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Since recently, the city of Enschede, near which I live, has a hackerspace. It is called TkkrLab, is located at the center of the city, and has quickly become stocked with all kinds of stuff hackers need and think of as interesting: LED-displays, loads of tools, soldering irons, a load of Club Mate (the hacker drink of choice around here), networking equipment, old PCs, you name it. There's also some retro entertainment in the form of a TV with a NES connected to it and an arcade cabinet running the original top-down shooter '1943'.

I like this arcade cabinet. It provides a nice source of some mindless shooting when you're stuck on a problem when coding or have soldered one too many wires to your latest project. The game is not very new, though: the copyright notice shows it's coded in 1987. For the gameplay, this doesn't matter too much, but the game lacks one thing that would be a big plus in this setting, and that's some NVRAM to store the highscore table. The game does have a five-entry highscore table, but as soon as you power off the machine, the highscores are all gone. I wasn't the only one lamenting the lack of a highscore-saving mechanism: someone already put up a workaround in the form of a piece of paper you could put your score on.

With the location of the machine being a hackerspace, I decided there must be a more digital and technological means of saving the highscores. While I was at it, I could maybe just as easily implement some other features to give the machine some 21th century features: maybe an online ranking, or even Twitter connectivity?

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