DICE is a small emulator dedicated to recreating on a modern computer the arcade games based on discrete circuits, ancient and bizarre entertainment machines where the electronic components required for the game experience were soldered individually on the circuit board and where there was no trace of a CPU. It’s an obscure and fascinating kind of emulation, the one served by DICE, and the offering of emulated games grows richer and richer with every new version of the software.
Followers of the VOGONS board and DOSBox official forum are already aware of this: one of the forthcoming versions of the best PC-with-DOS emulator out there should include a very important architectural novelty, ie the software implementation of the historical Voodoo Graphics chipset created by 3dfx Interactive in the Nineties. “Kekko”, the programmer working on the project with the aid of the DOSBox crew and the coding-capable VOGONS users, says that his aim is the complete and faithful emulation of SST-1, the first Voodoo chipset marketed in 1996 inside the first 3D graphics accelerated cards on the PC.
UPDATE: After a few months the CPU upgrade turned to be a remarkable failure. I advise anyone against this kind of practice and I invite you to read the post regarding my useless troubleshooting efforts.
I purchased my latest computer in absolute emergency conditions, and except for an annoying, sound-related issue when I extensively use the network (a fact for which I would be inclined to blame and damn Vista SP1) I’m satisfied with it until now. But being obliged to spend a limited budget obviously didn’t hinder me to upgrade the system main component, the CPU, overlapping to satisfaction the pleasure of having a fairly recent setup to let me use it in scenarios that are a little less retrograde than the ones I’m usually accustomed to.
System restore after the hard disk death is proceeding slowly as expected, currently I am at around 45% (…) but luckily I’m starting to see a less vague profile within the installed applications and everything. What are the basic components to make you feel at home on any Windows system? Anyone has his own, personally I’m fond of (among the others) the three things depicted by the following screenshots.
Even though the last works on the code have been slowed down by some last hour bugs, around the end of May the DOSBox developers have kept their word by releasing the new version of the best PC/DOS emulator out there. After almost two years since the previous official main release, DOSBox 0.73 comes to improve the already remarkable compatibility level of PC retrogamers’ preferred virtual machine and introduces a lot of new stuff in practically every aspect of the emulation.
MAME is surely one of the most active emulators out there. After more than 10 years since its first release the development work continues at a sustained pace, the coders contributing to the project are so many for they are Legion and almost every week there is an intermediate version (marked by the “u” suffix) before the next main release. Since January 2009, the month in which version 0.129u1 has been distributed with support for two new lasergames, in these days MAME has arrived to release 0.131 that, among the other things, shows some advancements in the emulation of a powerful 3D arcade system.
Alerted by the inexorable advancing of the next digital dark age, the European academy started a preservation plan for digital contents and artefacts with great ambitions. The KEEP (Keeping Emulation Environments Portable) project considers with particular care videogames and intends to create what has been defined the first “general purpose” emulator, capable of providing access to obsolete media and formats for nowadays and future generations.
There’s no doubt about the fact that ElSemi take his time when it’s about updating his Sega Model 2 arcade board emulator, but it’s similarly true that any new Model 2 Emulator update offers such an amount of improvements to give meaning to the time gone-by between a release and another. Seven months after the last revisions, therefore, the talented Spanish coder has in the past days delivered the 0.9 version of his thoroughbred arcade emulator.
The first two weeks of 2009 have marked significant news for MAME, the most advanced and complex arcade machines emulator kicking around. The development cycle of the main release 0.129 has ended and another one has unfolded to lead the code toward the next version 0.130, in the middle the Nicola Salmoria and mamedev‘s virtual machine has brought further, radical changes, the likelihood that in the future there will be multiplayer for those games that comprise it and the emulation of two new laserdisc videogames.
The development cycle for the MAME 0.129 release isn’t finished yet, but the last intermediate version delivered by the mamedevs brings such important changes and novelties that it’s worth to look closely at them. The structural design of the emulator of emulators has undergone the nth shift while the list of emulated games includes now Firefox, the second laserdisc videogame to be added to MAME after Cube Quest.