Raspberry Pi Inside ?

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mph1708
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Raspberry Pi Inside ?

Postby mph1708 » Thu Jun 28, 2012 9:45 pm

After reading about somebody adding a Raspberry Pi to a microcontroller (Arduino) to
gain ethernet capability, because it was cheaper to buy than a purpose made add-on unit, it set me thinking about ways in which additional facilities could be added to an 8-bit machine by having a Raspberry Pi inside.
Given that the thinking behind the Raspberry Pi draws heavily on the 8-bit Acorn legacy, I think that bringing some Acorn inspired hardware to some genuine original
Acorn hardware has real possibilities.

MPH

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Re: Raspberry Pi Inside ?

Postby dangardner » Thu Jun 28, 2012 10:15 pm

I would love to see a 2nd processor based on the Raspberry Pi. I don't know if that's even possible but it would also be a great way to interface a Beeb to HDMI, USB and Ethernet for very low cost.

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Elminster
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Re: Raspberry Pi Inside ?

Postby Elminster » Fri Jun 29, 2012 11:35 pm

I was thinking along similar lines myself having ought a Master and a Pi around the sametime. Some ort of serial type interface between the user port ( which would be faster) and the gpio on the Pi must be doable.

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Re: Raspberry Pi Inside ?

Postby thecellartroll » Sat Jun 30, 2012 6:36 am

There must be a way to use it to add MMC mass storage to a range of 8-bit machines, or even something as powerful as the 1541-UII on the C64...

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Elminster
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Re: Raspberry Pi Inside ?

Postby Elminster » Sat Jun 30, 2012 8:34 am

thecellartroll wrote:There must be a way to use it to add MMC mass storage to a range of 8-bit machines, or even something as powerful as the 1541-UII on the C64...


You mean like boot from one partition on the PI and allow Beeb to use a spare partition on the SDC card?

I guess you would need it to do other things as well, as some of the MMC solutions already working that you can buy are around the same price. (This is assume you bought a Pi for that purpose, if you already have the Pi then it is a much easier choice).

I would think USB and MSM/SD storage would be another thing that wouldnt be to hard to do (for people with the time).

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Re: Raspberry Pi Inside ?

Postby jgharston » Sat Jun 30, 2012 3:52 pm

Elminster wrote:I was thinking along similar lines myself having ought a Master and a Pi around the sametime. Some ort of serial type interface between the user port (which would be faster) and the gpio on the Pi must be doable.
I'm waiting for my Pi, and this is exactly what I'm planning, I've got ARM Serial Tube client sitting waiting to be tested.

Code: Select all

$ bbcbasic
PDP11 BBC BASIC IV Version 0.25
(C) Copyright J.G.Harston 1989,2005-2015
>_

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Re: Raspberry Pi Inside ?

Postby Danj » Mon Jul 02, 2012 6:17 pm

thecellartroll wrote:There must be a way to use it to add MMC mass storage to a range of 8-bit machines, or even something as powerful as the 1541-UII on the C64...


That would be incredibly useful for me, particularly as Mark has now discontinued the DataCentre so I'm still in need of a storage medium for my Master.

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Lion
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Re: Raspberry Pi Inside ?

Postby Lion » Wed Jul 04, 2012 1:12 pm

Danj wrote:Mark has now discontinued the DataCentre


He did what? When? Why?

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Re: Raspberry Pi Inside ?

Postby MDBenson » Wed Jul 04, 2012 1:18 pm

Last time I contacted Mark he didn't have any made up so couldn't supply one, but was hoping to do a run later in the year... has that changed?

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Elminster
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Re: Raspberry Pi Inside ?

Postby Elminster » Wed Jul 04, 2012 1:21 pm

Yes I had the similar conversation about no Datacentre's available at present. So I got a GoSDC instead (plus I also have a TurboMMC and a Sprow Ethernet Module on order).

Then I thought I would hook up to the pi to get some USBs :D

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Re: Raspberry Pi Inside ?

Postby Danj » Wed Jul 04, 2012 1:40 pm

Lion wrote:
Danj wrote:Mark has now discontinued the DataCentre


He did what? When? Why?


This is the relevant thread, in which he said:

retroclinic wrote:Hi.

Sorry, not making any more DCs at the moment - I may do another batch in the future if things change, but no guarantees.

Thx, Mark.

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Re: Raspberry Pi Inside ?

