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Project MAME Begins…

August 14th, 2012 No comments

In July I was bitten by the bug to install MAME (Multi-Arcade Machine Emulator).  I started with my Android tablet loading Mame4Droid and some ROMS.  Lo and behold, it worked!  I had read that it was possible to get a Wii remote controller to interact with tablets via bluetooth.  Well, what do you know? — There’s an app for that!  The Wii controller worked great with Mame4Droid.  Going to the next level I bought a Wii Fight Stick, which plugs into the nunchuck jack on the controller, and got it to work too.  Still, it was on a small screen.  I wanted to true arcade experience.  Enter “Project MAME”…


Since then I’ve been researching the style of cabinet that I want to build, the dimensions, deciding what I want the control pannel to look like, deciding what type of monitor that I want, how the cabinet should be decorated, etc.  The design is coming together.  I’ve ordered a buttons, joysticks, and a keyboard encoder for a prototype control pannel.  The next step is to build the prototype and test it on a regular PC.  (Much) more to come…



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From One Thing To Another

June 20th, 2012 No comments

Oh, for more hours in the day… I’ve just wrapped up a Microsoft Visual Web Developer class. While I can say that I’ve learned a thing or two, in some respects it was like drinking out of a fire hose. Once one topic was done it was on to something else. Such is the nature of standardized instruction. Now the long-awaited opportunity to attempt some practical application of these newfound skills is here. First off, some redesign of this site, probably featuring jQuery here and there. The window is also here to roll out the redesigned STATUS site ( Then it’s on to a truly ASP.NET site.

The new podcast hasn’t happened yet. The reason behind that is twofold: 1. I haven’t been home much. 2. I’m still fighting audio issues. I’m thinking now that it’s an IRQ issue with the USB port. The port works and audio goes back and forth but there are pops. Maybe a dedicated card would help, maybe not. This may have to wait until the fall. They say that for everything there’s a season. We’ll see. Maybe the season for this is fall/winter? In any event, it’s not dead, just resting.

Change may be inevitable but nobody said that it would be easy.

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USB Audio – The Second Wave

April 5th, 2012 No comments

Much has been going on.  Lately, I’ve been working on ASP.NET but the majority of my free time has been spent on the “Pod Studio”.  In December I assembled a new PC for audio and media production.  This time I decided to go with the small form factor of a Shuttle.  Although the outside may be small, it’s got plenty of horsepower on the inside.  Just last week I added a new video card and a second monitor.

Since it’s going to be used for audio production I have installed Sonar X1 Producer by Cakewalk as my digital audio workstation (DAW) software.  The mixer might be software but it’s still easier to work with physical faders and transport controls.  The Mackie Control Universal Pro would have been the ideal MIDI control surface but budget considerations led me to the Behringer BCF2000.  It may not be perfect but it’s tried and true and should get the job done.

Behringer BCF2000

Behringer BCF2000



The control surface controls the mix but I also needed an audio interface.  For that, I chose the M-Audio Fast Track Ultra 8R.  All microphones, guitar, bass, and keyboard audio feed into it.  It will also serve as a MIDI instrument source.  It feeds the PC via USB.  Digital audio from the PC comes back through the USB for monitors.  It took me awhile working out issues with crackling and distortion on playback but a new driver for the Fast Track took care of it and now I’m ready to start recording.

M-Audio Fast Track Ultra 8R

M-Audio Fast Track Ultra 8R

For monitoring I’ve set up an old JVC JA-S31 amplifier that’s been gathering dust for at least 5 years.  It drives a pair of new Sony bookshelf speakers.  There’s also plenty of cleanup and rearranging of the room so this project will be ongoing for some time.  More pictures to follow as things progress.
The target date for the new podcast is Memorial Day.
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Long Time, No Post

December 9th, 2011 No comments

Not much postworthy of late.  It’s hard to believe that I haven’t posted in four months!  In that time I’ve just been working on re-designing the web site, doing computer maintenance for the family, and assembling the new “Pod PC”.  This will give my podcasting home a permanent spot.  It’s my first time working with a Shuttle case.  It’s a bit cramped on the inside but should look cool when I’m done.  The STATUS site should be published before Christmas.  Look for a new podcast in 2012.  I’ve got the structure defined and a supporting web site created.  I want to get two or three shows ready before unleashing it on the world.


There’s more to come in 2012.



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USB Audio – An Idea Whose Time Has Come

August 11th, 2011 No comments

Last night I cleared off a desk to hook up my Belkin TuneStudio mixer to my laptop PC for podcasting.  I plugged in the power, microphone, and headphones but I couldn’t find an audio output on the mixer.  Crud!  Well, the mixer is primarily designed to record directly on to an iPod so it’s possible that it didn’t have traditional RCA or XLR jacks for analog audio output.  Not being one to give up that easily, I turned to Google and YouTube.  Sure enough I found a video on YouTube that was a product demo from a trade show.  The guy on the video mentioned a USB audio jack for input/output.


Could it be that simple?  I fired up Audacity on the PC, plugged in a USB cable, and Windows recognized the new device.  When I pressed the “record” button and started speaking into the mic I was pleasantly surprised to see a waveform appear on the timeline.  What I wasn’t expecting was what happened when I stopped it and pressed “play”–the playback came not through the PC speakers but back through the USB and out the headphones that were plugged into the mixer.  Way cool!  I then experimented trying to induce feedback or an echo by recording and playing at the same time.  Everything worked as it should.  There was no need to turn down an input from the PC when recording a new track.  Intelligence in audio recording–who would have thought…?



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Adventures in RSS feeds and podcasting

August 1st, 2011 No comments

I think that I’m starting to get the hang of RSS feeds.  My first success was getting a feed up for my first podcast–Music Stuff.  Beyond the aspect of seeing if I could do it, the purpose of the podcast is to share my music tastes with family and friends.  It’s also to help educate my kids with the music that I’ve had a lifetime to enjoy.  To subscribe just paste this URL into iTunes or your podcast aggregator:


I plan to add a second podcast in the not too distant future that will be aimed more at the general population.  Stay tuned.


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More New Stuff Is Here!!!

July 8th, 2011 No comments

The mail form and menu enhancements have been installed.  Next on the agenda is interactive content.


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More New Stuff In The Works!

July 6th, 2011 No comments

Since the last update I’ve been working with PHP and MySQL quite a bit (and loving it).  In the next week or so I’ll be adding an online message form (not fourm) and a little more content within the site.


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New Stuff Is Here!

May 22nd, 2011 No comments

Hey there, hi there, ho there!

The revised site is up.  So far things are working as expected.  There may be some fixed-width pages that should be converted to percentages.  I want to add more variety to the header images that change based on  the subject of the page.

The good news is that:

  • There is a lot more detail regarding my skills and accomplishments.
  • The DHTML/CSS/JavaScript menus make it easier to add/modify menu content.
  • The new menus should make browsing easier.
  • It looks way cooler now.

Next up will be some more Flash, JavaScript, and graphics.  Database projects coming as time permits.


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New Stuff On The Way

May 12th, 2011 No comments

Site updates coming soon!  (Really!)

  • More Flash
  • More JavaScript
  • More Detail

Stay tuned…


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