Wow, great read!
SPIKE uses RS-485!!! That's awesome!! That's what I picked for the Spaceballs boardset.
That also opens a lot of possibilities for mods. You could easily add something to the bus that could watch commands being sent back and forth and perform actions based on sniffing that traffic.
Very cool. I'm interested to see if designers get to take advantage of the new flexibility and give us some new ideas.
Yup great read, I have a question about power. How many extra mods that require power will the Spike system allow? Both 12v and 5v.
Definitely an interesting article. It's written by Stern though. Thing like this line are very skewed/biased...
"All in all, SPIKE is an exciting development in the pinball world as it represents the first complete redesign of pinball control system architecture in over 20 years."
First redesign of architecture for *STERN* in 20 years. There have been many redesigns of pinball control systems in the recent years... from PROC to Ben's system for AMH to what Chicago Gaming is using in MMr.
"The biggest change in pinball machines involves taking more advantage of the latest software development techniques. Having a platform that facilitates quick iterations while incorporating the latest technologies can greatly improve the development process."
I think that is a key point, and one that may not get enough attention when everyone complains about how long code updates take, or bugs in code.
I don't know much about what it's like to actually work on software on something like WhiteStar or SAM (I'd be interested in any articles/interviews on the subject if you know of any). But my guess is it's absolutely nothing like what most modern software developers (myself included) are used to from working on web sites, PC applications, mobile apps, etc. Nice IDE, unit testing frameworks, automated memory management, debugging and performance profiling tools, etc.
I think some stuff in the '90s may still have been done in assembly. I can't even imagine
Hopefully Spike will help them use modern software development tools and techniques to improve development speed and code reliability.
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