Updated list of Global Beermoney opportunities (+180!) - June 2020
Updated list of Global Beermoney opportunities (+180!) - June 2020
The current, and now previous, Beermoney Global list started nearly 5 years ago. It’s been updated and has grown over all that time, but it also became a hassle to keep current. It was time to build a new list from scratch based on my experience in the Beermoney world over all these years and all the contributions all of you have been making in this sub. The lists consist of opportunities that are available in at least one country that is not the US. This means there are sites which only work in Canada or the UK. There’s sites which are open to the whole world, but this does not mean everyone can really earn something on it. It’s all still very demographic and therefore location dependent. This list should give you a starting point to try out and find what works for you. I’m not using everything myself as I prefer to focus on a few, so not all are tested by me. They are found in this sub, other subreddits and other resources where people claim to have success. I’ve chosen the format of a simple table with the bare minimum of information to keep things clean. It includes a link, how you earn, personal payment proof if available and sign-up bonus codes if applicable. Some of these bonuses are also one-time use codes specifically made for this sub! For the ones I don’t have payment proof (yet) feel free to provide some as a comment or via modmail so others know it’s legit. I am working on detailed instructions for each method that I personally use which will include things like cashout minimum, cashout options, tips & tricks,... For now I’ve split things up based on the type of earning like passive or mobile. Because of this there’s sometimes an overlap as some are both passive and on mobile or both earning crypto and a GPT (Get Paid To) website. The lists are obviously not complete so I invite you to keep posting new ones in the sub, as a comment to this post, or in modmail. Especially if you have sites or apps which work for one single specific country I can start building a list, just like I did for The Netherlands and Belgium. If you recognize things which are in fact scams or not worth it let me know as well.
Get Paid To (Surveys, tasks, offers, videos, clicking links, play games, searching)
For The Netherlands there are a few very good options next to a bunch of ‘spaarprogramma’s. There ‘spaarprogramma’s are all the same where you receive and click a bunch of e-mails, advertisements, banners,... I advise you to create a separate e-mail address or use a good filter in your inbox as you will be spammed to death. I believe they can be a nice piece of beermoney but they take quite the effort.
Flatten the Curve. Part #41. USA Navy Cyberattacks? Chinese, Russian, and American Navy Ships on Fire. Are These the Start of Overt Attacks? Chinese and Russian Warships Ramming the American Navy. Events Are Escalating in South China Sea.
Previous Post We are all literally lost at sea. Events are happening right in front of us and we don't even notice them, let alone remember them. And it's a big problem. Am I exaggerating. Nope. Are you reading this thinking that your memory is fine? Probably. Are you right? Probably not. Want proof? Of course you do. Perfect. Strap in and let me save you from drowning in a sea of information. Forged By The Sea.
2014 August 19 – A Shenyang J-11 intercepts a U.S. Navy P-8 Poseidon anti-submarine warfare aircraft flying in international waters the South China Sea. 2015 October 27 – US destroyer USS Lassen navigates within 12 nautical miles of the emerging land masses in the Spratly Islands as the first in a series of "Freedom of Navigation Operation".
Most of us realize that the South China Sea is a flashpoint. A few of us know that we are alrwady engaged in a Gray Zone war and this Sea is the most probable area where the war will become overt. How close are we to this tipping point? A lot closer than I thought.
December 05, 2017. After more than 18 months of research, development and focus group testing, the Navy has announced its newest recruiting slogan: “Forged by the Sea.”
Granted, getting a new slogan is normal, and normally I wouldn't even think twice about it. But we don’t live in normal times anymore, we live in New Normal times. Sail the World. Join the Navy.
Jan 6, 2017, 11:59 AM. The US operates the most aircraft carriers of any country, but for the first time since at least 2000, and possibly since World War II, not a single US carrier was deployed, the US Navy has confirmed to Business Insider. The US had the USS Dwight D. Eisenhower deployed in the Persian Gulf carrying out an air campaign against ISIS in Iraq and Syria until late December, but that carrier returned home December 30
This isn't normal. The Navy insists it is. And yet they were carrying out Freedom of Navigation patrols at the time. Wouldn't you want your most powerful vessel's sailing? Instead all of them are docked. Sounds more like last minute upgrades to me.
