Watching Old Arcade Laserdisc Video

About a quarter of a century ago, a handful of arcade games incorporating laserdisc technology appeared in arcades.  The most well known one was Dragon’s Lair, a game made up entirely of traditionally drawn cartoon clips, with different clips being played depending on the player’s actions.  Other games, like Cube Quest used laserdisc video to draw high-quality backgrounds behind relatively lower quality video game graphics.

Last year, the incredible Multiple Arcade Machine Emulator project (or MAME) — an open source project dedicated to the preservation of arcade game history by emulating old arcade hardware on modern PCs — finally developed the ability to emulate its first laserdisc game (other projects, like DAPHNE, have been emulating laserdisc games for longer, but these projects were dedicated to laserdisc games whereas MAME’s focus encompasses all types of arcade games).  So far, only a handful of laserdisc games are playable with MAME.

It’s pretty neat visiting these once state-of-the-art games.  The grainy, lower-fidelity video and sound of laserdisc really takes one back to the mid-80s.

If you are familiar with emulation and just want to watch the video content stored in laserdisc CHD files (rather than playing through the entire game), follow these instructions on how to use MAME’s ldplayer. The instructions there didn’t exist when I first went about figuring out how to get the laserdisc player program itself working; the page has since been updated after some communication with one of the MAME developers, so hopefully others won’t have as frustrating a time as I had in trying to get it all to work.

Here’s a screenshot of me VNCing into my home computer and running the laserdisc player emulator with the Cube Quest CHD:

Free Image Hosting at www.ImageShack.us

When I was a kid, I never imagined I’d be using one computer at work to connect to another computer at home via a global computer network in order to run a program designed to emulate the hardware of a twenty-five year-old laserdisc player.

Screw Network TV

I think I’m going back to watching Lost via torrents.  Tonight, they squeezed in an extra commercial break which made the show run long, then the last couple of minutes got cut off due to the scheduled commercial break at the top of the hour.

Fortunately it looked like someone caught the mistake and switched the commercials off, but not after a good amount of time from what is usually the most dramatic minutes of the show was missed.

Screw network TV.

Then they have the audacity to put a bold “WARNING: This is copyrighted material” into the credits of shows now, too, as if to tell the viewers “we’re going to butcher the show with advertisements and you’re going to watch it that way.”  They’re trying to scare people away from sharing clean versions of the TV shows they butcher, too stupid to understand that it’s the people who watch the shows that are important, not the advertisers.  You piss off the viewers and you have nothing to sell to the advertisers.

Screw network TV.

It’s torrents from now on.

TV Torrents at The Pirate Bay

Multi-tracker torrent search engine: Torrentz.com

Automatons of Misery

It’s always interesting to read quotes from the Founding Fathers of the United States, then see how the things they warned about are exactly the things America ended up becoming.  Worse, still, is seeing how the majority of Americans will stand up and fight to support the current state of their country.

“We must not let our rulers load us with perpetual debt.
We must make our election between economy and liberty
or profusion and servitude.
If we run into such debt, as that we must be taxed in our meat and
in our drink, in our necessaries and our comforts, in our labors and
our amusements, for our calling and our creeds…
[we will] have no time to think,
no means of calling our miss-managers to account
but be glad to obtain subsistence by hiring ourselves
to rivet their chains on the necks of our fellow-sufferers…
And this is the tendency of all human governments.
A departure from principle in one instance
becomes a precedent for [another] …
till the bulk of society is reduced to be mere automatons of misery…
And the fore-horse of this frightful team is public debt.
Taxation follows that, and in its train wretchedness and oppression.”

Thomas Jefferson (1743-1826), US Founding Father, drafted the Declaration of Independence, 3rd US President

Source: Letter to Samuel Kercheval, Monticello, July 12, 1816

Day by day, the need for Revolution in the United States grows…