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Blog Entries posted by Sauron

  1. Sauron
    Yes, here is another short blog post after years of neglect. Where have I seen this before? Nevermind. Due to having to stay indoors much more recently due to COVID-19, I'm finding myself with a bit more time to spend gaming. Which is actually pretty nice, after all. Not that I haven't done much of it recently, but it's nice to get back to doing more of something that you enjoy doing. Given that I'm long separated from most of the gaming hardware that I own, I'm having to rely on emulators for any non-PC games. The ones I've been touching the most, by far, are Virtual Jaguar and Fusion. So I'll talk a little about these two.
    Virtual Jaguar has been under development for quite a while now, and still hasn't reached a point where it can safely play most of the Jaguar's library. That, of course, is not to knock it's primary developer for anything. After all, the Jaguar is quite a tricky beast to emulate, and VJ has made a ton of headway with improvements all over the board. Regardless, though, it still leaves quite a few Jaguar titles out of my reach, which in turn makes me yearn even more for the real hardware. 
    Fusion, on the other hand, is an excellent emulator which emulates pretty much all of Sega's pre-Dreamcast hardware. This last week I've been playing tons of Genesis games and having an absolute blast, with the exception of Streets of Rage. Why this is an exception comes down to yet another issue with emulation in comparison to the real hardware. Stage 5 of this game has you facing off against a pair of twin sisters at the end, who are an absolute pain to deal with...unless, of course, you know the secret to beating them. I remember back in the day, my friend and I would play this game co-op and always had some issues with defeating them, but then we learned the secret. You have to lure them in by facing away and then do the "back punch" in order to actually get hits on them. Once you master this, defeating them is a piece of cake. Not so when playing via emulation, however! For some reason, I simply can NOT get the emulator to recognize the simultaneous pressing of the jump + punch buttons necessary for performing this move, which results in it working at best 1 times out of 10, and this of course leads to me being unable to defeat the bosses. Quite frustrating, to say the least. 
    So, as you can see, emulators can be quite fun, but they all have their limits. There's a reason why many of us prefer to play on the real hardware.
  2. Sauron
    I'm probably one of the worst bloggers in the world, just because of how sporadic my posts are. I think I've started and abandoned a record number of blogs over the years. Let's see....LiveJournal, WordPress, Blogger...and of course, this one. I think I should win a prize for this.

    Maybe it's because my current job now is as a writer. So, writing during my free time isn't exactly something I want to do after spending hours writing for work. Or it could just be that I'm lazy. Maybe both. Anyways, enough rambling for now.
  3. Sauron
    Somehow, the little "blog" box caught my eye a little while ago, and I started clicking through it, only to discover that I actually have a blog here too! How did that happen? Oh wait, now I remember...I started this thing years ago. See, that's what happens when you go almost half a decade without using it. You kinda forget that you have it.

    So, what should I say here? How about a bit of a personal update, explaining some reasons why I haven't updated this thing. You see, about 3 years and 4 months ago, I moved half-way across the world, to a nice little (ok, not so little) country in Eastern Europe called Ukraine. And I've been here ever since, despite having to move cities multiple times and surviving a war, I'm still here.

    During all that time, I've admittedly spent much of it away from the Atari community and from this website. Which is a shame, really, as this place has been a rather big part of my adult life. Lately, though, I've been back here every day, even if I'm not posting much. I'm still lurking around. And playing games (albeit via emulation). Maybe I'll start writing about them again. Who knows?
  4. Sauron
    Can't believe it's been well over a year since my last blog post on here, and that was a repost from another blog....
    Anyways, I've been doing lots of writing lately. Lots and lots and lots of writing. Unfortunately, almost none of it is related to what I want to be writing, although I can't say I haven't enjoyed it. I'm currently taking English Comp 101, and I'm taking the condensed 8 week course, so my off time has largely been spent on writing. And then writing some more. Perhaps soon I'll post my narrative essay, which was on the paranormal. Or maybe I won't, I'll have to make up my mind on that. Once I'm finished with the course, I'd like to resume work on my book, which has kinda languished since I started school. We'll see.