2016 August. The Louisiana, a nuclear ballistic-missile submarine, and the Eagleview, a Military Sealift Command support vessel, collided while conducting routine operations in the Strait of Juan de Fuca off the coast of Washington State. There was damage to the hulls of both the Eagleview and the Louisiana. No one was injured. 2017 May. A 60- to 70-foot South Korean fishing boat collided with the Lake Champlain, a guided-missile cruiser, on its port side while the cruiser was conducting routine operations in international waters. No one was injured. Fishing boat crew members later said the fishing vessel did not have a radio, so they did not hear the calls from the Navy, a Navy official said at the time.2017 June. The USS Fitzgerald collided with a Phillipine container ship in killing seven sailors. Then, just two months later, the USS John S. McCain collided with a Liberian merchant vessel, killing 10 sailors. Megan Eckstein, deputy editor for USNI News, part of the U.S. Naval Institute, told me the National Transportation Safety Board found the USS McCain collision was caused by a helmsman who was confused by his touch-screen displays. He meant to slow the ship down, but instead made a sharp right turn.
Those are a lot of accidents in a very short time frame. Maybe it's all the New Normal training procedures in the Navy leaving sailors unprepared to execute? Or maybe they're part of the Gray Zone tactics of an adversary, or adversaries?
2017 February. Additionally, there isn’t enough money to fix the fleet’s ships, and the backlog of ships needing work continues to grow. Overhauls — "availabilities" in Navy parlance — are being canceled or deferred, and when ships do come in they need longer to refit. Refueling and Complex Overhaul. RCOH is a process for refueling and upgrading nuclear-powered aircraft carriers in the US Navy. The nuclear reactors that power some aircraft carriers typically use up their nuclear fuel about halfway through their desired 50-year life spans. Because carriers can last so long before being retired, they are refueled and refurbished with an RCOH to extend their usable lifetime. At the same time a ship is refueled, it is given a complex overhaul in which broken, worn or obsolete parts are repaired or replaced and systems are modernized. The modernization typically includes an upgrade of ship’s combat systems and warfighting capabilities, its internal distribution systems are upgraded, and allowance is made for future upgrades over the ship’s remaining operational service life. Given the size of an aircraft carrier and the number of systems and subsystems it has, an RCOH is extremely complex, costly (several billion dollars), and time-consuming. Each RCOH is planned to take 46 months.
There is no money to fix the fleets. Crap. Perhaps the USA will turn to rowboat or Viking Longboats? Maybe they could borrow some money from other countries that all started upgrading their Navies at the same time.
2018 January. All the New Aircraft Carriers That Are Under Construction. The Royal Navy is continuing course on its plans to field a force of two carriers. The first carrier, HMS Queen Elizabeth, was commissioned in 2017 and is awaiting the F-35B Joint Strike Fighters that will make up her air wing, which should be ready by 2020. The second carrier, HMS Prince of Wales, was floated out of construction dock in late December 2017 and will undergo sea trials in 2019. Long an aircraft carrier power, the Indian Navy currently sails one carrier, INS Vikramaditya. A second carrier, Indigenous Aircraft Carrier-1 (IAC-1), began construction in 2005. The ship has recently been named INS Vikrant and is projected to be complete in 2020. In late 2017, Japanese news outlets reported Tokyo was considering modifying its two Izumo-class helicopter destroyers, Izumo and Kaga, to fly the F-35B Joint Strike Fighter. Chinese pressure on Japanese airspace over the Senkaku Islands and East China Sea and a shortage of airfields in the area were cited as reasons. In 2017, Italian defense contractor Fincantieri began construction of the Trieste, a new amphibious assault ship. South Korea has one amphibious assault ship with a full-length flight deck, Dokdo, commissioned into the Republic of Korea Navy in 2007. A second long-planned ship, Marado, finally began construction in 2017. A third ship, Baengnyeong, is projected but has not yet begun construction. In December 2017 South Korea, like Japan, also reported interest in flying the F-35B off its Dokdo-class ships. Like Japan’s ships, the Dokdo vessels will need extensive upgrades to make this conversion a reality.
