Viability of using a Pyra as a hybrid/main computer?

Arctic20

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Hi guys, I was wondering if anyone plans on or if anyone thinks that using a Pyra as like a Nintendo switch for PC's would be viable or not. Having a monitor and keyboard/mouse for it at a desk but being able to unplug and have the same experience portably, forgetting about desktops and full size laptops.

Since there's a 4gb ram option and the OS seems light I was thinking that this could be more than just a "side thing" for certain users. The main problem I only see is that since it uses arm and not x86, stuff like steam is out of the window but I guess you could have a console+ pyra for your gaming and computing needs

I am partially asking for me but mostly I was just wanting to get a consensus on if one of the purposes of pyra was the ability to provide a very convenient PC like how the switch provides a very convenient game console. I know the Pandora advertised a "pocket PC" too but with such little ram and a single core processor it wouldn't have been ideal at all as a PC replacement. Things have really changed though in the mobile computing space.

Thanks a bunch, looking forward to seeing this project grow and get released even if I don't get one (I've always wanted one since the Pandora days, but I am always broke and if I do save for something electronic my priority is building a desktop PC first)
 

Silent-Hunter

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I plan to use it as my main computer, for everything other than games that won't run on it. For those, I have a Windows desktop. But I don't plan to use the Pyra with any kind of external monitor or keyboard, as I'll mostly be doing my computing on the sofa.
 

benoitb

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I think it will be viable. I have a powerful desktop running windows for games but I tend to do my general personal computing on a Thinkpad running Linux. I think the Pyra will probably render this laptop useless for me. For most tasks I'll use the Pyra and for big games or heavy tasks (like video editing if I ever motivate myself) the desktop.
 

AnimatedFreak

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I plan on using it with my desktop, with remote desktop applications and SSH, accessing many of my desktops features from my Pyra will be pretty easy like with any GNU/Linux machine. But I don't think I will need it much as the work I do don't really require that much processing power all the time.
It's a shame that Valve hasn't made it's steam client available for ARM yet, but I remember playing many fun Open Source games on the Pandora so I'm not concerned about the lack of games that will be made for the Pyra. Especially with emulation as an option.
Does anyone know the status on streaming steam games from a desktop onto the pyra? Like in once home? Would that be possible?
 

Arctic20

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You guys are making me want this device more. I better at least consider saving now before pre orders close :p

I am not sure what you can do on arm Linux, can anyone tell me the stuff you can play and do? Is gaming just about emulation? I have a switch so it's not like I need another gaming handheld, but on the other hand emulation just seems like the most basic form of running games.

I like the pyra for the cool hardware and the fact it runs desktop Linux which would be fun for me to learn the OS ( I just have a windows 2 in 1 but I could try dual booting). Gaming is not the number one priority for the pyra for me but I really really appreciate/need the built in gaming controls it has for convenience and to give it a "fun gamer touch".
 

Caine

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I am not sure what you can do on arm Linux, can anyone tell me the stuff you can play and do? Is gaming just about emulation?
In theory no, it can be more. In practice, it is mostly emulation (and homebrew).

Check the app repository of the Pandora to get an impression of what to expect.
https://pyra-handheld.com/boards/pages/pndrepo/

Naturally the Pyra is more powerful thus more options are available.
 

AnimatedFreak

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It's hard to say exactly what the system can do before it's released but the best way to get an idé of what it can do it just look what it's predecessor the OpenPandora could do. Evildragon has a hole video series on his youtube channel just showing off applications, games and of course tuns of emulators running on the system. Here is one video from the playlist where he shows off remote desktop I was also worried when I was considering getting the Pandora if it was going to be able to do what I want it to do because it was a Linux OS and I had only used Windows up to that point. But I found out pretty soon that it's a very capable OS. The Debian distribution of the OS is my main OS on all my computers now actually and the reason I am waiting for the Pyra instead of getting the GPD Win.
 

Arctic20

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In theory no, it can be more. In practice, it is mostly emulation (and homebrew).

Check the app repository of the Pandora to get an impression of what to expect.
https://pyra-handheld.com/boards/pages/pndrepo/

Naturally the Pyra is more powerful thus more options are available.

I see, could you list things a pyra can do that a phone can't do or does significantly worse? Im mostly glued to a web browser and 99 percent of the time I'm on my phone for "computing" because it's so convenient but of course I'd like a linux machine and branch out to do other things and learn.

