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Restoring Neglected Sentimentality (Part 2)

Over the course of the week, the remaining items were delivered. This work week was agonizingly slow, so seeing things arrive day after day kept me looking towards the weekend.

The first few things to arrive. Started by placing the labels the cartridge shells. Only moved Mega Man Battle Network 3 White because its board was in pristine shape. 

After that, it was a matter of waiting for the boxes to also arrive. They eventually did, almost got damaged in the mailbox, though. Assembling them is actually tricky when doing it for the first time, but I’m really pleased with the quality. Actually, both the labels and the boxes are really good despite them being reproductions.

I think I previously mentioned about collector’s value and how I don’t really care much for it. I still stand by that thought. Yeah, I know the real ones have varying levels of wear due to their age and whatnot, but these look too good to not have. I’m not building a massive collection of games. All I want is to just showcase the ones I own. The ones that were staples of my childhood. There’s a possibility I may add a few extras, but it’s just nice to see. I also got plastic covers for them. It’s not the same as the plastic wrap that came with retail boxes, but it’s a good way to protect the boxes and give them that “new glossy finish”.

Additionally, the GBxCart RW flasher also arrived. Its barebones PCB appearance tends to be intimidating, but it’s really simple to use and works really well. Needing to disconnect before removing or inserting a cartridge is a bit of a pain, but just a minor inconvenience. I went ahead and dumped all of the cartridges I had. It’s a bit redundant with already having known good dumps, but these are my dumps. As a bonus, I also backed up the few remaining save files I had left. The good stuff may have been long gone, but I can at least preserve what remains.

And today I finally soldered in the new batteries. I am just a mere beginner at soldering with virtually no prior experience, so please forgive the dodgy work. It’s not really a hard procedure, but I lack the experience and dexterity with soldering tools. I know I did some things wrong since I struggled to keep the batteries in place while attempting to solder them to the pads. All that matters is that they work (and they do!). I was surprised to find out that Pokémon Red was holding a CR2025 battery. I don’t know if it’s a later revision board since it’s the same board that Silver uses, while Yellow has a different design and goes with the smaller CR1616 battery.

I was going to replace all of their batteries, but the battery in my Red cart was still reading 3V. I already have a backup of my save data; my last surviving Game Boy save data. I’m opting to just wait until it finally gives out before replacing it. I know that my Blue cart had lost its save data long ago. I will assume it also used the same type of board as Yellow, but I’ll never know since that game vanished a long time ago.

All in all, this has been a really nice project so far. Next up will be to paint my room (a once easy task, now made much harder with the newer stuff I’ve added) and replace the wall shelves. 

SNES reproduction boxes will also arrive at a later date. May try to look for console boxes, depending on how much space I gain with the shelves.

Sparky out.

Restoring Neglected Sentimentality

I don’t remember if I brought it up last time when I was talking about my Game Boy Advance, but I’ve had this itch to expand a bit further and make an attempt at restoring more of my old stuff. I went through what I had stored away in my closet and, well…

My handhelds and cartridges have been slowly rotting away while in my closet; this is something I’ve known for many years. What did catch me by surprise was how very few Game Boy and Game Boy Advance cartridges I had left. Yeah, a few of them were lost and stolen, but there were also some that straight up vanished into thin air.

One of my early GB games was Mega Man II and that one disappeared when I was still a little kid. No idea where the hell that one went. My copy of Kirby’s Pinball Land was stolen by my elementary school bully (thanks school for not doing anything about it). Pokémon Blue and Kirby’s Block Ball also disappeared, but those two happened after we moved homes (unlike my copy of Kirby’s Super Star, which I assume it stayed at an old neighbor’s house). No idea where my cartridges for Kirby’s Dream Land and Dream Land 2 ended up, though. I remember seeing them several years ago.

Now then, I already own these two flash carts that I previously talked about in my previous post. I have all that I need simply to sate my occasional Game Boy itch. What more could I possibly need?

It’s not really a matter of need, but want. I knew I wanted to someday mod/restore my Game Boy Color and dedicate the EZ-Flash Jr to it, but why stop there? Why not restore what I have into a more presentable state?

I fell into the Etsy rabbit hole. I had already seen videos about reproduction cartridges and cartridge restoration/repairs and it came to me: “maybe I can also do this?”. Perhaps some unnecessary purchases, but I just want to bring what I want back to life.

I ordered a few replacement cartridge shells, alongside some stickers and reproduction game boxes. I don’t particularly care about collector’s value. These games are originals, so I don’t mind at all since the end product will most likely look better in the end. 