Postby Andy1963 » Wed Apr 29, 2015 11:10 am

Sorry to resurrect this three year old thread... but I've been researching mass storage solutions for my Beebs and since I have recently acquired a s/h Raspberry Pi I thought this would be an ideal use for it as you could store a lot of files on a 8Gb SDHC card.
I expect that a lot of these original RPi's will become available cheaply (mine cost a fiver) because their owners wish to upgrade to the new bigger/faster version.
Unfortunately, my software skills are not up to coming up with a solution by myself, so I was wondering if anybody has succeeded in using it for this application ?

Andy

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Re: Raspberry Pi Inside ?

Postby poink » Wed Apr 29, 2015 11:38 am

Andy1963 wrote:I expect that a lot of these original RPi's will become available cheaply (mine cost a fiver) because their owners wish to upgrade to the new bigger/faster version.

I'm very happily using mine (the one I bought at release) for another unnecessary RISC OS machine. I'd like to use a Pi (or similar) as an Econet-Ethernet bridge and (Econet) fileserver. I'm not sure where Jason's (?) Econet adapter project has got to though (probably somewhere behind the co-pro!).

Andy1963 wrote:Unfortunately, my software skills are not up to coming up with a solution by myself, so I was wondering if anybody has succeeded in using it for this application ?

You can use SD cards with the BBC without needing the Pi, eg., http://swhs.home.xs4all.nl/bbc/mmbeeb/ . I'm not sure whether SDHC works; but I think it's 'only' a software difference, so I wouldn't be surprised if someone around here has already written support.

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Re: Raspberry Pi Inside ?

Postby DutchAcorn » Wed Apr 29, 2015 2:44 pm

poink wrote:... I'm not sure whether SDHC works; but I think it's 'only' a software difference, so I wouldn't be surprised if someone around here has already written support.

Duikkie has modified the MMC filing system to support SDHC cards. See this thread.
Paul

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Re: Raspberry Pi Inside ?

Postby Andy1963 » Wed Apr 29, 2015 10:26 pm

Yes, I'd seen the MMBeeb interface but I'll have another look at it - thanks for bringing it to my attention poink.
To DutchAcorn - thanks for the update regarding the work that Duikkie has been doing getting it to work with SDHC cards.
I knew he was working on this but didn't realise he had got it working !
If that's the case it would be ideal for my Model B's although I'm not sure if it works ok on a Master 128 due to it having a 1772 disc controller.
I see it uses a modified DFS v0.9 but I thought this needed an 8271.
I could be wrong though :D
I still think that using a Raspberry Pi as a sort of 'file server' would be quite neat, maybe similar to the way the UPURS system works ?
I must admit that I'm not certain if and how it would work in practice.

Andy

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Re: Raspberry Pi Inside ?

Postby dangardner » Wed Apr 29, 2015 10:54 pm

You might also want to take a look at https://github.com/makestuff/udfs for a cool way to access SSD files stored on a PC or Pi. It's also incredibly fast, even compared to TurboMMC.

The problem with using the GPIO pins on the Pi is that they need 3.3v and the Beeb's user port will be 5v, so you'll need some kind of level shifter. Given that (and for the price of them) I can't recommend the Minimus enough for interfacing a Beeb to a USB-connected host - leave the GPIOs to more modern stuff :-)

I've recently been using the Minimus to squirt Econet frames captured using a hacked up Netmon to a PC and it's been working fairly well so far. I'm desperate to see what Jason's doing, so I thought I'd have a bash at something similar because I just couldn't bear to wait!

The Minimus can even supply a PWM-based Econet clock signal into an RS422 line driver, so in theory it could do both clock and USB bridge at the same time. The highest throughput I could achieve from the user port to the PC via the Minimus was close to 300Kbit/sec, which should be plenty enough for Econet.

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Elminster
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Re: Raspberry Pi Inside ?

Postby Elminster » Wed Apr 29, 2015 11:09 pm

Andy1963 wrote:If that's the case it would be ideal for my Model B's although I'm not sure if it works ok on a Master 128 due to it having a 1772 disc controller.
I see it uses a modified DFS v0.9 but I thought this needed an 8271.
I could be wrong though :D


The TurboMMC (similar to the mmbeed version) works fine on a Master. When it is using its own DFS 0. 9 you generally have the Master's native DFS ROM (software) unplugged. So you cant write to disks anyway, so not relevant which disk controller you have. Or that is how I believe it works.

TurboMMC also works on my Beeb+ which has a 1772 in it as well.

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1024MAK
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Re: Raspberry Pi Inside ?

