XBox Power Cable Revisited

I actually received my replacement xbox power cable about 2 weeks ago, but I just haven’t gotten around to posting about it.  I have no idea what got into me, but I’ve been supremely lazy.  Anyways, the reason I even mention it, is because it came with a manual.  That’s right, a power cord with a manual.  What has the world come to?  I suppose I could be thankful, since I could’ve been sent the ginormous cord.

Well, apparently, even the new power cords aren’t doing what they were initially planned to do.  Here’s a shocker, since the problem seems to be the actual solder jobs in the power supplies.  Not quite sure how a power cord could alleviate that problem, but then again, I’m no Microsoft engineer.

Xbox Power Cable

Apparantly there is a recall on Xbox Power adapters.  You can read all about it at  It seems to effect US consoles sold before Oct ‘03.  Go get yourself a new cord!

Weekend Nerdiness

On Friday I got a copy of Knights of the Old Republic 2 (KotOR2).  Needless to say, the weekend has been dominated with playing it.  Amazingly enough I still haven’t finished it yet.  For those of you that didn’t play the first one on either xbox or PC, go do yourself a favor and get it.  It’s by far one of the best game I’ve ever played.  Needless to say, KotOR2 is pretty much more of the same. 

Now, I know that a lot of you are thinking, “What?  It’s just more of the same exact game?”  Well, in a nutshell, yes.  Granted there are a few improvements, but 95% of the game is exactly the same, just with a new/continuation of the story.  What’s really nice, is that they pretty much took everything that everyone wasn’t a fan of in the first one, or stuff they wanted, and put it into the second one.  The ability to have two weapons config set and ready to go, longer gameplay, dual-bladed light sabers, more weapons, etc. 

What’s really creepy is that it seems as if it’s using my saved games from KotOR1 to fill in the story for this one.  I’m not sure if it really is or not though, because it’s been so long since I played it, but you go to some of the same planets in both, and it’s crazy because how the story has progressed.  If you haven’t played KotOR1 yet, you really should play it first before 2, just to appreciate the way the stories blend so well together. 

I actually never beat the first one because I got to the end boss, and since I didn’t have light saber throw, I was practically impossible (I was light side).  Then I tried to beat it again on the harder level and didn’t even get to the end boss as the dark side.  So far, I haven’t had any problems with this one, so I’m imagining it’s going to be like the first.  At least in this type of game it makes sense.  I mean, at least in the last one, you were combating the strongest being in the universe.  I suppose I shouldn’t have just been able to roll over him, but it would’ve been way cooler.

Now, I’m just hoping that they don’t have a max cap on the level of character you can have in the new one, because if it’s anywhere near where it was in the first one, I’m about done leveling up.

Remote Controlled On/Off

I love the Xbox, and everything it does.  However, there’s one annoying little thing that you simply can’t do, turn it on and off remotely.  Yes, I know this makes me supreme of lazy, but since it’s so tied into my Home Theater setup, it would be extremely nice if I could operate its powerstate like I do all the other components in my system. 

If you visit Xbox-Scene, there is a tutorial on how to do it, but it requires you to find a specific chip and then program it.  Since I don’t have a programmer, that was kind of out of my league.  Of course, someone figured this would be an easy way to make a few bucks.  Welcome the XIR from CheapLPC. 

I purchased the Pro version, because I’m ok with spending less and having to do one solder connection.  Installation was a snap; simply slide some wires into the motherboard molex connector, and solder the one point.  Granted, the one solder point was a bit awkward because of it’s location, but definitely not that hard by any stretch.  I had to reprogram the Pronto last night with the xbox remote configuration, since I currently don’t have an xbox remote.  This, unfortunately, took the vast majority of my time because I pretty much redid my whole configuration since so much had changed (no more DVD player, Colleen’s, no more Digital Cable Box).  However, the XIR preformed flawlessly, just as advertised.  I slipped the IR Receiver so it just pokes out on the front display and now when there’s a commercial or nothing on TV worth watching, I can easily flip to the xbox without having to get up to turn it on.  The thing can even turn on and off my modchip via the remote.  I just have to install a (not included) wire from it to the dreaded d0 point.  Granted, for me, there’s no real reason to have the modchip off, but who knows.

Now all I need is some Wireless Controllers, and I’m all set.  Granted, they are already on my Wishlist, so here’s wishing.

Categorized as xbox


So, I officially sank to a new low of nerd this week.  As everyone probably knows, Halo 2 came out yesterday.  Well, since I’m such an Xbox fanboy, I snagged it.  Now, granted, I own very few xbox games, but I figured, Halo was so quality that I had to give props to Bungie and Microsoft and make the purchase.

Now, the reason that this has made me reach a new level of nerd, is because I didn’t just wait to get it on Tuesday or pre-order it.  Oh no, I was out on Monday night at midnight picking it up.  First stop was the EBGames on campus.  Wow, that was mistake.  I got there around 11:30 to find a line that stretched from EBGames to Follett’s (for those of you unaware, that’s about a block).  However, being the resourceful person I am, I hadn’t gone on this Halo 2 journey alone.  Instead, a coworker went to Meijers, while I went to EB.  Turns out he was the line at Meijers.  Needless to say, out to Meijers I went. 

Now, you may be thinking to yourself, “Wow, he is a nerd,” but just wait, because the story isn’t done.  I then headed back to my apt and played till about 3am. 

“Damn, 3am, what about work the next day?”

Already taken care of, since I took Tuesday off to play with some friends and coworkers.  We had a projector for 2 of us, and a large screen tv for the other 2.  We also ordered a Jimmy John’s sub platter and had a good ol’ time.  It was crazy how fast the day actually passed.

