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Archive for August, 2009

Facebook – The New MySpace?

August 9th, 2009 1 comment

Remember when Facebook was fast, purpose-built and generally beat the pants off MySpace? That doesn’t necessarily seem to be the case anymore. With all the extra bloat, advertisements and the insufferable “apps” available now it’s hard to remember what the real purpose of Facebook was- To communicate.

 

It seems like once they opened registration to all, allowed user-created apps and tried to keep being everything to everyone the purpose and Facebook message has disappeared.

 

The Pros

* Facebook is a LAMP (Linux, Apache, MySQL, PHP) powered system. They have great technology behind their site and have developed many interesting technologies around their core applications.

* Facebook is still very “light” compared to other social networks (e.g. MySpace)

* Large user base (who hasn’t heard of Facebook?)

* Find people you’ve been searching for from way back (also see Cons for the opposite of this)

 

The Cons

* Insufferable annoying Apps that seem to do absolutely nothing but clutter my “requests” section. I don’t care if someone superpoked me or gave me a flower. I can’t believe people pay to send these things.

* Open to everyone. (This isn’t necessarily a bad thing as long as the openness doesn’t contribute to what Facebook has become)

* Too many ads, too much clutter. Get back to what Facebook was supposed to be!

* People you didn’t want to know you or check up on you can (unless you block them)

* Allows for some “social stalking” How many times have you talked to someone else on Facebook in real life only to have them bring something up from the social network? Great.

* Time vampire. I believe that there are quite a few people out there addicted to this particular social network.

 

Conclusion

While I use Facebook sparingly, I can say that it has a purpose but it has been a bit over-done. I believe that simple is better. Facebook, can we have the site from about a year ago back? Can there be a “bloat-free” lite version available? How do I get rid of all the junk that has been added over the years? Please make us a version that is simple, works and provides what Facebook originally set out to do.

Categories: Total Failure Tags:

Replace Nintendo Wii Brick with PC Power Supply

August 8th, 2009 1 comment

If it’s 12AM and your Nintendo WII power supply goes on the fritz and you can’t locate one at your local Wal-Mart and you’re jonsin’  to play a new game have no fear! I too found myself in this situation recently. Like most computer dudes I have a plethora of computer parts lying around in my parts closet. It’s really not all that uncommon to have a power supply or two lurking in the parts bin. In this document I’ll teach you how to juice up your Wii and get back to gaming with simple items almost every geek has. Amazingly the Nintendo Wii’s power brick is rated at 3.0A (Amps) and normal PC power supplies rate at least 5-7A (Amps) on the 12 volt (yellow-wire) side.

 

There are some other articles online outlining the procedures to replace a small soldered-in fuse inside the power brick. We didn’t have a fuse or the time to try to remove the strange shaped screws holding the brick together.

 

Disclaimer: We do not claim that the below will not harm your Nintendo Wii. We have tested it and everything appears to work but we cannot speak to the “cleanliness” of the power delivered by the power supply used nor can we assure that any other issues may be caused. Please use this document at your own risk.

 

What’s Required

* Wire strippers (or equivalent)

* Wire cutters
* A small shiny (non-coated) paper clip

* Electrical tape

* Optional: Soldering Iron w/ Solder

* A small Molex to SATA Adapter (these come in almost every retail hard drive box)

* A small or old PC power supply (ATX is what we’re using here)

 

Steps to Power

1. Since you’re not going to use your old power brick anymore, cut off the end which plugs in to your Wii closest to the brick as possible.

2. Strip the grey sheathing from the wire. This will reveal a white wire surrounded by another wire.

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3. Take the wire around the outside and twist it together to form one wire.

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4. Strip the white wire. Be careful to leave enough insulator between the white wire and the outside wires we previously twisted.

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5. Locate your Molex to SATA converter. Cut the black and yellow wires closest to the SATA connector.

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6. Strip the black and yellow wires.

7. Connect Yellow to White (the inside wire)

8. Connect Black to the outside wire we previously twisted.

9. Use electrical tape to make the connections or optionally solder the connections together. Use plenty of electrical tape or heat shrink tubing to secure the connections and insulate them.

10. Plug in your molex connector to the power supply.

 

At this time your Nintendo Wii is connected to the power supply.

 

11. Unbend your silver paper clip and insert one end in to the ATX connector’s green wire. Connect the other end to the black ground wire next to the green wire. This sets the ATX power supply to be on at all times.

12. Plug in your ATX power supply to wall power.

13. Plug in the newly-frankenstiened power adapter to your Nintendo Wii

13. Power on your Nintendo Wii

 

 

Polarity for the Nintendo adapter is printed on the bottom of the brick but does not outline which wire (the outside or inside) is positive or negative. The outside wire is DC negative (-) and the inside white wire is DC positive (+).

 

Conclusion

To power a Nintendo Wii with a PC power supply is very easy and certainly feasible. I’m not sure the long term affects of using this solution but it does make complete sense to use a PC power supply because that is, essentially, what a Nintendo Wii is – a computer. To this day the solution is still working and I haven’t found a need to buy another power brick yet. This solution/fix was a bit overkill but at the time it made sense to get the gaming system back online.

Categories: Hacks Tags: