malada: bass guitar (Default)
Saturday, May 27th, 2017 06:53 am
For a brief time, Micro Soft was allowing people to download ISO images of Windows 7. Since most computers don't come with a separate disc with back up software, they were allowing people to download the operating system so they could have it. At least, I think that was the reasoning.

I grabbed Windows 7 professional both 32 and 64 bit for the two Win 7 machines in the house.... just in case. Of course you need an activation key to make they work. But since I have them with the machines that's not a problem.

Now there are places on line that will sell you activation codes - usually from systems that have been retired or recycled. Usually. I did find a site that posted a whole pile of codes for 'student use'.

I got two computers with dead hard drives. I used some live Linux distros to check the rest of the hardware so I know they both work okay. One worked surprising well with Linux finding the built in WIFI chip and weird AMD graphics set up.

The question is.. could I replace the hard drives and load up Win7 on them with the disks and codes I found on the Internet?

Short answer? Yes. Long answer? Not really. The result is kinda sketchy because they're not Genuine MS products. If you just use the bare ISOs and sketchy activation codes you get basic Windows 7. It takes hours to load up and then you get the barest of drivers. So then you hunt down the drivers... and reboot after each one is installed. More hours of work. Then there's the many many updates and security patches to Windows to download... best done overnight IF you don't have one that asks you questions (and some do). One of the things about the updates is that some of them are designed to find sketchy installs - like the two I did - and let you know that the software is not genuine, registered software and won't you really like to buy the real thing?

There are ways around these notices... for now. I'm sure MS has a few people working to shut down any sketchy operating systems with the next security patch. The machines do work. Sort of. Usually you need to dig into the Registry to make them function. But even after all the work of getting the operating system, the hardware drivers and dodging the notices that say 'hey, this isn't really registered software' ... you have to download Firefox or Chrome and all the other software that make a computer productive.

So after spending days patching together two sketchy Windows 7 machines... the thought occurs to me: do I really want to deal with sketchy Windows machines?

Nope. They're a pain in the ass and who want's pirated software? I did this more out of curiosity than wanting to own a Windows machine. If I really want a Windows 7 machine I'll buy one second hand.

It's a log of work wasted in a sense, but I'll be wiping the hard drives and installing Xbuntu. The installs won't take is long, the updates are quicker, and they come with all the standard software already installed. Web browsers, graphic viewers, media play back _already installed_. It takes less time, less hassle, you get more and it's all legal and nice!

Oh, did I mention that Linux is both more secure and free?

malada: bass guitar (Default)
Saturday, February 25th, 2017 09:09 pm
I have two odd traits - I'm cheap and I think I'm a fix-it-up wizard. The last one has some basis in fact but it isn't necessarily so.

I want to continue to fix up the SnowBox - if just for appearance sake... but the local Xbox fix it places won't sell me a replacement case. So... I started cruising Ebay. You might see where this is going....

Knowing my own thought glitches I set parameters so I would hopefully get what I wanted - a replacement plastic case - and maybe some other Xboxes to play with within a certain price range.

I ended up buying two Xboxes - labelled complete, in good physical shape, with power brinks and all cables - but don't power up. And one hard drive. With shipping it came just at my price point.

At the same time I ordered a few more tools from Amazon. Yes, I was a bad girl.

The Xboxes arrived with extreme speed! Before the Amazon stuff. After examining the two boxes I realized two things: first, the cases weren't going to work with the SnowBox - they were a different style. Second, they wouldn't power up because they sent the wrong power bricks. Heh.

It's the kind the Snowbox takes. And they were in better shape. Swap time!

A quick trip to the local GameStop taking with me the old brick and I got credit towards the correct one! Take it home, plug it in... one of then boots! Woo hoo! I felt so happy with my note book writing down the serial numbers and the kernel numbers. Just putzing around making notes of all the parameters I could find... pure joy. Can't explain it. Wire it up to the Internet... check networking... it's a BANNED CONSOLE.

