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TuxJam 107 – Cherry Tree and Pie

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Fellows feeling festive festoon followers with freedom! In this Christmas themed episode and the last one of the year, Kevie, Dave (aka thelovebug) and Andrew (aka mcnalu) have lovingly hand-picked a couple of FOSS goodies for their tenuous yuletide connections.

We look at Retropie (because everybody loves getting games at Christmas) which causes an outbreak of nostalgia amongst your hosts. Also, to make Santa’s life easier whilst he checks his list, we look at the hierarchical note taking app Cherrytree (Kevie also tested out the Android app SourCherry).

The steps that were spoken of in the show for setting up Retropie were as follows:

if you want to use external storage such as a USB thumb drive, then you need to create a folder called retropie-mount on the root of the drive using the PC. On Retropie go to the configuration page and select retropie setup. Then select configuration / tools and this will bring up another menu, scroll all the way down to the bottom and select usbromservice (this will be off the screen when you first look at this menu), select enable and hit OK. Go back to the home screen, press the start button on your controller and reboot the system from the quit option. When Retropie has loaded up to the home screen, plug in the USB drive and wait about 1 minute and then remove the drive again. This will have setup the USB drive with the appropriate folders. If you simply fire a load of ROMs onto a USB then it will not work; they need to go into the specific directory.

By default the sound is sent through the HDMI output, this is no use for me as my monitor does not have speakers. Press menu and select sound setting, you only get headphones or HDMI. Audio via bluetooth is not enabled by default on Retropie. The steps that worked for me on a Raspeberry Pi 400 were:

First I needed to drop out of this graphical UI to a terminal, you can’t use the pad for this, you will need a keyboard.

  1. Press F4 to take you to a terminal
  2. Install the pulseaudio-module-bluetooth with the command sudo apt install pulseaudio-module-bluetooth
  3. Add the user to the bluetooth group with the command sudo adduser pi bluetooth
  4. Now we need to tell the Pi to use the connected bluetoooth audio speaker and for this we need to use a text editor, I used Nano as it was already installed: sudo nano /etc/pulse/
  5. Add the line load-module module-switch-on-connect
  6. Save and exit the file
  7. Now we need to tell bluetooth to enable the audio service. Again we need to edit a file: sudo nano /etc/bluetooth/main.conf
  8. Find the [General] section and add the line: Enable=Source,Sink,Media,Socket
  9. Save and exit the file
  10. Reboot the system with sudo reboot
  11. On reboot select configuration on the home screen and select Bluetooth
  12. Select Pair and Connect to Bluetooth Device (make sure that your device is in pairing mode)
  13. Select Configure Bluetooth Connect Mode and then select background

I noticed after starting playing is that I had a black border around my screen. To remove this go to configuration, select raspi-config and then select Display Options, then scroll to Underscan and select No. This won’t affect you if you have this connected to a TV, but it will if connected to a monitor. Once you exit the settings it will ask if you want to reboot, you will need to reboot for this to take effect. Upon reboot the black border is removed.

The artwork is not loaded by default and it isn’t clear how to get this, however it is not difficult. When you have your ROMs listed in front of you, press start on your controller and select the Scraper option, then select Scrape Now and all of your ROMs will have their artwork. This is purely optional and only an aesthetic addition. A word of warning is that it will go through each ROM and ask which art you would like or which version of the game it is. If you are like me and have 1000s of ROMs then this is something that you may wish to skip unless you really wish to spend a lot of time configuring your system.

This episode is festively spiced with the following mix of festive tracks:

Author: Kevie Macphail

Kevie is from the Outer Hebrides, in the north west of Scotland,UK. He started podcasting with TuxJam back in 2011 and followed this by co-hosting tech-themed, discussion show Crivins along with Gordon Sinclair. A full time Linux user, currently using Debian as his distro of choice, and a keen promoter of unknown artists/bands, especially those who release their music under a Creative Commons license, this led Kevie to starting the CCJam community podcast. Always keen to spread the word on Creative Commons music and open source projects, Kevie has appeared as a guest on the Bugcast, Hacker Public Radio, Music Manumit Podcast, Rathole Radio and TINT.

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