Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Back to Geekery

Hi Team.

I know I've been very picturesque and romantic and exciting lately but it's time to get back to something a little more ... techie.

Take 1x XBox

Now, with a special tool and a bit of careful work (Voiding the waranty in the process...)

You get something that looks like this;

I had two goals in mind. First of all, everyone (well, except for the mad hatters who really go crazy) has the same stock standard white and grey Xbox.


So Ju's Little Sister decided she wanted to spice things up a bit. I have searched the sites, Xbox-scene, Trademe, and many more. The easiest thing to do is buy a vinyl 'skin' which is can come looking like anything, pictures, patterns, abstract - you name it, they've got it. Vinyl skins can be removed and changed at will, though I understand they're a little tricky to get on just right. But while I think white is boring (because it's the same as everyone else) I don't like clutter or too much activity all over my possessions. So I was always looking for a plain colour, which I eventually found as a complete new case. I chose black. Original, I know BUT!

Goal two: With a bit of soldering;

I've shown you all my robot PCBs (green square thing with shiny bits ) so you should recognise this no worries! There were four tiny little diodes about 3-4 mm long and 1mm wide and one even smaller which I removed (trying not to damage the board as I did so) and five diodes about 2mm long and >1mm wide which I soldered on - not as they would normally, but sitting on their sides and facing inwards along the board. I took the board into work to do as they have precision temperature soldering irons and tiny little tips to make it easier. Not to mention vices for PCBs and a myriad of other handy tools like heat sinking tweezers and flux etc. When I was finished I was sure I had broken two of the diodes from heat alone and was not looking foward to having to buy more.

I brought it home and reassembled the Xbox (with the black case) and with trepidation I turned it on.


The diodes (which were Light Emitting Diodes, or LEDs) all worked, and now instead of a white box with green lights, I had a black one with blue lights!

Oh, did I mention I replaced the shell for the controller as well?

Okay, so it looks silly in the photos (which I will be the first to admit, aren't that good.) but it actually looks quite stylie in real life. Ah yes, another moment of pure geek satisfaction.

Now I have a spare case just lying around. What shall I do with it? Well, one of the trades in the Royal New Zealand Air Force (called Safety & Surface trade) specialises, amongst other things, in painting. AND, not only are they brilliant at spray painting things like planes and cars and bikes and whatever you can think of, but they are also pretty good at making and placing decals as well. I've asked around and for the price of some beers or some baking there are one or two who are happy to take my little project under their wing. Tomorrow Matt is going to bring in a couple of colour books for me to choose the colour and I'll go talk to Tab since I hear she has already designed a sticker based on Alice in Wonderland.
As you probably won't recall from my post on the XBox LAN my name was Alice, since I am a little like the afore mentioned character when it comes to computer games. However when you try to play XBox over the 'real' internet no two players in the world are allowed to have the same name (or Gamertag). So I had to think of something else.
During the LANs I usually get killed more than I kill others, so when I did sneak up behind a player and knock him over the head, as it were, he would often call out the words from a popular song - "Alice? Who the [expletive] is Alice?" So after much trail and error, I ended up with a gamertag of: Who tF is Alice.
No bull.

I have in my mind exactly what I'd like to have stuck to the side of the Xbox, but because of the delicate nature of the wording I am hesitant about whether I should display any of it here on blogspot. However, in the interests of the story, I think it would be rude not to. So I have posted the ummm, moderated version. Of course, there's no guarantee I'll use this case (if the stickers can even be made) , it will live in the wardrobe for the most part. And it certainly will not be visible in certain company. Family for instance, and young children. ;-)
On the other hand, it certainly will be original.

So, any ideas for the background colour?

(They can do anything, even that cameleon paint!)


TCA said...

Geekery at it's best!

Seems a lot of effort to change the colour of a few lights and the case... I am not big into gaming, you understand.

Nice decals though, how about yellow? And why not havea picture of Alice Cooper, not Alice IW?

Ju's little sister said...

Not really a lot of effort - I just like being dramatic. And playing around with that sort of stuff is actually fun for me :-)

I thought about yellow, or maybe a very pale powder blue. Something I can do the other controller and also the dvd remote in as well. But yellow might work.

Alice Cooper is an interesting idea - thanks, I'll think about it and let you know. :-)

simon said...

hahahah! Brilliant!

As for colour why not go for that paint that radar cannot pick up ? seeing you are in the airforce n all!

great post!. sadly I cannot use tools of any kind.... so youhave impressed me!

TCA said...

my Goodness! I am not letting you anywhere near my Sterio or DVD player! you will pull it apart and 'sex it up'! I am very impressed by the way. I took my CD player apart many moons ago when a CD got jammed. I reassembled it and it never worked again :O(.

As for Alice I would go for a large sun with shimmering rays in the background.


Ju's little sister said...

That's a shame about your CD player BB, but a very cool idea for the background. It might be getting a bit complicated for my poor artistic skills, but Matt might be up for it.

You can't use tools Simon? I am surprised! With a truck and a bike you are so proud of I guess I half expected you to have had a little toot-oo with them?!

Maalie said...

What is an X box? Isn't that what they put in planes to find out why they've crashed?

Ju's little sister said...

That's a black-box Maalie.

X-box is a gaming console. You're funny :-)