Feeds

Arcade emulator MAME slips under Apple radar

Grab it before Cupertino notices

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

The popular arcade emulator MAME is now available in the iTunes store, for free, but don't expect it to stay there for long as Apple has never tolerated this kind of thing before.

MAME emulates the hardware of old arcade consoles, only needing the requisite ROMs to be able to play thousands of games - from Centipede to Joust to Arkanoid and everything in between. But iMAME doesn't come with those games, it's just an emulator, and therein lies the problem.

Emulators are allowed on iOS these days, but only if they're bundled with the software they're intended to run: Apple has become more relaxed about the code it permits on its OS, but remains in absolute control of the distribution mechanism. A small proportion of users might jailbreak their devices, and thus be able to install unauthorised apps, but the vast majority will stick to iTunes, and paying Apple's 30 per cent on every transaction.

But that's not the only problem for iMAME. Many of the games it runs remain under copyright of their developers, and while the ROM files are tiny (by today's standards) and easily passed around the internet, they are still illegal to distribute. Some games have been released into the public domain, but the majority (and the more popular titles) remain privately owned.

In America one may take a copy of a game ROM, assuming one owns an original chip ripped from an arcade machine, under their fair use allowance, but elsewhere installing a pirate ROM is no different from copying any other software.

There's also the matter of how one installs a ROM onto an iDevice that lacks an easily addressable file system. There are legitimate tools available for such things (Gizmodo suggests using PhoneView), so any existing MAME file will work if one happened to have them lying around on an old hard drive.

Of course, if you're the kind of person who has old arcade ROMs littering your gaff, and spends his days playing 20-year-old computer games, then you've probably already jailbroken your iPhone and had iMAME running for a while now. For everyone else there's a window of opportunity which should be grabbed even if you've not got any ROMs - you never know when the need, and opportunity, to play Mr Do will strike. ®

Security for virtualized datacentres

More from The Register

next story
Netscape Navigator - the browser that started it all - turns 20
It was 20 years ago today, Marc Andreeesen taught the band to play
UNIX greybeards threaten Debian fork over systemd plan
'Veteran Unix Admins' fear desktop emphasis is betraying open source
Sign off my IT project or I’ll PHONE your MUM
Honestly, it’s a piece of piss
Return of the Jedi – Apache reclaims web server crown
.london, .hamburg and .公司 - that's .com in Chinese - storm the web server charts
Chrome 38's new HTML tag support makes fatties FIT and SKINNIER
First browser to protect networks' bandwith using official spec
Admins! Never mind POODLE, there're NEW OpenSSL bugs to splat
Four new patches for open-source crypto libraries
Torvalds CONFESSES: 'I'm pretty good at alienating devs'
Admits to 'a metric ****load' of mistakes during work with Linux collaborators
prev story

Whitepapers

Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Cloud and hybrid-cloud data protection for VMware
Learn how quick and easy it is to configure backups and perform restores for VMware environments.
Three 1TB solid state scorchers up for grabs
Big SSDs can be expensive but think big and think free because you could be the lucky winner of one of three 1TB Samsung SSD 840 EVO drives that we’re giving away worth over £300 apiece.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.