Microsoft will ban a console - not an account, but the actual hardware - from XBox Live because it had been hardware hacked. It also seems like if you're a real sh*t they'll ban your hardware and your account. There doesn't seem to be a way to unban a console so I'm not sure where to go with this. I might actually see about chatting up a Microsoft tech about this.

This means I can't use it for XBox Live stuff. I'm not sure if I can download apps for it but game disks still work on it. The hard drive works but DVD drive is sticky. That I can fix. Fans are noisy. That I can fix.

The other has the 3 lights RING OF DEATH. That I might be able to fix when the tools come in from Amazon. So it's too soon to tell.

Now, for the good girl stuff.

I've got enough technical chops to resurrect some computers from the dead. I have a couple of old XP machines that I've done that with... but... what do I do with them? Nobody wants them. Oh, I can come up with some bogus excuse to hang on to them and play with them... in fact, I was considering upgrading the power supply in one because... well... reasons...

Or I could just recycle them and be free of them.

Be free of them.

After ripping out the hard drives they went into the trunk of my car. They accept electronics for recycling at work so they'll end up there Monday. Then I'll be free of them.

malada: bass guitar (Default)
Wednesday, February 15th, 2017 08:05 am
So I'm got this rescued Xbox 360 with a broken outside case. It works but it looks ugly and I need a little screwdriver to turn it out.

Checking Ebay I could get a replacement case... or buy a 'dead' Xbox and swap cases. The only problem with that is the shipping costs.

So... why not check the local gaming stores? They except broken stuff for trade in... maybe they can help me out without the shipping costs.

Well, yes and no. They ship all the junk to the 'warehouse' to be refurbished and they don't sell certain parts to the general public. But... they would give me store credit for the old machine towards a refurbished machine.

So by trading in the Snowbox and paying 25 bucks I'd get a refurbished machine.

Eh, maybe not. The Snowbox works - that's the only important thing.

Ever since I rescued this machine from the garbage I've been feeling a little bad about obtaining somebody's device for 'free'. If I was Awesome and Super Cool I could have tracked down the owner (he didn't wipe the drive so I have his gamer name) and said, 'Dude, I fixed your box. Want it back?' However, cleaning out the dead insects from inside the box made me not want to meet this person. In addition, he could taken the device to GameStop and gotten himself a replacement machine with a small amount of scratch.

So, naw... don't feel bad about it anymore. I could have been an asshole and hijacked his account but I am Awesome and Super Cool. I just cleaned it, wiped it, fixed it and now I'm having fun with it.

Because raising equipment from the dead is what I do.

malada: bass guitar (Default)
Tuesday, February 7th, 2017 08:12 am
I keep old computer boxens around to play with. If you upgrade the hardware to the max on some older Windows XP machines they operate fairly well. You dual boot with the latest Xbuntu Linux and they can really purr.

I prefer Xbuntu to regular Ubuntu because the XFCE interface is clean and sweet and not gummed up like the Unity interface. Also, the default XFCE utilities all work, unlike some of Unity's.

So what happens to that old boxen that you've gone from Xbuntu 12.04 (2012 release) to 14.04 (2014 release) to 16.04 (2016)? These are not clean installs like you really should do... but just let the system automatically upgrade to the latest release.

The upgrades take very well. Everything seems to work quite well if not better. It depends on your hardware really. However.....

Using an Ubuntu cleaning utility I discover almost 2 gb of outdated kernels, program cruft and old installs. It located nearly 2,000 outdated and unused items from the old installs.

If I was *smart* I would have wiped the drive and done a fresh installed of 16.04.

But what fun is that?

So I let the cleaner chew through the left over, outdated material... and watched it crash the system. Repeatedly. So I manually selected a few items at a time so it wouldn't overload the CPU. While it was doing that I played on my Snowbox, pausing every once in a while to add rerun the program.

So, you know those geeks who tell you that a clean install is best? They weren't kidding.

malada: bass guitar (Default)
Saturday, February 4th, 2017 07:18 am
During a recent bout of computer necromancy I - a lot of swapping parts from old 'projects' and buying cheap refurbished items - I ended up with a hard drive with 32 bit Win 7 on it.