What I did consider was making reproduction cartridges for my lost and stolen games, but individual flash carts do add up really quickly. What I may end up doing (eventually) is getting everything else first and later try to hunt down those cartridges online and yoink the PCB out of them. Though if they’re too expensive I may just end up getting a Flash Cart or two.

I also want to replace the ancient batteries in them, so this little project will also serve as some soldering practice. I may be bad with a soldering iron, but this seems like something I could do somewhat easily. Maybe. Hopefully.

The battery in my copy of Pokémon Silver died well over a decade ago. Don’t remember exactly when, but I tried forcibly ripping out the battery from Kirby’s Star Stacker and taping it onto Silver. 

And it worked! Well, for just a little bit. Just an attempt as a teenager with no knowledge of how things work. Luckily Kirby’s Star Stacker doesn’t really need the save battery. 

Also, in my list is fixing up my precious copy of Mega Man Battle Network 3: Blue. The cartridge once went through a wash cycle when I lent it to a friend of mine, but it kept working just fine. The only real victim here was the sticker on it. It should look amazing when the replacement shell and sticker arrive. 

I still regret wiping the save file simply because I wanted to play more of it (I had 100%’d it). I also ordered a cart flasher, which will let me back up and restore save files. I beat the postgame on the new save file, but I may back-up this data and replace it with one that’s fully complete it as a way of restoring it to the way I originally left it.

Some stuff should be arriving this week. When enough items arrive, I can start working on the restoration. Hopefully I don’t forget to take pictures along the way unlike when I was fixing up my GBA. If the game boxes end up being really good, I’ll see if I can order ones for games that weren’t already in their store. I may skip on the few shovelware-ish games like Off Road and BreakThru! since they aren’t very good to begin with.

I also plan on replacing the tiny square shelves in my room for ones that can actually hold items instead of mere tiny decorations. I want to showcase them there.

Nothing like a good dose of depression to make me spend money on things that I don’t need.

Oh to mod a Game Boy Advance

[insert comment about abandoned blog here, again.]

It’s been a while since I last sat down here to write about personal stuff, but most of my life has been absolutely consumed by my job and the deteriorating condition of the workplace that has been taking place for nearly 3 years now. While I would love to go into detail, can’t really talk about it without spilling some personal information.

However, fairly recently I felt a desire to go back and revisit my GBA. Back in 2019 I was wanting to play with a GBA again. I used to have one back when I was a kid, but one day at school in 2006, the screen on my gba went kaput after leaning against a wall with my backpack on. Being a 16-year-old, insecure kid in the year 2006, naturally I assumed my GBA was absolutely destroyed and ended up throwing it away after some time.

Continue reading

Emerald Manchild Woes on Birdsite

Good lord what the hell has happened during this fine* weekend? (not fine)

The whole world knows what’s up with the recent events at the Twitter dot com. Several things have made me uncomfortable when the manchild took over, but I sort of just let it slide as long as I’m not directly impacted. Of course, he does something that impacted me directly And I Took That Personally™️.

Honestly a good chance for me to make an actual use of my blog (that probably nobody sees) instead of just dumping random thoughts on Twitter.

For the time being, I’ll be trying to use Mastodon in place of Twitter. It’s definitely a struggle because it doesn’t have the same content I’m used to. A really bad habit a lot of people have developed over the past decade was putting a stop on posting on dedicated or personal sites and instead just toss everything into one basket, being their social media of choice. I always preferred social media being a supplement, where a person could easily be themselves while mixing in whatever they like to do. In my case, that’s art.

I never really understood why a lot of people decided to just turn Twitter into their only art gallery. Even though I’ve posted all of my art there, it’s NOT the primary place to find and see it. My “main” art gallery is over at Fur Affinity, followed by this art site. FA being the defacto furry art site and this site being something for me to do as I please.

I’ll see how it goes. I never cared about follower count, but I do care about what I followed. Mastodon for me is pretty barren, but I hope it populates over time.

Catch-up because I have lost control of my life

This post is being written with the grating sounds of a goddamn lawnmower going off outside.

I still insist that Twitter brainrot nullifies any traditional blog post since I can just keep dumping my thoughts over there, buuuuutttt…

Catch-up

Last thing I mentioned was redoing my PC after the video card issues I was having… And I did!

It was both frustrating and pretty fun to build. Most of my issues come from me being way too rusty with building computers, specially with modern hardware. Ignoring my several rookie mistakes, the NZXT H7 Flow is a pretty good case to build in.

