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Revision as of 01:56, 12 December 2012 by Another World (talk | contribs) (My Stuff)

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 with Homebrew emulators.

Why Another World?

One of my favorite games of all time was Out of this World on the SEGA Genesis. I can recall spending hours in my friends converted basement (they had a small area for sleeping, playing video games, looking at porn, etc) trying to figure out each puzzle in the game. I never owned SEGA products until later in life, and with most of their stuff it is still emulation for me. Even though I stuck with Nintendo until the Gamecube I had experienced the Master System, Genesis, GameGear, and SEGA CD up to this point. Today I own my original GameGear, I have a Master System, and a Dreamcast. Anyways, I eventually purchased the game for my SNES and over the years I had beaten Out of this World countless times. I always left the game on the shelf until it collected a fine layer of dust and then I would give it a another play. I always managed to forget some aspects of the game so various puzzles unfolded like playing them for the first time. The year before I got my first Slot-1 Flash Kit, I got a nasty cold. I couldn’t do much for more than a week so I busted out my SNES and hooked it up. Inevitably I worked my way to Out of this World and hacked my way through puzzles I had not played for about 7 years. At this point I am much older and much more into researching. I set out to discover more about the game and started to read as much about it as possible. The game was still one of my favorite games but it was not something I was obsessed with. Fast-forward a few months later, I had experienced a GBA port, read about the history of the game, played the 3D0, ATARI ST, AMIGA, DOS, SEGA CD, Genesis, and SNES versions. I grabbed a copy of the enhanced anniversary XP addition and played it a few times a day for more than a year. The more I played the game the more I discovered about it, be it a color I never noticed or an animation that really strengthened to me why this game was one of the greatest games ever created (especially when you consider it was coded by 1 person). By this point I was completely obsessed with Another World (IE: Out of this World) and Runescape. Runescape was a distraction as I lost 5 family members and my dog all in the same year, but Another World was an obsession that would never go away. When I joined GBAtemp I thought about what names to use. Some of my first thoughts were names that would eventually get me banned, I actually used the word “Boob” in part of my Runescape name and have never (knock on wood) been in trouble for it. I didn’t want to repeat that same mistake, always wondering if this would be my last day and make a name on stupid impulses, so I went with my biggest obsession at the time, Another World. I made my first avatar by cropping part of an original painting that Eric Chahi used for the original box art. People got use to my avatar and started to know me as the person who always signed their posts (-Another World). By this point I was Another World and Another World was me, I eventually expanded out by joining other NDS/GBA Flash Kit related forums under the same name.

My Big Projects

My first big project was a thread which collected, discussed, and linked to various Slot-2 emulators and interpreters. I had a nice collection from my first GBA Flash Kit and wanted to compile a list so that others could enjoy the same files. Looking back on this project I am glad that I did it because most of the files and links are now gone and dead. This project was the first post I had sticked at GBAtemp, thanks to JPH. My second 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. It seems like the time was well spent, even if some users debated the usefulness of the list, because I now knew which games worked and was able to carry a complete collection with me wherever I went. The second project was also my second stickied post at GBAtemp, once again thanks to JPH.

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 Post was 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. It was also around this time that I purchased my Acekard RPG from DealExtreme for $61.73 or something like that. I quickly approached Acekard about a potential project and was sent my first free Flash Kit (a post FAT error AK 2.1). 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 have (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 review was started April 25th, 2010 and officially 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 of highly anticipated Flash Kits (and a Dingoo A320) which took 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

After taking some time off being AFK I got back to posting news. 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. At the time it seemed to me that we all knew our role and didn't need someone to be in charge.

Once I was promoted I set out to adjust the flow of things without attacking any one person for their faults, I wanted everyone to post what made them happy as long as the news was being covered. 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 also made the decision to demote some staff members (reluctantly for some) based solely on their lack of official posts.

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 a position he now truly enjoys. He has grown into 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).

Amptor had written a few great reviews for the Temp as a normal member. He was promoted by the higher-ups for about a week so that he could edit his old reviews. I was unsure how he would fit in but after a few discussions about future reviews I decided to keep him on the staff roster. Amptor has made a few posts thus far but is actually being saved for bigger projects (future retro flash kit reviews).