Hmmm, are we having a party out at sea? Must be. We couldn't be heading to a war that's about to escalate into open hostilities, are we? That's madness! Nobody would go to war without the USA, and they don’t have enough money to fix their fleet, that's why they're all at port, isn’t it? Follow the Money.
2019 November 18 More than half of the nation’s aircraft carriers are not currently ready for deployment, as the massive ships sit off the Virginia coastline in various states of repair or testing. When asked by Luria if the Navy has “all the resources you need to maintain our carrier,” Moore responded: “We do.” “When Admiral Moore responded that he needed nothing, I was pretty shocked. I almost fell out of my chair,” Luria said in an interview weeks after the hearing. “That is the first time I have heard anyone say they don’t need anything else.”
WHAT! Hallelujah, they found the money! It must have rained down from Heaven! Or somebody checked the couches at the Pentagon and found the missing 21 Trillion dollars from 9/11 under the cushions. (Don't laugh, this game has been going on for a really long time, so nothing would shock me at this point.)
2017 July 18. A group of cybersecurity researchers is having a field day online with the discovery that the configuration of certain ships' satellite antenna systems leaves them wide open to attack — and the possible consequences are startling. Anyone who gained access to the system in question, and was so inclined, could manually change a ship's GPS coordinates or possibly even brick the boat's navigation system entirely by uploading new firmware. And why would anyone want to do that? "Next gen boat ransomware?," suggested the security researcher x0rz over Twitter direct message with Mashable. "Military special operations? Somalian pirates 2.0?"2017 August 24. The Navy's 4th accident this year is stirring concerns about hackers targeting US warships.
Oh come on, hacking computers on military boats? Really? Watch, how much do you want to bet that Bill Gates gets to work on a new Anti-virus program for the American Navy once he fixes the pandemic? The Hack Attacks Are Back.
2019 April 3. The Hawk “veered off course” and struck a test barge next to the Delbert D. Black, a guided-missile destroyer under construction at Ingalls, the suit states. The barge then struck the destroyer.2019 July 9. U.S. Coast Guard Issues Alert After Ship Heading Into Port Of New York Hit By Cyberattack.
Uhm. Nope. Nothing going on here. Keep Calm and Carry On. Only smooth sailing from now on. Maybe We Should Call John McAfee
2019. the Navy’s Cyber Readiness Review released in March offered a scathing critique, calling weak spots and persistent holes in the system an “existential threat” to the existence of Navy and Marine Corps. The unsparing 80-page assessment concluded the Navy is under “cyber siege” and has so far failed to secure its IT systems.2019 December 4. Still, unmanned underwater vehicles (UUVs), cyber warfare attacks, unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), and hypersonic weapons are making the aircraft carrier increasingly vulnerable.
Call me paranoid, but doesn’t this play out like an actual war and they don’t want us to panic? If we happen to get hit by a pandemic in the next few years, I'm going to get really crazy paranoid. Not like this Covid-19 hoax that everyone is going on about, right? No way that's real? But maybe? Just maybe? Let's think? It would be a good way to move around military gear without us freaking out. Or it could be a bioweapon. Or it could be used to mask the environmental collapse that we're about to go to war over for natural resources. Nah. That's crazy talk. We aren’t at war. GTA: Gray Zone Naval Battles Edition.
2018 October 04. US, Chinese warships within metres of collision in South China Sea, leaked pictures show.2019 June 7. Russia and US warships almost collide in East China Sea.2020 January 10. Russian ship 'aggressively approaches' Navy destroyer in Arabian Sea.
I didn't know the world's Navies started playing bumper boats during our Bread and Circuses. That's gotta be a ton of fun, right? We don't have tense sailors that people love out on the frontlines, do we? Crap, we have Frontline workers here too! That's strange. Loose Lips Burn Ships.
