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10:13 PM on 08.04.2009

Suggestions/Help Needed For School Gaming Club

For those of you who don't know already, I'm a High School teacher in Arizona. Last year I started a gaming club, and our numbers were pretty good. (Actually, we have more members than any other non-athletic club at the school).

However, the school is located in a very poor area, so we have run into some problems. As much as I would like to bring my personal systems in week to week, this just is not a possibility. We do also play board games, but the kids would like the option of having videogames to play as well.

This is where my help request comes in to play. Do any of you guys have any strategies for contacting local businesses to help either sponsor our club or donate some things for our uses? Any kind of partnership would be great.

We did have a fairly successful charity event last year (halo 3 tournament), but were sponsorless. I have a feeling that with some actual connections we could do something nice for the community (a la Child's Play).

Give me a shout if you can help think of any contacts to have or other such activities that could drum up respect for our club and help someone else out at the same time.

My first idea I had was to collect the Pepsi Rock Band caps and try to win a system/rock band instruments through that, but I've only had a handful of caps submitted to us. People like the idea of winning for themselves ;)

If you want to donate your cap to our cause, send me a message :)


12:50 PM on 06.19.2008

PAIN Update Live!

For those waiting on TF2 update to hit, boot up your dusty PS3 and boot up PAIN! The hefty 50 meg update (part 1 of 2 (coming next week)) adds a buttload of "new" content and juicy fun!

If you need the sordid details, head to the

See you in gameland. At least I have something to do while I wait on TF2 lol


8:04 AM on 05.17.2008

PS3 Owners: Your Guitar Has Come! [Nyko Frontman PS3 mini-review]

I just picked up a wireless FrontMan guitar for the PS3, boasting bi-directional strum bar, effects switch, and, most importantly, dual support for ROCK BAND and GUITAR HERO III. I own GH3 for the PS2, but my wife wanted the No Doubt pack for GH3.

I had been waiting for this guitar for some time, since my get togethers for Rock Band always ended in fail when only 3 people were able to rock at once if my friend that owns Rock Band didn't come or bring his guitar.

First things first: it's made by Nyko. I don't know if this is a good or a bad thing, but at least it's not MadCatz (shudder).

Aesthetics first:

It's a decent looking guitar. Not the full on idiocy of the nightblade, but not the understated simplicity (genius) of the Fender Stratocaster or Les Paul. A huge bonus is that it comes with an interchangeable faceplate straight out of the box (no screwdrivers necessary too). Granted, the only other color it comes with is pink, but that's all my wife wanted anyway (naturally).

I have a few issues with the design so far, though.

1.) The neck of the guitar is THICK. It's slightly thicker than the original guitar hero guitars. My fingers grew quite used to the Strat's thin design, so I had a few minutes getting reacquainted with the new neck

2.) The fret buttons are slightly rounded. It's sort of hard to see or feel, but they're higher in the middle of the button than on the edges. It makes my fingers once again yearn for the strat's easily sliding flatness.

Sure, sure it's all well and good to see how it looks and feels, but how does it PLAY?


The thing plays like a champ. It does exactly what it says it does: play GH3 and RB on the PS3. Wirelessly. I was up and shredding (and cursing at bosses in gh3) in no time. The "clicky" strum has returned with amazing accuracy and clarity and there is no detectable lag when playing songs; all key features in a $60 purchase.


It has a pedal to connect the controller and switch from GH to RB mode? Sweet! Once again, I've furthered my inner fake-rock desires! It also comes with a 7 or 8 foot USB cord to plug in the guitar (in case you don't like to use/waste batteries).

Really my only gripe about the thing is that the effects knob for RB doesn't immediately switch effects; there's a ~1 sec delay. Optimally, I want to change on the fly during a solo, but there's not much time between notes, so with this guitar I flail the switch and hope i don't end up on delay.

One neat feature of the guitar's receiver pedal is that it has 5 LEDs on the pedal that light when you press the fret buttons. So while shredding solos you get the full colorful compliment on the receiver for your fake-rock audience to enjoy while waiting on your next star power to deploy, sending Lars Umlaut into a green-mist-frenzy.

In short, if you don't have a 2nd guitar for RB/GH3, I highly recommend this guitar. At $60, it's just in the ballpark of the "real" instruments, if not cheaper.

