Bartop MAME Cabinet Worklog 02

August 5, 2012

Bartop MAME Cabinet Worklog 01

August 1, 2012

So this blog was hacked recently. I removed the stupid ad they posted, changed my password to something much better. Good luck hacking that one. Derp.

Anyways, this is my new project I’m working on.

My Custom-Built Portable Gaming PC

March 27, 2011

Figures I’d post this here last, days after posting it elsewhere. On another note, I did finish my Let’s Play of The Dark Eye recently. I also participated in FAWM but only posted one finished song. And only got one comment on it. Heh. Oh well. Anyways, on with the PGPC.

8 inch touchscreen LCD
Integrated Xbox 360 controller with Playstation D-pad and face buttons for shoulder buttons
Mini ITX Socket P motherboard – for laptop CPUs
Intel T7300 Core 2 Duo 2GHz 4mb L2 cache
4GB of DDR3
Geforce 9100m 512mb shared
500GB hard drive

Half-built-in wifi – USB dongle inside, motherboard has mini PCI-Express slot but haven’t gotten a card for it yet. Not that I have to. It’s under the righthand control panel and I can take it out very easily. Motherboard also has HDMI out, so this thing will occasionally run double-duty as an HTPC in my house.

The case is made from two OKW enclosures glued back to back, heavily modified of course. You can see where I screwed up the paint job. Maybe some day I’ll fix it.

No internal batteries. I know. I know. Believe me I know. It’s kills me, but it’s just too heavy. I designed it with batteries in mind. I have the power switch for it, the charging jack, the battery life indicator – ALL integrated already. But I decided against putting the batteries in. Right now, it’s already heavy. If I were to add the batteries, it’d be unplayably heavy. I’m going to have to make them into an external pack. As much as it saddens me.

I wanted a motherboard that was very upgradeable, which this one is. I can put a much better CPU in there in the future and maybe bump it up to 8GB if I get Windows 7. I also wanted a motherboard that had a PCI-Express slot. The idea was, when you’re at home, you plug in your awesome desktop card and you’ve got a really decent gaming PC that can run just about anything. I have the riser card and “cartridge slot” cover, but not bothering putting them in until I can afford a better power brick that can handle the amperage.

The Day After Summer Vacation

July 19, 2010

I wanted to link some one this thing I wrote and realized I didn’t have it hosted anywhere to be able to link it. For some backround: Around 2002 after American Idol came out and was all the rage, members of a forum I called home held an “Idol” competition of their own. Rather than singing, the contestants wrote something specific that was laid out to us by the “host” of the competition. One of the challenges was to write a fake interactive fiction (text adventure) transcript of some one playing a nonexistent game. Some people went the serious route, or the realistic route, or the creative route. I went the comedic route. Well, sort of. I wanted to demonstrate how I felt when playing some of the more annoying IF games. Anyways, here it is. It is called “The Day Before Summer Vacation.”



You’re standing in a pit. It’s dark.


THE DAY BEFORE SUMMER VACATION is now in its “verbose” mode, which always gives long descriptions of locations (even if you’ve been there before).


You’re still in a pit, but you got tired of standing so you sat down. It’s still dark.

The only exit is up.


You try your best to climb up the side of the pit, but it’s no use. You fall back down and sprain your left leg.

Something hits you on the head.


You’re hopping on one foot in a dark pit, rubbing your head.

If you still care, the only exit is up.

You see an object in front of you, but it’s too dark to make it out.

>examine object

It seems to be a rope with a cylindrical-shaped rock tied to one end. Your friends at the top of the pit must have stopped laughing and decided to give you some help. If you can call this help. They threw down their only rope and didn’t hold on to the end so you could climb out. It probably has something to do with them being drunk.

>take rope

Which rope? The rope with the rock tied to it, or the rope your friends threw down?

>aren’t they the same?

Shut up. Which one?

>Take rope with rock


You’re still in a dark pit.

The only exit is still up.

>throw rope

Which direction would you like to throw the rope?


You throw the rope upwards with all your might, but due to the weight of the rock, it sails back down and hits the only part of your head that wasn’t sore.

