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News from September 1998

Wednesday, September 30th, 1998
Galaga in Retrocade v1.1:
Galaga will be included in Retrocade v1.1! It's official. I received an e-mail from Neil Bradley that the problems he was having emulating this classic have been worked out and it's now running 100%. He expects to send out Retrocade v1.1 beta 1 to the beta team either this evening or tomorrow. This game is in addition to the DigDug mentioned a few days ago. When I get v1.1 beta 1, I'll report back any new feature additions.

Tuesday, September 29th, 1998
Site Updates?
Where are all the site updates? I've been busy with work for the past few days and nothing really interesting is happening on the arcade emulation front, so the updates have been a little thin. There are a few little things going on. First, Dave's Videogame Classics is moving to a new server today so if you can't reach his site, don't freak out. Also, the link to Arcade Emulation's MAME ROMs will be down for a few days for a move of it's own. Besides that, sit back and play some MAME or Retrocade games while we wait for things to get interesting again...

Friday, September 25th, 1998
MAME32 v0.34 Beta 3 Released!
MAME32, for Windows 95/98 & NT, version 0.34 beta 3 has been released. This brings the windows version up to date with the DOS version as to the games it supports.

Wednesday, September 23rd, 1998
Retrocade Beta Additions and Patches:
I received a private beta release of Retrocade yesterday that adds multiple additions and patches. Additions include perfect DigDug emulation and the much requested scan lines option. Patches include a workaround for the nVIDIA RIVA 128 card displaying only the left 1/4 screen. The problem was in the RIVA BIOS, but a work-around was able to be coded. Also, command line switches not working has also been fixed. This is the first private beta of Retrocade 1.1, no announcement has been made as to when a release version will be available.

Monday, September 21st, 1998
Pugsy's MAME Cheats Updated:
Pugsy's MAME cheats have been updated to reflect the new games added in MAME v0.34 beta 2 and 3. This cheat archive is the largest available tipping the scale at 192KB uncompressed (50KB has been added in this latest update alone)!

Sunday, September 20th, 1998
Easy Retrocade Fix for RIVA 128 Cards:
If anyone has the nVIDIA RIVA 128 card and when they run Retrocade they get only the left 1/4 of the screen, try downloading this file and extracting it into the same directory that RETRO.EXE is in. If it works for you, please let me know! Note: This file is fff-line!

Should Reach the 600,000th Visitor in the Next Few Days:
[email protected] should blow through the 600,000th visitor in the next few days. If you're the one, send me an e-mail along with a screen shot to claim your "prize".

Saturday, September 19th, 1998
New [email protected] Discussion Forum:
Well, in a word, my old forum sucked. I couldn't do any type of customization and the formatting was very poor. Therefore, I installed a new forum called "Discus". This is a VERY powerful discussion forum package that allows topics and sub-topics. This is great for categorizing questions and suggestions. It also has a full-featured search utility allowing you to search for new message or keywords. Check it out and tell me what you think of it.

Friday, September 18th, 1998
Dave's MAME Message Board is Back:
Dave's MAME message board is back on-line. This is THE place to go to talk about MAME issues. It was greatly missed over the last few weeks while it was down. Glad to see it back!

Thursday, September 17th, 1998
RetroBabe(tm) Uncovered!
I've written a small utility that will show you the third, secret, outfit of the RetroBabe(tm)! It's hot off the press and it's HOT!

MAME v0.34 Beta 3 Released!
MAME v0.34 beta 3 has been released. A total of 38 new games are supported making the total number of emulated games 804!

[email protected] Screen Shot Update File:
The [email protected] screen shot update file for MAME v0.34 beta 3 is now on-line. I'll be updating the complete screen shot file later today.

Wednesday, September 16th, 1998
RetroBabe(tm) Picture On-Line:

Art by iCE Advertisements
Through permission by its creator, the RetroBabe(tm) picture is now on-line for your enjoyment! To see her in her other outfits (and get a great emulator at the same time ;-) download Retrocade. Retrocade has been very popular, responsible for 69% of all file downloads, while MAME manages a 19% rate (not bad for not releasing a new beta in over two weeks). If you haven't download Retrocade yet, what are you waiting for?

