Blog

This is a place I share things I find on the internet and thoughts on any topics that tickle my fancy.

New website!

posted by Jabo Blog Comments3
Since launching this site over 10 years ago I've upgraded from a shared server using PHP and MySQL to a dedicated VPS using Java and SQLite. In that time however the site has not changed much visually despite the rapid changes in web development libraries.

I spent the last few months working on the visual appearance by using Twitter Bootstrap, JQuery, Moment.Js, and Font Awesome to make it look substantially more modern and work better on mobile devices. Additionally this made it easier to focus on the layout of the site and it's content rather than JavaScript and CSS.

There are still some quirks and issues that I need to work out, let me know what you think and if something does not work.
These days it's pretty rare to see a new Mega Man game released, although Mega Man 9 did come out in 2008 for the Nintendo Wii Virtual Console. Even more rare is when Capcom graces the PC platform with a title. Well all bets are off, as part of the Street Fighter and Mega Man's 25th anniversary Capcom has collaborated with fan Seow Zong Hui and delivered a pretty amazing game for the PC platform. Announcements are on the capcom unity homepage as well as downloads for Windows XP and higher.

This game puts Mega Man up against some of your favorite Street Fighter characters such as Ryu in classic Mega Man boss battles.

The requirements are also very reasonable, and it's free for anyone to download. Check out the official trailer to see it in action.

The Rise and Fall of SNK

posted by Jabo Blog Comments9
I stumbled across some videos on YouTube about the rise and fall of SNK. If you grew up in the golden age of arcades you knew SNK for their superior arcade experience, ridiculously expensive home systems and cartridges. Were they crazy? How did they go out of business only to come back with new titles? Who makes a home system with a single speed CDROM? This well produced show answers these questions with interviews from people who were there.

In the arcades I played many rounds of World Heroes and King of Fighters, only to rediscover these games many years later when emulators like NeoRage brought the experience to the PC.

New server

posted by Jabo Blog Comments20
I've migrated jabosoft.com from its crappy shared host to a new provider where I have more freedom in technology and better hardware. It's quite exciting to have a server to play with, my hope is that everything has migrated correctly, if you notice anything out of the ordinary please let me know, this is a work in progress.

In addition to new technology the URL structure has changed to a RESTful style, but it should automatically forward previous links as necessary. Lastly the DNS for the domain has been updated but probably won't resolve for a while. If for some reason you have difficulty posting here you can also contact me on Emutalk as well.

An update on Project64

posted by Jabo Blog Comments68
I've decided to release a patch to 1.6 that includes the majority of the plugin fixes from Project64 1.7 beta, and take a step away from the project.

I began actively working on Project64 again earlier this year, and was disappointed at the state of things. After going over 5 years, with no end in sight, the beta project became a bit silly to many. Most of the original team has left for different reasons over the years, and the community on the site has faded.

At the same time, I felt it would be irresponsible to the legacy of the project to keep important bug fixes in the beta permanently; the donations seem to go into a black hole now anyway.

Looking back it's been longer than I would care to admit, so many great memories and new friends. First, I want to thank the people who donated over the years, this emulator was a decade of ambitious work, knowing that people appreciated it and showed it really did matter to the team. There are too many people to thank individually, but special thanks to Gent, RadeonUser, Witten, and Smiff - you guys pushed the project forward in too many ways to mention, and truly defined my experience working on the project with zilmar.

I am doing this independently of the project, it is not an official release.

Click here to download

I've started a forum thread at emutalk.net please use that for any discussion.
Capcom showcased Megaman 9 for WiiWare at this year's E3. This return to retro 2D side scrolling action seems faithful to the capabilities of the NES hardware in terms graphics and music. It is unlikely that this is actually a ROM under the covers but it is fun to imagine.

Megaman 9 is expected for release in Fall of 2008, and is set after the events of Megaman 8 with new robot masters to destroy.

Attached is a video that shows some of the game footage displayed.

Tecmo Bowl returns on NDS!

posted by Jabo Blog Comments2
Let's face it, there's been quite a few versions of Tecmo Bowl over the years but the original, and arguably best is on the NES. Following in tradition of Capcom remaking some of it's classic games, Recently Tecmo announced that a new incarnation is due out on the Nintendo DS titled Kickoff. From what IGN reported it's similar to the NES version in terms of play and content, which is is a good thing.

The best part is that it will take advantage of the DS wifi connection, so you can spank you friends in football from your couch on a Saturday morning. Sadly, since EA owns the license for NFL teams this will not feature real team names which is a real let down, no more Bo Jackson unless you add him yourself. Check out the preview below.

Home Theatre PC 2008

posted by Jabo Blog Comments3
I probably have a few more computers than the average person. Every few years they need replaced and I try to minimize the cost as much as I can. My HTPC can't keep up with high definition content or games. While building the replacement I thought it would it would be fun to compare the performance.

While this serves as a fun historical record I thought others might enjoy seeing it especially if they are considering similar components or curious what I develop emulators like Project64 with.

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Bionic Command Re-Armed

posted by Jabo Blog Comments4
One of my favorite games for the NES is definitely Bionic Commando, and I know it makes the short list of quite a few people as well. A mechanical arm, killing Nazis, and an exploding head at the end of the game. What's not to love?

As most of you may know there is a new Bionic Commando game in development for the usual suspects of consoles. Apparently releasing a new version of Bionic Commando wasn't enough and Capcom decided to update the original as a download for Xbox Live Arcade and PSN, to the delight of many fans including myself. Updated graphics and gameplay are on the menu for a release in Spring 2008. One odd thing I noticed is that Nintendo Wii is not on the supported platforms list, which is a shame, so many developers ignore Nintendo when releasing updated versions of classic NES games (like Ninja Gaiden).

