Old Playstation Tomfoolery

In a prior post, I mentioned finding my old PSP Go and regaining interest in the old Patpon game.  I have a dock for my PSP Go! and discovered there an option for sending the video out to my TV via an componet cable.  I also learned I could use a PS3 controller with the PSP Go while for control- put it requires a PS3 to pair it. Luckily I have an old (phat) PS3 in the closet..

Image result for CECHE01 PNGMy PS3 was second gen (CECHE01) and was running firmware 3.51. A google search revealed the PS3 is ‘hackable’ up to v3.55; after that, I would need a hardware device to downgrade to v3.55. 

I could find no explict instructions on how to upgrade an old 3.51 firmware to a modified 4.81.  The process I eventually used:

The last two updates probably could have been combined, but I was unaware of the 4.81.2 release until I began this post.

I also repalced the hard drive in my PS3 with a 1TB drive. 

MultiMan is a file manager tool that allows me to copy my PS3 games to copy and paly my games from the internal hard drive.  It also allows me to run PS2 and PSX games- but this may actually be handled by the Rebug firmware and MultiMan only provides and interface to launch.  I was able to play the orginal PSX Crash Bandicoot from my origial disk with no issues.  (This game also made me realize I do not like this genre of video games as much as I once did.)

During the upgrade proces, I kept my PS3 offline to ensure I would not recive a PSN ban for running a modified console. Rebug 4.81.2 indicates it should work with PSN ‘until the next firmware update’ (Sony’s last official update was Nov 1st, 2016), so I will give it a go; worst case scenario is I will only be able to play local games offline- which is my preffered gaming type.  

So far, I have been able to update the PS store app and download an update for Super Startdust Delta (v5.0 to v6.0) with no problem.

Additionally, there is a large amount of PS3 homebrew applications for console emulators, FTP, IRC, media players…There is even a cloud sync for game save backups.

Final result: I have an PS3 console that can hold all of my PS3 games, play older PSX/PS2 games, run emulators and homebrew. 


LG = Life’s (not so) Good

LG is a company that I want to like; they are not as big as Samsung or Sony, and their products have been fairly inovative.  However, I funally ralized their products are unreliable and their customer support is less helful than Comcast support (my former worst support). 

I am on my thrid- and last- LG cell phone.

MORE PICTURESThe LG G3 moved the volume buttons to the back of the phone- and that was amusing for a while.  The phone itself was slow and chewed through batteries.  I used this phone for ~6 months and ‘upgraded’ to the LG V10.

LG V10
MORE PICTURESThe LG V10 had a second screen for noticicaitons and an enahcned DAC for better sound.  It was also ‘ruggitized’ for duriability.  It had the rear volume controls around the power button and a fingerprint sensor in the button.  The first issue I had with this device is the fingerprint sensor would not work if the phone is in a case…

The GPS was unreliabe; several times I could not get a GPS lock while driving down the interstate in GA.  A reboot usually temporarily fixed this- but this also lead into its second issue: the battery would drain much faster than anything could charge.  On several occasions, I would try to use Google Maps for directions and the phone would steadly creep down the battery percentage while connected to a QC 2.0 charger.  I happily returned this phone when my ‘lease’ ended with T-Mobile.

MORE PICTURESMore recently I purchased the LG G5.  I loved the phone for the size, the performance and the USB C charging connector.  I picked up the LG G5 Camera addon and the LG 360 camera (more info my prior posts) accessory.  It seemed to be the perfect phone- until the volume control became intermittiant.  I am unsure if it is a hardware or software issue, but it usually stops working after I connect to a bluetooth audi device (headphones, car, etc).  A few reboots sometime fixes this, but is yet another LG pain-in-th-ass.

I have LG several chances to make me like them and have received poorly designed (and seemingly untested) devices complimented with poor support and broken support websites; my next phone will be a Google Pixil or a Samsung.


Recent Target Deals

I like to check the back endcaps in Target’s electronic department as they can get pretty aggressive at trying to discontinue items.  I found a few items at the Milton, GA store that I could not pass up.  Please note these closeouts may be store-by-store and pricing in other stores  may vary.  Today I scored:

View Master Deluxe VR Viewer: Marked down to $11.98 from $39.99

Image result for View Master Deluxe VR Viewer

This is yet another headset that uses smartphones as a VR device.  It is designed to work with View Master ‘experience packs’ (such as the Space pack below) and also doubles as a pretty decent Google Cardboard device.  One oddity is the front is see-through red and this tints any AR viewing via the phone’s camera.  (Rose colored glaases?)

