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RIP-Felix last won the day on August 2

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  1. RIP-Felix

    Scanlines vs. Pixels - emulation accuracy

    I just replaced my Busted CRT with a Sony Trintron KV-24FS120. My dad had one sitting around with very little use. So it's pretty much new. I fits perfectly in my entertainment center. To celebrate, I put in a copy of the original star wars trilogy on VHS, unadulterated by CGI or inserted blaster fire to make it look like Han fired second. It was cathartic. Is it just me or did speakers on CRTs sound better? It has more bass than my flat screen does. I guess there's more room to hide a sub in there. It has component input as well as the requisite composite and RF. Has anyone tried a HDMI to YPbPr/component converter like this? I'm thinking It would come in handy for any HDMI device, like my HTPC, X-box (original with the pound HDMI cable), Dreamcast (also with the pound cable), and etc. Especially the X-Box needs this, as the official component cables are expensive and the knockoff ones don't work (I tried them and they flicker/have artifacts). The pound cables work great on my HDTV, but I wonder if the adapter could convert that back to component to get around the issue. This would be a nice way to connect multiple HD sources to the single YPbPr input on the CRT, since I could use an IR HDMI switcher I could control with my remote. It's only $18, so It might be worth it. I hope to soon ultraHDMI mod my N64 too. Pluging it into the YPbPr input would be a great way to soften the pixelated look after deblur removes the antialising. No scanline effect needed! Anyway, you can see where I'm going with this. Just feed the TV the highest possible signal to begin with and let the CRT do it's magic.
  2. RIP-Felix

    Been gone a while

    What you rockin for graphics?
  3. RIP-Felix


    My negative opinion on the film has softened. I did pick up a copy. My second viewing was more balanced. There is still much that the movie has to offer ("IT'S FU$KING CHUCKY!"). My impression in the theater was reactionary (to the deviation from the book), which was not fair. Many people I've spoken with say they liked the movie. My mom said she liked the movie, then I made her read the book and she agreed it's way better. Now, I did try my best to manage expectations, but I couldn't control my disappointment to the complete departure from the key/gate challenges. I'll concede they needed challenges that were more favorable cinematography. Having the gate right there at the key was disappointing, but it had to be done for time. In retrospect, this isn't as big of a deal as I felt it was at first. There was no way they could follow the book even remotely close in a 2 hour time frame. As packed as the movies was, with important things just glossed over, it's 2:20 as it is. A Mini series at least, but probably a full fledged HBO quality 13 episode series would be required to do the book justice. The fact they were able to remain true to the basic plot and capture the nostalgia is all the more amazing. Still: Cline himself worked with the writers to make the movie and Steven Spielberg directed it. I have to deal with the fact that Cline gave the Okay and one of the best Directors ever did his best to do it justice. It's pretty good if you throw what you know about the book out the window and forget about consistency. I do enjoy it on it's own right. So I guess it goes into the Jurassic Park category of books/movies that are good on their own right, but have no interconsistancy. So be it.
  4. RIP-Felix

    Humble Jackbox Party Bundle

    Awesome, thanks! I just jumped on that. I was looking at these a week ago to get some decent games for my steam link, didn't pull the trigger because I didn't want to pay that much (like $20 for each pack). All 4 you don't know jack volumes, jackbox party packs 1-3, Fibbage xl, drawful 2 and quiplash for $12? CHA...CHANG...A...LANG!!! Couldn't have been an easier decision.
  5. RIP-Felix

    Scanlines vs. Pixels - emulation accuracy

    I bet a 'CRT emulator' is plausible. Shaders and scanline overlays kinda do that anyway, and most people are satisfied with the result, but they don't really use the LCD pixels to actually emulate the way a CRT worked, they just apply overlays, blur, and etc on top of the LCD image. I wonder why this hasn't been done? Seems like it could be a 'run it before' program that converts everything onscreen to a CRT look of your choosing, using commands like -PVM_BVM, -Slot_mask, -DOT_mask, -Aperature_grille, -B_W, and etc).
  6. RIP-Felix