To fill in the gaps I approached Rydian, after staff suggestions, and asked him to be the special projects poster. Rydian was at first a bit unsure how he would fit into the Temp as a staff member. During this time I was approached by a site to receive a few flash kits for review. I decided to pass on the samples to any of my staff willing to tackle a review. Most were reluctant, including Rydian, but after a few discussions he decided to take on the task. Following his review we discussed his place here and settled on special projects (guides, odd news, longer post projects, etc) and the mirroring of User Submitted News.

I was sent a PM from Costello (late May 2011), forwarded from Guild McCommunist, asking for a position move. Guild has been on the Temp T.V. staff but felt that his talents would be better put to use as Magazine Staff. Following a brief discussion with him I made the decision or promote him to Magazine Staff. Guild will be covering Gaming news, highlighting User Submitted News & Reviews, and tackling some of his own special projects.

My Move for Power - J/K

I never set out to be anything more than Magazine Staff. I enjoy doing the Magazine Staff duties but at times I would run into a problem that I needed addressed and did not have the permissions to handle on my own. Eventually Costello decided to give me Global Moderating powers, so in a matter of speaking I am actually a Global Moderator but I try my best not to use those powers outside of Magazine related forums. I have, on occasion, stickied a useful post, the one I am recalling now is the guide by TK_Saturn for fixing AK2i contact issues. Even though I have the privileges to do what the Global Mods do I still report problems the same as everyone else. When I am sent a PM asking for help which would fall under powers outside of the Magazine Staff I forward that PM onto the staff in one way or another.

FileTrip and the old Download Center

All staff had the ability to moderate (move files, rename, delete, etc) the old GBAtemp Download Center, yet few seemed to use those powers and as a result the Download Center quickly became a mess that no one wanted to clean-up. One night I decided to focus on the NDS/GBA categories and went to work on what turned into a year long project of fixes in small daily doses. During this process I was the first GBAtemp member to contribute 1,000 files (the next closest was 417 by Shaunj66) and I worked hard to upload a sizable GBA Homebrew collection (well over 500 files). I started to feel somewhat responsible for a few areas of the Download Center and when Filetrip went live I quickly asked to be allowed to continue my organizational efforts. The staff welcomed me and I was made a moderator from the very start. Out of habit, mostly because daily news post files are always mirrored, I check Filetrip once a night and handled most of the moderation reports. Over the past year I have become one of the few Filetrip moderators who were really active and because of this a few of the staff members started a discussion to have me promoted to Administrator. On April 18, 2011 at approximately 10:07 EST, I have received said promotion.

As an Admin to Filetrip I have so far added some requested PS3 categories, fixed the Dingoo category (to reflect more than one system by the same name), and reset a password or two. I do have plans to fix and organize many areas of the site but currently lack the free time to do so.

GBAtemp Recommends Revival Project

On October 3rd, 2011 I successfully re-launched the GBAtemp Recommends project as the GBAtemp Recommends Revival project. This new project no longer contained the “GBA” software limitations of the old project. In fact, this project covered everything from Homebrew to Hacks. The first new article was a recommendation of the Atari 2600 Homebrew, Ature.

The goal of the project was to hit 52 recommendations, a full years worth. More than halfway to this goal, the purpose of this project made me become rather jaded. Something which was designed to be community driven instead became my personal soapbox, an outcome I never desired. While I thoroughly enjoyed writing every issue and recommending what I believed to be great software titles, I always had much larger plans for the project. I had hoped that a vast majority of our community would step-up to recommend their favorite titles. By doing so, the project would cover games I had not experienced, tried, enjoyed, or would have considered to recommend. I tried on multiple occasions to rally the community, staff, and some friends to write. I posted on IRC asking for help, I made a thread on GBAtemp asking for writers, I followed a few recommends with a plea for help, and I added a line to the bottom of the project outline asking the community to write! A few individuals tried their hand at it, but the project never generated the turnout I had hoped for. Around the 40th issue I hatched a plan to write my way out of the project and to forever let it rot as another example of failed community support. Truthfully, I never wanted to see the project die, and was lucky when Hadrian offered to take on the project for the foreseeable future. After his offer I quickly established a new goal, to reach 56 issues. The 56th issue would not only surpass my original goal of a full year of writing but also double the run of the original GBAtemp Recommends project (Shaunj66, JPH), which would make my attempts seem somewhat more successful in my own eyes.

