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November 15, 2015

The DU(MB)

It seems wherever the DU goes there's emu-politics. This is here out of the way so my regular work is not interrupted....

To the DU and others who have sent items or donated in the past:

On my For Sale page I put a statement there in bold. It basically says I'm selling some stuff to generate funds to buy more PCBs. So then one guy thinks back, oh, maybe a week, realizes nothing has been bought and makes a statement that nothing is being bought and nothing is being done. Erm, think back a bit further dude. Like from now back to 15 years ago. Clearly your brain isn't in gear. As far as dumping is concerned there isn't a lot left to do..... virtually everything attainable has been dumped and emulated. You only need to look at MAME to see the focus has shifted from adding tons of arcade games to re-factoring and stream-lining code and giving more attention to the console and computer side of things (aka MESS). Finding anything to dump requires much more time, effort and money. We need to be patient and wait for items to become available at the right price. Unfortunately they are generally not at the right price because of MAME. The very thing we created is now bending us over and shafting us. Hardened collectors know exactly what is emulated and what isn't and they slap on the price and try to cash in while the band-wagon is in motion. So look back a bit further... you will see I bought *MANY* PCBs with my own money or put in part of my own money and all of those are dumped and added to MAME. Probably more than 3000 games. Games that you and thousands of others are now playing for free. Sure there is a small minority who donated PCBs, an even smaller minority who loaned PCBs to be dumped and returned, and a lot of other people (100's) who donated funds that went towards buying PCBs and other stuff (usually in Japan or Hong Kong). All three methods are used to obtain items and funds are spread out among the different methods. If one of those donators was you then you are fooling yourself if you think your donation was for any other reason than to get free games in MAME without having to go to the trouble of buying arcade PCBs or owning real arcade machines. In the past I spent a lot of time and effort looking for those PCBs. Time that I could have been using to do things I wanted to do. But no, instead I was thinking about the community and the end result of being able to get those games into MAME. When funds were short and things had to be snapped up quickly I used my own money. When there was no money to post out items stored in Japan I covered it from my own pocket. It happened *many* times. Too many times to remember. A small fortune was spent over the years just keeping the scene alive.

So now onto the real business. Since those masses of PCBs bought/donated over the years are no longer needed they are being sold to generate funds to buy more items. This is exactly what the DU has been doing for years. The difference is I am carefully watching and buying only unique items that are worth buying (and if you know anything you will know they are quite difficult to find and very expensive) and the DU blew all of their generated funds on any old crap that happened to come along.... primarily because the 'leader' has no patience, no discipline with regards to money and is addicted to buying every game or clone no matter what it is. Primarily because I already bought everything worth buying over the last 15 years so nothing worthwhile was available and he had to make a name for himself by just buying anything to beat me. Sorry, but that didn't happen in a good way dude, although you did make a name for yourself as the Clone King. You had about 3 years in a spotlight at half-voltage (i.e. dim) and now the arcade and emulation scene is dead too. Better luck in the next life. These generated funds I have will be held until the time is right.... until items worth buying are available. This is how it's done. You're just sore because you now have nothing to sell and I still have a thousand PCBs here which in the current market are worth big dollars. You're sore because I bought cheap when the arcade scene was dying over the last 15 years and now they are selling for a lot more. That's the way it goes, you get ups and downs in any market. Some are worth something, most are worth not a lot. So now you make up stuff and say I shouldn't sell these PCBs because you think they are still needed for MAME development or I have to 'consult' with everyone who ever sent me an email. I must consult with every developer who worked on MAME just in case something more can be done with some game that has already been sitting dormant in MAME for 10-15 years with no development... like running trojans etc. Oh yes let's run trojans and break this sucker wide open. Errrrr, look closely, I am sitting here patiently waiting for your trojans, looks to me like they are not coming. How long should I wait before I give up and move on? I think 15 years is a good round number. That time is now.

I must also wait for everyone who sent me something in the past because now that the cat has been let out of the bag, suddenly everyone (the even smaller minority who loaned stuff) wants their stuff back. Look carefully on my site and you will see that the vast majority of loaned items have been returned. Those that are still here after 10-15 years are clearly not important otherwise the guy would have asked for it to be returned. Several of those ended up being changed to donations because the owner saw how good the emulation was and realized he didn't need the PCB anymore. As for the other donations, those were donations. i.e. they traveled one way. If you have suddenly changed your mind and now you want it back you are free to buy it from me, like any other person who wants arcade PCBs. For the others I'm just an email away. What is wrong with contacting me and discussing the situation? No, that's too hard. Let's just bitch on an insignificant non-public mailing list of dropkick members about how I'm an asshole who keeps everything and steals PCBs. I'm just supposed to accept that some whinging losers now want everything back and give it away? WOW! Wake up people. I'm here. If you want me for something you know where to find me. I am not going to chase you every time the sun sets in the East (hint, that's daily at about 6-7pm). A donation is a donation, a loan is a loan. I know the difference, people.

