Xbox One Repair

Last year our 3 year old Xbox One stopped connecting to the controllers consistently. They would connect, then after a short period drop out, then come back and drop again. I found the closer to the Xbox I got with the controller, the more stable it was.

Everything else appeared to be working perfectly on the Xbox, so was a bit puzzled and frustrated that a 3 year old device was giving this grief, when my 8+ year old PS3 has never missed a beat (apart from controller failing after years of constant abuse).

After doing some research online, found the issue was quite common, yet no-one had managed to get Microsoft to come to the party to fix it.

So everyone was left to their own devices to fix it.

Turns out its a small card in the Xbox which is primarily the Wifi controller, but also handles the controllers wireless connection as well – makes sense.

Swapping this out for another one was the most common fix. So I did it.

Found the replacement part of Ebay for $10NZD, waited 2 months for it to arrive, then spent 30mins installing it using the following guide.

https://www.ifixit.com/Guide/Xbox+One+Wi-Fi+Board+Replacement/36779

And now have working controllers!!!!!!

It wasn’t hard to do, just more frustrating trying to get the bits of the Xbox apart without breaking them ūüėČ

Hopefully thats the last time I have to take it apart.

Game on!

GTR Festival 2018

Ah, the Nissan GTR, in either its current form or the old school R32 onwards series, you cant but love it.

NZ has a large number of these fantastic cars (VG or RB powered) on the road, as we’re one of the few countries in the world that allows anyone to own and drive one on the public roads, regardless if its NZ new or an import.

And because of this, the 2018 GTR Festival is on at Hampton Downs – June 16th. So not long to go.

http://gtrfestival.co.nz/

I’m going to go and see my dream car on the track, are you ?

TV Shows: Troll Hunters

I have been watching this on Netflix really been enjoying it, don’t be put off that it looks like a kids show.

From Wikipedia:

Trollhunters: Tales of Arcadia¬†is an American computer-animated¬†fantasy¬†television series created for¬†Netflix¬†by¬†Guillermo del Toro¬†and produced by¬†DreamWorks Animation¬†and Double Dare You Productions.[2]¬†It follows the story of James Lake Jr., a teenage boy who finds a mysterious amulet and stumbles across a secret realm inhabited by¬†trolls¬†and other magical creatures. Soon afterward, he and his friends are charged with protecting our world from the dangerous monsters that lurk in the shadows of their small suburban town.”

 

If you want to go old school give Gargoyles a try:

 

 

Rant : TradeMe

Bit of a personal rant today….. regarding TradeMe (thats NZ’s local version of Ebay for outsiders).

Lately, I’ve been listing a decent amount of stuff on there, all low $$ items but lots of them. Hardly any of it selling.

But when an item does sell, I’ve hit issues with the buyers.

  1. I list item for $20 reserve. Someone bids. When they bid, this then locks down the pricing options etc so I cant increase the reserve or add a Buy Now. So if someone else is interested, they’re forced to bid. Now, what happened this time, is someone, bid, then someone else 24 HOURS later, posts a question on the auction “Hey, I’ll do a $50 Buy Now”. I advise them that I cant do that now that bidding has started. So they start counter bidding the original bidder. Auction eventually ends with a total of $23 and the winner is the second bidder. However, this is where the fun started…… I was away from the PC when the auction ended and didn’t get a chance to check emails until Monday afternoon (approx 2.5 days after auction ending). What I find is the buyer has messaged a minute after the auction ending advising they’ll pickup that day. Obviously didnt happen because they didnt know my details and I couldnt see the email. Then the day after, couple more emails AND a Facebook message from them – yes, they tracked me down via Facebook. Then an email on the Monday morning threatening me with bad feedback and I’m a rip off because I didn’t accept their $50 offer and that I want more than $23 – umm, if I wanted more than $23, don’t you think I would have made the reserve higher ? I cancelled the trade via TradeMe due to their negative attitude and threats of taking legal action, and that they had my address and so on……¬† I informed TradeMe of what had happened, and what did they do ? Nothing. Just sent me an email saying that if I wanted to take things further I’d have to send them all correspondence between the buyer and myself. Yet if they looked at the feedback the buyer put on me and my response to that, they would’ve soon worked out that I was (well, I feel I was) well within my rights to cancel the trade and raise it with TradeMe. I didn’t bother taking it any further, managed to recover my fee’s and relisted the item. The buyer then emailed me to say that I was a very disturbed person and only god could help me. Think someone forgot to take their pills………….
  2. List a VHS video for $1. Someone buys it, wants to pick up that weekend – sure. I email them and advise to give me a day to dig it out (was at bottom of box of stuff for sale). Dig it out, email them that ready for pickup. Didnt hear back from them. Emailed them again few days later, no response. So week later, I request refund of fees, and relist the video. THEN I get email from the buyer asking if I had managed to find the book and find that they have countered my request for a refund! Yes, they said “book”. I’m starting to wonder if they don’t actually know what theyre buying…..Yet I have the item relisted, and I’ll be charged extra fees to remove it now! Its crazy how TM let you relist the same item BEFORE the refund process is complete. They should wait until the refund process is completed before allowing you to relist. How hard can it be ?

