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The Raspberry Pi +

MEMU-Pi  : Now with Joystick Support

MEMU-Pi is Bill Brendling's idea for implementation of Andy Key's Memotech Emulator, MEMU, on a Raspberry Pi (RPi).

For a complete description of the functionality of MEMU, refer to the MEMU page on Andy's site.

As Bill also notes, the Raspberry Pi is a perfectly good Linux machine, and will run the standard MEMU very well. The only requirement is to make sure you have the correct version of PortAudio installed. "sudo apt-get install portaudio19-dev" does the trick (using "libportaudio-dev" does not work).

However, Bill had the idea of making it the Pi look like a hardware emulator of a Memotech, with MEMU coming up full screen as soon as you powered the device on. His intention was to provide the same user experience as Andy's REMEMOTECH, but with no more work than writing an SD card and at much lower cost.

For PC users, since the whole system is built on a FAT32 formatted SD card, once MEMU-Pi has been loaded, it is really easy to add new game or application files to the MEMU directories using Windows, rather then needing to use any low level file manipulation tools such as "dd".

Jump straight to the download

Development History

Quote from Bill . . .

  • Plan A was to create a version of MEMU that ran bare metal (no operating system). However, reading the RPi forums, while the display looks doable, the keyboard and SD card seem to be problematic. So while this remains a long term ambition, for the short term I have adopted plan B.
  • Plan B is to keep a minimal Linux kernel to do the difficult stuff, but have it boot in single user mode and immediately bring up MEMU, Since I wanted full screen, and to cut down the kernel and boot time, one of the things to cut out was clearly X-window, and have MEMU write directly to the display. At this point, MEMU-Pi uses the Linux frame buffer device directly, and hence this version is Linux only.

The initial incarnation of MEMU-Pi contained code to build two versions for Raspberry Pi; the normal windowed MEMU mode and a full screen mode that could be invoked from the Raspbian command line.

The current release also builds the two command line versions, but also includes a stand-alone version which boots straight into MEMU_Pi. The archive file contains all of the required files to set up MEMU-Pi on an SD card, the source files are also available, but are only required if you want to modify MEMU-Pi and rebuild from scratch.

 

Getting Started

27/03/2014 Pre-built Image Files - downloads no longer available

Due to restrictions of the GPL License, it is no longer possible to distribute pre-built versions of MEMU-Pi as the images contain compiled copies of the Linux Kernel and some libraries, but not the source code as required under the terms of the GPL license. Although the source code is readily available, the GPL license mandates that it must be distributed with copies of any binary that uses it.

You can read the background to this issue by following this link to the Raspberry Pi Forums where you will find a diatribe from an anonymous member of RPi forum about "software piracy" and reiterates the GPL license restrictions. Whilst I understand the intent of the GPL license to prevent the distribution of proprietary or non-maintainable software built on top of code released under the GPL license, I can't believe that the goal was to make life more difficult for the end user.

The purpose of the pre-built images was to make it easy for the casual MEMU-Pi user, who could simply expand the compressed archive file and copy it to a formatted SD card. Unfortunately, this is no longer possible, and users need to build MEMU-Pi from the source files and install it on top of a copy of the RPi Raspbian distro (available from the RPi site).

Full instructions are on my MEMU-Pi Make Info page.

Please don't let this inconvenience discourage you from trying and using MEMU-Pi, building it from the source files is not particularly difficult, but requires a bit more work that just copying the images that Bill originally created - unfortunate, but c'est la vie !

Once you have built & installed MEMU-Pi, come back to this page for a brief overview of its operation (below)

To install the complete pre-built package, unzip all the files and copy them onto a FAT formatted SD card. When copying the files, ensure that you preserve the directory structure, including the empty "dev" directory, which is required. Once copied, insert the card into an RPi, and power up.

It should go through the first part of the Raspian boot sequence, and then bring up MEMU, ready to play.

 

MEMU-Pi Operation

The image at the top of the page shows the screen output when MEMU-Pi boots in colour CP/M mode.

Note: when running CP/M, many of the programs available write to the emulated 40 Column MTX VDP screen, to switch between the 40 column and 80 column screen to be displayed on the RPi monitor, use "<ctrl> + <F1>" and "<ctrl>" + "F2" key combinations (it must be the left <ctrl> key).

 

MEMU-Pi Configuration Menu

The system can be configured using a configuration menu, invoked by either the "Sys Req" key or "Scroll Lock" (this alternative is required as X-Windows masks "Sys Req").

 

The menu is navigated with the cursor keys and the options selected with the <Space> bar.