I didn't feel like going for that $20 converter dongle dealy, since I didn't really WANT to use my old guitars, I wanted wireless. The effects knob helped seal the deal.

Anyone else own this thing?   read

1:52 PM on 05.12.2008

My Computer is no longer Borked

I love that TigerDirect has actual stores that I can visit (huzzah Chicago area) and take advantage of their sweet deals on electronics without waiting for shipping and/or signature hassles.

The good: GeForce 8600 GT is now mine and running perfectly
* My motherboard isn't dead
* My new hard drive is in the computer too

The bad: I have a dead GeForce 7600 GT
* Carpal tunnel bugging my left wrist, so even Rock Band is unplayable at the moment
* Still working retail for my second job

Now a picture to distract you, much like the images on the front of graphics cards tell you nothing about the product itself.

Man it's good to be back in the saddle, instead of on my wonderful CRT tv browsin the interwebs.

Bring on the TF2 and WoW and TQ!   read

11:35 PM on 05.10.2008

My Computer is Borked. I have terrible times with electronics.

No pretties to put in here. Long story short, either the motherboard or the video card died in my computer (odds are it's the video card). Hopefully I will be able to get the system back up and running in time for some Wed. Night TQ or best case scenario for TF2uesday. If not, carry on, wayward sons, and hope someone else makes a better punching bag. All my Internet browsing is going to take place on my PS3 for a little while, which makes me sad, given how terribly keyboards work with the system. Now if only I installed Linux on here I could have a real computer to work with >< That's all; my whining is over. Who wants to play some rock band? :D   read

2:50 PM on 04.29.2008

My PS3 Has Returned!

Great news: I got my PS3 back just now; it's currently system updating itself to the newest firmware.

Better news: it wasn't formatted or replaced, it's my good ol' system (minus the good part for failing on me)

Bad news: I have to go to work in an hour :(

Time to queue up the DLC downloads while I work I guess.

See you all in PS3 Gameland tomorrow!


12:05 PM on 04.29.2008

PixelJunk Monsters: Encore info Surfaces!

from the, wonderful news arrives!

PJ:M gets some DLC love! I am sort of excited about this, at least until I find out some more info on pricing.

But here's what we do know:

* 1 new island, Toki Island
* 15 new levels
* 5 new music tracks from Otograph
* Ice Tower is now a stock item
* Reduced gem cost to buy the Tesla Tower
* Releasing in May 2008

Looks like the developer was being constantly harassed by his wife to make new levels for her entertainment. Leave it to women to help create something awesome like this from nagging .

The lack of new actual towers somewhat disappoints me, but the new visuals are cool:

Hit the link to read the interview: there will be a second Q&A posted at a later date to fully satiate our NEED MOAR PJ:M:E INFO needs   read

10:46 PM on 04.28.2008

How to get in MGO Beta if you don't have a code yet:

EDIT: Requires GAP membership; sorry if you aren't in the GAP; I joined years ago so I don't know how they changed requirements of entry.

Outside of preordering or harassing up some codes, just head on over to the GAP site (via and log in. Then head to this site (i know it looks fishy for a site, but it's direct from the email i got from the GAP peoples... then again may only work uniquely per email address?) and hit the gimme button!

While the rest of you will be GTA IV'ing, I shall be dying miserably, while shouting "SNAAAAKE" randomly, for good measure.

And in good news, I get my PS3 back tomorrow!

[via E-mail: HTTP version]   read

12:03 AM on 04.24.2008

My PS3... Shipped? Anyone Else Surprised?

Yesterday (since in God's time zone, where I live, it's now Thursday) Sony shipped my repaired PS3 back to me. At least, I think it's repaired. E-mail wasn't clear on type of replacement. I won't complain, as long as it works.

Nothing displays or is acknowledged from UPS for the tracking number they gave me; so either it's shipping tomorrow with a stock label from Sony (thus not in the UPS system yet) or UPS updates slow and it'll show tomorrow.

My only complaint about it is I don't know how it was shipped. I highly doubt it went out NDA like the coffin came, but it would help to know. I'm assuming it's not out yet, so I'll find how it was shipped when UPS acknowledges it.

The grand total of "business days" it took Sony to receive, process, repair, and ship out my borked system: 5 days. 5 days.