Let's swap the drive into an Windows XP machine because... why not?

It was cranky but seemed to work okay but something would lock up the hard drive causing it to run constantly. After several attempts I got task manager to run and discovered the system was sucking up 90% of the cpu resources.

After fiddling with it for several days (off and on - not continuously and never quite seriously) I decided to try a Win7 Repair disk and try to rebuild Windows.

Now it doesn't even boot.

I *could* try a full reinstall with some *cough* gray market software keys but... why really bother? I've got Ubuntu. Chalk this up to "Well that didn't work" and move on. I've got better things to do.

malada: bass guitar (Default)
Saturday, January 28th, 2017 05:34 pm
... I know someone from my online group who is need of a new computer.

His present system has a decent video card but has a single core processor, a small drive and... Windows.... Vista.


He's on a fixed income so a replacement system is out of the question.

My housemate has her old system - Quad core Intel with Windows 7 (32 bit - bummer - they got it when the 64 bit was still having teething problems) and a dying hard drive, and an old, old graphics card. Funny, it used to one of the top of the line cards way back when....

I donated an SSD drive, keyboard, mouse and a 19" monitor. The resolution isn't too hot but it was cheap and it works.

Clean up the drive - done. Still dying though.

Fuss with it until I get it to shrink from 320 gb to 220 gb - done. That was a pain in the neck.

Clonzilla the whole thing to the smaller 250 gb SSD drive. It took me a couple of tries because I forgot to use the secret switch to let it copy even thought the target drive is smaller. Done.

Whoa. That made a serious difference in performance.

Remove old graphics card and insert better one. It too was a spare from an upgrade.

*properly insert graphics card*

*remember to attach external power connection to the graphics card*

Update drivers - done.

Install a few programs to check performance - done.

Shipping is going to be a bit expensive but I'm sure we can handle it.

This has taken me several hours to do and a fair amount of Googling.... but it's ready to roll.

Now if I can only fine a use for some single core XP systems....

malada: bass guitar (Default)
Saturday, January 21st, 2017 06:02 pm
-streaming movies-

Even though I followed the instructions multiple times, I could not get my Amazon account to log into my Xbox.

Read the instructions, followed the instructions, blah blah, rented a movie on the website, still would not log me in.

The error? A problem logging in! We'll send you an email with a code.

Did that. Still can't log on.

So watched 'Tank Girl' on my PC. It was worse than I expected. How the frell wrote that mess?

I finally chatted with a tech at Amazon who had me clear, redownload, turn the xbox off and on, log back in - fail - and finally try one more time entering in the secret code they email me.

I'm not sure what the clog in the system was but it seems to be working now. Or they did some magic in the back ground.

Iron Man marathon postponed for now... but still on the calendar.

Oh, and apparently you can't order from the XBox... you have to order on the website then go watch it. Bad back end design if they wanted to make this the Media Box for the home.

malada: bass guitar (Default)
Saturday, January 14th, 2017 11:36 am
-! Microsoft !-

For it's raw capabilities, the XBox 360 was a pretty decent bit of hardware. When it was released it had exceptional graphics and processing power for the price. However, all of this power was locked under code and intertwined hardware. It was structured and designed to be what Microsoft wanted and now anything else.

Of course, hackers are an ingenious bunch who like to poke at the loop holes in the code. Like the original XBox people started finding ways to get around the blocks to make it do what *they* wanted. In the case of the original XBox there were enough loopholes for people to install custom Linux distros and tie a bunch of them together to create micro super computers.

Not so much with the 360. And with ever successful hack and crack the wonder folks at MS are busy patching them. To really hack a 360 you need external probes, soldering skills and specialized software to crack the system. These cracks will work usually until the next kernel update. It would not surprise me if there were people at MS whose job it is to patrol the hacking community to find the latest attacks and fix them.

Because, well they want you to use their product their way.

To be honest... most of the hacks and cracks are to play either pirated games or games not approved my MS. It keeps all the money flowing to MS. They've lawyered up to protect their games from being copied. Cracked and pirated games may be cheaper - if not free - but my thoughts are that if the pirates are willing to cheat MS they'll have no problems cheating you.

