The announcements of the Console Living Room and the Historical Software Collection have brought a large amount of attention to the JSMESS emulator that archive.org uses. Naturally, being a relatively new method of playing software in a browser, there are number of technical questions and explanations that people are seeking answers for. This entry is meant to cover the most frequently asked questions and will be updated as new information becomes available.
What exactly is the JSMESS emulator?
Where possible, the JSMESS team are adding code changes to the original MESS source code or even to Emscripten itself, so that advances in support and function are available to other projects, benefitting all.
I’m having trouble with…
It is helpful to keep in mind that a full speed running JSMESS only went online at the end of August 2013. Because this is all brand-new in terms of interacting with the families of browsers out there, there are going to be incompatibilities, hiccups, speed issues and other situations.
Here are some common solutions:
It says something about a gamepad at the bottom. I can use a gamepad?
If you have a USB-connected gamepad, it is possible on the SG-1000 emulator to use it with the games. (This will be working on all the platforms, shortly.) To make this happen, go to the loading page, and before pressing the space bar to start the emulation, press buttons on your USB gamepad until the page says it can see the gamepad. Then it should “just work”.
I can’t hear anything!
I’m not sure which keys to use!
We are continually updating instructions with accurate information about which keys activate which selections on a given platform and for a specific program. In general, the arrow keys, and control keys tend to work best, and the number keys sometimes trigger off other options. A team of volunteers has been working on documentation and linking and will continue to.
How can I help?
If you are a developer and care about the state of emulation, consider getting involved with contributing fixes and improvements to the MESS emulator. Whatever changes are reflected in that project with regards to platform support and accuracy will come down the line automatically to JSMESS.
If programming is not your thing, we can always use help with improved metadata, better linking to history, and better context as to the various items are collection. Please contact the software curator at Internet Archive, Jason Scott. He’s at firstname.lastname@example.org.
I wish that you….
We do too. Our commitment is to make JSMESS as good as it can be, and able to run more platforms, with accurate and smooth sound and performance in the browser. We invite people who want to contribute code or other efforts to reach Jason Scott, or to contibute to the linked code repositories in this FAQ.