Enter a very hot Saturday. I spent a good 1.5 hours mowing the lawn. Typical Saturday right? Shortly after I finish I get a phone call from Todd, a local collector. He knew I was looking to buy a restaurant booth for the gameroom, and Craigslist had one listed for free close to where I live. Free?????.... Free!!!!! I call the guy and next thing I know the restaurant booth was picked up and sitting in my garage. It was a little rough, but it was free. That's the best kind of picking.

Not even an hour later I get another phone call. This time it was a guy from Craiglist. I had sent this guy an email during the week about a Rampage video game he was selling. It was now a full three days later and the guy calls me saying his buyer fell through. I told him I would be there immediately. For the price I paid I was not expecting what I got. I was met with a fully working, nice condition machine with full side art. Awesome!

The only thing I had to do with the Rampage is replace the coin door bulbs and setup up the coin reject button to act as a free play switch. With the restaurant booth I completely disassembled it, scrubbed the rust off and repainted the metal black, oiled the wood grain seats, then painted and sealed the table top. I think it turned out absolutely perfect as you can see from the before and after pictures below. You just can't beat a 2 for 1 haul in the same day.

To read more about Rampage arcade game I picked up then click here.

Recently I bought a Jade 2 Megatouch touchscreen game. I already own a Megatouch Sapphire 2, which is year behind the Jade. My thoughts were this. I could upgrade the Sapphire 2 game to a Jade 2, and then network both games for some head to head action. Yes, these games have software in them so they can be networked. The first thing I did was to create a second Jade 2 hard drive with a spare hard drive I had. You can use duplicating software like mamechd to create a mirror backup. Unfortunately the software needs a hardware key to run. I contacted someone from the arcade forums and paid $80 for a Jade 2 key. This person sold me a pirated key with all the serial numbers scratched off. Of course the key didn't work, and I insisted on getting a refund which I did. I'm sure he was concerned about being called out on the arcade forums.

Next thing I noticed is that one Megatouch had a network card in it but the other one did not. I tried several generic ISA network cards in the Megatouch machine but it wouldn't recognize any. At this point I am batting zero out of two. I'm not a happy camper either. I did want that Jade 2 upgrade, but I liked my other machine better even though it had the older Sapphire software in it. The style is a metal case in a slimmer profile, called a slim select. The new machine was a larger wood type. What to do, what to do?

I'll tell you what I did. I swapped the Jade and the Sapphire hard drives and key, then sold the Sapphire. Below is that game that was sold. Yep, I flipped that sucker at a profit and doubled my money. Problem solved.

One of the more favored games in the gameroom is Rush The Rock. I have noticed after being on for long periods of time that the brightness and focus on the monitor would start to drift. Apparently this is a common issue with the flybacks in Neotec monitors. The high voltage windings start to leak which causes the drift. Rush The Rock happens to have one of these Neotec monitors. Sounds simple enough to fix, right? Two hours later and a new flyback gets installed. I fired the game up, adjusted the picture and then played a few games. First time round I got to 2nd place of high scores on The Rock race course. Nice! Click her to go to the Rush The Rock page.

I've had my Paperboy for 3 years now. Paperboy is an awesome game with a musical score that is in the top 5 of all videogame music of all time. The unique handlebars made sure any home game system or computer emulation of the game would only be sub-par, because you wouldn't be playing it with the handlebars. Years back I had won this game off ebay and made a road trip to Oklahoma to pick it up. I loved this game as a kid, and love it now.

About 2 years ago the red color on the game screen started flaking out. It would phase in and out, and eventually it was more "out" than in. Although 99% of color issues are monitor related, I was able to confirm that somehow the game board was losing the color red. This lack of red somehow always turned me off from playing it in my arcade.

Luckily I had a spare game board for Paperboy with bad graphics. I was able to fix the bad graphics by replacing a RAM chip with a newer type at location 3B. I put in the fixed board and I now have Paperboy in full color again. I give the game a quick play and finished all 7 delivery days in the game. It's like they say, you never forget how to ride a bike. Now you have a friend in the paper business!

My arcade started off with a passion, oldies and classics. Basically I put together a long list of every game that put a spark in my youth, every game that ate my quarters, every game that I claimed I would own someday, even as a kid.

