Archive for June, 2007

Building a MAME cabinet 5

Friday, June 29th, 2007

Another stop at Home Depot this morning.

  • DeWalt countersink bits
  • Mallet (for knocking in the t-molding)
  • Gloves
  • Masking tape (for anti-splinter on the top side of ply cuts, and for painting)
  • 4 x 2-1/2″ hinges (two for the top, two for the front)
      I’m now at the point where I can pick up some wood and sawhorses this weekend and get started.

Building a MAME cabinet 4

Wednesday, June 27th, 2007

I ordered the Retro Mame Marquee (third one down). With the Lexan sandwich. Since the Home Depot Lexan is 3/32″ rather than 1/8″, I decided I can’t use it. I need to make the control panel from 1/8″ Lexan and 5/8″ MDF/Ply, so that the 3/4″ t-molding will fit properly.

So what I’m going to do is get going with building the rest of it, and order the Lexan for the control panel from somewhere like Professional Plastics when I have the CP size finalised. I’ll need to make sure I put the wood the right way up since the t-molding slot won’t be symmetric, and my plan is to clamp the polycarbonate and wood together and drill them as a sandwich to ensure alignment.

Building a MAME cabinet 3

Tuesday, June 26th, 2007

I’ve been stopping off at Home Depot on my way to work and slowly getting together more parts. I now have:

  • Jigsaw and router bit set (borrowed from a colleague)
  • 4 x 2″ industrial casters
  • 1/2″ wood chisel
  • 18″ drawer runner set
  • Coin door! (free from a colleague)
  • 140-tooth 7-1/4″ ply/laminate saw blade
  • 1lb 1″ coarse thread drywall screws

I have also discovered that Home Depot stocks Lexan, which will save me having to order online and pay shipping etc. Unfortunately my spacious control panel design means that 18″x24″ is a bit small one way. I have to bump to the next size, i.e. 48″x24″. More expensive, but I can probably get a marquee sandwich out of that size as well as a CP cover.

I also have a 1/16″ slot cutting bit on the way. The router bit set does not include one; however, it does include a flush cutter.

Happy Solstice

Thursday, June 21st, 2007

Enjoy the longest (or shortest, depending on your hemisphere) day.

Building a MAME cabinet 2

Wednesday, June 20th, 2007

The project progresses. I’m working from as my main source for information.

So far I have amassed the following:

Building a MAME cabinet

Monday, June 18th, 2007

I’ve been wanting to build one for years and now I am starting the project. So I have been reading all about it online, of course, and now I have a shopping list of parts and an idea of how to proceed. An hour or so’s fiddling produced this plan:


…which I think is reasonable. (Dimensions of the angled sections are rounded up to the nearest inch). This will give me a cabinet that is 3 feet deep at its deepest point, 6 feet tall, and I’m thinking 28″ for the width – which would give it a square base. The control panel has a slight rake, and is 39″ off the floor, which puts it comfortably at about my belt height.

This plan also reveals that I’ll need at least 32′ of t-molding (to fit along all top and front edges of both sides, and also on the front of the control panel, the top and speaker panels, and the top of the display base). I plan to install a hinge at the joint of the 25″ and 13″ sections to allow the angled section to fold down and reveal the keyboard/mouse tray.

the scanner works

Thursday, June 14th, 2007

Score one for Ubuntu. Plug in scanner, fire up xsane, everything's happy.


Wednesday, June 13th, 2007

Recently I joined a mailgroup at work called “Stuff” designed for off-topic dicussions and want-ads. Today I got a couple of great deals.

First, a 2.1 speaker set for $10. The seller said they didn't work the last time he tried them. They didn't work for me at first. So I checked them independently and found the tweeters worked. So that was something. But the subwoofer didn't. I unscrewed it and poked around. Nothing really to see – the speaker itself seemed fine, while the input/amp section was sealed. Then I noticed that the input said “12V” and the power supply said “Output: 30V”. So when I got home, I dug around in the basement and found a 12V supply with a plug that fitted. Everything worked just fine. Result!

Second, the same person was selling a HP Scanjet 6200C, sans drivers and leads. After a quick check, I said I'd have it for $10. The scanner part of my printerily-challenged all-in-one technically still works, but is too bulky to keep on my desk, so the 6200C will make a good replacement scanner for general use.

photo slideshow on my desk

Wednesday, June 6th, 2007

I got a digital photo frame for my birthday. I'll be putting it on my desk at work. I've loaded it up with 12 photos so far. It's a bit of work resizing and cropping to 720×480, but it's a great thing to have!

The Camel Has Two Humps

Wednesday, June 6th, 2007

I’ve just been reading an interesting paper on teaching programming. First, the data regarding rates of attrition on computing courses is startling. Between 30% and 60% of the total CS intake fails the very first programming course!

The paper’s authors postulate 3 programming hurdles to be negotiated:

  • sequencing and assignment
  • iteration and recursion
  • concurrency

Surely one would think that the first of these is no hurdle at all (the concepts are part of everyone’s everyday life) and yet it is! From personal experience, I would say actually that recursion is quite a significant mental way past iteration, and I think many programmers never get that far, let alone to the hurdle of concurrency.

They further posit 3 groups of pupils:

  • those who accept and work with the system of rules that is ultimately meaningless
  • those who attempt to see meaning where there is none
  • those who refuse to work with meaningless rules

Of these, only the first group succeeds as programmers. The other two flounder.