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Open Source Games Hardware

The Uzebox: an Open Source Hardware Games Console 104

angry tapir writes "Lots of people are familiar with open source software. Open source hardware, however, is still more of niche category. The Uzebox is an open source, 'retro minimalist' 8-bit games console, licensed under version 3.0 of the GNU GPL. 'The console uses an overclocked ATmega644 microcontroller and classic Super Nintendo controllers, supports 256 colors and 4 sound channels and has an SD card interface from which games can be loaded from.'"
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The Uzebox: an Open Source Hardware Games Console

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  • by Gordonjcp ( 186804 ) on Wednesday July 06, 2011 @03:46AM (#36669612) Homepage

    ... instead of the Computerworld advert farm:

    http://belogic.com/uzebox/index.asp [belogic.com]

    Sheer comedy, such a geektastic project being hosted with ASP?

    Don't bother to mod this up, save your points for something less karma-whorey.

  • Re:Awesome (Score:5, Informative)

    by jovius ( 974690 ) on Wednesday July 06, 2011 @03:48AM (#36669624)

    http://uzebox.org/shop/catalog/product_info.php?cPath=22&products_id=35 [uzebox.org]

    70$ + power supply + cable(s) and controllers about 20$

  • by inglorion_on_the_net ( 1965514 ) on Wednesday July 06, 2011 @04:00AM (#36669668) Homepage

    Uzebox is cool!

    While on the subject, I'd also like to point out some other projects I've found interesting:

    OpenPandora [openpandora.org], a community-designed, Linux-running handheld. The specs are pretty impressive, by today's standards, but were even more impressive when it was first introduced. Best thing is, they're now manufacturing and shipping!

    For those who like to tinker themselves, there is the BeagleBoard [beagleboard.org], a cheap (as they come) single board computer with impressive specs, designed for open source software. The Wikipedia article [wikipedia.org] lists a number of alternatives, some of which may be more powerful and/or cheaper.

    One interesting alternative to the BeagleBoard is the Hawkboard [linuxfordevices.com], which is backed by its own community [hawkboard.org]. It's slightly less powerful than the BeagleBoard, but, at 89 USD, also costs quite a bit less.

    And then there's the ever-popular Arduino [arduino.cc], which comes in several varieties. You can buy them assembled starting at about 20 USD, or build your own for under 10 USD [instructables.com]. They can be extended with "shields", e.g. to get extra I/O capabilities. Pretty cool stuff!

    Personally, I am still tinkering around with resistors and transistors and the like, designing and simulating circuits with Qucs [sourceforge.net] (which I feel is a lot more production-ready than that website suggests) and my Nokia N900, but any of the above hardware looks like it might be a nice next step up.

  • by ledow ( 319597 ) on Wednesday July 06, 2011 @04:52AM (#36669876) Homepage

    The Pandora isn't actually shipping - again. Been in production for three years and some people who ordered on the first few days **still** haven't received one.

    For the past few months you could pay almost the price of the console again in order to get a "Premium" queue-jumper Pandora before even the first pre-orderers from three years ago - after the first few hundred they stopped that and they have said they only offered that because otherwise they would have gone bankrupt and been unable to ship anybody's order.

    Current status is that they are abandoning their PCB manufacturer for another, because it's taken them three years to actually get the PCB manufacturer to do anything worthwhile (they accept any excuse and the "community" eggs them on to be nice to everyone because they have a shed-load of money invested in the hope of receiving a device that's not materialised in significant numbers after three years) and now all the PCB's that have been sitting in the manufacturer's storage for all that time have rotted - which means basically starting months of work all over again with another manufacturer.

    And they can't even ship Premium orders any more because of that. They've shipped maybe a thousand or two units in total, and a lot of those have gone on eBay almost immediately because with only a thousand units in the wild, most of the software is just ports of Ubuntu software and a couple of emulators.

    They still haven't finished "batch 1" yet, and have had a ton of returns and problems (Wifi is the latest - the new boards produced just don't have working wifi because nobody was testing it properly, so they all had to go back) - buttons being faulty, cases cracking, you name it they have problems with it.

    They are currently threatening to sue the PCB manufacturer but how they intend to do that while on the edge of bankruptcy is uncertain. Basically, you aren't going to see it in significant numbers enough to attract developers, and certainly not for years (current batch orders haven't even started yet and probably won't for another year, and they have to re-order all the cases, plastics, etc. for that batch)

    The running joke among Pandora-watchers is "Two Months" - that's how long everything is said to take until they are back in business and gets stated with regularity every two months for the past three years.

  • by Tapewolf ( 1639955 ) on Wednesday July 06, 2011 @06:51AM (#36670274)

    This would be a complete 180 on what the production team have been claiming, so (as in "investor") I would be very interested to hear if you have a citation for that.

    Changing supplier and threatening legal action:

    http://boards.openpandora.org/index.php?/topic/4058-wifi-tests-and-circuitco-2011-06-17/page__view__findpost__p__74759 [openpandora.org]

    Oxidisation problems:

    http://boards.openpandora.org/index.php?/topic/4058-wifi-tests-and-circuitco-2011-06-17/page__view__findpost__p__74948 [openpandora.org]

If graphics hackers are so smart, why can't they get the bugs out of fresh paint?