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I think TBC does make some valid points, but emulators aren't always used for illegal purposes. I know this is a bit OT, but here goes.

Six years ago or so I was developing software for TI and HP calculators in assembly language.

Now with the HPs it wasn't too bad to do development and testing on. You had MetaKernel's MASD to help you out, and a variety of on-calculator debuggers. Plus, if the thing crashed you could recover pretty quickly and easily.

But the TIs were a nightmare. You couldn't compile on the calculator, so you had to assemble on a computer then download, you couldn't debug on the calculator, and doing the slightest thing wrong would crash it in such a way that you had to do a hard reset. This required getting the case off, or shorting the battery terminals for ten minutes or so.

TI provided header files, and no help (fortunately this has since changed). The only salvation was an unofficial emulator called Virtual TI (VTI). It uses MAME's Z80 and 68k cores, with code to support the calculator hardware strapped on and a Windows GUI. The emulation wasn't perfect, but it was damn close, and plenty good enough to test and debug most software. All my calculator ROM dumps were from devices I owned, and I had more than ten of them, to with differences between firmware revisions.

Now I can see Boycott Advance being helpful for others in the same way that VTI was for me. Nintendo's official development environment costs a fortune, and if someone wants to get into GBA development, Boycott Advance is probably the path of least resistance for testing and debugging.

(I do realise that to release GBA software, you need to license the Nintendo logo for the cart to boot, and that isn't cheap. But saving the cost of the development environment is still significant. And if you don't actually want to distribute your software, you don't need to pay the logo license.)

Now VTI and Boycott Advance are a bit different - VTI on a PC could never replace a cheap, tough, handheld calculator when you're trying to collect data with a pulse Doppler radar in one hand and the smallest, cheapest, toughest device with enough memory in the other; Boycott Advance can actually be used to enjoy games you didn't pay for. But both of them can be used for development.

MAME isn't the same. You could never develop for arcade systems using MAME as a test bed. But it does provide a very interesting look into the minds of the people who developed the arcade platforms that are emulated.

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MAME is like a VCR. You can play only legal things or you can get $1 Hong Kong camcorder rips. (Or, as per Vas, you can get a camcorder and play home movies on it - there are a few "Eurodemos" for arcade hardware that run on MAME). It's not up to us to police you. Most of the devs own a pretty large stack of PCBs (especially PCBs they've emulated).

OTOH, I do consider emulation of active consoles like the GBA to be extremely lame. MAME won't touch anything under 3 years old *or* that is still on sale from the original manufacturer *or* that is requested by the original manufacturer to be removed (yes, that's happened).

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R. Belmont: Just out of curiosity, what games have been removed at the request of arcade developers/companies? smile

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Quote:
Originally posted by Vas Crabb:
MAME isn't the same. You could never develop for arcade systems using MAME as a test bed.
There are several people that have proof that this statement isn't true.

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Belmont...

You are getting right smack dab in the middle of Mr. Oliver's gray area. 3 years? Who says? Just because some of these games are stuck out in limbo with the original manufacturer or developer not doing anything with them dosen't we have the right to snatch it up and make it playable for anyone with the smallest computer knowledge.

Would you list all of your ROMS and where you got them legally? You may have none, but I bet most people who jump down someones throat about ROM begging has a mega ton of illegally obtained ROMS.

I guess I see MAME different than a VCR. Movies are made with the intention that someday they will be put on DVDs or Tapes to be sold. No arcade game maker set out with the intention that someday their games would be played(sometimes very badly) on a small computer screen and played with a computer keyboard. All of that plus that they will never see a dime off it.

As far as I know Street Fighter 2 is still playable on MAME. Why is that okay even thought Capcom is out there still trying to make money off of it? It isn't just manufacturers that lose money. Even I know this is a stretch nowadays, but why would I go to a classic arcade and plug quarters into machines if I can go home and play it for free on my computer.

All I am asking for is a little bit of honesty here. I love MAME, but all this gray is getting old. I mean, I can't go around stealing old cars from people who don't use them and then say it is because I am collecting history that may someday be lost forever. Just like everything else digital, the fact that no real physical thing is being taken, no one seems to care as much. Hell, maybe we should just start pirating all programs so that someday we will have a huge historical database of old, no longer for sale programs? That way 3 years from now we can know what was going on in the mind of Richard Bannister when he created Emulator Enhancer. We might as well be proactive about it.

I am not even against MAME and programs like it, but I don't it when devs start standing on some imaginary high ground like they have nothing to do with the problem of piracy. A MK ROM does me no good if don't have MAME to make it work.

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Quote:
Originally posted by TheBoomCamel:
Movies are made with the intention that someday they will be put on DVDs or Tapes to be sold.
That may be true of movies nowadays, some especially are made only to be sold on DVD.

However if you go back to the eighties then disney and lucasfilm had major problems with putting out some of their content on VHS.

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Smf...

That actually helps prove my point you know. smile

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This conversation has quickly sidetracked the main and ONLY point that I can see. This forum is run by folks who made a rule that says 'NO rom requests' PERIOD. I really think that any discussion impugning the motives of Richard, Brad and others who are responsible for the forums and have been generous with their skills is extremely counterproductive. (at best)

Quite frankly, I think that anyone who can't find roms on their own with the power of google and other means we have these days... well... ;-) I think its fine to leave them to their own devices and point them to the forum rules.

If anyone disagrees with this rule, its not that hard to create your OWN website with links galore to whatever you want. Make the name of it 'MacMAME rom site' and be generous in your html keywords and you'll get the traffic I'm sure.


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Whoa there...I have never condoned putting ROMS on the site. I just say the disdain towards those who ask is unfounded. I think sometimes the lines are drawn just to be drawn or to serve as a moral buffer. You are right. As long as this forum is hosted on bannister.org, Richard has the right to keep it ROM link free.

I think it is perfectly exceptable to speak out to the motives of those who create these programs and any like it. They are probably all good intentioned. They also see how their programs are being used and do nothing.

All I hypothetically asked, is if the discussion of getting ROMS is off limits, why is the discussion of how to make them work not also off limits?

Can't get your controller to work? Ask away. MacMAME crashes at start up? Ask away. Can't get your copy of Strider 2 to work? I think the line should be rethought. I am not for the site adding ROM links. If anything, I am asking why the rules are not more strict. If this forum is about the program, that is where the discussion should stay. Leave game talk for PMs and e-mail.

This, I think is a very good thing to discuss. As I have said before, maybe I am way off base, but it is interesting how many feathers it has ruffled.

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It's very simple. Under international copyright law, "you need the ROMs" is not illegal. "You need the ROMs, get them at http://boomcamel.com/" is. It's called "contributatory infringement".

You have this odd notion that only you have ever thought of this stuff before. The fact is you're neither original nor clever - we see better stuff daily on mame.net.

PS: regarding all game companies hating MAME, check the credits on the new PC version of Taito Legends sometime. "Nicola Salmoria"? "Bryan McPhail"? "Aaron Giles"? Hmmmmm.

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