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Profile for Loonybin
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1. I am...

... half man, half primate, and half parsnip.

I was born in the area of my Mother's undercarriage in the year of 1972, and currently living in Chelmsford, Essex (England). The 'Loonybin' or 'LB' nickname comes from a long dead website I used to maintain called "The Loonybin". I've been working since 1998 for the same big company doing things such as making decisions on loans and overdrafts that can't be auto-scored, taking calls from people about why their cheques have bounced, (oh, that WAS fun...) but for a number of years now, I've been working on the Systems Support team in one of the offices, troubleshooting day-to-day NT4 stuff, lugging monitors around, working with MS Access and such like.

I've always had computers, right from the second-hand ZX81 bought from a ZX Microfair (remember those?) to a Spectrum 128k and SNES. I then followed the Amiga route to a Playstation, with the next step after that being a collector of classic old consoles like my favourite: the Vectrex. I can still remember my Dad holding me up so I could reach to play 'Minestorm' in the 'Boots' shop in Romford Town Centre.

2. I got into MAME...

... since v0.36beta, although I'd known about it for a while before that. I've always been around PCs, but until last March I'd only used the ones at my workplace. With the lure of the Internet and all those fringe benefits of 'male interest' sites, I finally sold my 'Creature From The Black Lagoon' pinball machine (another passion) that I'd saved years for, putting the money towards my first PC.

I'd read bits about this great arcade game simulator and the "Dave's Classics" site, and how this bloke was playing an arcade-perfect version of 'Dig Dug' and thought.. "Hey, I'd love to play 'Dig Dug' again!" After finding the 'Mameworld' site, things just went from there. I read up on MAME, downloaded MAME32, and away I went. I can't describe the thrill I got hearing the little 'Ready!' tune at the start of 'Pac-Man', the first game I downloaded, and the deliciously meaty speech of 'Berzerk' again!

3. I love playing...

... all those mould-breaking originals. Arcades now seem to be full of nothing but simulators, or games with flashy graphics. Like a lot of the others, I was just coming of age around 1980/81 and was drawn to the arcades like gravy to a roast beef dinner.

My Mum always thought video games were evil, and I think this only made them more appealing, with their flashing lights, loud electronic sounds and explosion noises. If I was lucky, my Dad would suggest getting fish and chips some Friday nights, and me and my brother would rush upstairs and get one pounds worth of ten pence pieces each (which seemed like a fortune then) and with my mothers words "Wasting your money! You might as well just give it to the man!" ringing in our ears, we would climb in the car and go with him. Soon we would be standing in 'Georges Fish Bar' waiting to play such gems as 'Phoenix', 'Crush Roller', 'Galaga', and 'Dig Dug' while my Dad queued up for our fish supper dinner. George, who ran the shop, used to end up putting our stuff in one of the pie warmers whilst my poor Dad would wait until the two quid we had between us would run out on 'Asteroids Deluxe', 'Amidar' or 'Ladybug'.

One friday night back then, I counted 8 people waiting to play 'Crush Roller'. When was the last time you saw a queue like that for a video game?

Sometimes on a Sunday in the Summer, Mum and Dad would take us down to Southend for the day, or Walton-on-the-Naze for a weeks' holiday, where I would be allowed to go into the arcades for a while and play 'Pole Position' on the pier, or games like 'Battlezone', 'Moon Patrol', 'Lunar Rescue' , 'Berzerk', 'ASO' (with it's bowing face on the "thank you for playing" screen), 'Exerion', 'Galaxian', 'Rally X' or 'Gorf' along the seafront before we went home. These are just a few of the originals I can, and love to, play again now.

I've also enjoyed discovering some of the Neo-Geo games I've never played before, like 'Windjammers' and the 'Metal Slug' series, and some of the other Exidy Shooting games like 'Cheyenne' and 'Hit n Miss'.

4. I would like to say to Nicola and the MAME team...

... when you consider just how much time and effort must go into MAME, and the many people who contribute to it, it makes me think twice about putting off someone who may want 5 minutes of my own time. And they do it all for FREE! MAME is, and will remain very big in my life for the foreseeable future. Guys, I salute you!

I'd also like to thank Pugsy for his most excellent cheat file, and of course Dungeon Dave for hosting this profile!
Machine specs: 1.4GHz (Intel P4) | 348MB | 40GB + 60GB +120GB HD
Graphics: Nvidia Geforce 2 | Sound: Creative Soundblaster Live
Controllers: Gravis Eliminator joystick (2xthumb sticks! Great for 'Robotron2084', 'Battlezone' etc!) & mouse