There’s nothing wrong with an emulator… especially if you have a single interface for ALL of your emulators…
I’m working on building a MAME cabinet with a Windows Media Center frontend that is a single interface to MAME, ZNES, Genesis and a billion other emulators… gonna hook it all up to my suh-weet Tankstick!
As far as modding a controller goes… there was a time when modding the Xbox controller was a good idea. Modding came about because we wanted to create something that didn’t exist… we created windowed PC cases before they became mainstream… we had LED fans before they were on the market… and we modded the Xbox controller because at the time it was the best gamepad that worked on the PC.
Modding is great, but you have to weigh the whole time vs. trouble thing. When you have absolutely no money but have plenty of time, then it may be worth it to mod an Xbox controller… and PC gamepads have progressed a lot since the original xbox came out. Why reinvent the wheel when you can buy one at the store?
For most people, it’s just easier to buy a cheap PC gamepad. If you’re low on cash, look at one of those game shops that buy and trade games… they’re bound to have a “gently used” Xbox 360 controller for cheap… I see them all the time at Game Crazy, and they should be available at GameStop too.
Sorry you’re having a hard time. Keep us posted on your progress and we’ll try to help you out. The Xbox controller guide is actually pretty simple, so if you’re having trouble then there may be a frayed wire or some other problem that’s hard to diagnose.
Oh, and to answer Mr. Winter:
I use the Xbox 360 controller on SNES95 and ZNES without any problems. I had to go into each program’s settings and remap buttons to the controller, but it works 100%. Any USB-based gamepad will be just as simple… they just interface with the OS, and the software ties into the same OS layer, so you never have to have “drivers” for a PC gamepad (if using XP or later)… they just work.