Welcome to Retro Joy stuff [][][]


This sort of all started with me seeing an ashens video on YouTube featuring a review  of a Dingoo A320. The Dingoo is basically a dodgy Chinese media player / Handheld that is designed to run old console and arcade emulators. I thought it was an interesting idea despite the unfavourable review found myself reminiscing about the many innocent and joyous hours  spent playing SNES games as a youth and the £'s wasted  on the Streetfighter II Turbo arcade in the local chippy, trying to master the fireball and the dragon punch. Anyway curiosity got the better of common sense and i bought myself one for Christmas (2011). Turns out it's  rubbish, don't buy one (more on that later), but by the time i had worked that out it was all ready too late, I had all ready got sucked in the whole Retro games/Arcade/console hacking thing. Just what i needed, another way to waste all of my money and hours of my life.  (Click HERE to start at the beginning). 



Up Coming Projects [][][]








 Switch Arcade [project]





















"How to frontlight your

 Gameboy Colour   .........properly"












GBA SP Mini Arcade [Project] - Update 

Street fighter anyone [?]Been doing some work designing GBA mini arcade [project] while I have Been on night shift, coming along nicely [][][]http://www.mylkstuff.com/page20.htm

Fairly happy with the  basic form and aesthetics now, just need to decide what to do about the controls. Ideally I would like some mechanical solutions to altering the buttons as I would like this to be something that could be made in the form of a kit. Not sure how possible/practical this is going to be at the moment It may be that to get something that really works as a proper usable mini arcade, soldering in external buttons (particularly the L/R buttons) might be the only practical solution........[Read more here] 












The GameBoy Colour (Front Light)

..................mylk[][][] mod

"How to front light your Gameboy Colour" in a way that doesn't make you want to tear your eyes out every time you play it.


Ok, so I don't really know how and why I ended up wasting days of my life doing this but I did, so I thought I might as well share it. Basically I bought the Gameboy colour for £2 from a carboot sale and was bristling with excitement and retro joy[][][] at the prospect of reliving my yoof  playing Tetris and Mario land (although if I am honest the GBC was a little after my time, it was a good ol' fashioned green screen original Gameboy that I got for Christmas as a child)  but all that faded away later that evening  when I sat down in the dim warm glow of my cosy lamp lit  living room only to experience the same sinking disappointment experienced by many a child over the years as the realisation sets in that unless you are sat directly under a light bulb that has the power to shine brighter than 10 suns, you can't actually see the fucking screen.


After  trying This Mod  by Micheal J Moffitt which shows you how to use the front light from a Gameboy Advance SP to Light a Gameboy colour and being really disappointed with it,  I decided to see if I could improve on it. Enter............the GBC mylk[][][] mod 



It still needs a tiny bit of tweaking and it was a total fucker to get right (took me 3 GBA SP's) but as you can see from the pictures below it's a million times better than the standard mod. If you want to see how it was done you can.....[see the full article Here


(Both pictures where taken under same lighting conditions with same camera settings - The Left pic is the standard mod, the one on the right is my version










Nintendo Dingoo [][][] 


After getting side tracked from my plans to build a  Dingoo A380 powred mini arcade cabinet with my GBA SP mini arcade project I briefly entertained the idea of re-housing  the Dingoo internals in a NES pad but after realising it was just too big, my  thoughts turned to painting the case to at least look like one instead. (I am however fairly confident i could get a  Gameboy Micro squeezed in there so that project is definitely on the cards for the future).  Anyway below are my........... Read more  HERE ]














 GBA SP Mini Arcade [Project] 


Ok...so this is my Gamboy Advance SP project inspired by the little GBA mini arcade seen below  (Click here to visit the gentleman who made it's YouTube channel) Although I think it's an incredibly cute and cool little thing, I also think it's a bit gimmicky and more of a novelty than a proper playable mini arcade.The whole thing strikes me as a bit over engineered. I would much rather have something that looked slightly less arcade like but you could actually enjoy playing (that joystick looks like it would start to piss me off after about 5 seconds).  The thing  that strikes me about the GBA SP is that it's all ready Arcade shaped, you could do nothing but build an arcade shaped wooden box around it and you would all ready have a pretty convincing looking mini arcade.....[See full project Here]













Dingoo Arcade [][][]

Ok......so with emulation duties taken care of by me new PSP my thoughts turned to what to do with Dingoo. Any sensible person would have just sold it to recoup some of the wasted money, but never been one to pass up the opportunity to take something to bits and make something else out of it, I started thinking about building myself an arcade machine. Despite everything I have said the Dingoo a380  does have a couple of things going for it. It has TV out socket and it Runs arcade games on the MAME  emulator really well. 

