Something that has been on my to do list for the last 8 months is take a backup (drive mirror) of the hard drive in my Bride of Pinbot 2.0 machine. At the very heart of the 2.0 upgrade kit is a mini PC running Windows on a solid state drive (SSD). Solid state drives are very reliable, but like any computer – it’s at risk of failure over time. If your BoP 2.0 hard drive becomes corrupt or the drive dies – there’s no install CD to run and get it up again. The mini PC hardware can be replaced – but what’s on that drive can’t. Small SSD’s are cheap now (the one I purchased for this backup here was $35AU) and because it is just a Windows computer, you can mirror the drive with a full backup should some disaster occur. I thought I would put together this post for any other BoP 2.0 owners wanting to mirror their drive so it’s easy to restore if a new HDD / computer is needed. There’s a good video tutorial for backing up your BoP 2.0 on YouTube (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pOLaBT30dpM&t=849s), which uses a different method to what I cover here. Both methods work though, so go with what you’re more comfortable with 🙂
Having already made good progress on my SWEP1, I was keen to keep going and complete the remaining work. It’s no good having a half clean machine, so I made the decision to take SWEP1 offline for a couple of weeks to address the remaining playfield areas and assemblies. The lower playfield area around the apron and sling shots was covered in the last update and now I need to look at the middle and upper sections of the playfield. This means taking both ramps off to get access to everything on the playfield in these areas. The only assemblies I need to look at are the pop bumpers, so most of the work is cleaning at the playfield level and getting the parts back on.
I managed to locate some extra pockets of time (from somewhere) over the last couple of weeks to continue making progress with my SWEP1 service. In this update, I wanted to focus on the apron and lower playfield areas. That way I wouldn’t need the game to be offline for long periods, allowing me to continue playing. First up will be the apron area. SWEP1 has an awesome transparent blue apron. The decals are in excellent condition except for one small spot on the shooter power gauge.
I’m a fan of the Pinball 2000 (P2K) games released by Williams and I’m excited to now be working on one – especially since it’s my own. I have a little bit of down time while waiting for the Harley CPU board, so decided to keep my hands dirty and continue tinkering. The next machine to get a rebuild is a Star Wars Episode One. It was released mid 1999 and is the very last game to be made by Williams before they sadly closed. Interestingly, you can (or at least could) buy conversion kits for this and Revenge from Mars – meaning you could run both games in the same cabinet by swapping playfields, ROM’s and shooter assembly. It’s a bit of a manual process to swap them, but still nice to have two games taking up the one spot. There were sadly only two P2K machines made (with a couple more planned – Wizard Blocks and Playboy) and it’s a shame they were not able to continue with them. I feel they are very underrated! There isn’t much wrong with the game that needs to be sorted out. It mostly just needs the assemblies serviced and some cosmetic improvements. I’ll be doing my usual rebuild of all assemblies and cleaning, along with some presentation fixes too. Time to get started!
Just before I was finishing up the previous Bride of Pinbot post, an important parcel arrived from the USA. It contained the BoP ramp entry protector set from Cliffy! Due to the issues with the heart beat ramp, I was in some ways forced to replace the ramp (or leave the various hacks that had been put in place for it). I had no intention of putting the new ramp in until the protectors arrived – so I was glad to see these.