Archive for April, 2007

Still waiting… :(

Sunday, April 29th, 2007

While I’m waiting for ‘instructions’ for my Intellivision video upgrade I bought, I thought I’d post a video clip of one of my favorite old INTV commercials. Enjoy!

Another slow week…

Wednesday, April 25th, 2007

Simply put, I’ve been too busy with other projects to work on things for MGC ’07. In the background, the G7400 is moving slowly along (hopefully will make the show). I’m still waiting for instructions on the INTV video upgrade. I do have a full test of the Mac LAN running Quake on May 6th, just to make sure there are not any kicks in the system. I also am debating on the 5200 upgrade – if I can get it done in time or leave it as is – with RF output. Of course, I still need to get the software and mouse drivers (bought some new two button mice) on the computers, but that also has to wait. Main priority right now is a personal one. So, until things are in order and taken care of, MGC preparation is at a stand still (for the most part) for now. Hopefully will have something more to post here by early next week (maybe sooner, but I doubt that). Looks like this will be another mad dash to the finish line, just like last year. Oh well…

Fourth system ready for Underdog Chamber ’07

Tuesday, April 17th, 2007

With the Quake testing going on, I wanted to get another system into the ‘finalized’ list. So, I knew my Philips G7200 system (from Europe of course) has been working fine since I fixed than darn power switch problem months ago. I actually just bypassed the switch entirely, as it is not easily (if at all) replaceable. So, with a simple post here I declare that the G7200, in all its black and white glory, is ready for the show in June!

Now just around 12-14 systems left to go! 😮

The G7200!
The Philips G7200!

Quake Testing, part II

Tuesday, April 17th, 2007

After last night, and early this morning, I decided to really take a look at the supposedly troublesome iMac. The biggest thing I noticed on this particular model (the last of the pre-FireWire iMacs) was that the ethernet port was recessed more than on any other Mac I’ve seen. Not bad, but visible. Thus I dug through my box of ethernet cables, and came up with a few that had a more slender end on them. Using one of these, I fired up the two iMacs I had on my basement table, and tried Quake again. This time, the Blueberry iMac worked like a charm, and at a good speed too. So, sorry if I made PowerMax look bad there for a minute. The company does test their stuff, better than others, but sometimes us users are a bit to quick to jump to conclusions. I’m just glad the thing is working now, which means that Quake Test II is officially done. The next test, which won’t happen till after this Saturday, is to try to hook up more than two Macs and see how Quake performs. Fingers crossed on this one, but it should be okay. The original Quake has low system requirements.

Violet Beauregarde, working just fine!
Violet, read to go!

Initial Quake Testing done (kind of)

Tuesday, April 17th, 2007

I finally got around to doing the first test of Quake on the Mac for the show. Spent an hour or so trying to get the darn thing to work, to no avail. Then tried a different network game, and that would not work either. Main thought then was, I’m using that cheap new iMac I got from PowerMax. So, I took that iMac out and put in one I got from another vendor. Low and behold, it worked! Only sad part is, I now have an iMac that doesn’t work with Ethernet!!! Damn it! The stuff I buy for MGC ever year cost money, and there is no way I’m replacing this iMac now. Guess it’ll have to be used for solo games. Only thing with this, I was hoping to use mainly iMacs to save on table space, so the tables would be used to maximum effect. Now I will have to test Quake on an older PowerMac 7xxx unit. This sucks, but I am not buying another iMac right now. It is just not happening – unless I suddenly get a new job real soon!

Oh well, this is just the initial test. It seemed to go fairly well, but it was just with two machines. Next week I will have to try the six machine setup.

(Oh, and on a side note, Kamino finally has my Atari 7800. Here’s to getting a nice S-video upgrade done to that machine!)

Darn broken ethernet – 1st two Macs running Quake!
Bad Mac! Quake, up and running!

Systems finalized for UC 2007

Saturday, April 14th, 2007

Well, I’ve gotten delayed again on testing Quake on the Mac LAN. Something I have to fix in my basement came up, which is more important than any convention (sorry, but it is true). May try to get this test started early next week.

Other than that, I’ve pretty much finalized what I will have for the UC this year. I’ve added the Apple //gs, Apple //e, chosen five iMac G3 units, two Mac B&W units, two PowerMac 7xxx computers, and added the G7200 console as well. Six of the Macs (the iMacs and a B&W) will be on the Mac LAN, which will be down from the eight Mac LAN I had last year. I did this because I want the LAN on just one side of my table area. The other two Macs for play will have various solo and kid friendly games running on them.

