Friday, March 28, 2008

Year of the Sony?

I was successful in modding my own XBOX 360 last week as previously reported.  Since then, I’ve modded my friend’s 360 and will do doing another friend’s later this week.  I’m wondering if I can’t make something of this.


I’ve always liked to tinker but no necessarily modding.  This is my first try at doing it and it has gone smoothly. 


After the initial mod, I’ve also done my PSP, however, the Wii was a tough one.  The soldering that needed to be done was a bit out of my league, which means getting a professional to do it for me.  Luckily I had met a fellow gamer during my technology school days that knew how to solder extremely well (like a machine it’s so perfect) so I commissioned him to do it for me.  Now the problem I face is the only truly unmodified console I have is the PS3.


In the past few years, PS3 has been slow to start and was steady at #3 in the current console race.  There were no AAA titles that had to be played, and those that were good either wasn’t great enough or was of second rate mascots, when compared to the behemoth of Nintendo’s roster.  But if the PS3 holds true and Sony doesn’t let the recent Blu-Ray win get to their heads, I believe this could truly be the year of the PS3.


Another thing that’s been brewing on the horizon is a certain electronics boutique store is having trade in promotions.  Those of you in the know will get the reference.  Trade in a certain amount of games and you get a free Nintendo DS or PSP or a pre-order towards a game.  Now usually when these promos pop up, I capitalize on a few pre-orders or a few new releases for cheap.  But with my recent modding craze, I found myself with a lot of games on multiple systems that I no longer needed to have.  So I purchased a few DS and sold them at a discount online.  This act of buying to sell for some people is almost evil in certain people’s eyes but I believe otherwise.  There was rumour of someone purchases large amounts en masse to sell or trade but in general, I’m speaking of small quantities. 


Nintendo DS, PSP, and the Wii are fairly hot commodities and for someone to actually benefit from selling these, enough to justify mass hoarding, is rare.  Let’s do a calculation:  If you were to trade in for example 5 games in order to gain one Nintendo DS, that would cost you roughly $40 plus tax and gas.  If most people are working at $15/hour and gas costs $1/L, that’s a cost of $60 in time and money just to obtain that DS.  This is not even taking into the time you spend listing said item, packaging it, and mailing it.  In the end, it really nets you about a 20-30% profit.  So what we are talking about here is scales of economy.  20-30% profit is huge when you are talking about selling a car.  20-30% profit on a gaming console isn’t so much.  So why do I do it?  I do for the benefit of those that are unable to obtain these items at a reasonable cost or simply do not have the time to search.  My cousin in Toronto has wanted a Wii and DS for the longest time but every time she looks at a Toys R Us or Futureshop, they are sold out.  So I get her one, sell it to her below retail and she’s extremely happy. 


Commodities brokering is what this is about.  Those that obtain commodities for others that are unable to obtain it themselves. The only difference is we are talking about electronic toys instead of barley.


Friday, March 7, 2008

Great Success!

My first mod job. I got my 360 Arcade today and decided to try my hand at modding it with a quieter fan, arctic silver and while I had it open, custom firmware *snicker*! Well, I thought it would be tough but as Keanu would say, "I know Kung Fu." I disassembled the system in 5 minutes. Had the NTFS Dos disk made in another 5. Hooked up the drive to the PC and the flashing was done in another 10. Total time about 20 minutes. And it saved me $100 from having someone else do it. Best $100 ever not spent I tell you. Anyway, just a quick one today and I'll touch on something else this weekend. Now, back to Lost.

Saturday, March 1, 2008

How To Lose a Job in 10 Days

Okay, I didn't lose my job. But there have been two co-workers that have been "let go" in the past three weeks. I'm currently working on a high profile project, one that is surely a "lifetime" building. This mean that I will probably never in my career see another project of this size/scale/type again. This also means that there are lots of people involved and everyone is required to pull their weight. Which is also a part of the difficulty in understanding these firings. If we are so strapped for people, why were these workers let go and yet other that were even less productive are allowed to stay? I didn't know these two people very well so I can't satisfy my curiosity. However, it does put things into perspective for me. It doesn't really matter how hard you work for your employer, because when push comes to shove and they need your spot for someone better, you can bet that you will be asked to leave. Sure, you can put in your hours and be as productive as you possibly can be, but once they see that you aren't living up to their expectations of you, they will can your butt rather than see where you may be needing help or guidance. There's a saying in Chinese and I think it sums up how I've decided to deal with this situation. The saying was told to me again by a friend and I think it fits quite well. It goes, "If you have your hands and feet, you have nothing to worry about." Which is very true of most of the Chinese culture. We are usually very hardworking and dedicated to our jobs. The exceptions seem to only apply to the Chinese workers in my office which I find extremely odd and annoying. But in general, we work without much complaint. However, the western culture doesn't foster hardworking individuals, instead it punishes them by giving them more work and higher demands. I've ranted on this subject before so I won't dwell on it. But it's just becoming more and more apparent to me. With that bit of background information about my week. You know I am going to need this weekend. I'm hoping to get at least a few hours of solid gaming in somewhere in the next two days. I've started to swim everyday at lunch to try and get back into shape so that should boost my energy level a little bit. For the mean time, I'm still hooked on Lost and I can't seem to stop watching Season 3 even though it seriously lacks the tension and suspense of the previous two seasons. Lets see how Season 4 will turn out. Oh, and I'm still looking for a Macbook Pro. With the latest refresh being not that substantial, I'm probably going to wait until June or right before September to see what else Steve will bring to the table. Peace.