Hi, can you tell me something about yourself?
I am Andrew Lewis (Andy Geezer seems to be a more common name for me on the internet), I was born in a field in August 19th, 1976, in a Cambridge, United Kingdom.
I am haply married with children – my pimping days are over.. LOL
So your step dad owned Clacton Pier (http://the-pier.co.uk/clacton-pier)??
LOL, I don’t know where that story came from, but is mildly amusing.
We moved to Clacton in 1989, till then I never had seen an arcade machine (I owned an Electron at home, which frankly was hardly state of the art – although it did have awesome conversions of Pac-Man and Defender).
At the time the arcade industry in the UK was a big business, in Clacton there was a whole street full of amusement arcades – this was like a drug to me!!
So many exciting game with awesome visuals/sounds, even if I was too small to play some of them 100% (Operation Wolf I had to stand on a box!)
I spent a lot of “ahem” my school time down the amusements, several games that I played a lot of back then was Flying Shark, R-Type, Hot Rod, Aliens.
So when did you get into Arcade collecting??
In 1996, I bought from a local lad a Jamma Supergun, with a copy of Mortal Kombat – this was a good solution for me to begin with.
I soon got copies of Turtles and Aliens Jamma PCBs (which where quite cheap at the time – in fact Turtles is about the same price now as it was then, around £50).
I also swapped a Sega Saturn for a NeoGeo CD system – it introduced me the King of Fighters series, I already enjoyed the arcade versions of Fatal Fury, however the load time crippled me (minutes – not seconds)!
In 1998 when I finished college at got my first job, with the first pay check I bought a Elecrocoin cabinet (pre-fitted with a Jamma conversion loom, Neo-1Slot and Fatal Fury Special).
Picture of AG first cabinet – A woody!
The cabinet has now come from one of the companies I supply parts/repairs to, Stephen Huntley at Swallow Amusements (http://www.coin.demon.co.uk/)
I soon bought KOF cartridges from MHP (now Videotronics http://www.videotronicsuk.com), also another regular customer of mine (I also did his website in 2001, although he recently changed it for a different one).
You where a game programmer right??
Yes, I was an 80’s bedroom coder, working on BBC/Electron, BBC Basic and 8086. Didn’t really create anything spectacular on that system though.
Obviously in the mid 90’s I got into PC/C/8086 and developed all sorts of programs, the typical Mod player, parallax scrolling engines/sprites blitter/lookup tables etc.
Did the typical pacman/invader type clones in college, originally planned to join an in-house development team, in the end I did Microsoft solution route, did that till I quit my mainstream job in 2008.
I heard you went down the MAME route??
Yes, indeed this is true. I was well known the BOYAC arcade forum in the late 90’s.
I soon started developing my own version of MAME, originally called Opti-MAME, a spinner/trackball version to allow games like Guerrilla Wars etc to use the Happ optical spinning joystick, then I went further an developed another serial Mouse driver (to use a different interrupt), so it was possible to have two Serial trackballs (allowing 4 optical axis), meaning two player marble madness with trackballs was possible.
I was in frequent talks with Brain Lewis (no relation) about arcade monitor support, he was working on his own front-end and had his own basic arcade monitor support.
At the same time, I can’t remember now, but I got in contact with a Japanese guy (Saka, the guy behind VsyncMAME), we talked a lot about clock rates, video cards and such. This lead to me developing MonArc and MonArc+, a TSR program for creating video modes suitable for arcade monitors (with exact screen resolutions and dot clocks), meaning games would be a lot closer.
This was great as other emulators like RAINE could also work on arcade monitors also. At this time Andy Warne also developed the I-PAC. It was all going great.. We had the video sorted, we had the controls sorted.. But in 2000 (while I was working on an automated video/game profile launcher – this tool would automatically pre-set the exact video clock for the game being launched), my HDD crashed – I lost all my work, source, e-mails (it was a big/painful lesson!).
So, you where getting more into game PCBs?
Yes this is true, according to my ancient website on 22/11/2000 I had
Fatal Fury Special
Fatal Fury 3
NeoGeo 1 Slot MV-1F
Fatal Fury Wild Amibition
Marvel VS Capcom
Dead or Alive
Virtua Fighter 3
Killer Instinct 2
As people will see, it wasn’t ALL SEGA back then!! In fact there is some right stinkers in there!!
However those with a keen eye will see some Model 2/3 goodness, this would pave the way for the next few years!
Ah, SEGA.. So how many Sega games you owned??
A lot, I can’t even remember the entire list.
I’d guess 150 or so, been privileged to play/own a lot of Sega goodness at home
Outrun 1,2,SP, Daytona USA 1 and 2, Sega Rally 1,2,3, Virtua Cop 1,2,3, Virtua Figher 2,3,4,5. All the key Sega releases from the 90’s to present day.
