OK, so now that the hardware has been put together, I should spend some time on the software. I had already researched several options before and whilst building the cabinet, but needed to try them out to make a decent choice that would suit me and the computer.
I had a look at MSDOS with DOS front ends, and didn’t particularly want to go down the windows path. I’m a linux guy at heart, so I looked at a few linux front ends and settled on AdvanceMAME. I seemed to have more luck trying to get the games centered on the screen, the sound working well and it was light weight enough for the PIII, plus all my early 70s & 80s ROMs worked well with it. I also used the AdvanceMENU for the front end and it worked well. For the OS I used a Fedora 3 distribution and removed all the excess fat I didn’t need, and then compiled AdvanceMAME & AdvancedMENU V106.1 using the instructions here to get the framebuffer & auto login working. The network connection is handy to backup the disk as well as the all important high scores.
Well its May, 2011 and the cabinet has been working well but is still not quite finished. My daughter has become and expert at Tapper, my son likes to challenge for high score on Donkey Kong, and I enjoy playing the games I used to play in the early 80’s.
Things that I need to get finished are the rubber surround on the lid and proper mounting for the glass.