Everything that has a beginning must have an end...
To quote from the Matrix Revolutions movie... All things must come to an end..
I wanted to let everyone know that I will be retiring from PinMAME effective as of our upcoming version 1.31 to be released on my birthday Dec.23, 2003.
My free time to devote for this fantastic project will become extremely limited in the next few weeks, with no sign of ever returning.. The 2 major events which will cause this are 1) I will be beginning long term software projects for 3 new clients starting in January which will require me to work ~65 hours a week to keep everyone happy.. 2) My wife is expecting our first child in March, and as any parent can say, you always want/need time to have to spend with your kids..
So for those 2 reasons, which are great and happy events in my life, I am stepping down from PinMAME as much as I wish I did not have to.
Due to his incredible dedication and effort to this project, I am pleased to announce that Gerrit(Gaston) will take over the role of project leader of PinMAME. His enthusiasm and many contributions and ability to continuously be involved in the project (even more so than myself in the past year) have proven to me that he would be the most effective person to take over the lead..
Just like previous project leader Martin (WPCMAME) before me, I will continue to be around for advice, help and opinions whenever I am able. You'll still see me hanging around the forums, and when the occasional opportunity arises, I may even contribute some new bug fixes or code, just as Martin has done over the years..
Having known this was coming for some time now, it should be no surprise to anyone now, why I've put in such a massive effort in the past months to get Capcom emulation working as completely as possible, as it was the one thing I felt I needed to accomplish before I retired. There were some weeks where I probably spent almost 40 hours working on it, putting off my real life job entirely.. While there are still some minor issues remaining, overall I am extremely pleased with how it turned out, and consider it to be one of the best achievements we (the PinMAME team) have ever made.
In general, I look back over my 3 years as being head of the PinMAME project, and I am simply amazed at how far we've come, what we've been able to accomplish. It's almost impossible to me to remember that when I started, all we had was Williams WPC emulation.. just look at our supported hardware list now, and you've just got to be impressed!
It's also been an incredible learning process! It's almost funny to me when I look back and think that I couldn't even read a basic schematic when I first started, and Martin had to write several emails outlining the most basic simple stuff to me... and now I can read schematics as effortlessly as the newspaper, something I will forever be grateful to have learned.
I want to publicly say to the PinMAME team that it has been a real pleasure and honor to have worked on such an awesome project with you guys, and I wanted to thank each one of you personally for helping to make it all happen. Only the 5 of us can truly understand just how much effort and time is involved to create PinMAME and have made it the incredible piece of software it is, and for that I am grateful to have been a part of it with you all.
I also want to personally thank everyone at the forums for helping to make Visual PinMAME such a huge success. Your efforts and contributions both directly and indirectly have meant a lot to me, even when I haven't had the time to spell it out each time. If it weren't for you guys, the PinMAME project would be just some link somewhere buried on the back pages of some outdated emulation news page.
Instead, thanks to your efforts, enthusiasm and support, we have one of the most unique and fun communities ever created. Sure, the community has had it's growing pains, and we've lost some wonderful contributors along the way, but overall, everyone here should be extremely proud of what's been accomplished.
I also feel we've all helped to re-ignite the passion of pinball in some of us who may have forgotten, and to further introduce some newer/younger members to the fun that is the silverball. I think that is an accomplishment which words cannot describe. We all are a true merit to the pinball world, even though many of the outside world will possibly never consider us to be. And that's ok, we do it for the love of pinball, and I am honored to have been a part of it with you all! How many people can say they've actually "done" something to help the pinball world survive and grow? It's an amazing thing, and we should all be extremely proud!
The only thing that helps make retiring easier is the confidence I have in the project moving forward, because I know it's in very capable hands. There's still plenty of stuff to be accomplished and I know the team will continue to grow and improve PinMAME far ahead of where it is today.
Finally, just wanted to remind you again, that I'll still be around quite often helping out/answering questions.... I just won't be able to contribute much in the way of source code changes to the PinMAME project in the future.
Best of luck PinMAME team! I can't wait to see where you guys take the software 1 year from now!
Best of luck to the community!! May we all see the day when every solid state pinball has been fully preserved in a digital/playable format so that generations for many many years to come will someday be able to have at least "some" experience of what our generation's pinball machines were like..
Warmest regards and best wishes to all-