Our MAME Arcade Cabinet is alive! Dave walks you thru wiring the controls, Brendan has the word on which OS to run, along with lots of info on configuring MAME on your fave OS!
Dave shows you how to wire the buttons, trackball, and coin door up to the interface that plus into the PC stuffed inside our MAME cabinet... lots of crimping here!
Where did our buttons, joysticks, trackball and coin door come from? HAPP Controls
Does this whole cabinet thing seem like way too much trouble? X-Arcade has nifty tabletop arcade controls that'll plug into your systm via a USB port!
Brendan brings some good info on configuring a MAME emulator... he played around with several operating systems (DOS or Windows or Linux or BSD are the names most often flamed over) to MAME front end options.
Brendan's big insight: the operating system doesn't much matter: it's all about embracing the emulator. And, frankly, every MAME installation, no matter the OS, requires a pretty similar list of hardware.
He's got a detailed article discussing MAME emulator installation, hardware and software picks across all the OSs that you can download.
Windows: MAMEWAH is a simple cabinet based fronend for windows- it catalogs yoru ROM collection, and has an interface you can use via buttons and joysticks. You'll need the mamedev mame.exe to go with this.
If you're just joining Systm's festival of MAME, you can learn how we built the cabinet in Episode 24: The Month of MAME: The Cabinet and Episode 25: MAME Case II and how we mounted the buttons, trackball, speakers, coin door and TV in Episode 26: Buttons.