Postby 1024MAK » Wed Apr 29, 2015 11:36 pm

The filing system ROM and the actual disk controller chip are independent to a certain extent.
You can have the filing system ROM fitted, but without the relevant disk controller chip and it will not normally cause a problem.

Mark
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Elminster
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Re: Raspberry Pi Inside ?

Postby Elminster » Thu Apr 30, 2015 9:17 am

dangardner wrote:I've recently been using the Minimus to squirt Econet frames captured using a hacked up Netmon to a PC and it's been working fairly well so far. I'm desperate to see what Jason's doing, so I thought I'd have a bash at something similar because I just couldn't bear to wait!


This sounds similar to the star 32 micro

http://proto-pic.co.uk/a-star-32u4-micro/

available in two forms. The A in the link allows programming via the Audino IDE.

These seem to be a bit more freely available in the UK and I was looking at one of these for something I had in mind.

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Re: Raspberry Pi Inside ?

Postby paulb » Thu Apr 30, 2015 12:05 pm

Elminster wrote:
dangardner wrote:I've recently been using the Minimus to squirt Econet frames captured using a hacked up Netmon to a PC and it's been working fairly well so far. I'm desperate to see what Jason's doing, so I thought I'd have a bash at something similar because I just couldn't bear to wait!


This sounds similar to the star 32 micro

http://proto-pic.co.uk/a-star-32u4-micro/

available in two forms. The A in the link allows programming via the Audino IDE.

These seem to be a bit more freely available in the UK and I was looking at one of these for something I had in mind.


Yes, the Pololu A-Star is another Atmel AVR-based device. Generally, I would recommend choosing a board of this nature that is well-supported as well as being widely available, where you actually get full documentation on the board. (I've used other Pololu products and they've pretty much worked as described.)

To me, Minimus appears very much like a "cut and run" effort compared to anything from a solid manufacturer like Pololu. Nobody wants to have to try and figure out how the board is wired up because the manufacturer can't be bothered to document it or thinks that their board (unlike the hundreds of others doing the same thing with the same microcontroller) is super-special. Nor does anybody enjoy having to read the AVR datasheets to debug code that works on other boards. (For reference the LUFA libraries work on Minimus but it still took some additional hacks.)

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Elminster
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Re: Raspberry Pi Inside ?

Postby Elminster » Thu Apr 30, 2015 12:15 pm

Good to know thanks. I will stick to my plan of paying an extra few pounds and get the Pololu version.

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Re: Raspberry Pi Inside ?

Postby dangardner » Thu Apr 30, 2015 3:08 pm

paulb wrote:To me, Minimus appears very much like a "cut and run" effort compared to anything from a solid manufacturer like Pololu. Nobody wants to have to try and figure out how the board is wired up because the manufacturer can't be bothered to document it or thinks that their board (unlike the hundreds of others doing the same thing with the same microcontroller) is super-special. Nor does anybody enjoy having to read the AVR datasheets to debug code that works on other boards. (For reference the LUFA libraries work on Minimus but it still took some additional hacks.)

That's an interesting perspective. The Minimus is available from http://www.ck3.co.uk/minimus-32-avr-atm ... board.html for around half the price of the Pololu in relatively small quantities. There's also plenty of 3rd party documentation around if you look, for instance http://www.re-innovation.co.uk/web12/in ... rduino-ide is very useful.

I enjoy having to read the datasheets. Working out the best way to generate an Econet clock signal was fun. I also learn more when I have to fix borked stuff. Admittedly, this is my first experience of working with a modern microcontroller, so I have plenty to learn and that approach is not going to work for everybody.

Can you explain more about the LUFA hacks you had to use on the Minimus? I'd like to avoid repeating your mistakes if possible. :-)

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1024MAK
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Re: Raspberry Pi Inside ?

Postby 1024MAK » Thu Apr 30, 2015 3:44 pm

It's all a bit rich when you consider the cost of a similar DIL ATMEGA328-PU micro controller at £1.89+VAT (current price for a quantity of 1 at Farnell).

A SMD micro controller with USB, the ATMEGA32U4-AUR costs £4.17+VAT (current price for a quantity of 1 at Farnell).

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Re: Raspberry Pi Inside ?

