Tuesday, 23 November 2004

Maniac Mansion

It's very rare to stumble across an application that is a revelation. Earlier this year MacMAME earned such a distinction - authentic arcade action delivered directly to your desktop - and now ScummVM joins the pantheon!

ScummVM derives its name from 'Script Creation Utility for Maniac Mansion' and is a 'virtual machine' for several notable graphical point-and-click adventure games. For example LucasArts' The Dig, Day of the Tentacle and Full Throttle. Loading Indiana Jones and the Fate of Atlantis rekindled halcyon memories of my Amiga adventures and the often delayed fourth installment in the movie franchise. Incidentally, the Maniac Mansion property was licensed as a family sitcom (in the US) and ran for several seasons in the early 90's. Did it ever show in the UK?

Both MAME and ScummVM are a Work-In-Progress and available for the majority of popular computer platforms. MacMAME now sports an improved OpenGL driver that fixes VBL sync and aspect ratio correction. Checking anti-aliasing (AKA smoothing) in MacMAME's front-end evokes graphical comparison with Sega's underrated and poorly marketed Dreamcast (NAOMI-based console). Playtime.

Google continues to rollout updates to their email service. Gmail POP3 set-up is a breeze in Entourage 2004 and the added benefits of SSL shouldn't be overlooked. As an avid user of Gmail, I hope that the final release retains this feature. Hotmail announced that support for offline reading and composing would be withdrawn sans subscription. If this happens, then Gmail more than meets my needs.

Time to read the latest developments concerning the Mac OS X 10.3.7 update.