Archives November 2020

Original Hardware

I’ve owned every revision of Game Boy over the years. Original Game Boy, Pocket, Color, Advance, and Advance SP. I still own my original Game Boy (although it’s lost in storage some place) and Advance SP, but my Pocket, Color, and Advance were all traded in on their new models at some point. Out of the 3 models I traded in, the Pocket, Color, and Advance, I missed my Game Boy Pocket the most.  The Color was never a great device IMO due to the absence of a backlight, and the Advance was only improved upon by the Advance SP.  And while the Advance SP is probably the pinnacle of Game Boys, it also changed up the form factor significantly. It lacks that old-school feel with its foldable design and bright backlit display.

Something about the old-style rectangular top-loading format of the Game Boy speaks to my past childhood.  I have missed the Pocket since I got rid of it because of its compact form factor and its vastly improved LCD display over the original Game Boy.  It was basically the Game Boy revised and fixed the biggest issue with the original Game Boy by using a crystal-clear and much more responsive LCD panel.

I ended up coming across one on eBay that was in really really good condition that didn’t break the wallet (increasingly difficult these days), and decided to jump on it.  I gotta say, I am very pleased with this beauty.  Just look at it!

I think the membranes are a little worn out on it, so I am planning on replacing those soon, but the over all condition is incredible. A nearly scratch-free lens, and fully intact and functioning pocket is back in my collection, this time permanently.  The display is just as beautiful as I recall too. While I really do enjoy my emulation devices, there are just some things that don’t translate well to emulation, or can’t even be emulated at all. Now, if I could just find wherever the hell my Game Boy Printer went to, and hope I didn’t leave batteries in it, I would be really happy… Digging through boxes is a task for another day though.  Time for some old school gaming!

Free Lumens (Kind of)

I recently flashed a modern OS on to my soda-can quad light, the BLF Q8. The refreshed interface on the light brought my interests back to it and had me wondering… what else could I do with this light? After doing some reading around on various forums, I found out that the Q8’s output could receive a significant increase in output with a few fairly simple mods! One mod is what is call a “spring bypass”. The Q8 uses gold plated steel springs, and while they’re okay, they’re not the best springs you can use, as they create some resistance between the batteries and the light. A spring bypass is basically soldering in a better conductor between the top and bottom of the spring so that is exactly what I decided to do. I already had everything I needed for this one, a soldering iron, solder, and some wire.  I used 18 gauge copper wire and made the connections. It wasn’t difficult, but my soldering iron is really showing its age and I need to upgrade to a better one sometime soon.  Here’s what my tail PCB looked like after modding:

Read More

Country Financial Ripped Me Off

On December 1st 2018 a freak warm front swept through the area bringing with it 29 Tornados. One of those Tornados was a devastating EF3 Tornado that completely destroyed many houses in my town. Over 400 homes were damaged by this Tornado which had wind speeds estimated at 155mph and was a 1/2 mile wide. Our house was in this Tornado’s direct path. We were fortunate enough that when the Tornado reached us it had lifted off the ground but the official storm track still put it coming right over our backyard. As a result we had extensive shingle and siding damage done. No face of the house was spared and we took damage from the extreme winds and flying debris on literally every side. My daughter and I were home at the time and ran to the basement as soon as we realized there was a Tornado nearby. We both suffer from PTSD from it to this day, with Tornado sirens setting off a near panic-state in her, and having adverse effects on me as well.

I had been a client of Country Financial since the day I turned 16 and got my license, only because that was who my Dad used at the time. As I grew, I continued to use them for multiple vehicles, multiple life policies, and our home policy. I had made some small auto claims in the past, none my fault, and had always been satisfied with how it was handled. I wish I could say the same for the Tornado damage to my house, but my experience was the exact opposite. Country Financial weaseled out of tens of thousands of dollars in necessary repairs and stuck me with the bill.

Read More