The Null Device

2003/8/22

The MAME arcade emulator, once the sole province of geeks, is entering the mainstream; there is an article in today's Age about a local firm which builds MAME-based cocktail cabinets. The cabinets are based on a PC running MAME (on MS-DOS, apparently) and can be loaded with ROMs (which are only legal if you own the actual hardware, remember) from a floppy or CD-ROM. They retail for A$1,750.

Aside: given how much mainstream attention MAME is getting, I wonder how long until the owners of arcade ROMs start selling legitimate copies of them, in MAME-friendly format, over the internet. A while ago, they tried selling arcade games wrapped up in proprietary Windows-only emulators, though that doesn't seem to have been a resounding success. If they had a web site where for a few dollars you could download a ZIP file of MAME-ready ROMs (and possibly ancilliary artwork and such), I could see a lot of people (including myself) using that, and it making quite a bit of money for the owners of the ROMs.

But of course it will never happen; everybody knows that selling digital content without watertight digital-rights management (which is incompatible with an open-source emulator) is No Way To Run A Business.

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A comprehensive history of the Federal Vampire and Zombie Agency, a branch of the US Government in a parallel universe where infestations of undead were a significant problem. It's sort of like an American equivalent of the British TV series Ultraviolet. (via bOING bOING)

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In the (packed) lift to work this morning, one person was listening to something on headphones, loudly. I think it was either Coldplay or some Boyz-II-Men-style R&B band; it's hard to tell which.

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The Bible, now with added Miracle Ingredient A; because you can't underestimate the importance of believing in a supreme being of your own nationality.

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