Check out the video, it illustrates how seamless the transition from NES to 3D is for this update.


IGN has complete coverage, check it out.

Apple iPod Touch Wish List

posted by Jabo Blog Comments19
I've wanted a portable computer for a while now, but I could never find any that I thought would be worth the investment. I've also written off the PDA scene as a little too nerdy and clumsy.

You shouldn't always need to be behind a keyboard locked to your desk to be productive. It would be nice to have as many of the conveniences from your computer as possible in a device that doesn't frustrate you but becomes part of your daily life and facilitates more communication with your friends.

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Video game retrospectives

posted by Jabo Blog Comments10
I don't normally find hidden treasures on your typical game review website these days. It's a rare occasion when the content stands out above and beyond your typical screenshot description blurb about a game or series.

Like all good treasures, I stumbled across this first on YouTube when I was looking at Legend of Zelda Twilight Princess trailers. After watching a few Metroid episodes tho I knew this was too good to not share. Like most gamers, I have a deep appreciation for Metroid and Zelda series, even before watching these. These videos definitely helped fill in some blanks about timelines and stories, I think you'll enjoy it as well.

A website called gametrailers.com did video retrospectives on two of my favorite nintendo series, Zelda and Metroid. These retrospectives cover the entire scope of the series to date, NES 8-bit, SNES 16-bit, Gameboy Advance etc. Being an author of one or two nintendo console emulators I have a special place in my heart for these particular series naturally.

Each retrospective is broken up into multiple parts, its not a quick song and dance of each series at all. These retrospectives tell the complete story of the series, linking games together. Additionally they go pretty deep into what made each game unique in the market at the time, highlighting specific features in each game that resulted in permanent changes to the entire series. It's kind of rare to find retro content that is this well put together, so I thought I would post a blog about it. I highly recommend watching these!



After you watch it, I'd be curious to hear what you might of learned from it, what you liked, didn't like, etc. If nothing else this is an easy way to walk down memory lane with some games many cherish as the best made.

Angry Nintendo Nerd

posted by Jabo Blog Comments6
A friend suggested I check these reviews out on YouTube. This one for Friday the 13th I thought was really funny, and illustrated a lot of great points about the game. In full disclosure its not one of my favorite games, but I remember playing it in my younger days and thinking some aspects of it were entertaining, video attached below.

Also just a heads up, if you don't enjoy profanity this definitely isn't for you!

If you played this game as much as I did, you definitely will like this. The author of this content also reviewed many other things, equally as entertaining be sure to check it out on YouTube.

From time to time I need to rip a DVD, due to my fascination with compression I'm interested in knowing about how they work and which codec is the best. I began looking for a visual comparison between XviD and X264 and couldn't find anything so I thought it would be fun to create my own comparison. In the encoding community a PNSR represents the mathematical measurement for how much loss occurs during encoding, and there are plenty of ways to automate this analysis but I am more interested in how things look visually once decoded.

Normally if I had some encoding to do I would simply open up AutoGK but I've had issues with XviD at low bit rates which made me interested in comparing it to newer alternatives. XviD is an MPEG4 ASP compliant encoder, which many consider to be the best ASP codec. There is another profile in the MPEG4 spec however called AVC which HD-DVD and Apple's QuickTime use. For testing MPEG4 AVC I decided to use the wildly popular X264 which is distributed as a command line tool that takes AVISynth input and outputs MP4 files. AVC has advanced compression algorithms that go beyond what ASP offers, and XviD generally suffers from the constraints of the commonly used AVI container for things like encoding B-frames.

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Apple has quite a few trailers on their website for upcoming movies in high definition and they are encoded using H264.

My installation of Media Center 2005 couldn't view QuickTime .mov files or decode any mpeg4 content in the "My Videos" area. This creates an interesting problem -- how do you view these great movie trailers? These are the steps I had to take to get these to be viewable. You'll need QuickTime installed as well as a MPEG video decoder for older versions of Windows (DVD players usually include this).

1. Let's tweak the registry to make sure Windows knows that this file type is video. Open regedit, navigate to HKEY_CASSES_ROOT/.mov, if this does not exist create it. Once in the root of this add a string type called PerceivedType, set the value of this to 'video' without the quotes obviously.

2. Finally you will need an mpeg4 DirectShow splitter, luckily Gabest wrote one! If you don't know who that is you've never used Media Player Classic, but you should it's great. Anyway the MP4 splitter is located here so download that (7zip decompression utility here). Once decompressed, install it using regsvr32 mp4splitter.ax in a command prompt in that folder.

Now when you navigate to your videos in Media Center you can view your QuickTime and mp4 files!


Some sample screenshots from great HD 720P trailers on Apple's website

Captain N Series DVD Boxset

posted by Jabo Blog Comments3
Captain N was a show many children watched in the late 1980's, when Nintendo ruled the world. It will come as no shock that being part of that generation means I have a special place for this particular series. Many fans have eagerly awaited the release on February 27th, 2007.

Our friends at Shout! Factory managed to acquire the rights to this series after a long battle over licensing the series from Nintendo. Rumor had it Nintendo didn't want much to do with this long forgotten television series. Licensing is a common problem with series from the 80's and 90's unfortunately.

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Website rewritten

posted by Jabo Blog Comments0
Jabosoft in general hasn't had a decent website for quite some time. Over the last several weeks I decided to write a custom content management system in php, this is the result of that. There is probably opportunities to make things a little nicer still, but I think this is a huge improvement over what I had originally.