I don' have the time or space to build a full size arcade cabinet nor do I think the Dingoo would be the best platform to build a big 'n from, so I though building a little bartop arcade cabinet would be the best course of action. That was until I stumbled across this mini arcade build (Pictured to left) on the forums at dingoonity.org  (Click on the image to the left to see a Youtube video Demo). I love it, what child of the 80's/90's wouldn't want a mini Arcade cabinet? And that should have been that, but while trawling the internet doing research into cabinet shapes and working out what i would need to buy I stumbled across all manner of cool shit I could build such as the 2 super mini arcades below. The one on the left is made from a Gameboy Advamce SP and the one on the right is made from an origional  

Gameboy. Given that I have never built and arcade before and that there is an awful lot of things to buy to make one such as controls and LCD screens I started to think that maybe building a tiny arcade form a £10 Gameboy might be a more suitable starter project before I potentialy ruin an £80 Dingoo. 










Don't buy a Dingoo  [][][]

 Ok, so the thing above is a Dingoo A380. It's actually not a terrible little Gadget all told but what i didn't realise when i bought it was my wife had all ready bought me a PSP for Christmas. If it wasn't for this i might have learned to love it but the fact of the matter is, everything the Dingoo does, a second hand PSP (or even a brand new PSP e1000 ) will do better, easier and for less money (plus it will do a lot more besides). Unless you need something small enough to fit in your pocket or you just wan't something no one else will have,  my advice is to buy a PSP and download cracked firmware and emulators.  It's super easy to do and there is tons of community support to help you. You can even run the firmware from your memory card without having to make any permanent changes to your device - You can download new firmware here at PSPslimhacks.com


 I won't waste any ones time doing a full review as there are many people out there on the tinterweb who have done a much better and more thorough job than I could muster (such as this one Here) but I will just do a quick rundown of some of the things that really fucked me off and ruin what would otherwise be a great little gadget. 


  1.  The Screen Ratio - The wide aspect Ratio is terrible for retro games. All games on all systems (apart from Gameboy emulator)  are stretched to fit making low resolution 8 and 16 bit graphics look even more blocky than they all ready do. The GBA emulator is particularly offensive in this regard and there is no option to stop this happening. 
  2. The Screen view angle  - Not only is the LCD exceedingly cheep and metalic looking but it's obviously been sourced from a smartphone or similar device that is meant to be held vertically. As a result unless you hold the device with the screen slightly further away from you on the right side than the Left the colours look weird 
  3. Doesn't like Macs - For some reason if you own a mac you can forget about transferring files to the internal memory card  with a USB lead as the dingoo will show up for about 5 seconds before ejecting itself. The only way to get games on the device is to use an extermal memory card and a card reader, or to open the dingoo up and remove the internal SD card and write to it directly. Luckily the dingoo does have an external Micro SD card slot 
  4. No Neo Geo games - In order to get Neo Geo games to work they have to be run through a program which changes some of the file extensions contained within the Zip file. This cannot be done manually and the program needed only comes in Windows flavour. 
  5. The SNES L & R button mapping  - All the other complaints I could have probably lived with but this was the final straw for me. So.... every emulator on the device has the option to map buttons including mapping to the L & R buttons (which are tiny and horrible) even for consoles which didn't have L & R buttons such as the Gameboy, NES, and Sega Megadrive. Every console that is apart from the SNES the first console to actually have shoulder buttons on the controller  and the one console I actually wanted the dingoo for. For some bizarre reason on the SNES emulator the  L & R controls are not mapped to the shoulder buttons as a default and It's not possible to map the buttons manually like you can in every other emulator. WTF? The best you can get is either the L or R  mapped to the right shoulder button and the other mapped to either Start or Select which renders games like Cybernator and Contra III, unplayable. Booo!

 I the interest of fairness I should point out that the earlier Dingoo A320 version is apparently much better and has a lot more community support, which when it comes to morally and  legally dubious Chinese gadgets like this that come with no instructions and no software updates, success often depends solely on e voluntary community efforts to improve software, fix bugs and generally make them work properly. If you want to know why no such support exists for the A380 you can pop over to the boards at http://dingoonity.org/ where I am sure someone will be happy to bore you to death with the whole sorry saga.




The Full Atari 2600 Rom Set... it's 8.2mb - http://www.atarimania.com/rom_collection_archive_atari_2600_roms.html



















Inspiration [][][] (links)







 Wonderswan - Playable Games for List