by Gary Woods
When I was a lad there were a lot of pinball machines in various businesses around town. These devices were amazing with all their lights and buttons. The balls would fly around the machines and seemingly suck the quarters right out of my jeans. I was even fortunate to have a couple of them in my basement at home which were salvaged from a large estate on State St which was scheduled for demolition.
The big names in Pinball were Williams, Gottlieb and Sega and they're all gone now. But in their place there exists virtual representations of these great games and mostly their free or cheap. To get yourself going in the virtual pinball world you're going to want to go to PinMAME http://pinmame.retrogames.com and download Visual Pinball.
Visual Pinball is a table editor/game engine; PinMAME emulates the actual processors and ROM chips that powered the final wave of real-world tables. Once you've got the two programs installed you can wander through the Internet's generous collection of tables and ROM files for the pinball games that once knew and loved.
To get your gaming going you the four elements you need to have are first Visual Pinball, second PinMAME, third Table Files and fourth ROM images appropriate to those tables.
Getting things going for your self is a little daunting but there are some great forums out there like www.vpforums.com which has links to down loads and a very healthy community of gamers.
If you have any suggestions or questions for me please drop me a note at firstname.lastname@example.org or see my column on the Internet at http://www.santabarbaraproperties.com or call me at (805) 729-0910
Gary Woods is the Computer Trainer for the Santa Barbara Association of Realtors. And he is a Broker/Associate at Home Realty & Investments, Inc