Android and Linux Handhelds - Shield, GCW Zero, GP2X, Pandora, Pyra, JXD, etc.

pixeljunkie

Whilst Drunk., I Found God., Booze = Bad.,
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Dec 12, 2003
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This is actually kind of cute. I'd buy right away if it were half the price, and hoping that googling "powkiddy" didn't put me on a shoot & kill list.

So it's pretty hit or miss as far as what it can actually do? Why does NES emulation suck so bad?

I have no idea why NES sucks on it. It's really hit or miss and makes zero sense why some shit is good and other gross on it. Other than the aformentioned "china" aspect.

Arcade is shockingly good for a credit card sized device. Let's be honest, nobody wants to squint at a tiny screen and play MUSHA on genesis with any seriousness. But maybe Final Fight, pinball, or tetris...maybe some SNES/GBA RPGs? This is the only reason I am enjoying this thing and the fact I can throw it in an actual pocket and almost forget it's there. I didn't think it had a purpose or filled a need-state at first...but it's kinda' handy.
 

sylvie

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I was looking at some reviews last night for it. Seems opinions are fairly divided, especially with the results of firmware updates. Some say the latest updates fix screen tearing, others say it makes GB games play worse... also keep seeing that arcade emulator runs surprisingly well on it. I'm not sure if it's worth having over a Game Boy Micro for my personal tastes but I'll probably get drunk and buy it
 

pixeljunkie

Whilst Drunk., I Found God., Booze = Bad.,
Joined
Dec 12, 2003
Posts
5,813
I was looking at some reviews last night for it. Seems opinions are fairly divided, especially with the results of firmware updates. Some say the latest updates fix screen tearing, others say it makes GB games play worse... also keep seeing that arcade emulator runs surprisingly well on it. I'm not sure if it's worth having over a Game Boy Micro for my personal tastes but I'll probably get drunk and buy it

drunk is the ONLY way to buy it. I am 100% happy with a ~$30 portable Neo Turf masters/Devil's Crush/Mahjong machine in my pocket - if that's all it's capable of, I'm ok with that.
 

sylvie

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Yea. I was thinking if I got one I would just load it with fuckin JRPGs and other old lady shite. No need to worry about screen tearing in such matters. Looks like you can score one for $28 - $30 now. The price is ripe for some drunk bullshit
 

SML

NEANDERTHAL FUCKER,
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Sep 24, 2003
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Not exactly a handheld, but I'm really liking the idea of modding a PowKiddy A13:


Here's what it looks like with decals from SakuraRetroModding:

il_1140xN.2751829538_5c7v.jpg
 

sylvie

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I honestly can't imagine playing that without strong suction cups
 

SML

NEANDERTHAL FUCKER,
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I got Lineage OS (Android 6.0.1. Nightly build from May 20 2017) running on my Shield Portable. I already had it unlocked from when I had to recover from a bad OTA update years ago, so all I really had to do was update the recovery partition. The biggest issue was setting up the USB driver to recognize my device in adb *and* fastboot mode.

I'm pretty happy so far. It seems to be faster and more stable. Retroarch is allowing me to queue downloads, which it wasn't doing this morning on stock android.

The best reason for doing this is it will allow you to set up a big SDXC card as permanent internal storage.

I haven't tried to compile a more recent version, but if I do I'll let everyone know how it goes. If you have a portable that's been too sluggish or outdated on stock, I at least recommend trying one of the builds that's floating around.

Don't be scare.

Edit: Update. The nightly build I'm using isn't super stable. Google play services are prone to cause crashes. I have heard that the last build of CyanogenMod for the Shield is more stable. I'm happy enough with where this thing is at the moment that I'm not going to try to change it. The interface runs more quickly. Most apps are more responsive. Stability is acceptable. I'm free from the storage limitations imposed by Lollipop. Sleep actually seems to significantly save battery.

Edit: Updater. I tried to use CyanogenMod rom with 32 bit 6.0 pico GApps for improved stability, which seemed to work at first. For LineageOS and Cyanogenmod, problems seem to come up when certain apps are installed, even when those apps aren't running. On Lineage and Cyanogenmod, trying to run ePSXe crashes the system. Worse, the package manager when I try to uninstall it. I don't know why this problem is coming up with ePSXe specifically, when I can run and manage other programs without the same problem. I'm sure I could probably use adb to get terminal output, etc. but I'm not sure it's worth it.
At this point, I'm not really sure what I'm going to do. I might go back to stock. I might switch to RetroArch instead of ePSXe. I might try running without google play services at all, and just side-load everything.
 