Postby Andy1963 » Thu Apr 30, 2015 3:59 pm

An interesting discussion - however, all this talk about miniature AVR-based boards like the Minimus, is way over my head I'm afraid :?
The chances of me setting up one of these to do what I'm after and actually working are extremely remote, as I know next to nothing about serial communications protocols or networking so it would take someone more knowledgeable than me to get this up and running.
There doesn't appear to be much enthusiasm about using a RPi, so maybe not such a good idea after all... notwithstanding the voltage differences, I hadn't even thought about that !
So I'm going to take another look at TurboMMC as recommended above, oh and thanks for the additional info. regarding the disk controller chips/ROMs etc.
The unfortunate thing (for me anyway) is I'm starting from zero knowledge (I've forgotten a great deal about the BBC micro's, having not used them for over twenty years) and I've missed out on all the developments that have taken place over this time, so am slowly trying to get 'up-to-speed' with everything, which I'm finding quite difficult.
I'm sure I'll get there in the end, especially with all this help and advice.

Cheers,
Andy

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Re: Raspberry Pi Inside ?

Postby paulb » Thu Apr 30, 2015 4:38 pm

dangardner wrote:
paulb wrote:To me, Minimus appears very much like a "cut and run" effort compared to anything from a solid manufacturer like Pololu. Nobody wants to have to try and figure out how the board is wired up because the manufacturer can't be bothered to document it or thinks that their board (unlike the hundreds of others doing the same thing with the same microcontroller) is super-special. Nor does anybody enjoy having to read the AVR datasheets to debug code that works on other boards. (For reference the LUFA libraries work on Minimus but it still took some additional hacks.)

That's an interesting perspective. The Minimus is available from http://www.ck3.co.uk/minimus-32-avr-atm ... board.html for around half the price of the Pololu in relatively small quantities. There's also plenty of 3rd party documentation around if you look, for instance http://www.re-innovation.co.uk/web12/in ... rduino-ide is very useful.


First of all, the biggest difference between stuff from Arduino (current trademark dispute notwithstanding), Pololu, Adafruit and other established organisations and stuff like the Minimus is that the former provide their own documentation and support, even if one could dig up the Atmel datasheet after having discovered which CPU was used (and which only tells you about the CPU, not how the board manufacturer wired it up), whereas the latter doesn't even seem to have a proper Internet presence.

So, the various third-party guides to things like the Minimus are all done after the fact as a way to make up for the lack of effort on the part of the manufacturer, and for some of these guides you now have to dig up the blog posts from random people on archive.org because they aren't even there any more on the "living" Internet. I read and interact with various groups doing hardware-related stuff, and it isn't a surprise when people tell you that TI products, for example, are obviously more expensive than stuff from some random outfit because some of what you're paying goes towards proper documentation.

dangardner wrote:I enjoy having to read the datasheets. Working out the best way to generate an Econet clock signal was fun. I also learn more when I have to fix borked stuff. Admittedly, this is my first experience of working with a modern microcontroller, so I have plenty to learn and that approach is not going to work for everybody.


I don't mind reading datasheets, but I object to having to familiarise myself with the nuances of the USB register layout in some random AVR CPU that I don't really care about, especially when boards that supposedly use the same components work straight away, and especially when the USB communication is merely the means to an end in the project in question.

dangardner wrote:Can you explain more about the LUFA hacks you had to use on the Minimus? I'd like to avoid repeating your mistakes if possible. :-)


My "mistake" was to assume that the Minimus and the AVR-based Teensy products were similar when there appear to be differences. Once I realised that changing the Teensy code was going to be a waste of time, I discovered that LUFA was actually more modular and approachable than I thought it might be - a rarity in the microcontroller world (hobbyist or commercial) - and from that point onwards, some modifications to set up the clock frequency (fairly typical) and to remove joystick-related functionality from the demo program of interest were mostly all I needed to do.

To summarise, if you're lucky you'll find support for your board in something like LUFA and be able to use that. Given the false economies involved, it will be a lucky escape from a lot of hassle.

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Re: Raspberry Pi Inside ?

Postby Elminster » Thu Apr 30, 2015 4:38 pm

Andy1963 wrote:The unfortunate thing (for me anyway) is I'm starting from zero knowledge (I've forgotten a great deal about the BBC micro's, having not used them for over twenty years) and I've missed out on all the developments that have taken place over this time, so am slowly trying to get 'up-to-speed' with everything, which I'm finding quite difficult.


Don' worry a lot of us on this forum have been there.

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Re: Raspberry Pi Inside ?

Postby paulb » Thu Apr 30, 2015 4:56 pm

Andy1963 wrote:An interesting discussion - however, all this talk about miniature AVR-based boards like the Minimus, is way over my head I'm afraid :?


