February 23, 2006

MAME'd Millipede in Chinese

Category: MAME'd Millipede :: Cabinet News & Updates

Links from the 2003 Scientific American article on my MAME'd Millipede keep cropping up in my server logs. I find this one especially amusing since it's translated into Chinese with little sprinkles of English and western characters where required.

Also, this site still has a larger copy of the great mad scientist illustration SA did for the piece with a very accurate rendition of the machine right down to the side art. A friend of mine from here in Sweet Briar who now lives in Beijing got a great kick out of reading this some time ago and assures me it's an accurate translation. :)

I'd love to know how active the emulation and MAME community is in China and if many people there are inclined or have the resources to build MAME arcades. I'll try to get my friend, Wiley, to put this copy of the article in context by looking at the larger site (which is obviously emu related to some extent based on the western words I can pick out).

- Aaron

November 5, 2003

Scientific American & Discovery Channel

Category: MAME'd Millipede :: Cabinet News & Updates

I was quite startled to receive an e-mail a few weeks ago from a producer of Daily Planet, a tech show on Discovery Channel Canada. She had read the article in Scientific American and wanted to do a piece on my system for their show. (If you read that article, by the way, be sure to look closely at their fantastic mad scientist depiction of my cabinet.)

The camera crew arrived today and did an all day shoot both here at the house and in my office on the campus. I guess I'll not get to see it air here in the US, but I'll be glad to post the air dates for Canadian readers once they let me know. I'm hoping they put a streaming version on their website so anyone interested can catch it here in the states.

The shoot was a lot of fun and I've placed some still pictures I took during the setup today. Click on the thumbnails for larger, captioned versions.

Oh, and the final tally on the big Slashdot surge on October was 1.2 million raw hits in twelve hours. I did 48,000 hits for the entire previous month if that gives you a frame of reference. I feel honored to have been Slashdotted. :)

October 20, 2003

Slashdot Effect!

Category: MAME'd Millipede :: Cabinet News & Updates

Slashdot effect!

My apologies for the very slow load times and possible broken images... I've taken over 200,000 raw hits in two hours. Our outgoing T1s are maxed out, so it's going to be kinda pokey for a bit. Mirrors are starting to appear.

On another note, I'm back now from my wedding, honeymoon and nearly three incredible weeks in France. So you can substitute all those fiance' references in the site with... wife. ;)

I'll be posting updates soon including new shots of the Wico leaf stick I popped in place of the center stick. The authentic feel has just gone up another notch...

August 29, 2003

Hardware, Additions & Scientific American

Category: MAME'd Millipede :: Cabinet News & Updates

It seems the first real chance I've had to focus on a few site updates is during a power outage. The house is dark with the exception of candles and my TiBook... so this is a perfect time to do a few updates without all of the competing distractions of the last few months. We've had chronic thunderstorms all summer and some real whoppers these last two days... so keeping my digital, electron-driven life running smoothly has been a real challenge.

Hardware Issues...

A little over a month ago I encountered some really bizarre things with the motherboard of the system that has been driving my MAME box. All of the sudden, certain games that used especially low refresh rates would lock up the hardware. A handful of titles could be used in my testing to lock it up on demand. In the months prior to this development the same titles were perfectly stable and absolutely nothing was causing a crash or a lockup of any kind.

I tore my configuration to pieces looking for some minor software change I had possibly made and finally, after laboriously testing the heck out of everything, decided it had to be hardware. I had another identical system on hand and did a swapout. Problem solved. I even switched back and forth between the motherboards, swapped RAM, processors to try to zero in on a specific piece. Something in the motherboard of the original machine changed in a subtle way that introduced this problem while not changing the behavior of any other part of the system. If anybody has any insight on what to cause such a localized malfunction, I'd love to hear it.

Additions to the System & Site...

I also took some time to remove the primary guts of the computer from its case and mount them inside the Millipede cabinet. I've added the pictures and general description of the process to the Computer page.

Miscellaneous News...

W. Wayt Gibbs, Senior Writer for Scientific American magazine, contacted me in late June to see if I would be willing to do an interview about the process of building my MAME box for use in an upcoming column. He flew down on July 2nd and we had a fun few hours talking, disecting the machine and playing some great games. He did a side-by-side comparison with my real Pac-Mac machine to sample the authenticity and achieved a very respectable (and nearly identical score) on each machine. The article will be out in the October issue which, I believe, hits the newstands around the first week of September.