SSD in a PowerBook G4 Titanium

Posted from Montville, New Jersey, United States.

Artist: enoshito

Artist: enoshito

You might be wondering, why would put an SSD in a 13-year-old PowerBook G4 Titanium? I happen to found one in good condition aside from a few chips from normal use with a reasonably strong hinge (hinge problem is common on the earlier models). Not only that, there is not that much wear on the track pad and the keyboard and palm rest almost look like new and for 66 dollars, I couldn’t pass it up since one in good condition goes for $100-130 with a power adapter.

The problem is that the hard drive that came with it is slow and small. Because PATA hard drives are getting rare and the whole “put an SSD in everything” thing is very popular, why not install one? Sadly, there are not that many choices since most solid-state drives are SATA, not IDE. Therefore, you are left with a few manufacturers such as Transcend, OWC (which is too pricy, but probably work better with a Mac) and Kingspec (which I don’t trust). Sure, you can use compact flash card too, but they aren’t really designed for a boot drive and they can get expensive. However, mSATA SSDs have gone down in price while providing the fast speeds from regular SSDs, thus making them a viable choice.
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Thoughts about Angry Joe and the Nintendo’s Creators Program

Posted from Montville, New Jersey, United States.

I have to admit that while I am a long time fan of Nintendo for the fact that I own a lot of their consoles and games and just brought a Japanese New 3DS, I have been very disappointed with what they were doing in the past few years with their region locking policies (all the consoles except Nintendo’s are region free now), backwards Youtube policy, inability to keep the Amibos in stock, etc. Aside from the 3DS, Nintendo is not doing that well and they know it.

While some can argue that Angry Joe knew full well that it’s going to get claimed so he can make an angry rant about is beside the point. Nintendo is clearly in the wrong (Totalbiscuit does a good job explaining how anti-consumer the Nintendo’s Creator’s program is.) While it’s their right to control how their intellectual property is used, it’s not a good business practice. Most gaming companies (e.g. Valve, Sony, Microsoft, etc) have changed their minds and allow people to make videos about their games without taking any cut. They understand the value of people creating videos promoting or reviewing their products through Let’s Plays and critical reviews. I think the creator’s program not only makes Nintendo look greedy since it only leaves the content creator a small cut after Youtube and the Managed Content Network takes the cut, but it also discourages people to make any videos about their games. Furthermore, the program only approves videos that only say positive things about Nintendo, which is obviously a conflict of interest.

I feel that Nintendo is behind the times mostly because of their conservative views on how they operate their business (and I understand since I’m studying the Japanese language). Since the cultures between the east and west are different, it’s understandable why they would take a draconian approach. However, I think this will hurt their goodwill in the long-term not just because of their Youtube policies, but also other problems as mentioned earlier with keeping the Amibos, new 3DS,and  Game Cube Controller Attachment in stock. They have to realize that negative publicity is going to hurt them in the end since ultimately, the consumer makes the choice whether or not he/she wants to buy the product. Nintendo is not exactly doing well. Fanboys have to realize that they are a business and if they don’t address the negative publicity from anti-consumer practices, they are going to end up like Sega. I’m sure that nobody wants them to see them go that way, but hopefully, they will wake up soon and change their ways before it’s too late.

With that, I will no longer cover any Nintendo games (aside from third party games) until they change their policy.

Update: Here is another take on the issue from JoshJepson, who is familiar with Nintendo Content IDing videos.

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Restoring an iBook G3 Snow

Artist: kingin

Artist: kingin

For awhile now, I have been debating on getting a PowerPC G4 upgrade for my PowerMac G3 B&W, but I either couldn’t find it or they were too expensive. Since I kind of wanted a portable PowerPC Macintosh to run my older games. While I saw the unsupported Mac OS 9 boot hack, I wanted something that worked, so I decided on the iBook G3 that I picked up for $22 on eBay plus a power adapter for it, which is about $8.
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Upgrading a PowerMac G3 B&W with a PC ATI Radeon 7000 PCI Card

Posted from Parsippany-Troy Hills, New Jersey, United States.

Artist: 大気ken</a.

Artist: 大気ken

Just recently, I discovered that Connectix Virtual Game Station, which is a program that emulates a Playstation. It works great for Playstation games, especially Japanese imports after applying the patch. Since I have a PowerMac G3 Blue and White lying around for mostly for older gaming, I decided to upgrade it with an ATI Radeon 7000 since that card is easy to flash to make it Mac compatible. Not only that, ATI Rage 128 GL that came with it is just slow for games.

You can pick up a ATI Radeon 7000 PCI for cheap on eBay opposed to getting a Mac edition, which costs significantly more. However, most PC versions of the card only have a 64k ROM and since Mac ROMs are 128k, you will have to solder a new ROM so it will fit. Since I don’t feel like soldering, you can use a reduced ROM. Depending on the OEM, it might not work, but I managed to get mine working under Mac OS 9 and OS X.

For this project, I got a Visiontek ATi Radeon 7000 64 MB from eBay, which costed me $14.50. You also need the ATI Flash utilities, which you can get from this page, ATI Radeon 7000 drivers for Mac OS 9 and Radeon 9200 ROM Updater installer (for the ATI Rom Extender to make the card work fully). Lastly, I got the appropriate ROM files from Mac Elite wiki. I used the gotoh 7000 reduced rom. You also need a PC with a free PCI slot.

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Blizzard Fail

Posted from Parsippany-Troy Hills, New Jersey, United States.

From the looks of it, the forecaster got it wrong this time. Where I live, only about 6 inches fell, which is a far cry from the 2 feet they were predicting. It makes me wonder if they hyped the storm up just so that people would panic and make a run to the supermarket to get bread, milk and eggs.

As for New England, that is a different story since they got hit hard with 2 or more feet of snow.

Playstation Vita TV – Is it Worth It?

Posted from Parsippany-Troy Hills, New Jersey, United States.

Artist: wankoba

Artist: wankoba

Considering that Playstation Vita games are like full console games, there might be some people who want to play them on the big screen like the Playstation Portable. Moreover, it seems that Sony wants to compete with the Ouya by making a separate console called the Vita TV (also known as Playstation TV outside Asia) instead of incorporating HDMI functionality for the Vita.

Like the name implies, the Vita TV allows you to play most Vita or digitally download PSP/PS1 games on the big screen, but is it worth the $69/100 dollars? Let’s find out.
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Christmas Haul

Posted from Parsippany-Troy Hills, New Jersey, United States.

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  • 3 TB Western Digital My Cloud Network Attached Storage
  • 4 TB Seagate HD (for backup)
  • Playstation Vita TV Bundle
  • HDMI to Component/VGA converter box
  • Eneloop Rechargeable Batteries

Video Games:

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  • Hanayamata Yosakoi Live
  • Love Live School Idol Paradise Vol 2 Bibi,
  • Mahou Shoujo Madoka Magica – The Battle Pentagram,
  • Dekamori Senran Kagura (aka Senran Kagura Bin Appetit)
  • Super Smash Bros 3DS

2 CDs: Ore Twintail and Kyokai no Kanata OP CDs