 

MEMU-Pi Menu

Group Option Description
Hardware MTX500 Memotech MTX500 With 32k byte of RAM
  MTX512 Memotech MTX500 With 64k byte of RAM
  SDX Memotech with 576k bytes of RAM and two type 07 disks
  CP/M MONO 576k bytes of RAM, two type 07 drives, CP/M mono monitor
  CP/M COLOUR 576k bytes of RAM, two type 07 drives, CP/M colour monitor
Keyboard Normal Keyboard Keys match MTX keyboard - Not always PC key symbols
  Remapped Keyboard Keys match PC keyboard - Problems with some games
 

Further details of the keyboard remapping function is described on Andy's MEMU keyboard page.

Tape Select "tape" to load Use Cursor Keys to select the required tape (.mtx) file
Drive B: Select "disk" to load Use Cursor Keys to select the required disk (.mfloppy) file
Drive C: Select "disk" to load Use Cursor Keys to select the required disk (.mfloppy) file
Action Apply Change disk and/or tape and continue MEMU
  Cancel Continue MEMU with no changes
  Restart Make changes and restart MEMU
  Exit Exit MEMU and shutdown the Raspberry Pi

 

MEMU-PI Distribution Files
 

27/03/2014 Pre-built Image Files - downloads no longer available

For the foreseeable future, MEMU-Pi can only be distributed in the form of source files.

As described above, due to restrictions of the GPL License, it is no longer possible to distribute pre-built versions of MEMU-Pi and users need to compile the program from the source files.

 

The full distribution of MEMU-Pi consists of MEMU, with my configuration file patches, compiled on RPi, and then with the minimum number of files from the Raspian distro needed to boot. The result is somewhat unusual for an RPi distro, in that there is no Linux partition, everything is stored in the FAT boot partition.

Hence there is no need to use dd (or Windows equivalent) to install. Just unzip all the files and copy them onto a FAT formatted SD card. When copying the files, ensure that you preserve the directory structure, including the empty "dev" directory, which is required. Once copied, insert the card into an RPi, and power up. It should go through the first part of the Raspian boot sequence, and then bring up MEMU, ready to play.

Bill Brendling

Version Release Notes

0.05

22/06/2013 : Version 0.05 released

Source Files for Version 0.05

  • Added support for Atari type joysticks connected to the R-Pi GPIO header

Since this version uses direct memory mapping for the GPIO, it is necessary to run this version of MEMU-Pi as root. This is automatic if running it as the minimal MEMU-Pi distro, but if you run it from Raspian, you have to use sudo.

To make it easier to run memu-pi (as opposed to the other builds) from a full operating system, Bill has added a "-os" switch. With this switch on the command line memu-pi returns to the OS on exit rather than shutting down the RPi.

Full instructions for building MEMU-Pi are on the Make Info page.

0.04

07/04/2013 : Version 0.04 released

Version 0.04 - Pre-built for writing to SD Card

  • Most of the changes were to improve the interface of the MEMU-Pi code with Andy's, and to align the file versions with Andy's recent MEMU update.

Source Files for Version 0.04

Full instructions for building MEMU-Pi are on the Make Info page.

Sample "memu_pi.cfg" file to set initial options for MEMU-Pi.

0.03

16/03/2013 : Version 0.03 released

Full Version 0.03 - Pre-built for writing to SD Card

  • Minor change to Configuration Menu option colour scheme

Source Files for Version 0.03

Full instructions for building MEMU-Pi are on the Make Info page.

Sample "memu_pi.cfg" file to set initial options for MEMU-Pi.

0.02

13/03/2013 : Version 0.02 released  - minor update to configuration file code

  • Changes to the configuration are now correctly preserved.
  • On program exit (either by Break key or from the menu) the file system is synced and the kernel is halted cleanly (no more kernel panics).
  • I have removed the dependency on ncurses, which means that libncurses and lintinfo can be removed from the distro.

This file contains only the new MEMU-Pi executable - replace the existing memu-pi executable in the SD card memu\ directory created from Version 0.01

0.01

24/02/2013 : Version 0.01 Released - "beta" version of the full screen, stand-alone, MEMU-Pi

The first draft of Memu-Pi : pre-release for testing

The distribution consists of MEMU, with my configuration file patches, compiled on RPi, and then with the minimum number of files from the Raspian distro needed to boot. The result is somewhat unusual for an RPi distro, in that there is no Linux partition, everything is stored in the FAT boot partition.

Hence there is no need to use dd (or Windows equivalent) to install. Just unzip all the files and copy them onto a FAT formatted SD card. When copying the files, ensure that you preserve the directory structure, including the empty "dev" directory, which is required. Once copied, insert the card into an RPi, and power up. It should go through the first part of the Raspian boot sequence, and then bring up MEMU, ready to play.

 

 

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