January 30th, 2024

It's a new year! It's already 2024. 2023 went by fast, but the decade is going by even faster.

A few imports came this month. The holiday weather seems to have made these packages take quite a bit to get here. Let's see what I got!

This package shipped out in mid-October. It's only a couple of CDs I had in the warehouse then.

Namie Amuro's Don't wanna cry! It's her 5th single, one I listened on Sweet 19 Blues.

Also, it's been a while and Namie Amuro is still off the internet. I can't show you the song right now... Why can't avex hurry up with that contract renewal!?

Taiyo to Ciscomoon Gatamekira! Another rental drop, but this is a song I found from when Up-Front finally uploaded all the old music videos for Hello Project. I loved it, and also noticed a FLAC rip wasn't avaliable on a tracker I'm in, so I bought it. It came too late though, someone else already uploaded a FLAC copy. Oh well!

Dancemania 10! This is only the disc case, no sleeve. I have a pretty bad history with this because I originally won another listing but the seller refused to ship it to my proxy. I found this for sale months later and decided to get it. At this point, I don't care that it doesn't have the sleeve. I just want the album.

This N64 controller pak. I saw it for sale for 100 yen and decided to buy it because I only had a third-party one. It didn't come with any save files, but it seems to keep a charge. Oddly enough, I don't think a single N64 game allows copying of game saves between the cards, so I had to use my Everdrive to do it.

There is an FRAM mod to remove the need of a battery. It seems really simple, but I'm still too scared to do it. I could also just buy a pre-modded board and put it in this thing.

There was another package I shipped out around the same time as that package, but it still hasn't arrived. It might be a lost package now...

October 25th, 2023...

I like DVRs and I usually see these [PSX] boxes pop up often on Yahoo Auctions. I would want to import one, but looking at the specs scare me. 5.6 kilograms? That's going to cost around $100 minimum to ship it over here... If I even want to mention the failure rate, then it's way more likely that I get a dud! I don't think it's worth it, even if there are some recordings left on the box.

January 30th, 2024...

Finally, the big one I want to mention. Back in November, I decided to bid on a PSX DVR because why not? If I win, yippee! If I don't, who cares? I put $30 maximum on this one and slept. I won't win.

That was not the case.

The seller listed it as untested junk, only going as far as to confirm it turns on. I bought it anyways because it would make a cool part of my room if it didn't work. My proxy gave me a nice loyalty discount, making UPS 3-day shipping cost as much as surface. Thank you!

This thing is almost 6kg/13lbs! It's heavier than an original Xbox!

Like I said during October's blog post, this is really heavy and large. It's almost a foot in length and depth, almost the size of 2 fat PS2 systems side by side.

The front panel shows the memory cards slots, USB, and menu buttons.

The DVD burner laser seems to be on its way out. I put in TVDJ, a DVD game, and it wouldn't read. Golf Paradise, which is a CD game, played just fine.

The back shows the power, optical audio out, video in/out ports, antenna in, and controller ports. The ethernet port is covered by a warning sticker saying that it is not a modem port.

This PSX is the low-cost, first-generation DESR-5000 with 160GB of storage. It came with system firmware 1.31, the latest update for the first-gen models. As this is the first-generation, this model lacks features such as FireWire/i.Link or PSP video conversion.

I plug it in and see the PSX logo, which is from the flash ROM itself. If the hard drive failed, I would then be seeing a red screen telling me to contact a service center. After boot, it tunes to the first channel avaliable, but broadcasting differences causes it to tune to nothing and blasts me with static! It works!

All recordings shown in this post are compressed and cut to save on storage!

The previous owner used their PSX quite well, coming with a bunch of recordings dating from 2005 up to March 2011, which was only a few months away from analog broadcasting's shutoff date. There probably were older recordings since the PSX can dub recordings to a DVD-R, but the listing didn't come with any burnt discs.

There were a lot of personal photos too. I'm not a freak so I won't be posting those, but I can redraw them. A lot of them were party photos.

If you didn't know, these things are known to be crazy unreliable. Overheating, dead lasers, dead drives, you name it. If the hard drive dies, it's gone for good. So I have to backup the stuff on it as quickly as possible. You'll need a version of wLaunchELF, with recent versions adding support to access the DVR partitions. The DVR partition is where all the recordings, music, and photos are stored.

Previous owner has a couple of European flicks recorded, this one being Sissi.

Since the PS2 is two decades old, the system uses the old USB standard. It takes hours for recordings to copy over! I don't have an external hard drive or bays, so I had to fill up a thumb drive and copy to my PC and start over. I still haven't copied all the recordings over yet cause of how slow it is!

