Now the PS3 starts a slow death

So after, well, years of complaining about the slow and eventual death of my iMac, I now begin the sorry saga of my PS3. I have a Super Slim PS3 that is about … 6 years old (they came out in 2012 or so, so it can’t be much older). After not using it for several months it now appears that the Bluetooth is no longer working. I can tell this as both the controllers and the remote refuse to communicate wirelessly to the PS3. However the Remote works fine for the TV (so it’s IR is working) and the Controllers happily BT to my iMac (so they are fine).

There were some replacement modules for earlier PS3s but it doesn’t appear to be available for this model (CECH-4002C), so it appears that gaming is limited to USB connection only. 

And then so what do I do. I hardly use it, the girls mostly play iPad, PC or even the old Wii gets more use. I only have about 5 games for it, and the two I play XCom are available even for the Mac. I can record TV (like I ever watch TV) on the TV itself anyway. Seems little use for it, really. If I put it away in the cupboard, I don’t think any of would even notice.

I think I might just retire it. Look into a new Apple TV. The kids have started a campaign for a Nintendo Switch, which I am seriously considering. I’ll keep the controllers out as apparently I can use them as BT game controllers on iMac or other systems.

Moving has started..

I’ve started moving things to Sydney. It’s only about a month before I finish up in Canberra and there is no real reason to keep a bunch of stuff in Canberra now.

First up was the computers. Got them set up now. The NAS is stored in the hallway cupboard that the network switch is. Keeps the noise down in the Study here. The desks have cable runs along the back underneath, so it’s all nice and tidy. With no gaming at the moment I also switched over to the Bluetooth keyboard and mouse so even less cables about.

Study set up with the Mac and screen from Canberra. PC to the right (smaller screen)
Study set up with the Mac and screen from Canberra. PC to the right (smaller screen)

Seems to work well so far. For the rest of the month I’ll use my iPad Air and the iPhone in Canberra, that is plenty of internet for there. Still have my broadband connection so watching Netflix and stuff on TV or iPad will be ok.

I also took the PS3 up and connected into the amp downstairs.

One of the coming weekends I have to move the bike and then the mountain bike. Moving the Daytona is going to be a little complicated as I need to drive up, get back to Canberra without taking the car (bus, train, ride with mate) and then the following weekend I ride up. Worst case I have organised to ride the bike on the last day and get the car delivered.

XCom – Tough work

Xcom is harder now. I was used to the fully research, well resourced highly skilled team from the old game. Now, it’s back to square one.

I’ve had some casualties, I could be about to lose a couple of countries which could be pretty terrible. The aliens are similar to the first game, but there are a few twists. There is a new mechanical squid thing, that can go invisible. It’s an ambush predator and like to appear right beside a soldier before strangling them.

The new enemy.
The new enemy.

I picked up a tip on that before I started playing, so whenever they are in the vicinity I need to ensure everyone is covered by someone else. But to be honest, in this game, that’s good practice anyway.

Teamwork, taking it slow and having an attack or response up your sleeve are the catch words here.

I’ve left the the story alone for a bit – a dangerous move in this game, as the aliens steadily get stronger whether you do or not. So if you leave it too long they can overwhelm you.

There’s been a couple of hints at something more happening. I just collected a man out of China (I think) and he hinted at some things. Hopefully we’ll see soon.

I’ve finally started the Arc Thower and will need to build a containment facility. I’ll try to do that once I get through the next monthly review. I may just have enough satellites up to hold on to the panicked countries.

Fingers crossed.


No PC, but that’s Ok

The repairs, services, new tyres, rego and insurance across my pair of bikes has sucked my saving dry, so no new PC for me. At least for now.

So I figured something else to keep me occupied. I could have gone back to finish Batman that I bought with the PS3, but I had a different idea.

xcom_enemy_within-1920x1080This is the standalone, new adventure in the XCOM franchise. Not really a sequel, as you start from the very basic tech level again, not DLC as it stands on its own, almost a restarting of the game – only different, with new tech available later etc.

As I’ve actually finished the earlier one, I figure there’s a good chance I can finish this one. And it can occupy me and see how my savings go.

bg-infoThat power suit is one of the new options that I hope to get to some time. Looks like the aliens have them as well. I’m enjoying it again too and that’s the best bit.

On another note, the WoW 90 boost is tempting. Apparently you end up with almost 400iLevel. That’s more than Mabaho has! And I hear if your toon is already level 60 they also max their professions, so I could have a maxed engineer/tailor (or something) . I also understand you get one free one or you can pay to boost others.

I have a couple of ideas lined up as well – Borderlands 2 was fun, but annoying having to switch it off all the time – now I don’t have to. The other option is to Bootcamp the iMac and play Mechwarrior Online. Again, I’d be able to concentrate on that properly and use comms without worry about waking the kids etc. I really don’t want to Bootcamp, I’d rather wait and have a separate computer for that, so I can still have this up and running.