Monday, September 14th, 1998
RETROCADE v1.0 Released!
Retrocade, in all its glory, is on-line and ready to download! It supports 100 games (17 of which are not supported by MAME), includes a sexy front-end (including Retrobabe(tm)), and is incredibly fast (2.5x faster than MAME on my system)! If you're a retro-gamer, then you MUST have this program!

Retrocade Display Problems
If you are having problems with Retrocade and a 1/4 screen on your nVidia RIVA 128 card, DON'T do what others have been saying! I've heard it said too many times that you should install Scitech's Display Doctor, then uninstall. THIS WILL NOT WORK! I know, I was the one who identified this work-around on the Retrocade beta team! To set everyone straight, following is the correct procedure.
  • Download and install Scitech's Display Doctor (SDD) through Windows 9x
  • Allow SDD to reboot your computer back to Windows 9x
  • Make a backup of the entire SDD directory (UNIVBE.EXE will be in there)
  • While still in Windows, run the SDD Uninstall
  • Allow SDD to reboot your computer again, but this time boot to DOS (hit F8 on boot-up)
  • Run the backup of UNIVBE.EXE that you made earlier
This entire process was done JUST so that you could get the UNIVBE.EXE file. The last time you ran UNIVBE.EXE, it patched your video card and the patch "sticks". Meaning that you can delete UNIVBE.EXE from your computer, power it down, and it will still be in place! I'm working on an easier work-around and I'll announce it when it's ready.

Sunday, September 13th, 1998
Retrocade PAK Files Updated!
The release PAKs to Retrocade are now on-line and ready for download! If you downloaded the PAKs prior to Retrocade's release, you will have to download (at least) the GUI.ZIP again :-( Also, Retrocade will be relased any time now. Stay tuned!

New [email protected] Forum:
Because of the demise of Dave's message boards, I've added my own forum. Feel free to talk about anything to do with MAME, Retrocade, or [email protected] Normal rules apply, (I don't think I need to list them) use your own judgment. Most of all, have fun!

Retrocade Still Scheduled for Release Tonight!
Retrocade is still scheduled for release this evening (midnight PST). Check back soon!

What Makes Retrocade so Great?
I've received several e-mails asking "What makes Retrocade so great?". So, I figured I'd give everyone the reason, in an unbiased way (I love MAME as well). Following are the differences between Retrocade and MAME:
  • Retrocade supports 100 games, MAME 766
  • Retrocade supports 17 games that MAME doesn't
  • Retrocade supports for many games while, MAME doesn't support this at all
  • Retrocade is MUCH faster than MAME (Centipede: 338 FPS in MAME, 807 FPS in Retrocade!)
  • Retrocade includes it's own front-end (not that [email protected] isn't all that bad ;-)
  • Retrocade does some things better (like mouse control in Centipede)
  • MAME does some things better (like sound support in Donkey Kong)
So, which emulator is better? It depends on your perspective. If your favorite game is emulated on one emulator and not the other, then you would prefer one over the other. If you have a Pentium II, speed isn't that big of a deal. Both emulators are great, and I intend on supporting both because they each have their own strengths.

Saturday, September 12th, 1998
Retrocade Support Files:
To get ready for the launch of Retrocade on Monday, September 14th, you can now download all the Retrocade support files from the Retrocade page.

Friday, September 11th, 1998
Retrocade Release Candidate 3:
Retrocade Release Candidate 3 has been released to the beta testers. One big change in the pre-release is that Williams games now feature a 2x-3x speed increase! The public release of Retrocade is still scheduled for Monday, September 14th.

MENU Front-End v1.2 Released:
MENU, the front-end by Brian Lewis designed for arcade monitors and monitors on their side, has been updated to v1.2. This release supports ZIPped ROMs and allows you to specify where your ROMs are located. Check it out...

