Matt Barton's picture

Matt's First Mac Experience (Please, Be Gentle)

Well, I finally got my new iMac up and running, and I must admit I'm impressed with what I've seen so far. But, you'll have to excuse me if I don't put those Apple decals on my car just yet.

AppleAppleI've been having some problems making the transition (I'm a Windows "power user" in many ways, and it's tough starting over from scratch with a new OS), but I think I'm starting to get the hang of things. Sure, it's a bit disturbing when even the input devices (the keyboard and the mouse) feel strange and unresponsive, but I'm sure I'll adapt as time wears on. The subtle differences are odd and sometimes frustrating. For instance, I use the "home" and "end" keys a lot on my PC to skip to the end of a line when I type. I have these keys on the Mac keyboard, but they don't seem to do anything. I also have a large widescreen monitor built-in, but the text has a habit of being so small I can't read it. Furthermore, the window re-sizing controls are different...In short, it's like speaking Spanish all your life and suddenly finding yourself surrounded by Portuguese. Yes, the basics are the same, and you can understand and be understood on most things, but all those subtle nuances get mangled in translation. I have the distinct impression that I'm "talking louder" at the Mac rather than correctly, and I need to learn its language.

Matt Barton's picture

Armchair Arcade: The Style, the Tone

Well, we've been at this for a couple of months now, and I daresay that we're beginning to settle into a nice groove. Everyday there are at least two news items that we hope you will enjoy checking out--and of course plenty of commentary on these items from your editors. Sooner than you think, we will be rolling out what we hope will be one of the best issues of Armchair Arcade to date. However, I think it's safe to say that we are still officially in a "beta state," and still open to suggestions and ideas about the future. You all have been very forgiving and patient with us during this transition, and I really, really appreciate it. Thanks.

Matt Barton's picture

Interview with Tom Kalinske--How Sega Japan Ruined Sega has published an interview with Tom Kalinske, former president of Sega US. If you're a Sega fan or just interested in their rise and fall, it's worth your while to check this out. In a nutshell, Kalinske seems to imply here that what really ruined Sega was the overbearing Japanese division, whose petty jealousy and petulance over the American division's success caused them to turn down opportunities that would've kept them in the ring. For instance, they refused to purchase SGI's technology on the grounds that it "wasn't good enough," yet that same tech ended up in the Nintendo64. The Japanese division also refused to go in with Sony, who (after also being rejected by Nintendo) ended up releasing its Playstation (d'oh!). However, of course we have to bear in mind who all of these views are coming from, and it's no surprise that Kalinske wants to make himself look brilliant and everyone who disagreed with him as idiotic.

Matt Barton's picture

Virtual Reality Super Mario

Well, it had to happen sometime: Virtual Reality Super Mario. There's not too much to see here; just a demonstration of the unit with the game playing in the background. I'm sure the appeal of something like this just can't be captured in a YouTube--you'd have to be wearing that headset to appreciate it. Still, that doesn't look too comfortable (or intuitive) having to jerk your arm up to hit those blocks. I'm surprised they don't have him jumping on a DDR-type pad, but I suppose the logistics for that might be difficult. I think it'd be easier just to use the default NES controller, or perhaps something with dual analogs. At any rate, it's neat and definitely looks better than that clunky, Dire Straits -video type VR we're so used to seeing. YouTube below the fold.

dragon57's picture

Classic Console Modification Services

Odyssey2Odyssey2For those of us that love playing old classic consoles, but have moved on to newer monitors and TV's with video inputs, this site is for you: They offer modification services for most older consoles (in addition to other services). A few people on a ColecoVision forum I frequent have upgraded their CV consoles and say the work and results are very good.

Matt Barton's picture

More "Control Issues" and PC vs. Console Gaming

Nintendo Wii Controller: Wait until you see the foot pedals.Nintendo Wii Controller: Wait until you see the foot pedals.There's been a great deal of buzz this week about controllers, probably (methinks) inspired by Nintendo's innovations with the Wii. Retroblast has a piece up about Roberto Duran, a maker of awesome custom controllers for very serious gamers. $500 "stikz", anyone? If Duran's work is artistic and highly prized, check out this crap from Elecom. Is this supposed to be an NES-style controller for nostalgia's sake, or a gag gift for Christmas? You'd probably be better off recycling your soon-to-be-worthless dual-shocks for PC play for only $11.

Bill Loguidice's picture

Frogger 25th Anniversary from Konami on Xbox Live Arcade - Impressions

An Achievement Symbol from Frogger 25th Anniversary on Xbox Live ArcadeAn Achievement Symbol from Frogger 25th Anniversary on Xbox Live ArcadeWell, as part of Xbox Live Wednesday's, which will see interesting new releases on that weekday for the near future, Microsoft and Konami have released "Frogger 25th Anniversary" to Xbox Live Arcade for the Xbox 360 yesterday. I was looking forward to the enhanced visuals and the new modes, but was ultimately left a bit dissapointed.

Matt Barton's picture

"Out of Control": Chris Kohler's History of Wacky Controllers

Chris Kohler, author of Retrogaming Hacks and PowerUP, has a fantastic feature at 1-UP called Out of Control: The Craziest Game Controllers Ever. This article is definitely a must-visit for all retrogaming fans, particularly those with an interest in novel input devices. Where else are you going to read about Boong-Ga Boong-Ga, the Korean arcade fisting simulator? I thought I had seen some quirky controllers before, but Pom Poms? An accordion? There are also lots of comparisons here between Atari and Nintendo, as well as a look into modern arcades.

Matt Barton's picture

Pole Position will leave SKID MARKS on your SOUL!

"It'll bust your crank...and leave skid marks on your soul!" Oooohh...Shiver. And let's not ignore the bustin' on the corporate execs--the Hannibals at the gate of the Ancient Atari republic. "You're going to play POLE POSITION!" What the heck am I raving about? This classic Pole Position TV commercial of course. The entire commercial is classic vintage 80s, right down to the hair metal-esque theme. You can click the link or see the YouTube here after the jump. For more kicks--The Cult of Leia's Golden Bikini. The belly dance is definitely worth it.

Bill Loguidice's picture

The Latest Offerings for the ZX81 and Timex Sinclair - 25th Anniversary Year

Alien Mind for the ZX81/Sinclair/Timex Computers (16K)Alien Mind for the ZX81/Sinclair/Timex Computers (16K)Andre', our favorite French ZX81/Sinclair (including the Timex Sinclair 1000/1500) enthusiast, brings us the following exciting updates for the woefully underpowered systems (but that's the fun of it, right?), edited for English:


"GOALIE", the July program is available NOW! Go and get it at

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