Main > Project Arcade - the book!

Welcome to the Project Arcade forum!


It's time to let the cat out of the bag. For some time now, I have been working on a semi-secret project, that is just about completed now. It's been a lot of work but I'm very happy with the results.  It's with no small amount of pride that I present to you my book, Project  Arcade: Build Your Own Arcade Machine :)

The book is basically a portable version of the BYOAC web site, albeit much better organized. It is slated to run 552 pages (18 chapters), with 262 figures, and includes a companion CD. Final counts and details may vary as we complete the editing process but that's about what you should expect.

I've been working on the book for the past 6 months. The book was originally slated for 400 pages, but I just couldn't cram everything there is to know about this hobby in that many pages! Trivia: I have spent roughly 35 hours a week for the past 23 weeks on the book for a total of 805 hours or so, and took approximately 2000 photos. All this while holding down a daytime job!

The book is being published by Wiley Publishing, best known as makers of the For Dummies series. This is in a new line of books they have called the Extreme Tech series. The book is due out in the April to May time frame.

I want to assure everyone that no adverse changes will happen to the BYOAC web site. In fact, I expressed my concern to the Wiley editors about ensuring that I didn't lose control of the BYOAC web site and the ability to edit and update it as I saw fit. They were extremely supportive, and not only assured me that I would maintain complete control and ability to update the content of the web site, they also put it in the contract and added that I am able to use material from the book verbatim on the web site itself! Wiley has been and is a great publisher to work for.

There are some changes coming to the web site however, all for the better. Working on the book forced me to organize things in a logical fashion, and that will pay off in a re-organization of the BYOAC web site. It also pointed out to me how much has gotten out of date, is hard to find, and in a few (thankfully only a few) cases is just plain wrong! All that is due to be fixed, changed, and updated.

When all is said and done, the cost of accessing the web site will remain the same -- free for all to use and contribute to.  There will be no premium sections.  In other words, writing this book will take absolutely nothing away from the content and interaction available to you today. It will only make things better.

Please don't hold me to a deadline on the re-org. I will be busy with book details for the next few months still, and then I'm going to take a little vacation, and then I'll get started. I plan to build a totally new web site, and when it has enough content I'll switch the old one with the new one. The old one will be kept online as a historical archive to make sure nothing is lost and that you can find things where you were used to them while people get used to the new site. That's the game plan anyway, we'll see how well that works when I get started.

There is a new web site that *is* coming for the book at / It's purpose will be to tell people about the book, provide any errata that becomes necessary, provide updated links as old ones expire, and so forth. All BYOAC content will remain on

There is a new board on the message forums for discussion of the book so as to keep traffic in the other sections on-topic. Please use it if you'd like to know more about the book or to discuss your thoughts on the book good or bad.

Profit is occasionally a dirty word on the Internet, and I'd like to discuss it briefly. The book is a for-profit venture. I certainly don't expect to get rich, but hope that a few dollars end up coming my way.  Part of the proceeds from the book will go towards upkeep of the BYOAC web site, and if traffic continues to climb I'll be investing in a bigger/better/faster server. If the book makes a few dollars more then I might just take my wife and family out to dinner :)  

A good deal of the content that makes up the BYOAC website is due to the hard work and contributions of other people. I tried very hard to give proper credit where due in the book to those people, and have obtained permission from anyone whose material I used in the book. Many people gave me permission to use their thoughts or material in the book and I would like to thank them for that. The point I want to make is that the book is not an attempt to make a buck off of other people's work. The material in the book represents a cumulation of five years(!) of maintaining the BYOAC web site, with contributions from those who have graciously allowed me to use their material.

More details (such as an excerpt from the book, table of contents, a look at what's on the CD, etc...) will be coming as I am able to get to them, probably primarily on the new message forum, though some will make its way here. Right now the Project Arcade web site redirects you to the BYOAC web site, but shortly will have some content and a link instead of a re-direct.  

If you'd like to see a shot of what the book will look like, you can visit the book's page on the Wiley Publishing web site at

You can pre-order the book now if you are so inclined, but I'll ask anyone interested to hold off for a few days until I can put up an affiliate link to Barnes and Noble's web site.  Thank you for reading this and supporting the BYOAC web site.  I hope you will indulge me as I talk about the book over the next few months, I'm very excited about seeing it come to fruition. I promise not to make it too spammy, and to keep regular updates to the BYOAC web site coming now that the bulk of the writing on the book is done.


--- saint


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