I 'm getting a lot of requests for some guidance on choosing and
installing software for MAME cabinets... This is all you need to
get started and make a functional software on your MAME cabinet.
Installing and configuring the software is easier than you might
think and there are guides for everything out there.
The OS -
With computers getting more and more powerful, there is no reason to
choose DOS, Linux or Windows 98 anymore. The wise choice today
would be Windows XP as it is a lot faster and less demanding than
Windows Vista or Windows 7. Windows 7 is a close second though.
Actually I like Windows 7 more than XP, it uses more time to
boot, but it is just easier to work with. It's harder to hide
varieties of Windows XP and Windows 7
I recommend choosing one of the light, or "stripped down"
versions of Windows XP or Windows 7. You can make such a version yourself by
using nLite. nLite lets you strip down Windows XP and 7. Read about
and download nLite here:
Download nLite here
Guide to nLite here
Another and easier way of stripping
down the OS is downloading Tiny XP / Tiny 7. This version is already
stripped down and lets you boot faster while using less memory
and hard disk space. BEWARE! While nLite is totally legal as it
requires a legal copy of Windows XP, Tiny XP is illegal! I will
not give you any links or help you find a copy of Tiny XP! I
recommed using nLite. Having said that, Tiny XP is still less
consuming than a nLited version.
Windows 7 Starter edition with a few tweaks is also a good
A frontend is a graphically overlay for your OS. This
frontend gives you a simple GUI (Graphical User Interface) that
lets you choosing games, music and more with your simple joystic
controls. Yes, you do not need a keyboard or mouse.
I will recommend
two frontends for you at this time, none of them are free:
This is just my favourite front-end. Easy to configure and
make layouts for. Lots and lots of advanced features and
plug-ins. For instance, it can configure an UltraStik 360
automatically to the game launched. That's just brilliant! I
used this for the Nanocade micro cabinet.
Download and more
Get the Nanocade layout for MaLa
This is a simple but very sleek and nice looking frontend. The
downside is that software customization it kept to a minimum.
The upside is that it looks fantastic and you can easily make
your own stunning themes.
I recommend this frontend to everyone who prefer looks before
speed and customization.
Download and more
info here: Maximus
This frontend isn't as pretty as Maximus. But it will do
anything can think of and more so. This is the one to choose for
the nerd ;)
Download and more info here:
Guide to GameEX
Good luck and I
will be updating this guide...
If some of the words are new to you, look them up in the