Happy Birthday MAME!
Well, guess I can share some memories, too ...
I grew up with Atari2600, C64/C128 and Amiga systems...and arcade machines could be found in front of cinemas when I was young. So I played DonkeyKong, Wonderboy, Hyper Olympics, Xevious and I guess lots more. Then they were banned from such public places. To prevent the kids of spending money on it. They were moved to arcades/gambling rooms were you need to be 18+. During holidays I had the chance to get in touch with others, Sega Ralley, Outrun...but actually the old machines were my fav ones...
And then there was MAME...
I've got in touch with MAME back in 1997. A friend who still used an Amiga in 1997 heard of MAME and said that for Arcade Machine emulation you need 'something more powerful'. I was a computer science student back then and had a PC....so I tried to get in touch with MAME. I used the university internet connection to get it....At home a 56k modem was 'standard' ;-)
Tried it and fell in love with it ;-)
Then I quickly found out that it was pretty annoying to get the files right....so I started this little commandline based tool....and put it on my university account page....that was September 3rd, 1997. And guess what...there were other users who gave feedback (Hi John IV ;-))...but that's a different story....but kept me busy for 20 years now, too.
I do remmeber 'milestones' (often connected to core changes which gave me new work and headache)..Introducing crc32, merging, xml output, chds (oh yeah...will never forget the "randomly change the chd filename extensions" change (Hi OG ;-) ...iirc it wasn't really random but a .HelloRoman or something)
But it was really cool to see the other core stuff in MAME.... a working Sega Outrun before the rewrite was done!
Just kidding. Well...there are endless things to mention here. Not only to see rare sets saved for the future but the stories behind them. How they were found, dumped, decoded, decapped, etc.
So I raise my glass and say Thank You, you MAME developers.
See you in 20 years...guess I'm a grandpa then ;-)