What about the time and effort of doing what I have achieved? Doesn't that count for anything? The thousands of dollars of my own money I put into equipment so MAME could become what it is today. So I could handle *any* PCB dumping job that was required. Doesn't that count for anything either? Don't fool yourself people, the DU can only do simple stuff whether you know it or not. When there's a difficult job to be done the DU fears it and puts the job off. Generally botching the job and the PCB too, since they don't have the skills to re-assemble the PCB or repair things back to their original working condition. Here's a classic example. Some fairly useless Korean items sent off to some other guy because the DU can't handle it. Assuming this guy is doing basically nothing (he's not a full-time dumper like me with hundreds of items to dump), then why nothing for 4 months? It's a 1 hour job. Likely another stuff-up and/or the guy can't handle it. Whereas I can handle anything and enjoy that stuff because, as an engineer in the manufacturing industry, I have developed my own techniques and tools to make it easy and I've been repairing PCBs for ~15 years so I have hands-on experience too. When you have dumped 3000+ PCBs, have 15+ years experience and $50k in equipment you will know what hard is and how to do the job right. Until then you only do simple stuff. So I'm just supposed to accept the loss of all of that time and money and move on and I'm not allowed to recover the costs of doing all of that for 15 years? Seriously? Do you *really* think squabbling about it on your mailing list will make me do what you want? Yes? Erm, think again bud. Oh, and to the idiot who mentioned the date, the 'update' date on the For-Sale page at the top is the date HERE, moron. This is a GMT +8 hours timezone. Depending on your location you could be up to 16 hours behind so today for you is probably tomorrow for me. Geez, get a brain dude.

If you sent some PCB as a loan many years ago and you want it returned all you need to do is contact me, forward the correspondence where you said it was a loan and that it had to be returned and cover the return postage. If I have dealt with you in the past many times I will usually cover the postage myself. Those people know who they are.... they provided (and still provide) support in times of need many times and made sacrifices for the good of MAME. Those people are the real heroes. If you are a one-off-wonder from many years ago and if the correspondence you forward matches my archived notes (with 1000 PCBs in boxes, yes people, I keep detailed notes), then just pay return postage and I'll return it. In some cases chips will be missing because you sent it to be decapped and it now doesn't work.... meaning the PCB is worthless (i.e. China Gate). However if you want your worthless PCB returned just ask.

Now think carefully. You are likely not a hardened collector. Maybe you have a few PCBs but are getting tired of constantly messing with them to keep them working. Or you like emulators and you know very little or nothing about complex electronics and how to keep a PCB working. 99.9% of games are emulated in MAME. You can play your game there, you don't need the fragile PCB that will eventually die. It's better to just let it go and move on. That's one of the primary reasons for selling this stuff... it's a big hassle to look after it. The result being more games will be purchased and they will end up in MAME. Games that you will be playing for free. But as I said I can return your PCB if you cover the return postage. That was always the case from the beginning.

So somehow you think I screwed you over. But instead of contacting me you decide to hang shit on me and try to make me look bad by whining on an insignificant mailing list. First of all you can't make me look bad. I've been dumping games for 15 years. I'm the king of dumping and whether you accept it or not everyone in the emulation scene knows that already. I dumped thousands of arcade games and in doing so solidified MAME's foot-hold in the arcade emulation scene as the number one emulator of arcade games. Second, it's not a good idea to blab about it on a mailing list saying I've screwed you over or collectively brainstorm about ways to screw me back because you think I screwed you. All that will do is get you blacklisted and if you loaned something I will sell your item to the first buyer who comes along. Or if you are wanting to buy PCBs, bad-mouth me, cause trouble or jerk me around I will not sell to you ... as was the case with a moron who whinged to the mailing list because I 'promised' to sell it to him and after jerking me around the result was I didn't sell him the PCB. Grow up you idiot. Nothing is set in stone. When you pay it is sold, until then it's available. If you check my For Sale list you will see that all of the items you wanted have been sold... so whinging on the mailing list did absolutely nothing to help you and absolutely nothing to affect me. The only thing it did was get you and everyone else who replied and put their 2 cents in blacklisted. With rare items like these there's always going to be multiple people who want to buy it. Some of them are patient nice people, they accept the price knowing it is rare and expensive and they pay quickly and the transaction is finalized. Some of them cause delays and whine about the price and try to beat me down. Those people are ejected. They were already rejects from society anyway, now they are also rejects from buying my PCBs. The bottom line is I'm happy to give you a couple of days to decide but once you say you want it, it's whoever pays first wins. No pay, no play. This is exactly what happens on eBay with some items. They tell you to pay because until you actually pay the item is still available. It's nothing new.