    In the meantime, I need sleep. Badly.
  5. Sauron
    This is a repost of my new blog at my main blog site - Stuff and Things
    I’ve been on a bit of an ebook rampage as of late. I can’t really explain why, to be honest. Maybe it’s because ebooks involve two things that I absolutely love – reading and technology. I’ve been using ereader software on my iPhone for quite a while now, but to tell the truth, I don’t do much heavy reading on it. Lately though, I’ve been looking long and hard at e-ink devices, as I think they’re just now really hitting their stride, both on a technical and proliferation level. Chances are, I’ll be picking one up very, very soon.
    So, what does that have to do with the price of tea in China? Not a damn thing. However, somewhat on topic would be what the, well, topic of what this post is about. I just published my first ebook, a book imaginatively titled The Queen and the Castle, available for free download at Smashwords.com.
    To give a little background on the story, I wrote it a little over 5 years ago, and spread out over the span of about 6 months. It was initially started with the intention of being a quickly written and very short story (around 2,000 words) and as a method of practicing my writing, as well as developing a character that I wanted to use as the main protagonist in a book. Of course, the story ended up over 11,000 words, which was a little longer than I expected. The first 3 parts I wrote in relatively quick spurts over the span of a couple of months, battling writer’s block.
    I may not have ever finished it were it not for a couple of ladies I met on a forum who were reading the story as I finished each part. Having both of them provide feedback and encouragement helped me immensely in overcoming my bouts of writer’s block and laziness. I don’t have it in the book itself, but the book is dedicated to both of them.
    I also need to thank my older brother, Mark Wilson, for designing the cover of the book, including doing the artwork featured on it. My brother is an incredibly talented artist. I highly recommend anyone to check out his artwork. You can do so by heading on over to his Youtube channel: http://www.youtube.com/user/lynx777
    Having read back through it many times, including some recent run-throughs in the course of editing and formatting it for publication, I noticed that my own writing style seemed to improve a bit with each part. Seeing this is kind of prompting me to get back into the swing of writing again, along with all of the positive feedback I’ve received from everyone so far. So, who knows? I may publish another ebook soon.
  6. Sauron
    This isn't really one of my typical blogs, per se, but just wanted to gush about my infinite love for Dropbox. You see, Dropbox is truly the one love of my life. I love how it's there for me no matter where I go. I will be on the computer, at work, out at the store, running errands, hanging out with friends, or just lounging on the couch watching a movie, and Dropbox is always by my side. Dropbox is always there for me in my time of need, no matter the circumstances. We are simply too attached to each other to ever part company again.
    This is how I know that Dropbox is my one true love...I do not know how I got along without it until I had it. If Dropbox ever leaves me, I will be crushed into a million pieces and left to flutter away as dust in the wind. My life will be a meaningless wreck without Dropbox. I love you, Dropbox, and hope to spend the rest of my life with you at my side!
  7. Sauron
    Yes, I'm plotting my own "downfall", which has been happening these last couple of weeks, and it's now culminating into a furious explosion.
    You see, there's this little thing that I was kinda involved in lately, a small game for the Atari Jaguar called Downfall. It's a nifty little game, really. I suggest that you check it out if you're interested in small games for obscure consoles. Who knows, maybe you'll see your name somewhere in the greetings?
  8. Sauron
    Nothing new for me to really add in here other than I've been playing quite a bit of the Jaguar the last few weeks, between game testing and competing in the Jaguar HSC comp. Zool 2 in particular has been grabbing much of my attention this last week. I can't say it's a great game, but it's one of the more decent games in the Jag's library. Of course, I've already stated all of this in the forums.
    However, there's something more interesting going on right now. I won't go into a long diatribe about the state of the Jaguar community. Another member, though, has posted a very eloquent plea to the Jaguar community. If you have any interest in the Jaguar and participate in the Jaguar forum here, I highly recommend reading it. kgenthe is quite representative of most of the middle ground of the Jaguar community, and I think we can all agree with what he wrote. Well, those of us with an ounce of common sense, that is.
