For Christmas this year, I decided to buy myself a Dingoo A320, which I had been wanting for a long time now. For those of you who don’t know what it is, Wikipedia says it “[...] is a gaming hand-held that supports music and video playback and open game development.” I say its my portable little piece of classic video game emulation heaven.
By default it plays Gameboy Advance, Nintendo, Super Nintendo, Megadrive/Genesis, Neo Geo, CPS1 and CPS2 games. With a few simple downloads available on the internet thanks to an active community, the list can be expanded to include various other Atari, Commodores, Gameboys, PC Engine/TG16, playstation, a custom Linux install (dingux) and more. (read more about what it can do on wikipedia using the above link.)
While the allure of putting linux on something else is definitely there for me, I find that at my age I don’t want to tinker with things anymore than I have to – I just want them to work. So I set out to simply have all my favorite childhood games in my pocket, and nothing more.
After unwrapping it, I quickly plugged it into my computer to explore the file-system and….. nothing happened. I am currently running Ubuntu 11.10, and was expecting it to recognize the usb storage device and mount it automagically – but nothing happened.
After doing a little bit of research, I learned that the Dingoo (at least mine, and many others’) by default does not have valid partition table on it. The only way I could see what was on the device was by manually mounting it. This is what I did to correct the problem.
First, since I already manually mounted the device, I copied the contents to a folder on my desktop – I was going to want to keep everything it came with, after all. Then, I unmounted it.
- Open a terminal
- fdisk -l . get the name of your drive, something like /dev/sdb
- fdisk /dev/sdx (x being the letter of the device)
- press o to create an empty dos partition table.
- press n for a new partition
- set it as a primary partition and leave default values for start and end(max size).
- mkfs.vfat /dev/sdx1
Once I did that, I unplugged the device from my computer, and turned it off. Then I plugged it back in, and dun-dun-dun! Auto-mount worked, permissions were properly set, and I was ready to start loading up my favorite games. First I copied the files I had backed up previously back onto the device. Then I went about downloading all my “legally acquired” copies of my favorite games.
I copied over various titles, all of which worked beautifully. Then I decided to try a classic Gameboy title, and it failed miserably. I searched around and found that someone had put together a dingoo expansion pack with a bunch of other popular emulators on it.
Dingoo Mega Pack 2.0
Read all about it on the thread there, and follow the download link. It was as easy as unzipping the archive and copying the contents straight to my dingoo.
And thats all there is to it. Since then it’s been working flawlessly and I’ve been a happy man.
Anyone else have similar problems and/or experiences setting up their Dingoo? What are your experiences? Recommended apps and/or game titles?
As a side note, I purchased it from thinkgeek.com (http://www.thinkgeek.com/electronics/retro-gaming/bd6f/), in case anyone is interested. You can probably find it for a bit cheaper on ebay or other online-merchants, but I decided to go with a name I trust. Sometimes its worth paying a little more knowing that you’re dealing with a real company; Also they were having a sale so I paid a bit less than their normal price! Cheers!