If you do buy something don't whinge about it having some minor bullshit issue that only a hardened collector would notice like some minor graphics glitch that happens in one tiny spot of the screen for a 1/4 second if the voltage is 0.1v away from 5.00v AND the moon is at 30 degrees to the horizon or a sound crackle caused by some sound chip or OP amp that decided to *partially* die after 20 years. I'm not a collector. I don't know the ins and outs of every game ever made. I do a quick playing test for about 1-2 minutes, if it works and I don't see or hear any problems then as far as I'm concerned it's good. If I notice a fault I do my best to fix it. I don't just post out faulty crap and say nothing. If I can't fix it I tell the buyer it is faulty and he can buy it as-is at a reduced price or look elsewhere. Then it's sold and posted out or the buyer passes on it. Either way that's the end of the discussion. If you want me to play it to the end and test every level and every little detail I'm happy to accept a fee per hour just to be triple-quadruple-sure that it really is working 1000%. If not and if it develops a fault after shipping or it had some minor issue I didn't notice then it's YOUR problem and you accept it as part of the terms of sale. That's the reality of it. Just because it's now your problem does not mean you can whine about it on a mailing list or forum saying I'm an asshole for selling you some broken crap. It's YOUR problem whether it's said or not and whether you like it or not. DEAL WITH IT. Whining will not solve your problem. Hanging shit on me by making up stuff like I'm an asshole for selling you a faulty PCB or telling everyone I said 'you own it, you fix it', will not help either. Whether you like it or not, that's the truth of the matter. You own it, you fix it. Whining will just get you blacklisted and you will no longer be able to buy any of my rare PCBs that you said you were hoping to buy later (yes I know about that too). Remember, you just bought a somewhat rare 20+ year-old PCB. If you don't know anything about PCBs don't buy complicated arcade PCBs and instead get an easier, less expensive hobby like knitting. If you expect it to be in factory condition after all these years then you are fooling yourself.
To those now laughing and thinking this is a joke, don't laugh, this really did happen. Even funnier, this guy knew about the complaint from that moron mentioned above and still bought something from me. In fact he bought two PCBs. Some people are just amazing. WOW! Just WOW!

To the nay-sayers, I didn't hear you complaining when I was spending thousands of dollars buying and dumping 20 or more PCBs a week. No? And I didn't hear you complaining when they were being knocked out and added to MAME like cup-cakes so you could play them for free. No? And I didn't complain about having to store all of this crap in my garage... taking up space that I should be using to store my stuff, or just park my car easily and be able to open the doors fully! No. So now, just because I'm selling some items you suddenly think you have the right to complain and I have to store this stuff and keep it forever until it's perfectly emulated in MAME or until some dev comes along with a trojan to crack this thing wide open.

Here's a News Flash : For the vast majority of games with emulation issues it's NOT going to happen.

You have failed to accept reality and you get upset when I know the end has come and decide to sell things. Wise up people. I've been selling various items on and off for 15 years. As far as MAME is concerned what's done now is done. If it's not done, holding onto some obscure item for another 20 years isn't going to get it done, so don't whine now when I'm selling stuff and moving on to bigger and better things. You had your glory days where a new MAME was released with 100 games added every month. Those days ended at least 5 years ago, in 2010. Now move on too. GAME OVER.

In case you still don't see the light, nothing you say or do on your 'elite-ist' mailing list will affect what I am doing or going to do in the future. As an added bonus it's great knowing that every time I sell a PCB it is something that you didn't want to happen.
To those DU members who have bought stuff from me and/or may buy something in future, I advise you to think carefully before you decide to burn the bridge at your end and get yourself blacklisted like the others. Don't be the next person to be added to the list..... for the good of MAME buy some PCBs and be happy you have contributed towards future MAME development. But don't jerk around for 3 weeks like some losers in the past have or I'll just move onto the next guy in line.

Now jump to the For-Sale page by clicking here, re-read the bold text at the top of that page, appreciate what I'm trying to achieve, stop your whinging and let it be. Or better, swallow your pride and buy something and own a part of arcade history.

August 25, 2015


In case you were wondering, this site is the home of posts NOT relating to arcade games.
The arcade games / MAME related site is linked below.

