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Running in the Background
...stand by mode....
And here we are, getting ready for the throes of the impending yearly event that is often more stressing than jolly, The Holiday Season. And what is this year’s holiday season cooking up? Not much on my end. While projects continue to simmer on the back burners of my mind and Docs account, nothing has really taken hold as the front runner of my time and attention. I’ve found myself, instead, in the deep end of one my favorite hobbies; modifying old technology.
In case you don’t know (it’s not like I’ve blabbed about it on here) in the last few years I’ve found myself enthralled with refurbishing old tech, and similarly, utilizing new tech to run old software. I’ve dabbled with old Macs and Windows machines, breathing in new life into otherwise discarded hardware. And I’ve played around with the tiny Raspberry Pi computer, creating miniature media servers and video players for the living room entertainment system. But most of all, I’ve been fascinated with getting all the aforementioned tech to play old video games. And I’ve been pretty successful in that foray, creating stable computer systems that can allow you to play any cartridge’d game imaginable. So, I set off for a new challenge. That’s when I heard that you can modify a little discontinued doohickey called the PS Vita.
A successor to the Sony’s Playstation Portable (PSP), the PS Vita ditched the UMD drive for a solid-state, card-based slot. In English, games came in the form of an SD card, not a tiny disc. It’s basically a Playstation that you can take on the go, but for some reason it only lasted a few years and then Sony cut it. The thing is, this little guy is still a powerful piece of technology. After doing my usual extensive homework, I procured one to begin my own experimentation.
With a special memory card adapter that can hold a micro-SD card and some jail-breaking software, it wasn’t hard to turn this little bad boy from a straight-laced PSN soldier to a freewheeling, pixel-slanging game boy. Indeed, I got this little machine to play all the cartridge based games, and with a bit more elbow grease classic PSP, PS1, Nintendo 64, and Sega Dreamcast games followed. And for the last few weeks this is what’s been taking up much of my spare time, not only tinkering with what it can do, but actually playing games I’ve been wanting to play but never could. And since it’s portable I don’t have to disappear into the studio if I want to disappear into a game. No, it’s quite easy to stay lounging on the couch with wifey while she watches her shows, or snuggled up in bed while she falls asleep.
Speaking of games, my musical partner, the infamous DJ Lee Lawson, has released a new album featuring my artistic direction. The concept of the album is hip-hop beats that sample video games tunes.
The album is for sale on Bandcamp. 28 tracks, plus a PDF booklet I designed myself.
Doesn’t sound too bad either! Give it a listen when you can.
And since the holidays are around the corner, take a peep in the store and pick up some comics, stickers or prints for the the little counter-culture deviant on your list!
Or for yourself, you deserve it ;P
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