Edit: Guy above me mostly covered this question while I was typing this.
 

AnimatedFreak

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One great thing I am going to love is because the Pyra runs a desktop OS you won't get the mobile version of every website you go to, which can be beneficial for example the Youtube mobile version when I use it on my phone, if I switch tabs it will cut the audio out and pause the video (probably to prevent people from using youtube for music on the go) but on the Pyra it should work just like it does on a normal PC and keep playing the video.
 

benoitb

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I see, could you list things a pyra can do that a phone can't do or does significantly worse? Im mostly glued to a web browser and 99 percent of the time I'm on my phone for "computing" because it's so convenient but of course I'd like a linux machine and branch out to do other things and learn.

Edit: Guy above me mostly covered this question while I was typing this.
Multitasking, anything that requires a keyboard (unless you have a phone with a keyboard) like: IM, email, actually taking part in a forum conversation ;), command-line tools on your Pyra or a distant server, programing, etc...

And you can code and compile for a Pandora on a Pandora. Not sure if that's practical or possible on phones. To me that is the defining task to say a computer is a real computer.
 

elvissteinjr

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Does anyone know the status on streaming steam games from a desktop onto the pyra? Like in once home? Would that be possible?
Steam In-Home Steaming itself relies on a Steam client on the device which is not available for ARM-based devices except Steam Link. Valve did open up access to that device, so you can have a root SSH access and run your own code (bootloader still needs signed OS tho). My point here is that you can easily grab the Steam streaming client executables from the device via SSH, which makes me wonder why there hasn't been any development towards getting those running somewhere else.

Moonlight is a thing I guess.
 

Arctic20

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Multitasking, anything that requires a keyboard (unless you have a phone with a keyboard) like: IM, email, actually taking part in a forum conversation ;), command-line tools on your Pyra or a distant server, programing, etc...

And you can code and compile for a Pandora on a Pandora. Not sure if that's practical or possible on phones. To me that is the defining task to say a computer is a real computer.

I don't know how to code but I learned a little it would be just for fun. You can code on a phone but touch typing doesn't feel as good. I can type a lot on a phone very easily but when I attempted to learn python I could tell that you really want to feel the keys for accuracy.

You can multitask on Android Oreo but I'm on 6.0, I'd still imagine Debian would be better for multitasking even still.

Phones aren't the holy Grail of everything and I think the pyra justifies it's price more than a iPhone X or other high price flagships especially with the 4g version but they have replaced a lot of tasks, however I wouldn't want a phone to be my only computer, I wouldn't have pyra as one either, more of an excellent companion that I'd use for general tasks and emulation more than a desktop or a phone.

When I was looking at the Pandora years ago phones were nowhere near what they are now but the landscape has changed dramatically. However phones are still so held back by their OS, I think phones by now with how much ram and horsepower they have should be dual booting a full Linux distro with a docking station you can get to use as a PC. Ubuntu phone tried this but that project was a mess as far as I know. It didn't have the right backing behind it for it to take off. The 4g version of the pyra is like that vision but better since you have all the buttons you need built in with so many ports! Not as convenient as a phone as in you can whip it out with one hand and do something quick but it has the similar idea and more feature rich at the cost of completely effortless convenience.

I tell people who are shocked at the price of the pyra and gpd win 2 that they are MUCH more advanced than s phone in terms of what you can do and the input methods they provide. I can do 99.9 percent of tasks on my $200 phone that a $700+ phone can do minus an amazing camera. I just couldn't figure out what I would be doing on a UMPC if I'm not playing steam games on a win 2.
 

trix

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Lots.

Today I woke up and played some Gran Turismo 2 (PSX) on my Pandora for a couple of hours, then I plugged in the TV-Out and the usb receiver for my wireless keyboard and mouse, and played Diablo 2 for a few hours. Now I'm reading this website and replying using Pale Moon, and when I'm finished I'm going to watch a couple of episodes of Stargate SG1 (still using TV-Out) that I ripped from the DVD and encoded at 480p, entirely done using my Pandora and a USB portable DVD drive.

You say the Pandora is underpowered for docking as a Desktop but I do this a lot and don't miss much. The Pyra will be able to do much more, and thanks to the 4G is online anywhere and usable as a phone replacement with a bluetooth headset.

