Minimal Gaming Os Possible?


skeezix

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It's mostly he Alsa audio bs that pops up once in awhile

the os is actually pretty tight

but I've always said I (and others likely :) will make mini firmwares. I've already made a mega tiny one hat boots right into minimenu and has only libs for games, and no other executables. Needs work though :)

I'm tied up most of the weekend so less chitchat from
e today :)

jeffphone
 

naples39

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I'd love to see an even more minimal OS with a faster boot. I bought the Pandora purely to game and a full desktop is totally extraneous to me--the odds that I find myself with WiFi access and nothing but my Pandora to use to get online are slim to none. If I have WiFi access, I am practically guaranteed to have my iPad or laptop or access to another computer, or heaven forbid, wait a few hours to go online elsewhere.

Honestly, I'm not too concerned yet about the OS hurting performance. I expect it to be sorted soon.
 

Ze_ro

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Tearing up the OS is not a good idea. The services that are running are there for a reason, and if you disable them all, you're going to lose features. Even if it's just battery warnings and programs that watch for button combinations to kill the running program or switch to another one... any multitasking would be thrown right out the window. That's stuff that I think should stay in there as persistent features of the Pandora. This isn't just a faster GP2X.

And before anyone says "Well, it would be an option for some programs", let me reply by saying that then those programs would either have to find some way to duplicate all the features lost by killing all the background programs, or lose consistency with the rest of the Pandora apps. Remember playing stuff on the GP2X where every single program had a different combination to exit the program, and you could never remember which was which? That's the kind of stuff I'm talking about here... a standard interface will do a lot to pull things together, and make everything "just work".

I think people are jumping the gun a little early here. The Pandora JUST came out, the OS is essentially a beta version sort of rushed out the door, and the main example is a first beta release of an emulator. Give devs and the OpenPandora Team some time to iron things out a bit, and hopefully we won't have any need for multiple OS's. Seems to me that the way to solve this is 1) Rig up a button combination that will enable/disable WiFi (This is already planned, right?), and 2) Set appropriate priority levels for the running app and all background apps so that the running app gets more priority (someone mentioned using the renice command in another thread).

--Zero
 

Exophase

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skeezix said:
It's mostly he Alsa audio bs that pops up once in awhile

Right, when can we begin the OSSv4 on Pandora project? ;) Picodrive always used OSS in the past on GP2X and Wiz, should feel right at home with it on Pandora.
 
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DaveC

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Aninhumer said:
Racemaniac said:
the goal of a real-time os is to provide some processes the ability to work on timing critical issues. this means they need the ability to prevent being preempted by the scheduler, being interrupted by other tasks... isn't that what we want for our emulators? full control, not being interrupted by os processes (which is causing the framedrops)?
if our problem is memory, the os taking up too much memory, i agree wee need a minimal os
but if it's them getting interrupted by os processes, adding realtime features to the current os would be sufficient. we could keep a full featured os, and provide emus the ability to work as if it weren't there.
That's a very complex solution to a simple problem, though.
It would require a lot of testing of a new kernel, and the few emulators that could benefit would have to be rewritten anyway.

I think DaveC was incorrect to call this a "minimal OS", all we're talking about is killing background processes.

EDIT:
I'm not even sure why everyone's clamouring for every scrap of performance already...
The Pandora is a LOT more powerful than the Wiz, and emulators for anything older than the PSX should run fine.
Come back when you have something that is actually being slowed down after optimisation.

There is something actually slowed down now. Picodrive has inconsistent frame rates even in Sonic 1 . The emu is fine and optimized but according to Notaz there are background tasks running that are causing hiccups in framerate. I don't need multitasking while playing a game. I am not going to play Sonic and browse the net at the same time.
 
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Aninhumer

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Wouldn't a better way to handle this be disabling WiFi until people actually want it?
I don't really mind waiting a little while for it to scan when I need to use it, if it reduces power consumption and improves performance.

Or was there an issue with the WiFi not coming back on after being disabled?
 

Pleng

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@DaveC

You may not, indeed neither do I.

But any solution proposed should take account of the face that some people will want to, for example, play Sonic whilst listening to MP3s.
 

Kramy

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Do what most Windows media players do when they start playing video - raise their own priority.

renice... someone with a Pandora use it, and see if the stutters go away!
 

1magus

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MDave said:
Aninhumer said:
Racemaniac said:
the goal of a real-time os is to provide some processes the ability to work on timing critical issues. this means they need the ability to prevent being preempted by the scheduler, being interrupted by other tasks... isn't that what we want for our emulators? full control, not being interrupted by os processes (which is causing the framedrops)?
if our problem is memory, the os taking up too much memory, i agree wee need a minimal os
but if it's them getting interrupted by os processes, adding realtime features to the current os would be sufficient. we could keep a full featured os, and provide emus the ability to work as if it weren't there.
That's a very complex solution to a simple problem, though.
It would require a lot of testing of a new kernel, and the few emulators that could benefit would have to be rewritten anyway.

