Re-living computing history with a PDP-8 (Raspberry Pi)

The Raspberry Pi is a great tool for re-living and learning from the past, whether it’s emulating classic video games, emulating an IBM System/370 for learning JCL and COBOL, or, in today’s example, emulating a PDP-8, one of the early computers, and the first to run “Adventure”, among other early games.


The ClockworkPi GameShell is full of DIY fun

Devices like the GameShell are my absolute favorite. Made for DIY fans and Raspberry Pi users, they are basically mini computers inside a wonderfully easy-to-build shell. I’ve 3D printed something similar in the past but now the whole thing is available for $139 preassembled, a boon to those who don’t want to go through rolls of plastic and fiddle with messy prints.

This little device comes with a DIY case and buttons as well as all the hardware you need to build your own retro gaming rig. Features include:

  • New clockworkPi V3.1 (Quad-core Cortex-A7 CPU, WI-FI & Bluetooth on-board,1GB DDR3 memory,?Micro HDMI output)
  • ATmeage168p programmable?Keypad
  • 2.7 inch TFT?RGB@60fps screen
  • Dual speaker
  • 1200mAh rechargeable lithium battery
  • Lightkey module (for shoulder buttons)
  • 1 front shell + 2 back shells
  • 16GB MicroSD card
  • clockworkpi OS, Linux Kernel 4.1x supported
  • 14PIN GPIOs development cable
  • Assembly instructions & sticker

It comes with a few indie games built in and can run emulators including NES and SNES ROMs.

Darrell at TechCrunch filmed himself building the thing if you’d like to see how complex – or non-complex – the whole process is. After all, if he could build it… “All told, I had mine put together in less than an hour, and even though I did get in there with my teeth at one point (to remove a bit of plastic nubbin when assembling the optional Lightkey component, which adds extra function keys to the console), I never once felt overwhelmed or defeated,” he wrote which means that anyone with a little time and a little desire can follow in his DIY footsteps.


Learn some practical – and fun – coding with the pi-top[4]

If you want to learn coding, there are any number of ways to go about it. Pick up a book, find a class, or even take courses online. However, if you find yourself craving a more practical – or even fun – application of the code you write, then your choices are a bit more limited, in terms of pre-built kits to help you along the path. There?s one going on Kickstarter right now that may be of interest to you, the pi-top[4].

View More Posts