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Left pure and beautiful without the harsh interferance of spelling, grammer, or knowledge of the English language :)

Hello. Welcome to the homepage of the Big Boom Box. Here you will find out about my arcade cabinet project, and its status. This page takes the form of an imaginary conversation between me and you. Of course, because its imaginary, I've had to guess what you would say. Deal with it :)

WTF? An arcade cabinet? What the hell is that?

Known alternatively as a spacey machine, a game machine, or a coin-op, an arcade machine is a run-by-(insert a cheap and available coin denomination of your currency here) game. Everyone know what we are talking about now? Right, well an arcade cabinet is the box that goes around said game/machine.

OK. Now I am really confused. Why the hell would you want one of those?

Lots of reasons. Using MAME, an arcade machine emulator, you can play all your favorite arcade games from the '70s up till the late '80s , and even the 90's sometimes. These aren't just clones, or games written to look similar. These are the actual games, as used in the original arcade machine. By tricking the games into thinking they are on the arcade machine, MAME can run them (note for purists: this isn't actually what happens, but its close enough).

Unfortunetly, although MAME can trick the games into thinking they are running on an arcade machine, it can't trick the player into thinking that they are playing it on an arcade machine - the feeling just isn't there when a fireball involves two key presses, instead of a twist of the wrist, and every time you play track and field, someone is sitting at your shoulder screaming "don't break my keyboard you bloody bastard son of a ...". Therefore, in order to really get the feeling of playing an arcade game, it is nessecary to mount a PC and screen inside a cabinet, along with real arcade joysticks and buttons.

Another thing that is possible on a cabinet, that isn't on a keyboard (and this is a major consideration for me) is multiple player games. King of Fighters 98 is a great game. But its much better when you are able to assert your superiority over your flatmates with it. The humble keyboard just isn't up to the task. And more players ( TMNT, Gauntlet ) mean more fun.

Right. Gotcha. So why this web page? Surly no-one else is interested in this crap?

Because I hate morphic resonance. For the uninformed, morphic resonance is when, once somebody has an idea, other people have it more readily EVEN IF THEY DONT KNOW AND HAVE NEVER KNOWN each other. Even if they are completly unaware of the other persons existance.

Recently I saw a link to another arcade cabinet page, Roswell 80210. Reading through the page, I was constantly stunned by the similarity of his project to mine. All my precious ideas had been stolen. (Of course, this logic completly falls away under any sort of examination at all. He has already finished his cabinet, meaning he must of had the ideas long before I did, and therefore could not of got them through morhpic resonance. But I don't care. They were my ideas damn it. :)

So, I decided to tell the world about MY arcade cabinet, so that everybody can marvel at its beauty.

OK. So you're a lunatic with a need to boost his ego through arcade cabinet comparison. Fine. Whats so special about your hunk-o'-dog-doo cabinet?

Hey! :)

Features of my great and gracious cabinet:

All DOS based (as no mouse most of time)

Controls:

Full removable system. Initial controls:

4 x Joysticks, each with 6 buttons

4 x Player start buttons, two of which illuminate in some games

4 x Coin buttons / misc. buttons

Custom built wood cabinet

20" VGA Sampo monitor

Steel rotating frame for monitor

Custom control interface using parallel port (maybe)

Custom front-end, supporting MAME, CC64S, KGen98, ZSnes, Raine, UAE, and many others

(As if reading from que cards) A steel rotating frame for the monitor? Isn't that a first?

Why, yes, it is (as far as I am aware). Thank you for mentioning it. One other cabinet has a rotating monitor that I know of, but that is a cocktail cabinet, and involves lifting and manually spinning the montior. Mine is the first stand-up cabinet that I know of, and also the first cabinet to have an easily rotating Wheel Of Fortune style frame.

But isn't that a huge mission to go through?

Not really. My favorite single player game is Slap Fight, a brilliant shoot-'em-up, which needs a vertical screen. My favorite two and four player games are King Of Fighters 98 (followed hard by Bubble Bobble), and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (with Gauntlet 2 a close second), respectivly, both of which need a horizontal screen.

Of course, its a definite help that I work in an industrial manufacturing company, so that I have lots of clever engineer type people to harass to do any hard stuff (read anything-to-do-with-tools-or-steel-at-all).

So then where are the pictures of this technological marvel?

There aren't any. Not yet anyway. Mostly because its not built completly yet. More on this later.

In that case I'm leaving. Dickhead.

Right. Thats it for now. Will add pictures, and something about the controls later. I'll also stick the front-end, and parallel-port -> keyboard TSR up later too.

You can get in touch with me at (obvious modification neccesary): hamishf_nospam@usa.net

Spam me and die. I mean it. My hunter-killer robots will find you, and gut you like a pig :)