I think DaveC was incorrect to call this a "minimal OS", all we're talking about is killing background processes.

EDIT:
I'm not even sure why everyone's clamouring for every scrap of performance already...
The Pandora is a LOT more powerful than the Wiz, and emulators for anything older than the PSX should run fine.
Come back when you have something that is actually being slowed down after optimisation.
The problem is the occasional hiccups in frame rate unrelated to the emulators, being caused by something in the background processes.

Has there been better results turning WiFi off before playing?

I think what would be neat is to kill anything the game/app dosnt need, then restoring after the game/app has exited.
Does windows do this when you start a full game?
 
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Kramy

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TylerAW said:
Does windows do this when you start a full game?

Services (like WiFi) are automatically a lower priority on Windows. When in use, their priority may be raised - although I can't say for certain. Applications often raise their own priority during critical pieces of code. It's extremely common for games, media players, etc. to have a higher priority than everything else running.

Linux does proper sharing of CPU time based on priority - but often you'd rather have the Windows model, where one app at "Normal" (8) can choke everything at "Low" (6), and nearly strangle another normal app, just because the first one has focus. (it could be as unbalanced as a 90/10 split on a single core machine, although with multiple cores it seems to balance things better)

Most linux distros use a fair scheduler, and yet everything is foolishly run at the same or similar priority level. To get the same effect as on Windows XP, you'd need to renice -8 pid whatever is in the foreground.

When I changed my launchers in Ubuntu to do that, apps started running a lot quicker. :)

Edit: This post came off entirely too informative. I'm not an expert on this stuff - I hardly even use Ubuntu, except for my NAS. :p Is there some unknown danger to raising process priorities a whole bunch, or should our future PND launchers automatically do that? ;)
 
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cobaltage

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Am I correct in recalling that the emulators we have so far are not using the GPU?

By the way, what exactly is the start up time? Just curious.
 

notaz

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Exophase said:
skeezix said:
It's mostly he Alsa audio bs that pops up once in awhile

Right, when can we begin the OSSv4 on Pandora project? ;) Picodrive always used OSS in the past on GP2X and Wiz, should feel right at home with it on Pandora.
I really don't think porting over to OSSv4 would be easier than fixing the ALSA driver.
 
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ahahah

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naples39 said:
I'd love to see an even more minimal OS with a faster boot. I bought the Pandora purely to game and a full desktop is totally extraneous to me--the odds that I find myself with WiFi access and nothing but my Pandora to use to get online are slim to none. If I have WiFi access, I am practically guaranteed to have my iPad or laptop or access to another computer, or heaven forbid, wait a few hours to go online elsewhere.

Honestly, I'm not too concerned yet about the OS hurting performance. I expect it to be sorted soon.

+1 ;)
 
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notaz

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http://notaz.gp2x.de/misc/pnd/background_killer.pnd

Yeah, background killer. Try running it from minimenu and running a game after that.

DaveC, give it a try.
 

1magus

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cobaltage said:
Am I correct in recalling that the emulators we have so far are not using the GPU?

By the way, what exactly is the start up time? Just curious.
I'm no dev and I'm no programmer but I think everything uses the GPU I mean thats how it displays anything to a screen I thought? Might be different in a embedded device however.
If you mean for scaling images than no there is a bug in the OS atm for that.
 
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wardred

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TylerAW said:
I'm no dev and I'm no programmer but I think everything uses the GPU I mean thats how it displays anything to a screen I thought? Might be different in a embedded device however.
If you mean for scaling images than no there is a bug in the OS atm for that.

Tyler, I think he's referring to using 3D surfaces and/or 3D acceleration. Many, if not most, 2D stuff simply uses a frame buffer, if I'm not mistaken. I couldn't tell you how much faster/slower it would be writing to a GLES surface as opposed to simply flipping the frame buffer around.
 
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1magus

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Well can't you use the GPU for features like Anti Aliasing in 2D emulators?
 

DaveC

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skeezix said:
I've already made a mega tiny one hat boots right into minimenu and has only libs for games, and no other executables. Needs work though :)

I'm tied up most of the weekend so less chitchat from
e today :)

jeffphone
Ohh you are talking dirty now. Yes this sounds like what my dream is. No bullshit. Just clean lean and mean all of the way. No dropped frames, no bloat, just slim svelt jedi code. This is what i am looking for :)
 
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