Am I the LAST to know about this?

Have you ever felt like you have totally missed out on something that you think you should have been in to for a while? I think I really lose some geek-cred when I say that this week I found MAME (Multiple Arcade Machine Emulator). If you don't know what Mame is, it's software that you can run on your computer that will allow you to play virtually any arcade game you have ever seen in any arcade. So, if you want to relive the '80s without having to shell out rolls and rolls of quarters, now you can. Mame is free to download, but don't think you are done once you've downloaded and installed Mame. Here's a short list of what I've gone through so far.

1. I downloaded the command line version of Mame from here. This is a simple zip file that once unzipped, you can simply run games directly from the command line. There are a LOT of configurable parts to this, so don't think it's just hit start and go…

2. I downloaded a bunch of ROMs. ROMs are the games themselves. You'll need these before you can star shooting space aliens. There are many sites out there offer them up. You can start here. I was luck enough to have a buddy who had several thousand games and sent me a bunch to get me started…

3. You'll want to find a “Front End”. This is basically a Windows program that you can run that will let play the games from inside Windows rather than having to futz with the command line. Trust me, this is just short of a MUST. Mame32 is what are looking for. I think there is a version 0.99 available, but I don't know where. But, you can get a version of it here

4. Next I went and purchased the X-Arcade Joystick. Without this, you'll be controlling everything with your keyboard. It's fun for a few minutes, but gets old really quick. With the joystick, you'll think you were back in the arcade.

Well, that's all the time I've got. Time to go save Princess Peach.

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