So since I've finally got the M.A.M.E. PC up and running I've been working on organizing the roms into folders as well as setting up the HyperSpin game themes and wheel art. I've added all the roms that have themes to HyperSpin. There were about 900+ themes currently up on the HyperSpin site so it took a while go get them and the roms sorted into folders and named correctly but it was well worth it. There are still a few roms that have issues but for the most part everything is in order. I'm not sure if I'm going to add the rest of the M.A.M.E. roms I have that don't currently have themes associated with them or not. It looks kind a lame when a game doesn't have a theme in HyperSpin. I'll probably go through the rest of the roms and look for ones that I really want to play and then try my hand at making my own themes for them. HyperSpin comes with a free theme program that makes the creation process pretty straightforward.

On a side note I've been messing with some other things on the PC since I've got it. It's hard not to want to to more with the PC when I haven't owned a decent desktop PC in the last 5 years. I've been messing with the compatibility options in Windows 7 and trying to get some of my old classic DOS and early Windows 95/98 games working. It's pretty impressive that I haven't had an issue getting any of them to run at all. In fairness though I'm not leaving it up to Windows when it comes to the DOS games. I'm using DosBox to emulate the DOS environment for those but I have to say that it and the .NET created front-end that I downloaded work well with Windows 7. So my verdict so far is that Windows 7 rocks, and yes, I'm a PC! LOL

Anyway back to the M.A.M.E. machine issue at hand, what do I purchase next? I did some price figuring on the control board from and I've come to the conclusion that it's going to be a little more costly than I had first figured. Amazing what happens to $$ figures when you actually add it up on paper rather than "guestimating" in your head! LOL It appears that just a bare bones version of the control board with the controls that I'm looking for is going to cost around $1,100. Considering I've spent more on things like a laptop in past it's not that bad of a figure. However, it does mean that the next phase in the project will probably take a lot longer to accomplish than I had anticipated. So here's the question I pose to those of you out there reading, should I save up for the control board and buy that next or should I take that $500 or so that I have now and save the extra $200 or so and purchase the TV for the machine?

I'm thinking about getting a 42" 120Hz 1080p LCD Vizio TV. I can get a decent model for around $770 at Walmart. Here's a link to the TV I'm talking about.

Vizio 42" Class 1080p / 120Hz LCD HDTV, VT420M

Right now I'm leaning towards getting the TV first instead of the control board because we could actually use it as a second TV in the house while I save up for the M.A.M.E. machine control board. I figured that would allow the whole family to enjoy the TV and allow us to put the 22" TV we are currently keeping in the back room up into our bed room which would be nice. Anyway, if any of you out there have suggestions on what I should do with the $500 I currently have, i.e. save it for control board Vs. getting the TV now, feel free to let me know what you think. In the meantime I'm going to start working on adding the game movies that play on each game theme screen in HyperSpin. I'm waiting for my friend Chad to get me the movies. He's downloading them, hopefully, as I type this. :)

Thanks again to all who read this, it's helping me keep on track to get this project done. I can't wait till Miriam, Lisa, and I can play some trackball bowling some night. I also can't wait to teach Miriam about the golden age of video games and just what the term "classic" really means! Of course after I school her in all things video games it will be Kain's turn!


Well Tuesday night was the night, and what I mean by that is it was time to assemble the brain of my M.A.M.E. machine. Needless to say I was exremely nervous standing in front of those unsssembled parts. But before I could begin working we (my wife and I) had to face the dreaded office!

Every home has one, you know, the black hole that seems to suck up all the junk in your life. For some it's more of a place where you shove everything when you have guests over. Well for me to have room to assemble said PC we'd needed to first wade through this......

Ouch! But for some reason, I'm guessing because I had new tech to play with, we quickly cleaned up the vortex of junk.

Time to build! First let me explain why I was so nervous to piece this thing together. The last time I built a PC from scratch was some time around 2003. Needless to say a lot has changed since then when it comes to PC hardware. Luckily it was for the better.

About the only issue I had was with the heat sink that newegg included in the bundle. This thing was such a monster I almost couldn't figure out how to properly install it. Here are a couple of pictures so you see what I mean.

The above shot shows how wide the piece is but the next image gives a better idea of just how much it towers above the processor.

It makes me laugh everytime I look at it! LOL With everything together it was time for the moment of truth....would it turn on?

