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Documentation of AdvanceCD

AdvanceCD Arcade LiveCD

1 Description

AdvanceCD is a bootable live CD, DVD and USB disk of a minimal Linux distribution containing the AdvanceMAME emulator.

You can boot it in any PC and play the contained games without any installation. The default distribution contains the arcade games Gridlee, Poly Play and Robby Roto and it uses only 20 Mbyte leaving the whole disk for your roms.

2 Requirements

Please note that AdvanceCD works only with PC MultiSync monitors with these clock ranges:

Horizontal Clock: 30 to 60 kHz
Vertical Clock: 55 to 110 Hz

Ensure to use it with a PC MultiSync monitor compatible with these clocks. Generally all the recent monitors are ok.

To make it working with Arcade Monitors or TVs you must customize it manually.

3 Using AdvanceCD

Simply put the CD/DVD in the drive or connect the USB disk, and reboot your PC.

After the detection of your hardware the AdvanceMENU interface automatically starts.

When the menu is started, browse the available games and start them pressing ENTER.

To shutdown select "PowerOff" in the menu, or simply power-off the PC.

4 Game Play

In the game play you can use the following keys:
F1 Show the keys used in the game.
ESC Exit and return at the menu.
F3 Reset the game.
P Pause.
PAD * Turbo mode until pressed.

For player 1 generally the keys are:

5 Insert coin.
1 Play.
ARROWS Move.
LCTRL, LSHIFT First button.
LALT, LWIN, \ Second button.
SPACE, z Third button.
x Fourth button.
c Fifth button.
v Sixth button.

5 Adding your files

Before creating the disk image you must copy your roms and other files under the image/arcade/ directory.

Generally you need only to add roms in the image/arcade/rom directory and snapshots in the image/arcade/snap directory.

Eventually you can also add other files in the following directories:

For AdvanceMAME:

image/arcade/rom The .zip roms.
image/arcade/image The .chd harddisk images.
image/arcade/diff The .dif harddisk differential images.
image/arcade/sample The .zip samples.
image/arcade/artwork The .zip artworks.
image/arcade/bezel The .zip bezels.

For AdvanceMESS:

image/arcade/bios The .zip bios.
image/arcade/software The .zip software.

For AdvanceMENU:

image/arcade/snap The .png, .mp3, .mng snaps.
image/arcade/flyer The .png flyers.
image/arcade/marquee The .png marquees.
image/arcade/cabinet The .png cabinets.
image/arcade/icon The .ico icons.
image/arcade/music The background .mp3 music.

Please note that AdvanceMENU lists only games that don't have the MAME driver in `preliminary' state.

If you want to improve the AdvanceMENU performance, instead of putting tons of images and sounds in the directories you can use only a single big .zip containing all the .png, .mp3 and .mng files. To improve performance is better to store the files in the zip and don't compress them.

If you prefer, before creating the disk image, you can delete the image/free directory containing the free games.

6 Checking your roms

Before creating the disk is a good idea to check if AdvanceMAME can use your set of roms.

This can be done running the included `checkrom' script.

In Linux you need to first install the AdvanceSCAN program and run the script:

./checkrom.sh

The AdvanceSCAN program is present in the support/advancescan-1.8.tar.gz package.

In Windows you need only to run the batch file:

checkrom.bat

The script will show at screen a short text report on incomplete rom files, and on missing roms required by other present roms.

7 Installing on a CD/DVD

To make a CD/DVD you need to run the `makecd' script to create the CD/DVD image, and burn it with a burning program.

In Linux you need to run the script:

./makecd.sh

and in Window the script:

makecd.bat

These scripts create in the current directory the file `advcd.iso' containing the CD/DVD ISO image.

You can burn it with your favorite CD/DVD burning program.

8 Installing on an USB disk

To install on an USB disk, you need to connect it to your PC, and run the `makeusb' script.

In Linux you need to first install the `makebootfat' program and run the script:

./makeusb.sh

The makebootfat program is present in the support/makebootfat-1.4.tar.gz package.

In Windows you need only to run the batch file:

makeusb.bat

These scripts format the connected USB disk, and copy on it the whole image/ directory. The disk is formatted with the FAT filesystem.

Please note that the content of the USB disk is completely deleted without asking.

9 Installing on a Fixed disk partition

To install on a Fixed disk partition you need to run the `makepart' script from a command shell specifying as the only argument the partition name.

In Linux you need to first install the `makebootfat' program and run the script:

./makepart.sh DEVICE

where DEVICE is generally something like /dev/hdaN, for example:

./makepart.sh /dev/hda8

to install in the eighth partition of the first harddisk.

