Walkers Brussels Sprout

New festive flavour crisps and weirdly they do take like Brussels sprouts

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Ouya console test

I bought my OUYA console from Game shorty after it was launched successfully on Kickstarter back in 2012 I think. Its an android powered console that allows users to sideload apps. This means you can purchase apps from the OUYA store or other android app providers.

Some apps are free but most require payment straight away or after playing one level of a game. Commercially this console was a failure and I used it for 10 minutes after buying it and its stayed in its box ever since.

The apps and games are ok but I came across a site with guides on how to get apps like XBMC and various emulators onto it. This makes the console more interesting as I can now play games from other retro console like the Sega Megadrive, Commodore 64, Nintendo consoles etc.

Using the Ouya controller can make it difficult to use all the emulators. I found the C64.emu a little difficult at first but after mapping some of the Commodore 64 keys to the Ouya controller buttons helped.

So, step 1, was connecting the OUYA to my TV using the HDMI cable, connect the power adapter and turn on by pushing the small round button. After a few seconds the main menu appeared but the controller did not work. I pushed the small button between the two thumb pads/joysticks on the controller and some LEDS began blinking and shortly after this the controller worked and allowed me to start navigating menus.

Step 2 was configuring the wifi on the OUYA so I can get on the Internet and browse the OUYA store for available apps. The date/time updated soon after this so all good. I already had some apps/games loaded. I checked for available updates but apparently there were none.

Step 3. I came across a site with suggestions on how to make the OUYA more useful. I decided to download and install some retro emulators. This was easy enough.

After this, you need to get some ROM images onto the OUYA and into the right locations for the emulators to pick them up. I had most problems with the C64.emu. I decided to use a USB flash drive which once inserted into OUYA is picked up straight away. You then need to go to http://www.explusalpha.com/home/c64-emu.

Download the BIOS file and put into the root directory of the flash drive and within this folder you need to download the ROM files (as long as you own the original or they are copyright free). I went to https://wowroms.com/en/roms/commodore-64/daley-thompsons-decathlon/127202.html

OUYA c64.emu bios file

Once this is done, you can run the C64.emu emulator, use LOAD GAME and browse to this location on the flash drive and the game will start to run. At first I couldn’t get much to happen but I soon  realised that I would need to set up the Commodore 64 button to OUYA controller key mapping. You can see me doing this in the video:

I’ll do an update to the post when I get some more emulators and games running as well as XBMC.

Testing the Philips Videopac G7000 Computer

Another computer from my collection for testing. This one has a tatty box and comes with 2 hard wired joystick controllers. One of mine has a broken button which someone has modified with a red switch.

Plugged this into a small TV for testing today and nothing happened. There doesn’t appear to be a power button for these. After tuning in Channel 36 on the TV I managed to get a picture and test one of the game cartridges, 38, Munchkin, a kind of Pacman game.

This console has no serial number that I could find.

Terrible sound and graphics but still great fun and not bad considering it was released in 1978. just need to find my other cartridges for some more retro 8 bit fun.

Blaze Atari Retro TV Handheld

Got home on Saturday morning to find my Atari retro console had arrived. I initially preordered this in March and after at least two manufacturers delays it finally arrived from Funstockretro.co.uk.

It costs £34.99 plus postage and includes some artwork cards and a gold Atari coin.

It takes 4 x AAA batteries. Switch it on and you are presented with a menu of the 50 Atari games that are built in. The screen is small and can only just be seen. Sound is not good but I still enjoyed playing the retro Atari games.

The build of the console is perhaps a little cheaper than I was expecting and disappointing, although this is advertised as a TV console there is no 3.5mm AV cable supplied. I used my own and at the moment can’t get it to display a picture on my TV. I am going to try another cable just in case but it might be heading back to Funstockretro for a refund! Using it with the small screen would not be very practical in the long term. Overall I have mixed reactions at this stage. I will hopefully something more positive to say if I can get it working on the big TV screen.

Update 2/11/18

Have now tried 4 different TV’s and 3 different AV cables that are known good. Cannot get the unit to output onto TV screen. Finally tried pulling the AV cable out of the socket slightly on the handheld and managed to get a picture but no sound. A quick wiggle again and picture and sound but if I push the jack all the way into the socket it doesn’t work. Not sure if these need a particular type of AV cable or this is a fault. I am going to email funstockretro and see what they say. There website doesn’t seem to have the recommended AV cable in stock yet to purchase.

Update 19/11/18

Since my last post, I contacted Funstockretro’s customer support and they got back to me very quickly saying that they did have the right AV cable, it is different to a standard cable and this would fix my problem. I wasn’t convinced but ordered the cable and it arrived a few days later. Plugged it in and it worked straight away. I think they said the polarity of the cable is different to other cables? Happy I can confirm the cable works great and I am now playing the games on a big screen TV.

Walk The Chalk

This was another Surrey Hills Walk that can be found on the iFootpath app. Its a linear walk of about 7.5 miles from Dorking railway station to Gomshall station.

https://www.nationaltrust.org.uk/denbies-hillside/documents/walk-the-chalk-leaflet.pdf

We arrived at Dorking railway station as the guide suggests and parked in the station pay and display car park. The cost was £3.55 for the whole day and you can pay by app if you forget to bring any change.

We followed the guide and made our way down an underpass, past a school and to the start of the first footpath. One moment you’re walking down streets in a town and then the next you’re making your way into the countryside climbing the Denbies Hillside.

This was perhaps my favourite walk so far. Some spectacular views over the surrey countryside with the sun rising above the mist. There was plenty of wildlife including cattle and deer. You follow the line of the railway tracks for much of the walk and occasionally would see a train going past in the distance below you.

There were some short steep climbs in places to keep it interesting, an old carriage road, chalk footpaths, quite a few pillboxes and some benches to have a quick rest and take in the views.

At the end of the walk you arrive in the beautiful village of Gomshall. . There is a mill, a shop with some model dinosaurs at the front and a café for some refreshments. The station is a short walk but does not have a ticket office so you are expected to buy a ticket on the train or prepay online. We arrived at the station at about 11.55 and the train arrived at about 12.12 after a short delay. A few minutes later after looking back at the views of where you have just walked,  you arrive back at the other Dorking Station, Deepdene. A 2 minute walk sees you back at the Dorking station car park.

I’ve collected some more photos in an album again. Click on the link below:

Walk The Chalk 20.10.18