    Scanlines vs. Pixels - emulation accuracy

    I just stumbled across this. It requires more beefy system requirements to run, so Raspberry pi or my NES classic may not handle it well, but a PC should handle it fine. http://emulation.gametechwiki.com/index.php/CRT-Royale It's the settings that matter here. You can set the mask type, Gamma, Contrast, Halation, Diffusion, bloom, beam, convergence and more, to get the CRT look right. On a real CRT, if the signal contained no red in that spot, the phosphor would remain black (with perhaps a bit of bloom and halation from excitation of adjacent phosphors). Overlays and shaders just place a grid over the LCD, but don't actively change the color/brightness of the LCD to match this function. I wonder if someone has made a CRT emulator that averages the RGB color value of all the pixels that fall within the shadow mask overlay (you would just have to define the area based on the display's current resolution), then display the RGB equivalent for each phosphor. If the red for that area averaged 123, it would display the red LED's within the red phosphor of the mask's overlay at a brightness of 123. The same respectively for the Green and Blue phosphor. Combined, they would equal the total RGB color combination the screen is outputting in that small area. Multiply this effect according to the mask type and scale it to fit the screen such that it would equal 480p. Man I wish I could code. I could sell that shit!
  7. RIP-Felix

    Scanlines vs. Pixels - emulation accuracy

    How a CRT works: How a Color TV works: How a Sony Trinitron Works: So, these are the most common types of phosphor arrangements on a color CRT. These are what you need to try and simulate with an overlay or shader to emulate a CRT: I've been working on some designs that are starting to look pretty good, but I'm not happy with them yet. Still, working on it...
  8. RIP-Felix

    Scanlines vs. Pixels - emulation accuracy

    My grandparents died this year and my anut doesn't want theit CRT. It's effing huge! Its at least 300lbs, and has been running like a champ forever. Id want it, but...it's so ridiculously big/heavy. BTW: why would anyone post a video about a tv left on the street? To each their own, but that seems like a random thing to "report about." It is a KV-27TS29 made in 1993 (so we got 25years out of it). I really like keeping one around for my Atari 2600, N64, NES/SNES, genesis and PS1. I also like hooking my miniNES raspberry pi (NEStalgia) to it via av out, it has a more authentic look and feel. I've thought about getting a framemeister and the appropriate RGB cables, but I prefer the authentic look to sharp pixels. Besides, I can get that with emulation. What I haven't been able to get, like the OP said, is a convincing overlay or shader to reproduce the CRT look. There really is no substitute for a good CRT. I have been thinking of getting a PVM or BVM, but I want something larger than most of the ones I've seen. I'll probably just stick with a SD CRT anyway, since that's how I remember seeing the games anyway. I wish there was a manufacturer out there that made CRT for retro gaming. Someday perhaps they'll bring it back, if they can still remember how to make them that it. Some serious engineering went into them and analog is trickier than digital. For that matter, they need to bring back analog dynamic equalizers for us audiophiles. I need a knob to dial it in just right. Digital sucks!
  9. RIP-Felix