July 11, 2015

Oh Myopia

(note this was written 5th July and updated 6th, 7th, 8th, 9th, 10th, 11th, 12th and 15th July... so far ;-)

A few PCBs arrived for dumping about a month or two ago. Due to me working 6 days a week for the entire year and 7 days a week for the last 3 months as the company I worked for panicked to get work out the door due to a planned closure, I didn't have time to deal with them. But I have plenty of time now because I'm retired since 1st July 2015. In case you are wondering, I'm 47 ^_^

Sadly the great company I worked for from 1990-2005 was bought by a large Swedish corporation named Sandvik in 2005, paying a whopping $106 Million for it. That figure is amazing because they don't even own the building or land, they really only bought intellectual property and equipment. The previous owner leased the land and building to them at a rate of $70,000 a month.... a total of $8.4 Million over the 10 years and he still owns it! He's certainly one smart cookie ;-)
If I had paid $106M for a company I would have wanted the land and building too, or I would have walked away. Not so with Sandvik they have shit for brains and money to burn. As with most large corporations they are run by morons who are paid millions and don't have a clue, the result being a waste of hundreds of millions of dollars over the last 10 years in a downward spiral. This is particularly prevalent in countries like Australia where management think they are more important than workers..... not so my friend..... you can pay managers millions but without workers you have no product and no profit, therefore no company and thus you are sitting behind a desk pushing a pen with no purpose. This is even more important for a technical engineering company. Without quality skilled workers in key positions you have major mistakes being made across the board in many critical areas time and time again..... but no, they hire losers in every sector of the company and pay the management millions and hope it all works out for the best.

So after 10 years of making mistake after mistake after mistake and generating less profits than they wanted (which they tell us is because of having to pay high wages to workers, thus the cost of production is too high in their opinion... in reality wages are only 5-10% of expenditure), someone in Sweden got a "brilliant" idea to close up this company and 25 other companies world-wide over the next 5 years and move all manufacturing to India and China (which costs $100 million per factory to build and set-up). Hold on a second. Brilliant Idea? I think not. A company making mistake after mistake and now all of a sudden they make a good decision? Again, I think not. This is just another big mistake. And yes that's right, I said 25 companies world-wide will close. That gives you an idea just how clueless Sandvik is when they have to close 25 factories worth 100 million each just to save their asses. The correct thing to do is hire quality people who know how to run a company in profit and put them into key positions and actually "fix" the problems. Then get other people on board at the production level to streamline production and processes. Of course this requires skilled people, of which Sandvik have very few. One of Toyota's core principles is constant improvement and respect to all employees. This is a great way to run a company and is known as 'The Toyota Way'. This would surely involve quality people who know what they are doing. Quality people with key attributes like qualifications, experience, knowledge, dedication and discipline. In my 25 years of working I never met anyone who had all 5 qualities. Here there is zero improvement because they only hire lazy assholes who do as little as possible (and I'm not just talking about the production workers) and there's zero respect for the workers, primarily because they believe they are more important. Instead they screw everyone and just close it and walk away. With idiots like that in charge it's amazing they lasted 150 years, but keep an eye on the major news sites because I'm sure it will get worse.
Aside from that, Sandvik subsidiaries include entities set up in Ireland that have no home country for tax purposes and all products are invoiced to 'Sandvik Ireland'..... meaning abuse of the Australian Taxation System and avoidance of the GST or at least minimizing the amount of tax payable. Since they are already saving millions in taxes the 5-10% of expenditure paid as wages to employees is not a great burden on the company and giving the reason to close because of that is in fact a gross untruth. The real reason is of course, intellectual shortsightedness caused by greed and the lack of the 5 key attributes mentioned above.

It's sad in a couple of ways. One because they just trashed everything in the bin and walked away (instant ~$60 million loss) and secondly because this kind of business practice is not illegal. Corporations should be made accountable for their mistakes.... or in the case of Sandvik, 1000's of mistakes costing 100's of millions. If I had my way all of them would be shot, although thinking about it that's probably a waste of a lot of good bullets. Maybe I could line a few up together and get them all with one bullet in an optimized process to save time and money (something Sandvik have no idea about). But hey that's an improvement. And if more losers are lined up on some kind of production line it could even be considered constant improvement! Thus we have harmony because we are doing it 'The Toyota Way'!

It was actually pretty funny watching those myopic morons trip up over their asses time and time again. As a master in my field I told them so many times what to do and they just ignored my advice and did it their way. Or they asked what I thought about something 3 months after they already spent several million on it. I just laughed and told them they were on their own. It was 10 years of great entertainment.

So you might have a few questions......

1. Why are they closing now?
Sandvik bought the company purely to obtain products and patents. They had no intention of staying longer than necessary. I believe this closure was planned many years ago. Possibly even 10 years ago.