The makebootfat program is present in the support/makebootfat-1.4.tar.gz package.

In Windows you need only to run the batch file:

makepart.bat DEVICE

where DEVICE is generally something like \\.\X:, for example:

makepart.bat \\.\D:

to install on the partition D:.

These scripts format the partition, and copy on it the whole image/ directory. The partition is formatted with the FAT filesystem.

Please note that the content of the partition is completely deleted without asking. The program prevent you to delete the whole hard disk, but it's better TO BE SURE OF THAT YOU ARE DOING.

Note also that the script only operates on an exiting partition. You must use other tools to create the partition, mark it as active/bootable, and eventually install a boot manager.

10 Customizing

You can customize the behavior of AdvanceCD adding in the image/arcade/ directory the advcd.rc file containing some command keywords:
ejectcd Eject the CD before the shutdown.
waitbeforeshutdown Wait some time before the shutdown.
run COMMAND ARGS... Run the specified command instead of AdvanceMENU. For example to run directly the game "polyplay" simply put the string "run advmame polyplay" in the advcd.rc file.

You can customize the behavior of the AdvanceMAME, AdvanceMESS and AdvanceMENU programs adding in the image/arcade/ directory the configuration files advmame.rc, advmess.rc and advmenu.rc containing your custom options.

You can customize the system behavior adding in the image/arcade/ a shell script called advcd.sh. The script is executed at the end of the system startup just before running AdvanceMENU. Instead, the script advcd0.sh is executed before the shutdown.

11 Running With An Arcade Monitor

To use a Standard Arcade Monitor at 15 kHz, you must create custom configuration files advmame.rc and advmenu.rc in the /image/arcade directory:

To customize AdvanceMAME you must create a file named advmame.rc with the following options:

device_video_format 15750 0.737421 0.0754717 0.0738994 0.113208 0.916168 0.011976 0.011976 0.0598802
device_video_pclock 12-50
device_video_hclock 15.75
device_video_vclock 60
display_magnify 1
display_adjust generate_yclock

To customize AdvanceMENU create a file named advmenu.rc with the following option:

device_video_pclock 12-50
device_video_hclock 15.75
device_video_vclock 60
display_size 640
device_video_modeline standard_640x240 13.5821 640 704 768 864 240 243 246 262 -hsync -vsync
mode list
mode_skip full_mixed list_mixed tile_big tile_enormous tile_giant tile_icon tile_marquee

You can force the text console to use an arcade like video mode using the command:

fbset -n arcade

The complete list of video modes for the console is available in the file /etc/fb.modes.

12 Troubleshooting

You can press CTRL+ALT+F2 to open a Linux console and access directly the system. The most common Linux commands are available.

12.1 CD/DVD

If you are using a CD/DVD-RW be warned that a lot of PCs don't boot from a CD/DVD-RW. Always use a not RW support for the final version of your CD/DVD.

To ensure maximum compatibility you must use a high quality CD/DVD, burn it at low speed and finalize it.

Some motherboards have problems booting the specific El-torito format used by AdvanceCD. In this case generally the boot process aborts with the message "BOOT FAILURE" or similar. You can workaround this problem booting with a floppy. Use the rawwritewin.exe program to write the sbm36.raw image to a just formatted 1.44M disk. Both these files are in the support directory.

12.2 USB disk

If your USB disk doesn't boot, try selecting USB-HDD, USB-FDD, USB-ZIP or any other USB device in the boot menu.

With AMI BIOS and a Via chipset, including Epia-m and Shuttle mv42n you might have to enable USB Keyboard Support in your BIOS.

On some broken boards, like my Epia-M, you need to plug the memory stick in without any power (remove your power plug), otherwise the BIOS might not recognize the memory stick.

12.3 Fixed disk partition

If the partition doesn't boot, ensure to have marked it as `active'. Eventually try installing a boot manager.

13 Contents

The disk image contains the programs:

advancemame-0.92.1
advancemess-0.92.0.0
advancemenu-2.4.6
makebootfat-1.4
linux-2.4.26 (with some patches)
alsa-1.0.8
busybox-1.00
syslinux-3.08-pre4 (with some patches)
FreeDOS-beta9rc5
loadlin-1.6c
glibc-2.3.3
zlib-1.2.2
isapnpmodules-0.3
pciutils-2.1.11 (with some patches)
usbutils-0.11

The disk structure is:

boot Boot support.
arcade Arcade Roms and images.
free Free Arcade Roms and images.

14 Copyright

This file is Copyright (C) 2003, 2004 Andrea Mazzoleni, desmatic.