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"Life is what happens when you're busy making other plans"
    --John Lennon

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Updates goings on and whatever PDF Print E-mail

Man I haven't posted here since May. I guess I've been slacking on the Junknet front. Either which way, not much to report. Same old shit different day. Been really really involved in the arcade game hobby lately, what was supposed to be a winter hobby has turned into an obsession I think. I haven't even really worked on them much, just helping people online. I have taken to fixing boards now, and trying to learn a little bit about how they work.

Anyhow I just wanted to update this to get rid of the stupid software rant - its a valid point but old news now.


Hope you're having a good summer!

Computer Software: BOOOORING! PDF Print E-mail

So I was poking around the net tonight looking for a few new programs to try some things, and came to a realization that I've prob come to a crapload of times now: modern software SUCKS. It's BORING. Think about it. Here's a short bullet list that pretty much sums up all modern software:

  • You're lucky if you find something that does EXACTLY what you want it to do. Why? It has to appeal to the masses, and anything that appeals to the masses is not going to cater to a niche. Period. Sorry.
  • BUGS: You're lucky if it works, and through no fault of your own. Most if not just about all software is usually released weeks/months before the developer is really done with it. The consumer is now the beta tester...pretty convenient, huh? The funny thing is, I deal with stressed out people on the daily basis who most often feel they did something wrong to cause a problem. They didn't, and unfortunately, there's nothing I could do to improve a situation in most cases. It is what it is.
  • The Windows Interface: Don't get me wrong - I ain't switching to a mac anytime soon, but I'll give Apple credit - its NICE. Its actually almost pleasing to look at (if you like the color white). This is my biggest pet peeve though, all software, literally, looks like Outlook. Its all formatted the same - the same icon bar on the left side, with eh, 70% of the screen for data and actual useage. What happened to all the graphical apps of the 90s, the virtual reality web sites, the rendered worlds we downloaded as screensavers...am I limited to getting a WoW subscription to see what came of it? In movies we still see apps that graphical, use more colors than blue, gray, and white, are bad ass, yet, where are they in real life? Cmon it can't be that hard! Imagine how boring lawnmower man would have been if half the movie was "File...Edit...View...Tools...Help.."
  • Database Driven - If I have to install another copy of MSDE on a workstation at work...I'm going to hurl. Please...why does the dumbest of utilities really require a dedicated SQL server to function? Soon the server room may be the only workstations left. (What's even funnier is some things that really, REALLY should have a sql database, don't!)
  • Installers=EPIC FAIL. You install any productivity apps lately? How many patches, addons, programming languages, and other crap did you have to install, reinstall, remove, or patch to get an app to work? Someone I know recently bought a second copy of the software because he thought the CD was bad. Unfortunately, it was an app he really needed, and had the worst time getting it working. If the software takes more than 2 minutes to install - fail. Period.

Dear software developers - you know who you are. Break the friggin mold already. Do something DIFFERENT. Hows about an OpenGL interface? Shit ANY kind of graphical interface, Flash (eh), OpenGL, Java, break out a box of crayons already. Something that can scale without needing "cleartype" (which is really far from it!). How about a black background? Maybe even light text on a..dark...background? Godforbid we do that, my retinas might last until next week. Yeah yeah yeah black type on white works for books...last time I checked books didn't need electricity and balance my checkbook.

I just want to see something different, something new, something to say "wow I can't believe they made that, and it works". I know this is asking for the miracle of all miracles...but you never know, sometimes it just takes asking...

Madman Arcade Update (3-15-2010) PDF Print E-mail

Sorry for the downtime folks! If anyone was trying to access Junknet.net today you probably didn't get too far. I have a small hosting issue I'm trying to fix up to improve the site a little, and unfortunately in the midst of troubleshooting it my laptop battery died. Anyhow - things are back to normal for now.

Next - another arcade update. I picked up a Ghost N Goblins kit from the forums, knowing how much I both loved and hated that game. I really just wanted the boardset but it was offered as a kit so why not. Well, apparently I got lucky - very lucky. A Commando cab I happened to have in storage looked like it was close to the dimensions of the bezel, so why not I figured I'd try it to see how badly it fit. Well, badly wasn't the word - more like "MADE FOR IT". Holy crap I couldn't believe it! The control panel has a useable layout, and both the marquee and bezel fit the cab perfectly. The ONLY downside to this cab is that its made for a vertical monitor, but a few mins with a rotozip should fix that problem. I can't wait to put this thing together now!!

Until next time...

I should call this the "blah" blog... PDF Print E-mail

The nice thing about having your own web site as your home page, is that even you can get sick of looking at the same thing. :-)

As far as the arcade stuff, my (hopefully) last and final game for now has joined the arcade - Space Invaders. This is a game I wanted for a while, not exactly sure why, but its been extremely fun to play and definitely a keeper. As for the other projects, Ghost N Goblins is now assembled enough where its playable, but the monitor seems twitchy (power connector may be loose) and it really needs a new joystick. Video Pinball is still down for the count, my own attempt at board repair is not going as well as I had hoped but who knows, maybe I'll figure it out soon. I finally figured out why my Ms Pac wasn't taking coins - the "credit multiplier" board was missing, so one of those later and the coin door finally works.

On top of those projects, I moved out the Playchoice cab, as well as the new Megatouch XL upright I picked up until I find a touch screen for it, or get sick of it and part it out. We'll see what happens. I also may have found something I've been looking for, for quite some time - a Space Zap bezel!! If it makes it to me in one piece, I just may have to finish that one!

Outside of arcade stuff the GN needs a lot of cosmetic work and hopefully I can get that going this year.

By the way, the arcade section of Junknet is a bit lacking due to a problem with the gallery. Once I get that fixed all the new additions will be posted up.

Madman Arcade Update (3-10-2010) PDF Print E-mail

Figured I'd put an update, since I have an update on the arcade front. I fixed Darkstalkers - AGAIN. This time I just swapped the monitor out for an actual working one. Its possible the flyback is bad in the other one so it can sit and rot for all I care. On top of that, I also got in some 25in Capcom bezels, and found a Capcom Vs Xmen bezel that was gray and sort of matches the CPO I have on the cabinet. Installed it and it looks pretty good for once!

Next up I replaced one of the credit displays on my Neo Geo cab so there's no more missing segments. Looks better now, and despite that I'm possibly planning some alternative uses for the cab. I need to get in there and add a -5v wire from the power supply, and replace the noisy fan in the power supply as well. I did get a jamma-to-Neo-Geo adapter from www.jammaboards.com so I can use Jamma boards in the cab. Neo Geo cabs are 99% jamma but have some minor changes, especially in regards to the speaker connections. They also tend now to have the -5v feed as the Neo boards don't use it I guess.

In regards to Ms Pac not coining up properly, I found that although I knew I'm missing the "credit multiplier" board - nobody ever told me there's a shunt board that has to be installed in its place. That explains the lack of coin functionality. I did test the coin door and it worked fine, so once I figure out where to find or how to make one of these shunt boards I guess Ms Pac will be finally accepting tokens.

Finally, the last thing I got to play with was the new Megatouch. Things aren't looking good for it - the touch screen seems to be bad on the right side. If you drag your finger across the center of the screen, the target moves away from your finger as it approaches the right edge. CRAP.

The front row will get some attention next time I go down there - who knows when that'll be. Qbert needs the monitor to be replaced, I gotta do SOMETHING with the Playchoice cab and Video Pinball is still dead.

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