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Interview with:Allan Blomquist


Date: 2002

The Interview

Author of It Might Be NES
Date 3rd September 2002
Wraggster: Can you tell us where were you born, where you live, your family details,etc.?
Allan Blomquist : I was born, and I still live, in upstate NY in the USA. It's really nice up here in the fall!

Wraggster: What qualifications do you have?
Allan Blomquist : Well, I've been programming for about 10 years now and playing nintendo even longer. All my experience is as a hobbyist since I'm still in school going for a degree in computer science. That's about it I'm afraid...

Wraggster: What made you get into computers?
Allan Blomquist : When I was really young, I loved playing with legos. When I got a little older, I found that programming computers, especially in ASM, was a lot like building something out of legos. You put various basic parts together in different ways and you end up with something that is either slightly amusing, or in some cases, actually useful! Computers have a huge advantage though since they are much more flexible and you never run out of "pieces." (Although, legos do have that little pirate man with the painted on beard. That's got to count for something...)

Wraggster: What projects/coding have you done previous to your ImbNes Emulator.?
Allan Blomquist : Hmm, imbNES was actually the first project that I released to the public. I made countless clones of games like metriod and final fantasy, but I would always stop working on them after I got the game engine down. I made an SNES debugger that I used to reverse engineer final fantasy 2 (US) and a video player that could play the videos from Night Trap and Sewer Shark on Sega CD. It was random projects like those that have kept me busy these last few years.

Wraggster: What made you choose to do an emulator for the Playstation?
Allan Blomquist : The idea of programming a console always seemed really cool to me but with all the cartridge based systems I had, it didn't seem possible. Then, when I got a PSX and a CD burner, I started looking for information online about the playstation and I had no trouble finding everything I needed to get started. I had always wanted to make an NES emulator, but I didn't want to do it until I could make one that could stand out in some way. I didn't want to make yet another NES emulator for the PC, since there were already so many, but I thought if I could make a good one for PSX, it would be a first.

Wraggster: How did you start and what programs did you use to start coding for the Playstation?
Allan Blomquist : I got started by looking over some ASM source code for some demos on the hitmen PSX site, and reading all the docs I could get my hands on. All my code is assembler, so I use spASM since it was the only assembler I could find for the PSX. For testing my programs, I started off just using PSEmu Pro's debugger, but then I got a Pro Action Replay and reflashed it with caetla so I could transfer code from my PC without having to burn CDs every time!

Wraggster: Can you give us a status update on your emulator?
Allan Blomquist : Well, when the last version came out, I knew I was in trouble because the CPU of the PSX was just about maxed out. Right now I'm working almost entirely on trying to speed things up so I can get some extra CPU time for additional features.

Wraggster: Are you trying to support the PS2 as well as the PSX with your emulator?
Allan Blomquist : I do not have a PS2 and so I can not work specifically on making sure imbNES is compatible with it. If the PS2 is as powerful as it's supposed to be, then I don't think it would be all that hard for someone to just port an existing NES emulator to it.

Wraggster: Do you have any new projects in the pipeline?
Allan Blomquist : None to speak of right now. With all the projects I have to do for school, I don't have a lot of extra time to work on my own projects just for fun. I want to make imbNES much more complete before I start on anything new, and there's no telling how long that will take me.

Wraggster: Whats your opinion of the Xbox and PS2 Emulation Scenes and which wouldbe the most promising for you?
Allan Blomquist : I haven't been following either one all that closely, but it's the people who work hard reverse engineering these new systems that make it possible for people like me to come along later and make new software for them. I'd like to thank those people for all the great work they do. As for which would be the most promising for me, I guess I'd have to say PS2, but I think I'll be involved with the PSX for a long time to come.

A big thanks to Allan Blomquist for a great Interview. :)

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