2019 December 12 MOSCOW — A major fire broke out aboard Russia’s only aircraft carrier, the beleaguered Admiral Kuznetsov, while undergoing repairs at a dock in the northern port city of Murmansk early Thursday morning. Russian media outlets reported that fire control teams were struggling to contain and extinguish the blaze, while dramatic videos of the ship surrounded by thick plumes of smoke have proliferated on social media.2019 December 14. Fire That Scorched Russian Carrier Could Happen At U.S. Navy Shipyards, Too. Outside of the USS Miami, 11 U.S. sailors were injured last month in a fire on the USS Iwo Jima (LHD 7), a critical Marine-toting mini-carrier. USS Oscar Austin (DDG 79) also suffered a fire in November 2018, and repairs will keep the ship out of the fleet for almost two years.2020 April 11. Black smoke has been seen billowing from China’s first assault carrier in Shanghai. The new Type-075 carrier, which is similar to the U.S. Navy’s America Class assault carriers, is designed to carry helicopters and hovercraft to support amphibious landings.2020 July 12. 21 injured after an explosion and fire on a naval ship in San Diego.
We must have a pyromaniac on the loose! And he or she hates boats! I guess some people just want to watch the boats burn. Right Back Where We Started From. I've written that this war has been hidden in plain sight for a long time. And it has. The middle east was about blocking China from energy resources and accessing rare earth elements. China already has rare earth elements, but they need oil. Controlling the South China Sea gives them a buffer zone and oil, that's some bang for your buck. Like a two for one special.
The South China Sea is a potentially energy-rich stretch of water and home to more than 200 specks of land. It serves as a gateway to global sea routes where approximately $3.4 trillion of trade passes annually.
And Africa. Jun. 12, 2019. China's national energy companies are set to channel more of their overseas investment to Africa than to any other continent. Mar. 1, 2005. Oil industries in Venezuela, Colombia, Brazil, Bolivia, Peru and other Latin American countries have emerged as contenders for China's energy. 2005? What? Why that's shortly after the Iraq War and Afghanistan. Is that why the West is still over there? Nah. And maybe China is investing in other countries to help them and not to find fuel for the upcoming war? Read the headlines. Look at what's happening the last week in the South China Sea. If this doesn't somehow de-escalate, there's no telling how bad it's going to get. I know that people keep asking me for answers, but what answers can I give you? In an era of long range strike capability, all you can do is be ready. Pack a bag. Have food. Keep your gas tank full. Buy extra fuel and keep it on hand. At the very least read some prepper webpages. They know what they're talking about. Do you really think all of those prepper Doomsday entertainment shows became popular for no reason? The government has warned you to be ready in case of civil emergencies. They've been testing the emergency alert system since 2018. They've been increasing their disaster drills. Take this seriously and pray that it blows over. Maybe it will. But don't shrug it off like this isn’t a big deal, it is. And I have more waiting to write that I hope can keep strengthening my case to just be prepared in case the unthinkable happens. Because the unthinkable doesn't seem so unthinkable in our New Normal. Keep your head up and eyes open. Talk soon.
A Lengthy, Comprehensive Analysis of “The Last of Us: Part II”’s Controversy, Responding to Prominent Criticisms, and Discussing Criticisms of My Own
About a month ago, I wrote a post to provide some clarity regarding the leak Naughty Dog sprung about a month ago. In it, I addressed some of the criticisms that were being levied at the time without unveiling any of the spoiled material, that way my curious spoiler-virgins would go unsullied until release day. There, I explained why all the major criticisms at the time weren't (and still aren't) warranted. Toward the end of the post, I noted that the outrage was not only political, but also emotional. I correctly predicted that there would be some spoiler-virgins that would not be pleased with the game's controversial narrative direction. I wish I'd been taking bets because not only was I right, I was right to an extent I never imagined. The response to this game has been chaotic, to say the least. This post will explore this phenomenon, directly respond to the most prominent criticisms and those who make them, and address my own criticisms of the game (as well as how I believe those flaws can be fixed).
