A smartphone-sized PCB is in a person's hand. A large blue chip package houses a 486 and the board has a SoundBlaster card and a 40 PIN Raspberry Pi Connector along one edge for attaching a Raspberry Pi Zero.

TinyLlama Is A 486 In Your Pocket

We love retrocomputing and tiny computers here at Hackaday, so it’s always nice to see projects that combine the two. [Eivind]’s TinyLlama lets you play DOS games on a board that fits in your hand.

Using the 486 SOM from the 86Duino, the TinyLlama adds an integrated Crystal Semiconductor audio chip for AdLib and SoundBlaster support. If you populate the 40 PIN Raspberry Pi connector, you can also use a Pi Zero 2 to give the system MIDI capabilities when coupled with a GY-PCM5102 I²S DAC module.

Audio has been one of the trickier things to get running on these small 486s, so its nice to see a simple, integrated solution available. [Eivind] shows the machine running DOOM (in the video below the break) and starts up Monkey Island at the end. There is a breakout board for serial and PS/2 mouse/keyboard, but he says that USB peripherals work well if you don’t want to drag your Model M out of the closet.

Looking for more projects using the 86Duino? Checkout ISA Sound Cards on 86Duino or Using an 86Duino with a Graphics Card.

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Classic DOS Games On An Arduino?

It has been a while since we’ve seen a 86Duino, but [TheRasteri] reminded us about it, with his video showing how to use one to run classic MS-DOS games. To be fair, the computer isn’t really an Arduino, it’s essentially a tiny 486 PC on an Arduino-style PCB.

If it were just running DOS games on a tiny PC, that wouldn’t be very newsworthy. However, the board by itself has no video card and, as [TheRasteri] points out, sound card compatibility is also a problem. A carrier board, however, has a tiny VGA card on it, and thanks to some work from another user, it is possible to add an ISA bus to the board if you want to plug in a legacy sound card.

The ISA hack was done neatly, but it is a bit of wiring. Instead of using a normal ISA backplane, it is possible to use a PC/104 backplane, if you have cards that will fit that bus — electrically, they are the same. The board was able to run DOOM and Quake at nearly 30 frames per second. Not bad. He did have problems getting a mouse to work, though.

Got a bit nostalgic watching him use QBasic to directly write to registers on an ISA card. If you want an old DOS machine and don’t want to tie up a lot of space, this could be the ticket. Especially if you need it to run some old piece of hardware that won’t work with modern computers. We have to wonder if anyone would make a USB to ISA adapter out of something like this. The drivers would seem to be the hard part.

We saw the 86Duino nearly 10 years ago when there were a few other x86 single-board computers around. Apparently, lots of people want to run vintage games.

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Tiny X86 Systems With Graphics Cards

The Intel Edison is out, and that means there’s someone out there trying to get a postage-stamp sized x86 machine running all those classic mid-90s games that just won’t work with modern hardware. The Edison isn’t the only tiny single board computer with an x86 processor out there; the legends told of another, and you can connect a graphics card to this one.

This build uses the 86Duino Zero, a single board computer stuffed into an Arduino form factor with a CPU that’s just about as capable as a Pentium II or III, loaded up with 128 MB of RAM, a PCI-e bus, and USB. It’s been a while since we’ve seen the 86Duino. We first saw it way back at the beginning of 2013, and since then, barring this build, nothing else has come up.

The 86Duino Zero only has a PCI-e x1 connector, but with an x16 adapter, this tiny board can drive an old nVidia GT230. A patch to the Coreboot image and a resistor for the Reset signal to the VGA was required, but other than that, it’s not terribly difficult to run old games on something the size of an Arduino and a significantly larger graphics card.

Thanks [Rasz] for sending this one in.

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