What's about OpenPandora?

What's about OpenPandora?

Postby 3xcl4m4t10n » 28 Jun 2014, 11:58

For one who no knows what it is:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pandora_(console)

Also there's goodly information:

http://boards.openpandora.org/topic/164 ... more-open/

And they are making it precessor now, called "Pyra".
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Re: What's about OpenPandora?

Postby onpon4 » 28 Jun 2014, 14:20

I have a Pandora (the original model that they label "classic"). It's a small computer with a keyboard (though it isn't a very good one) and some gaming controls. The base install becomes a completely free system if you remove the wireless (WiFi and Bluetooth) firmware and the OpenGL ES library; of course, built-in wireless and 3-D acceleration don't work in this case (I don't know about 2-D hardware acceleration).

The purpose of the Pandora is kind of sketchy, though. I was in that community for a long time, and while "open source" is supposedly liked, it's not a very important factor to the members there. Obviously, they up-front champion it as a device for emulation to play old proprietary software games, sometimes with even proprietary emulators (like MAME and the Nintendo DS), but even excluding that, there are a lot of proprietary games in the OpenPandora app store (which they call the "repo") that the community around it appreciate greatly. I once did a count of the top 100 rated apps and found a large percentage of them (I want to say 25%) were proprietary. If anything, the OpenPandora actually more of an "indie and retro games" system, than an "open source games" system.

I don't know much of anything about the Pyra. I wouldn't expect it to be much if at all better on the hardware freedom front; part of the problem is simply limited options for ARM SoCs, from my understanding. I wouldn't expect it or its community to become more of a champion of "open source" or freedom, either. Basically, I expect the Pyra to be the same as the OpenPandora, but better on the practical convenience front. I'd recommend it over an iThing, a 3DS, or even pretty much any Android device if you want a small computer to play games with, but I don't think it's worth paying any particular attention to in general.

Another similar device, which as far as I know is about the same in terms of its mission and freedom-respect as the OpenPandora and Pyra, is the GCW Zero. The OpenPandora is really the spiritual successor to the GP2X, while the GCW Zero is more of a spiritual successor to the Dingoo A320.
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Re: What's about OpenPandora?

Postby Julius » 28 Jun 2014, 17:49

Used to own the GP32 and GP2X (The ones the OpenPandora community grew from), and they were certainly fun. The OpenPandora itself though never felt quite like a good deal. Besides being late and relatively expensive it couldn't really run any games/emulators significantly better than the GP2X could, as even though the hardware is much better, the full OS is slowing it down a bit and there is a large gap in emulation requirements going from the 16bit 2d ones to the next gen.

I am somewhat following the Pyra thing also, but the market for heldhelds is much different these days and I don't think they will manage to come up with something thats competitive on a price/value level. Sure it's a small "garage" company and for that it is quite great, but these days the setting is different. There is actually decent hardware being build by large companies at a very competitive price point (Nvidia Shield or those tablets with gaming controls) and I would much rather see effort being spend to make these run a proper OS (mer with plasma active for example) instead of annoying Android.
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Re: What's about OpenPandora?

Postby Julius » 27 Nov 2020, 13:04

Pyra now seems to be almost ready to ship:
https://liliputing.com/2020/11/dragonbo ... month.html
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Re: What's about OpenPandora?

Postby dulsi » 27 Nov 2020, 15:02

I wanted the Pyra but I don't think it is in the budget. I hope it does well.
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Re: What's about OpenPandora?

Postby Alcyone » 27 Nov 2020, 15:28

I pre-ordered one, a bit more to encourage an european garage initiative than a fully fledge powerfull handheld computer/console.

Compared to other handheld computers, it seems quite ergonomic though and I have some needs for that.
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Re: What's about OpenPandora?

Postby Julius » 27 Nov 2020, 19:31

Yeah, the guy behind it is super cool. I bought a few things from him in the past, always great service.

However by now I own a first generation x86 GPDWin (also bought from his shop) that runs Linux perfectly fine and is quite a bit faster than the Pyra (and was much cheaper too). So yeah, you got to be very enthusiastic about the Pyra for it to worth buying...
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