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6.24.2009

iPhone 3G S Battery Woes

I got my new iPhone 3G S on launch day last week.  I've been very happy with the speed and new features, but not so happy with battery life.  First I thought the reduced life was just due to having 3G access, but the last couple of days I've been watching closer, and started to suspect a problem.

Last night I ran the phone down to 10% charge.  I put it on the wall charger overnight.  I had a full charge at 7AM.  So, today starting with a 100% charge, I was down to 34% by 2PM.  I had used the iPod function for about an hour, made one call, and checked e-mail and twitter 2 or 3 times.   I was on WiFi most of the morning, no 3G data use.

So I called Apple support to tell them this seemed like it was draining too fast.  While I was on hold between the Tier 1 and 2 tech support guys, my charge dropped from 34% to 11% in less than 15 minutes.  Apple Support agreed that something was wrong.

The only options they had for me was to drive 2 hours to an Apple Store, or to send the phone back. They offered an advance replacement for $29 or a normal replacement where I'd have to send the phone in and wait 6 days or so for it to come back.

I told them I thought this was a problem given that the phone was 4 days old, and I wasn't willing to be without the phone for a week.  I finally got them to agree to waive the $29 fee and send a replacement out.  I still had to give them a credit card to cover the replacement phone in case I don't send it back.

6.23.2009

Ghostbusters: The Game - How to handle the Possessors in the Museum

I passed another sticking point in the Ghostbusters game a couple of nights ago.  It's the level with the cocktail party guests at the Museum.  When the level starts, you have to beat a batch of 4 Possessor Ghosts.  This one had me stuck for a while, but not as long as The Collector.

The trick this time around is to stay focused on one task at a time.

  1. Throw the Trap
    Peck has been possessed.  While the Ghostbusters hose him with slime, throw a trap out.  I like to keep it in the main foyer just to Peck's left.  You want to be able to stay back in cover while you throw ghosts into it.  I'd suggest purchasing the Fast Trap or Slam Dunk Trapping upgrades by this point.
  2. Protect Your Team
    Once Peck is freed the Possessors will start to go on the offensive attacking the party guests and the other Ghostbusters.  The key to survival is to keep the other team members on the feet, and keep them from all being possessed.  Do not focus on trapping the Possessors yet.  If there are any possessed humans near you, do NOT try to trap ghosts, use the slime gun.  You should always free or help the other Ghostbusters before you spray possessed humans.  You don't want to have your last teammate get possessed by the ghost you just forced out of a party guest.  Try to stay close to a healthy ally so they can help you up.
  3. Long Range Attacks
    When you team is up and healthy, focus on long range attacks on the Possessors, fire boson darts when they hover in the foyer, or when they charge towards or leave a body.  Even when they possess someone, they retain their same amount of health, so you will need to whittle them down with boson darts when they're outside a human.  If you work at this gradually, you'll get them down to red heath so you can trap them. 
  4. Trap the Weakest Link
    Once the Possessors are in the red, only try to trap them when you have most of your team on their feet, and there is only one ghost in the vicinity, then strike fast.  Use the Slam Dunk or Fast Trap to get rid of them quick.  The level gets much easier each time you factor on of the possessors out.  Just hold your ground and repeat the cycle of getting your team healthy and whittling the ghosts down until you get opportunities to trap the next one.

