely, some people want absolute compatibility with older software - the stuff that Aemulor doesn't cope with, or that requires specific hardware so this simply gives them a way to interchange between RO3/4/6 and 5 inside windows using the same monitor, which I don't believe ArcEm can do.


ArcEm cannot, but ArchiEmu can. And the "absolute software compatibility" point is also discussable, because Risc PC's compatibility is limited by VNC and compared to ArchiEmu worse wrt pre-RISC OS 3.5 software.

And of course the Pi has the brilliant ADFFS for the retro gaming experience!


Very good point! After a lot of searching, I've managed to track down ArchiEmu and I like it! It's very good. And fun! Albeit a completely different kind of fun! :wink:

I've also allocated a portion of my weekend to having a look at ADFFS. I've seen it mentioned and not really ever explored it, so thanks for prompting me on that one.

hubersn wrote:Ah, I thought every serious Risc PC owner already has one of the DVI ViewFinders, which allows connection to nearly every modern monitor :evil:


I've only recently managed to bag one of those new-fangled VGA Viewfinders! I think my Iyonix got in the way of buying one all those years ago. For me that's what my PiPOD did - make me re-love my RiscPC! And spend money on it. And the ViewFinder gives me a better resolution in the window on my PiPOD! :o

hubersn wrote:Playing games via VNC? Can't believe that works in an acceptable way.


You might be right - I've just realised I was playing that on ArcEm. On a PC. Oops.

:-

Andy

Zarchos
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Re: PiPOD

Postby Zarchos » Fri Apr 28, 2017 7:02 pm

Hi all.

I'd like to know if this PiPOD works a treat for example to download stuff from the web and move it to the host machine.
It would be my main reason to buy it, and install it in an a5000.

Trapper
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Re: PiPOD

Postby Trapper » Fri Sep 01, 2017 3:15 pm

With the same logic why even buy a Raspberry Pi? Just install VNC server onto your RISC PC and use your PC to access it.

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riscosbits
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Re: PiPOD

Postby riscosbits » Tue Oct 24, 2017 8:46 am

Zarchos wrote:
I'd like to know if this PiPOD works a treat for example to download stuff from the web and move it to the host machine.


Absolutely. It automatically sets up a ShareFS share on the Pi, that would be accessible to the "host" machine in the usual ShareFS way. The issue might be getting VNC Server to run on RISC OS <= 3.5 as I don't have the capability to test that. It certainly does it smoothly on 3.5 and above.

Obviously the whole thing relies on functioning networking, but it would deprecate the need for internet access on the host machine.

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riscosbits
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Re: PiPOD

Postby riscosbits » Tue Oct 24, 2017 8:47 am

Trapper wrote:With the same logic why even buy a Raspberry Pi? Just install VNC server onto your RISC PC and use your PC to access it.


I'm an ARM purist!

As pure as I can be, anyway, limitations excepted. :wink:

Trapper
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Re: PiPOD

Postby Trapper » Tue Oct 24, 2017 7:26 pm

I'm just wondering out loud, but what does this do apart from provide a VNC server and viewer?

I assume unlike a Pi Zero it doesn't emulate co-processors?


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