Theres lots of small things that defy common sense with TradeMe’s processes and standards, yet they ignore the masses and push on…. and well, it works for them I guess, making a killing off the fees.

The major one that gets me, is that someone is obviously selling a pirated bit of software/movie etc, and has large numbers of said item listed. You complain to TM and what do they do ? Take down that ONE auction, and leave the other 1000 running. Use your heads TM, shut the user down! Oh, but you wont because you have made a small fortune of that seller selling dodgy goods……

 

Easy as Pi Emulation

Recently I was given a Raspberry Pi, inc case, power, wifi and SD card. Plan was for my eldest daughter to play with it and see if its something that would interest her going forward…. she showed a lot of interest, more so when she found Retropie.

Since then, she started hassling me to help her get it running to play some old games….so I did.

And guess what ? It was damn easy.

Just dump the latest Retropie image on the SD card, and away you go. The only thing we had issues with, was getting through the initial controller setup. It didnt seem to like my budget USB game pad, so ended up using an Xbox One controller.

Now, since this is an original Pi, its not amazing at emulation, but runs the early arcades such as PacMan, Space invaders, Donkey Kong well, but anything else can be hit and miss. My daughter fired up Super Mario Kart (SNES) and while it did run, it wasnt great.

Copying new games was easy as copying some ROM’s into the relevant folders onto the SD card over the network.

So now, I’m hooked on this little box for emulation purposes, but looking at obtaining the latest Pi which apparently handles most stuff without a problem. Being so small, its portable, which makes it great for throwing into a bag when you go away for a weekend and the kids start going “Im bored” – find an HDMI capable display and you’re away.

Now, this does make my RetroBox project rather redundant………¬† I may still do it, I’ll see how the new Pi goes.

 

Check out : Retro Asylum

If you’re into retro gaming and listen to podcasts, I’m pretty sure you would have come across Retro Asylum.

It’s a great podcast with a group of guys who love their retro gear and gaming and have a great sense of humor.

I’ve been tuning into them for about 8 months now and find it fascinating listening about all the systems they’ve come across or own, a lot of gear we never saw officially in New Zealand.

They cover all aspects of retro gaming, from hardware, software, peripherals, newly developed games (inc Amstrad!) and more.

I highly recommend checking them out. You can find them on all the usual social media platforms, including Discord – but the bugger about discord is that we’re usually asleep when they all come to life ūüôĀ

 

Review: Stargate Origins

As a fan of all of the Stargate TV shows I approached this 10 episode web-series with some doubts but also with a open mind.

I have now watched all 10 episodes and can say it is quite watchable but is limited by the lower budget than the rest of the Stargate shows.

It is one of those dreaded prequel series that seem to coming back into vogue at the moment set in 1928 in Egypt, the main characters being Catherine Langford, the daughter of Professor Paul Langford Рthe person who originally discovered the Stargate.

The first five episode are weaker that the last five with lower production value and the actors finding their feet, the bad guys this time are mostly the Nazi’s who make nice change.

Is this as good as the other Stargate show?….no but it was never meant to be a full on TV show and more a introduction back into the Stargate universe.

Hopefully MGM will hook up with Netflix or some other streaming network and get a new show up and running. I would say this is worth a watch but dont go in with high expectations.

Rating: 5.5 out of 10

 

Review : Ready Player One

When I first saw the trailer for Ready Player One, I was like “wow, this looks cool”, being geek and game related. Steven Speilberg being involved as well, “WOW”.

So I waited… and finally it was released here in NZ last week in time for the Easter break.

Was it worth the wait ?

Not really.

The CGI, sound, acting were all great, but the story itself was quite messy I felt.

Lets start with the first part of the story, where Wade (the main character) takes part in a race to obtain the first key (of three) – this race does not exist in the book (well, I will admit I’m only about 1/3 the way through). OK, so they decided to make it a bit more exciting and understandable to today’s viewers who wouldn’t understand the “Joust” aspect that was in the book.

From there on, the story was pretty predictable.

However, to me it seemed like there were two teams working on the writing. One was keeping everything “PG” and friendly, and the other was out for some “M” action. So one character would be all happy happy joy joy, then the next scene, the character would be “murder death kill” – there was no consistency across the scenes.

I’ll finish the book as I enjoy this sort of story, but for the movie, I’ll give it 6.5/10.