This is a collection of Frequently Asked Questions.
The sections of this document are:
1 General FAQ
1.1 Where can I get the latest version of this FAQ ?The latest version of the FAQ is included with the latest version of AdvanceMAME, available for download from the project homepage http://www.advancemame.it/.
The latest version of the FAQ is also available online at http://www.advancemame.it/doc-faq.html.
1.2 What is MAME ?MAME means Multiple Arcade Machine Emulator and is a huge effort to create an emulator capable of running a lot of old arcade games. The MAME homepage is at http://www.mame.net/.
1.3 How is AdvanceMAME different from MAME ?AdvanceMAME is a port of MAME, written mainly by Andrea Mazzoleni, with contributions from various other people. The video support in AdvanceMAME is made especially to be able to program the video hardware (graphics adapter) to achieve a more faithful video emulation, also allowing the use with arcade monitors and TVs.
It also contains software filters to improve the image when used on monitors with a higher resolution, such as PC monitors and LCD screens
1.4 I have a question that is not answered in this FAQ. Where can I get help ?If you have looked through the documentation and still haven't found an answer to your question, you could try posting it to the AdvanceMAME mailing list. Before you post, however, you should check the mailing list archives to make sure your question has not already been answered there. Subscription to the mailing list and archives can be found at http://lists.sourceforge.net/lists/listinfo/advancemame-users.
2 AdvanceMAME FAQ
2.1 What MAME version AdvanceMAME is based on ?AdvanceMAME is based on the MAME 0.106 source code.
2.2 How do I automatically record video and audio clips ?Add this script to your advmame.rc. For any game started a 15 seconds clip is recorded.
script_emulation delay(5000); \ simulate_event(ui_snapshot, 50); \ simulate_event(ui_record_start, 50); \ delay(15100); \ simulate_event(ui_record_stop, 50); \ delay(100); \ simulate_event(ui_cancel, 50);
2.3 When I start a game with AdvanceMAME I see a copyright message before the game starts. How do I get rid of it ?Take a look at the `misc_quiet' option.
3 AdvanceMENU FAQ
3.1 Each time I start AdvanceMENU, I see a message about "Updating the ... information file ..." How do I get rid of it ?The information file is recreated if the emulator executable is newer than the named file. If this happens all the time, you probably have a wrong time setting on your system.
3.2 Can I use AdvanceMENU to list my MP3 and MNG collection ?Yes. You can create a fake emulator to play all your music and video clips. Add the following options in your advmenu.rc :
emulator "mng" generic "" emulator_altss "mng" "C:\CLIP" emulator_roms "mng" "C:\CLIP" emulator_roms_filter "mng" "*.mng"
emulator "mp3" generic "" emulator_altss "mp3" "C:\MP3;C:\MUSIC" emulator_roms "mp3" "C:\MP3;C:\MUSIC" emulator_roms_filter "mp3" "*.mp3"
3.3 How do I avoid AdvanceMENU jumping to different games when I press letter keys ?Use `event_alpha no' in the AdvanceMENU configuration file. This is most often used if you have a control panel wired to a keyboard hack or keyboard controller.
4 DOS FAQ
4.1 How can I solve the compiler error "Argument list too long (E2BIG)" and "Error -1" ?If compiling you get the "Argument list too long" error, or "Error -1" you need to use the DJGPP stubedit utility to increase bufsize value for some DJGPP tools, with the following commands:
stubedit c:\djgpp\bin\gcc.exe bufsize=32k stubedit c:\djgpp\bin\ld.exe bufsize=32k stubedit c:\djgpp\bin\make.exe bufsize=32k stubedit c:\djgpp\lib\gcc-lib\djgpp\3.23\collect2.exe bufsize=32k
You may need to use different paths to the files, especially for collect2.exe.
4.2 What's the best configuration in PURE DOS ?My favorite choice is to use HIMEM, EMM386 and a little cache with SMARTDRV.
dos=high device=C:\DOS\W98\HIMEM.SYS device=C:\DOS\EMM386.EXE NOEMS NOVCPI
If you have a lot of RAM you can use a bigger disk cache like :
4.3 Why can I use only 32M of RAM ? I have more RAM.Start the EMM386.EXE device in your CONFIG.SYS with the "NOEMS NOVCPI" arguments.