Tuesday, September 8th, 1998
Retrocade to be Released on Monday!
Unless some major bug is found, expect Retrocade to available on Monday September 14th. I'll have all files available for download at the exact moment of it's release. I've been looking at my server log files and it's funny seeing how people are rooting around, looking for Retrocade. Don't bother trying searching for them on my server, they're not there :-)

Retrocade Release Candidate 2:
Retrocade Release Candidate 2 has been released to the beta testers. This version is VERY polished and even quicker. Everthing is still a "go" for a release within a week!

Monday, September 7th, 1998
New Retrocade Section Added:
Because of Retrocade's imminent release, I've added a Retrocade section. Make sure you sign up for the [email protected] mailing list if you want to be notified the moment Retrocade is released.

Sunday, September 6th, 1998
Retrocade Released Within the Next Week!
Retrocade, which I've been beta testing, is scheduled for release within the next week! [email protected] will be given one day's notice before it's released, so expect all files to be on-line at it's official launch date and time. Check back often or join the [email protected] mailing list to be notified via e-mail. If you've got a slow computer, Retrocade will be the answer! It's FAST!!!

Saturday, September 5th, 1998
Complete Screen Shots for MAME v0.34 beta 2:
The complete set of screen shots for MAME v0.34 beta 2 are now on-line. This 3.0MB file contains all the working games included in MAME v0.34 beta 2.

New Version of [email protected] in the Works:
I'm hard at work on the next release of [email protected] Several new features have already been added, like larger, scalable screen shots. I'm currently working on the ability to sort the game listing to your heart's content. It already works, I just need to further speed things up before I start working on the next major feature.

Thursday, September 3rd, 1998
Screen Shots for MAME v0.34 beta 2:
New screen shots for MAME v0.34 beta 2 are now on-line. There's an update file if you already have the MAME v0.34 beta 1 screen shots on your computer. Also note that a few games don't have screen shots (Neo-Geo) because they don't run yet. For these, the default Neo-Geo screen shot will be displayed.

MENU Front-End Updated:
Brian Lewis has made a few fixes to his MENU front-end. The biggest one was if MAME reported an error, it wasn't visible. Other fixes have been incorporated as well. If you're running MAME with your monitor on it's side, this may be your front-end.

New Arcade Cabinet Conversion Pics:
Michael Bilder converted a Dig Dug cabinet to play MAME. Features include a control panel layout very similar to my [email protected] Controller specification, trackball, and drink holders! Check it out.

More Fun with Word:
This is completely not MAME or emulation related, but I found it funny. Type "I'd like to see Bill Gates dead" into Word, highlight the sentence, and look it up the thesaurus (shift+F7). Check out the synonym suggested. It looks like not all Microsoft employees are millionaires and happy with their boss.

Tuesday, September 1st, 1998
New Front-End Released:
Brian Lewis has created a simple DOS based front-end (called MENU) designed specifically for those who want to run games on an arcade monitor and/or tilt their monitors on their side. It doesn't have many features, but provides the features needed for this niche group of people. Make sure you read the on-line readme file before downloading for a list of its limitations.

New Pictures of Arcade Cabinet:
Brian Lewis, the guy who wrote the above front-end, has added pictures of his arcade cabinet conversion running MAME.

1/2 Million Visitors:
[email protected] received it's 1/2 million visitor yesterday. Too bad no one claimed their prize of free beer (no, you can't claim it now).

Slowdown of Site:
If anyone was experiencing a slowdown or broken links yesterday, it's because I'm hitting my maximum transfer rate. It's not very graceful, it appears like the site is down for a few minutes at a time. This is done to make sure the transfer rate doesn't go over the maximum allowed. I'm going to talk to my hosting company tomorrow to raise this limit. If they wont, I've got another hosting company lined up to switch to. If anyone knows a good virtual server hosting company that offers about a 50GB/month transfer rate, 200-300MB of space, and at a good price, let me know. PS, don't tell me about companies that offer "unlimited" transfer rates or hits because none really do. They'll just cancel my account when they realize I'm taking up so much bandwidth.




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