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Serendipity?

Posted 2010.03.09 9.46 in Computers/Internet/Technology

After all the hype last month about the winter olympics, I was contemplating maybe getting this 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.

More Olympics Stuff

Posted 2010.02.21 11.58 in Pointless Blather, Sports

I thought I was done with olympics stuff after the other post, but it’s very pervasive – like it’s all they talk about on radio and tv at the moment. So here’s some more tidbits and commentary.

Olympic Bouquets: I heard them talking on the radio about how these bouquets that were given to the medal-winners were specially designed to represent Vancouver / British Columbia, how they were all green and so forth. Am I the only one who immediately thought the bouquets were made of pot, or at least contained some weed? I know it’s one or two olympics ago, but when I think of winter olympics, vancouver, and then you think about snowboarding, and that’s just where my mind goes. Anyhow, they probably don’t have any weed in them, but I think it would have been classic if they did.

That Electronic Starting Gun: Appearantly I’m not the only one who thought it was wierd, there was a newspaper article about it. And it wasn’t brought about because Canadians are wimps about firearms — no, this time it’s the terrorists we have to blame! Yeah, normal starting guns can’t get through airport security any more so they had to come up with something else.

Winter Special Olympics: They do exist but they call it the Winter Paralympics. They happen next month. However, they don’t get to do luge, bobsled, skeleton, or any of those fun/crazy/dangerous sports. No snowboarding either, I think. They just get hockey, skiing (downhill & crosscountry) and curling. Oh but they do get biathlon! Hurtling down a concrete-and-ice chute is too dangerous, but rifles are ok, appearantly.

Biathlon: Speaking of which, I confirmed that they do still use real (.22 cal) rifles in this sport. So for now at least, no zappy laser-tag guns. Though I wonder, if biathletes can get their (real) rifles on and off airplans, how come those gee-whiz-guys at Omega can’t get their (blank-firing-only) starter pistols through? I’m suspicious.

Medals: I came across this which I thought was cool. The medals are among the largest/heaviest ever used in an olympics, weighing over a half-kilogram (more than a full pound) each. I found a neat little video on how they were made. Each medal is actually unique, so that no two are alike. If you put them all together though they form some very cool artwork. I heard the gold ones cost over $200 each to make. I wonder what it’d cost to buy something like that. They should have knockoffs for sale in the e-store. Though I shudder to think what that’d cost – I mean $40 for a cowbell? Sheesh!

The round ones are for the olympics, the square ones are the paralympics. I think. And hopefully the ribbon bit is really well-attached – give that a few swings and you could seriously brain someone.. a pound of metal on the end of 18 inches of nylon? Good luck getting that through airport security.

Winter Olympics

Posted 2010.02.17 17.35 in Sports

I’m not much into the winter olympics. Don’t have too much to say about it. Not terribly interested in it. Sure it’s nice to see Canada win a few medals, but I’m not sitting there watching it on tv or anything.

The only winter olympic sport that I was ever marginally interested in was the biathalon. It just seemed like a good combination – the boredom and drudgery of cross-country skiing, punctuated now and then with gunfire. Back when my folks had one of those ‘nordic track’ exercise thingies in the basement, I bought an air rifle and that made the make-believe basement skiing much more fun. Every 10 or 15 minutes you stop with the skiing and plink some targets.

Anyhow, I did end up watching a few minutes of something. What struck me most, was that the starting pistol seems to be some kind of orange plastic electronic doodad. It had like a xenon bulb at the tip that went ‘flash’ when the guy pushed the button, and the loudspeakers made a ‘bang’ sound. And that’s when I sort of thought, WTF?

I mean, is this just a Canadian thing because we’re so afraid of guns? Or is this actually a common olympic / sporting thing now? Where they use toy plastic electronic guns that make a ‘bang’ noise and go ‘flash’?

If they still do the biathalon, are they allowed to use real guns in that? I mean, I think it was 8 or 12 years ago when I last paid attention and they were using these funky super-expensive .22 rifles that were more or less specifically designed for olympics… but who knows now? Maybe they use laser-tag guns and blinky target lights that go ‘beep’.

I’m pretty sure the biathalon was based on the concept of having to hunt for your dinner in a snowy environment. All this technology and safety and stuff waters things down, IMHO. I’d rather see them just grab whatever the heck they were comfortable with or was the most fun. Like an actual hunting rifle? .303 or a .30-06 or something. Ski for a few minutes, then BLAMO! they obliterate some target 300 yards away.

I saw the news about the tragedy on the luge track last week. That was sad. They said that the Vancouver luge track was the fastest and most dangerous in the world. After the olympics are over, do they have a ‘special winter olympics’ like they do for the summer ones? Do they have all the same events? Will they be sending special olympians down the same luge track?

Anyhow, the winter olympics really just boils down to two things… first, there’s only a month or so till the next F1 season starts. And second, there’s only a few months till the World Cup. Not that I’m much of a football fan, as in, not at all, but I like the way the World Cup brings lots of nations together to kick a ball around. And I like hearing phrases like “injury time” and “time added on”. Canada typically sucks at it, so I root for England instead.

That’s about all I have on my mind for olympics. Cheers!