Overall, I’m very impressed with the game.  The graphics are top notch, and they added a bunch of cool stuff (like throwing someone out of a vehicle while it’s going, weilding two guns at the same time, etc).  It has definitely lived up to the hype.  Now I just need to take the time to beat it and watch all the cutscenes, since we weren’t really watching the cutscenes while playing co-op.

Yet another game that I need to beat on the Xbox.  This past weekend, I really got into Fable as I waited on stuff being reconfigured on my server.  Good times indeed.

Categorized as xbox

Xbox Media Center

I normally keep fairly up to date with releases of Xbox Media Center (xbmc), but lately I haven’t been because I found a version (the build released on January 5th) that was stable, and did everything I wanted to.  All I can say, is, DAMN!  I downloaded the latest release as of 2 days ago (the May 9th release I believe).

First of all, they’ve gotten rid of the same skin they’ve been using as the default for a long time.  It’s not that I wasn’t a fan of the old skin, but this new one is so much more polished. 

Second of all, the smb streaming is absolutely perfect for me.  However, that may be because of the new router that actually doesn’t reduce the speeds to the xbox to 1Mbps.  I’ll talk about my new router a little later though, because I don’t want to give it intensely glowing reviews, and then have something stupid happen a day later 🙂

And finally, the greatest feature I think they ever could’ve added, is the addition of an http server.  Now, you may be thinking, why the hell would they do that?  Well, all I can say is, this http server allows you to control whatever xbmc is playing.  Yes, that’s right, you could essentially hook up your xbox to a reciever, speakers, and a network connection.  Granted, not all features are currently supported via the website, but you can easily add things to your queue, etc. 

Now, the reason I think this is so damn cool, is that in my office, ever since we moved out the noisy rack, we contemplated getting some sort of jukebox setup that we could all connect to and add tracks to, etc.  This way we don’t all have to wear headphones, or have 5 different songs playing in the background.  A modded xbox is now a possible solution to our problem.  We could all add whatever songs you want to listen to to the playlist.  There are still a few things that would need to be tweaked (like deleting stuff that’s currently in the playlist, etc).  This is the exact sort of solution that I was thinking about for the office.  In fact, I had seen a similar thing at a party I had gone to a few years back at Presidential Towers.  I can’t remember the name of the company that was having the party, but they do a lot of training, and web developement.  Needless to say, they had a webapp that you could browse their music collection, and then add to the current playlist.  It was one of the cooler ideas I’ve seen for a small business/office.

And now that xbox’s are $150, this means you can get a awesome little media center for around $200 (if you mod it yourself).  To all those with xbox’s, I say go for it because it’s so easy, and you can get so much more out of your black and green box.

Categorized as xbox

The Future?

So I got James Bond 007: Everything or Nothing from gamefly this week, and I must say, DAMN!  This is how video games should be!  Now, I’m not referring to the media check that makes making backups a pain, but instead “movie” feel of the game.  Instead of making a new Bond movie, they decided to do a video game.  They have voice overs from all the people in the bond movies: Pierce Brosnan, Heidi Klum, etc, etc.  From the little bit I’ve played, I’m more than impressed.  The controls make sense, and I’m not getting overwhelmed by the amount of buttons on the controller in such a small area (something that has a tendency of happening with me, since I’m a computer gamer all the way).

Categorized as xbox

It’s Alive

Yay! I got the xbox working yesterday. It actually wasn’t that bad, I was just quite pissed about it on Wednesday when it happened. So, I’m going to make a great drawing representation for you, in paint! So, there’s the round area, that brings the trace down to a lower level, and the trace itself that’s supposed to connect to it. Needless to say, as you can see from the drawing, here, that the trace wasn’t connecting to it. Now, you’re supposed to solder a wire onto the round area, but since mine got so messed up, I ended up messing up the trace. So all I had to do was use the wire I needed to solder on to also connect the trace to the round area. Needless to say, after I made the hypothesis that that would fix it, it took about 5 mins to actually fix it. It’s a relief, that’s for sure.

In other news, having Thursday as a holiday, and not Friday, is just asking for nothing not be accomplished on Friday. Needless to say, that is exactly what happened yesterday. However, we DID get the laptops that have been on order from HP for the last 2 months. I’m sure the people that actually ordered them will be happy.

And one more thing, I just bought the Damien Rice – O album last night, and WOW. Talk about a great album. You should take a listen. No, really!

Categorized as xbox

Happy New Year


Well, I think I borked my xbox yesterday. Joy. It was just going to be a simple day copying stuff. However, Aaron Binford, a student worker at DIA, got a 250GB harddrive. However, we couldn’t simply get his bios to reflash enabling his xbox to see over 137GB. Well, we since mine has a 200GB drive in it, we decided to swap out my chip, and see if it works, etc. Well, needless to say, we finally got his working, but after I got mine all back together, it didn’t boot. So, I took it back apart and worked on it for quite awhile. Right now, it’s completely in pieces. With none of the modchip pieces hooked up, it STILL doesn’t work. So, I haven’t touched it since yesterday. I hope I can get it fixed. If not, at least I’ll know exactly how to get it working right the next time. I may try to return it to ebgames, since I did get the “no questions asked” warranty. I just feel kinda sleezy for doing that.

Categorized as xbox

Operation DDR Part 2

Well, I must report that the dancepad works. It’s not quite as good as at the arcade, because it has a tendency to move under you when you “dance,” but other than that it works well. Phew, you also definitely get a workout just for screwing around on it. It gets your heart pounding, and the sweat was starting to roll. All in all, not bad, for what amounted to $7 out of my pocket. I just wish you could add your own music and it would auto-detect the beats so you could dance to it. Maybe in the next version…

Categorized as xbox