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    Spotlight on Jabo

Date: 2005-06-27
Current Project(s): Project64 & Jnes
Location: United States, tries to stay on the east coast

Today we focus our spotlight on the very talented developer Jabo. Jabo is best known for his work on the Nintendo 64 emulator Project64 (and plugins) as well as his Nintendo emulator Jnes. I love all the great projects he has provided for us and look forward to all the new things to come.


Q : When did you get into emulation either as a coder or just a fan?
A : I got into emulation as a fan, I never really got the opportunity to play every game I wanted, and I guess not many people do. I discovered Pasofami, and Super Pasofami later on, they were pretty fun to mess around with. It's all history at that point, I just got addicted.

Q : What was your first coding experience for emulation?
A : My first emulation coding experience was with the NES, probably spending late nights on a 6502 and debugger.

Q : What interested you in Emulation?
A : From a user standpoint I think the idea of having almost all the games you could want in an easily accessible manner, I think having a collection of carts is quite a pain, plus I can't say I have the space for such a collection.

From a coding standpoint, it's an interesting situation, because you are basically controlling the platform through which people will enjoy their games. From a technical aspect it's also a cool engine to play around with a lot of different coding ideas.

Q : What do you think about the current state of the emulation scene as a whole?
A : I don't really view the news every day, like back when emunews was around for example. From my perspective it looks like it's slowed down significantly since it's early days, most of the consoles are emulated and documented pretty well. There will always be new consoles to tinker with, and new PC hardware to play around with.

Q : How do you feel about the response you have received so far for your projects?
A : I think my projects are pretty well received; I try to put out quality software, which is usually why it takes so long. I've met a lot of cool people that have been involved with my software, and made friends with.

Q : What is your best experience when it comes to Emulation?
A : Probably from message boards and anyone who tests my software. I place a high value on constructive user feedback; I enjoy reading it and have learned quite a bit from communicating with users.

Q : What was your worst experience when it comes to Emulation?
A : One thing was releasing source code, we didn't get much in return, some people have used it for things we probably wouldn't have agreed with, and we hear complaints about updating it.

Q : Are you currently working on any other projects besides your current public ones?
A : Most of the things I work on get listed on my homepage, my two emulators take up most of my time recently. I do have other things I'd like to work on at some point so we'll see.

Q : Does the amount of lame request ever make you second guess what you are currently doing?
A : I try not to read them. The team at emutalk is doing an incredible job of moderating, it makes getting quality feedback much easier.

Q : What is the lamest request you have every received?
A : I'm not sure about lame requests, but I dislike getting feedback directly sent to me in private because usually it's not the easy questions.

Q : What is the nicest complement you have received?
A : I read a few people say that they wish I made more emulators, I can't think of a better complement.

Q : Could you give us some information regarding the current state of your projects?
A : Yea, Jnes 0.6 was released recently, this release was probably a year in the making. Having the April release of Project64 definitely delayed it significantly. I'd like to continue to keep that project stable, I don't have many plans for it, but I know the users have a few features here and there I wouldn't mind implementing so we'll see how the feedback comes.

PJ is a more difficult project, it requires more time and resources. Putting out a release of it requires the stars to line up properly as a result. At this point Smiff came back to the team to help us out as you can tell on ET. I'm wading through the feedback we've gotten since 1.6 was released, as well as my own development goals, things are looking good. I think people are always looking to know whether there will be another version, it's hard to answer that question. New versions kind of just happen when they are near done, our development is slow due to everyone's busy lives.

Q : Do you ever plan on working on another emulation projects? If so what would interest you and challenge you?
A : From an interest standpoint I'd love to, I even tinkered around with a few systems that I enjoy. But the real world kind of catches up with you quick, as well as other areas of software you want to play in. It's always possible you'll see me attached to other projects, but I have no idea in what form that would be, I don't think I have the time to start anything new that is as complicated as the N64.

Q : Are you satisfied with the work you have done up to this point?
A : Yea I've been happy for a while, nothing is nicer than having the feeling if you walked away your software is still a quality product.

Q : Does the progress of your projects surpass all of your expectations so far? Or do you think you would have been further along in development?
A : I'm very happy with where my emulators are, usually when I think they need something I schedule some time to add it. Jnes definitely moved a lot slower since PJ had such a demanding schedule, but I'm very happy with both of them at this point.

Q : Who else do you currently work with on your projects?
A : Jnes the primary person I work with on that is Gent. He's my go to guy for testing and cheats, probably one of the most passionate people I've had the chance to work with. I've also been trying to include more people to test the pre-release software as you can see from the last release.

PJ's team is larger by comparison, zilmar as everyone knows is the author of the executable, etc. The testing team has consistently grown, Gent of course, Smiff (very passionate), RadeonUser, and TrotterWatch joined in the last release. We have a small private place that we chat, RatTrap our web designer stops by on ocassion for example, there is a few other people coming and going, I'll protect their identities for now :)

Q : How much have they influenced you and how much have they improved your work and vice versa?
A : They've influenced it quite significantly, basically it's an open discussion, and I have a good relationship with my testing team. The biggest challenge I face is trying to listen to everyone's feedback, everyone has ideas, but it's my responsibility to find the balance and choose the appropriate features and designs.

Q : After you have moved on from the scene what do you want to be most remembered for?
A : Probably just creating quality software and being fun to work with.

Q : Could you provide us with an teasers of things to come for your projects?
A : Sure, I can't guarantee it will be in the releases but, in Jnes I'd like to play with movie recording. PJ I packed as much as I could into 1.6, but I'm so there's no real big things going on, but I'm watching the texture enhancement projects every once in a while, some of the artwork they make is fantastic.

Q : One last thing is there anything you would like to say or anybody you would like to thank?
A : I think I pretty much said everything I could, it's a good interview :)

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Related Links:
:: Project64 Official Site
:: Jnes Official Site
:: Jabosoft

Small Tidbits:
Name: All the testers call me 'J' and Smiff keeps a list of all the mispellings of "Jabo"
Age: 24
Favorite Food: Tacos or Sushi
Favorite Movie: Austin Powers, Star Wars III, Oceans Eleven, etc, those are a few that are on my shelf
Favorite Music: my playlist has 311, Green Day, DJ Encore, Alice DJ, and Gent Francis (hint, he's a good friend)
Favorite Book: Currently I was reading a book on Refactoring, did you expect something else? :P
Favorite Game: Ocarina of Time, Castlevania Aria of Sorrow
Your Favorite Hobbies: Coding, Partying, Cartoons
Your Pet Peeves: Naive people telling me how things work


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