Raspi_Colour_RSo I just received a Raspberry Pi, which is a tiny, low-power Linux computer that sells for about $25.

The Raspberry Pi itself is approximately the same size as the power supply for my current laptop.  It is very slightly larger than my mouse (I use a small mouse.  It’s similar in size to a more normal mouse.)

My thought had been that since the VectorStorm engine supports Linux,  it would be an entertaining diversion to compile one of the earlier VectorStorm games over to run on the Pi, and see how well I could get it to run.

On my current laptop (which is quite beefy, for a laptop), compiling Atop from scratch takes about six seconds.

On the Raspberry Pi, it takes about ten minutes.  But the cmake build just worked.  First try.  There wasn’t actually anything for me to do, apart from get the source code onto the box and compile it there.  (Exception:  Raspberry Pi’s package system has a very old version of Box2D.  I had to build and install my own copy of the latest Box2D library in order to get the VectorStorm library to build.  Which also consisted only of getting the source and having cmake build and install it.)  Note that Atop doesn’t actually use Box2D in any way.  I keep thinking that I should probably remove Box2D from the basic VectorStorm library;  make it a plugin or something, so I don’t have to keep linking against it when I’m not using it.

Of course, it then failed to create an OpenGL context, either in XWindows or through direct framebuffer rendering.  Hoping to be able to run OpenGL code through an OpenGL context created via SDL was probably overly optimistic!  But I’m pleased that it built so easily.  I might look into figuring out the necessary Raspberry Pi requirements to get a working OpenGL context sometime in the future.  But I don’t really want to spend too much time on it just now.  I’m just impressed at the combination of tiny size, low cost, and ability to quickly set up all the needed development libraries.  I’m certainly not going to switch to it as a primary development platform, but.. it’s a fun little toy!

2 thoughts on “Raspberries

  1. If I may ask, where did you order yours from? I’ve had a heck of a time trying to find a dealer that has them in stock.

    • I ordered from Element14′s local distributor here in Australia. Took about a week for delivery. (The website warned that it might take up to 3 weeks)

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