    Scanlines vs. Pixels - emulation accuracy

    My Sony Trinitron died recently. It worked just fine for my retro console needs, then I went to fire it up a couple weeks back and...nothing. I'm bummed and more than a little concerned I can't easily find a replacement. Shipping costs are steep for these heavy, awkward, and fragile fossils. I tried googling how to fix it myself, but CRT TV repair videos seem to be dominated by speakers of foreign languages. On topic, I have been trying to create a few overlays for retroarch to get scanlines to look more like the phosphors on a 240p SD CRT and a PVM/BVM. It's for my NES classic, but the problem I've run into is that I can only overlay 720p images. From what I've gathered 240p means ~240 hotizonal scanlines. I have to have a scanline every 3 pixels (720/3= 240) if I'm limited to a 720p png. If you look at a PVM you can see it looks like the phosphors are more than four times taller than they are wide: So the best I can do with 720p is make a rectangle 1x2px with a scanline above and below. If I half the number of scanlines, I can double the height of the rectangle and it looks pretty good, but the scanlines are to far apart and I only have 120. It doesn't like up with the upscaled image on screen. I'd need a higher resolution to display enough pixels for a convincing PVM/BVM effect. SD CRT at 720p is tricky too. From my testing I found that the simple 1 scanline every 3 pixels without vertical lines gives the most acceptable illusion of scanlines, although not being accurate. This issue arises because we're trying to fit analog ovular phosphors into square digital pixels. Resolution is a limiting factor. It takes something like 5-6 times the digital resolition to fake the analog picture. I don't really know what I'm talking about. I'm guessing as I go, but that's the issue I'm having making a convincing overlay. I'm not sure if a shader could do a better job,
  10. RIP-Felix

    New Build Coming...

  11. RIP-Felix

    Oak Barrel Multicade

    Oh yeah, I do like that! I don't much care for the price tag.
  12. RIP-Felix

    Arcade 1UP

    I like the cabs, not so much the hardware. If the hardware could be hacked to run retroarch and MAME, then it's a steal at $300-400. Otherwise it's a legit cab for a gut job. Throw an i-pac in the CP, an LCD in the bezel, and a PC in there somewhere. It might be a good place to start if you don't want to design the cab yourself. The materials for my cab cost more than this does. The PC could be, but MAME doesn't require beefy specs for most games. Could possibly come in under $500 all said and done. I might have gone this path if it were available then.
  13. RIP-Felix

    New Build Coming...

    Nice work. Super clean on the outside. I like the wear on the case. It says "I'm meant to be played with, not displayed in a glass case". I like the 3D printed mounts for the modkit components. I too have found this is an excellent use for my 3D printer. I'm sorry to hear you have been struggling. Just an FYI, I had a serious anxiety attack returning to work last December after the holiday break. All the symptoms of a heart attack, but It was just anxiety. I've never had such a physical manifestation of emotion before. I also struggle with depression. That was a life altering experience that kicked started my will to reclaim some joy. I started exercising and eating better. I started going back to the mountains to ski, something I hadn't done in ten years. I've tried to get out of the house as much as possible and immerse myself in social situations. While it's not as fun to do these things alone, the anxiety is less and the depression is too, but it's a constant battle. Actually I've been stuck indoors too long over the last five weeks and I'm starting to feel my anxiety meter rise (while driving is usually the first indicator). I think I'll plan a day trip or two to some local state parks in the next couple of weeks to balance. Long drives to unfamiliar places is great exposure therapy. It's empowering. The only way out is through.
  14. Have you guys seen these? Sweet!!! The battery charges using a 3.5mm jack in the cord hole (micro usb for the mega drive), which doubles as an indicator LED. They're compatible with the receivers too. Super slick and original look. Just replace the PCB in your shell, and done. I hope they are going to make a genesis version and a genesis/MD dongle. The MD kit is sold out. It's probably the most enticing to me, but I did just pick up the SNESC and NESC kits. The MD controller will be great for mame on my GameEX rig. I'll have to get one later. Since I have a NES and SNES classic, I can convert their useless wired controllers! They're 1st party reproductions. They'll be like nintendo should have done to begin with. Man I love 8Bitdo!
  15. RIP-Felix

    READY PLAYER ONE (Fan Fiction)

