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Without too much effort I’ve managed to get the MAME cabinet into a useable state! It’s now graduated from the garage into our sun / dining room (much to the delight of my housemate who can hear all the bleeps and bloops from her bedroom).

Here’s the lowdown…

The first step was to mount a 4:3 ratio LCD monitor in it. I know I know, “dude you need to put a CRT in it, keep it old school” … I recently rid myself of the last remaining CRT in my life, and I’m not about to start picking up more. Besides, the authentic CRTs for arcade machines cost a packet and require a bunch of hardware to convert the VGA signal.

It’s supported by a piece of timber running horizontally between either side of the cabinet. Currently there’s a gap around the edges of the monitor where you can see through to the internals of the cabinet, but I plan to fix that with a black trim of some sort.

I’ve gutted all the old bits and pieces from the original machine, a 110 – 240 transformer and a few circuit boards and cabling. This has allowed room for the MB Pro to sit in the base of the cabinet. Enough words… here’s some pictures!



internals of the cabinet

MB Pro running the show from the inside. The speaker, functioning coin slots and hopper from the original system remains, but not much else.


Coin hopper containing 2 x 20c pieces. One of them from 1981, older than me :-)


iPac converter. This little guy converts all the signals from the joysticks, buttons and coin slots into a keystrokes over USB.


And here is the whole unit... ready for action! Wanna come over? Bring beer and 20c pieces :P


I picked up a really cool vintage arcade cabinet on the weekend from a guy moving overseas. Currently it’s just an empty shell with joysticks, buttons and an iPac adapter (converts the joystick / buttons to USB). Should make for a great addition to the garage.

arcade cabinet

I’ve started configuring my old MacBook Pro into an emulation machine to run the thing, currently it’s running Ubuntu 11 (wishing I had installed Ubuntu 10, the new interface is retched).

Here’s what I’ve installed so far:

SDLMAME – an Ubuntu port of the arcade machine emulator MAME
ZSNES – a Super Nintendo emulator
GENS – a Sega Genesis / Megadrive emulator (bring on the Sonic!)

…and for a front-end (ie. for selecting an emulator and game using the joystick), I’ve configured Wah!Cade, which has proven very easy to configure, and includes a great layout editor for customising the various screens.

Lots of work still to do, I’ll probably start by dropping a decent LCD monitor in the cabinet, although I might eventually switch to a curved CRT screen, particularly as the cabinet is of the curved, 80’s milk-bar vintage.

I’ll post updates here as work progresses!


Time to break the monotony of public transport rants and computer nerd stuff… here’s some of what Christine and I got up to over the past few weeks on our epic south-east Australian road trip!

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First stop was Baw Baw National Park. It’s an easy drive from Melbourne into the southern region of the Victorian Alps, and we dropped in on a completely deserted campsite for a quick overnighter. Took a chance on a track marked 4WD onlyand got lucky… it was a little hairy but nothing most cars can’t handle. Wouldn’t have stood a chance getting out in the wet!

aberfeldy track

Track to the Aberfeldy River Campground


Dropped in on the old mining town of Walhalla as well… it’s still a popular weekend tourist town it seems, a few stores and an old diesel train keep the place alive. Camping is allowed in a few areas, although we prefer to hit up more remote locations.

walhalla station

Walhalla Train Station - myki readers not yet installed


We went on a short walk to Mushroom Rocks, which proved quite elusive. No idea if we actually saw them or not… didn’t encounter any signs, although there were definitely some nice rocky outcrops.

mushroom rocks

Enroute to Mushroom Rocks


Next we headed further East, stopping briefly at Lakes Entrance to both reassure ourselves that we didn’t want to stay there and also to do a quick map check for some nearby free camping. We found a great little spot at the mouth of Lake Tyers with free camping in a state forest. No toilet facilities, but a great view of the sun setting over the water and again barely anyone else around.

lake tyers

Lake Tyers


Day 3 – we were pretty excited about getting to Croajingalong National Park, as we planned on having a few nights there instead of having to pack up the tent every morning. What a beautiful place! Apparently it’s so popular after Christmas that you have to enter a ballot to get a campsite, but once again we hit the jackpot and there was barely another soul around. The Wingan Inletcampground gave us access to a few decent sized walks, as well as a stunning beach and the inlet itself.


Boardwalk leading from the campground to the beach


Crazy flowers

Some crazy purple things we found - anyone?



Strollin' at the beach


rame head

View of the beach from Rame Head


This friendly guy dropped in at the campsite for a chat


Next stop was Bermagui, where my cousin and her husband have recently made a sea-change from Sydney. Kicking around eating and drinking was all we got up to there, which suited us fine…

We spent about 4 nights in Batemans Bay over Christmas, Mum recently purchased a massive house down there to fit the whole family in. More relaxing, drinking, swimming and chillin’ with the family… good times!

New Years was spent in Canberra with my brothers family.. we walked down to the Lake for the 9pm fireworks… unfortunately the fireworks were set off in the City… whoops. Plenty of people made the same mistake and swiftly rotated their folding chairs to a new bearing.

Oh yeah… the 2nd of Jan was my 30th birthday!! Organised a shindig at my brothers place to get everyone together, surprising how many Melbourne peeps happened to be in  town as well. Party was cranking… largely thanks to Tommo and Juz spinning tunes, and the AWESOME present given to me by my lovely lady… check this shniz out: It’s a programmable colour laser… like a smaller version of what you see in night clubs. It’s completely off the hook, fill a room with smoke (using a smoke machine, not a bag of weed of course)… and you’ve got yourself an instant party!

We hung around in Canberra for a wedding on the 7th Jan, and had planned on returning to Melbourne over 2 days with another night of camping, however we both fell violently ill on Sunday morning and had to stay in bed all day. This meant that the dreaded Hume Highway was the logical choice for the drive home on Monday, which wasn’t as bad as I remember it, partly thanks to all the bypasses, and partly thanks to the audiobook we were listening to.

Back in sunny shitty Melbourne now… although we’ve managed to plan another escape to Trentham to visit some friends on Friday night. Happy New Years everyone!