I recently decided to try out Dreamcast gaming in this day and age.
I already have a region-free modded Saturn and have really enjoyed some classics on there, and wondered what could have been with the Dreamcast had it prevailed against the PS2.
To this end, I obtained a region-free modded console with a built-in switchable VGA socket (and audio jack). I searched for a way to get it online, preferably through broadband as we don't use telephones these days... erm... there were only a few hundred thousand broadband adapters produced to go around for millions of dreamcast consoles. Oops. I thought I found a good deal for one, but it turned out to be a modem adapter in a broadband adapter box, complete with a sealed CD. Needless to say, it turned out the original collector had been scammed, but I did get a refund. Oh well, next was to try dealing with the default modem. Erm...
I don't have a telephone socket in my attic.
I don't have a free dialup ISP in my country.
I am not the billpayer, my mother bought broadband to get rid of expensive dialup in the first place.
So, I was going to have to find a way to get online another way. After reading various guides, most turn out to recommend.. Windows 98 over XP? Erm, even XP has just recently lost security updates, 98 is too oldschool and dangerous to use online these days! Windows 8.1 is my OS, and it is so stubborn. With no older PC in my house with a spare PCI slot for a modem, I was a bit snookered. Turns out, one of my laptops (Qosmio X300-15T) has a builtin modem, which I certainly wasn't expecting as it's still fairly recent. And... I came across a line simulator down the road at my local charity- a Skutch AS-26. Perfect! After setting up a dialin setting on the laptop to always give out one of two IP's, bridging my Dreamcast onto my local network, I have found a way of getting the Dreamcast online. There's only one problem: all the Gamespy servers have been permanently discontinued, and the only way to get online is via private servers. Most patched versions of games floating around the Internet reference old hostnames due to 'ath.cx' no longer being free. There has to be another way... Luckily I have an advantage. I happen to have a static IP on my home broadband connection. I also host websites and run my own DNS. By setting up my own private resolvers (only responding recursively to my own IP), and creating dummy DNS zones I can fool the Dreamcast into connecting to private servers.
pso-dc.ath.cx IN CNAME dctalk.no-ip.info
gsproduc.ath.cx IN CNAME dctalk.no-ip.info
schthack.ath.cx IN CNAME dctalk.no-ip.info
game01.st-pso.games.sega.net IN CNAME dctalk.no-ip.info
pso.dream-key.com IN CNAME dctalk.no-ip.info
pso01.dricas.ne.jp IN CNAME dctalk.no-ip.info
game04.st-pso.games.sega.net IN CNAME dctalk.no-ip.info
master.pso.dream-key.com IN CNAME dctalk.no-ip.info
master.4x4evolution.com IN CNAME dctalk.no-ip.info
master2.4x4evolution.com IN CNAME dctalk.no-ip.info
master3.4x4evolution.com IN CNAME dctalk.no-ip.info
master4.4x4evolution.com IN CNAME dctalk.no-ip.info
master5.4x4evolution.com IN CNAME dctalk.no-ip.info
master.quake3arena.com IN CNAME dctalk.no-ip.info
dreamcast.planetweb.com IN CNAME media.samspin.com
The last line I added so I can use the default homepage on the PlanetWeb browser to load a custom page I've created with VMI files for download being mere clicks away (dreamcast.planetweb.com no longer exists anyway).
Eureka. Now I just need a unique copy of PSO PAL V2 so I can have a legit serial and access key. From what I've heard using a publicly posted one tends to be blocked on most private PSO servers (can't blame them). Ebay... ordered. It appears this site (Dreamcast Talk) doesn't offer PSO access to the public right now, can't say I blame them, so I will be using different entries in the above list for PSO that I won't go into detail with, at least until I can play here. I intend to stick around for awhile so hopefully I will be joining soon!
More to follow... Anyone want to play Quake III, PSO (when possible) or 4x4evolution? I'm down! Get in touch with me at email@example.com