6.20.2009

How to beat Azetlor The Collector in Ghostbusters: The Game

 Azetlor2
I got stuck on Azetlor, the Collector Ghost, in the Ghostbusters PC game for almost an hour.
I've heard a lot of people say they quit playing at this boss, don't give up.  I'll show you the strategy for beating him (spoiler warning)
Azetlor
The boss battle is broken into 3 stages. The first two are pretty obvious, since your teammates tell you what to do.
A couple of tips first:
Keep your distance. The Collector's shockwave attack will knock you down instantly, and it takes a moment to recover, he tends to send bursts of these, so you need to keep moving or he'll put you on the ropes. Use your sideways dodge and sprint to get out of the way. His base is a swirling cloud of debris, if it hits you, you're probably down for the count, so keep away from it.
If your teammates fall, don't try to help them up if Azetlor is nearby...he'll hit you both with his swirling base.
He's faster than he looks. Use the portals in the room to your advantage. Each portal takes you to the one directly across from it.
  1. Nullify the Black Slime on Azetlor's mask.
    This is one of the reasons you should have purchased the pressure upgrade for your slime pack. It'll help you hit him from farther back so you have time to dodge the Black Slime shockwave attack he sends out.
  2. Recovery / Remove the Mask.
    The Collector's mask will flash when the black slime dissolves. Quickly vent your pack and switch to capture beam. You need to pull his mask off. Your teammates will snare his arms so you can pull the mask. If your health is low or one of your teammates is down, hold the capture beam for a bit and wait for you/them to recover. If you have recently vented your pack, you can hold him a good while before you risk overheating. While connected to the mask, back up as far as you can before you tap the "slam" button.  This will give you some distance because once you pull the mask off Azetlor will go into full offensive mode. As soon as the mask comes off head for one of the two diagonal portals in the back corners of the room.
    Azetlor2mask
  3. Attack & Evade using Portals
    Now you just need to break him down using the Proton Pack. The only thing that will damage him is hitting his green eye. Try using fully upgraded Boson Darts to wear him down quick. Azetlor is going to take rush whomever is damaging him. Don't expect your teammates to last very long. When he starts heading for you, aim above the eye, and fire a Boson Dart. Hopefully, since he's rushing you, he'll glide right into it. You cannot outrun him or his Black Slime pulse attack. When he gets anywhere near you, turn and dash through the portal.
    Azetlor2Portals

    You will exit on the far corner of the room. If you ran headfirst into the portal, you'll be facing Azetlor's back and can line up a shot as he turns to chase you. You should be able to get 1-2 Boson Dart hits in before he gets close. Turn and run through the portal when he charges, or if he uses the Black Slime wave. Do not enter a portal if he's standing near the exit. Don't try to resurrect your teammates unless they're very close to a portal, you'll just get hit with the wave when you're helping them. Ignore the Book Bats that may attack. If you're firing Boson Darts at the boss, the bats will probably get hit with the Boson explosion if they fly into the path of your shots. You do not need to trap The Collector, he's just going to blow up when you take his last notch of health, so keep firing. Azetlor2BosonDart

6.18.2009

Cheap & Easy PSP Headrest Mount installation

After trying a couple of solutions, I found a pretty easy way to hook up my PlayStation Portable for backseat viewing in my car. 
PICT0042
Some people may ask why I'm using a PSP for in-car video.  I already had the PSP.  PSP hard shell protectors are easy to find.  I was a bit afraid that my 2yr old might kick DVD screen.  I don't have to carry discs in the car for the PSP.  I already have all the kids movies converted and stored on an 8GB memory card.   
I first tried mounting the PSP to the back of the center console.  I found that the texture of the plastic on my KIA Soul didn't take to removeable 3m adhesive or velcro well, so I gave up on that idea.  I ended up fastening the PSP mounting bracket from the kit directly to the headrest slide bars. 
You can get the PSP cradle and mount here: http://www.arkon.com/pspmount.php 
You won't need the extra mounting hardware, but you may want to keep it for use in another vehicle.
Then just use zip ties (or velcro straps) through the loops on the mount like this:

PICT0038
Then slide the headrest down gently.  Make sure you don't tighten the zip ties too much until you've made sure you're not going to pull to hard on the cradle.  You don't want to crack the loops that hold the zip ties.
PICT0039 PICT0037
Insert the PSP into the spring clips on the cradle and you're ready to go.  I recommend sliding the power button into the lock position so the kids don't bump the buttons and turn things off.
PICT0043
I keep a car power adapter handy for charging the PSP when needed.  You can also use headphones and the inline headphone remotes for older kids.  They remotes are easy to find at used game stores.
I'm using a Transcend MicroSD to Memory Stick Pro Duo adapter in the memory card slot on the PSP.  I keep a 8GB MicroSD card loaded up with kids shows.
 

Soul / Element Photo

I parked next to this guy last night and thought the KIA Soul / Honda
Element made for a good photographic size comparison.
I'm still suprised how roomy the Soul is .