From WikiTemp, the GBAtemp wiki
('''The Mag Staff Fast Track''')
('''The Mag Staff Fast Track''')
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=='''The Mag Staff Fast Track'''==
 
=='''The Mag Staff Fast Track'''==
JPH let me know that he was planning on doing a writing contest for GBATemp. He wanted to find users interested in being on Magazine Staff. The post was made [http://gbatemp.net/index.php?showtopic=108971 October 8th, 2008], he asked me if I would write something so that I could be "officially considered." I was curious about it but I wasn't sure that I wanted to be involved with GBATemp in that way. So while we talked about it on IRC, I never actually entered the contest. Needless to say I was surprised when I woke up and discovered a [http://gbatemp.net/index.php?showtopic=111199 front page post on October 21st, 2008] welcoming me to the Magazine Staff. I spent the next while posting Homebrew news, filling in for JPH, and helping out when I could. I got really interested in Homebrew the more I posted about it. While I was posting Homebrew I kept seeing the staff given review samples, and I really wanted to do a review. Finally I jumped at a chance to review the DS Ranger GPS system. The review took over 6 months as I was waiting for a promised software update that never came. I was asked to just finish the review, and I felt rather bad that it took that long, so I did my best and wrote my [http://gbatemp.net/index.php?showtopic=198399 first review], formatted and posted by Minox on my behalf.  
+
JPH let me know that he was planning on doing a writing contest for GBATemp. He wanted to find users interested in being on Magazine Staff. The contest post was made [http://gbatemp.net/index.php?showtopic=108971 October 8th, 2008] and he asked me if I would enter something so that I could be "officially considered." I was curious about it but I wasn't sure that I wanted to be involved with GBATemp in that way. So while we talked about it on IRC, I never actually entered the contest. Needless to say I was surprised when I woke up and discovered a [http://gbatemp.net/index.php?showtopic=111199 front page post on October 21st, 2008] welcoming me to the Magazine Staff. I spent the next while posting Homebrew news, filling in for JPH, and helping out when I could. I got really interested in Homebrew the more I posted about it. While I was posting Homebrew I kept seeing the staff given review samples, and I really wanted to do a review. Finally I jumped at a chance to review the DS Ranger GPS system. The review took over 6 months as I was waiting for a promised software update that never came. I was asked to just finish the review, and I felt rather bad that it took that long, so I did my best and wrote my [http://gbatemp.net/index.php?showtopic=198399 first review], formatted and posted by Minox on my behalf.  
  
 
Following that I started to make contacts in the Flash Kit industry. I quickly approached Acekard about a potential project and was sent my first free Flash Kit. I then contacted Shaunj66 and discussed writing an update to the Acekard 2.0 review and Shaun agreed and sent me a 2.1 sample. Once again time got the better of me and I did not write the review as quickly as I should (sorry Shaun). In my own defense my Acekard 2.1 review would not have been possible without the year of AKAIO BETA testing and a friendship I built with Normmatt. As far as AKAIO is concerned I was one of the original BETA testers, back when Norm hung out in a channel on EFnet that Urza was running. I asked for the BETA, Norm provided it and I tested the fuck out of it. So I had all this experience/knowledge and I still had the 2.1 from Shaun, once again I felt really bad that I had put the review off and decided to tackle it one weekend. The result was, arguably, one of my better reviews which culminated more than a year of testing, researching, relationship building, and understanding, the result of which was posted [http://gbatemp.net/t224477-acekard-2-1 May 2nd, 2010].
 
Following that I started to make contacts in the Flash Kit industry. I quickly approached Acekard about a potential project and was sent my first free Flash Kit. I then contacted Shaunj66 and discussed writing an update to the Acekard 2.0 review and Shaun agreed and sent me a 2.1 sample. Once again time got the better of me and I did not write the review as quickly as I should (sorry Shaun). In my own defense my Acekard 2.1 review would not have been possible without the year of AKAIO BETA testing and a friendship I built with Normmatt. As far as AKAIO is concerned I was one of the original BETA testers, back when Norm hung out in a channel on EFnet that Urza was running. I asked for the BETA, Norm provided it and I tested the fuck out of it. So I had all this experience/knowledge and I still had the 2.1 from Shaun, once again I felt really bad that I had put the review off and decided to tackle it one weekend. The result was, arguably, one of my better reviews which culminated more than a year of testing, researching, relationship building, and understanding, the result of which was posted [http://gbatemp.net/t224477-acekard-2-1 May 2nd, 2010].

Revision as of 07:56, 9 April 2011

The IRC chat that started it all

01:51 am • <St-Knight> you'll need 1 VERY fast microSD card which would be the Kingston 1GB-JAP chip
01:54 am • <St-Knight> lameboy is a NDS rom
01:54 am • <St-Knight> it's made in such a way that it can access the filesystem on the microSD card
01:54 am • <St-Knight> so you can fill it up with gb/gbc roms and it will run them
01:54 am • <St-Knight> nesDS runs nes games in the same fasion
01:59 am • <Another_World> how is the wifi support?
01:59 am • <St-Knight> it works
01:59 am • <St-Knight> BUT
01:59 am • <St-Knight> you have to install flashme v8a on all DS's involved in the download play exchnage
02:00 am • <St-Knight> because download play is an RSA encrypted exchange
02:00 am • <St-Knight> the ROMs on the R4DS are unencrypted, now the DS doesn't care about that much
02:00 am • <St-Knight> but the one without an R4DS in it receiving the game demo / download play client will
02:00 am • <St-Knight> because the checksum hash will fail
02:01 am • <St-Knight> but if both have flashme neither will care
02:01 am • <St-Knight> cause flashme disables RSA
02:01 am • <St-Knight> you don't hav eto have flashme to use the R4DS at all, but to do download play the receiving DS needs it installed
02:03 am • <St-Knight> it says "ok this is SUPPOSE to be secureROM RSA encrypted location, but who cares, execute the unencrypted code anyway"
02:03 am • <St-Knight> what you could do is put flashme on your DS, and then when you wanna do download play with someone put the R4DS in the other person's DS
02:03 am • <St-Knight> since yours can now receive
02:07 am • <St-Knight> btw you can install flashme on any DS from the R4DS just put the flashmev8a.nds rom in a directory on the r4ds and save it there to do so
02:14 am • <St-Knight> oh be sure you get COLORS the NDS homebrew paint program
02:23 am • <St-Knight> you're going to need EZ-Trim rom trimming tool as well
02:24 am • <St-Knight> they don't have to be trimmed
02:25 am • <St-Knight> you can trim them if you want to
02:25 am • <St-Knight> i didn't want to at first
02:25 am • <St-Knight> but when i saw that if i trim roms i get around 80% more stuff on there.. i started trimming :)
02:25 am • <St-Knight> see, carts are built in certain arpetures
02:25 am • <St-Knight> 32mbit 64mbit 128mbit 256mbit so on
02:25 am • <St-Knight> the actual game may be 3.7 mbyte
02:26 am • <St-Knight> but regardless it has to take up 8mbyte minimum because that's the minimum memory chip available by nintendo
02:26 am • <St-Knight> so they put the game on there, and it has 4.3mbyte of empty space
02:26 am • <St-Knight> rom trimmer cleans that up
02:26 am • <St-Knight> like rpgs that are 128mbyte you can trim them down to like 80mbyte or thereabouts usually
02:27 am • <St-Knight> yo only have to trim GBA and NDS games
02:27 am • <St-Knight> trimming GBA games saves around 0.5-1.5mbyte per game
02:27 am • <St-Knight> NDS games... a LOT more
01:27 am • <St-Knight> but if you don't use flashme you are not protected against a DS bricking virus
01:28 am • <St-Knight> it erases the bios of your DS making it never boot again unless you solder into its parallel port and reload the firmware
01:29 am • <St-Knight> but if you install flashme it has recovery code in it so that you can recover it without soldering into it, plus it removes the health and safety screen ;)
01:49 am • <St-Knight> all flashme does is puts a recovery mode in the write protected portion of the bios that allows you to boot the DS even if a virus bricks the DS in order to reload the firmware - and also boot NDS code from the GBA slot without a NoPass/PassMe
01:50 am • <St-Knight> it also disables the RSA chip in secureROM areas of games
02:13 am • <St-Knight> and i don't use anti virus programs because they're too resource intensive and i always verify my downloads

GBATemp -- A Google Discovery

I have been a fan of Homebrew since the GBA Flash Kits were released. Following the IRC conversation above, I started to become interested in Slot-1 Flash Kits. I did some Google research using search phrases like "R4DS Review" and "R4 Problems". The searches inevitably led me to GBATemp and I started to poke around.

Time to Join

I received an R4DS v2 (black shell, no spring), 2x 1GB Japanese Kingston microSD cards, and an M3 Lite Perfect (complete with the GBA shell) ordered form Gameyeeeah ($175-ish purchase) for Xmas in 2007. Following a few weeks of playing around, I joined GBATemp on January 3rd 2008. My main reason for joining was to have a place to ask questions and receive answers. My first post was actually a reply to the release thread for DS game #1750, Myst. Following that Post I became active in the R4 section. I quickly got sucked into Homebrew, learned about DLDI patching, and started to grab full ROM sets to test on Homebrew emulators.

First Big Project

My first big project was a nesDS compatibility list which I compiled for my own usage. After working more than 3 months to complete the list I decided to release it at GBATemp and Pocket Heaven (sadly it looks like the PH post has been lost). It seems like the time was well spent, and even if users didn't care to use the list I now knew which games worked and was able to carry a complete collection with me wherever I went.

JPH Asks For Help

Former Staff member JPH was busy developing his Temper Post project. He hung out in a scripting channel I had on EFnet at the time and asked me if I would be willing to help him meet a deadline. Apparently the reviewers he had lined up backed out at the last minute. I was given 2 days to play-test and write a review for Rondo of Swords, probably one of the worst games I've played but the short time frame really let me know what I was capable of. Following that review JPH asked me if I would be willing to do a bit more writing. I decided to give it another go but this time asked for more time to do actual play testing. The game I was assigned was Toy shop and I wrote the review for issue number 5.

Doing My Own Thing

The Temper posts were fun but I was never assigned something I actually wanted to work on. When the GBATemp Recommends was released I started to bug JPH to let me do one for a Homebrew. I really wanted to write about Foxy Soft's Another World GBA port, but at this point Shaunj66 was still running the Recommends and Homebrew was not something they had considered. Finally JPH gave me the OK and I contributed my 3rd official written project to GBATemp as GBATemp Recommends Issue 11. A few issues later I asked JPH if I could write another. I had spent time talking with SoulAnger (Menudo fame) on IRC and we were both into Ninja Five-0. To be honest it was a game that had escaped me and I found it a real treat to play, I felt that others might feel the same way. Pulling from that inspiration I wrote a review for GBATemp Recommends Issue 14

The Mag Staff Fast Track

JPH let me know that he was planning on doing a writing contest for GBATemp. He wanted to find users interested in being on Magazine Staff. The contest post was made October 8th, 2008 and he asked me if I would enter something so that I could be "officially considered." I was curious about it but I wasn't sure that I wanted to be involved with GBATemp in that way. So while we talked about it on IRC, I never actually entered the contest. Needless to say I was surprised when I woke up and discovered a front page post on October 21st, 2008 welcoming me to the Magazine Staff. I spent the next while posting Homebrew news, filling in for JPH, and helping out when I could. I got really interested in Homebrew the more I posted about it. While I was posting Homebrew I kept seeing the staff given review samples, and I really wanted to do a review. Finally I jumped at a chance to review the DS Ranger GPS system. The review took over 6 months as I was waiting for a promised software update that never came. I was asked to just finish the review, and I felt rather bad that it took that long, so I did my best and wrote my first review, formatted and posted by Minox on my behalf.

Following that I started to make contacts in the Flash Kit industry. I quickly approached Acekard about a potential project and was sent my first free Flash Kit. I then contacted Shaunj66 and discussed writing an update to the Acekard 2.0 review and Shaun agreed and sent me a 2.1 sample. Once again time got the better of me and I did not write the review as quickly as I should (sorry Shaun). In my own defense my Acekard 2.1 review would not have been possible without the year of AKAIO BETA testing and a friendship I built with Normmatt. As far as AKAIO is concerned I was one of the original BETA testers, back when Norm hung out in a channel on EFnet that Urza was running. I asked for the BETA, Norm provided it and I tested the fuck out of it. So I had all this experience/knowledge and I still had the 2.1 from Shaun, once again I felt really bad that I had put the review off and decided to tackle it one weekend. The result was, arguably, one of my better reviews which culminated more than a year of testing, researching, relationship building, and understanding, the result of which was posted May 2nd, 2010.

After the 2.1 review I had honed my skills and I had a good idea of how to attack my next review, whenever that would be. At first I had to fight to get reviews, I worked out some deals with Costello (do a good job with this and you'll get the review sort of thing). After a few detailed reviews and a lot of long hours and hard work, I was able to write my own ticket. I'm at the point now that random Web sites contact me and ask for me to write a review. It is an interesting feeling to be thought of so highly, and I'm not sure I really understand it. All I do is work hard, put in the hard work, and put my hard work into comprehensive thoughts. To this day I still do not feel that my reviews are anything special, they are just a reflection of a portion of my personality.

Going AFK

On December 5th, 2009 I made a post stating that I was going to take some time off. Basically I had a lot of junk going on in my personal life. At this point I was pretty much it when it came to Homebrew news post. PALib was in full swing and I was spending 1-2 hours (after 12hr bicycle repair shifts) posting news, sorting news, uploading files, organizing the old download system, etc. I needed a break and I didn't see any other way out but to take some time off. I didn't ask for permission, I simply made a post to the front page and one to the staff stating that I would be back. I spent the time away just being on IRC, working with Normmatt, and I stayed away from the Temp as much as possible. It was time well spent!

Head of Magazine Staff

Just as with the first promotion, I woke up to find out that I had been made the Head of Magazine Staff. I did not even know that the position would be filled again. I had no idea that I was being considered for it, and had openly spoke out against the usefulness of the position. It seemed to me that we all knew our role and didn't need someone to push us around. The first thing I did as Head of Mag Staff was to rewrite the posting outline JPH had written. I made it much more detailed and stickied it for the staff. The next thing was to unstickie JPH's old posts, compile the data into the outline, and then to begin looking for new staff members. I was spending a great deal of my time posting the news as I had done before, and wanted a bit of help. I spent time looking for a Wii-brew poster and settled on luke_c after a recommendation from Minox. Luke has worked out well but eventually got interested in release posting (an offshoot of Mag Staff). Once again we were without Wii-brew news. I went hunting and asked Vatoloco (for about the 3rd time) to consider it. He reluctantly accepted and ended up thriving at the position. He is now the number 1 Homebrew poster at GBATemp, often beating me to news which has allowed me free time to focus on my life instead of my volunteer efforts (a/k/a GBATemp). I also made the decision to demote some staff members (reluctantly for some) based solely on their lack of official posts. To fill in the gaps I approached Rydian, after staff suggestions, and asked him to be the special projects poster. He has filled in the holes rather well, although we are still lacking someone to do day-to-day gaming news (*hint*hint*).

Future Projects

I do have a few special projects planned, and for one of them I have even started to find some interested people. Sadly, real life takes up most of my free time this past year and most of my projects have been put on hold. I have plans to do a review of the R4i Gold, R4DS (1:1 clone), Virtual Boy, 3DS, a 3DS Case (should be shipping soon), a future Virtual Boy Flash Kit (yet to be released), a portable SEGA genesis clone, and a couple of Chinese made NES/Famicom clone systems. I would also like to update the Acekard RPG review, 2.1 review, SCDS2 review, and iEvo review. Like I said I have plans, which of these projects will actually be completed will depend on where life takes me in the next year.

My Stuff

Game/Homebrew Reviews:

Projects:

Reviews:

Future Reviews (in order they will probably get completed):

  • 3DS executive case (should be arriving from the UK shortly)
  • 3DS (already testing for this one)
  • Virtual Boy (Ready to write this, lack of time to get started)
  • R4i Gold (75% done with it when we had a database crash, should get started on it again soon)
  • R4 1:1 Clone (great way to update the old R4 review and talk about the Wood firmware)
  • Gopher (MD handheld running Firecore)
  • NES/Famicom Clone (crappy plastic system with pre-loaded ROMs from China Town, but it supports Famicom Carts and a light gun)
  • Update the AK 2.1 review and talk about what problems have been fixed
  • Update AK RPG review and focus on the Wood firmware
  • Update SCDS2 review, write the VID software update and a 4th post discussion what has changed since the review started
  • Update the iEvo review, months from now after they have fixed more than a handful of games
  • Project Vboot (microSD based Virtual Boy Flash Kit currently in development -- If I can get one that is)