More internet access and gaming

More internet access and gaming

First off, we didn’t make it to look at the RV. Hopefully we can go this week. The time, funds, and weather did not cooperate.

Now, for internet use and access and what to do about entertainment in the RV.

I had bought a Raspberry Pi 3 with case and everything in order to make it a router with the iPhone Hotspot sharing feature. Well that did not work. For some reason, I could not get the Pi to recognize that it was an iPhone connected to it in order to share the internet connection. With that failed, I turned it into a classic gaming machine. I installed retroPie emulation software, got some ROMs and a controller, and easily had a fully functioning gaming computer. With a little effort, I had every NES, SNES, Genesis, 32x, and several N64 games on it. The controller was easy to set up and it was fully functional. No problems.

But I wanted more. GameCube games would be nice, as would Playstation games. And all on one system. And have all our movies accessible. And have an internet router that controlled it all. PC games would be nice as well. And low power.

No problem, right?

Well, I had the solution already. I have recently upgraded from a 2016 MacBook to a 2014 15″ MacBook Pro. I set up all my web design software, games, and mail and all that goodness on it. I use it exclusively for just about everything. So that left me with a 2012 quad core i7 Mac mini that wasn’t being used much except for serving movies and TV shows through the Apple TV to the living and bedroom TVs.

Why not use that as our media hub and internet connection device? That is exactly what I did. I hadn’t reinstalled the OS on the Mac mini since I bought it, and when I owned previous Macs, I did a clean install about once a year. Take my files, erase the hard drive, reinstall the OS and start from scratch. I need to do that anyway, so I am in the process of backing up the Mac mini to start from scratch. I have nearly four years of applications, files, extensions, preference files and other things I don’t need anymore, so a clean start would help anyway. Trim the fat and all that.

With Microsoft OneDrive, I’m backing up everything that fits on the internal hard drive. I have all my music and movies on an external drive, so I backed up the OneDrive folder to that hard drive as well. Once that is done, and it is taking awhile, then I will run TimeMachine and back up the internal hard drive to a different external, just in case something goes wrong.

So what do I need to make it a running, functional media hub? Not much really. I need iTunes for video and music. I need Dolphin and OpenEmu for games. I need OneDrive to store my backups of files. And then Joystick Mapper to connect a controller to the Mac. The Mac mini will be connected to a TV, but if I don’t want to or need to turn the tv will on, I can use Duet and control the Mac from an iPad. So then we have a headless Mac that is controlled by either a joystick or an iPad, has everything we need for entertainment, and eventually will be powered by solar.

Its all good to go.

Written by 

Eric is a dedicated technophile and strives to make things in Sleipnir as innovative, simple to use, and convenient as possible. He has worked a variety of jobs, from construction and manufacturing to working as a civilian in a law enforcement agency. He is an avid tabletop gamer and builds websites in his spare time.

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