computers video games

A Mini X68000Z from Zuiki is Early On and Impressive

Spook has this incredible breakdown of the X68000Z by Zuiki, Inc. it’s a new miniature version of a classic part of computing and gaming history, the Sharp X68000 home computer that used various Motorola CPUs and played a collection of arcade games and more. The X68000 has always been a bit of a mystery to me along with other great Japan-only or Japan-mostly parts of history like the MSX, but the thing that blows me away about this mini X68000, is that it includes stuff like a real modern mechanical keyboard, and a mouse that converts into a trackball!

The X68000Z mini reproduction from Zuiki is an emulator machine, so it doesn’t contain original hardware or use an FPGA like the MiSTer FPGA. Although there is an X68000 core for the MiSTer FPGA it is a work-in-progress and looks like it hasn’t been updated since October of 2022. I’d almost rather see an X68000Z box with support for installing a MiSTer if it were a great experience, but the X68000Z looks like it has a lot of custom interfaces and work to add things like save states that have been created to streamline the experience of running X68000 software in 2023.

Here’s captured gameplay footage of the X68000Z from the Sega Lord X:

As Sega Lord X notes in their conclusion, the X68000Z is still very early on, and kinda expensive. Still, the hardware is very impressive. With more platforms being reproduced for a modern era, I just need someone to make a reproduction of the most beautiful computer of all time.

video games

We Love Katamari ReRoll + Royal Reverie Out Now on Consoles + Windows

I’ll never forget the first time I went to buy Katamari Damacy, a friend that was at the store with me had no interest and wondered why I was wasting money on this weird looking but value-priced game (Katamari launched at either $20 or $30 US nearly 20 years ago) that wasn’t anything like the other games I was playing at the time. But I knew better, I’d heard from some sources at the old that Katamari Damacy was one to look out for.

It wasn’t long before everyone was hooked on the roll-em-up and here we have Katamari Damacy’s sequel, We Love Katamari, redone and with a new coat of paint. Although there are many other sequels and I would love to see those re-released as well, they were mainly releases to get onto new platforms after the original games were exclusive to the PlayStation 2. We Love Katamari is the only sequel that Katamari Damacy’s original creator, Keita Takahashi, worked on and some people believe that We Love Katamari is the better game, overall.

Unfortunately the first two Katamari games were completely unavailable until 2018 when the first Katamari Damacy got the ReRoll treatment.

Here, now, a wild 5 years later, we get the sequel on the Nintendo Switch, Playstations 4 & 5, Xboxen Series and One, and Steam for Windows. It’s $30.

You would have to have a heart of coal to pass up either your first or another chance to enjoy We Love Katamari.


The 2023 10th European Tramdriver Championship Live Now

In Oradea, Romania the European Tramdriver Championship has just started. There are teams from all over Europe and the silliest competitions to see who has the best team.

As I said last year:

Each challenge is clearly designed to demonstrate a complete understanding of how to drive safely and with care for the passengers and other people around them, that is why the Trams simulate billiards, bowling, and other challenges. Ultimately the team must also do it quickly by racing between each tram and for the buttons to start and stop the timer.

This year there are a few new challenges, like putting out a fire in addition to the classic bowling.


Global Inaction Against COVID-19 has Orphaned Estimated 10.5 Million Children

The collaborative commissioned a 2021 report, Hidden Pain, which provided some of the first concrete details on children orphaned by covid-19. To date, there are at least 10.5 million of these children worldwide, with studies showing that the burden has fallen heaviest on low income nations. One report in May 2022 revealed that an estimated 40.9% of covid-19 orphans are in South East Asia and 23.7% in Africa. Egypt, India, Indonesia, Nigeria, and Pakistan are the five countries bearing the brunt of the crisis.

In high income nations, it is ethnic minorities that have been hit hardest. The Hidden Pain report revealed that in the US, American Indian, Alaska Native, Native Hawaiian, and Pacific Islander children were four times more likely to have been orphaned than their white counterparts, with Black and Hispanic children two and a half times more likely. The fate of these children will represent some of the most profound long term consequences of the pandemic.

As the world gives up on even the mildest measures of masking, testing, vaccinating, distancing, and tracking to prevent COVID-19 from spreading and killing the thousands of people still dying every week, I was shocked to see this (now surely well outdated) estimated number of children who were orphaned from a 2021 report. David Cox’s December 2022 article titled “What will happen to the orphans of COVID-19 is quoted above.

The original place I found Cox’ article was linked from this more recent article from Timothy Pratt for The Guardian about an estimated 245,000 children orphaned by COVID-19 deaths just in the US.

It is horrifying that much of the world has largely decided to abandon not only these children but to create more orphans, and encourage death and long-term health mayhem by abandoning all precautions and prevention. Let it rip is the policy and culture, and the effect is devastating.


WWDC 2023 Offers Exciting New Opportunities for Acquiring Long-Term Life-threatening Illnesses Including COVID-19

Cuptertino, California — Apple, Inc today announced the dates for their World Wide Developers Conference for 2023. This year to be held from June 5th-9th with a special in-person super-spreader event at Apple Park on June 5th.

Apple, Inc, announced that the super-spreader event would be available for current Apple Developer Program members, Apple Entrepreneur Camp alumni, Swift Student Challenge winners, as well as Current Apple Developer Enterprise Program members.

Apple CEO Tim Cook had the following to say about the super-spreader event: “Last year we had so many developers come to Apple Park and spread COVID both on their way there and back. This year we are more excited than ever to do it again with lower requirements for attendees than ever during the ongoing pandemic that has killed millions of people worldwide.

The lower requirements for attendees include:

  • No COVID-19 testing before, after, or during the super-spreader event.
  • No masking requirements at all.
  • No vaccine requirements at all.
  • If you feel like REALLY sick and you’re okay with missing it, you could stay home if you want to miss it… 😉
  • No mandatory physical distancing. Get close, come cough on real Apple developers.

Interested parties can sign up online at Apple’s website. People who wish to avoid long-term life-threatening illnesses and disease can stay home and miss out on all the fun.