bitguru blog

a guru of bits, or just a bit player?

Archive for March, 2009

four arcade games and a pinball

Posted by bitguru on March 9, 2009

Wil Wheaton asks

Hey, this’ll be fun: you can have any four classic arcade games in the world. Maintenance and cost aren’t a factor, and there’s no ROM swapping. Which ones to you pick? It’s really tough, but more fun if you don’t spend a ton of time thinking about it, so it’s right off the top of your head. … You also get one pinball machine.

These machines came to me immediately. They aren’t necessarily the ones I would want to own, but they are the ones to which I devoted much quarter-feeding time in my youth.

four classic video games, in the order I played them:Coily and Sam as depicted on the Q*bert video game console

the pinball table:

The linked video shows a two-minute game of Taxi and looks and sounds suprisingly accurate considering it’s on a virtual table, not an actual one. Who knew? Here’s a decent video of an actual Taxi table, though it is overproduced and buries most of the pinball sounds.


Posted in Nostalgia | Tagged: , , , , , | 1 Comment »

Apple finally updates Mac Mini

Posted by bitguru on March 3, 2009

back of 2009 MacMiniFor those who have been waiting for a less antiquated MacMini (as I have been for well over a year now) the wait is now over. Apple released new Mini models this morning. The processors are about the same as before—no complaints there—but other components have moved from four-year-old technology to parity with the modern MacBook.

  • Nvidia GeForce 9400M graphics (from Intel GMA 950)
  • mini-DVI and mini-DisplayPort with dual-display support (from one full-size DVI port)
  • 4GB RAM ceiling, or perhaps higher when larger-capacity DDR3 DIMMs appear
  • draft 802.11n wireless networking (from 802.11g)
  • FireWire 800 (from FireWire 400) — adapters are available
  • five USB 2.0 ports (from four)
  • the US$600 model can write DVDs (from the US$800 model only) — now SATA
  • Bluetooth 2.1 (from 2.0) — a very minor change
  • 1066 MHz front-side bus (from 667 MHz)
  • the Apple Remote is still supported but no longer included

A miniDVI-to-DVI adapter is included in the box. To connect to an older VGA monitor will require either a miniDVI-to-VGA adapter or a miniDP-to-VGA adapter. (Theoretically Apple could have supported chaining a DVI-to-VGA adapter on the end of the included miniDVI-to-DVI adapter on the Mini, but I presume not. It doesn’t work on other miniDVI-equipped macs.)

All in all it looks pretty good. If you’re in the market for a nice, simple, silent, desktop Mac I recommend you buy one.

As before, the Mini comes with neither keyboard nor mouse. If you plan to buy a keyboard, Apple introduced a smaller wired keyboard today. It’s sort of a combination of the existing slimline wired keyboard (which has a numeric keypad) and the existing Bluetooth wireless one (which doesn’t). All three are new since I last discussed keyboards for Mac Mini two years ago.

In addition to the Mini, Apple updated the iMac, the MacPro, Airport Extreme, and Time Capsule today as well. I am surprised there aren’t new external displays also.

Posted in Hardware | Tagged: , , , , | 2 Comments »