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Interview with: Regex

Homepage: http://members.shaw.ca/Regex/

The Interview

Wraggster: Where were you born,live and family details etc?
Regex:I was born in Calgary, Alberta Canada. I have 1 brother, and we still live with my Mom and Dad (although I'm moving out soon). I'm not married and don't plan to be anywhere in the near future.

Wraggster:What qualifications do you have?
Regex: I've been programming for a long time unofficially, starting out with BASIc on the original IBM Pc. When I was in highschool I got the highest rank on my Computer Science AP exam, but I didn't
take computer science in University (besides a couple of intro courses that everyone takes).I've spent a lot of time working as a programmer to put myself through school, so I've kept my
skills pretty sharp on my own time.

Wraggster: What made you get into computers?
Regex:My Dad was one of the first engineers in his field to really embrace computing, and when he went into industry he ended up developing a lot of his own software that he used to do his job. He also really liked to work at home, and so he was on the computer a lot. I used to watch him work late at night when I couldn't sleep, and I'd beg him to help me understand what he was typing. When I was 7
or 8 he got these books of code through the Scholastic book order at school, that had code listings for games that you could type into BASIC, and I learned the basics of programming from them.

Wraggster: What projects/coding have you done previous to any Dreamcast programming?
Regex: I made a couple of demos and intros during the BBS era on the PC, but I can't even run them anymore and the were never that good. I made a couple of commercial data editors for the oil industry in my area. I've built quite a few interesting little Windows apps using the Win32 API, that I hope to have on my site fairly soon.

Wraggster: What made you choose to do a Dreamcast port of the emulator Pnesx ?
Regex: pNesX is a pretty cool little emu, and it's really easy to port because it doesn't require dynamic memory allocation, and all the core emu code fits in like 7-8 files, so it's really easy to see what's going on. I also had done work on pNesX on the playstation to try to speed it up etc., but I had very little luck, so I was already familiar with the code.

Wraggster: How did you start and what programs did you use to start coding?
Regex:I started coding with a homebrewn Serial cable that my brother built for me, the first version of Marcus' Serial slave, and libdream under Cygwin. I've since moved to DcTool and the BBA, using KOS under Cygwin.

Wraggster:Can you give us a status update on your great emulator and also a status update on your pcengine -could it be released as maybe a demo/beta ?
Regex:FrNES is going through a growth period right now, because I now have the understanding to fix and improve the hardware functions. Some assembly language optimizations are being considered, but I'm really more concerned with getting the hardware and mapper code to 100% for the next release.I really haven't done anything on the TG16 emulator side of things, but I will very soon, as I'd like to have something to show, or at least beta before Christmas time. The people who have seen private
betas in the past will obviously be notified when I have something to show.

Wraggster: Do you have any new projects in the pipeline ?.
Regex:I'm still working on a cool little game for the DC with my brother.. but we're still drawing art right

Wraggster: what features would you like to see added to frnes?
Regex:+A really good way of doing SaveStates
+Up to date Mapper Code
+Arkanoid Controller Support
+LightGun Support
+4 Player Support
+Full Speed with Sound Consistently
+Better Interface...

Wraggster: what system would you like to be seen emulated in the dreamcast next?
Regex:Besides TG16, I think GBA on DC would be cool, and it's not unfeasable at all.

Wraggster: Whats your opinion of the new super consoles like X-box,Gamecube,Game Boy Advance and the Playstation 2?

Regex:I love my GBA, I think it's a great little system with great potential. XBox looks slick sometimes, but a lot of people are disappointed overall... we'll have to see how that plays out. XBox is gonna be good for bringing emus home to the end user though. I suppose the PS2 will too when mods become easier and more common.Gamecube looks really cool, and I hope the games live up to everyone's expectations.

Wraggster: Which console looks the best for devving on?
Regex:Besides the DC I think the XBox probably would be easiest... probably just like devving for the PC.

Wraggster:Your thoughts on the Dreamcast Emulation/Development Scene and how can it be improved?
Regex: I think that us developers need to keep releasing quality software for our favorite console, because the faithful will keep coming back, and bring back new fans with them sometimes. I know of at least 4 or 5 people that have bought DC's after seeing FrNES in action, and I'm willing to bet that there are others out there. I think the
DC Emulation scene needs to keep giving good constructive criticism to the authors to help us keep perfecting our stuff, and the authors need to keep cool heads to see criticism as a tool to improve the overall product.

Wraggster: What are your favourite games for every system you have owned?
Regex:Whoo... that's a long list:

Vectrex: Scramble, Berserk
Atari 2600: Solaris
Atari 7800: Xevious, Choplifter
NES : Contra, Castlevania, Zelda 2
SNES : Street Fighter 2 Turbo, Final Fantasy 6
TG16 : Neutopia 2, Blazing Lazers
Playstation : Temco's Deception 3, DDR Series
Dreamcast : Shenmue, Skies of Arcadia