Just like the Big Boys I can easily see pirates putting in back doors and data scrapping code to lift your account and credit card information. Data mining is big business to sell your information to *cough* advertisers (NSA, CIA, FBI, and all those Russia letters too).

Again, you really don't own your hardware that you've bought. I'm betting MS loses money on the hardware - it's the subscriptions and official games, downloadable content, and the money they get from the streaming video services (hello, Amazon) when you rent movies.

More of you get to rent stuff - not own stuff.

It's the back end where they make their money, not in selling game consoles. The original vision was not just to be a game box though, it was to be a media hub where you store your music, rent your movies and play your games on. One box does it all! And we have chat rooms and audio/video conferences so all your social media needs are right here in this one box!

Eh, not... quite.

malada: bass guitar (Default)
Wednesday, January 11th, 2017 04:31 pm
- how much was the part? -

My part(s) came in from Amazon! Specifically, a little rubber band that drives the gears that open and close the DVD tray. I look at the old part verses new part - the new part looks thinner and definitely smaller than the original.

Oh, and I had to order 10 of them. Total cost plus shipping - about 10 bucks. A dollar a piece.

Install it, spend half an hour fussing with the alignment and... tray goes in, tray comes out.

Yes, a gaming console worth maybe 120 dollars on the used market was smashed up and discarded because of the failure of a dollar part.

A part that was buried deep into the machine and difficult to get at.

It's worth a lot less because the plastic case got all smashed with the original owner trying to get out his game disk. I'm betting that the machine saw a lot of abuse over the years as the rubber part slowly stretched out of shape and the DVD drive got beaten to death.

The electronics are operational. After a good cleaning and wiping of the hard drive it seems to operate just fine. This is not unusual for electronics anymore - from the manufacturing date this beast is about 8 years old. I've got computers that still work that are older - but outdated. Yes it's nice to have new things with better technology and yadda yadda - but building things with the part most likely to fail inaccessible to most people is... in my humble opinion... just bad design. It's designed to be hard to fix so you *have* to replace.

At this point I could invest in replacement plastic case and make it look pretty again, of just enjoy the ugly metal inside case.

But there's whole side of the XBox I'm discovering... mostly through Google and Xbox forums... that shows another side to this device both good, bad and really ugly.

malada: bass guitar (Default)
Sunday, January 8th, 2017 01:18 pm
-networking, cabling, movies unavailable and a bass guitarist-

I like Cat 5 cable. It's more secure and reliable than WIFI - so I have our computers wired up to our Internet router, then into a switch for my 2 - sometimes 3 - systems. Also from the Internet router I have a 75 foot drop of scrounged cat 5 that goes to the basement (where I have the Laboratory) and into another switch. From there there's a drop up into the living room.

I have more cable so I ran another length to from the basement router to the Snow Box... and fought with connectors for a few hours. It didn't work. I suck. Bought replacement connectors and tried them. It still doesn't work. I suck. Checked the cable for continuity - it's fine.

I've always had a slight tremor in my hands making really fine work difficult - like wiring up cable connectors. It's gotten worse as I've gotten older. So I just suck at this stuff.

So I take the connection I *do* have to the living room and wire it up to a cheap switch.

So I have 4 ports from the Internet router - three in use. One goes to my housemate's computer, one to my switch, another to the basement switch. The basement switch is has eight ports - one is connected to the switch in the living room (8 ports) which two ports are used. Yes, it's silly but it works.

So how about a nice movie to watch on my old but big TV in the living room. Download the Amazon app! No, I don't want to pay monthly to join Amazon Prime. Look for Tank Girl.... not available? Well, shoot. Download the YouTube app. Search for Tank Girl - it wants me to go to another site... which I can't click on in my Snow Box. Or it's been pulled because of DMCA violation. Okay. Check with the computer... go to the site... log in? Create an account? What kind of skeevy site is this? Go back and try another version. Same thing except it sends me to a different skeevy site that wants me to create an account.

