Console Projects >> You Don't Know Jack Controller v2

PC / Software

PC

I currently have a Shuttle SV24 "Spacewalker" Mini Barebones System hooked up to my living room TV. It's a few years old now and it's not the mightiest machine on the earth (it's a VIA PL133 chipset with a Pentium III 1 GHz processor, and the onboard Savage4 2D/3D video is pretty mediocre at best), but it does it's job very well for now. And to it's credit, it does have some very good features: A nice attractive form factor, S-Video out, front-panel USB ports, and a single PCI slot which allowed me to install a Hauppauge WinTV-PVR-250 card in it for video recording.

I also have an NEC DVD±RW drive in the PC, which is nice not only for burning CDs and DVDs, but for playback of DVDs that our old DVD player puked on. (Side note: we just got a Philips DVP642 DivX-Certified Progressive-Scan DVD Player which they advertise as "Plays anything!", and so far, it really does!)

The Shuttle PC is running Windows XP with it's resolution set to 800x600 at 32-bit color, and the font size set to "Extra Large" for easier viewing on the TV.

Keyboard Encoder Programming

As I mentioned before, I'm using the I-PAC VE keyboard encoder mounted inside the Button Box. It works great, but there is one big "gotcha" with the I-PAC VE: It doesn't store any custom codesets that are programmed into the encoder...all settings and mappings revert to the built-in default MAME codeset when the PC is powered down. And since the default MAME codeset doesn't have all of the keystrokes needed for YDKJ, I'm required to use a custom codeset.

To work around this, I have a shortcut in my "YDKJ" desktop folder (that contains shortcuts to all of the YDKJ releases that are installed on the PC) which points to a batch file that loads the necessary codeset via Ultimarc's WinIPAC IPD programming utility. While I certainly would prefer that the I-PAC VE remembered it's programming upon power-down, I feel that this is a workable solution. This only has to be done once every system bootup when you want to play with the controllers, so it's not that big of an inconvenience.

 

Software

I used Nero to make .ISO images out of all of my YDKJ CDs, and I have all of the .ISOs stored on the PC's hard drive. Whenever I want to play one of the Jacks, I use Daemon Tools to mount the .ISO as a virtual drive in Windows XP, and I can then start up whichever YDKJ game that I want to just as I normally would, and the game will read the CD-ROM info off of the virtual drive. This has several benefits:

Some of you may have noticed in the above screenshots that I don't yet have a few of the YDKJ releases (most notably YDKJ 6: The Lost Gold). It's on my birthday wishlist. :)

...Speaking of which, if you're looking to pick up your own copies of the YDKJ titles, Jellyvision has re-released a bunch of them. The YDKJ Store can give you "tha mad hookup yo".

 

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