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#1 Posted by The_Greg (542 posts) -

Does anyone here have a Raspberry Pi and use it for anything cool, or have any cool ideas about what they would like to use one for?

I'm thinking about getting a Raspberry Pi 3 and playing around with it, maybe turning it into a weak 'living room PC' just for shits and giggles.

I was thinking about putting Windows 10 on one and installing the Steam and GOG clients to play some old 90s games with the Steam Controller, but the Steam client will not work as it's an x86 app and won't work on ARM (I know very little about this, but I've Googled it). It will work as a Steam Link, but I already have a Steam Link.

Here are the specs for the Raspberry Pi 3.

SoC: Broadcom BCM2837

CPU: 4× ARM Cortex-A53, 1.2GHz

GPU: Broadcom VideoCore IV

RAM: 1GB LPDDR2 (900 MHz)

Networking: 10/100 Ethernet, 2.4GHz 802.11n wireless

Bluetooth: Bluetooth 4.1 Classic, Bluetooth Low Energy

Storage: microSD

GPIO: 40-pin header, populated

Ports: HDMI, 3.5mm analogue audio-video jack, 4× USB 2.0, Ethernet, Camera Serial Interface (CSI), Display Serial Interface (DSI)

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#2 Posted by ghost_cat (2274 posts) -

If you're into music creation, there are a ton of things you can do with a Rasberry Pi; like creating synths, samplers, midi controllers, and more.

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#3 Posted by screaming_beagles (34 posts) -

I've been using a couple at work for a 3D scanning rig - we have 9 mounted on a dome that we stick objects in and scan stuff! They're super fun for weird side projects, with a raspberry pi and an arduino you can do pretty much anything! I don't have any experience running windows off of one, but it looks like there's some kind of emulator called ExaGear Desktop that should let you run steam - not sure how performance would be with the overhead though.

If that doesn't work you can always put together a pretty badass little emulator box!

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#4 Posted by BillyMaysRIP (726 posts) -

I've got maybe 5 around the house (of varying models), not including the numerous Pi Zeros that I also have. They're a lot of fun to mess around with, but I've never really found a permanent use for any of them.

hackster.io and the Raspberry Pi website have some good projects, if you want step-by-step guides or just ideas for something. If you don't know how to operate a unix system, the Pi is a great place to start.

On a separate note, I'm currently in the process of putting an ESP32 into a NES Advantage controller, which has been a relatively fun time.

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#5 Posted by MattyFTM (14889 posts) -

I just have RetroPie installed on mine and use it as an emulator box. Used to run Kodi on it too, but then I got a Fire Stick for Kodi.

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#6 Posted by Dave_Tacitus (2472 posts) -

I had tons of grand ideas when I bought my first Pi, then quickly decided it was going to be an emulator box.

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Spot the differences.

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#7 Posted by shrinerr (284 posts) -

i got a 3 B+. i have a 128 gb card where i run retropie. then i have a 16 gb card which has the raspbian stretch os for just in case situations.

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#8 Edited by Nick (1039 posts) -

You can get an ARM version of dosbox, plug in a keyboard and play some old 90's pc games this way.

edit: if you're willing to get your hands a little dirty try a guide like this https://pimylifeup.com/raspberry-pi-dosbox/ (or any other guide)

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#9 Posted by Bane (913 posts) -

I use mine as a Pi-hole. Network-wide ad blocking. Devices that normally don't have ad blocking like my phone and my Xbox are now ad free.

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#10 Posted by nutter (2137 posts) -

@mattyftm: Same here. It’s basically my RetroPie box for games that no longer have functioning systems.

River City Ransom, Toejam and Earl, and Shadowrun (Genesis) live on...

Unfortunately, N64 games run poorly (I think it’s a Pi3) so I still have an old N64 laying around for Virtual Pro Wrestling 2.

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#11 Posted by n00bs7ay3r (317 posts) -

I am probably going to get one soon and install RetroPie on it. I wouldn't exactly call that particularly cool or interesting though.

