It's the moment you've surely been waiting for: the release of MAME 0.212! A huge amount of work has gone into this release in a number of different areas. Starting with the software lists, you'll find hundreds more clean cracks for Apple II, the Rainbow on Disk collection for Tandy Color Computer, all the latest Game Boy Advance dumps, and thousands more ZX Spectrum cassette images. Chess computers now support chess piece simulation using the built-in artwork, support has been added for several more chess computers from Hegener & Glaser, Novag and Saitek, and the Tasc ChessSystem R30 is now working. Three Game & Watch titles, Bomb Sweeper, Gold Cliff and Safe Buster, have been added for this release.
Protection microcontrollers continue to fall, with Rainbow Islands – Extra Version, Choplifter, Wyvern F-0, 1943: The Battle of Midway and Bionic Commando no longer needing simulation, hacks or patches. In some cases, the dumps have confirmed that the protection had been reverse-engineered correctly and the simulation was correct, but it's still important to preserve these programs. It's also important for people repairing these systems if the original microcontrollers have failed.
There are three important sound-related fixes in this release: FM Towns CD audio playback positions have been fixed, Konami System 573 digital audio synchronisation has been improved, and a special low latency mode has been added for the PortAudio sound module.
For more advanced users and developers, more functionality has been exposed to Lua scripts and plugins. The layout file format has been overhauled to better support systems that make creative use of LEDs and LCDs. Disassembler support has been added for the Fujitsu F2MC-16 and National Semiconductor CompactRISC CR16B architectures. And if you've been following along, you might notice that we've waved goodbye to a little more of our C legacy with the removal of the MACHINE_CONFIG_START macro and its associated crud.
Of course, there's plenty more that we don't have time to mention here. You can read all about it in the whatsnew.txt file, or get the source and Windows binary packages from the download page.