Epic win, in my book. I'm sure it's going either ground or 3-day select, so I'll have my system up and running for the next WNW event! Watch out, Y0j1mb0; I'm comin' for you (only because I can't kill Shipero).

Epic win.

(best ps3 related epic win picture I could find in 10 seconds; I'm lazy)

Copy/pasta email:

Dear PlayStation(R) Owner,

On 04/23/08 we shipped a PLAYSTATION 3 - CECHE01 and if applicable, peripheral(s) and/or accessories, to you.

The system was shipped to you via UPS. The Tracking Number is [ ]. To track your shipment, you may log on to

Your exchanged system will come with a 90-day limited warranty. Please note that, if the original limited warranty that came with your brand new product is still valid, it will remain valid for a period of 1 year. The warranty coverage on your replacement console will be the greater of your new 90-day limited warranty or the remainder of your valid original 1-year limited warranty.   read

1:53 PM on 04.22.2008

Sony did Something Right Under Warranty?

I got my SIXAXIS controller back from Sony. For those who aren't in the know, the left stick was jamming some and wouldn't go back to a neutral position, so it would constantly glide up. I tried cleaning, air blasting, etc and couldn't get it to work right, so I dialed up Sony.

I had to pay $3-4 to ship it out to them (whatever USPS Delivery Confirmation costs), but other than the USPS telling me it was delivered on April 7, I didn't get any word from anybody that the controller was received or even existed.

I checked on Sony's online Repair status ticket site, and entered my ticket number (alternatively my phone number as well) but there was nothing in the system about it. I was preparing to call Sony soon inquiring about the controller, but I had a turn of luck. On Saturday, FedEx attempted to make a delivery. I was not at home, so they left a tag on my door. Once again, no tracking information appeared when I looked online with the numbers (FedEx's website as well), so I had no idea what the delivery was or who sent it.

I was hoping it would have been a contest winning delivery or something, but I'll take what I got: a brand spankin' new controller! Granted, it's a SIXAXIS, but since I bought myself a DS3 anyway, it's a second controller (better battery life is good for such a controller I think).

Instead of just repairing the controller, which couldn't have been that hard... pop it open, clean it off, close it again, I get a new one?

No complaints here. Only took 2 weeks for this one, and I'm pretty sure it's a lower priority than a console repair request, so I can only hope to get that one back in roughly the same time frame.

At least one thing is going right in my life; don't get me started on my "getting the second computer up and running for the wife without buying all new parts" gig. ><


7:33 PM on 04.19.2008

The Gamers' Toilet Seat?

Stumbled across this while I was checking the deal of the day on Amazon's Gold Box.

Oddly enough gamers really enjoy browsing different toilet seats (especially ones that shoot water at your posterior after doing your business).


11:24 AM on 04.19.2008

So I finally tried the Pandora PSP Trick...

First I have a change in the whole "time to completion" Sony thing. The online service now acknowledges my shipment arriving, saying it's been assigned to some one. They say it will take 7-15 business days not including shipping to repair. Better than 10-15 days, but I have a feeling it may come sooner (we shall see).

But in other news, I have had myself a homebrew-enabled PSP for quite some time now, enjoying the likes of Cave Story and other such great apps.

But I always had friends wanting me to help them out, but they were beyond the 3.50 trick via Lumines. I had heard of Pandora, but it just sounded bogus or odd to me; how could converting a psp battery really help flash the internal memory?

But I had a friend with nothing to lose (see: cracked screen on phat psp). So I followed some directions from a reputable site. They were as confusing as possible, so I tried to follow DA's directions. Also no use; something just seemed to be missing. But I stumbled on a place with a very clear step by step plan on what to do.

I did it, and am now proud to say I have a magic stick and pandora battery.

The battery isn't destroyed (thanks to new developments in the pandora code allowing reverting), and neither are the psps. Huzzah for allowing me to play the PS1 games I own without having to repurchase them (assuming they ever come out) without doing the whole remote play thing, since most of my gaming on the machine takes place at work, where I have no access to the Internet.

If anyone has any issues or questions about the process, I can help you along, since really the most use anyone gets out a psp beyond a few stellar titles is the homebrew scene.

I'm glad most of the psp info in this sector isn't just hogwash hoping to brick your machine, but then again, pandora also works as the universal unbricker bwahahaha   read

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