That took longer than expected!

Back in November I finally decided I had had enough of renewing my LetEncrypt SSL certificate every three months and manually uploading them to Namecheap, my webhost.

Namecheap have decided it’s good sense, from a business perspective, to not offer LetEncrypt certificates integrated into CPanel, they sell certificates and don’t think free certs are a good fit for their business model. I disagreed. After asking them a few times to reconsider over the course of the year that I was forced to update manually. I finally bit the bullet and moved to a new host.

While that was happening, wordpress 5 was released, along with it’s new editing method ‘Gutenberg’ and it broke my theme. While trying to fix the theme I realised there were nearly 30,000 lines of CSS being served and multiple Javascript files for what was essentially a very simple website so I threw the theme away, got a framework called ‘_s’ (Underscores) and set about writing a new theme for myself.

Ain’t she pretty!

And this is it, what do you think? I’ve tried to model the theme after a VT320 terminal with an amber monitor, I’ve had to take a few liberties (the VT320 couldn’t do pictures or more than one colour) but I’ve tried to keep the theme feeling like it’s an 80’s terminal.

There are still a few broken links, the graphics are a bit messed up on some of the older content, other odd inconsistencies are annoying me to an unreasonable degree and will be fixed as I spot them, but it’s mostly up and working.

The MAME downloads will resume again now I have somewhere to upload them and there is a new widget right on the front page where you can download the latest release.

SDL2 Tutorial update

SDL2 is now up to ver 2.0.7 release and 2.0.8 dev. The Raspbian Stretch changes we had to patch the source for have been included into the official source no so I’ve updated the tutorial to fix the process. I’ve also updated the utility library versions to the latest ones and removed the smpeg util library. It was only included because it was a requirement for mp3 support in the mixer library and that has been replaced by mpg123 in the latest version. The smpeg library hasn’t been updated since 2013 and no longer compiles clean.

SDL2 2.0.8 on Raspberry Pi

Skins for the Official Raspberry Pi Case

You all know I do those NES skins for the official Raspbery Pi Case. Well I have had a lot of requests since I first made them available, for other systems than just NES, so I spent the last few days drawing some new ones.

The link to my skins is feel free to let people know in other groups/forums

The print process makes these come out slightly darker than I draw them and I was unhappy with that on the black on black systems so I’ve made them lighter while I was at it. I’ve also tweaked the NES skin and added one with a cart laying on the top.

I took the opportunity to tweak the template, they are very slightly larger now (1/16 inch) so they fit the case a little better and I adjusted the size of the SD slot cutout as it was made slightly larger by the Raspberry Pi guys when they updated their cases for the Pi3.


[nggallery id=”1″]

[ARTICLE] MAME Benchmarks on Raspberry Pi 1/2/3

I’ve run benchmarks on a set of 150 games in MAME. I tried to pick a fair sampling of the classics and the more modern games, I even included a couple of obviously impossible ones. I do seem to have ended up with far too many CPS2 games though!

The benchmarks have been run on the Raspberry Pi Model B, The Raspberry Pi 2 and the Raspberry Pi 3. I ran them Normally and Overclocked.

Check out the results here.

Benchmarks for MAME on Raspberry Pi

[ARTICLE] Demystifying MAME ROMS

A lot of people get confused about MAME ROMs, they seem so complicated and fragile.

“I upgraded my version of MAME and now none of my games work”
“I got <gamename> ROM from <website> and it wont work”
“Why is this so much more complicated than NES or SNES ROMs?”

I hear these kind of things a lot on various forums around the web and it’s true, MAME ROMs are more complicated than console ROMs, but not hugely so. There are just a few concepts you need to understand and some simple terminology and it all makes sense.

Here is my guide to MAME ROMs and their associated terminology.