Over time I decided my collection needed some pizazz. Not pizza, but pizzaz (definition: energy, excitement, flair). I settled on the fact that I needed some up-to-date racing games to appeal to today's youth. This led me to auctions, road trips, and local sellers to piece together the west wing of the arcade, Racer's Alley. I got Rush The Rock, 2 linked Vapor TRX's, Emergency Call Ambulance and Sega Rally Championship. Yes, these types of racing games appeal to old and new gamers alike. I've grown very fond of my racing games.

However, there was still something missing. I had a gun game from Nintendo called Hogan's Alley. Right out of arcade gaming classical goodness. However, it doesn't stand the test of time with everyone. Some people like it, some don't. I like it so its a keeper, but well, that still leaves a gaming void there, right?

So what am I supposed to do? It's like in the arcade rulebook, or the collectors creed or something. If you bring in the game, they will come. What game? Something with 2 guns for multiplayer action and something with up-to-date gameplay and graphics. Look no more, some new guns are in town. I mean really, what did you think was going to happen? Click here to read more about the new dual gun game, Rapid Fire.

Around Valentines day I picked up a much sought after Punch-Out arcade game. This game is awesome, however, all games in my gameroom are either set on freeplay or have an inconspicuous button to coin up a credit. Unfortunately, Punch-Out did not have this. Many a time people have walked up to this game, stood their clueless, hit a few buttons and couldn't figure out how to start this game up without a quarter. WELCOME TO THE XBOX GENERATION. Anyways, some awesome programmers came up with a freeplay modification for this game where you replace two ROMs on the main PCB board. I was able to order these freeplay ROMs from Hobby ROMs on the internet. After swapping them out at locations 8K and 8L, all you have to do is walk up to the game, hit the big punchout button and the game starts right up. Nice, really nice. No more clueless people here.

For a good read on a fun road trip, go ahead and click here to read about the Valentines day Punchout road trip.

So I'm saving my money for another purchase. No big deal, right? Life's going along just fine, and my boss just left for a 2 week vacation.

During this time I was admitted to the hospital due to severe pains. They determined they were going to have to remove my gall bladder from the tests they ran. For those uninformed, the human body can survive just fine without the gall bladder. It is simply a storage mechanism for the liver, and after it's removed the liver still does its function just fine.

So the day came and I had my surgery, and I'm in my hospital room on heavy pain medication. I don't know what they gave me, but it was some serious stuff. You have to guess they just removed an organ so they had all sorts of medication pumping through me. A few hours after surgery, my lovely wife had to leave for home to check up on some things. Before she left she put a wireless laptop in my lap to keep me company. That was smart. Well, I'm a bit loopy at that point and start to browse ebay. I happen to stumble upon a driving game where you are an ambulance and rush emergency victims to the hospital.

{My mental thought process}
***Hey, I'm in a hospital also...Look at that low bid, look at that, wow the auction is getting ready to end, what to do? what to do?***

So what do you think I did in my current state of mind? I threw out another low bid of course! Next thing I know I won the game, an ambulance driving game, while in the hospital, hours out of surgery, on heavy medication. SERIOUSLY, WHAT JUST HAPPENED?

Worst part was I had to explain this to my wife when she got back, that was NOT fun. So as soon as I healed up enough from surgery I had to embark on the weirdest purchase and reason for a road trip EVER.

Click here to read about the Emergency Call Ambulance road trip.

Ever since I moved the new driving games into the gameroom I noticed the Super Off Road not getting any love, especially on the last game day. This game did not hold any special childhood memories so it was put on the chopping block. Honestly I think it is one of the last games in my collection I can sell, the rest are keepers. The game sold for more than what I had into it so I'm happy. Next I find this Megatouch Maxx Jade 2 game semi-locally for a real good price. My Megatouch Maxx Sapphire gets lots of play and always has a crowd, and this one is one software version higher. I decided to pull the trigger and double up my collection. I did have to replace the hard drive but it was a minor expense. All in all I'm happy with this pick. Now if I can just figure out how to link by my two Megatouch's together for head to head play, that would be really cool. Here's to the next pick or flip, send them my way!