Work has still been somewhat unpleasant, so I’ve been (very slowly) proceeding to splurge on stuff for myself. Just these past two weeks had to play some 4D Chess with a friend to be able to trade in my Galaxy Tab S6 Lite (2020) for a Galaxy Tab S8 Ultra that I had been eyeing on for far too long.

The tablet itself is really big, but also really thin and moderately weight. The case I got bumps it up to a bit thicker and noticeably heavier. Technically huge for a lot of people, but it’s also not that big once you actually use it. That being said, the screen is still wide, so holding it on portrait mode is borderline ridiculous.

All that’s left on my splurge list would be an Xbox Series X and a NAS. Just hopefully waiting for a Black Friday sale on the Xbox… if that even happens. After that, it’s back to working some more before finally going for a NAS sometime next year. Hopefully. Maybe.

 

Birdsite

The whole world is well aware about what’s going on with the Twitter. Regardless of whatever happens there, I’m still reachable through the links located on the homepage. Don’t really have anything to add that hasn’t been said.

What's next?

idk the fuck I know.

I do want to write more here, but eh… Let’s see how it goes. Peace out.

 

(PS: The loud lawnmower is still going)

Computer woes (and work hell)

Not me casually dusting off the blog section of my site to just type things that won’t fit on twitter dot com without making a thread about it.

It’s so weird how I’m often sought after by friends and family (and a few others) to help them when their computers go bad, but my own intelligence plummets when it’s my own PC having issues. Though most of it came from not having the money to fix things at a moment’s notice for a long time.

Only bringing my GPU over (and two drives), there’s been some oddities with odd freezing and locking up. I previously used to have a full tower ATX case and I didn’t even use that to the fullest. I wanted to downsize to something more compact and since my GPU could fit in this case, I went for a mini-ITX build.

Can you do it? Absolutely. Should you? Hmm… depends.

I don’t know if the wonky electricity we had a few years back set this card on a slow course towards death, amplified by the increased heat from being in such a case (also hot climate).

YouTubers makes building stuff like this look easy, but it was actually the thoughest one I had put together, to the point where I *really* don’t want to be fiddling with it except for taking it out to dust it.

Odd, spontaneous glitches, more locking up, constant BSODs with VIDEO_TDR_FAILURE… yeah…

This boi is thicc. So I ordered a new case to go along with it.

…and a motherboard…

…and a cooler…

and…

I’ve been dealing with so much shit at work this year that honestly, I don’t care. About fucking time I splurged on myself with something relevant to my interests. Also because I’m pretty much unable to game on my PC at the moment and that is not very gucci after returning from a rough day at work.

Hoping to be able to take advantage of the bigger case to make a cleaner build. Definitely put a temporary dent on some other projects, but. It’s okay, I guess.

I’m not dead yet, just tired

Active for a bit, disappear for a long time? Yeah.

Our local government has been hellbent on… “economy”, so it’s been trying to have things “return to normal”. Being thrust from mostly working remotely from home to at the office full time (at 7 AM) while still in a pandemic takes its toll on anyone over time. I have barely been able to find the energy to draw thanks to this toxic work-home-work loop.

Sure, some stupid shit may be brewing at work, but it’s not so bad, I guess.

What’s the boiling point for this vicious cycle? Break away from my life-long tradition of just wasting my free time off work and actually going on a mini vacation with a friend. Like, actually leaving home for a few days, no family involved.

Honestly? It was pretty fucking great, despite a couple of compromises.

There was something so… liberating… about just being able to break free from my own sheltered self even if it’s just for a bit. Pretty sure it ended up unlocking a few things in me I didn’t know I could even feel in the first place. Most of my personality for the latter half of my life to date had been that of a generic NPC out of protection from others. 

Besides, it’s not like I’ll end up doing dumb shi-

 

Oh.

I am now a certified degenerate.

A Blog, But More Than A Decade Later

The year was 200X. It was the late 2000’s. A teenage kid liked to get on his crappy Dial-Up internet. Said kid took part of a few forums here and there, also had an interest in blog-like websites. Mostly going around through a certain Mega Man (Battle Network) fan site and a Pokémon glitch forum, along with starting to get his feet wet with furry content. It was me, Sparky.

But wait, not really. I didn’t really had a set pseudonym back then. The name “Wolf” was eventually associated with me, but it was still really just a minor handle for me to be identified by others. At one point I did set out to try to make a little blog of my own, much like most blogs at the time. They were humble and simple, unlike the more complex and… “commercialized”? Probably not the correct word, but it’s certainly not like it used to be. Continue reading