Here's something REALLY cool I'd like to share with you:

I recently attended California Extreme, a game show for classic pinball and video games, held in San Jose, California. This is a great show I suggest everyone to attend of they get the chance. For a rather small fee, you get an entire day of playing your old favorites, as well as some great sessions from old time game engineers (myself included) as well as information on how things work. (See www.caextreme.org for more information on the show.)

Of particular interest to me this year was a device available for Mame that lets you play just about ALL the original vector games as they were meant to be played: on a real vector monitor. If your goal is to be able to play games like Major Havoc, Space Duel, Asteroids, Space War, Rip Off...just about all of the over 30 vector games of the 80's, then this is the solution. Obviously collecting all the games is not possible unless you have a huge home and very large budget. But, with the ZVG, a vector monitor (it even works on Vectrex machines.)

The ZVG is a new vector generator that connects to a PC and a vector monitor and lets you play over 30 vector games using Mame. You attach the ZVG to a standard PC and can run all the games supported by emulators, such as Retrocade and MAME, on a single vector monitor. Build a custom cabinet, or easily modify an upright Space Duel and you will have a kind of a 30+ Vector Multigame!

OK, so you can play all those games on Mame right now you say? Well, not like this. The ZVG recreates the games from Mame in true Vector Graphics. In many cases, the vector graphics from the ZVG look even better than the original, with less flicker and better aligning vectors.

The ZVG will drive Wells Gardner, Amplifone, Electrohome G05, Sega G08, and Vectrex X/Y monitors. It displays a full 1024x768 viewable resolution, with a 1200x944 over-scan resolution, 64K color depth, and jumper selectable pincushion and edge bloom corrections. Included is a full open source SDK, and you can download a special version of Mame specifically to drive this device called VectorMame, available on the Zector website.

All you need to add is a vector monitor, an appropriate cable (which they will sell you if you need it) and a PC and you all set to go. But for the ultimate arcade feeling, Zektor will show you how to build your own cabinet. Simply add the I-PAC keyboard/button interface and the Opti-PAC spinner control from Ultimarc (http://www.ultimarc.com/ipac1.html), a few extra buttons from Wico (http://www.wicothesource.com/) and a roller controller from Oscar Controls (http://www.oscarcontrols.com/vortex/), and you are ready to go.

The best part of this? The ZVG is VERY reasonably priced at $239, which seems to be a bargain given all the work they put into it. See http://www.zektor.com/zvg/index.htm for more information. I highly recommend this device...I am getting ready to install one into my Space Duel right now.