About Me

I have been professionally working with CD-i for a long time, until the "demise" of the CD-i system somewhere around 1999. I own or have access to a number of CD-i players and have an impressive but certainly not complete collection of CD-i titles, both games and non-games, including a few professional titles with which I've been involved in the past.

You can reach me via the CD-i Emulator Support Forum hosted by the CDinteractive website. Most questions about CD-i Emulator should be directed there so that the answers benefit the entire user community. You can also reach me directly via cdifan (at) gmail (dot) com.

Information about the development of CD-i Emulator and related software can also be found on my blog CD-i Bits; I plan to do regular (but not daily) posts about anything CD-i related that I want to share.

Emulation

Several years ago I started investigating the CD-i emulation scene; there did not appear to be any viable offerings so I endeavored to start my own. Not wanting to raise any false hopes and not even sure that I would ever finish, I kept quiet about this for a very long time. It was all done on private time anyway so I didn't want to commit to anything until I was sure the commitment could be met.

As I expected, the project has taken a considerable amount of time; this should not surprise anyone who has investigated the matter somewhat because the CD-i system is quite complex. The results of my efforts currently amount to over 70,000 lines of commented C++ code in over 350 files.

Distribution

Around Christmas 2004 my emulator started being somewhat usable, to the extent that I began thinking about distributing my work to other people. This raises a problem because my CD-i Emulator program is basically a hardware emulator and thus needs basic system software to make it into a functional CD-i player. This software is normally contained in the CD-i system ROMs inside the CD-i player. Luckily, you can upload the ROMs from an actual physical CD-i player via the serial port, allowing anybody to obtain the required ROM files for himself.

The CD-i system ROMs are copyrighted and cannot be distributed freely, but using them for emulation purposes should be allowed as long as you own the CD-i player they were obtained from.

CD-i Link

I started writing a program to make the uploading easy which ultimately grew into CD-i Link, which can do much more then just upload the ROMs although its primary purpose remains just that. The program was first made available for download in April 2005. At the time I didn't have a website and so asked Arno Witkamp from cdi.eigenstart.nl to host it for me, which he kindly did. He also knew what the program was intended for and posted a somewhat cryptic hint that very few people seemed to get. I was actually hoping for feedback but this proved to be sparse, probably not surprising since I hadn't announced the real purpose of the program.

CD-i Emulator

After this I continued with the emulator program; it still needed quite a lot of work to make it generally usable. Work remains to be done as there are still a few unsupported CD-i player models and probably quite some emulation bugs as well. To find the latter I need users, however, and I think that the CD-i Emulator program is now good enough to actually be useful to people. As of June 2005 I started distributing version 0.5.1-beta to a limited number of people. This produced enhusiastic responses which even resulted in the setup of a teaser website, using screenshots and screen movies provided by me. The beta test period is now over and the program is available to everyone.

However, because of the amount of work involved I've decided to not just give the program away but to ask for a small payment. A three-minute time-limited edition can be downloaded for free so that people can try before they buy, and I heartily recommend everyone to try this before buying the unlimited edition.