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Glossary

Archiver - Hardware and software combination used to copy the ROM information from a cartridge plugged in to a console to a PC. The ROM info is then stored as a particular file type, and can be distributed from computer to computer. Also known as a "ROM dumper".
APU Skipper - A technique used in Super Nintendo emulators to override its Audio Processing Unit (APU) when a particular game looks for it at startup. Many games wait for the APU to load before proceeding after the title screen. This method is used only in emulators without sound, to allow certain games to pass the APU sound check.
Console - The universal term used to describe a home video game system (i.e., NES, SNES, etc.). You'll see this word used on the internet more than anywhere else.
Copier - Piece of hardware used to play downloaded game ROMs on a gaming console. The copier connects to the original console, and accepts PC ROM file formats.
Emulation - The art of enabling one machine to act as another through software. Perfect emulation would mean that computer could perform all of the hardware and software functions of the other, with no way to tell the difference between the two.
Emulator - Program that is used to achieve hardware emulation. The software is written to imitate the opcodes and main processor of the system to be emulated. Many emulators are available for various platforms, some shareware, many freeware.
Emu Community - Often used term to describe the places and people that create, make websites about, or are just interested in emulators and emulation in general. You can't really put a concrete definition on it, but there it is. The main thing that differentiates the emu community from the "warez scene" is the fact that most of the people involved or interested in emulation are either true gamers, people who spent half of their young lives in arcades or in front of a console and TV screen; or programmers and wanna-be coders.
Frame Skip - Option included in emulators to speed up game play. This method skips a specified number of animation frames in order to increase the playing speed of an emulator that may run too slow on your computer. While this method is effective in creating faster game play, it also makes game movement appear very jerky and stuttered. The more frames you skip, the jerkier it becomes.
Front End - Program that allows you to selectively load games and set options without having to set them with a DOS command line each time you run the emulator. Some front ends are for one emulator, while some are for multiple or infinite emus. Some even let you use common names or create picture previews for the game!
Hex Editor - Program that simplifies hexadecimal code and allows you to edit the content of a ROM. These programs can help to create the many translation patches and fixes (hacks) that are available.
NESticle Effect - Term used to describe the change that occured in the emu scene when Bloodlust Software's NESticle emulator (NES) was released. With the exception of James McKay's Massage (SMS/GG) and Marat Fayzullin's Virtual Game Boy, there weren't too many near-perfect emulators out there before NESticle. This being the case, the emu scene was made up mostly of programmers and true video game fanatics. While programmers were facinated with the very thought of the emulation concept, video game enthusiasts were just happy to being playing their favorite games again. These were mainly older people, mature enough to handle the ideas that went along with emulation. Then NESticle was released. This emulator came out of nowhere, from a PC game developer called Bloodlust. NESticle had everything an emu or NES lover could want; including a GUI, plenty of options, and near-perfect sound and speed. Unfortunately, where there's good, there's always bad. The excellence and user-friendliness of NESticle ushered in a new group of fans to emulation. Many of these fans were younger, less mature, and greedier than the previous fans. Many of these people knew little about programming or computers. They started to flood IRC channels, asking for N64 emulators, begging for ROMs, and slandering emu authors because their program "sucked" and didn't emulate their favorite games accurately. They didn't understand the hard work and dedication that goes into writing an emulator, and had no respect for it. Many people consider the release of NESticle a major turning point in emulation.
ROM - Common term used to describe the binary information transferred from a game cartridge to a PC. ROMs come in many different file formats, most of them console or emulator specific. In most cases, it is illegal to make or distribute ROMs, no matter if you own the original cartridge or not. There are many websites that distribute commercial ROMs, but they are constantly being shut down.
ROM Beggars - People who constantly e-mail and harass people for ROMs. Often, they e-mail emu authors and website maintainers, even if they don't have ROMs on their site.
ROM Hack - User modification of a game ROM; often includes translations, new text, or new graphics. Most hacks come in .ips format, and can patched (joined) with the original ROM. There are also programs that make it easy for you to create your own ROM hack.
ROM Linkers - People who run websites that link directly to ROMs on another server without giving them credit. This creates traffic problems for ROM distributors and has caused many of the bigest ROM archives to be shut down. Most of these ROM linkers have websites on free servers, due to the small amount of server space they're given.
Scanlines - Feature included on some emulators that simulates the scanlines on a TV set or an arcade monitor. Without scanlines, game graphics may appear to be blocky, but smooth.
Vsync - Option included in some emulators to align (syncronize) the video, so the screen scrolls smoothly and together. This feature usually results in a significant amount of slowdown in emulation.
 
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