Thursday, August 30, 2012

Personal Pinball Journal 1

There's the world of pinball in general, and then there's our own situation, and I figured I'd delineate the two and call the entries where I write about our collection "Personal Pinball Journals." At this point our collection is: The Shadow, Tron, Frankenstein, The Lord of the Rings, and Ripley's Believe it or Not. One of the first things we've been doing when we get a machine is replacing the incandescent bulbs with LEDs. This is a somewhat controversial move; some people HATE the LED look. It's much brighter and colder light than the warm incandescent lights. It can be overdone too, there are different levels of LEDs and some are quite blinding. We go with the smaller ones, but are also keeping the incandescents from each machine in case we trade or sell them and a purist wants the old lights back in.

The upside is that LED lights burn cooler and conserve electricity in the long run (check out this post with heat signature comparisons). Some playfield parts can even be damaged by the heat an incandescent puts out over time, like the clock in Twilight Zone. The bigger upside is that it just looks badass! Anyway, that's been a first move for us in most cases. We may not be doing that with Ripley's or Lord of the Rings, but for the others we have. Except maybe Frankenstein, I think it came with some LEDs, in some VERY funky colors I might add. This past weekend, we installed the plastic protectors we'd bought for Lord of the Rings. The machine is in gorgeous shape and we intend to keep it that way. These protectors keep the ball from slamming into and damaging parts of the playfield that tend to be susceptible to that action. We also moved the pins closer together, and I did some careful measuring. We COULD squeeze six into that row, but unfortunately I think it would just be too crowded. It's really hard not to be greedy.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Ingenious Minds: The pinball savant

Someone on the New England Pinball group on Facebook shared this the other day, and I thought it was well worth passing along:

I especially thought the science part was interesting. One of my friends looked up the latest status, and said that Robert is currently ranked at number 10 in the world. Awesome!

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Pinball Magazine launches

In another piece of news that indicates pinball is alive and well, a new pinball magazine, aptly named Pinball Magazine, has just launched this month.  This magazine includes a 56-page interview.  Even if that were the ONLY thing in it, that's no magazine, that's a VOLUME! 

FYI, Roger Sharpe has been an illustrious member of the pinball illuminati for ages, and there's a really cool bonus segment on TILT: The Battle to Save Pinball that talks about how he demonstrated before the New York City council how pinball is a game of skill, and not purely chance.  This caused a repeal of the banning of pinball machines as gambling devices.  Did you even know they WERE banned?  That's a whole other story, but suffice it to say, Roger is a big deal.  He's also written a book about pinball that I have been meaning to order.

I've pre-ordered this of course, and will post a big old review once I get it, but in the meantime if you're interested in ordering a copy (and you should be), go to

Friday, August 17, 2012

I should be writing about pinball

Yeah, pinball.  I think about it day and night now, and when I'm not having awesome zombie apocalypse dreams brought on by this video, I'm probably dreaming about it too.

So yeah, I should start writing some articles here about pinball.  Expect those soon.