Saturday, July 4, 2009

Collecting Milestone

I've reached another milestone in my collection today - 1000 complete in box games.

#1000 was Super Mario Bros. Deluxe for the Game Boy Color

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Inappropriate Use of Quotes and Apostrophes

It's odd how these things come in multiples, but as I was out on one of my regular jaunts about town looking for interesting stuff to buy I came upon a shop selling "Watch's". Now I'm not sure what's special about these, but for a fiver I bought one. I'll let you know if anything happens with it.

Last night we went to a fashion show put on by my daughter's college, and they gave out several awards to the learners (their description, not mine. What's wrong with "student?") Amongst these awards were:

'Student of the Year'
Are these ironic awards, given out to truants and slackers?

My favorite:
Progression 'Of Skill'

Their apostrophes, not mine. English presumably is not on the curriculum?

Disclaimer: This post isn't spell checked, so I'm probably leaving myself open to all kinds of flak.

Edit: I'd missed a possessive apostrophe of my own. Ha ha!
Edit2: And I'd given it the wrong title :)

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Emulators without Front Ends

One of the things that pains me about Linux in general is that lots of the emulators available don't have a front end. Don't get me wrong, I'm more than comfortable using the command line, but it's nice sometimes just to be presented with a list of games to pick from rather than have to type it in full (I know, I can use auto-complete in the terminal).
Anyway, a bit of googling around and I came across a script that I was able to modify to do exactly what I needed for O2EM.

cd "$ROMDIR"
while /bin/true;
ROM=$(zenity --title "Select a game" --file-selection)
#O2EM just wants the ROM name, so remove the path
if [ -n "$ROM" ]; then
cd "$EMUDIR"
~/Apps/o2em/o2em "$ROM" -fullscreen -scanlines -s1=3 -s2=3 ;
else exit

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Ubuntu Upgrade - Complete!

For a couple of days now I've been considering upgrading my desktop version of Ubuntu 8.10 to 9.04. I've held off because I know that the last 2 have been a right royal PITA because of the PulseAudio configuration. Most of the time the PA stuff just did what I wanted, but I have an emulator (XRoar) that uses OSS for it's sound, and whilst PA is supposed to be able to cope with it it's always behaved really badly, to the point that when I finally got it working I was content to just leave it be. Coincidentally, for the last couple of days I've been trying to install the O2EM emulator, and that's not been much fun either.
O2EM uses the Allegro libraries, and lo and behold they have a problem with ALSA/PulseAudio combinations. I'd hoped that the upgrade from 8.10 to 9.04 would solve this, but it didn't.
The whole process of the upgrade took me just over 90 mins from start to finish. I opted to go for a download of the install cd and trash the existing Ubuntu partition rather than perform a real upgrade. This method allowed me to start from scratch, which can be a big problem if you've not got a current back up of your home folder. Fortunately a couple of releases ago I separated out the home folder to it's own partition, just for this eventuality, so I was able to do a clean install without worrying about data.
I've also documented the entire process, complete with all the apps that I normally use, so next time (October) it should be even slicker.
To get back to the point of the post, I'm now back up and running and everything seems to be fine - apart from printing, which according to Google is broken when you're trying to use Samba - which I am. I don't do a lot of printing, so it's not a great issue for me at the moment, so I'll wait for a fix.
On the emulator front the upgrade has worked really well. XRoar now works better than ever, and I don't need to force it to use ALSA, the PA setup flawlessly detects it's using OSS and routes it through the correct sound channels - in fact it's better than previously as the stuttering effect is totally gone.
O2EM took me a bit longer, but I finally cracked it by forcing the sound system to use ESD. There's a not very well documented method for doing Allegro configuration using a rc file in your home folder, which when you plug the right values in specifies how the Allegro libs are supposed to work. Setting the sound to use ESD allows PulseAudio to get on and do it's thing of managing the sound system, and now I can play all my Videopac games without having to mess about setting up the console. Now if I can only configure it to use a joystick I'll be in heaven.

Update: I've just figured out the joystick thing. It totally rocks!
Update2: Printing works now - I upgraded the other pc and published the printer

Monday, April 27, 2009

Treasure Hunting

It's been over a month since my last Treasure Hunt post, though not for lack of searching. It has been the least successful month I've ever had, so bad that I've had to resort to eBay for most of my gaming goodies, although to be fair there has been quite a lot of Dragon 32 software kicking around, so my collection has grown to 78 titles CIB, 81 if you include the incomplete ones.
I even used the first camping trip of the season to do a little hunting, but again totally failed to find anything.
(Note for non-Europeans: Camping in England doesn't involve campfires, woods, bears or rifles and is normally done in the equivalent of a farmers field, although generally they've been good enough to include toilet and shower blocks of varying cleanliness)

Anyway, this month has netted me the following items:

Disney's Jungle Book Groove Party, which replaces my Platinum version
Necronomicon: The Dawning of Darkness
Machine Hunter
Midway Arcade Party Pak

for a total of £4.40

Complete in box G-Con 45 and Multi-tap, for £4.99 each


Pitfall: The Lost Expedition
Bruce Lee: Quest of the Dragon
The Simpsons: Hit & Run
A Train 6

for £1.29 each

I don't have any idea of the years total to date, look for that in the next update.

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Camping Trip Postponed?

Next weekend we're supposed to be off camping, so I thought I'd start keeping an eye on the weather forecast. Metcheck has always been the most reliable source that I've used, but I suspect they may have a bit of a glitch somewhere in the system. Or I've requested a forecast for the planet Mesklin by mistake. If not I think I'll spend the weekend at home

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Treasure Hunt

This week's treasure hunting wasn't particularly successful. I did the rounds of all the usual shops, but I only managed to pick up a couple of PS1 games.

Trash It
Resident Evil

I only paid £1 for each of them, so that was good.

Spurred on by the lack of success I had a look through the cheap end of the games that CeX had in stock, and I picked up this lot for £15

Unreal II: The Awakening
Broken Sword: The Sleeping Dragon
Psi-Ops: The Mindgate Conspiracy

I already had a copy of Broken Sword, but sans manual, so this was a good opportunity to replace it. I'm making good progress on the incompletes, 56 remaining out of a total of 969 games.

Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers
The Getaway
Red Faction II
007 Nightfire

There's nothing especially amazing amongst the PS2 stuff, but it was time just to pick up some of the cheap stuff while it's still easily available. On another note I did fantastically well with records, but that's not the point of this post.

Spend for the week: £17.00
Month: £17.00
Year: £295.36