One of the things I always promised I would not talk about is emulation. I know many people are iffy on the subject, and what I am truly interested in is real, genuine gaming artifacts…not simlations on a computer.
However, this project of mine is significant because I am taking a real, 1978 Asteroids Cocktail Table and saving it from a junk yard by fitting it with modern guts. This machine was given to me without any working innards whatsoever. I think it sat in a basement somewhere for years and years. So, I’ve decided to take it and breathe some new life into it. The easiest way I know how is by using MAME.
Anyway, Here’s where I am at now: I have a nice Viewsonic 17″ LCD mounted in the table, and I have replaced the centermost button on the top panel with an 8-way joystick.
I am waiting (very impatiently) for an i-PAC VE board from Ultimarc to use as the control interface to the computer.
Originally, I was going to use DOS to make operation easy and quick, but the trouble ended up being drivers for audio, video, and the fact that MAME is no longer supported by native DOS.
Now, my only question is: do I use Windows 98 or Windows XP as the OS? My biggest concern is start up and shutdown. I want two things: quickness with both, and the ability to initiate both with one button press. I’m thinking Hibernation is a good way to do it, since (I think) Hibernating is a pretty quick startup, and you can totally kill the power afterwards. I’ll likely use a Smart Strip with relays to power this, since when the computer is shut down, all other peripherals will shut down, too (amplifier, monitor, etc)
Any suggestions? Stay tuned for progress…