A lot of science and lifestyle stuff too.

During the last years of analog broadcasting, networks would put indicators that you were watching over analog and later put contact information on how to transition to digital. It should be mentioned that the PSX does not support digital broadcasts, so there was no future for these boxes after 2011.

For whatever reason, wLaunchElf did not see all of the recordings in the dvr_hdd partitions, so I don't have all of them saved. I recorded a quick video of startup and what's recorded on the PSX. I'm interested in getting Galaxy Express 999 out of the system, but alas, wLaunchElf isn't seeing the VRO file for it.

It's pretty cool having this thing even if I don't want to use it to keep it safe, some of the ABS plastic for the front door already snapped off... I remember reading a lot on this when I was younger, since it was seen as this really rare and expensive PS2. I remember reading a false rumor that it could play PSP games, which was most likely a misconception of the second-generation model being able to send recordings to a PSP.

I also remember reading a rumor that Sony was to release a similar product for the PS3 but never got released. I'm pretty sure that rumor was true and ended up being torne/PlayTV.

I went to Goodwill again.

I found a Magnavox ZV427MG9. It's a VCR/DVD combo recorder with HDMI out for both mediums. VCRs with HDMI are somewhat of a rarity, so I got it. It was only $10. The deck seems to be in good condition. There's some blemishes on the case, but the DVD side reads and records just fine. The VCR side is also the same, I haven't seen any snow or eaten tapes. That's nice.

The only issue is that the remote couldn't be found. With DVD recorders, this is a huge loss! I'm unable to change the recording quality, HDMI output resolution, or finalize any discs. I don't think the remote was at the store either, so I have to find the remote somewhere else...

The deck is stuck on recording at SLP quality, which looks like a really old P2P video.

In the case of finalizing discs, the disc won't play in other players without finalizing it on this deck. This makes the recorded contents hidden on another track and programs like MakeMKV or Handbrake cannot access it. I have to use IsoBuster to rip the VOB.

In the case of digitizing VHS tapes, I still think DV conversion using my Panasonic or Sony VCR is perferrable. The HDMI signal here retains HDCP with no way to turn it off.

Another thing I got from the same Goodwill was my first Blu-ray writer drive. It's the ASUS BW-16D1HT! It was on the shelf for only $6.

I never had an internal disc drive because I didn't have a use for one when I built my PC back in 2018. As I started importing, I ripped music using a modified Sony DRX-500UL. I bought it broken, but it's really just an IDE to USB/FW interface, so it was easy to fix. I've been ripping things using it since.

Back on the topic of this drive, this is a Blu-ray rewritable drive! I said previously, but I'm interested in importing Japanese music Blu-ray discs and ripping them, but no way to rip them outside of using a PS3. I plugged it into my PC and it works fine with the few Blu-ray discs I have.

It also seems like you can flash the drive to read UHD Blu-ray discs, which is commonly used for 4K movies. I flashed the drive and it seems to rip the discs just fine! It's pretty exciting that I can rip Blu-ray discs now. I already ordered BEYOOOOONDS' latest single, which comes with a BD.

Now, there's another really awesome issue! I already have too many drives in this stupid computer, all for my hard drives. I was thinking of replacing my SSD with the BD drive and installing a M.2 card, but that'll take out two SATA controllers. I have to buy a SATA controller card or something...

That's all for this post. I've been taking a break from Splatoon cause I've been playing it for like a thousand hours. I've been playing Fortnite and it's been fun. I haven't given it much of a chance cause my PC is garbage. It kept on hanging on loading screens until I got an SSD. Fortnite is also around 80GB, that's insane.

Side Order is coming out soon though. Maybe that'll bring me back? The new season is coming soon too. I hope they add something cool to the meta.

Earlier in the month, I was playing with Super Galdelic Hour on PS2 with Cheat Engine. I was going through the game's ELF file with a hex editor and saw mention of a motion viewer. I was looking for that and I found the address for where the game stores which scene to load. Going through the values would drop me in various minigames, menus, and even the credits. I eventually found it.

What I find odd is that there are extra motions for Sista that doesn't seem to be used. The GAME variable is set to 13, which is reserved for credits. My guess is that Sista was supposed to appear in some fashion (maybe even as a playable character) but she does not show up in the credits outside of concept art that appears at the end.

That's all I could find. If I could disassemble, I could probably find something else. Oh well...

By the way, it seems like Nintendo has finally published the date which Nintendo Network will die. April 8th! That seems so far, but that's only 3 months away. I need to get to Level 100 in Splatoon 1 before it's over.