One complaint is that it does not have a head strap option- and holding with my hand creates more shake than similar models that do have a strap.

View Master Space Experience Pack: Priced at $4.48 (from $14.99)

Image result for View Master space

I believe this is geared to a younger audience.  The AR and VR interaction is pretty cool, but it provides elementary school level info on planets, rockets, etc. that has no real depth.  One VR segment features a Saturn V rocket and has three points of interest (command module, stages, thrusters) which have pop-up windows with text information. 

At $5, this still feels like a waste of money.

PowerA Xbox Fusion Wired Controller: Was $49.99 and closeout at $14.98

Image result for PowerA Xbox Fusion

This feels like a decent quality controller; not quite xBox or Logitech quality, but fairly nice .  The handles feel better to me as they are a little more narrow than a normal xBox controller. The package provided three different style analog stick for customization.

Homedics Mercury Percussion massager: Also $11.96 (from their normal $39.99)

Mercury™ Percussion Massager with Heat 1

Just a hand held massager; I have been considering picking up something similar to this, and a 70% discount made it too good to pass.

I have a strong feeling I will tire of the first two items in a few days- but $17 for a few hours of entertainment is worth it.  I will likely donate to a thrift store once I am done for someone else to enjoy.


PSP CSO Batch File

Small Windows batch file to compress all ISOs in current directory (W:\ROMs):

for /r %%i in (*.iso) DO (
ECHO Source: "%%~ni.iso"
ECHO Destination: "%%~ni.cso"
w:\ROMs\ciso 9 "%%~ni.iso" "%%~ni.cso"
DEL "%%~ni.iso"

Copy the ciso.exe found in the \files directory under the PSP ISO Compressor folder in program files to the current directory.

The batch file will loop through files with an .iso extension to compress into a .cso and delete the original.

I would suggest commenting out the DEL line for a first run- just to make sure everything works as expected. ;)


PSP Go! Resdicovered

clip_image001I was cleaning out my closet and came across my old PSP Go! (with 6.20 PRO-B10 custom firmware).  This model as 16GB integrated plus a 16GB M2 Duo memory card- and can hold several compressed CSO ROMs.  :)

One of the ROMs on the my system is Patapon; a highly addictive rhythm based game.  After a few hours, I remembered why I  stopped playing: it can be frustrating as hell if you miss one beat in the middle of a large battle.  Luckily, the Internet has provided game save files with near completion or large amounts of resources. 

I also thought it would be fun to order an old 'not working – for parts’ PSP 1000 from eBay and attempt to repair.  The screen is larger (4.3” vs 3.8”) and the buttons feel better on the full-sized PSP.  Once I get the older PSP working (I may need to order another ‘for parts'), I plan to encase in a new shell (first choice is gold, but also considering the see-thru red and white housing) to make look decent.

I also still have a Pandora’s battery and ‘Magic Memory Stick’ that should allow me to put a CFW on the PSP1000…

LG 360 Camera Firmware

As mentioned in a prior post, I purchased an open-box LG 360 camera from a seller on Amazon- and the LG customer service experience began.  After several failed attempts to use various versions of LG Bridge and on different Windows and Mac computers, I had given up and was using an older 360 Camera application from the Google Play store.

Yesterday I chanced upon a post on the LG Users forum on Google plus that had a capture of the R10510L firmwareAnother post on the page made me aware of the ‘UPPERCUT’ application this able to load firmware to LG devices without using their bloatware LG Bridge (re: bloatware as I have zero interest in their mandatory LG Drive to run LG Bridge).

After installing LGUP (included in package) and UPPERCUT, I was able to update my LG 360 camera to R10510L.  :)

I am still unable to connect to the camera via LG Bridge.  The updated Android application is much faster to connect and take pictures (old app had a 1-2 second delay after pressing the on-phone button). 

My miserable experiences with LG’s US support has convinced me to stay clear of any future LG purchases; It really felt like it was lowest-bid out-sourced customer support as it was complete ‘I-don’t-give-a-fuck’ correspondence.