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Interview with Andy Lindsay of the SMS Preservation Society

Although you may not have heard of him, Andrew Lindsay has done much for the Sega Master System emulation scene. He is responsible for dumping many of the Sega Master System games found on the net including Phantasy Star. He is also the author of SMSCHECK, a Sega Master System ROM image utility.

EmuNetwork: Well first off, let me say I'm sorry to hear you go. Like you said in your email you did a lot for the sega emulation scene.

Andy: It seems to have died off lately, no new emulator versions for a couple of months or more.

EmuNetwork: That's very true. Can you give us a little more to the story on why the SMS Preservation Society is ending? Are you moving on to new things and don't have the time?

Andy: I haven't had any new cartridges for a long time, I've been doing them for a couple of other sites with any I come across going onto my page, As you may have noticed the page hasn't been updated for a while people were asking for new roms that I didn't have. With no new material the page was getting a bit stale, the only good part worth looking at was the copier stuff. As for new projects, they are mainly old projects, I have another page devoted to Minis and the restoration of mine.

Plus other projects with software or hardware developments, work is taking up a lot of my time as well as the family.

EmuNetwork: Do you think if the scene picks up we will hear from you again?

Andy: I would like to think so, there are still cartridges to dump, namely CodeMasters as they don't use the proper Sega chips and need a lot more pins to drive them.

EmuNetwork: I know you mentioned to me in your email about a new version of SMSCHECK will that ever see the light of day?

Andy: I have recently started using Visual Basic 5 at work to do some network monitoring software and as an additional learning excercise will try to do a flashy windows version of SMSCheck.

I did wonder about doing the cartridge reader software as well, but it won't support direct port reads and writes.

EmuNetwork: That still sounds promising. I know you are only devoted ot the Sega Master System but is there any interest in the Genesis?

Andy: My interest in the Master system was purely because it was what I owned. Only recently I have moved over to a Playstation! (Traitor!!!)

EmuNetwork: For the benefit of everyone else, you told me of some of the SMS Preservation Society's accomplishments. Can you share some of those so everyone else knows about them?

Andy: Firstly, Sonic the Hedgehog (personal favourite) was one of the early cartridges dumped along with Xenon 2, Zool and Pacmania to name a few.

The biggest and most requested cartridge was Phantasy Star, after a long search and numerous attempts to get it I finally dumped it.

EmuNetwork: So you are the man responsible for bringing Phantasy Star to the emulation world, correct?

Andy: That is correct. Once I dumped it I didn't actually play it much.

EmuNetwork: Well now after that I just have to ask, What is your all time favorite SMS game?

Andy: I prefered Sonic or Sonic 2 I think these must have been my all time favourites. Played with Massage and a proper Joypad they ran at full speed.

EmuNetwork: Not a big Phantasy Star fan. Well I for one and I'm sure many others owe you a great deal of thanks for bringing PS to the emulation scene.

Andy: I just wanted to see what it was all about. I think I'd been playing PC games too long.

EmuNetwork: I don't know how involved you are with the emulation scene or how long you have been involved, but what is your take on how things have become?

Andy: I used to subscribe to the comp.emulators.games-consoles newsgroup, early days was ok, mainly sega and nintendo emulator stuff, then it just turned into a 'I want this game' or 'I want this emulator now' sort of affair. Its manly frequented by dickheads who are probably not old enough to shave. No wonder the authors of the emulators are giving up on their projects.

I think the guys who write these emulators are Heroes for putting up with the critisism from people (kids) who wouldn't know where to start writing an emulator!

EmuNetwork: Yeah, authors aren't supported as much as I'd like to see. They deserve better treatment They put up with a lot of garbage from all different people. The scene has become exactly what you said "Gimme this, Gimme that". I'm sure you put up with a fair share of people harrassing you on dumping particular games.

Andy: I certainly did, the delete button was well used then. At its peak I was getting over a dozen messages a day for rom requests, especially in the build up to the Phantasy Star release.

EmuNetwork: Were you ever annoyed by emails?

Andy: Not annoyed as such, they were usually short so didn't take time to download. I just ignored them.

EmuNetwork: Well I'm sure glad you stuck it out and continued working on your projects.

Andy: Thanks.

EmuNetwork: Do you have any future predictions on what you might be releasing? Any games that you want to dump? Or as you mentioned in your e-mail, your dumping days are over?

Andy: I have Fantastic Dizzy to dump...if I ever get it sorted. I may end up unsoldering the chip and using a regular PROM burner to read it.

I think my cartridge dumping days are numbered, I just managed to salvage the details and code after a recent hard disc crash.

EmuNetwork: Well I've taken up enough of your time. I would like to say thanks. I'd also like to wish you luck on all your future projects and whatever else you do.

Andy: Cheers Mate.

Note: This interview was conducted by EmuNetwork (no affiliation with EMU News Service).