Thursday, October 21, 2004

Pass on the right hand side?

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Friday, October 15, 2004

Garage Sale

I've got Pentium 3 1.1 ghz for sale up on eBay Click here

Thursday, October 14, 2004

Google does it again!

Google released their new desktop searching program. It's basically Google's search technology for your desktop, search for anything on your hard drive using powerful Google algorithims and crazy voodoo magic!

Wednesday, October 13, 2004

MAME Cabinet — Complete

Well, one month ago today I started building my cabinet, today I can claim that I am officially, I'm done. That's it, no more. The only thing to do is add a spinner, but that's a Christmas gift.

Yesterday I bought a motherboard for my old XP 2000+ and a 2600+ for my main system. I did a swap and mounted the mobo on the side of the cab. It looks pretty cool.

The specs for the mame computer are:

- AMD Athlon XP 2000+
- MSI Motherboard
- 256MB Ram
- Nvidia GeForce 2
- 20 gigabyte Maxtor hard drive.

So, today I can say that I'm done. However, I'm not done with my report. So, come with me and we will jump back in time, all the way to the month of September.

After all the painting and routing for the t-molding (a story in it self), I attached the other side panel and I had the basic frame down. I almost cried. It was beautiful, I tell 'ya, beautiful. I almost shed a tear, no lie, it kind of felt like bringing a child in to the world.

But I'm getting a bit too personal.

Anyway, I drilled all the holes in the control panel and stuck the buttons and joysticks in my CP

My joystick of choice is Ultimarc's T-Stick and T-Stick Plus. The T-Stick plus is super cool because it can switch from 4-way (for older games, such as Pac-Man and Donkey Kong, games that don't require diagonal movement.) to 8-way with out having to get underneath the control panel. All you have to do is pull up on the joystick and turn the handle and you have either a great 4-way or 8-way joystick. The T-Stick isn't perfect, however. The first thing is it's very noisy, when the actuator hits the microswitches it makes the loudest clicking noise you'll ever hear, it almost becomes a distraction. Two, the throw is very short. What's throw you ask? Well, I'll tell you. Throw (as we refer to it in the arcade industry) is the amount of distance the joystick can tilt from its center postion. The T-Stick can hit the microswitch with barely any movement. Most arcade cabinets use the Happs Super/Competition/Ultimate. Those joysticks tilt quite a bit before the switch is activated. I might change it out one day, but I really like the ability to switch from 4-way to 8-way on the fly. So I'm confused, stick with the T-Sticks (Not very punny) or go with Happs Super, any suggestions?

Here's a picture of my ghetto ass wiring job and my matching ghetto ass plaid shirt.

So with every thing all wired up I put the TV in the cab and things were almost done. I decided to use a TV over a monitor for two reasons, price and size. The money I could have spent on a 19" computer monitor got me a 25" TV. Sure, a computer monitor gives you a great sharp display, but a TV matches the display properties of an arcade monitor a lot more closely then a computer monitor. So, I went with a 25" Sharp TV from Best Buy.

Here�s some pics of the TV in the cab. Can you spot my slipper?

For my encoder I used Ultimarc's Opti-Pac and Ipac combo. Kick ass stuff they sell, the Ipac is a fully programmable keyboard encoder. The Opti-Pac is for wiring the trackball to.

The hardest thing to get installed was the damn t-molding. You see, a wise man once said, you need the right tool for the right job. That jackass forgot to tell me about router bits (FYI, there isn't no old wise man, it's a metaphor, jackass.)

Dig it; I bought a router from Home Depot, only problem is that they didn�t sell the proper slot cutting bit. Uh oh! What am I to do? Well, they say necessity is the mother of invention, so I used some other god forsaken bit that makes a rounded edge; it also cuts a slot out in the process. So I figure if I can keep the router from going too deep it will make just a slot. Perfect, I thought. Yeah... I thought.

It worked out semi-ok. It made the slot, although it made it too wide and not deep enough, so I ended up having to cut all the '-' from the T molding. So the end result was that I had ) molding instead of a T. If I ever make another cab I'm definitely buying the right bit. The method I had used to get the molding to stick to the cab was drive tiny nails at indiscreet locations, and then tack the rest down with a combination of hot glue, super glue and 90 second epoxy. The latter two of the three are perhaps two of the worst smelling substances known to man. It came out a lot better then what I had expected it would.

The monitor bezel is just a piece of plexiglass with the edges painted black. Meh, it's boring so I won't go into it. But in case you do want to know, what I did was I put the plexiglass in place, put some masking tape over the screen area of the plexiglass and then went to town with my roller, simple.

After all the major details were done, only one thing was left to be done, the marquee. That's the one thing that I needed to make the cabinet look complete. I decided I wanted something personal and not something that anyone else has, so I figured the manshorts logo would be perfect, after all, the man in manshorts and player one start is the same thing. To accomplish this huge task, I took the logo, resized it in Photoshop to the size of the marquee, took it to Kinko's and they printed it up for $15 smackers.

Lucky for me, Kinko's jacked up my order.

First of all, I requested a proof first, which they never made, Kinko's had went ahead and made the actual copy without my permission. And secondly, they didn't cut the paper right so there's a bit of white border around everything, hardly that noticeable since the marquee retainer covers it up. But, all those lead to me getting my money back. So, yay for me!

So, I brought my $15 piece of paper home, slapped it between some plexiglass and screwed in the marquee retainers.

So there I stood, looking at what I had built. I made this thing with my own hands. Lila came up to me from behind �What are you doing just looking at it?� she said. "I'm admiring my machine" She turned to me and in unison we said
"Plug it in!"

Friday, October 8, 2004

MAME Cabinet — Update

Well, the M.A.M.E. cabinet is all done. Everything is in it's right place. I promise tomorrow morning I'll post some pictures and a complete work log. Right now though, I'm dead tired.