Hello, I am kinda getting into MAME arcades and what not, and My questions is related to that.

I have found many front-ends for mame that run on window and linux. There are many great ones, but none of them have one particular feature I am looking for.

The feature I want is a timer. I want to have a timer that controls gameplay. As long as there is time left, you can exit one game, and enter another, as many times as you want, as long as there is time left, without problems. But when the timer is up, you can no longer play games, and functionality would cease to some point, I am not exactly sure how much though, I just know I dont want any more games played after that point.

I am thinking about using the best frontend I can find, and then adding my feature to it. Would this best be done by getting an open source front end, and then adding my code to it, or should I write a Frontend for a Frontend.

I plan on using C++, hopefully in a linux enviroment, but it might turnout to be windows. I written several programs (they were nothing crazy) but they were entirely independent. How do I begin writing a program, that controls another programs actions, but does not actually change the actions, just stops and starts them.

THen I also have to ask about multitasking. How do I make sure that my program gets very little priority, but just enough to watch another program.

Maybe Im in over my head, but I would liike to think not. I understand many programming concepts well, I have just never had to make a program that worked with another one simultaniously. If someone could attempt to answer my questions, or if this is actually a pretty complex topic, guide me in such a direction where I can start to learn.

Thank you

>>How do I make sure that my program gets very little priority, but just enough to watch another program

This is operating system dependent. In MS-Windows you can call SetThreadPriority() -- see MSDN for details. I don't know how its done in *nix.

Can't answer your other questions. sorry.