Hello, guys! I've got this credit card... I just want to stream this movie. I'll pay a few bucks because I'm a Good Girl. I don't want to join some skeevy site to watch an older movie.

Back to my computer... ah.... I need to sign on to my Amazon account to stream/download movies! Okay. But I had to dig through the website to find out. The apps aren't really intuitive or informative.

And cruising the web on the Snow Box? Eeeeewwwww.... Internet Explorer!

However, checking out YouTube I did find a clip of Jack Bruce talking about and playing 'NSU'. Heard of him? No? Great bass player. He was in this group called Cream - or The Cream. You might of heard of the guitarist, some slow hand named Eric Clapton. Now I know that 'NSU' stands for non-specific urethritis - which is a urinary tract infection that is not Neisseria gonorrhoeae. It's a sexually transmitted disease. Jack related that it was first song he wrote for Cream. It was called that because Clapton had it at the time. X-D.

It's a great song and the words have nothing to do with STDs.

Waiting for parts to arrive - the DVD drive sort of opens when it wants to and I can hear it trying to open. If I pry it while it's making noise it opens and closes - at least for a little while.

malada: bass guitar (Default)
Friday, January 6th, 2017 06:36 pm
I'm investing 5 bucks into getting some replacement rubber bands to replace the old one in the DVD. I only need one but they come in packs of 8. Oh well...

Downloaded the trial version of Bejeweled and found it was a fun way to get used to using the controller. Of course, it bugs me on every level to 'unlock' the full version. After doing a few levels I thought, 'Heck, it's Bejeweled. How much can it be?'

15 DOLLARS!!!!????!!!!

That's a big old NOPE.

I guess no one's heard of the words 'micro payments'. If Bejeweled was just a couple of dollars I'd spring for it. In the meantime I'll check out the Used section of GameStop.

Streaming movies is the next experiment.

malada: bass guitar (Default)
Monday, January 2nd, 2017 02:33 pm
- more geekery to start out the new year -

To be honest, I haven't done anything truly geeky yet - all it's been is Googling, checking tear down videos and such and a heck of a lot of cleaning.

I used the vacuum cleaner on the mother board and fans... then Clorox wipes... then came the canned air. Then we come to heart of the matter - the DVD drive. Be gentle with the connectors, 4 screws and we're in. Yep. Just like the rest of the Box - filthy dirty fuzz.

Clean clean clean. Now it doesn't smell as badly of cigarette smoke - just cigarette smoke and Clorox wipes. What can I say? It's a step up.

Let dry... reassemble. Without the plastic case the hard drive kinda hangs on but that can be dealt with later. You can transfer things to a USB stick which may be the way to go in the future.

Power up... and the console still boots! Hit the eject button and... nope. The DVD drive doesn't want to eject.

I can buy a replacement DVD drive but I'd have to swap the electronics. Er.... don't think so. It actually isn't that difficult if you have a steady hand and can solder well if the YouTube video is accurate. I can solder... but my hands are too shaky for delicate work. If it was just replacing the whole drive... hey, at 15 dollars, why not?

I could just cut the wires and solder the wires to the original wires - or create some kind of plug system.... hmmm.....

I suspect the little rubber band that drives the gears that eject the disc is too worn and stretched out. So I'm giving it a soak in warm soapy water to see if that helps. A package of 10 of them is like 4 bucks. Now that has possibilities.

Again, for the lack of a 40 cent part... to fix a console maybe worth 60 dollars to replace? What a crappy design. And of course it's something you need knowledge and patience and the right tools to fix. All to get you to buy the next newest console. And I'll bet most of the new games need the new console. Buy buy buy people... keep the wheels of capitalism moving!

I could also replace the broken plastic console housing too for around 20 bucks. Or not and build one out of wood because why not?

Still, it's interesting to see how designs are deliberately made to make it hard for the layman - or moderately knowledgeable geek - to fix their own stuff. I haven't given up yet.

-to be continued

malada: bass guitar (Default)
Saturday, December 31st, 2016 04:43 pm
-open that puppy up-

After skimming some of the disassembly web pages and videos I have my Torx screw drivers and my flat head screw driver. Let's take the plastic shell off this puppy.

