Frequently Asked Questions
- Why did you decide to launch this site and do the videos?
I thought it might be a helpful way to share my experience with other people. I spend way too much time messing with pinball machines and this is one more excuse I can use to justify it.. well I have to now ’cause I have this web site and three people are depending on me!
- Why don’t you edit the videos?
Short answer: I’m lazy. Long answer: I figure if I “professionally” produced the videos they’d take a lot longer to do, and I’d do less of them, then I’d be doing more “video production” and less “pinball help.”
- It seems like your videos are sloppy and ill-prepared sometimes
Make that most of the time. Although I might argue any time you videotape something that isn’t pre-rehearsed, this is what you’re going to get, but via the magic of editing, most people aren’t subject to the gaffs, mistakes and awkward pauses that represent real life.
- How long have you been playing and working with pinball machines? Do you have any formal training in this field?
I’ve been playing games for many decades since I was a kid. They’ve always held a special place in my history. Like most enthusiasts, my “affliction” started when I bought my first game, and at the time I didn’t know squat about repair. I’ve dabbled a little bit in electronics and other types of engineering, but basically I’m a layperson, learning on-the-fly, and I’m not pretending otherwise.
- In video X you did Y and that was the wrong thing to do, don’t you know that?
I am not claiming to be a master pinball restorer, nor an electrical engineer. I am just representing me, a dude who likes to fiddle with the games and wants to share his experience (note I said “experience” and not “knowledge” although if I can do that I will too). Sometimes I make mistakes, even the best of them do this, but since I’m not editing the videos sometimes those warts show up publicly. If you have a criticism with something I’ve done, please let me know – I do endeavor to have the videos contain accurate and reliable advice.
In many cases, by the time I’ve finished the video I realize I could re-shoot it and do it 10x better. But well, it’s all about the games and hopefully there is some niche for a fumbling pinball enthusiast who sometimes makes mistakes and isn’t afraid to admit it. That’s how we all learn. I’m just goofy enough to document the process sometimes. Doh!
- What’s your favorite pinball-related activity?
I really like “the hunt” for new machines, getting good deals and bringing machines back from the dead. I’ve never bought a machine that was fully-working. That’s one reason why I shoot a lot of these “first look” videos. I want to capture the very first look at a game, the “before” and document what I do to it. Quite often I forget how much work I put into these things, plus I think it’s kind of cool to give people a first-hand perspective of what it’s like to salvage a pinball game. I’ve seen some videos where they find a warehouse full of games but they don’t really follow any single game from the barn to the gameroom, and that’s what I try to do.
- What’s your favorite type of games?
This is a tough one. I really like all types of pinballs. I’ve got games from the 1940s to the most modern ones in my collection. I love both EMs and fast and deep DMDs. I have a special place in my heart for funky games that didn’t fit the mold, hybrid or experimental designs like Spectrum, Baby Pac Man, Joust, Safecracker, Who?Dunnit, RFM, and other games that tried to do a lot more than their contemporaries. As far as a personal favorite, it changes constantly.
- Can you help me with a specific game?
You can ask. I can try. But if you’re really in a bind, there are numerous other places where you can solicit groups of enthusiasts to help, such as rec.games.pinball and pinside.com and arcade-museum.com’s forums.
- Do you do on-site repairs?
If you’re in my area (Louisiana), I may be able to help if the issue is something I’m comfortable doing. Drop me an e-mail to mike followed by the at sign and then pinballhelp.com. Also, if you live in Hawaii, Vail, Machupichu or the Swiss alps and need repair and will cover transportation, I’ll do my best to help! ; )
If you have a question for me to add to the F.A.Q., feel free to leave a comment.