Thad wrote:Once I finally dropped "fits in a mini-PC case" (and, with it, "uses onboard graphics") as a requirement, the project started to come into much clearer focus.
Mini-PC is out but I should be able to make a slim desktop work. I ordered a used barebones HP desktop that I can drop my processor, RAM, and SSD into, plus a low profile R7 250 for the graphics. I can use the Bluetooth dongle and whatever else I've got connected to the Pi that I previously tried to use for this project (future project: okay, so now I've got a Raspberry Pi 4 I'm not doing anything with; what should I do with it?).
It's not the most convenient size (if I'm lucky, I might be able to fit it in the mini-cabinet with my other retro gaming equipment*; if not, I'll have to stick it on a shelf under the TV and then run cables from it to the cabinet back to the TV, which isn't ideal but is a compromise I'm willing to make at this point), but I'm feeling pretty good about my progress.
I haven't tried it yet but I did notice that GroovyArcade has a desktop mode, so I should be able to use that to install and run any arbitrary programs I want (Kodi, Firefox, whatever), so watching videos should be a perfectly attainable goal. Running an actual desktop UI isn't ideal, but I can *probably* set up launchers that will run straight from AttractMode if I want to mess around with that.
* this would probably mean packing up my SNES to make room and just using my MiSTer for SNES gaming; I think it's caught up enough that it'll do everything real hardware plus an SD2SNES and a Super Game Boy 2 will, and I can turn off automatic saving if I ever want to play Shiren or anything else that would otherwise be constantly writing to the SD card
Got the PC into the cabinet; had to put the SNES away to make room for it, as expected. Devices in the cab are now:
Decided to move the Wii to make room for the MiSTer (which I moved to make room for the PC), and after half an hour of confusedly tracing cables trying to find the Wii A/V cable to re-run it I got the biggest surprise of the day: apparently the Wii hasn't been hooked up to video the entire time I've lived here (over 2 years) and somehow I never noticed. I'm not surprised that I haven't had a hankering for a Wii or GameCube game in the last two years (or that if I have, I've gone the emulation route -- Xenoblade Chronicles looks pretty great in Dolphin, y'all), but I'm a little surprised that I never noticed on any of the various occasions I've tested all the inputs on my A/V switch to make sure they're working. I guess the other 4 things were enough that I never thought to ask "Wait, where's the Wii?"
After getting the cable out of my closet and hooking it up, I looked and saw that yep, I had a picture -- and to my horror, it was dim. "Oh shit, another Wii whose video output has gone," I thought for a second, then realized I'd just left it idling long enough that it had dimmed the picture. Having figured that out, it seems to be fine.
Everything was working for a minute, but at some point I lost sound on the MiSTer. Not sure how but it might have been when I chose the "test inputs" option, which did not do what I expected it to (as far as I could tell it just fucked up the refresh rate and gave me a rolling picture so I had to hard restart, but it's possible it fucked up some other shit in the bargain -- or it could be a coincidence and something else could have knocked out the sound, but I know I hooked it up right because it worked the first time I tested it after moving it).
GroovyArcade is good so far but the problem is that its purpose is what it says on the tin -- it's designed to be built into an arcade cabinet, with one, maybe two inputs physically connected to it, permanently. It doesn't have any frontend for setting up Bluetooth, and if you have multiple inputs hooked up to it, only one of them will work to navigate the menu.
Fortunately it's got Arch on the backend so I should be able to install whatever I want from the command line.
It could be that the default frontend, AttractMode, is the issue. Fortunately, you can switch to a different frontend; I think it comes with another one out of the box, so I'll try that and see if it works any better with a Bluetooth keyboard or with multiple controllers attached. If that doesn't work, I'll probably try EmulationStation. (But use it on top of GroovyArcade, rather than switch to an ES-based distro like Batocera, because Groovy has the out-of-the-box 15KHz support so I don't have to fuck around with modelines, and the Arch backend makes it a lot more versatile than Batocera's "Good Lord! What is happening in there?" take on a Linux environment.)