The sides/top bottom came off fairly easily. I suspect that the box has been taken apart before. A few bits of plastic came off with them so this thing has seen some warfare. Inside was filthy and I used up more Clorox wipes.

Then came the top/sides. I managed to get one half of the plastic shell off and was dissssssgusted. Screw the wipes I took the plastic pieces to the basement sink to wash out the fuzz and dead bugs. Yuck. Dead bugs. More Clorox wipes for the metal case.

This is where I goofed up. I didn't watch the disassembly videos close enough. After removing the first half you're supposed to remove 6 really long screws to release the other half. I ended up breaking the plastic mountings for the screws. I'm not concerned as I have no interest in reassembling the console back into the plastic shell. More Clorox wipes and another round of washing the plastic shell.

Then I took the metal box and sprayed it with bug killer. Then I cleaned the floor where I had disassembled the console.

I still need to open up the metal box to get at the DVD drive... but I'm pretty sure I know what I'm going to find inside - more fuzz, dirt and possibly dead bugs.

-to be continued

malada: bass guitar (Default)
Saturday, December 31st, 2016 04:29 pm
- where Internet security and snooping gets me outraged -

From a recent Boing Boing article I checked to find out what can be scraped from the browser. I can understand grabbing information like browser type but operating system? WTF? You don't need to know that.

And you really don't need to know where I live - it gave me a location within half a mile.

I understand that a lot of this is for 'advertising purposes' - so it can know who I am, where I live and tailor ads *just for me*! Well no, most of the time the ads that are served up have little interest to me and I use an ad blocker. I understand that many web site use ad revenue to run but damn... do you have to be so nosey?

So I installed NoScripts so the websites wouldn't be so snoopy. Things got interesting after that.

Some sites loaded just fine - without a lot of annoying clutter. Some sites displayed strangely or not at all. And when I went to get a Microsoft email account it would *NOT* let me create one... or it would create one then say it doesn't exist!

Okay... deactivate NoScripts. Not disable, deactivate.

Okay, I got my email account. I go back to the console and *finally* was able to make an XBox account. I even got a gamer tag and everything! I changed the name and the tag and downloaded Bejewelled because it's free/demo.

Since the DVD drive is still dead I'm considering using it for a media box. There seems to be a lot of movie services available, it's choosing the right one. I'd like something where I can just order a movie and have it streamed to me or temporarily downloaded - not one with a monthly fee. I know the monthly fee is what the companies *want* you to use because they get a guaranteed check from you every month. That's not how I roll. If I want something I'll buy it. Memberships just a way to pick your pocket every month.

But if I can get the DVD drive to work... now that makes things more interesting. It's disassembly time.

-to be continued...

malada: bass guitar (Default)
Saturday, December 31st, 2016 04:10 pm
I'd like to take a moment to rant about how manufacturing sucks and how we're getting ripped off.

Weird screws, propriety hardware and counter-intutitive assembly locks many of the devices that we buy today. The problem with your toaster oven, lamp, or in this case your game console - could come down to a bit of dirt or a 5 cent piece of plastic that's broken. But with uncommon tools needed to disassemble something most people - especially those with little time or resources - can't fix what they own. They need to *buy new*.

The electronics inside the XBox seem to be okay - it's the mechanical parts that are broken. Not only are the DVD drives unlike the ones you can buy at your local electronics store - they're actually have special code inside them that matches them to the motherboard. So even it you do buy a new DVD drive of the same make and model it won't read any disks. You either have to copy the internal key on the DVD drive chip (hard) or transplant the circuit board from the old drive to the new drive. Not to hard, but it requires delicate soldering work and mechanical aptitude. I understand that this is to prevent piracy of games but it SUCKS.

I can tell by the stickers on the (smashed) front of the console that this thing's probably been in the shop a couple of times before. This doesn't bode well for how well this thing is constructed. On the other hand, I'm guessing that the owners were not real gentle when handling the drives and they've been replaced at least once before.