  9. Sauron
    It's been a few months since my last blog entry, and for good reason. Various things in my life had taken away a lot of the time I had to devote to this hobby, including relocating to another state (AGAIN). However, recent events combined with having a little more of a stable life now is allowing me to resume full force.
    So what exactly am I up to? If I told you, I'd have to kill you all. Considering that I have neither the means nor the desire to do such a thing, let's just say that I'm going to become fully active in the Jaguar community. Not that anyone cares, but really, I care. I've devoted a large chunk of my life to all things Atari, and the Jaguar in the last decade and a half has had the majority of it. I've gone through the ups and downs of the Jaguar community, and have even sworn it off for good several times, but I just can't stay away.
    For those who are interested, my good friends (edit: ok, more like team members now) at Reboot have undergone a bit of a "Reboot" themselves, having cleaned up their website. Go on, take a look for yourself, and bookmark that page. You may see some exciting updates on there soon.
  10. Sauron
    Once upon a time, there was a game for the Atari ST computer called Superfly. A fairly young man named Sauron chanced upon it after seeing mentions of it on Atari ST-related websites, and he saw that it was good.
    This young man spent many an hour maneuvering various vehicles through caverns of rock, clouds, asteroids, and moon tunnels, and even managed to maneuver a flying teapot through something or other. He spent many an hour engrossed with this extremely simple yet ultimately challenging game, meeting and besting every challenge encountered, and unlocking everything within the game that there was to unlock. He had much fun with the game, and played it for many years.

    Fast forward to the present day...
    This same young man, who really wasn't young anymore, discovered a game for the Atari Jaguar called Superfly DX. Ok, so he didn't really discover it, but what really happened is that one of his all-time favorite games pulled him out of a self-imposed exile from his hobby.
    The who, what, why, and when of the above doesn't really matter. What does matter is that Superfly DX is one addicting game, combining extremely simple gameplay with exceptional graphics. This game pulls me into it and refuses to let me go, making my "one quick play session" turn into a two hour affair. For those of you who have down tried this game, what are you waiting for? There's simply no excuse not to.

    EDIT: Not sure why this posted as being from yesterday when I just posted it tonight. Hmm...
  11. Sauron
    I've been living in my new apartment for a week now, and have been spending some time playing with emulators, as I mentioned I would in my last blog. I've played on ProSystem a bit, but I've mostly been spending my time in Project Tempest.
    For those who don't know, Project Tempest is an Atari Jaguar emulator that is actually focused on playing Tempest 2000. Despite this focus on one game, though, it does play a fair amount of other games. Of course, by a "fair amount" of games, I mean that it plays most of the 2D games on the Jaguar, and virtually none of the 3D ones. I may not be entirely accurate with this description, but it's not far off.
    So, why bother with an emulator that doesn't even come close to playing the full library of Jaguar games? Because right at this moment I don't have any other options other than Virtual Jaguar, which is slightly better in regards to game compatibility but lagging far behind in usability and performance. It is a sad state of affairs for Jaguar emulation when the best emulator for it only supports a fraction of the game library, which really isn't very big to begin with. That, however, is another topic for another day.
    Having said the above, it has still been a godsend to have this option when I've been without my Jaguar for about a year and a half now. This exile from Jaguar hardware land will end in about a week, but it's been nice being able to play the more recent homebrew releases, such as Do The Same, Beebris, and the amazingly awesome Superfly DX. For those of you who have yet to play these games, I would highly recommend downloading yourself a copy of Project Tempest plus the ROMs from the respective websites that I linked to. Don't worry, no piracy concerns with doing that, as they've all been released for free by their authors. Whether you own a Jaguar but do not have the increasingly rare and expensive CD unit, or don't own a Jaguar at all, you owe it yourself to experience these highly polished and addictive games. There's no excuse for missing out on these now.
