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

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

The mind, it boggles

The Escapist : News : A Better Shave For Gamers

The Escapist reports on a new razor for 'Gamers' I mean Christ Almighty why, just why? Words totally fail me. What is it about gamers' faces that's so different from the rest of mankind?

What's wrong with a safety razor anyway? I use a Parker 90R - with a shaving brush and some decent soap it gives me the best shave I've ever had.

Friday, February 27, 2009

Treasure Hunting

I've not managed to pick up tons of stuff again this week, encountering a total failure to find anything worth buying in my hometown. Work was a different matter, I hit paydirt in one of the Charity shops, scoring 14 Master System games, complete for 99p each.

Golvellius: Valley of Doom
Black Belt
The Jungle Book
Castle of Illusion
Desert Speedtrap
Alien Storm
Submarine Attack
Ace of Aces
Terminator 2: Judgement day
Robocopy Vs The Terminator
Gain Ground
Captain Silver

Oh, and a MB Pac-Man boardgame (1982) for £1.99

Week: £15.85
Months total: £143.81
Year to date: £278.36

Friday, February 20, 2009

Treasure Hunt

The quest for goodies this week met with a bit of a failure in the quantity department, but a huge success in the quality stakes. I did my normal weekly trawl of the charity shops, coming up trumps at the start of the week, but a BFZ (that's a big fat zero for you DOOM fans) today.

Game Boy
Burai fighter Deluxe
Ghostbusters II
Wizards & Warriors X: Fortress of Fear
Double Dragon
Solar Striker
The Amazing Spider-Man

Now not only are these boxed, but they also have the little plastic bag for the cartridge, the Nintendo poster, the manual and the registration card, and I paid £3 for each of them.


Final Fantasy VIII

Not particularly impressive, but it's in better condition than the one I currently own, and it was £3.

Playstation 2

Metal Gear Solid 3: Subsistence

This one is a bit of a cheat actually as my friend Paul picked it up for me when it became available in his hometown. This week was the first time we'd been able to co-ordinate the handover of game and money, so a big thanks to him for that. £35

Months total: £127.96
Year to date: £262.51

Friday, February 13, 2009

Treasure Hunt


Time Crisis,
TOCA Touring Cars, £1.99 each
Warcraft II, £2.50
Colin McRae Rally, £1.79


Final Fantasy X guide, £3.99
Rune Viking Warlord,
Chaos Legion,
Maximo vs Army of Zin, £1.99 each

Unreal Championship, £1.99
Hunter the Reckoning: Redeemer, 99p

Metal Gear Solid Portable Ops,
Metal Gear Solid Portable Ops Plus, £10 each

Total this week: £41.21
Total this year: £180.51

Monday, February 9, 2009

eBay Winnings

I've decided this month to have a push on my Master System collection. I rarely find these in the wild, so most of the purchases are going to have to come from eBay. So far this month I've picked up

Action Fighter
Air Rescue
Black Belt
Endure Racer
Gangster Town
The Jungle Book
Luck Dime Caper
The Ninja
Rescue Mission
Time Soldiers

Total cost £42.16

Saturday, January 31, 2009

Treasure Hunt

Had a fantastic day today:


Blaze Rave Station, with Dancing Stage EuroMix and Dancing Stage Party Edition, £5
Wip3Out and TOCA 2 Touring Cars. No covers or manuals, but the cases are in good condition and I've got some that are broken, 50p each
Game Boy Color

2x Body Boy silicon skins, 1 clear, 1 yellow, £1
Pong and Megaman Xtreme, £4 each

Master System
Sonic the Hedgehog 2, no instructions, but includes the SEGA poster that's missing from my other copy, £1

Game Boy Advance SP
Carry case complete with car adapter and 7 cartridge protectors, £2

Commodore 64
GFL Championship Football (not shown) £1

Grand total of £19

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Pac-man - Text Style

This is fantastic, pac-man played as a text adventure. Gotta love the 'e' to eat that you have to manually perform otherwise you miss the dots. Sheer class!

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Cocktail Cabinet Update

I've started assembling the control panel today. I've completed the basic framework and installed the buttons, unfortunately I've made a mistake with the P2 Start button and I can't fit it where I'd originally planned as it's blockedby the P2 joystick, so I have to cut a new front section and re-drill it. That problem aside the controls look and feel great.

Treasure Hunt

I've not blogged much about finds recently, mainly because there haven't been any. I guess everyone was deciding what to do with their odds and ends after the Christmas period, and this week I've picked up some good stuff:

Fully boxed, with Blinx the Time Sweeper, for £20.00

Robocop 3
All complete with manual and inners.

£2 each

Game Cube
Defender, for £3

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Treasure Hunt

I've had quite a bit of success this last week

Scene it? Movie Edition
Scene it? Music Edition

£3.25 each, in mint condition

Game Boy Advance SP, boxed, with Mat Hoffman's Pro BMX, unboxed £9.99

Superbike 2000, Guilty Gear, Die Hard Trilogy 2,
Micro Machines V3, Spider-man 2: Enter Electro,
Speedball 2100, X-men Mutant Academy

£1 each

Friday, January 9, 2009

Cocktail Cabinet Update

I've received all the control parts from the nice people at Gremlin Solutions today. Can't wait to crack on with the soldering :)

I'd love to order some of their arcade cabs too, they look soooo nice, alas the money they want is out of my league. And I'd have to explain to Jane where we're going to put them, because just one would look stupid wouldn't it?