Sunday, April 3, 2011

Getting Cross

As so many weeks are at Console Classix, last week was a busy one. We got a number of things underway. One of the tings I'm really excited about is the fact that we started building a cross-platform version of the CC Library. Now, that may be complete gibberish to some of you so I'm going to explain what it is and then why it matters.

To begin with, the Console Classix Library is a piece of software that allows a program to connect to the CC server and play a game. (It also handles a number of other little things, but we'll skip that for now.) It's what we use to enable emulators to access our services. It makes the entire process neat and clean.

Now, when a piece of software is “cross-platform” that means that it will run on more than one platform (duh...) So, for instance, it might run on Windows and Linux. In fact, that is exactly what we intend the CC Library to do. In point of fact the software runs on both of them now. We just need to pack it all up as a library and start using it.

Here we come to why this matters. First, it will allow us to offer CC on the Linux platform natively. Up until now Linux users could only play CC from within a Windows emulator. (That is a bit of a performance limitation.) As soon as we are done they will be able to run it directly under Linux just as our Windows users do. As I've mentioned before, the more people we have playing the better it is for everyone. This is going to open another small door for our fans to come through.

But wait! There's more! For a long time we have wanted to put together some plans for a CC home console that you can hook to your TV and wireless network. One of the limitations was that Windows would tack $100 onto the cost and make it unreasonable. Linux is a completely free operating system so we could put it on a home console without adding anything to the cost. We're still a long way from this, but the cross-platform library is a very real step in that direction.

Once it's done we may start trying to put together a prototype with a single board PC. Adding CC support for the Linux emulators we would need should only take a couple of days (Lord willing.) Then we'll just need to make a cross-platform version of the CC Browser. In some ways that may be easier than doing the library in the first place. All things considered it will certainly be worth our trying to build a prototype. If we do we could post a video of our building and testing it for you guys to see.

On top of all this I want to build a CC arcade cabinet. I would prefer to run Linux on it, which is one of the reasons I haven't done it yet. Once this is wrapped up I'll finally be able to do that.

All in all this cross-platform library is another good step. I'll let you know more when there's more to know.

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  1. You have probably already looked at this, but Open Emu seems to be helpful for a Mac :) port.

  2. In truth I hadn't looked at that yet. It's pretty awesome actually. We have also been asked about making a Mac version. We may very well have to look into that.

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