I’ve owned my Vectrex since I was a kid, and it’s an awesome system, but it only came with one built-in controller, so I could never play two-player games. I looked into buying a second controller, but it turns out it’s extremely expensive, costing anywhere from $150 to $400 USD, at least on eBay! Another option is to buy a VecAdapt, which can be used to connect a Genesis controller without alteration to the Vectrex. This looks like an excellent product, but it would cost me around $45 USD, which isn’t that bad, but I figured it would be way more fun to make my own.
There are a few games that I really want for my NES, but they are just too expensive. Shatterhand is one of these games, and it easily sells for anywhere between $60 to $130 USD. I knew about reproduction carts, and that they sold for less, so I started wondering whether I could just make my own. I stumbled upon this great guide by The Poor Student Hobbyist, and decided to go for it.
For Halloween, we bought our son a toy bow to complete his Legolas costume. The bow cost around $6 at a local thrift store, so I didn’t expect much in terms of quality, and sure enough, after firing a few arrows with it, it cracked:
One of the NES controllers I received in an eBay lot was defective. It seemed none of the buttons worked, except for the “A” button, which behaved like “Start”. At first, I thought maybe the contacts were dirty, as I had read online that this could happen sometimes. But after attempting to clean, and even sand the contacts on the board, I realized this wasn’t the issue. With a little more searching online, I learned that sometimes the shift register chip becomes faulty, and needs replacing.
As part of an eBay lot I purchased, I received an RF adapter for the Nintendo Entertainment System that wasn’t quite working. When connected to my TV, the picture quality was terrible (sadly, I didn’t take a picture of that). I looked up online what could be the problem with it, and found a few people saying that the problem was typically a break in the coaxial cable. As I have a bunch of old coax cables, I decided to replace it.
Over the past summer, I started watching a bunch of The 8-bit Guy videos, and became particularly interested in his many restoration projects. I also started following a few more YouTubers who do a great job at showcasing electronics and repairs, such as My Mate Vince, RetroRepairs, and Odd Tinkering.
I recently announced on Twitter that I got hired by Google!
Welcome to my new blog! I wanted to try out this Jekyll thing, and I must say, it’s really cool! If you’re a programmer looking to host a blog, Jekyll’s awesome - especially given that GitHub natively supports it.
(NOTE: I first wrote this post on Blogspot before moving it here)
A good friend of mine, Ken, has been giving interviews at his work, and expressed how many candidates struggled with basic questions about object-oriented programming in C++. He said they would be able to explain concepts like inheritance and polymorphism, but would choke when asked, for instance, “Why is the virtual keyword necessary? Why aren’t all functions automatically virtual?”.
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