It did! After installing Windows 7 and a few drivers I was ready to start setting up M.A.M.E., HyperSpin, and organize the roms.

So far I've added themes for roms #-F and have tested most of them. In the coming posts I'll update on the roms and emulators I've got completed. I'll also try and add some pics and perhaps a video of everything running on my 47" LCD TV.

M.A.M.E. PC Purchased!

So I got my usual weekly e-mail from good ol' newegg last week and they had a pretty decent deal in it for a full PC bundle. Needless to say I couldn't resist. Here's what was in the bundle:

- Rosewill RCX-Z940-SL 92mm 2 Ball CPU Cooler - Retail show details

- COOLER MASTER Elite RC-310-OWR460 Black SECC ATX Mid Tower Computer Case RS-460-PSAR-J3, Elite 460W Power Supply - Retail show details

- AMD Athlon II X2 245 Regor 2.9GHz Socket AM3 65W Dual-Core Processor Model ADX245OCGQBOX - Retail show details

- Seagate Barracuda 7200.12 ST3750528AS 750GB 7200 RPM SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive -Bare Drive show details

- CORSAIR XMS2 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 800 (PC2 6400) Desktop Memory Model TWIN2X4096-6400C5C - Retail show details

- ASUS M4A785-M AM3/AM2+/AM2 AMD 785G HDMI Micro ATX AMD Motherboard - Retail show details

- ASUS DRW-24B1ST/BLK/B/AS Black SATA 24X DVD Burner - Bulk - OEM show details

I was wanting to get an HP PC I'd seen on their site earlier, but considering that would have cost me $700+ and the above newegg deal was only $300 I figured losing a little bit of power would give me that much more $ to put towards the control board from

Here's a nice shot of all of the componets, pre-build!

I'm close to having the first big step completed on my M.A.M.E. machine. w00t! I'll have details on the build process in my next post, stay tuned!

Virtual Pinball Machine Musings

So I know that I'm not even a week into my quest for the ultimate M.A.M.E. machine but I need to take a slight detour to show what will definitely be my next home arcade project, a virtual pinball machine.

I know a lot less about the emulated pinball scene but from what I can tell it's well worth it to learn! Here are a couple of YouTube videos that show what these machines can do. The first video is of a guy showing off his virtual pinball machine.

This next video shows how close to the real thing these virtual tables have come. The real table is on the left and the virtual on the right. Pay particular attention to the physics of the ball.

During my research efforts on the HyperSpin forums I became sidetracked by the idea of the virtual pinball table and wondered how hard one would be to make. I found a link a site where a guy gives instructions on how to create your own table. The link escapes my memory at the moment but as soon as I find it I'll add it to my sites list here in my blog.

After reading his instructions I found myself eyeing the Sharpshooter pinball machine at my in-laws this last weekend, wondering if I might take it off of their hands and gut it for my Frankenstein pinball machine. So I got out the iPhone and took some pictures just in case. I've included them below.

I know I know, stay the course and get the M.A.M.E. Machine done right? Don't worry I will, I just had to share my crazy ramblings on virtual pinball.

Now that I've got that out of my system, back to the quest for M.A.M.E.!

Quest for M.A.M.E. Cabinet Begins

A couple of weeks ago my brother Scott sent me a YouTube video of a guy that had built a M.A.M.E. cabinet using a wall mounted 50" 3D enabled plasma T.V. along with a custom control panel purchased from http:\\ Needless to say I was blown away. Here's the video so you can see why.

You see, ever since I experienced the thrill of walking into an arcade I've always wanted to own my very own arcade machine. With the creation of emulation and the M.A.M.E project my dream has only become more intense over the years. This is where the YouTube video comes into play.

One of the main reasons I've never actually made a M.A.M.E machine is because the interfaces up to this point have been nothing more than an Excel like expierence which makes you feel like you're on a PC and not in the arcade. As you can see in the video this has all changed with a frontend called HyperSpin.

So with this addition to the emulation world I can now begin the journey of finally realizing my dream to own an arcade machine. This blog was created to help me document my progress on the cabinet and to help me keep pushing towards my goal.

If there are any people out there that have made a M.A.M.E. machine and have advice on parts, PC specs, etc. Feel free to leave comments. This is new to me so I'm sure I'll stumble a little along the way.

Let the journey begin!