    Seek and you may find, a tomb of horrors! Acererak the Demi-Lich says, "what is it that you seek?" "I seek the key to immortality", then I remembered I was speaking to a king and added, "my lord". "Of course you do", said Acerarak, "but you must first prove you are worthy." "How may I prove my worth Noble king Acerarak?", I said. Instead of answering he stood from his thrown and lowered his head, his neck creaking and popping as He did so. His eyes began glowing deep red, increasing in intensity until a brilliant beam of hellfire spewed forth. He raised his head and gazed in my direction. The unbearable heat incinerated everything in its path as the beam scorched toward me. I barely had enough time to move as I watched its path cross where I was standing a split second before. The radiant heat burned the hair off my arm and singed my face as it narrowly missed. I heard the sound of the inlaid stone floor crack from heat shock behind me as I landed and rolled out of the way. To my surprise I had instinctively unsheathed my sword. I stood and simultaneously casted a protect spell. Then I lunged forward at Acerarak with my sword raised over my head, ready to bring it down on his crown, when He held out his bony hand and said... "HALT!" I could barely move! It felt like trying to run in a dream. My arms were paralyzed, my legs were like lead. I was trying with all my willpower to take another step and bring my sword down, but it was like Acerarak had slowed time and encased me in wet concrete. His immobilizing spell easily overpowered my pathetic 3rd level protect spell. His gaze had fixed squarely on me now, eyes no longer glowing. I resigned myself to imminent annihilation when Aserarak spoke again. "You have done well. I will grant what you seek." He then sat back down on his thrown and waved his hand. The immobilizing spell wore off immediately and my arms dropped to my hip, the sword clutched tight and ready in front of me. Acerarak opened his mouth wide. He reached up and unhinged his jaw, bringing it down in his hand. With his other hand he reached down into the hole where his heart would be. It came back up clutching a key. He reached out, palm up, and offered it to me. “The Key to immortality”, he said. As I cautiously scaled the final step toward his thrown, he re-hinged his jaw with his other hand. Now I got a closer look. The key was black onyx, with iridescent streaks of orange and red. They seemed to emit light, making the key glow in Acerarak's mummified paw. I reached out and took the key... The very moment my finger touched the key my perspective changed. I was confused at first, because I was no longer in the throne room. Instead I was watching a baby in the womb, then it’s birth. After a bit, a doctor placed the baby into it’s mothers arms. Then I recognized her. It was my mom! The baby was me. As images kept playing I realized I was reliving my whole life, like a movie reel in full VR. Get a hold of yourself Wade, I told myself. How could the OASIS simulation be showing me real memories? GSS was able to playback simcaps of events that had taken place in the OASIS or those caught on camera in the real world, but not intimate, private moments. Currently my mother was rocking me in her arms, singing lullabies. I didn’t remember these events, I was just a baby then. So this could be an elaborate simcap that just inserted stock animation of my mother. GSS certainly had her in its reistry. They kept maticulus records of everyones data just in case. Even after a user had died. The Wade Owen Watts life story progressed further and I began recognizing scenes from my past. I saw my mom before her death, and the events afterward. Moving in with my aunt Alice and the unpleasantness of abject poverty. Currently I was running from bullies in the stacks on my way to school. Maybe there were cameras outside, but how could they be showing me moments too private for anyone but me to know? I was getting a bit spooked now. I reached up to feel my visor, just to reassure myself I was still in the OASIS, but all I felt was my face. My visor wesn't there. I tried to bring up my console and log out, but the commands didn’t work. Nothing worked. All I could do is watch. Now I was playing Ache in one of our epic battles of Joust in the basement. Ache's basement was in a private chat room. Everything we did or said there was inaccessible to GSS. I knew it couldn't be an elaborate simcap now. There was no way these memories could be simulated unless they had direct access to my brain. But this wasn’t the Matrix. I'd never heard of any technology that could tap directly into your memories. I had seen an old NOVA documentary where scientists genetically engineered a fly brain expressing electrically sensitive fluorescent molecules. They could watch them fluoresce as neurons fired. Essentially, they