The Pyra wont be able to play the latest triple A military first person shooter or whatever but I've never been that kind of gamer anyway, and if I was I'd probably prefer the latest playstation or xbox anyway.
 

Arctic20

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You say the Pandora is underpowered for docking as a Desktop
Not me, I acknowledged the potential if anything. As long as 4+ GB ram is there, the OS is light and CPU power is enough then in theory it could be a desktop replacement for light tasks like you described, like a Google Chromebox but more flexible.
 

Arctic20

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Pandora, not Pyra.

256MB of RAM. Works great.
I forgot my own posts XD, my apologies, I did say Pandora is too weak but you were using it for singular tasks, 256mb ram is simply not enough in 2018 for main PC usage. Linux distros that are for very very low amount of ram and CPU computers even suggest you will want at least 1gb bare minimum for any kind of average multitasking.

I'm happy you like your Pandora and it does it's job but I am talking about ditching a PC (mostly or fully) in favor of a UMPC. I think the 4gb pyra will be just fine as a PC alternative with everything I learned, especially with the ability to upgrade the board later on.
 

rygD

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and when I'm finished I'm going to watch a couple of episodes of Stargate SG1
Which episodes? I stopped buying the DVDs long ago, and I never finished the last few seasons when they were still new, and am only now returning to finish it up (and Atlantis). I just watched part 2 of Moebius last night.

I think part of why I never finished it is they changed too much near the end. Maybe I will watch a few more episodes after I finish this episode of Star Trek: Voyager.
[doublepost=1515279235,1515279027][/doublepost]
I forgot my own posts XD, my apologies, I did say Pandora is too weak but you were using it for singular tasks, 256mb ram is simply not enough in 2018 for main PC usage. Linux distros that are for very very low amount of ram and CPU computers even suggest you will want at least 1gb bare minimum for any kind of average multitasking.

I'm happy you like your Pandora and it does it's job but I am talking about ditching a PC (mostly or fully) in favor of a UMPC. I think the 4gb pyra will be just fine as a PC alternative with everything I learned, especially with the ability to upgrade the board later on.
I can find tasks that any computer you give me will not be "good enough" for. You might be surprised what you can do with very little. Should I mention visiting the moon?
 

Arctic20

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I can find tasks that any computer you give me will not be "good enough" for. You might be surprised what you can do with very little. Should I mention visiting the moon?

We are talking about general daily tasks. Even ED admitted that the Pandora is slow for web browsing https://pyra-handheld.com/boards/threads/gpd-win-2.81854/page-2

If something can't even function decently for web browsing then it's not up to par for a main daily driver unless you don't use web browsers, and that would be an incredible low amount of people. You can't make magic happen, single core cpu's and <1gb ram are very very outdated specs in 2018 and won't handle 99.5 percent of people's daily driving tasks which is mostly browser based.
 
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trix

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Personally I don't share this multi-tasking craze. I am only one person and have only one monitor/keyboard/mouse and only do one thing at a time, generally. The difference with something like the Pandora vs the Pyra is simply that you have to save and exit what you are doing prior to doing something else, rather than just backgrounding it.

As for web browsing, most of my web browsing is forums and wikipedia and searches so links -g works wonderfully (and very very quick even on internal wifi) for me. However, yes, the full Pale Moon (firefox) experience which I sometimes use does take a bit longer to load pages.

Anyway my point was that the experience is 90% there already with the Pandora, so to answer your original question yes the Pyra can replace a Desktop PC easily, if you do things it can handle. If you spend most of your time on the latest x86 games, not so much. At this point your posts indicate you've come to this conclusion already so, welcome to the wait list!

Also if you are impressed with how far mobile devices have come since the original Pandora, just imagine if it had been modular like the Pyra will be. In 8-10 years from now when mobile devices are even crazier than we currently believe is possible, I wont even have to buy a Pyra 2 (or 3 or whatever) but instead just upgrade the SoC on the cheap with the latest and greatest features. And a much smaller wait from order to delivery.

rygD said:
Which episodes? I stopped buying the DVDs long ago, and I never finished the last few seasons when they were still new, and am only now returning to finish it up (and Atlantis). I just watched part 2 of Moebius last night.
Coincidentally, part 1 and 2 of Moebius. I've seen all of SG1 and Atlantis over and over and over and over, and all of Universe twice. I'm extremely obsessed with that show.

SG:Universe sucks, by the way.
 
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