Stockholm Pinball Locator Help

What it is

Stockholm Pinball Locator is a guide for finding pinball places and specific pinball games in the inner city of Stockholm; it was started in January, 1998. The Pinball Locator is intended for visitors to Stockholm as well as for Stockholm residents; this is the reason everything is in English.

Get yourself a user id

To remain an accurate source of knowledge of where to find pinball machines in Stockholm, the Locator depends on your help. To make updates to the information contained in here, you need a user id. (Send me an e-mail to request one.)

If you are a regular pinball player in Stockholm it is your responsibility to get a user id so that you can update the database when you find out that something has changed. If you are visiting Stockholm just once and would like to contribute, you might as well just send me an e-mail message.

The user privilege system

If you have a user id, you can go to the User Info page to see what your privileges for the database are. Each registered user has some privilege level in each of the categories "machines", "places", "games", and "administration".

The "machines" privilege level can be either 0 or 1 and tells if the user is allowed to add, delete, and alter information about pinball machines in the database.

The "places" privilege level can be from 0 to 2. A value of 0 means that the user cannot change the information about any pinball place. A value of 1 means that that the user may update information about existing places, but cannot add or delete places. A value of 2 gives the user full control over the places table in the database.

The "games" privilege level can be from 0 to 2. A value of 0 means that the user cannot change information about games. A value of 1 means that that the user may add games, or update information about existing ones. A value of 2 additionally grants the ability to remove games from the database.

Finally, the "administration" privilege level can be either 0 or 1 and tells if the user may make SQL queries that alter the database.

Deciding a machine's condition

A machine in good condition is one that is well maintained so that everything is working, but it doesn't have to be like new, though.

Fair condition means that the machine is enjoyable, everything is more or less working, but maybe the flippers are a bit weak or too many lights and maybe some insignificant targets are dead.

Poor condition means that the game is too badly maintained to be fun playing. Basically, this means that at least one major thing does not work: a flipper being very weak, the plunger being so bad that a skill shot is impossible, a scoop ejecting the ball at the third retry on average, or just generally that the machine is very shaky. I would also put a game with no sound at all or a dead display here.

Deciding whether a place is an arcade, a pub, a cafe, or a shop

An arcade is a place that is more or less filled with arcade games and pinball machines. A pub usually has an age restriction due to serving alcoholic beverages, which is really the only difference from a cafe. A shop, then, includes video stores, record stores, and so on. So how is a restaurant classified? Well, I've never seen a top restaurant having a pinball machine, so I think restaurants with pinball machines are most often pubs; a simple pizza restaurant might be a cafe. Maybe the hardest thing is to decide, for some places, whether they are cafes (pubs) or arcades. Well, let the general sensation when entering the place decide.

Java Problems

The map applet used by Stockholm Pinball Locator requires Java runtime environment 1.1 or later. This version has been around for ages, so it is really not a very progressive requirement.


SQL is an acronym for Structured Query Language and is used to retrieve and update information in relational databases. The SQL query form can be used to retrieve information from the database that can not be found simply by selecting among the links provided by the Locator. Also, some updates require writing an SQL query since there is no HTML form for making them.

If you don't happen to know SQL already, my advice would be not to bother. If there is some search you would like to make which is not available by just following links, send me an e-mail and I'll think about adding one.

Stockholm Pinball Locator computer setup

Stockholm Pinball Locator uses a MySQL database server to maintain the database itself. The WWW interface is implemented by a Java Servlet and runs on the Apache web server. The operating system used is FreeBSD, running on a 1400 MHz Athlon computer.


Many thanks to Magnus Hansson for giving lots of ideas and for writing the map applet.

Also, thanks to Kevin Martin for providing the cname entry in the domain.

Staffan Ulfberg