could see a fly think in real time. It was limited to a few fly neurons at a time, but that was 35 years ago. Could the technology have matured? I tabled that line of thinking for the moment. It was too fantastic. There had to be a simpler explanation. Then a terrifying thought occurred to me. I always thought it was a cliché that when you're about to die, you see your whole life flash before your eyes. Just some made for TV legend. Or maybe that’s just what you experience while your brain cells started dying. This also explains the tunnel of light or meeting dead loved ones during a near death experience. No one could really know what you perceive after this initial brain cell die off, because if it went on longer you weren’t coming back to tell anyone what you saw. Maybe you just became aware of less and less, until all awareness is replaced by nothingness. This was my least favorite topic to indulge. It didn't do any good to dwell on it. I usually tried to force those thoughts out and focus on something else. There was nothing I could do about it after all, so why worry about it? I had resolved to try and enjoy my life until I couldn’t anymore. But right now I couldn’t help myself. I was reliving my whole life after all, just like all those other NDE survivors. It was me Now! Was I dying at this very moment? Did I suffer an aneurysm while logged into the OASIS? I was worried now. WHAT THE HELL WAS GOING ON? A few moments earlier I had been seeking the key to immortality from the Demi-litch Aserarak, now I might be dying? I mean, it can’t be a coincidence that right at the moment I reached out for the key I began a trip down memory lane. But how could the two things possibly be linked. He couldn't actually hurt me. Parzival sure, but me? I weighed the facts. I was in the OASIS the moment before, but now I can’t possibly be in the simulation. I've already established that. Okay, what if there was some terrible hidden use for VR technology. Could it trigger a seizure? Could someone at GSS have programmed this dungeon to actually kill someone? There were supposed to safety measures. Built in software filtered out repetitive flashes that could otherwise cause epileptic seizures. Video game designers had known about this since the early 90s when certain games with flashing lights triggered seizures in kids with photosensitive epilepsy. Sure you could just design a dungeon without the safety in place, but that would only work on people with epilepsy. You would have to get around GSS' software, but it could be done if someone was determined enough to do it. What if some secretive group of designers had figured out a way to weaponize this phenomenon, to target people without epilepsy? Maybe that was happening to me now. But I didn't believe it. Maybe they really could read my mind and feed me images of my past. I was grasping at straws. Occam's Razor, a problem solving principal famously misused to justify asinine pet theories, states the simplest explanation tends to be the right one. GSS could read my mind. I had been been punked by some psychotic secretive designer who had weaponized this dungeon. My sedentary lifestyle had finally caught up to me. With how much time I was spending in the OASIS lately, if I had suffered a massive coronary, I probably would be logged in. The fact it happened just as I grabbed the key could be an extremely unlikely chance occurrence, like winning the lottery. Except I got the Darwin award. I couldn't admit which seemed like the most likely. I was in denial. I was officially scared. Was I asking for trouble seeking the Key to immortality from Aserarak? Never once did I ask myself what had to happen first. I told myself the worst that could happen is he would kill my 3rd level avatar and I would have to create a new one. Not much to loose. He couldn't really hurt me. I now began thinking he could, and had. My mind was racing. It was too late. I had taken the bait. Some asshole at GSS had fried my brain because I stumbled into his trap dungeon. All those years of studying D&D modules, fantasy titles of countless books, movies and video games, and still I had blundered into my doom. However, I was still holding out hope for option one, the only scenario in which I didn't die. The "Wade Owen Watts" movie was nearing its end. I continued to watch helplessly as, what I desperately hoped was a simcap, of my life story relentlessly trudged through the events of the past few minutes. I saw Aserarak’s eyes glowing and then my near miss. I watched as he paralyzed me, released me, reached into his gaping, jawless mug, and produced that evil key. That key represented death to me. The uncertainty of what it now meant, why I even wanted it in the first place, or what would happen when I touched it again was unbearable. I hated that key with all my being. I shouted at myself... "DESTROY