Part 1: The Chaotic Controversy
I need to lay my cards on the table: I thought this was a fantastic game. Having purposefully indulged in the leaks back in April, I knew about every major death/plot twist before it happened, and I approached the story with an open mind. While I thought TLOU was a great game, TLOU2 blew me away with its darker, more complicated themes, the tiny details that collectively enrich the game's themes of gray morality, superb character interactions, the gosh diddly darn adorable relationship between Ellie and Dina, the endearing big sister-little siblings dynamic between Abby and Yara/Lev, and the excellently crafted set pieces that made each part of the game unique. I also loved the new gameplay mechanics that made stealth satisfying, such as crafting silencers for the pistol or taking cover in tall grass/ferns. It irks me to no end that such an obviously great game has received so much undeserved abuse. Can it be criticized? Of course it can. There's always room for criticism, but I think this is downright pathetic. It should be noted that this avalanche of negative reception is not coming from a single body of grievances. It is, in fact, coming from up to at least three different factions. Sometimes there is crossover between factions, but a member of one faction should not be immediately assumed to belong to another. Faction 1: "Get Woke, Go Broke!"- The Reactionaries Not every person who dislikes/criticizes TLOU2 is a homophobe/transphobe/racist/misogynist. Make no mistake, though: there is a significant portion of "h8ers" that most certainly are angry at this game solely for its unapologetic progressivism. These are The Reactionaries. The anti-SJWs.The anti-feminists. The "YouTube skeptics". The traditionalists. Whatever you want to call them. Back in 2018, TLOU2 took E3 by storm with not only a gameplay trailer but also a front-and-center kiss between Ellie and Dina, marking a historic moment for LGBT inclusion in video games. While the explicit romance did receive some negative feedback from The Reactionaries1, the worst was yet to come. Fast forward to April of 2020. Naughty Dog sprung a devastating leak that revealed every card TLOU2 had up its sleeve. Controversy ensued, particularly around a new character named Abby, who was presumed to be male-to-female transgender due to her masculine features and silhouette. A contemptuous amount of abusive anti-transgender slurs and jokes were subsequently forwarded against Abby on places like 4chan, Reddit, and even YouTube. These assumptions ended up being bullshit, but that didn’t stop TLOU2 from solely representing itself. No, April 2020 was the moment this game became more than itself; it became a symbol for progressivism in high-profile video games–a perceived weapon in a culture war. If you think these people and their audiences only make up a small portion of this outrage mob, think again: 1Name: "Naughty Dog's SJW Agenda in Gaming Exposed" Uploaded by: No B.S. Views: 160,000+ Name: “Last of Us Part 2 Ending Leaks Reveal Progressive Agenda” Uploaded by: No B.S. Views: 70,000+ Name: “Last of Us 2 Influenced by SJW Anita Sarkeesian” Uploaded by: No B.S. Views: 100,000+ Name: “Last of Us 2 Spoiler Talk, This Gets Really Woke!” Uploaded by: No B.S. Views: 65,000+ Name: “LGBT Activists: The Last of Us 2 Needs MORE WOKE Representation!” Uploaded by: Lauren Chen (Roaming Millennial) Views: 30,000+ Name: “The Last of Us Part 2 LEAKS ONLINE | Another Franchise Falls To SJW Pandering” Uploaded by: Geeks + Gamers Views: 180,000+ Sometimes it seems like TLOU2 goes out of its way to stick it to these people, what with its female-driven narrative, unapologetic pro-LGBT stance, and racial diversity. It should be said that TLOU2’s progressivism is a neutral element in terms of how it contributes to the story’s quality, and the game should be neither defended or criticized solely on these grounds. It is, however, a heartening sign that these people’s neanderthalic values are dying out. Stay mad, you slobbering troglodytes. To close this section, it is undeniable that this specific contention with TLOU2 is not in the minority of the overall controversy surrounding the game. If you are not a fan of this game for unrelated reasons, I’m afraid it is a fact of life that you are going to have to perpetually disavow and distance yourself from these people when you criticize the game. Some of The Reactionaries are wise enough to realize that “it’s bad because it’s woke” is a flimsy criticism, so they will cling to any other criticism that simultaneously grants them credibility and tears the game down, no matter how unwarranted or slanderous that criticism is. They are disguising themselves as one of you. If you are arguing about this game with someone, do not get mad at your interlocutor when they have to verify that your criticism doesn’t come from a place of bigotry, and stop pretending