Yes, it has been ages since I did an update to the website. I am also very behind on responding to e-mail from folks, so please bear with me.
Life has been pretty busy lately and I have much to add to the website in the coming days. The primary thing I want to mention, though, is that I am starting to lay the groundwork for my second MAME cabinet.
I will definitely document the process in detail, but I figured I would mention the basics right now and use the site to document the progress.
A lot has happened in the AdvanceMAME and Linux world since I built my first system. In order to experiment with these changes, I am building a new system that is not based on the Dell I used in the first project. I recently updated the guts of my main desktop machine, so the previous motherboard, RAM, and processor are free for other use. With the recent purchase of a cheap case, I am now able to reassemble the parts and make a stand-alone test system.
This new MAME system is an Epox 8KHA+ motherboard with an AMD Athlon XP 1800+ and 512 Megs of RAM. This is substantially more powerful than my current MAME system. I also purchased a used dual-head Matrox G400 card on eBay last week since that card is getting quite a bit of praise in the AdvanceMAME groups. The case arrived today, so I'm building the test machine using Fedora Core 2 Test 2 so that I can make use of a system built from the ground up on the Linux 2.6.x kernel tree.
The goal for the immediate future is to get this sytem built, install AdvanceMAME 0.81, and start testing the kernel framebuffer with the G400 (as opposed to the svgalib-based system in my current cabinet).
I can plop this system down right next to my existing MAME'd Millipede cabinet for initial testing of the 15 kHz video, etc. This gives me a rapid way to test the software side of things first and possibly employ some of the upgrades in my existing cabinet.
In the coming weeks, though, I would like to start on the new cabinet. This system will be a horizontal orientation to complement my existing veritcal cabinet. I have a Marble Madness system (Atari System 1) at my office that will be the basis of the new project.
As with my existing MAME'd Millipede, no harm will come to this classic cabinet. My goal is always to make modular additions that will allow the classic cabinet to be restored to its original condition without compromise. You can read more about this philosophy in the Background section of this site.
I will begin updating this site soon, both to document the creation of this second cabinet and to discuss a few minor changes to my current system. Much of this site to date covers my journey from collecting original arcades to building a MAME cabinet. This includes both the philosophy and the technology behind the first project.
With the new cabinet in the works, I hope to enhance the website by focusing on documenting the advances in the technology and the improvements I would like to make in a second system after a year of hands-on play.
As always, comments, suggestions and questions are welcome. :)