4.4 Why can I use only 64M of RAM ? I have more RAM.Don't use the DOS 6.22 version of the HIMEM.SYS device. Use a newer version, the Windows 98 version works good. You don't need to upgrade your DOS, simply copy the newer HIMEM.SYS from a Windows 98 installation.
4.5 Which is the minimum memory requirement ?With 64 MB of memory you are able to play all the games. At least in PURE DOS with CWSDPMI 5 and with 512 MB of virtual memory.
4.6 Which is the maximum memory required ?With 128 MB you should be able to play all the games without any big speed loss. For the bigger games you may need 512 MB of virtual memory.
4.7 How can I use two mice (or a trackball and a spinner) ?To get support for a second mouse you need the mouse driver in the contrib/optimous directory. This directory also contains a short text instruction file.
5 Linux FAQ
5.1 Can I run the Advance programs from a readonly filesystem ?Yes. All the writable files are put in the $HOME/.advance directory. If they are readonly, they are not updated.
6 Windows FAQ
6.1 How do I disable the Windows hotkeys ?Check the Microsoft online documents "Disabling the Windows Key on Microsoft Natural Keyboard" at http://support.microsoft.com/?kbid=181348.
7 Video FAQ
7.1 How can I enable the TV-OUT signal (S-VIDEO) of the video board ?You cannot. If the TV-OUT signal is not enabled automatically by your video board you cannot enable it manually.
If you have a TV with SCART input (all european TVs) you can buy or build a VGA to SCART cable.
7.2 Can I connect my Arcade Monitor to the video board and use it with AdvanceMENU and AdvanceMAME ?Yes, this is one of the primary goals of the AdvanceMAME video output layer. But remember that arcade monitors can only accept a certain range of signals (in terms of horizontal and vertical refresh etc.), so make sure you configure these settings correctly in AdvanceMENU and AdvanceMAME before you connect it to your monitor.
7.3 How can I connect my Arcade Monitor to the video board ?If you do not want to use one of the available adaptors that ensure the signal is within specifications, to avoid damaging your monitor, you can simply connect the monitor directly to the graphics card. If your monitor only has one sync-line (so-called composite sync) you will need to convert the separate sync signals of the video board to composite sync. This can be achieved by a circuit such as http://www.tkk.fi/Misc/Electronics/circuits/vga2rgbs_ttl.gif
Some video boards can be configured to generate the composite sync signal. An example is Matrox cards under Linux. Look at the matroxfb-documentation in the kernel sources, and maybe the matroxset-utility.
7.4 How can I avoid damaging my arcade monitor due to the signals sent out during system startup (before AdvanceMENU and AdvanceMAME starts) ?There exists separate hardware adaptors that can be used for this purpose, such as the J-PAC http://www.ultimarc.com/jpac.html
Other options include waiting until AdvanceMENU has started up, before connecting the monitor. This can be achieved either manually, or by hardware controlled by the parallel port (as described in various places).
If your system is running DOS, you can use the "vga" and "video" utilities of the AdvanceCAB package to set the graphics card in an acceptable mode while the system is booting. Note that the POST (Power On Self Test) screen of the BIOS will still be in the "bad" video-mode, so the problem is not solved entirely by these utilities, but they allow for a nice bootup-screen to be displayed.
With some graphics adapters (eg. Matrox), a similar effect can be achieved under Linux by configuring the video mode of the kernel framebuffer.
7.5 What is the "tearing" effect ?The tearing effect is a defect of the animation caused by a wrong synchronization with the game refresh rate and the video mode refresh rate. It generally appears as a horizontal image split line, on the top of this line you see the previous game frame, on the bottom of this line you see the next game frame.
If the game and the video refresh rate are only a little different the tearing split line is slowly moving up or down. If the refreshes are very different the split line is moving randomly.
The tearing effect is mostly noticeable in games with a continuously scrolling background.
7.6 How can I remove the tearing effect ?The only way to remove the tearing effect is to enable the `display_vsync' option. To correctly work this option need a video mode with a refresh rate which is a multiplier of the original game refresh rate. For example for a 50 Hz game you can use video modes of 50, 100, 150 Hz.
