> you can use it with legal roms you've purchased through starroms.
> its a technical referenece to the inner workings of various arcade machines
> its a historical document detailing what was released when, on what hardware,
> and by who.
> its a useful repair resource, the functions of each rom can be identified from
> the source and aid in tracking down problems, likewise ram failures can be
> simulated with simple modifications.
> it can be used to identify roms read from unknown, non-working boards and thus
> what the board should be, and if its worth spending time fixing.
> It can be a reference, for example when purchasing boards, comparing the rom
> names in Mame with those shown on images of the board to determine the verison
> of it.
> MAME has been used for all these things, look beyond the games.
> Tell Me Why You're Here, I Came To Disappear
While I'm sure that Mame can do a lot of the things that you mention almost all of these abilities have been added after the fact. When it was first released and even now Mame's primary fuction seems to be to let you play old (and not so old) arcade game roms.
Just for the hell of it I downloaded the latest Mame release which is linked on the front page here. I then went to the docs folder and opened the windows.txt file to read how to use the program. The very first lines of the instructions said;
"Using the program
mame [name of the game to run] [options]"
Notice how it didn't give instructions on how to do any of the wonderful things that you listed, no the very first thing it explained how to do was how to run a game.