10 things the new Pocket C.H.I.P. owner should know


After a week with my new favorite geeky device, I’ve created a short blog post that includes 10 things I would like to have known as a new Pocket C.H.I.P. owner.


Pocket C.H.I.P. owners, anything else I should include?

Post last updated with new tips on: August 21, 2016

Fun software for the pocketCHIP?

Probably a link to this thread.

It has a lot of good information to getting Mednafen to work on the CHIP, for lots of oldschool emulation!

The speaker hack is pretty cool too, one that I did shortly after getting my CHIP


Head slap! The speaker hack is perfect. Should include that one as well. Since it’s a hardware hack, I’m sure it would be a great bonus item. Thanks for the suggestions.


Just a comment:

Number 5: It’s a really tiny screen
Not all software will display properly on the small LCD screen and you may not be able to access all UI elements. There is no pinch and zoom currently. Keeping my fingers that this will be addressed by someone soon.

I don’t think that pinch and zoom is possible. Resistive touch screens can only register a single point, making pinch gestures unrecognizable.

Many software packages allow you to configure the display resolution before starting; this will probably be the solution to making applications more usable. However, some software just won’t scale down to the limited screen space - an unavoidable reality when using a very tiny screen.

What software in particular were you hoping to use but had interface issues with?

Edit: Possible additions… two things that I would want to know and would likely do within the first day of having a PocketCHIP.

  1. Let people know that they can change the home screen?
    Customizeable Home Screens

  2. Let people know where to find instructions about flashing their PocketCHIP (so if something goes wrong, they can get a fresh start)?


Agreed. Pinch and zoom are likely not an option. I should clarify in my post (will edit). What I was hoping for was some kind of view view scale option. There may be a *nix app out there to do this already for all I know. I tried several browsers (really wanted to use Dillo) and couldn’t access all UI controls. Had to hard kill the app. Many native Linux games also don’t scale well. Thanks for catching that.

Love the home screen tip! Will definitely add that to the post. Wondered about that myself.

Flashing is another good one, but have to wonder if they don’t already know given that is one of the first things I did when I received. Hmmm. Still might be a good one to include.

Many thanks for the feedback and suggestions!

Steven Combs


Thank you for the Star Wars bonus. I know how I am gonna be spending my evening tonight now. That is so awesome!


Great article. I read through so many of the “Install web browser on PocketCHIP?” posts before I finally saw someone comment that Surf is already included.

That said, I had never really used a text browser before, and I find it really, really satisfying. Which is strange, since my job is, you know, all that graphic crap the text browser cuts out. :neutral_face:


That’s one of my favorites as well. As a matter of fact, the 404 pages on my web site throw that little tip in for everyone. So even if you don’t find the page you are looking for on my site, you can still learn how to watch Star Wars. :smiley:


And the article just gets better and better. I just put the finishing updates on some bonus items (from the community) and will post momentarily. Also reformatted the commands and links to make them easier to follow and read.

Thanks for reading!


Hey, just wanted to note that resistive screen technologies have advanced over the years. Some modern resistive screens can, indeed, register multiple pressure points (and therefore handle pinch-to-zoom). I doubt the PocketCHIP has one of these screens, but in any case, the poor oft-disparaged resistive screen doesn’t deserve all of the bad press it gets. :slight_smile:


That’s worth researching Copernicus. Wonder what type of screen we actually have on our new favorite handheld devices?


For #8 Try typing
in the terminal.
“ctrl c” exit out


Actually, I’ve been trying to find some details on that myself. :slight_smile: My PocketCHIP is currently traversing the Pacific, so it’ll be a couple of weeks yet before I can check the device itself. Is there a hardware specs list available somewhere?


Screen Shots - xfce4-screenshooter
magnify glass/square - xmag
Clock/ Date - cal, date, xclock.

is a few other useful words to type in terminal.


A potpourri of *nix commands. Might be great additions. I’ll play around with a few of them this evening. Really interested in trying the xcalc. Is there one for a full screen clock/alarm clock? Is that xclock? It would make for a very cool alarm clock next to the bed.

UPDATE: just tried xcalc on my Mac. Might make the perfect calculator for the Pocket C.H.I.P.


Great write up! Looking forward to trying #7 and #10 when I get mine :smile:

For #8, usually Ctrl-z suspends a program, so it remains running in the background. You can get back to it with fg. Unless the keybindings are different on CHIP, you may prefer to use ctrl-c to kill the process instead.


Assuming you have XQuartz installed… If you set up your PocketCHIP so you can SSH into it, you can actually do ‘ssh -X chip@yourChipIPAddr’ to use X forwarding to remotely run PocketCHIP programs and use them right on your Mac graphically.


I always knew it was possible to connect using X, but had never tried it. Will definitely give this a try.


Perhaps it should be retitled “20 or 50 Things the new Pocket C.H.I.P. owner should know.”

16. Don’t peel off the plastic film over the super clicky buttons. The film holds the buttons in place.

17. YMMV but sometimes not all the super clicky buttons work.Certain keys on some units don’t register input, other times they register double or other input. Consult the forum for possible fixes, failing which you may need to send it back for a replacement.

18. You cannot plug in and use an external monitor. NTC has indicated that there may be a fix soon.

19. When charging, be careful when plugging and unplugging the micro USB plug, on some units the connector on the CHIP isn’t soldered properly and may just get ripped off.



I think #16 needs to be #0