That is all I have for this small update. I truly hope to test Quake soon (sooner the better), as this thing is something that needs to be done, so I can know for sure or not if my old iMacs can handle this game.

UC developments as of April 11th

Wednesday, April 11th, 2007

Let’s see, where to start. I’ve got my spare G7400 in NE Europe (at least I think that is where it is – I’m bad on geography). My buddy René had so far put in the Video modification and ‘+’ gfx fix. Still have the voice and a few other things to go, but I’m glad it is moving along (if you’re reading this René – Hello! – and thanks for the work!)

On the Intellivision side, I’m still waiting for the instructions to install the video upgrade (from RF to Video out). No big rush, but I’d really like to get this system in the ‘ready to go’ list! Plus, if this upgrade works, I’ll be buying at least one more video upgrade card, as I really like the Intellivision!

On the Mac LAN front, this is the area where I am really behind. I will probably do ‘Abuse’ by Bungie, mainly because I’ve wanted to do this in the past, and I want to take a break from Marathon (for at least a year). I have finally gotten around to putting a few machines together to test the original Quake. This of course is just a preliminary test with two machines, and should hopefully be done by this weekend. No more excuses this time, as I really need to see if I can get this to work on the equipment I have (some of it is old and may not be fast enough on a network). If Quake doesn’t cut the mustard, I will probably do an ‘Abuse / Marathon’ combination, but of course would prefer the ‘Abuse / Quake’ combo. Time will tell on this one.

I also need to attempt an Atari 5200 video upgrade, and find some darn time to get my Atari 7800 over to Kamino so he can upgrade that unit to S-Video as well. Been too busy, and our schedules don’t mix well. Plus a two hour drive round trip is a bit of an issue, with the damn gas prices. I’m very tempted to just mail him the unit – it would probably be cheaper! On the side, I also need to setup/test the Cuttle Cart II I bought years ago. Yeah, I’m embarrassed to say that I have not hooked the thing up yet, even after getting a memory card for it too.

Oh, and I still need to pull out my Apple II. Still deciding on a IIgs or IIe. The ‘IIgs’ would be easier (as I have games on a HD), but the old IIe might be more retro. Guess I’ll leave that one on the back burner for now. Only problem with the IIe, is I don’t have a lot of floppy disc games – or floppies for that matter!

That is it for now. Hopefully will have some more concrete posts in the near future (June is fast approaching).

Third system ready for Underdog Chamber ’07

Sunday, April 8th, 2007

It has been a bit of time since my last post (about two weeks), as I’ve been busy with too many things, as is usually for myself. I’ll also admit that I goofed off a little too much as well. 😛

I did do a little bit of work on the Astrocade (Bally) video upgrade last week, but only part of the whole thing. I did not want to post anything about it here until I had it tested and ready to go. Well, I finally did that today, with drilling the holes in the back of the unit and mounting the video / audio jacks. I did have a bit of an issue with the damn drilling and the holes for the S-Video jack, but it turned out okay. It isn’t perfect, but its perfect for me! Final testing has resulted in a much crisper picture and good sound. There is a slight ghosting effect on some games with dark graphics boxes and colored background (not a black background), but as a whole it is much better than the old RF video picture. This issue could be the particular TV set I was using too. Either way, the issue is rather minor, and more than good enough for me to consider it a good video upgrade. The Incredible Wizard (Wizard of Wor) never looked better.

Thus, the Astrocade (Bally) is the third system to be ready to go for the 2007 MGC show! I’ll be showing off such games as Artillery Duel, Bally Pin, Cosmic Raiders, The Incredible Wizard and more.

(Now, onto the next system for the show, as soon as I get the install instructions…)

Here are some pictures of the Astrocade (Bally) and the video upgrade, which I got from 8BitDomain – which makes some reasonable cost video upgrades for the older game systems! Note that the screen shots are not that clear here, mainly because I could not figure out how to change the frame rate on my digital camera to match that of the TV set. Oh well, its better than nothing.

The Bally (Astrocade) unit itself!
The Bally (Astrocade) game system!

Video Mod board – Rear jacks
main video upgrade board S-Video and audio jack on back of unit

Screen before and – after video upgrade
Before Video Upgrade After S-Video Upgrade!