RetroGlove Pinout Diagram

So, I bought a PAX PowerGlove – so good it’s bad – with a view to connecting it to my PC for use as a neato peripheral. The PAX PowerGlove, hailing from Japan and predating the Mattel-manufactured US release, comes with a DB-15 Famicom peripheral connector.

I need to figure out which of the 15 pins I need to connect to my USB adapter, but so far I’ve found four pinouts for the connector – and all four are different. Here’s my best-guess pinout:

Famicom Peripheral Connector1 – Ground
2 – Sound Out
3 – IRQ
4 – Port 1, Data 4
5 – Port 1, Data 3
6 – Port 1, Data 2
7 – Port 1, Data 1
8 – Port 1, Data 0
9 – Port 1, Data Clock
10 – Latch 2
11 – Latch 1
12 – Latch 0
13 – Port 0, Data 1
14 – Port 0, Clock
15 – +5V

In theory, that should be what I need to match up to my RetroGlove USB adapter:

RetroGlove Pinout Diagram

The only question is – have I picked the right Famicom pinout to trust, or will I blow my PowerGlove? Any suggestions, Famicom experts?

Although I usually resist silly online quizzes, I was rather taken by the Which pre-1985 video game character are you quiz.  I’m pretty taken with the result, too.

What Video Game Character Are You? I am a Space-invader.I am a Space-invader.

I will happily recruit the help of friends to aid me in getting what I want. I have no tolerance for people getting in my way, and I am completely relentless until any threats or opposition are removed. I try to be down-to-earth, but something always seems to get in the way. What Video Game Character Are You?

Zone Wireless GamingIf you’re struggling to find somewhere with the Wii in stock – or can’t afford to shell out a hundred and eighty smackers on a console – then check your local Morrison’s.  I was pleased to find a Zone Wireless Gaming console in my local for under £18 – that’s a tenth the cost of the Nintendo equivalent!

Sadly, I was ordered by my better half not to buy it – despite the “incredible 16-bit graphics” and 7 in-built sports games – 2 more than you get with the Wii.  I guess I’ll have to make do with Nintendo’s offering.

Steam – Valve’s digital distribution mechanism – is having a sale at the moment with some reasonable bargains, including a decent deal on Max Payne and Max Payne 2.  Having enjoyed the original and never having played the sequel, I snapped it up.

There are problems, however: while the original works fine, Max Payne 2 suffers from major audio glitches in the video sequences.  Sticking, juddering, popping every few seconds – it’s a mess.  I tried setting processor affinity, turning Direct3D acceleration off, setting Windows 2000 compatibility mode – the works.

I finally figured out that it’s not actually Max Payne 2 that’s the problem, but rather the Bink video playback DLL that comes bundled.  Having upgraded the RAD Video Tools to the latest version, I was able to recreate the problem outside the game engine simply by playing back the – admittedly fairly high-resolution – intro video within the Bink Player.

It turns out that some older software – Bink playback tools included – don’t like SMP systems, i.e. systems with two or more logical processors.  The good news is that there’s a relatively simple fix.

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Reading the Metro this morning on my way to work – hey, it’s free – I came across an interesting article regarding our old friends Davenport Lyons.  It seems that the lawyers have backed down in the case of at least one couple accused of illegally sharing an Atari computer game – in this case, Race ’07.

Ken and Gill Murdoch received the usual “give us £500 or we’ll sue” extortion-style letter from the firm but denied any wrongdoing, claiming that – and forgive me for quoting direct here – “their internet IP address may have been hijacked by illegal downloaders.”  No, seriously – that’s what the article says.

Although Davenport Lyons has since dropped the case, it took the intervention of Which? Computing magazine on the Murdoch’s behalf to get them to do so.  Sarah Kidner, editor of the magazine, decried the “heavy-handed tactics” employed by the firm but then shot herself in the foot by saying that “consumers need to be aware of the dangers of having their computer address copied by hackers” – again, I’m not making this up.  The editor of a computing magazine, for chrissakes.

Lazy tabloid journalism aside, the article should at least offer hope that Davenport Lyons really don’t have the balls to back up their claims of copyright infringement – as I’ve said all along.

In a brave attempt to rid myself of some of the cruft I’ve gathered over the years, I’ve recently had a somewhat brutal clearout.  As well as all the rubbish that I’ve collected, I’m planning to get rid of the vast majority of my old gaming equipment – including my beloved Commodore C64 collection.

Accordingly, I’ve put a page on this ‘ere site called – surprisingly – For Sale, which contains – again, surprisingly – a list of all the items I’ve catalogued.  The page will be updated just as frequently as I can bring myself to, with the easier-to-catalogue stuff getting added first – which means that the C64 with its two large boxes filled with games will likely be last.

If you’re interested in any of the items you see, make me an offer either via e-mail or through the comment link on the page.

Ha! Ceri’s not the only one who can get the MVP achievement in Halo 3.

Capt Blacklaw MVP
It sounds so much better if I don’t mention the little fact that most of the other players quit early…

ugvmhalo3-1-thumb (12k image)The Halo 3 UGVM league is underway, with our team romping home to abject defeat in our first game. Getting thrashed at Slayer was one thing. Getting slaughtered at Rocket Race could be forgiven due to it being our first time on that mode. But managing to utterly fail at Crazy King was just embarrassing.

Thankfully, we were able to bring it back for the second match. Ending in a 1.5 point tie (tied Slayer, won Rocket Race, lost Crazy King) we’re at least able to put //some// points on the table.

The above shot, taken from our first Crazy King match, is an example of how ruthless our opponents were – ItshMe firing a rocket at SilverSparks, despite the presence of his teammate SomethingWitty in the blast zone. For the record, he manage to take Ceri out – at the cost of his own teammate. Stone cold killer, that one.