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MAME deserves fame

Readers express devotion for the mysterious Mr. Do, tell us how much they’d like to be MAMEd, and keep the debate alive on whether programmers truly are a dime a dozen.

I enjoyed your recent column about old arcade games “Play, but don’t get MAMEd”. My favorite was an Apple II game, “International Grand Prix,” which used the Apple low-resolution graphics to create real Grand Prix racetracks and, as one reviewer said, “solved the joystick problem” for controlling the car.

I am hoping that this game, or something like it, was converted to the PC. All of the racing games I know of have flying cars or too many engine tune-up options. — Judy Myers,

MAME is a wonderful program which brings back the nostalgic days of the arcade. I think the IDSA should embrace MAME and welcome anyone who wants to distribute the ROMs. Why don’t they make a deal with the MAME creators and sell MAME and the ROMs on a CD? I’d buy it if I didn’t already have all 2000+ games already on 2 DVDs–I have connections. — Ronnie Stedman,

I loved that article about MAME and how those ancient games should be in public domain. I am an avid player of MAME and the ROMs, especially “Galaga” and “Mr. Do.”

I’d like to see an article that expands on this subject–abandonware. These are games (arcade, console and PC) that are no longer manufactured, marketed, supported, or commercially exploited. The copyright owners are hoarding them and want them to disappear. The means the software is no longer supported by OSes or hardware. The only way to play them is to build a legacy system, like I did, or find an emulator, like DOS Box.

Then you have to find the software itself. Finding legal copies is very difficult, but fortunately there are advocates of the old games that post them on the Internet. A site along these lines that’s worth looking at is Home of the Underdog. — Jeff Tank,

I read your article on the visa program that allows worker from other countries to come to the United States and take jobs away from U.S. citizens (“Programmers: 10¢/doz.?” July).

I was a Merchant Seaman for 16 years and I watched our government help foreign workers from mostly Muslim countries come here and obtain high-paying shipping jobs. Now, elected officials work overtime to repeal laws that supported the U.S. seaman–laws such as the one that once dictated that all cargo originating in the United States was to be shipped on U.S. vessels. [Specifically, the Jones Act, formally known as the Merchant Marine Act of 1920, states that only U.S.-built, U.S.-crewed and U.S.-registered ships can stop at two consecutive American ports for transporting cargo. –eds.] Today less than 40 percent of U.S. cargo is ship overseas on U.S.-flagged ships.

I can tell you that I am not in favor of Americans losing jobs to foreign labor. I understand that all people have a right to work, but we as American citizens should have an advantage over foreigners. In 2000, I stopped shipping because jobs were few and far between. I took courses in networking and computer repair, and I am certified in CCNA, A+, Cisco multilayer switches and more. Now I see the same thing happening to the IT workers that happened to us in shipping.

I only can suggest that IT workers form a group of concerned people to bring this issue to the American public and our government soon before IT ends up like we did–from a 3,000-ship union to less than 400 in 20 years. — Donald Williams

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