Something plunks on the ground right in front of you.

You hear some one at the top of the pit yell “Stop throwing my stuff at him! If you’re gonna throw stuff, throw his stuff!”


You’re in a dark pit, barely conscious from massive blows to the head. You can no longer feel your left leg at all.

The only exit is up.

There is a zippo lighter at your feet.

>take lighter

>examine self

You’re a 21 year old college student at GSU. You’d be pretty good looking if you weren’t bleeding profusely from your head and hobbling on one foot.

It might be a good time to save.

Good idea. Saved.

>light lighter

You light the lighter and flinch at the bright flame. It goes out after 5 seconds.

You hear your friends up above, leaving. You are now SCREWED.

Would you like to:

Restore Complete.

>examine lighter

It’s too dark to see it very well.

You hold it up to your ear and shake it. You can’t hear anything. It must be about empty.

Your hear your friends above, leaving.

>use lighter on rope

You light the rope just before the lighter fades out. The rope burns up quickly.

The rock explodes.


Would you like to:

Restore Complete.

>light lighter, examine rock

With the firelight, you can see things much more clearly.

It seems this rock is not a rock at all, but a pipe bomb. The rope is actually the fuse.

You’re beginning to wonder if you’ve made the right friends at school.

The lighter goes out.

You hear your friends up above, leaving. You are now SCREWED.

Would you like to:

Restore Complete.

>drop rock

>Light lighter then drop it. Go up.

You quickly light the lighter and drop it on the ground as you attempt to climb the side of the pit for the third time.

The fuse lights and the pipe bomb explodes, sending you upward at an alarming rate.

You have made it out of the pit alive! Well, partially alive.


You’re in a semi-dark cavern.

Exits lead to the North in where your friends are and the South to the exit of the cavern.

There is a pit just to the East of you.


You sheepishly head towards your former friends.

You slip on a puddle and fall back in the pit.

You moron.


Would you like to:


Ramblatory Nonsense – Episode 02 – Adventure games rant, Alan Wake, Red Dead Redemption, etc.

June 28, 2010

I did not intend to do a podcast (if you even want to call these things a podcast) so soon again. But hearing the guys on Rebel FM talk about Gray Matter, briefly, got me fired up. I ranted for a good 9 minutes or so. Then I talked a bit about Alan Wake, Red Dead Redemption, and some other random junk. When talking about the stuff I’d built in the past, I got distracted and moved on before mentioning that I also built a portable NES and a portable PS2 before as well. The PS2 died, unfortunately.

Music in this episode: Ozma – Bad Dogs (Bottom of the Hill, San Francisco 3/28/2003) and Lorraine (live acoustic at Digevent).

Forgot to add ID3 tags this time. Feeling too lazy to re-upload it.

Download here or use the player below.

Ramblatory Nonsense – Episode 01 – The Elder Scrolls

June 25, 2010

A podcast? What? Yeah, so, I start lots of projects and things and usually never finish them. Here’s the newest one.

I hate you.

Introductory episode of the podcast discussing The Elder Scrolls series of games by Bethesda Softworks. All three parts of it were recorded without planning ahead, which is why the name fits so well. I’m completely rambling. Still experimenting with things. File had to be compressed a lot due to my host only accepting small files. Which means the audio quality is fairly bad. Really makes the music sound terrible especially. If you’re used to listening to podcasts, you’re probably used to it though.

Download here or use the player below.

Let’s Play They Hunger

February 20, 2010

FAWM is 3/4 of the way over and I haven’t written a single song. I just can’t seem to get in the mood for it. However, I have been doing something else. I’ve been making “Let’s Play” videos for They Hunger. If you’re not familiar with what a Let’s Play is, well, in this case it’s when some one plays a video game and records themselves while doing it. Talking over it while they’re playing. You have to be a pretty big nerd to want to watch some one else play a game. I mean, why not just play it yourself, right? Well, I thought that too at first. But then I started watching some Let’s Plays of games I’ve always been vaguely interested in, but never enough to actually play them. And, depending on the “Let’s Player,” it can actually be a very entertaining thing to watch. So I decided to make my own. WARNING: Lots of profanity. Here is a link to my new youtube channel for it. And here is the first video:

Let me know what you think, dear nonexistent readers.

