link love 12-28-08

December 28th, 2008

New retro-indie-coinop blog Just One More Game is off to a great start. Check out his first month of great content, and add ’em to your rss reader.

Capping off the holiday season: the fascinating and sordid history of bubble lights.

Lastly, ya can’t end a year without lists. Eurogamer’s Top 50 of the 2008 and GameTrailers Game of the Year Awards are a couple worth checking out.

Child’s Play Charity – Support UMC

December 24th, 2008

Las Vegas’ own UMC Children’s Center was added to the Child’s Play Charity roster last year, and thanks to the generous giving of the gamer community, they were happily inundated with gifts that allowed the young temporary residents of the children’s hospital to have at least a slightly less unenjoyable stay. Being sick sucks, and as many of us know, a good video game can be a hell of a way to take your mind off the things that ail you for a bit.

While tonight is Christmas Eve, the toy drive continues until the end of the year. If you’ve yet to donate, please take a moment and browse the UMC Amazon wishlist, or visit Child’s Play and find your own local hospital to support. Buying games is fun (even if it’s not for yourself), you’ll be doing a great deed for a sick kid, and who knows, that copy of Dragon’s Quest IV for the DS just might be the catalyst that creates a new gamer for life.

Merry Christmas, all.

link love 12-10-08

December 10th, 2008

It’s the sorry for the lack up updates but I’m still settling into an actual working schedule edition.

A Very Special Shutdown Notice.

For the locals, Alternate Reality Comics is having a MEGA holiday sale, with 25% off all graphic novels, trade paperbacks, hardcovers, and manga. Also, check out the new Epsteins!

Apple Computer: The (Very) Early Years [via Slashdot]

Finally, a collection of Nixie Clocks.

Refreshing the Tron lower plastic.

December 3rd, 2008

One thing that most original Tron cabinets all have in common, aside from beat up side art, are faded plastics. After years of abuse from the blacklights, the ink desaturates and the distinct colors are lost. While there are high quality acrylic reproductions available, they are costly, and I wanted to see what I could do with materials (mostly) on hand. Thanks to Jeff Rothe, I found myself with a spare lower plastic, and it was time to experiment.

Here’s the before shot. Both lower pieces were in roughly the same condition; the original colors could be seen, but were extremely washed out when backlit. Of the highlighter colors I tested, only orange and yellow fluoresced vividly.
Tron, pre highlighter

The tools. Rustoleum satin black (model paint was too thin), a tiny paint brush, and a new package of Bic brite liners.
Preparing

My first step was to repaint all the areas where the light wasn’t supposed to shine through. This was the part that took the most time and care, as screwing up a line would be very obvious when the whole thing was backlit.

Once that was done, I let the plastics dry for several hours while Tina and I hit the gym and ate dinner. Who knew that Thanksgiving leftovers could be turned into a delicious Vietnamese meal (it’s true!).

This would be a good place for an in-progress photo, but I forgot to take one. Sorry.

The next step was pretty much like coloring in a boring coloring book. Aside from the center area, where the design gets a bit complicated, the lines were simply a matter of laying down the right color. I used the orange highlighter for the ah, orange/red parts, yellow over the green, and the not-so-fluorescent blue over the very faded blue areas.

After installed the painted plastic and swapping out the white blacklight for a regular ol’ blacklight (increasing the highlighter fluorescence), here is the final result:
Highlighted Tron lower plastic

Comparison photo!
Also note the fancy new GroovyGameGear reproduction handle.
Before and After