And with the new XBox One out - it's time to update your console - right? Buy buy buy! And if you try to fix it yourself... there goes your warranty! Because to open up the box you need to break that Special Seal which is a no-no.

Not that I care at this point - it's long out of warranty.

So... time to wipe the drive and start over. I don't want to accidently sign in under somebody else's account and I don't want to mess with their saved games. So... console number... system set up... delete all.

Now to sign in with a new account enter my e-mail account... and it won't take it. It wants a Microsoft email account.

This is a little weird because I've heard of other people using normal email accounts without a problem. Back to the computer I go.

-to be continued...

malada: bass guitar (Default)
Saturday, December 31st, 2016 03:54 pm
Also know as the woman with tools verses the inanimate object.

Googling 'stripped screws' led me to some interesting ideas - most of which I had tried already. One I hadn't tried was using Super Glue to attach the screwdriver to the screw, then leftie loosie. I don't care much for Super Glue, I never found it that good.

The other idea was using a Dremel with a cutting wheel and turning the stripped Torx screw into a flathead screw.

I have a Dremel with cutting wheels. However, since the screws are recessed I'd have to cut into the plastic to get at them.

Do I care if I put grooves in the power brick? Nope.

A few minutes with the Dremel and the brick was opened. Needless to say, the inside was filthy.

More Clorox wipes and some Q tips and alcohol I got it cleaned out. The fan was full of fuzz! I picked it out, wiped it out, Q tipped it clean *then* used the canned air. I squeezed the brick back together - I'm not going to try to screw it back together at the moment - that's what tape is for!

Now, with a clean power supply with a working fan I felt safe to plug it in, I got out the controller (Game Spot was a mad house the day after Christmas) and did some digging. There were 11 accounts on this puppy! I played a few rounds of Bejewelled that was on the hard drive - it's a freebie/demo game - but I didn't connect it to the Internet again.

Oh, did I mention that with Googling and a paper clip I was able to eject the disk from the DVD drive? I now have a copy of Diablo III.

I closed DVD drive and it won't open again. It acted pretty sluggish when it did eject so it might just need a good cleaning.

-to be continued

malada: bass guitar (Default)
Saturday, December 31st, 2016 03:32 pm
This is something from my last few posts on LiveJournal. I'm putting these here for reference.

I walk about 20 minutes nearly every morning. Occasionally, on Garbage Day - I get to look over and see if there's interesting junk I can snag. I've pulled a few XBoxes from the trash in the past but never really got to do much with them and they got discarded. Both had busted DVD drives.

This time I found an XBox 360 lying in the snow. Complete with connecting cables and a 120gig hard drive. The front plate was completely smashed up and it was filthy and wet... but hey, why not take a look. No power cord but the power supply brick was there.

I shuffled the thing into the basement to dry out for a few days.

After that I gave the thing a good wipe down with Clorox wipes. It stank of cigarette smoke. I let it dry another day, then plugged it in, expecting it to be completely dead.

It booted up. It logged in as one of the users and then booted the game disk that was still in the drive.

I could not get the disk drive to open so I guess that explains the smashed front.

Google time.

So what I've got is an XBox 360 from 2009 - Jasper motherboard, Lite On DVD drive. Connecting a USB keyboard gave me functionality to the console but not the games. There were 11 users on it! Yep... they tossed it an didn't wipe the drive.

No, I'm not going to use the accounts on the box. That's not nice.

I did plug it into the Internet and it said there were updates to it! Go for it Bill Gates! It installed a new kernel and updated at least on of the profiles so I decided to keep it off line for the time being.

I decided that a 20 dollar investment in a controller and 10 dollars into Torx screwdrivers was justified. This could be interesting.

The power brick was making grinding noises so that was the first thing that needed fixing. Peeling off the rubber plugs on the brick I stabbed myself (FIRST BLOOD) but I got them off and revealed the 4 screws holding the brick together.

They were not Phillips like the Internet said. They were Torx. Well, I got the wrenches...

... and I immediately stripped all 4 of them. I put in some WD40 and let them sit while I did some more Googling.

to be continued