FAWM Approaches! (a blog renewed?)

January 12, 2010

Frightening prospect. Maybe this blog will get some use now? Sorry about that, dear nonexistent readers. It turned out that my back has gotten so bad that I can’t actually sit upright in a chair at a table/desk long enough to solder anything. It was very frustrating to realize that after all the planning and preparation I’d done. Oh well.

So yes, FAWM. That’d be February Album Writing Month for you noobs out there. Who knows how much I’ll write this year. Though if I do finish anything, I have a feeling the quality will be a bit better this time. Not the writing quality – oh no that will still be terrible – but the production quality. It’ll still be noisy and lo-fi sounding, but there should be better drums and stuff. We shall see.

During FAWM, I’ll probably do a lot of whining and complaining here on this blog to get my frustrations out while attempting to write. I might even cross-post the songs here as well as on the FAWM site.

(still hating Nintendo) Planning Begins

September 4, 2009

My right arm, which was the one that was screwed up, felt a little better today. The strength is definitely back, for certain. Stability as well. As in, theoretically I think I could hold a soldering iron pretty steady. Still a bit sore though. However, my left arm decided to betray me today. I understand why. I mean, all day yesterday I did pretty much everything with my left hand/arm. It was over-used. Blargh. Rather than push on, I decided to try and give both arms a rest today. I tried not to do much of anything with either of them.

What I did do though is sort of plan out my main project I’m planning to do. It’s a multi-system portable. Sort of a combination of three of my previous projects. It’s going to be a PSOne, an NES and a GBA. Why those three? Well, because that’s what I’ve got handy. The NES is actually a Yobo and takes up very little room. The GBA and transverter doesn’t take up much more, though they’re definitely awkwardly shaped. And the PSOne, well, my first one worked, but was a bit of a mess. It was my first portable and my soldering skills were terrible. Not only that, but the soldering iron I had back then had a HUGE tip and I couldn’t be precise at all. I’ve still got the guts to it, but they’ve been thrashed around in a box so much that I’m not going to bother trying to use them. I have another PSOne though which has never been cracked open before.

I took it apart and figured out how I want to do some things with it. The case I’m going to use for this multi-system thing is a flat square tupperware container. I’m not sure if it’s actually Tupperware brand. Though since it was given to me by my mother, it most likely is. It’s a very sturdy one, not one of those cheap things you can buy for like a dollar at walmart. Should work decently enough. I laid out everything inside it and figured out how I’m going to put it all in. The GBA slot is going to be on the front, unfortunately. Unless I decide to do a cart slot relocation. We’ll see.

It’s going to be a total frankencase sort of thing, which I actually haven’t done a whole lot before. This is actually what I’m most excited about. I can’t wait to get to work on it. I will post a follow-up to this with some crude illustrations and descriptions of the design either before I go to bed, or tomorrow morning. Right now I’m going to start biting into the plastic of the PSOne controller.

Project ADD

September 4, 2009

This is a real issue for me. It always has been. I’ll plan out something or start working on something and then suddenly a new project occurs to me and I move onto that. This tends to result in a lot of half-finished things. We’re going to call this phenomena “Project ADD” or “pADD” for short.

So, since my arm was screwed up today and I couldn’t do anything, I spent a lot of time surfing and researching different things. I’ve got a laptop that I bought well over a year ago that I’d planned to upgrade and resell. Never got around to it (standard pADD) and when I wanted to again, I suddenly had no money. It still needs a hard drive. Well, I still don’t have any money. But I want to get some use out of it, even if I can’t sell it yet. I’m now planning on building a hard drive converter to be able to use a larger 3.5″ hard drive with it. Since that’s all I’ve got. It’s going to be fairly simple, yet time consuming. I mean, it’s 40 pins! Crazy. It’ll probably take an hour or two. Who knows. If I remember to, I’ll take pictures of it.

So that’s what I’m planning to do tomorrow assuming my arm feels better. Unless the dreaded pADD strikes again.