A Survivor is Born

a-survivor-is-bornI made it. Right to the end. I’ve finished Tomb Raider.

There were a few little puzzles towards the end, which was really nice. Then a harrowing climb up the citadel to the top, before a battle. This went pretty smooth.

The second to last boss, a giant armoured samurai was tough, I think I emptied my entire shotgun, rifle and most of my 9mm into him, before I could get some solid axe strikes to finish him. He was tough and the fight had me leaping about, like the old Tomb Raider. Auto Aim doesn’t work on bosses either. Had me leaping about in my seat too, every time he managed to grab me and toss me across the arena.

Then it was a scuffle with Mathias, the crazy leader of the other castaways before a slightly anti-climatic destruction of the Queen (I wanted Lara to stab her with an arrow – maybe in the knee, lol) and

A survivor is born.

Tomb Raider finished.

Now I’ve done the first one and the last one… suppose I should get onto the ones in between someday. I have them all, stashed away. Mostly PS versions I think. Couple of PC.

Oh, and this means I can get started on the new PC. I’ll just wait for the fallout on my bike expenses and see where I stand after that.


Killing the Red Head

The Red Head mini-boss. Not my picture, this guy did it with the pistol, wow. Read on for my own solution.
The Red Head mini-boss. Not my picture, this guy did it with the pistol, wow. Read on for my own solution.

Tomb Raider is progressing quite well. I adventured off to find some tools to fix a boat. This ended up on the wreck of our first boat, the Endurance.

One of the first bad guys I encountered was this large fellow, who appeared could only take damage at the head (hence his “red head” in TR’s Survival Mode view). With my terrible ability at aiming, I was finding myself very quickly overwhelmed and shortly dead. I was starting to look at it being a very frustrating roadblock.

Oh, how about….


A few well placed grenades and the area effect had him stumbling about with the finishing button flashing, so an axe to the head to put him down. That seems to be the easy way 🙂

Lost another friend in the ship. Having found most of them in the last few “stages” they’re quickly ending up dead. Or kidnapped again, again. So with the boat fixed, I’m off to rescue the Japanese girl again, and hopefully stop whatever has us all trapped on the island.

Just over 60% through the game according to the save game. The optional dungeons are the  best “dungeon puzzles” so far in the game, but there is the odd “how do I open this” puzzle elsewhere as well. A bit less fighting and more puzzles.

Ohhh… and stealth. The old Tenchu game was a big favourite and there are parts of this one where a bit of stealth and the silent bow work very well. I spent a good few minutes stalking an area around a hunting lodge picking of enemies undetected, before I got a bit lazy and took a shot at one who alerted the few remaining. Still about 6 down without anyone noticing. Fun 🙂

Keen to see this story to the end.


Nah, haven’t un-un-subbed. Been enjoying Tomb Raider. I’ve made it into the castle, rescued my friends (at least for now I suppose) and managed to get myself out of the pit I ended up in. I’m really enjoying the game, though I still would like a little more “puzzling” out levers and jumps etc.

The bow continues to be a strong weapon, though now I’ve moved up from pistol, shotty and have just picked up a grenade launcher so watch out! I haven’t had to fight one of the giant samurai statues, but I’m sure I’ll have to eventually.

Finally set my controls up and find fighting achievable. I find the thumbsticks kind of awkward for aiming (in other games too) and so struggled in much of the fighting. But a sort of auto-aim setting, brings it back to almost the original Tomb Raider. The original, Lara tracked her enemies automatically. This one doesn’t track them, but it does auto aim at the enemy when you draw, then you have to track them yourself  (or keep drawing).  

So anyway, it means I’ve been able to push on through the game. And keen to finish that now. Then maybe I should work on Borderlands 2.

I want to get into playing MWO, but I need a PC for that. I’m not allowed one of those until I finish TR. That’s the rule.


And now, back to the game…

I decided after rather awkward attempt at Eve I should go back and try out some of the single player games that I have stashed about.

The Steam summer sales have started too, and whilst I was browsing I remembered that there was a new chapter for The Walking Dead. So I downloaded that and got back into it.

Being that it’s just more content, there are still all the same annoying controls in this chapter too.

In this one, you play about 5 different people at different points in the 400 days since the infection. I’ve played two so far – an convict escaping death at the outbreak and a woman forced into some difficult choices about 250 days in. I wonder if they’ll give use one as a zombie?? That would be unusual.

It is more of the same so, if you loved the other chapters, you’ll love this one. I am still ambivalent really, though I guess, more on the positive as I actually spent money on it.