7.7 How can I reduce the tearing effect ?If for some reason you cannot use the `display_vsync' option the only way to reduce the tearing effect is to choose a video mode refresh rate which ensure to have a randomly and fast moving tearing split line.
Generally they are high refresh rates, prime with the original game frequency.
7.8 Does the "double/tripler buffer" help to reduce the tearing effect ?No. A generic asynchronous buffer doesn't remove or reduce the tearing effect. A synchronous buffer instead it's exactly like the vsync. AdvanceMAME supports only the asynchronous buffers.
7.9 Can I get a good animation with a video mode with arbitrary frequency ?There is no way to get a perfect animation without using a video mode with the same game refresh rate. You will get the tearing effect or a not smooth animation from some frames skipped or displayed too long.
For example, suppose to use a 70 Hz video mode with a 60 Hz game. You can display every frame for 1/60 of second and get the tearing effect. Alternatively you can display every frame for 1/70 of second, but after 7 frame you need to display a frame for 2/70 of second to synchronize with the original game speed.
The only exception is for frequencies which are multiplier of the original game refresh rate.
7.10 Why are the smaller video modes like 256x224 not working ?Your video board probably isn't able to generate the very low pixelclocks needed. You can try to increase the minimum value of the `device_video_pclock' option. The video mode generation will automatically generate video modes with double or triple horizontal resolutions to force the use of a pixelclock in the specified range.
8 License FAQ
8.1 Is MAME 0.106 Open Source/Free Software ?No. The MAME 0.106 License is not an Open Source License as defined at http://www.opensource.org/ and not a Free Software License as defined at http://www.gnu.org/.
8.2 How can be MAME 0.106 not Open Source/Free Software when the latest MAME is released with the GPL 2 License ?MAME 0.106 was never released with the GPL 2 License. Most, if not all, same source code can be found released with the GPL 2 in the latest MAME, but it's safer to assume that MAME 0.106 is not GPL 2.
8.3 Is AdvanceMAME Open Source and Free Software ?Yes. AdvanceMAME is released with the GPL License which is an Open Source and a Free Software License.
8.4 Which is the license of the AdvanceMAME source ?The AdvanceMAME project is released under the GPL license.
In addition you have some extra rights granted by a special license exception which allow you to link the AdvanceMAME GPL source with the MAME 0.106 source.
The exception also gives you the rights to eliminate it if you don't like it or if you want to include the AdvanceMAME source in another GPL program.
You can more easily think at it as a sort of double license. A GPL or a GPL + exception.
8.5 Why the AdvanceMAME license is called GPL if it's different than the GPL ?The GPL license used by AdvanceMAME isn't modified in any way.
The license exception is added outside the GPL license text. It's added at the top of every source files for which the exception has the validity.
How to add this sort of exceptions is specifically covered on the Official GPL FAQ written by the same people which have written the GPL license and which are the copyright holders of the GPL license.
Specifically, in the Official GPL FAQ you can see that in every source files with the license exception you must add the following text :
"This program is free software; you can redistribute it and/or modify it under the terms of the GNU General Public License as published by the Free Software Foundation; either version 2 of the License, or (at your option) any later version."
Which explicitly claims that the program with the license exception is still GPL.
8.6 Does the MAME 0.106 license allow linking the MAME 0.106 source with a GPL source ?Yes. The only requirement of the MAME 0.106 License for the derivative works is the whole source availability. With the GPL you have it.
8.7 Does the GPL license allow to link a GPL source with a MAME 0.106 source ?No. The GPL license requires that the whole program be released with the GPL license or with a GPL compatible license. The MAME 0.106 License isn't a GPL compatible license.
8.8 Does the GPL license + exception allow linking a GPL + exception source with a MAME 0.106 source ?Yes. The license exception specifically allows it.
8.9 The license exception say "MAME library". Is MAME a library or a program ?AdvanceMAME uses only the internal MAME 0.106 core, which is effectively a library.
Anyway, calling a piece of software a program or a library doesn't change its license.
8.10 The GPL FAQ say: "Combining two modules means connecting them together so that they form a single larger program. If either part is covered by the GPL, the whole combination must also be released under the GPL--if you can't, or won't, do that, you may not combine them.". Is it true ?Yes. But the GPL FAQ speak of a generic GPL program without any exception.
