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June 2002

As mentioned in the video section, I purchased a Compaq Deskpro from eBay. It has a PII 500 processor, 128 megs of RAM, and a 6 gig hard disk drive. Let me just say that I HATE COMPAQ. I have yet to use a machine made by them that didn't feel sluggish regardless of the specs. I got a decent deal and I was antsy to have this machine set up, so I settled. If I had it to do over again? I'd get a barebones system and pack the components in the cabinet.

I'm running a minimal Windows 98 installation with ArcadeFX as the shell. I did this by modifying a line in my c:\windows\system.ini file.

Old:
shell=explorer.exe
New:
;shell=explorer.exe
shell=c:\mame\arcadefx.exe

The semicolon allows me to switch the shell back to normal if I need to do Windows-things. I've also modified the startup (logo.sys), shutting down (logow.sys), and the safe to shut down (logos.sys) screens using the images found in the eye candy section of Build Your Own Arcade Controls. These images really keep Windows from intruding into the arcade theme.

ArcadeFX is one seriously cool front end. As I mentioned above, it's a Windows app. This allows me to use the whole six gig partition without having to separate my ROMs. It also uses the flyers, marquees, and snapshots to recreate the cabinet look and feel to a certain extent. It's still in its early beta phase, but it's very stable and I hope to see additional functionality soon.