This afternoon I warmed up the PS3 with some Tomb Raider. Yes, I used my PS3 for gaming, not as a PVR.

When I last left our heroine she was spotlighted and in the open with about 15 guys shooting at her. This set piece took several attempts and a lot of frustration. Very happy when I realised I was through the first wave, because I was pretty sure I could get through the dribs and drabs that would come.

Outside it was daytime (answering another question I did have about the game) and I had to get to the top of the radio tower.

By using a lot of cover and a fair bit of retreating, I ground through the next set of enemy. Bow is still great at range, better than the submachine gun I’ve picked up.

Then it was boss fight time, and I had a guy with a armoured shield and some kind of crude body armour. Bounced a lot of rounds off his shield before getting enough past it to knock him down. Still easier than the set piece.

A last survivor and the building was clear. Now it was just to climb to the top of the mast at the top of the island and try to contact help.

And that’s where Lara is now. Standing at the very top of the tower, gazing at the dawn. I so wish I could get a screenie there.

I still hate the way that aiming is controlled. I’ve noticed its common in several games, as Dust514 uses the same control (with about the same sensitivity) and I just can’t seem to get the hang of it yet.

PS3 PlayTV

When I purchased the PS3 one of the things I thought to use it for was for recording TV. I didn’t have a decent solution for that (except an old VCR) for the digital channels. The PS3 has the PlayTV attachment to allow you to watch and record TV. It even allows you to watch while recording or to play a game while the PlayTV records. 

It’s large for what it does. About the size of three DVD cases piled on each other. It connects to the TV aerial at the rear and to the PS3 USB. This could be a problem on newer PS3 as mine only has 2 USB ports (not sure how many the older ones have) and I was charging the 3D glasses and the controllers on them. 

THe setup is pretty easy and using the free to air channel guides broadcast as part of the digital signal you can get about a week in advance for your programming. Either by the guide or by manually adding times. Recordings can be repeated or extended as required. If a programmed record messes up it will even try to find a repeat to record. Not really successful here, but perhaps in other countries?

I’ve been really happy with it, and with the 500GB PS3 I have been able to hold a fair bit to watch and not worry about space. I did have one movie record with a lot of stuttering but it hasn’t reoccured. It’s hung a couple of times, but mostly its can be slow if you follow up something that uses the HDD with something else that also uses a big chunk off the HDD, for example you delete a movie and immediately try to watch another. The playback or menus might not respond for several seconds as the system finishes one task before commencing the other. It may also be trying to buffer (through??) the PlayTV, up and back on the USB2 port?? not sure of the reasons, but something to watch out for.

I have found a process to copy recordings from the PlayTV to the PS3 and then to an external HDD. However this is limited to sub 4GB files as the PS3 only talks FAT32 to external drives. Even a hour episode at HD quality records at about 5GB. I will need to see if there is a setting to convert HD to SD as it records which may help. The process is fine, as long as your recording is smaller.

If you currently have another PVR solution, I wouldn’t bother. If you have a PS3 with a good size HDD and no PVR, its a good solution. If you have one of the new 12GB PS3, I wouldn’t bother. A HD movie can be 8-9GB. 

Sneaky Lara


One thing I am liking a lot about this Tomb Raider, hmm actually something I am liking some of the time, is the bow. Now initially when it was my only weapon trying to get a solid kill on a charging wolf was kind of hard.

However when you’re sneaking up on a bunch of the islanders, it’s very effective for a quick clean and most importantly quiet kill. I’m on my way up the island to the radio tower (so yes, not very far through the game) and I cleared a whole building without so much as a whisper from the guards.

Of course that was pointless when I subsequently had to blow up a wall to get through the next building. I think they heard me as I’m at the start of a set piece with a room full of islanders who all know I’m coming.

So far there isn’t the real “Tomb Raiding” feel to the game, but then if it is a reboot as described and this is the tale of how Lara gets that confident then I suppose its to be expected. Some of the hidden areas seem like they will lend themselves to more jumping and guessing than the main path currently does. The main storyline is a lot more action orientated than I expected. Again, I’m only something like 10% into the game.

Adding in the sneaky Lara, reminds me of one of my other most favourite games, Tenchu: Stealth Assassins (on PS1). I used to spend long minutes, real time, with my ninja completely still, usually hanging from a cliff edge or perched on a roof, watching the guards as they did their routines. The game did have a some randomness, but not totally – if you waited long enough patterns emerged and you could sneak past or go in for the silent kill.

Lara is a tough girl though. She’s had an arrow through her thigh and I think I remember a piece of reinforcing iron going through her side at one point. Still she’s up and around and leaping across chasms 🙂

I am also wondering if it ever stops raining or if the sun ever comes up??

Anyone know a way of taking screenshots from a PS3, I’d love to be able to do that to share with you guys.