Thursday, 25 October 2007

It's finally here

My EPROM Programmer is in my hands!

But it looks like the postal strike was only the start of my problems. I quickly unpacked it and threw the driver CD into the tray and started to install, I didn't mind most of the dialogs being in Chinese but what did annoy me is that it didn't work with Vista. In fact NOTHING works with Vista, not even Microsofts own Virtual PC 2007!

I toyed with the idea of completely nuking Vista but im still hungover (mmm Jaffashake cocktails) from last nights awesome party to fanny around and decided to install VMware so I can install XP onto a virtual machine and dump the roms from there, so far so good.

Update: VMware also failed to please me so I fixed up an older PC, threw XP onto it and finally FINALLY dumped the bios roms for the Amstrad PC :D

Friday, 19 October 2007

Ivory tower

Ever wondered what 7 feet of Playstation 2 games looks like?

Wonder no more.

8 new additions make the complete total: 133 (excluding all the ones lent out to mates)

Bring on the MESS PS2 CHD Dumping Project ;)

Thursday, 18 October 2007

Now you are thinking with Portals

This week I fell in love with an inanimate mute cube, got stockholm syndrome for a self-aware,very disturbed but hilarious super computer and won the national lottery... OK so I made the last one up.

But I doubt would feel any happier if I had, this game is simply amazing and its only flaw of being too short is easily forgiven when you try the advanced and challenge modes.

I shrugged off the thought that this was the onset of mental illness and e-mailed Gabe Newell to congratulate Valve on just how good the Orange Box was... and also to beg them to make a weighted companion cubes.

And I got a reply:

Realm Lovejoy

Thank you! We’ll be coming out with companion cube plushies soon! J

--Portal Team

Now I won't feel the horrible guilt of having thrown the defenceless lovable cube into an incinerator.

New arrival: Amstrad Mega PC 386SX

This is the first ever post in the inblog, I am a huge fan of gaming and emulation in general but specifically MAME and its sister project MESS. This blog will log my latest arrivals to my collection of obsolete and ancient computers and consoles. All of which will be dumped to aid their emulation. :)

This beast arrived yesterday, Its the Amstrad Mega PC 386SX an IBM-compatible PC with a difference. It contains an entire Sega Megadrive on an ISA card.

Powered by an Intel i386SX running at 25 MHz. It has 1 MB of RAM and a 40 MB Seagate hard drive, not bad for 1992!

I found mine on eBay, sold as broken and very cheap. I snapped it up thinking I could just replace a resistor and muck around with it until I got into DOS and then dump its BIOs using debug. I was overly optimistic...

This is the site that greated me when I removed the case:

A leaky NiCad has eaten its way though the tracks, No worries, I bought it as broken and the interesting bits ;) are pristine, namely the BIOs roms and the ISA card.

As I couldn't power up the board (nevermind make it into DOS, heh) Im going to have to dump the BIOs roms the harder way. Thankfully they are nicely socketed :)

As I don't have an EPROM programmer I went shopping and found that most EPROM programmers are stupidly overpriced. After a recommendation I found and picked up a EasyPRO 90B USB Universal EPROM Programmer not a very catchy name but it supports over 6000 devices! Also it doesn't come with a financially crippling pricetag. While I wait for my programmer to battle is way though the postal strike I think I'll make myself a Guru certified Chip-ClipTM