The last article I wrote as the maintainer of this project was for Another World: 15th Anniversary Edition on 11/12/12. I tried my best to include as much information as possible, and to focus on the history of the game as well as the differences found in the 15th anniversary release. I chose my closing words carefully, as a way to stamp the issue with my own personal humor. The closing line reads "If you have never experienced Another World, now is the time, after all, I finally recommended it!"

Time to Retire

On January 9th, 2012 I chose to retire as the Head of Magazine Staff. At the time I cited an extremely busy schedule as the sole reason. My real life had taken a positive turn and I chose to retire from Mag Staff so that I could focus my efforts, as strongly as possible, on new opportunities. Unfortunately, this opportunity did not work out and I got out of there as quickly as possible. After getting back into my old rhythm I started to reconsider my decision to retire from my staff position. But truthfully, my decision to retire was also weighted upon by the future of GBAtemp. Homebrew is no longer a focus of the site, the DS and Wii aren’t really producing enough news, and there probably would not be a 3DS scene to report on. The site itself required a refocus and a push towards gaming news was the decided course. I enjoyed every bit of news I posted for the site because I was posting things I was interested in. When you enjoy what you do it makes it not feel like a requirement or a job. But gaming news is something I had no desire to post. I tried doing it for one month and each post seemed like real work. Being the Head of Mag Staff was already a fulltime volunteer position, I literally spent on average 6 hours a day doing things for the site (many behind the scenes), and when that time became filled with gaming news it no longer remained fun. So the decision was a two part decision, one was a desire to have more free time for the real world and the other was that I honestly knew I was not the person to take GBAtemp on its next step. I politely asked Costello to be moved into the Former Staff category. I stated that I would like to continue to be involved with the site but no longer wished to be responsible for daily news posting.

Review Staff

After a few weeks of long staff discussions, Costello began working on a review center. We all pitched in with our ideas and comments while he designed and coded a new GBAtemp feature. I still have a desire to write about video games and thought that this would be a perfect opportunity to get reacquainted with the site. Game reviews are right up my alley and would also provide me with something to include with my resume. I quickly volunteered for the position and on March 14th, 2012 the “Reviewers” category was officially announced. With me in mind, Costello added a “retro” category to the review center.

After my first few reviews I asked to be placed back into the Former Staff category. I felt that my role at GBAtemp had changed drastically after leaving Magazine Staff, being labeled a "reviewer" just didn't feel right. I would rather write as "former staff" then to be shifted into a new category with expected responsibilities.

Future Projects

I do have a few special projects planned. 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 R4DS (1:1 clone), 3DS, 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, and SCDS2 review. Like I said I have plans, which of these projects will actually be completed will depend on where life takes me in the future.

My Stuff


Game/Homebrew Reviews:

Recommends Revival Reviews:

Product Reviews:

Future Reviews (will these get completed?):

  • Fix all the broken review HTML since the forum update
  • K101 Revo GBA Clone (expected to receive one soon)
  • R4 1:1 Clone (great way to update the old R4 review and talk about the Wood firmware)
  • Gopher (MD handheld running Firecore)
  • MDMax (MD Handheld, uses multi-carts)
  • 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 SCDS2 review, write the VID software update and a 4th post discussing what has changed since the review started
  • Project Vboot (microSD based Virtual Boy Flash Kit currently in development -- if I can get one that is)
  • Review some Game and Watch handhelds
  • Write monthly retro game reviews (if the review center is ever re-coded for the new forum software)

Abandoned Reviews (will probably never get completed!):

  • 3DS (doubtful I will ever do this)
  • iSmart MM (Started working on it Dec 2011 with Fast, never was completed -- Sorry George)
  • Update AK RPG review and focus on the Wood firmware (Don't really see the point, can't even buy it any longer)

Failed Projects: