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Hi. I'm Mike. This isn't updated often.

Month: April 2009

Xbox 360 License Transfer Issues

Hey. In the new house. Let’s blog, again.

So as you may have read on the site and heard on the podcast, I received a replacement Xbox 360 last September. I did not have a single problem since then (knock on wood). I went through all of their directions and re-downloaded items from my “Download History” if I needed them. All set to go.

Well, I just moved. The internet connection is up in the loft. To get on Xbox LIVE right now, I have to run a bazillion-foot ethernet cable down over the railing, across the living room, and into the 360 in the TV stand. I could buy a $100 wireless adapter, but that would be ridiculous (though I probably will do so using bonus points from my credit card so I don’t feel like I’m wasting real money). Needless to say, I don’t keep that cable running to-and-fro all the time.

The other day Jeff came over to help set up the new ION drum kit. Yes, it’s fantastic. We then attempted to play some Rock Band 2, and of course dived into some recent DLC. No problems there. Then we tried some older DLC… stuff I downloaded before I received my replacement console. Here’s what we got:

rock_band_song_unavailable

If you can’t read that (and for the sake of search-engine optimization), it reads:

The song data you were accessing has become unavailable, and the game cannot proceed without it. Your game session has restarted.

Since I’m moderately intelligent, I knew it was a license issue. A little Googling around brings up similar experiences, confirming that even deleting and re-downloading the individual song content does not re-license it to the new system hardware. What does this mean?

A call to Xbox customer support (800-4-MY-XBOX) was in order.

I ended up speaking with two very nice ladies (with very thick accents, and the second sounded like she was taking the call in a sports stadium full of people). Since I was able to explain the issue clearly and describe to them what the resolution should be, it went very smoothly. I will apparently receive a call back within 48 hours to update me on the resolution, as well as receive an e-mail when it is complete. All I had to do was provide my replacement console’s serial number and system ID a couple times, my gamertag, and e-mail address.

I’ll update again when it’s resolved. Hopefully this is an easy fix…!

Moving Video Games

Just because I am moving tomorrow doesn’t mean I can’t make a blog post about video games.

It has certainly been an interesting time getting ready to move with all of these games and systems. I have accumulated more systems in my time at the apartment than what I had owned – in total – previous to moving there. There is gaming paraphernalia all over the place. Not only did I have to disconnect everything, but then I (obviously!) had to clean it and pack it all up. I took a couple photos along the way, and while they are nothing spectacular, they perhaps give a little glimpse into the headache of moving so much stuff.

First up would be all of the current games. The Gamecube/Wii and the PS2 games were already in pretty standard racks, so I just threw some duct tape from top to bottom to hold the games in place so I could carry them as-is. The 360, PS3, and PSP games got shoved into a box with a couple random GBA boxes lying around

vg_packing_1

The Saturn games and miscellaneous system games (PC Engine, Playdia, import Gamecube, etc.) were up next. Thankfully they all very nicely fit into one box. Those PS1 and DS games were going to be another issue entirely, though… I somehow got everything into enough boxes, though.

vg_packing_2

Finally, it was time to pack up all of the systems, themselves. I put the three “current-gen” systems in their own packaging (with the 360 double-wrapped in towels and plastic bags to prevent spontaneous RRoDE74… combusting), as well as most-easiest un-packing. The DS and the PSP still need to find their way to a bag or box, but I think all of the old Game Boys and the Nomad have already been packed away. The broken Virtual Boy also made a trek to the new place all by its lonesome. Everything else was going to be eventually hooked up to one of two, alternate, non-HD gaming TVs. It’s a nice little batch of guys.

vg_packing_3

(In case you need a refresher, from top-to-bottom, left-to-right, that’s: Gamecube w/ Game Boy Player stacked on top of JP & US PS2s, SNES, N64 w/ memory expansion, Saturn, Genesis w/ 32X, PlayStation, NES, Playdia, Dreamcast.)

Pictures of all the final set-ups will absolutely make their way to the blog. It will be tough to drag me away from this long enough to write something, though:

ion_drum_set

Older Music Games Cheap… Worth It?

Yeah, yeah… we missed another month on the podcast. Go ahead. Sue us. I’ve got a perfectly fine excuse (moving!).

In going through my feeds today, I noticed a couple good deals. One that stuck out to me was Guitar Hero III: Legends of Rock being sold for a mere $9.99 over at Best Buy (360 / PS2 / Wii).

Now that we’ve progressed into the realms of Rock Band and World Tour (and… sure… Rock Revolution, if you so desire), what kind of benefit or reason do you see for picking up one of the “antiquated” versions of these games? I picked up Guitar Hero III on release date and played the heck out of it, and while I revisit it occasionally for a couple songs and the increased difficulty level, it rarely makes an extended stay in the 360’s disc drive. No-one can sing or drum along, and when the other two games are sitting right there, it is not a very difficult decision which to keep in.

How about you all, though? If you have not yet picked up Guitar Hero III, does the ridiculous $10 price point sway you? Is the lack of export/compatibility with newer game-engines and (full band) instruments still keeping you away? Do you not even like to play the guitar/bass parts of songs in the first place?

Kids and Social Networking – Your Thoughts?

I am going to be doing a little presentation next week at a luncheon at an organization regarding children being online and social networking. The focus is keeping them “safe” in some sense, but it will be more along the lines of just being aware of what is out there, how to keep tabs on it, building the necessary vocabulary to understand it, etc.

I think the big thing I am going to harp on is just helping people understand why people join these sites and do the things they do. Once you understand the why, everything else falls into place. As far as I can tell from observation and my own personal experiences, the main reason is just selfish validation. What I mean by that is that people are using these sites basically for the purpose of having their own existence justified and validated by receiving positive feedback. Whether it’s Digg promoting things, Facebook with the “like” button and status update responses, Twitter and getting responses to tweets… everything is intended to be a virtual pat on the back to just prove that you exist.

While narcissism extends far into adulthood, there is no denying that it is far more prevalent among children (especially teenagers) and their rebellious age. It is always about finding your place, understanding where you fit into the world, blah blah blah.

What does everyone think about this? Would you describe it differently? What other reasons do people have for joining and participating in these social networking communities?

Post Office Frustration

On March 20th, I received an e-mail from Meritline.com that the pair of digital audio cables I had ordered from them were on their way to me in the mail.

On March 23rd, I came home to see the standard orange/pink-ish slip the post office leaves when they have a package that will not fit in the mailbox that they attempted to deliver (but would not just leave on the porch for whatever reason). I could take this slip to the post office to pick up the package.

On March 27th, I placed an order on Amazon for a new microphone, XLR cable, and windscreen.

On March 28th, Amazon e-mailed me to tell me that the XLR cable and windscreen had been shipped (the microphone would come separately).

On March 30th, I finally had a chance to go down to the post office with my slip to pick up the package with my digital audio cables. I went there directly after work without first stopping off at home. I handed the slip to the nice lady behind the counter, she gave me a box, and I went back out to the car. As I walked to the car, I remembered that the slip had said “oversize envelope” as a description. I was holding a box. I opened the box to find the windscreen and XLR cable. I walked back into the post office and explained to the lady that I was pretty sure I had another package there waiting for me. It was impossible for the slip that I had just brought in (received on March 23rd) to be for an item that had not yet even been ordered at the time (March 27th). The now-sassy lady dismissed me away saying I would have another slip if I had another package, and she walked away without checking for me.

There was another slip in my mailbox upon returning home, this one (obviously) being for the XLR cable and windscreen, which I had just picked up.

I really hope when I go back to the post office that there is a different person working there. I suppose as long as I have a slip with my name and address, they will just give me whatever package matches that name and address.

But seriously. Logic, people. C’mon.

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