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Author Topic: What other programs should I be running?  (Read 1924 times)

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What other programs should I be running?
« on: January 07, 2010, 10:27:26 am »
After lurking for five years and finally moving into a house I can now move forward with creating my own arcade.  Last weekend I installed Ubuntu 9.04 on my parents old computer that was having all sorts of problems for them.  I then installed sdlmame and wah!cade.  This was a very long process and my first time working with linux.  The good news is I have roms that play but I am wondering if they are other programs or steps I should be running.  I put wah!cade in my start-up but that is it.  I still get the annoying "type ok" screen for every game that I would love to remove.  Also, I am running some random Dell speakers and the sound does not sound that good for the game I have run.

So my long winded question is: what are the next steps I should be taking to perfect the guts of the soon to be arcade?  I have tried to find a wiki or walk through but everything seems to stop after installing a front end.  Any help would be appreciated.


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Re: What other programs should I be running?
« Reply #1 on: January 07, 2010, 10:43:58 am »
Unfortunately, that's a pretty open ended question.

I don't know much about Linux, but there's a ton of stuff here in the forums and on the wiki about setting things up (though I've only ever looked at the windows versions of those notes, maybe there's not much for Linux?)

The Type OK, is mainly a MAME config issue. One thing you might look into is gathering the required patches and recompiling a custom compile of mame. That would remove those screens completely, add hiscore support, etc.

You might also check out the wah!cade forums (I think this is it but I don't use wahcade myself) to see if there's any additional config you can do for it.

Decide on the monitor setup that you'll likely use and you can pick or start designing the layout you'll use.

As for the speakers, if they aren't powered speakers (and even if they are with some speakers) it's likely best just to get a new set (or search craigslist for a set).

I picked up some altec lansing desktop speakers with sub for <40$ and they sound fantastic (even with the speakers mounted in glass ceiling fan lamp shades!), so there's definitely cheap, decent alternatives out there. Then again, you could always find a PC speaker lying around and go that route for the truly authentic arcade feel  ;D


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Re: What other programs should I be running?
« Reply #2 on: January 11, 2010, 06:51:46 am »
What is exactly you'd like to change about your set-up as it is now? You can pretty much do anything, although really fancy stuff can take a bit of work.

I would also definitely recommend the hiscore patches, if only to get rid of the nag screens. MKChamp's patch can be applied to SDLMAME, although there are a few extra tweaks required to get rid of all the annoyances. I did this recently and will try and work out a comprehensive patch if there's demand for it.

A common "want" is to hide as much of the underlying OS as possible. You already have Wah!Cade running at login, right? Other tweaks would be a custom splash screen and enabling auto-login. Assuming an X-Windows environment, simply setting the background and hiding menus and other such stuff can be enough to conceal the OS to such a degree that you effectively boot straight into the front end. With a bit more work you can have the computer shut down when the front end quits, or have a one-button shutdown.

Of course, I couldn't let a thread like this go by without shamelessly plugging my own front end, which I wrote specifically for my own Linux-based cabinet. Not quite as easy to set up as Wah!Cade, but IMHO worth the effort ;-)
Cabrio FE - a free open source front end for arcade cabinets.


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Re: What other programs should I be running?
« Reply #3 on: January 15, 2010, 05:14:54 am »
I believe you're looking for -skip_disclaimer and -skip_gameinfo to get rid of the screens you need to bypass.  I think you can either add those to wahcade's settings or change the MAME defaults in your config file.

Read the man page for sdlmame.  Anyone new to Linux really needs to become familiar with man pages; they will tell you almost everything you need to know about the command you're using; 99.9% of terminal commands have one (you won't see them for things you haven't installed, of course).  Type "man sdlmame" (without quotes) in a terminal window (use up/down arrows to scroll, Q to quit).  Note: sometimes it's helpful to realize you can type "man command_name" into Google, and usually the first hit is a link to the man page.

As for sound, are you sure it's the speakers and not MAME settings?  It's tricky getting games to sound just right; you have to play with the frequency and buffer and such.

EDIT:  By the way, cosam, Cabrio looks nice. :)  I'll definitely check it out later.
« Last Edit: January 15, 2010, 05:17:23 am by saurian333 »