everyone is eager to use bigotry as a scapegoat that dismisses good-faith criticism. Faction 2: “Neil Disrespected the Fans!” - The Entitled Fan The Entitled Fan thinks TLOU2 is a poorly-written game simply because they did not like the themes it explores or the narrative direction it takes. Whatever it was they wanted, TLOU2 didn’t do it, so that means the game had bad writing! Faction 2, on the surface, is similar to another group of people I dub “The Disappointed Fan”, but there’s a key difference that separates the two: whether or not they think the game was poorly written, and if they do think the game was poorly written, why they think the game was poorly written. The Disappointed Fan is not its own faction because they can fall into either Faction 3 (which I will discuss next) or Faction 2. When The Disappointed Fan falls into Faction 2, that is when they evolve into The Entitled Fan. Before we proceed with my addressal of this faction, let me make something really clear: if you didn’t like the game because it wasn’t what you wanted it to be, this section doesn’t apply to you unless you think the game was poorly writtenbecauseit wasn’t what you wanted it to be. Got that? This isn’t me calling you entitled just because the game disappointed you. With that said, let’s move on. Never go into a piece of media with expectations. Judging by a lot of the discourse I’ve seen regarding this game, many people were expecting to simply get more of what TLOU was, this time with prettier graphics. As such, I’ve seen several posts, videos, comments, etc. that keep comparing TLOU2 to TLOU, then criticizing it for not containing a certain element that was in TLOU. “TLOU Ellie was funny, but now she’s not.” “TLOU was about a blossoming father-daughter relationship, but TLOU2 shits all over that.” “TLOU had Ellie’s immunity as a source of hope. TLOU2 is just nihilistic and depressing.” “TLOU didn’t throw a character I don’t like at me and force me to play as her.” Stop. Stop judging this game for what it’s not. Judge this game for what it set out to do and how well it did so. So what did this game set out to do? TLOU2 sought to be a dark tragedy surrounding the true toll of violence on the end of the perpetrator and the recipient. It’s a tale showing how a tragedy blackened our plucky heroine into a beast aching for destruction which, in the end, only resulted in more tragedy. It’s a tale that explores how the heroes in our eyes may be the villains in the eyes of another and vice versa. Hot dog did it depict these themes with brutal proficiency. Whether or not you personally like these themes or the writer’s decision to explore them is irrelevant to the story’s artistic quality. To act otherwise is beyond annoying; it’s childish and entitled. Yeah, I said it. I think it’s outrageously entitled for someone to lash out at a writer for not writing a story the way they wanted it to be written. I think TLOU2, for its depressing themes/atmosphere, is of a specific, bitter taste many may not find appetizing. That's fine. Personally, I get a thrill out of stories that take the Shakespearean tragedy angle because stories that give its protagonist(s) an undeservedly tragic ending are rare and particularly gutsy. I think this direction, on top of being unique, is fascinating... and most of all, especially fitting for a world like TLOU. Let me ask you something: did you honestly think this game was going to give Ellie or Joel a happy ending? TLOU has always been a grim series about the loss of everything people held dear. Their homes. Their security. Their family. Their friends. Their own lives. Those who are calling TLOU2 "ToNaLlY iNcOnSiStEnT" must've missed how TLOU depicted this inescapable aspect of this hellscape: it sucks for everyone, and nobody is safe! If TLOU2 never had the guts to pull off what it pulled off, the series as a whole would've wound up bankrupt of stakes and suspense. Who the hell’s going to care about an action scene if we knew the author couldn't scrounge up the temerity to disrobe the main characters of their plot-armor? If you were disappointed that the game did not meet your expectations... I'm sorry. I genuinely am. It sucks when something you've been looking forward to ends up being different from what you were expecting. This is why I said what I said near the beginning of this section: never go into a piece of media with expectations. Chances are, they won't be fulfilled. Not only will expectations leave you disappointed, they'll also close you off to something you may have otherwise appreciated. Unfortunately, many fans were already too emotionally attached to Ellie and Joel to possibly consider the idea that they're villains in another perspective (especially the latter). The game wasn’t even asking the players to like Abby and co. over Team Jackson; it just wanted you to at least acknowledge that Abby’s course of action was sympathetic in