Early Pyra Impressions


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Jun 17, 2005
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Here are some of my thoughts/scribbles after a couple of weeks (and maybe 5 hours) of playing):-

Ran SUDO UPDATE/UPGRADE and all seemed to update OK.
The downloads came down over WiFi 5Ghz at around 2.5MB/s.
The update is showing that a pulse-audio driver has been depracated - not sure if I should use AUTOREMOVE on this; I saw some issues on the forum around this?
Not going to update to Bullseye until there is an official image.
Not too interested in trying to boot other OS's via SD card at this point.

Firefox installed quickly. Runs fine and feels quite snappy, although I haven't done extensive testing (think RPi 4 for a rough idea). I use uMatrix and other blocking add-ons, so YMMV!
Smooth scrolling on the right nub is a joy. With the DPAD and nubs and PGUP/PGDN keys, it makes surfing quite flexible and pleasant. Absolutely miles better experience than the Pandora!
I've also installed Thunderbird, but haven't set that up yet.

SUDO REBOOT didn't power the machine back on, think I've seen mention of this elsewhere. Strangely, the power button then did nothing? However, holding power down seemd to force the machine "off", and then it booted up OK.

Based on the few times I have charged the battery, I guess it's charging at around 10% an hour via Micro USB - but it happily gets to 100%. Bear in mind it's an old phone cable, might be limiting the current draw. The one time I tried to charge via the other MicroUSB socket (OTG? - with the extra socket), it powered the unit on, so I didn't continue charging.
A full battery is showing approx 9-10 hours when just on the desktop. And around 6-7 after a mini-gaming session. Although this is probably not a good inidication of anything at all!

I bought a 128GB Sandisk Extreme SD card when the Pyra arrived, inserted into the right hand slot (to avoid any auto-booting issues!). I didn't re-format the SD card at first, just left as exFAT.

The first DBP I tried to download actually on the Pyra was RickyD from the repo - but it failed. Firefox "retry" didn't work (I tried a good few times), but bizarrely deleting and trying again did?
Downloading some more DBPs and I had a few fails, and needed to retry the DBP downloads, in some cases a few times.

After the downloads, I tried to run Prince of Persia from the DBP repository first and it wouldn't work...just crashed the file manager and eventually hung Linux!
Wasn't sure if the card format was the issue, so after a bit of digging I found ptitSeb recommended F2FS, so I re-formatted the SD card using GParted to F2FS.
Then I had no file permissions to do anything(?!), so created dragonbox and sub folders (packages & appdata) via SUDO and changed the folder (and children folders) ownership to me using CHOWN.
Now PoP works fine after dropping the DBP in the packages folder. Very clever - it populates the games menu auto-script-magically :)

These are the DBPs I tried:-
  • PoP - great version, very slick - looks awesome on the Pyra screen
  • RickyD - used to love this on the amiga, but the controls are rage-inducing. Bloody 1-button joysticks!
  • Prototype - very nice R-Type style horizontal shmup. Gorgeous visuals that pop on the Pyra screen.
  • Hydra Castle Labyrinth - Never played this before, seems interesting. Strangely the music would pause when I pressed up and other controls (jump/shoot) - hmmmm...
  • Stunt Car Remake - Nice remake - another of my faves from the Miggy days. Smooth frame rate - would have killed for this in 1990!
  • Tile World - Nice Chips Challenge game. However, the game runs in a small window in the bottom left quarter of the screen - wasn't sure how to make it full screen?
  • Wolfenstein - didn't work - no obvious errors. Will there be a log somewhere detailing the fail?

Haven't tried any emulators yet. Would love to see MAME, but couldn't see that on the repo. Will try Speccy/C64/SNES emulation at some point.

TBH I don't know how much use my Pyra will get. I wanted it badly in 2015, but my circumstances have changed somewhat in the intervening years, and I don't really have the same need for a portable gaming/PC device.
But I am interested to see where the community takes the machine, since it seems to be mainly software/drivers that are holding it back at the moment! And I'll stay in touch with you friendly lot :)

Anyways, for a brief early impression post, I've waffled for far too long :D


PS - I might make a video at some point. But this is not something I normally do, so don't hold your breath!
Thangs for your small review, on the DBP that dosnt work: Some of these Files are quite old, so where made for a Prototyphe Pyra OS or something, so everthing until Drastic might not work, all DBP after the Date when Drastic put to the Repo should work..
Thangs for your small review, on the DBP that dosnt work: Some of these Files are quite old, so where made for a Prototyphe Pyra OS or something, so everthing until Drastic might not work, all DBP after the Date when Drastic put to the Repo should work..
Drastic works for you? I tested and it crashes when loads any game.