The Null Device

Posts matching tags 'mame'


There are now quite a few emulators running on PalmOS devices; from an expensive commercial Atari 2600 emulator to a lot of Sinclair Spectra to the Frodo C64 emulator. This actually runs quite well on my Tungsten T3 (with the slight exception of Paradroid going into pause mode every time one pushes the joystick down). I remember real Commodore 64s, and, some time after that, the hard-won satisfaction of seeing PCs (486s or low-end Pentiums, I think) finally get fast enough to emulate C64s well enough for games at full speed (possibly without sound, though); to think that now you can run a nigh-perfect C64 emulation on a pocket organiser is, well, strange.

Elsewhere, there was a project to port MAME to PalmOS, and someone collecting donations for it. The donations page seems to have disappeared, though, and the MAME site has no links to it. Hopefully someone will pull it off sometime soon. (There is Xcade, a commercial arcade emulator, though this only supports a handful of ROMs.)

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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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2001/3/12 is dead. It wasn't killed by arcade-machine company copyright lawyers, but screwed out of banner ad revenue by an outfit named eFront. And according to ICQ logs posted by a disgruntled employee (now mostly taken down), eFront have been doing other nasty things, such as harassing sites out of existence and even threatening a webmaster with rape. Lovely folks... (the Slashdot thread)

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