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#12 Posted by kopcik (98 posts) -

Thats what I'm doing at the moment


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#13 Posted by Cameron (1055 posts) -

@bane said:

I use mine as a Pi-hole. Network-wide ad blocking. Devices that normally don't have ad blocking like my phone and my Xbox are now ad free.

That's what I use mine for as well. I was going to use it as a little emulation box, but I didn't end up using it much for that and thought it would be more useful as a Pi Hole.

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#14 Posted by Rotten_Avocado (100 posts) -

Unfortunately, I don't think you can install full Windows 10 on Raspberry Pi. You can install the IoT version however if that's what you meant. I have one and use it for RetroPie. It's awesome!

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#15 Posted by sparkysanxion (187 posts) -

I've got a bunch, but my main one, I have retropie installed on. It's pretty good for playing retro games on, and the latency is fairly decent (as long as your tv has a "game mode")
There are also quite a few ports too (doom, quake etc etc), and retropie also has a port of dosbox, which is great if you want to get into playing some old pc games on there. Most things run really well on the latest model. PS1, at a higher res than native, runs full speed for example.

If you wanted to play N64 stuff on there, that's fairly hit and miss. I used mine as an easy way to play my snes games...but have recently got a Super NT, so it's getting a bit less use.

I think my next project, might be using a Zero to make some sort of handheld device.
If you were thinking of going windows 10, I believe you might be better suited with an ODroid XU4 maybe.

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#16 Posted by fisk0 (6888 posts) -

I regularly think of buying one, but really want to find someone making Amiga/C64/Atari ST style keyboard cases (with funcational keyboards) for them first.

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#17 Posted by charlie_victor_bravo (1712 posts) -

With Retropie it is fun. You can also install media player along with the emulators to make it more versatile.

Handles everything nice up to PS1. Some titles like MGS have some slowdown and compatibility might be issue with some games (like Vagrant Story has audio issues) but 90% of titles work well.

Definitely nice piece of tech to play around with.

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#18 Posted by cliffordbanes (124 posts) -
  • AirPlay server hooked up to speakers instead of buying Sonos speakers or Apple TVs.
  • Plex server.
  • Plex client.
  • Kodi device.
  • NAS with external USB drives.
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#19 Posted by simian (942 posts) -

I had 5 of them for some reason or another and one day while I was bored setup a docker swarm and setup a cluster that downloads and transcodes GB videos ... For some reason? I think originally it was for plex but who knows.

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#20 Posted by Sweep (10595 posts) -

I hooked up a Johann Sebastian Joust clone to my 3 B+, which can run off a portable battery and, when combined with a decent bluetooth dongle, can run the whole game using a wireless speaker and 6+ PS Move controllers. So I can run it out of my bag, which means I can take it to a party or BBQ and not have to worry about leaving a laptop unattended.

The copy of Joust is a little power-intensive so sometimes I get brownouts, I assume because the power supplied by the external battery packs is inconsistent (I'm using the right cables and etc etc). It works fine when you plug it into a wall though.

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#21 Posted by Teqonix (15 posts) -

I love these things!

I just deployed a hobby project at my office that shows real-time information of people getting candy from a communal bowl (see below). Honestly, I'm still amazed at how fast these things are for the price; it's incredible the amount of stuff they can do for an all-in cost of $60 or so.

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#22 Posted by Max_Cherry (1594 posts) -

You can try to port some x86 games to ARM.

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#23 Posted by NinjaBrokenLeg (13 posts) -

@teqonix: Wait, so what does it actually do?! Alert if the candy has been taken? Talking about getting caught with your hand inside the cookie jar!

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#24 Edited by BelowStupid (496 posts) -
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Throw Retropie on there and you can think of a few fabrication projects for what would be a cool video game thing. I made a portable based off the PSONE and put one in my coffee table.

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#25 Posted by Teqonix (15 posts) -

@ninjabrokenleg: It does flash some rainbow LEDs (I mean, I had to. I HAD TO.) when someone gets candy, but because it does sit in a cube farm there’s nothing else it does aside from display the dashboard.