After completing B. Eng. Electronics at UP in 1991 and spending a few happy years in the South African weapons industry, I slowly and regrettably migrated away from my love of gadgets and robotics toward software contracting. To shake off the curse of the Midrand body shops I started Escapism Software cc in 1999 as a one man engineering show for the development of electronics and embedded microcontrollers supported by computer software.
In 2000 my capabilities were expanded to include 3D modeling and animation and until April 2013 I was a part time lecturer in 3D animation to undergraduates. In the process I picked up a few skills in the CAD department (3ds Max, Autocad and Solidworks) that is proving useful in todays CNC manufacturing environment.
In January 2013 I changed the company name from Escapism Software to Escapism Pinball. I am now committed full time to the pinball business through quality services, refurbishments, custom machines and factory quality replica machines for the collector.
I still do embedded microprocessor development and prototyping. The technology I've developed is used in my pinball machines and by architectural model makers as lighting controllers and sequencers for LED's.
The business is built around pinball, embedded firmware and electronics design.
My passion for pinball started in 1992 when I bought a couple of "unserviceable" machines from someone I knew from work. I built a CPU board with an Intel 8032 micro and got an Eight Ball running like a new one.
After fixing a few machines for friends and other trusting souls, word got out and my garage became too cluttered to do anything properly. So, I rented a small space and moved all the pinball stuff out of the house. Before I knew it my hobby became a business and I hope I'll be able to do this till I die.
Electronics has always been my strong suite but lately I've been successful in graphics through backglass, cabinet and playfield restorations. I suppose having been a lecturer at an art school helps. Pinball brings art and electronics together like nothing else.
Pinball artwork is social commentary. Page through a pinball book and its like reading a graphic novel (a.k.a. comic) of the history of 20th century America. It's a gift to the world from the guys at Genco, Gottlieb, Bally, Williams, Data East and Stern and I'll do my part to preserve and contribute what I can.
• Kan jy my in Afrikaans help?
• Where are you?
Muckleneuk, Pretoria, South Africa.
• Can I drop in?
Sure, just contact me to make an appointment please.
• Can you come fix my machine please?
I generally do not do call outs. If you're in Gauteng I can come over and have a look at your machine so we can talk about how to proceed. Please send me an e-mail.
• Will you fetch/deliver my machine?
Yes. If you can get it to the driveway, I'll pick it up. I will not go into anyones house.
• Do you have machines for sale?
Yes. I sometimes do, but not if you're a dealer. See the Sales page.
• Will you build me a custom machine?
Now you're starting to ask the right questions.
• Can I be your sales agent?
• Do you sell spares?
Only what I have on my spares page.
• Do you know of anyone locally who sells spares?
Well, I buy my spares from the USA, so ...
EM is short for electromechanical. These machines are from the early 70's and before. They run on relays, switches and score reels. When they're old and dirty it can be a real bitch to get them to run properly. If you own one you'll have to do maintenace on it yourself, quite regularly.
SS is short for Solid State. These machines run on electronic circuit boards and have digital displays. They are far easier to maintain.
• Can I put a photo or video of your work on a web site or social media page?
Only if you clearly show that its my work. If you don't, I will use the opportunity as a marketing excercise for me and cast doubt on your integrity in the process.
• How come you're so full of shit?
Years of practise.