The license exception explicitly allows you to combine the GPL program with MAME 0.106. These exceptions exist specifically to solve this problem. Essentially, if your GPL program needs to use another module which is not under a GPL license, you (as copyright holder) can grant at the user the rights to link it with the not GPL module.
The GPL was made to protect the interests of the copyright holder. But if the copyright holder wants, he can relax the license adding specific exceptions that extend the rights of the users. So, the users can do things not generally permitted by the standard GPL license.
8.11 What license is the AdvanceMAME binary under ?The AdvanceMAME binary contains source from AdvanceMAME, MAME, Allegro, SEAL, svgalib, zlib and FreeType2. You must follow ALL these licenses when you use the binary. So, you are only allowed to do things with it, if they are permitted by ALL these licenses.
8.12 Can I sell the AdvanceMAME binary ?No. The AdvanceMAME binary contains compiled MAME 0.106 source and the "MAME 0.106 License" prohibits selling.
8.13 Who is the copyright holder of AdvanceMAME ?Andrea Mazzoleni is the copyright holder of AdvanceMAME.
Some source and documentation files are also under the copyright of Filipe Estima, Ian Patterson, Randy Schnedler, S. Sakamaki, Mikkel Holm Olsen.
9 GPL FAQThis is an extract of the Official GPL FAQ present at :
9.1 I am writing free software that uses non-free libraries. What legal issues come up if I use the GPL?
If the libraries that you link with falls within the following exception in the GPL:
However, as a special exception, the source code distributed need not include anything that is normally distributed (in either source or binary form) with the major components (compiler, kernel, and so on) of the operating system on which the executable runs, unless that component itself accompanies the executable.
then you don't have to do anything special to use them. In other words, if the libraries you need come with major parts of a proprietary operating system, the GPL says people can link your program with them.
If you want your program to link against a library not covered by that exception, you need to add your own exception, wholly outside of the GPL. This copyright notice and license notice give permission to link with the program FOO:
Copyright (C) yyyy
This program is free software; you can redistribute it and/or modify it under the terms of the GNU General Public License as published by the Free Software Foundation; either version 2 of the License, or (at your option) any later version.
This program is distributed in the hope that it will be useful, but WITHOUT ANY WARRANTY; without even the implied warranty of MERCHANTABILITY or FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE. See the GNU General Public License for more details.
You should have received a copy of the GNU General Public License along with this program; if not, write to the Free Software Foundation, Inc., 59 Temple Place, Suite 330, Boston, MA 02111-1307 USA
In addition, as a special exception, <name of copyright holder> gives permission to link the code of this program with the FOO library (or with modified versions of FOO that use the same license as FOO), and distribute linked combinations including the two. You must obey the GNU General Public License in all respects for all of the code used other than FOO. If you modify this file, you may extend this exception to your version of the file, but you are not obligated to do so. If you do not wish to do so, delete this exception statement from your version.
Only the copyright holders for the program can legally authorize this exception. If you wrote the whole program yourself, then assuming your employer or school does not claim the copyright, you are the copyright holder--so you can authorize the exception. But if you want to use parts of other GPL-covered programs by other authors in your code, you cannot authorize the exception for them. You have to get the approval of the copyright holders of those programs.
When other people modify the program, they do not have to make the same exception for their code--it is their choice whether to do so.
Adding this exception eliminates the legal issue, ...
9.2 Is the developer of a GPL-covered program bound by the GPL? Could the developer's actions ever be a violation of the GPL?
Strictly speaking, the GPL is a license from the developer for others to use, distribute and change the program. The developer itself is not bound by it, so no matter what the developer does, this is not a "violation" of the GPL.
However, if the developer does something that would violate the GPL if done by someone else, the developer will surely lose moral standing in the community.
9.3 I want to distribute binaries, but distributing complete source is inconvenient. Is it ok if I give users the diffs from the "standard" version along with the binaries?
This is a well-meaning request, but this method of providing the source doesn't really do the job.
A user that wants the source a year from now may be unable to get the proper version from another site at that time. The standard distribution site may have a newer version, but the same diffs probably won't work with that version.
So you need to provide complete sources, not just diffs, with the binaries.