her perspective. There's nothing inherently bad about being emotionally attached to a character, but Jesus Christ is it frustrating when that emotional attachment makes people unreceptive to an unconventional narrative direction. Naughty Dog decided to take a controversial, but fitting, route with the next chapter of TLOU, and whether some people like it or not, they did an outstanding job. No, the professional critics were not bribed by Sony. No, the defenders are not deliriously fooling themselves into liking the game because they spent years emotionally invested in the project. No, the defenders are not SJWs who “secretly know the game sucks but are defending it because it advances their political agenda”. We've simply looked beyond our emotional biases and saw this game for what it is: a nuanced, gut-wrenching tragedy. I'm sick of hearing otherwise from a bunch of entitled children who are too busy longing for a game that isn't there instead of analyzing the game that is. Faction 3: “Why ‘The Last of Us: Part II’ Doesn’t Work” - The Good Faith Critics The final hostile faction against this game are The Good Faith Critics. While they accuse TLOU2 of being poorly written, they do so not through an emotional or political lens, but through a critical lens. While I have counterarguments to almost all of their criticisms, Faction 3 tends to be the least toxic of the three factions. For that, I tip my hat to most of them for actually behaving like civil adults that are capable of having a critical discussion about TLOU2’s potential hiccups. I will address their most prominent criticisms one-by-one in the next part of this post. But first I need to mention the last combatant in this bloody battleground: The Opposing Side: The Professional Critics While the audience response to TLOU2 is almost literally split straight down the middle, the professional response to has been overwhelmingly homogeneous in TLOU2's favor. It has been a common sentiment that professional art critics/reviewers are pompous and not worth listening to–that their "professional opinion" is not worth more than the average Joe's. This sentiment stems from a fundamental misunderstanding of the job of a media critic. It is the job of critics and analysts to know how to take a story apart and understand what makes it tick. Once they've arrived at a proper diagnosis, they relay it to their audience. The audience can then make an informed decision over whether or not that movie/game/book/etc. is worth their time or money. Professional critics are supposed to abandon their personal opinions and emotions while reviewing a work and view it strictly through an analytical lens. That said, I don’t think it’s a coincidence that almost all of this game’s praise is coming from the people who are specifically trained to disassemble and analyze the inner mechanisms of a story… and almost all of the antagonism is made by... oh, how do I put this... casuals who in large part have no interest or experience in the art of storytelling (in addition to the YouTubers who’ve realized they can make some sweet ad revenue off the outrage). And no, I'm not siding with the critics here because they affirm my enjoyment of this game. There are plenty of cases in which I agree with critical praise for pieces of art I personally don't like, my favorite example being "Persona 5". I went into "Persona 5" with an open mind genuinely believing I'd fall in love with it. The opposite happened. I couldn't connect or empathize with the characters for the life of me. I thought the gameplay was restrictive and repetitive. I didn't like the jazzy music style. I didn't like the minimalistic, toon-shaded art style. Suffice it to say I don't like "Persona 5". However, despite my personal opinions on "Persona 5", I'd be insane to dare insist it is a bad game. While they failed to click with me, the characters were fleshed out, rarely written with inconsistent behavior, and had a ton of rich dialogue. While it's not to this metalhead's taste, the snazzy music is competently composed and played. The gameplay features unique mechanics that were sturdily programmed (i.e., very few bugs/glitches). "Persona 5" deserved every 5/5, 10/10, 90%+ score it got because it is a well-crafted game. Anybody who's honest should be able to say the same for TLOU2, regardless of whether or not they personally enjoyed it. It is worth mentioning that there is a certain sect of the internet, usually those from Factions 1 and 2 (or both), that insist there was an under-the-table quid pro quo that occurred between Sony and major game reviewers. As I do with every conspiracy theorist I encounter, I’ll simply quote the late Christopher Hitchens to these people: “that which can be asserted without evidence, can be dismissed without evidence.” Let’s move on.
Part 2: Responding to Criticisms
Ellie behaves out of character, which is a sign of inconsistent writing.