2. Why give us 1 year notice?
Because in general Sandvik don't have quality people working for them so things take a long time to happen. Most people employed by Sandvik are low skilled because they can pay them less. Another reason is because they pay low rates they can't attract quality people so they scrape the bottom of the barrel and take whatever sticks. As such, Sandvik needs a lot of time to get things going. Even the people doing the planning are losers so the result is zero planning and it takes years before things are running well. Last I heard Sandvik India and China were in VERY serious trouble with production and running way behind schedule, even after being given 1 year to get production running. Hence the reason why all of us here were working 6 or 7 days a week making stock which will be shipped to China/India to cover their asses. Most, if not all of that is caused by losers in charge and losers doing the work. If they absolutely had to close down and were smart they would have given us 2 or 3 years notice. But well, they're just not. And like I always say, if you pay peanuts you get monkeys.

3. Why move to China/India?
Their primary reason for the move to 3rd world countries is purely so Sandvik can avoid having to pay company taxes to the government. With around $2.5 million a month in sales you can imagine how much tax would need to be paid. That figure is actually very funny because this company is bigger than the previous company they bought and previously was doing around $4 million a month every month. It puzzles me how a larger company with more employees and more production capacity can produce less in sales. Obviously the losers in charge are wasting millions somewhere, production output is actually lower because they only hire losers and clearly people at the top are being paid way too much.... and what's funnier is that Commodore back in the 80's and mid 90's (after Jack Tramiel left) did exactly the same thing and died because of it, and it's all documented in the book "On The Edge: The Spectacular Rise and Fall of Commodore". Pity the morons in charge here didn't read it, they could have avoided the same mistakes.
Their secondary reason is to avoid paying high wages to employees (this country has a high standard of living with only around 6% unemployment). They really don't care how cheap and nasty the product is because the products are designed very poorly (again, by losers) and don't last a long time anyway. And they don't care how much scrap is made or how long it takes because they pay their employees the equivalent of a bowl of rice a day.

Speaking of rice, you might not realize this, but in China/India companies are required to provide on-site meals to employees. That cost has to be paid by the company, including providing a room, tables/chairs, cooks/servants and food, and cleaning up afterwards. In Australia no such thing happens. The employee provides his/her own food and eats it in their own time (employees attend work an extra half-hour to cover that because most companies don't pay for the meal breaks). Another thing you may not realize is there was an agreement where the employees here would do two jobs at the same time (essentially operate two machines at the same time.... quite easy because they are fully-automatic specialized computer controlled CNC's) and because of that the pay rates were adjusted ever-so-slightly higher than average, but the company is effectively getting more output for their money (at least in theory if skilled and dedicated workers were doing the work in an efficient manner). In China/India the workers absolutely refuse to do two jobs at the same time and/or operate two machines at the same time (and their unions will get involved if they are told to do so) and their pay rates are about half (on average) of the western-world's rate (hence the reason for doing only one job) so the company is actually getting less for it's money. Think about it.... one person operating two machines for a rate (with no additional burden to the company), or one person operating one machine for half that rate AND the company has to provide meals too. It's hilarious to think the company thinks it's a wise decision to move there in the first place but looking now at the real costs makes it clear it's a bad decision. By moving to China/India they have actually achieved nothing except a phenomenal waste of millions of dollars by dropping everything here and putting extra pressure on China/India to produce the items that were being produced here, which they have failed to do because the time frame required to get up to speed and take over that work is longer than 1 year. Of course it's no big surprise it's a major stuff-up because they've been doing that here since they bought the company in 2005.

Eventually those countries will get better and pay rates will equal the wealthier countries then companies like Sandvik will likely go back to those wealthier countries so production becomes more cost effective (i.e. better workers and faster production with less scrap equals lower costs). Unfortunately that is some way off, probably 30-50 years from now. So China/India, get it while you can because one day it will be all over, rover.

Some major manufacturing companies such as those in the USA and Germany have already seen the light (USA less than 5 years ago and Germany more than 10 years ago) and have moved back to their own countries because not only are they screwing their own country's economy by producing overseas but they are not doing themselves any favors by making cheap crap in China that doesn't last it's useful life. You only need to look at Apple products to see that cheaply produced is not better. Although in the case of Apple cheaply produced and cheaply sold are mutually exclusive ;-)

I should write a book about it. Maybe I'll call it 'How not to run a company'. Oh, erm, I think I just did hahaha!

Anyway I don't need to work so I decided to just say 'fuck-it' and catch up on sleep and hobbies, including of course, dumping! :- D
On with the show!

February 1, 2013

New Home Page

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