Spectrum Emulator (full screen) on the Raspberry Pi

August 10th, 2014 by Alistair MacDonald Leave a reply »

As part of my ZX Keyboard project I wanted to run a Spectrum emulator in full screen on the Raspberry Pi.

Fuse Spectrum emulator running on the Raspberry PiThe good news is the Spectrum emulator Fuse has already been ported to the Raspberry Pi and is easy to install if you are using Raspbian. The bad nest is that all the guides I found were to install the “GTK” version that runs under X windows, and I wanted to run in full screen on an old CRT TV. To install the Fuse “SDL” version (that will run in full screen from the command lane) just log in and from the command line run the following command…

sudo apt-get install fuse-emulator-common fuse-emulator-sdl fuse-emulator-utils spectrum-roms

Next we should make it start in full screen. From the console type in “fuse-sdl” and the emulator will start. Next press F1 (yes, sorry, the ZX keyboard does not have an F1 key so you will need to use another keyboard for now), select “Options”, and “Full Screen”. To make this the default press F1 and select “Options” again, then select “Save”. To exit use the F10 key.

Now I think we will need a good old game to play. The best place to look for Spectrum games that are distributed legally is at http://www.worldofspectrum.org/ . The simple way to load a game using the ZX Keyboard is from the command line. For example we can load Manic Miner (assuming we downloaded the game and extracted it to the working directory) with the following command.

fuse-sdl –tape “Manic Miner.tzx”

Annoyingly I have come across one problem with Fuse and the ZX Keyboard. Fuse maps each key to a Spectrum key, letter to letter, number to number, shift becomes Caps Shift, and Ctrl become Symbol Shift. All other keys are ignored. This is a problem as we are interpreting and translating the symbols already. For example the Symbol Shift P as a double quote (a shifted 2), but the emulator treats this as the Caps Lock being pressed. We could make the ZX Keyboard work flawlessly by turning off our translation, but we would lose compatibility with PC software. I might look at building in a way to changing modes but we will have to cope with this for now.

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