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Sunday, 25 January 2015

V+ Box and disappointment

That laptop with the busted hinge I told you about last week!, well lets say that wasn't the end of its problems.  Surprised I didn't clock this before but I'm a robot and don't think. At all.  Took it into to get it done and the guy in the shop said it would be uneconomical to repair.  The hinges alone would cost £85 to order and it would need a new screen as well and the worst bit of all it didn't even power up with the charger in.   Like I say I should have noticed that but didn't so in the end had to take it home with my tail between my legs so to speak and spent the afternoon taking apart with a screwdriver.  On the bonus tip though DDR2 ram for Laptops is actually quite scarce the going rate is around £20 for 2GB, maybe worth selling it through Amazon.

Oh and those in the Dartford area looking for a good computer advice then Ace Computers is well worth your time and money.

You remember last week we talked about Sony necro updating PSP firmware to 6.61 regardless of anything using it well now it has an unofficial downgrade to 6.60 so you can add your own custom firmware.

Found one of these in the week chucked out.  For those unaware they were NTLs / Virgin media's answer to the almighty Sky+ Box before they chucked their lot in with Tivo.  They have either a ATA or SATA hard disk inside to record your TV programs on and that should be about it.  Except that it has a few odd bits and pieces inside.

The first thing I noticed is that although it installed in my external drive shell, it wasn't recognised. Poking around in testdisk I found that it was actually formatted for linux so decided to see what if it would show up in Mint (Question does anyone know what linux these boxes run from I'm guessing something really technical like Debian).  Bingo full access and another problem, there were some recordings there but everything is in a trp. file format so you would need WinFF to convert or if you are a massive linux geek ffmpeg from the command line.  Virtual Volumes will let you see ext2 and ext3 formatted drives in Windows so you can still use WinFF or Handbrake for conversion of any precious files to be honest I have nothing so far, and this is the hardest of all the boxes I've smashed into with BT Open boxes being the most open and Sky coming a distinct second.

Sunday, 18 January 2015

Bit of a Computer Rush.

Had quite an eventful week or two in regarding finds and that but first of all some weird news.

PSP Firmware updated for no apparent reason.

For some unknown reason the PSP has been jolted out of its twilight years with an out of the blue firmware update.  According to Sony the:

System software stability during use of some features has been improved. 

Which is both vague and meaningless, for pirates and emulator fans it breaks some custom firmware, although VHBL is unaffected so far, so Vitards can run all the homebrew they want (unless Sony block it again). I suspect that custom firmware will probably be updated soon as they pretty much have the PSP under control and no games have been confirmed running it so far which makes this a pointless update. 

Super Hub and Laptop.

Getting back to events we have two nice finds dug out at work over the past two weeks.  Both will require a bit of work, one is a SuperHub and the other is a laptop.

My first find is a Superhub (A Netgear router for Virgin Media in other words) which I can confirm works but due to stupidity and stuff is now sidelined until I update my PC.  That means it is recognised and can connect only to a local area network and googling only brings up more and more trouble and outdated contradictory advice.  So its being held in reserve until I update my PC sometime when Windows 10 is out. 

The Laptop is this found dumped out in a bin bag. The only thing wrong with it is its hinges are knackered which I'm looking to have replaced.  I have no idea what is on the drive but the specs are similar to what I'm using now so will be replaced another found PC when the bastard is repaired.  We've already shelled out on it to add a generic charger which causes it to light up and makes the screen look like its floodlit which is odd.  Will probably add Linux Mint to it as well even though I'm no fan of the Linux command line way. 

Sunday, 11 January 2015

Round up 2015

Haven't had to do one of these for a while but here are some updates to a few previous blog posts and news stories.

Avery Hill to close.

Been looking through the archives and I don't think I ever detailed my trip to Avery Hill in Eltham sometime in the autumn of last year.  I have an Inkling I did it years back when it was still under renovation but the Council can no longer afford to run it as it costs a million a year in upkeep.  There is a small story from the Greenwich Tories here as its the winter gardens that I'm most interested in as if you've been reading this blog for any length of time you'll know I love my cacti.

A big Bushman's Candle patch.
Assorted Cacti looking a bit barren.
News shopper laughingly calls it Elthams answer to Kew which is laughable as although it may match in size I found it underwhelming with mislabeled plants and general feeling of decay, like looking at a once loved seaside resort running into ruins.

3DS Emulation.

This is still in its primitive early stages so far, but this seems to be legit and not a virus or scam pusher site as previous links to "3DS Emulators" have all too often been.  Its called Citra and has its own github page, so far it plays a few commerical games very slowly and some homebrew (which may get a shot in the arm now the Smealums exploit is out in the wild), so don't get your hopes up for another year or 3.  See also PS3 emulator for PS3 emulation which is in a similarly advanced state (i.e some stuff goes in game and may run slightly better than a slideshow).

Sunday, 4 January 2015

Video Tat

Happy new year everyone.  I've been on a periodic rampage through a load of old VHS tapes, trying to see what can be salvaged, and what can be thrown out if anything.  It all started with a vague recollection that there was something odd at the end of some teen porn I had.  Not illegal strange but more like remnants of the program left over, an artifact of recording if you will.  It took a while to locate the tape in question and the remnant actually turned out to be a good 2 hours of footage.

So what do we have.  The first hour is some "golden showers" porn involving two actresses who could be anywhere from 18-30 due to make up and stuff, there are bits of another porno (I actually wrote porneo instead which I've realised is the most excellent thing ever) after this before breaking down into the real meat of this blog post.

Its the end part of  something called The Maternity Show with Blue Peter's Mark Curry as host.  There is a clip of two dwarves talking about pregnancy before a clip of Mark talking about old toys with an expert. This is the initial clip I thought was from Blue Peter as Mark used to be presenter and for some reason this was inflated into footage of the Blue Peter time capsule in my mind which of course it wasn't.  

The rest of the tape is made up of Quincy which aired on BBC1 according to Wikipedia and Channel 4's Escape From Colditz complete with ad breaks.  This includes ironically sexist car advert where a prize tool rates off a load of mechanic guff that women simply would not appreciate, and more junk.  I did try and cam  the lot with my digital camera but there was a lot of flickering and the porno element would simply not be suitable for the professional people who do VHS recovery jobs.  I did have a have a dongle thing that copied stuff across except it didn't do anything.  Which was a shame.