If you decide to dabble with AVR, skip the Minimus and go for something people have actually heard of, like one of the Arduino boards or maybe something from Adafruit. Of course, people will tell you that you're paying through the nose and that you can buy the parts for pennies, but since you aren't aiming to go from zero experience to shipping millions of units from your initial procurement of bits and pieces, and as you probably won't be willing to spend time figuring out arcane things that the packaged solutions already do on your behalf (maybe with some hand-holding), you can probably justify spending a few extra quid.

Andy1963 wrote:The chances of me setting up one of these to do what I'm after and actually working are extremely remote, as I know next to nothing about serial communications protocols or networking so it would take someone more knowledgeable than me to get this up and running.


Arduino and the other things using these Atmel AVR chips all mostly support serial over USB, and the Arduino environment mostly takes care of the details. There may have been a time when Windows users had to install drivers, but I think that is firmly in the past. (I use Linux, and these devices appear as a special serial device.) You plug the board into your computer using a USB cable, and a virtual serial device appears and can be accessed.

Andy1963 wrote:There doesn't appear to be much enthusiasm about using a RPi, so maybe not such a good idea after all... notwithstanding the voltage differences, I hadn't even thought about that !


Yes, the 5V versus 3.3V (and perhaps others) distinction is worth remembering. Otherwise, you'll need to obtain level shifters, depending on what you're doing exactly. I think the objections to the RPi are mostly about it being overkill for the job. You could use other microcontroller boards to act as a simple interface to storage and to offload the processing, although you'd then need to think about how that would work: these AVR boards don't have a lot of on-board RAM, and they don't provide traditional RAM interfaces.

Andy1963 wrote:So I'm going to take another look at TurboMMC as recommended above, oh and thanks for the additional info. regarding the disk controller chips/ROMs etc.
The unfortunate thing (for me anyway) is I'm starting from zero knowledge (I've forgotten a great deal about the BBC micro's, having not used them for over twenty years) and I've missed out on all the developments that have taken place over this time, so am slowly trying to get 'up-to-speed' with everything, which I'm finding quite difficult.
I'm sure I'll get there in the end, especially with all this help and advice.


I'm only really getting started out in hardware-related matters, but I've managed to play around with logic, get some flash memory programmed, and do a bunch of other things that aren't really retro-related (mostly with displays and IMUs), so you can make some decent progress if you're willing to persevere.

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Re: Raspberry Pi Inside ?

Postby 1024MAK » Thu Apr 30, 2015 5:31 pm

The relevant question is what do you want?
Do you want to just transfer software from a PC to your Beeb?
Do you want a fast (solid state) modern storage system?
Do you want both of these?
Do you want a network system?

Then when you have decided what you want to do...
Do you want a buy and plug in and go system?
Or are you able to construct cables, boards etc ?

Then we can recommend one of the available systems or designs...

Mark
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Re: Raspberry Pi Inside ?

Postby Andy1963 » Thu Apr 30, 2015 8:00 pm

Ok, I'll tell you what I'd like, but I'm concerned about going 'off topic' (maybe this should be in a new thread)
Ideally, the best solution for me would appear to be the "RetroClinic DataCentre", although I believe that this isn't available at the moment, which is a great pity.

I'd mainly like to be able to transfer files to and from the BBC Micro and some form of device e.g. USB Flash Drive(s).
I suppose that rules out the MMC card method as apparently these are read-only.
Are there any DIY USB interfaces for the Beeb that I could plug a Flash Drive into ?

I prefer the DIY approach if possible, and am quite capable of making anything required, as long as it doesn't involve soldering any surface-mount components !
So, I can make up cables, etch PCB's, program EPROM's some PIC and AVR devices etc to an existing design but I simply don't have enough programming experience to come up with any microcontroller-based solutions of my own at the moment.
However, I do have plans to change that situation but I've got a lot to learn before I reach the point where I might achieve something useful, plus knowing me this could take years !

On the other hand, just using an old laptop to talk to the Beeb and store files on would be fine as well for the time being.

Andy

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Re: Raspberry Pi Inside ?

Postby richardtoohey » Thu Apr 30, 2015 9:17 pm

Andy1963 wrote:I suppose that rules out the MMC card method as apparently these are read-only.
Nope, just a bit more work than a DC. There's one big file holding disc images, and you need a program on a PC to add/remove files from the big file if you want to extract them on the PC.

e.g. here is advice on accessing a disc image on MMC in order to edit it and save it

viewtopic.php?f=1&t=9497#p111125

(It's not complete advice, but people wouldn't be suggesting it if not possible!)

There's also GoSDC, same sort of thing.


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