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WTF is a Totodile?

Posted 2010.03.17 22.34 in Computers/Internet/Technology

So there’s this new game that just came out for the DS, called Pokemon. I don’t really get it. There’s these wild semi-magical beasties that you catch, squish them down into little balls, then release them now and then and force them to fight each other for entertainment and money.

Anyhow, it came with a pedometer that connects wirelessly to the game card, and I wanted to know how it worked.

Before I got out the magic screwdrivers and scalpel, I did play with it for a bit. I got a Totodile, and I named him Bungee. He defeated a bunch of other wild creatures. He can scratch and squirt water and glare menacingly.

But then I got bored and started prying things apart…

The cartridge casing looks black, but it’s transparent – you can shine light through it. The big chip is the ROM, it’s 1Gb (128MB). The smaller chip above that is a flash ram for the game saves, it’s 4Mb (512kB). At the top is the IR transceiver bit, below that is an oscillator. The chip on the right is some kind of microprocessor.

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Serendipity?

Posted 2010.03.09 9.46 in Computers/Internet/Technology

After all theĀ hype last month about the winter olympics, I was contemplating maybe getting thisĀ Vancouver Olympics DS game that I had seen advertised.

I was midly interested, but not enough to plunk out the cash. So I more or less forgot about it.

Then just the other day I was over at the post office, and in the parking lot I spotted an abandoned DS cartridge! I picked it up and turned it over and surprise! It was the vancouver winter olympics cart I had been thinking of getting. Coincidence? Hmm…

Well, when I got home I popped it in my DS and then found out why it had been abandoned. It didn’t work – not recognized. Upon closer inspection, I saw that the plastic casing had a bit of damage – nothing obvious, but just a slight ‘dent’. I pried the cartridge open and pulled out the board inside, and then I could see the real problem.

The precious mask-ROM chip was cracked. Maybe the cart got slammed in a car door or something. Just enough to crack the ROM chip but not enough to really disfigure the cart or damage the circuit board.

I tried some different tools but the ROM was most-assuredly deceased. The EEPROM was still alive and accessable though, and I was able to retrieve the game saves from it. So, 222 and shadow, whoever you are, I have your game save data. The game itself though is toast.

Anyways then I was reading about the game, and found that there’s this bit where you have to try and save winter because some bad guys have stolen the snow spirits and it isn’t going to snow any more anywhere ever. The one little snow spirit who escaped is all like begging for help to save his friends so they can make it snow again…

No more snow? Yeah… see I’m kinda ok with that. Good luck though.

Still Here… Still Sore.

Posted 2010.03.07 12.24 in Computers/Internet/Technology, Pointless Blather

Blink and it’s like four days passed… I’m still here, but the pain comes and goes. A friend has suggested that it might be what they call a ‘dry socket’… she had this when her wisdom teeth were removed. What happens is the gums don’t fully close where the tooth was, leaving a bit of the bone exposed. Then any time some food or whatever gets into the socket, it touches that exposed bone and causes pain. If it’s there for a long time it can lead to infection. So I have to talk to the dentist again this week and ask if this could be what I’m experiencing.

When something gets in there, the pain starts within a minute or so, then in about 10 or 15 minutes the pain has spread to include my ear, and then it continues to spread till it’s encompased the entire side of my head. Then it just stays like that, till I can get the bit of food out – which can take a long time, the only way to remove it is by doing lots and lots of rinsing with water.

It takes all the joy out of eating.

Anyhow, so I’ve been trying to keep my mind off that with other distractions. I don’t remember if I ever officially stated in the blob that I had no intentions of learning to do coding for the Nintendo DS, but I definately officially had no intentions to learn how to do coding for the Nintendo DS.

Unsurprisingly, 3 months later, I’m learning to do coding for the Nintendo DS. Nothing pretty or fancy – I’m no gamer, I’m terrible at playing games and have no interest in trying to make them. But simple things, exploring the technology and whatnot, making it do things, making stuff happen. That’s where I’m at.

Test Inputs Screenshot

So I wrote a simple utility that tests all the inputs (i.e. buttons and touchscreen) and does a few funky things, plays sounds and moves a ‘sprite’ around, utilizes the two screens, and so on and so forth. The screenshot makes it look very lame and boring, but I had lots of fun making it, and it kept my mind off the pain and hunger for a few days.

There’s already lots of other little utilities that do the same thing as this, but this one is mine and does things my way. Aside from doing the obvious, it also has some fun little things that it can do, by pressing the right keys.

It was also a good primer for moving on to try doing some other things with it. Maybe like graphics – I understand people enjoy graphics, these days.

So that’s about where it’s at, right now.

Cheers.

Full Contact Solitaire

Posted 2010.02.18 13.12 in Computers/Internet/Technology, Life On Drugs

So I was playing solitaire on my Nintendo DS, when I caught the DS cheating. I’d been suspicious of it for some time, but this time I definately caught it playing around with me, and then we got into an argument. It went something like this:

Me: Ooh, a red six. I can put that on the black seven!.
DS: No, that doesn’t go there.
Me: What do you mean? Red sixes go on black sevens.
DS: It’s not a six, it’s an eight, see?
Me: It was a six! You changed it!
DS: Hahaha!
Me: Well bugger it, I’m putting the red eight on the black seven anyways!
DS: You can’t that’s against the rules.
Me: Heck with your rules, you’re not the boss of me!
DS: I might not be the boss of you, but I am the boss of this game. So what I say goes!
Me: Well screw it then. I’m going to play some Star Trek. I hacked that so I am the boss there. You’re going to be the Klingons and I’m going to kick your ass all over the Gorath sector!
DS: Fuck.

That’s exactly how it went down. And I did kick its ass in Star Trek.

p.s. Yes I know I’m a geek.