Arcade Collecting > Pinball

pinball 2000 and replacing computer/nucore


I recently had a client bring in a pinball 2000 machine into the shop with a dead computer. sadly, nothing I did could resurrect the computer. It was likely a fried CPU and despite it using a socket 7, the cpu used in the motherboard is of the custom variety and not compatible with a standard pentium cpu.

so I scoured ebay looking for a motherboard with no luck.

I found some threads about replacing the computer with new hardware called nucore but due to licencing and agreement issues between nucore and the current holders of williams IP... the software/hardware is.... unavailable for the foreseeable future *SHAKES FIST AT PP*

so, in a nutshell, a cracked older version of the software called pinbox is downloadable through the usual torrenting channels, but does not install properly because of how the linux installation is performed. I have managed to fix the issue digging for the better part of 3 days
and am posting a guide here so others may fix their machines.

so get ready to find yourself a computer!


While I don't condone downloading pirated software, the showdown between the 2 companies has made it almost impossible to get this setup legit unless you buy someone's kit.


The company who made nucore software have placed free updates for the software on their site, but i'm not sure if the updates work with this setup... I was just happy to get the software running and buddy's machine woking again in the first place. (as you should be able to)

computer specs as follows...

2gb of DDR2 RAM or better
a motherboard with a parallel printer port
a dual core CPU with a passmark score of at least ~1400 for smooth frame rates
hard drive of any decent size. (I used a 500gb because that what was laying around)

I used an AMD Athlon 64 X2 5600 that had a passmark score of 1484. I initially used a similar spec'ed single core with a passmark of 1254 and experienced some stuttering and slowdows in the video. as always, more is better.

so what you want to do is download the pinbox software from your favorite site and burn the image to a CD (or usb if you like)... connect the computer to the internet.... then install the software on your new computer.

set the username and password to something you will remember. (you will need it to access root in a bit)

after installation, the machine will reboot and then kind of crash to a command prompt and stop doing anything. allow the computer to settle here.

the linux repository for old versions changed locations and as such, the old installation included points itself to the wrong place. you will now need to patch the linux install to be able to connect and get the files from the... new? ... old? ... the updated repository location.

so once the computer boots to the command prompt screen. log into the prompt with your username and password you set earlier.

type the following commands (without quotes... case and spaces matter) wait for the prompt to return after each command...

--- Code: ---"sudo su"

"sudo sed -i -re 's/([a-z]{2}\.)?|' /etc/apt/sources.list"

"sudo apt-get update"

"apt-get purge lxdm"

"mv /etc/lxdm /etc/lxdm.orig"

"apt-get install lxdm"

"cp /root/pinbox/scripts/pinbox.desktop /etc/xdg/autostart"

"rm /etc/init.d/pinbox"

--- End code ---

what this does is patch where linux looks for updates and drivers so the installation can finish.

wait while the computer reboots.  The machine will automatically boot up and download all the stuff it needs now to finish. it will then reboot into the can disconnect the internet now, it will no longer be needed.

press F1 or the comma key "," to exit the software...we still have 1 more thing to do...disable the screensaver so it doesn't come on.

in the computer either on the desktop or in the menu is a "terminal" program that will get you a window into another command prompt... run this and log in if required..

the command to be issued is

--- Code: ---"sudo apt-get autoremove --purgexscreensaver*"

--- End code ---

this will remove the screensaver entirely from the system. When the system goes idle and the game is running it will trigger the screensaver and kill connection to the IO board and it won't reconnect properly...forcing you to reboot. removing the screensaver is necessary.

the computer will reboot and then load the game software.

I recommend going into the pinball settings (press - and + on the coin door to access nucore settings) and hard setting the software to load the version you require (either RFM or SE1) instead of auto detecting it. this will reduce boot time and possibly having to manually select it after it fail (common with playfields that have modifications like LED's and whatnot). this is also where you will set you monitor preferences (mirroring flipping etc) set it to be mirrored so you can see it properly in the playfield.

play a game.  :cheers:

 :o....You have just restored my faith in humanity. So frigging awesome!

Thanks for the tips and trix.
Are you able to run this computer on the original screen or did you changed that out for a lcd?

sorry, I don't 100% recall on that particular machine... my mind is terrible, it may as well have been 10  years ago..

I can believe it had the original monitor cause the computer was quite the squeeze to install (i slid it in on top of the CRT brackets) but at the same time, there was no messing around... i'll explain why...

We do have our own RFM and I do recall having an issue with the one that we own... We ended up swapping out the CRT for an LCD due to poor display from the CRT...but had an issue with something weird going on with the video ... i recall having to make a circuit to fix it to work on the original computer. (basically a sync convertor)

it's been about 3 years since i've serviced that machine and it's at a location about a 3 hour drive away.

I didn't have any issues installing the computer and it worked right out the gate with the display in the customer's machine, so i'm inclined to say it was CRT already....but i would have had to build a circuit to fix the sync for the CRT...but i wouldn't have.

so it may have been converted to LCD...but retained the original CRT bracket (how the fluorescent light attached to the inside cabinet) which it did have. so maybe it was CRT....

i don't know.

can you see why i can't remember yet???  :banghead:

basically it had the original computer and no sync adapter so i'm inclined to say it had CRT...but it was plug and i'm also inclined to say LCD already. i'm not sure if the original CRT would work with the nucore setup without modification....

in any case, LCD's are cheap and ubiquitous enough... and installation is easy enough... and modem LCD's are bright enough (the main complaint at the time about them)... that if you are going nucore, just change to LCD at the same time.


[0] Message Index

Go to full version