Friday, October 19, 2007

Auntie MAME

So, I was sitting there at work today, grumbling to myself that my PC doesn't have a parallel port (and no spare slots). I need to burn the microcontroller firmware and my PIC programmer hooks up to a parallel port. What kind of PC doesn't have a parallel port?

As I sat there, it suddenly occurred to me that I had another PC at home. Sort of. A couple years ago, I built the kids a MAME machine out of spare parts I had lying around. It's ugly but it stands up well to punishment.

Inside the cabinet is a PC. A 166MHz Windows 95 box. And, yes, it has a parallel port. So, I...

  1. opened up the front of the MAME cabinet, exited MAME, pulled out the mouse and keyboard
  2. pulled the cabinet away from the wall
  3. plugged the parallel cable in
  4. used a CD to copy IC-prog from my PC to the MAME machine
  5. hooked up the programmer and propped it up on a crate beside the machine (see lower right of image)
  6. loaded the hex files onto 3.5" floppy and transferred them as well
  7. used IC-Prog to burn the microcontrollers
  8. put everything back the way it was
I've got a serial programmer on order, so hopefully I won't need to do that again.

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