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SML

NEANDERTHAL FUCKER,
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y4mlWfqnyO0Jy5v4GWxX6o-aH2zFdnzUCrPOhgvIax6p9gCJ1gi-JdbOZ99gG2npKCtUZp72TWxm98zCr-Bb2UxBFS7uk2InKozO9C2uqRNPhZ5DEzHMcRwj1pwkQoutMjseOY2lMJetkYO7tk0FO8NXlMVXYPnTU7rWjvZkLn_3ZcFvAJkweu_la37jzhlMrHI


This is from the rg351p, It's a strange widescreen resolution, 480 x 320 pixels (sideways subpixels).

For classic 4:3 games, that's too high to play unscaled and too low to play with integer scaling.

The best option is to use rga scaling. What's that? I don't know. The internet says it's chip-driven subpixel scaling with a bicubic filter.

My standard reference Mario looks a little fucked up, especially comparing his eyes, but it's not so bad in motion. If anything, it feels like a crt shader has been applied.
 
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SML

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Here's an example of where this might make a difference:

Integer Scaled on a 4:3 480p screen (RG350m)

y4mDRt7aPUI16pgQ937Z8qZnTwHla2Sqkb2tddJ_BuSOaXOYrUQ0ifdquosw7x_X6l7xla5STex64N2htcwhyfUScXRUkjFDT4q5W7bqKM4eqhjeb4s_StRzEF0AJjll5l8nwlSOxEt8v42ax4lunziqINGnXr6CDLAogCCmqO9Kr7Pd_4nY4Ky1AXEcpaLW7M7


RGA scaled on a 320p screen (RG351p)

y4mFYDtT8XmG2OPzZEAOuLvR3l-IHPueLcpVgEOKJ0RqZpK6qezLwwOhAhyKT0qLBiwDIy-Ikg4whaHiHuCj7uWjxJa7JnD5QLKA7sjcQruNS6Z0Q7LB6SunKyinex2dzsVBHz-sXY03VHcPVphOVE_xwmGw61tBXTyWuhoMJW2XRH3E49iU3i_o1MNPi1WS3-m


Integer scaled image is crisp while RGA scaled image has better "transparency dither."


Up next a 10 post examination of Arthur's feet and the grass.
 

SML

NEANDERTHAL FUCKER,
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Sep 24, 2003
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The Arduboy now has an FX (flash expansion) chip to allow storage of multiple games.

http://arduboy.com/fx/

I fucked up my Arduboy installing the FX chip!

I think the physical installation went fine, but flashing the software broke something. I can flash a game and play it, but I can't access the FX functionality and the device won't turn on by itself. I have to wake it up using my pc.

While I try to figure out what I need to do to make it work properly again (may have overwritten the bootloader). some hero has created a firmware with a pack of Arduboy games to the original ESP32 Odroid Go (discontinued), so I can at least still get a fix that way: https://forum.odroid.com/viewtopic.php?f=159&t=42463
 
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SML

NEANDERTHAL FUCKER,
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Sep 24, 2003
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I just realized that there was a "high clock" setting buried in the advanced settings for ArkOS. With overclocking, Metal Slug 6 on RG351 runs about as well as Metal Slug 2 does on native hardware, although the rest of the Atomiswave library is still out of reach.

Last week I installed a wifi module according to Mashtec's guide here:


Unlike the one in the video, the module I got came with a 4-pin connector soldered in. You'll need to take that off and desolder the contacts, but the mod works well. With just the internal module's built-in antenna, the wifi isn't as fast as what you'd get from a good usb dongle plugged into the OTG port, but the module has a seat for an IPEX antenna if you want more range. I haven't experimented with that yet, because I mostly use the wifi for updating retroarch cores and Anberports, which it's fine for. I'd still use a dongle for local streaming.
 

GohanX

Hollywood Hulk Gohan
Joined
Sep 28, 2001
Posts
11,671
It's better in the sense that it's actually something that exists and you can order, sure. That control layout is very unfortunate though.
 
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