Wednesday, April 28, 2010

PS3 and the Yellow Light of Death (YLOD)

Sometime last year, Dad went to turn on his Playstation 3 and was greeted by the infamous Yellow Light Of Death. It's tough to find a good description of what the YLOD is, but this forum thread is somewhat comprehensive. Essentially, the PS3 does nothing but show a single LED. Apparently there are a number of possible causes. Dad had just bought a new game it was stuck in the Blue-Ray player and no amount of coaxing was getting it out. With a repair price of about $150CAD (+ shipping) Dad simply bought a new Playstation ($300).

tiny ribbon cables galore
I had some spare time a couple of weeks back and Dad had found a suitable heat-gun to attempt the, by now, common "re-flow" repair. We watched this very good YouTube video (which is in two parts) and took the plunge. If it failed I was planning to at least crack the Blue-Ray drive to get the game which was M.I.A.

Death by a million screws.
One of the biggest challenges in this process is remembering where all the parts go and not having "extra" screws left at the end. I've taken apart quite a bit of tech in my time, and the PS3 ranks up there with a really full lap-top disassembly. My iPhone was invaluable for this reason. The YouTube video was great, but didn't cover re-assembly! Copious pictures of each stage and fingers pointing at the pieces in question really made putting it back together a snap compared to other jobs I've done. After completing the repair, I just started swiping backwards through the pictures and zooming in where I needed. I neglected to take any pictures of the actual "re-flow" process, since I was just hoping to use the pictures to put the damn thing back together again.

It took a couple of hours, but in the end we were successful. It was a lot of fun and some quality bonding time too.

As usual, all the pictures with informative captions can be found below...

PS3 reflow disassembly photos

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Late celebrations lead to even later posting

Pre-Dawn March 17th
The Bad Beginning:
I was worried about QNY this time 'round. Not getting together with people until April 2 is an unprecedented delay and I typically NEED the pick-me-up that our quest conference usually provides me. This year it was especially true, what with my popped rib-head, a cracked rib, alienating my parents and all. The evening had some disappointing elements for me, but on the whole, was very satisfying.

It started out with a great walk to our chosen meeting place. For the first time the girls came with me and we were all giddy with anticipation. We took our time, stopped at a couple of parks, and talked about what Questing meant to the three of us. Anwyn took an approach similar to mine. She said that anything you did could be a Quest, it was how you did it that mattered. Shepherd Book might have said that "how you get there is the worthier part." Leora thought that Questing was pushing boundaries. She thought that to do it you might have to bend the rules just a bit. I think Jane's Addiction would have said it a little differently. Between their two answers I'd never felt more proud.

On arrival, I bought drinks for us. Leora looks forward to the two days a year when she can have a sip of coffee. I surprised her with her own small with 1n1 and Anwyn was happy with a hot chocolate. January and Matt showed up shortly with Vin and Chantelle, so the kids went off and started their own meeting .

All Sr. Questers were there in short order (7-7:30ish) and we commenced with the festivities.

Dave was entrusted with the treasure chest that I made two years ago. Vin had it last year and adorned it with the labyrinth. Dave says he looked at it daily and inspiration never struck. All the more space for James to consider adding a piece of his personality to, what I am coming to think of as, "the cask of anticipation." We all added our dozen twonies to it for the third time and sealed it up again for the year. For several hours I was worried that my belt pouch had been locked inside for the next 365 days, but in the spirit of honesty I must admit that further analysis revealed that it was attached to my belt the entire time.

New book choices for this year:

General Silliness:
One who has seen the EYE!
The star of the night were the magnetic bearings that James brought. The provided endless fun and photo opportunities. The were also a welcome distraction from endless tirades (and to be fair some good discussion) about Liberty.
Long exposure
It was startling to witness the passion that was brought to the subject by Dave and especially Vin. I found myself a bit uncomfortable. Mostly in a good way. Perhaps as Bilbo felt when he heard the dwarves sing of gold and revenge knowing so little of either.

Geof told me a bit more about the Quest calendar that he has been perfecting for a number of years. When you read this, Geof, just you consider putting something online so we can all enjoy it.

What I missed:

  • We didn't formally discuss any of last years reading picks. I was quite disappointed. It is usually one of my favorite moments. Especially this year when I went to such effort to prepare. I even ordered in 4 mammoth volumes of The Nature of Order from the Regina Public Library.
  • Questions. I'll have to come up with a few for next year.
  • Goal setting. Dave asked about last years goals, but I didn't have anything new to pursue for this year. And, for the record, I didn't save a thousand dollars (I bought a new camera), I lost my way with the guitar, and I broke two records (push-ups and resting pulse), got within 3cm on the splits, and was excruciatingly close on chin-ups and the tower run (which beat the 24 me, just not my all time record). I'm definitely going to continue on the physical goals for next year. It ranks up among my favorite all time personal challenges.
  • A sense of renewal. I proposed that next year we gather in Calgary or Canmore, not so much to give Dave a break from the burden of travel, but more to make a change to something special that has become just a little too routine. I hope we can make it happen. Dave already told me not to expect to do any mountain climbing. I'll settle for coffee with altitude.


The end:
Dave and Vin split a cab and James, Geof and I walked together for a while until our ways parted. I felt the lonely sense of wonder I get every time I share a walk with my silent sister(youtube). She let me take a few pictures before sleepiness and my early waking, and sensible wife overcame the last of my resistance.

Visit all 58 photos in this year's QNY set.

Monday, April 12, 2010

Silly Questions & Reflective Results

Not bad considering the odd-ball questions that were used.

I am Red/White
I am Red/White
Take The Magic Dual Colour Test - Beta today!
Created with Rum and Monkey's Personality Test Generator.

I'm both chaotic and orderly. I value my own principles, and am willing to go to extreme lengths to enforce them, often trampling on the very same principles in the process. At best, I'm heroic and principled; at worst, I'm hypocritical and disorderly.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Eggses it is!

The kids are getting old and dexterous enough that this year we thought we would invest in some eggquipment. Anwyn and I wound up at The Ukranian Museum of Canada on Saturday. Being the day before Easter, I was worried that supplies for egg decorating would be limited, but there was no danger of shortage. Trust them to know Saskatoon's Psanka needs.

Here is a slide-show of all the eggs that kids and novice adults alike produced. Warning!! If you are some sort of psanka purist, go no further. You have been warned.

And here is a video showing all sides of Vin's SNL homage egg.

Wednesday, April 07, 2010

Spring Car Show

Dad's 7D
Dad loves his cars. I enjoy the spectacle, the in-your-face paint jobs, big car nostalgia, whatever. He invited everyone out to the Draggins spring car show at Prairieland Park. I think everybody had a good time. The adults tried not to drool on all the chrome. I took pictures and tried not to drool on Dad's new camera, and the children collected plenty of suckers, pre-Easter chocolates, pamphlets, hand sanitizer, yo-yos--the kind of junk kids seem to love collecting.

Handwing gets roughed up by The Boss
Oh, and James had a little altercation while trying to make off with one of the cars...

At the bottom of this post is a link to the rest of the pictures. Most of them are not cars--they're family near cars ;) I swear there would have been more/any shots of Matt if he didn't constantly throw his hand up AND scowl anytime a camera was pointed his way. Quick reflexes. Though, he did submit to one shot.

Satisfied customers

If you actually want to see cool vehicles, you'll have count on my Dad's photos (which generally stay on his computer, hint, hint).
car show