So what was your favourite system??
Tough one, probably Model 3 on tech specification – those games pushed the hardware to the limits.
You take a game like Sega Rally 2 or Daytona USA 2 – there is so much going on, so many little spot effects and little details.
There is no way a Naomi/Dreamcast could do 1-1 of a Sega Model 3 game.. People reckon the DC/Naomi is more powerful. I say Bah, there has been no driving game on Naomi that has had superior graphics than a Model 3 racer.
The Naomi is like a bread-n-butter system, it’s like the Neo Geo – it has some nice titles and also some stinkers.
Hikaru is interesting – it was the most expensive CG board from Sega with a retail price of £3500/$7000 just for the main board! The games on that system are impressive, and go for silly money in Japan. The board is has the reputation of being one of the hardest boards to ship without killing it!! (It has some large heat sinks which can pull the BGA chips of the circuit board while in shipping).
Sad to say, the dedicated CG board is a thing of the past – the introduction of PC based arcade systems has just lead to piracy.
Piracy – I heard you are responsible for net booting.
Yes I believe people blame me for this – although I have no reasons why they point the finger.
True I did do a youtube video about a year ago or so, this was merely to demonstrate it, I knew about this technique for a while before then.
Sega released WCCF (A football game), here in 2004/2005, the game was interesting in the fact it didn’t come with cartridge software or GD-ROM software. Instead it had a network dimm boards (NO SCSI connectors), and a PC. The PC was just a Windows XP.
WCCF Server (XP based PC)
The game would run some command line tools to upload the .bin to a number of clients (all with a pre-defined IP addresses).
Naturally I took a copy of these tools (to support Sega hardware you must know the system inside and out).
When the DEC/ENC tools came out and the keychip dumpers where invented. I could decrypt and recrypt GD-ROM dumps and upload them.
Once the PIC chip was decapped – and made public via MAME and other sources, people could create there own 00 DES key with the GD-ROM lock flag enabled to upload decrypted games (like Makaron uses).
I guess it is the nature of the beast, when you have platforms like MAME you get a lot of free stuff and people will always exploit it freeness and make money from it.
People will always make money from selling net boot keychip and dumps, I personally hate the ethics behind this – but it isn’t my business.
Also people will understand this is a fudged method, not all games will work, and some will require DMA patches.
What is interesting is the 3.17 CD-R dimm patch has never been made public, this has existed for 3 odd years, this would have certainly killed the market, so I am guessing some people have some ethics.
Will you release your GD-ROM dumps/cartridge dumps/other dumps?
No, I don’t see why I should give anyone a free meal.
There is no written law that says I must share my knowledge, and the more lame e-mails and such I recieve the more I will keep to myself.
I go out of my way to help people, but return I get insults, and general bullshit. I’ll put some of it down to pure jealousy.
I do have a loyal home user base from all over the world, and I thank them for there support and loyalty.
So things are bad?
Not really, just the small minority that spoil it for everyone, you get this will all socieities though.
So you hate Craig/Giz10p?
Actually this is another miss-conception, I’ve known Craig since 2002, we’ve had a lot of talks and such. We are still helping each other today.
I believe I never affect Craig business what-so-ever, I believe he’ll tell you in the last 2 years he has been busier than ever.
Mr Sporty, who is he?
Someone that had a brief interest in Naomi hardware, and has since gone back to his day job.
I believe he did decap a PIC from Sports Jam, and never made it public. He never shared his information out to my knowledge. I don’t know anyone that got anything from him.
So, SEGASHED when did it happen?
I actually can’t remember, I think it was the end of 2007.
So changing the name??
Groan – yeah well the original name of SEGASHED was a bit dumb.. I actually liked the logo concept (which was done by a good friend Uncle T in Sweden), and probably wore my heart on my shirt a bit too much.
Was I forced to change the name, Yes. Do I understand why, Yes.. Do other websites get away with using the SEGA name, Yes. But that isn’t my concern.
Well it didn’t affect my business in anyway, if anything I got more trade companies supporting me (a lot of trade companies are unhappy with the way they are being forced to spend x-amount of money).
So what’s next?
I’ll be looking into supporting the RingEdge (Let’s go Island) and the new PC hardware (The Grid), and continuing to support the Lindbergh.
I’ll be selling the compact flash solution – although there is no demand on the home market – people will say, why pay £200 odd for something we can download and net boot for free. This is there choice, nobody is forced to buy anything from me.
I am also working with a number of companies on refurbishments, game conversions and such.
I am also looking into doing other things – non-arcade related.
Thank you for you time.
On a personal note – I’d like to thank everyone who has supported me in the last 12 years!
Andy Geezer’s is like marmite – You’ll either love him or hate him..