IT! KILL HIM! DO SOMETHING!!" It was useless. I watched in slow motion from above as my earlier self reached out for the key. Why hadn’t I just cut it in half right then and there, I thought to my self in regret. "NOOO..." I watched as Parcival's fingers made contact with the key. Then I watched in complete terror as the inevitable events of the past caught up to the present, reliving my life story to the present moment, all colliding in one horrific surge. I closed my eyes in mortal fear. Then, I felt myself being forced backward, as if I had been ghost punched. Then I had an out of body experience. I slowly opened my eyes, but I was no longer looking at myself from above. Nor was I in my former position in front of Acerarak. I was now looking at myself...THROUGH ASERARAK'S EYES! It took me a moment to notice this detail however, I was still reeling from a sense of impending doom. I felt immensely relieved that option one was correct. So much for Occam's Razor, I thought. I hadn't died after all, not really, otherwise I wouldn't be around to ask stupid questions. Questions like, HOW IN THE HELL DID THAT JUST HAPPEN? How could the OASIS simulate a replay of my whole life? It was entirely too spooky. Only James Halladay himself could have programmed a transfiguration so convincingly. But, it made no sense. It didn't fit Halladay's MO. That had gone...WAY...too far. It wasn't fun. Talk about blurring the line between simulation and reality. I thought if it really were possible for a person to switch places with a Demi-litch, what I had just experienced would be how it'd feel. Things get really freaky once the simulation starts showing you things It couldn't possibly know. My mind was still reeling from the implication of this when the entity across from me spoke... "You have attained that which you seek".  He then turned around and left the throne room, my former body (and its mortality) with him. ...My mind was still racing. Had Aserarak just conned me out of my mortality? I mean, It was too easy to "prove my worth". While It hadn't been easy to avoid his hellfire beam, he did give up relatively easily. On the other hand I did just trade a puny 3rd level humanoid avatar for a badass Demi-litch. I thought to myself, How do I get out of here? Wait, can I get out of here? I mean, if Aserarak could leave why wasn't he enjoying his immortality on a tropical pleasure planet sipping Mai-tais on the beach? Maybe his putrefying body wasn't immortal. What if it was just his intellect that was immortal, not what it was bound to? I began to understand. I recalled a black comedy fantasy film released in 1992 staring Meryl Street and Goldie Hawn called “Death Becomes Her.” Two middle aged women take a mysterious elixir that gives them immortality. However, it came with a huge caveat. Their bodies were not invincible. They could still die and decompose, but remain animate. The two women get into a blood feud with each other and their bodies suffer the consequences. A hilarious series of escalating retaliations ensue and the movie ends with the two, now friends, attending a wedding. They are walking down the steps leaving the venue when Helen, Goldie Hawn’s character in the film, trips and teeters on the edge of falling down the steps. When Madeline, Meryl Street’s character, doesn’t immediately react to help, Helen grabs Madeline and the two tumble down the stairs together, their disentegtating bodies breaking apart, limbs flying. The two women’s decaying heads, patched together with glue and makeup land facing one another. Helen scornfully asks Madeline, "Do you remember where you parked the car?" just before the ending credits roll. Aserarak had to choose a place where his body would not decompose. Someplace like a tomb. There in his…my… tomb I became aware of something strange. Well, everything up to this point had been strange, but this was strange for a different reason. It was another of my stupid questions. My new body was all bone, cracked leather, and sinew now. If it had any organs left they had dried up long ago. So why did I have to pee so bad? "Wade...Wade" Samantha's soothing voice was calling me...  "Wade...It's just a nightmare."  I was jerked back to consciousness. I sat up. Sweating and breathing heavily, I took a few moments to collect my bearings and let out a relieved What...The Fuck! Samantha said, "I expect to hear what that one was about, in the morning." Then She laid back down. I sighed heavily, then went to the bathroom. I doubted I could go back to sleep. __________________________ This has been an original fan fiction by RIP-Felix. It does not represent anything except the desire to write something in the RP1 universe for fun. It's also a work in progress, and so I have and may continue to edit as I please. Enjoy or don't, as you please. And feel free to post your own fic.