Monday, November 16, 2009

PS Blue, I love You

Yes indeed, such a fine day. A fine day for retro computing and gaming that is! It all started about 10 days ago. I roamed into a second hand store, The Goodwill, looking for a cheap used cell phone with a camera in it. Keep in mind, I don't own a cell phone... and yes, this proves there are a few knuckle draggers around that don't have the seemingly ubiquitous device attached to the side of most people's ears. The intent being that I could keep it in the truck for emergency situations because the 911 number works even for deactivated phones. The camera part is just icing on the cake to make it serve a purpose, to snap pictures of random things that I think look interesting. Okay, so while I roamed the electronics section hunting for a cell phone, I stumbled across an old external Philips CD-ROM drive. My NeXTStation is in dire need of an external SCSI to allow loading an OS on the replacement drive, so I crossed my fingers and took a peek at the back of the drive. Sure enough, it had a SCSI I port. Next, I checked the price, seven dollars and ninety-nine cents. The price tag had the words "AS IS" written on it, a bad sign for certain. Anything with "AS IS" tags means someone has determined a problem exists with the device. It may or may not function as a result. The unit had been opened and reassembled incorrectly, leaving part of its internals hanging out so I guessed that was the likely issue. As for the price, that's too pricey for the iffy scenario. The tag color is pink so I only needed to wait 10 days before they hit the one dollar and twenty-nine cent day for the device. Patiently I waited until this morning, the one dollar and twenty-nine cent day. Off to the store I jaunted. Sure enough it sat on the shelf. I swooped in and grabbed the little fellow. On the way home, I decide to hit another of their stores. This time, I found something a little more unique.

Walking back to the electronics section, I spied something - something blue. Closer inspection of this blue objected revealed that it was a Sony PlayStation.

This is a DTL-H1102, my unit is a DTL-H1001.


Deep back in the catacombs of my mind, I recall hearing that blue units are different from the normal retail units. Supposedly, their debug consoles used by programmers. Once again, I crossed my fingers and flipped the unit over to peek at the labeling. Hand written on the bottom, it said "CPU-0, ROM 2.1" and on the label it had the words "Debugging Station, model # DTL-H1001". That clinched it, it's a debug unit alright. Next, I eyed the unit for flaws and a price tag. No flaws, but no price tag either. I took a peek at the other Sony PS unit on the shelf and it had a price tag of nine dollars and ninety-nine cents. That gave me a ballpark price range for what they might price it at when I check at the cashier counter. So off I went to the front. Waiting my way through a time consuming line, I finally handed the unit to the cashier and asked for a price check. She walked off to another area and returned, "Nine dollars and ninety-nine cents sir. Would you like it?" to which I replied with a straight face, "Yes please." Ah, sweet score!

While not the latest technology, the PS will play discs from any region, and will play pressed games or burned games from what I read. I shall play with it later on and determine if it works and what it's capabilities are. Overall, I'd say I fared out quite well.

Later this afternoon, I'll try to repair the SCSI CD-ROM case and see if my NeXTStation will recognize it. If it does, I'll try and load an OS onto the machine. It's been eight or nine months that I've waited to try and boot the machine, so I'm somewhat excited. Hopefully everything falls into place and I find myself booting up the NeXTStation for a bit of fun.

Monday, November 2, 2009

Cynical Sam

Booksie – sigh! Another misunderstood niche on my part. Perhaps it skewed over time, but the vocal/influential reader base at Booksie appears to be in the 12 to 16 year age bracket. The result? After my initial creative-advertising generated spike in read counts, I'm receiving roughly one or two reads per week on what I consider innovative short stories such as “Circumstances Beyond their Control”. It's ironic when picture-based content of the Twilight cast members receives thousands of reads, thus stomping the crap out of literature written with considerable effort and thought. One might liken the resulting feeling to a poke in the eye!


Perhaps the next publishing site I try will end up being dominated by Maximum Ride fanatics. Then my works can be ignored by readers who fall in love with the idea of a human/bird hybrid they idolize as a hunk. Oops, Maximum Ride is probably old hat. Well, it's quite simple really. The natural progressions implies that we replace a sparkly “hunk” vampire with a blind “hunk” bird-man, or whatever else might make a good hunk symbol, and you'll be laying the foundation for success!