  12. Sauron
    I'm finally moved into my new apartment. Sorta. Due to a couple of fairly big snafus, I'm only in here with the very bare necessities, and the rest of my stuff is still in storage. It's going to be another couple of weeks before I can move everything into here. Due to my previous blog post complete with pseudo-messianic overtones, I'll have to say I'm not yet fully resurrected. Right now I'm more in a state of being undead, waiting for that magic sprinkle of holy water to finish reviving me completely.
    Since I'm technically a zombie right now, I figure I should make the best of the situation and stagger my way through emulation while I wait a little bit longer to have The Real Thing © again. This will entail having to pull all of my emus + ROMs from my older PC onto my new one, which is actually quite doable, but I've been too lazy to go through the effort. In the meantime, I'll keep firing up ProSystem and Project Tempest like I've been doing for a while. Once I have everything back, I think I may write up some kind of "emulator to console" comparison. More to come...
  13. Sauron
    I could say I'll be dead tomorrow and Thursday, and then resurrect from the dead on Friday, but there's two problems with that. First, my name is not Jesus F. Christ, and second, I'm not actually going to die. The truth is, I've been dead in a way for the last year and a half, and in three days time I will in a sense resurrect my life from the dead. Or at least that's how it's felt, since I've been living as a transient since about May of 2009.
    In the context of this blog, though, there's something I'm specifically looking forward to. Ever since I moved to Las Vegas almost a year and a half ago, I haven't had much more with me other than my clothes and my computer. Almost all of my belongings have been sitting in a storage unit during all of this time. That would just so happen to include all of my game systems, including my 2600, 7800, Lynx, 800XL, XEGS, and my two Jaguars. When I raise myself from the dead on Friday, I'll have all of those back, along with a myriad of other assorted items that I have missed a great deal.
    This means no more relying on emulation or my craptacular PC gamepad, no futzing with craptastic emulators for systems that virtually no one bought, and, well...I'll have my stuff back. I'll in a way start to feel alive again, or at least a part of me that has been dead for a while now will be able to live and breathe again. It's silly to put things in this context, I know, but still. What is there to NOT look forward to by living in my own place again?
  14. Sauron
    Such as updating a blog, for instance. I started this thing a few years back, and then promptly forgot about it, having retained my blog on Livejournal and then later moving it over to Myspace. Even the Myspace blog has been neglected for quite a while, due to me never going to that site anymore. So where does that leave me? It's left me blogless for the last year or so.
    I think it's time to revive this mofo. My life has taken a few interesting twists and turns in the last several years, but I've given that story elsewhere. Since I'd rather not continue to write about my own life, as I am pretty much a private person, this blog will focus on things pertaining to this hobby. I'll try to keep this thing at least semi-regularly updated, so take heed: Sauron is back.
  15. Sauron
    After taking a few years off from the "collecting" scene due to various personal issues and conflicts, I'm finally starting to get back into the swing of things. About a year and a half ago, I sold off a sizable portion of my collection, but held on to most of my Atari items. I haven't had anything near a complete collection for anything, except for the Nuon. Kinda funny, as I sold off all of my Nuon games.
    Anyways, I'm jumping back into collecting, but this time keeping things strictly Atari. I've got 2 2600s (one woodgrain 4 switch, one broken 2600jr.), a 7800, one Lynx II, and two Jaguars with two CD units (one broken). I'll gladly skip on the 5200 as it's easily my least favorite system that Atari ever produced, thanks to the god-awful controllers. I've also got an 800XL with couple handfuls of carts. Just in case anyone reads this, feel free to let me know if you have any items for the above mentioned systems you'd like to sell or trade. I'll try to upload some documentation on my collection soon, and hopefully should have a trade list up as well.
  16. Sauron
    Amazing, I've managed to neglect this blog for over a year and a half. That's mainly because I do most of my blogging on Myspace now, but unfortunately that site is blocked at work. So, what should I blog about? Beats the hell out of me. Just keep your eyes on the new, upcoming AtariUser website that I'm putting together. Right now it's nothing more than a severely screwed up and unreadable page due to my disasterous skills with Dreamweaver, but I think I'm going to make it my own pet project of creating a website with nothing but pure, unadulterated HTML.
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