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.
Dark clouds await on the horizon of MESS, the all-inclusive emulator of home systems that shares a great part of the MAME base code and that above all embraces its philosophy of great fidelity to the inner workings of the hardware reproduced within the software. According to Haze, one of the eldest mamedevs that has been a long-time coordinator of the development on the Nicola Salmoria’s emulator, “the MAME framework is too fundamentally flawed to actually emulate these things properly“.
UPDATE: As widely expected, all the sources quoted in the post are now offering the download for the first laserdisc videogame emulated by MAME, though with various shapes and variously practical modes. The guide has been modified and updated according to the new wider availability.
Passed away the emotional fuddle for the news of the emulation of the first lasergame in the MAME history, here it is the question that necessarily follows: where to get the ginormous file in CHD format, of more than 10 Gigabytes, containing the dump of the game laserdisc? What I propose here is a brief yet useful (or at least I hope that) guide to the Internet recesses from which is currently possible to obtain this digital moloch to feed the emulator of emulators with.
Summer brings memorable news for the emulator of emulators MAME, that after the introduction of the dynamic recompilation engines and the preservation of obscure soviet games experiences a “first time” long awaited by enthusiasts, priers and simple players interested of the matter: the last version of the software adds the first lasergame (or laserdisc videogame) to the supported arcade titles, making real a work of years and putting an end to controversy and speculations that go along with the matter since.
Just when you think you have seen emulated any sort of things, it is than that the guys of MAME Italian Forum amaze you with the announcement of a pretty odd addition to the endless heritage of the digital archive of MAME. This time the Borg-emulator created by doc. Nicola Salmoria re-creates S.O.S., a rare example of arcade built in Russia in the period between past and present better known as Perestroika.
This time I’m not talking about old (and always attractive!) corpses of emulation like Model 2 Emulator and ePSXe, but about actively developed projects released in their corresponding updated versions during the last few days. Projects like MAME, the emulators Borg which assimilates and annihilates everything, like MESS, which would like to do the same with home machines emu and like Raine, small but combative emulator optimized for a limited number of systems.
These aren’t exactly last hour events but, taking into consideration the specific gravity of the mentioned software and the twist that emulation has taken in the last months/years, it seems to me due to report that two of the more advanced and appreciated standalone emulators out there haven’t stopped their race yet to the development and termination of bugs and assorted defects.