"If I were to lose you, I would surely lose myself." Joel's song at the beginning of the game foreshadows Ellie's spiral into darkness. The blackening of Ellie's personality over the course of the game was not bad or inconsistent writing, it was intentional and seamlessly executed. One of the first things that struck me as I played through the first few hours of the game was how consistent Ellie's dialogue was with the last game. As the game progresses, Ellie devolves into a restless, cold-blooded girl who is fixated on nothing but vengeance, even if that means throwing away a peaceful life. All of this culminates into one of the game's most important scenes, where Ellie finally realizes that her pursuit of revenge stripped her of everything she held dear–even herself. A tragic hero at its finest.
TLOU2 perpetuates the stereotype that lesbians are never happy, seeing that the story ends with Dina leaving Ellie. The game that tried to be pro-LGBT only ended up being a hindrance.
I appreciated how TLOU2 starred a variety of characters that fall under the LGBT umbrella. Not only does it normalize LGBT people (which is good), it was also a refreshing change of pace that truly makes this game stand out. I also appreciated how TLOU2 had this sort of diversity without patronizingly pandering to these groups. TLOU2 treats every LGBT member of its cast as real people whose status doesn't make them exempt them from hardship. Dina and Ellie's disagreement is a component of this, for it is treated no differently than any straight couple's. They're not two lesbians who have a bitter end; they're two romantic partners who have a disagreement, which, believe it or not, happens to people in relationships. If Ellie were Elliot, the dynamic between him and Dina wouldn't have to be altered. That, friends, is how you write LGBT people: you don't treat them any differently than non-LGBT people!
Abby is a poorly written character that is difficult to empathize with. Unlike Ellie, Abby never shows any visible dismay or regret when she kills key figures in the story. She is also shown to be overly enthusiastic to kill Dina after Ellie reveals she is pregnant.
I should briefly lay another one of my cards on the table: I approached Abby with an open mind, but also trepidation. Unexpectedly, she ended up becoming my favorite character from the franchise. What is discussed in my response to this particular criticism is part of the reason why. Ellie and Abby are different people with different backgrounds. Unlike Ellie, Abby is a literal soldier who distinguished herself in the WLF as one of their top Seraphite killers. The result is a jaded girl who copes with trauma on an internal level; she bottles up her sorrows, seldom making them outwardly apparent. When her stoicism does slip, her insecurities usually escape in the form of snappishness2. No, this isn’t me desperately clawing to delegitimize this criticism. It is simply a fact that (and I hate to sound pretentious here) Abby is indeed a well-written but also complicated character that is difficult to read on a surface-level. Diagnosing her thoughts2,3,4, motivations5, reactions, and desires6 often requires a more attentive analysis, as they are rarely expressed in a straightforward manner (except in extraordinary circumstances). Here are some independent points that should paint a picture of what I mean: 1.
2Abby: "Hey. Why have you been avoiding me?" Mel: "I wasn't avoiding you." Abby: "C'mon. You've barely said anything to me since Jackson." Mel: "I don't know... I guess I was... Shook by Jackson too." Abby: "You don't think Joel deserved what he got?" Mel: "I think he deserved worse, I just... I just wish I didn't take part in it." Abby: "I get it. What kind of person could do that, right?" Mel: "I'm not saying that." Abby: "Let's see if there's a way to the hatch." Mel: "All right..."
This exchange from Seattle Day 1 more than suggests Abby has begun to internally acknowledge that the way she killed Joel was inhumanely brutal, and she’s already having second thoughts. 2.3Since the player is not always directly told Abby’s thoughts, they are often relayed through dream sequences. Each of Abby’s dreams return her to the exact same hall in St. Mary's Hospital and end with her opening the door to the operating room where her father was murdered. The repetitiveness of these dreams communicates that Abby has never gotten over Jerry’s death, and it is constantly on her mind. This is further exemplified by her continued interest in collecting state quarters: one of the only connections she still has to her father. You'll notice, however, that Abby never speaks of this issue–not even to her friends. Compare this to Ellie, who is very open about her grief over the death of Joel. 3.4At the end of Seattle Day 1, Abby finds Owen in the cabin cruiser at the aquarium. This is when Owen reveals his plan to travel to Santa Barbara to find the remaining Fireflies, a decision for which Abby chides Owen. We then get this exchange:
Abby: Sorry I grew up. You should try it. Owen: Oh yeah? How do I do that, Abby? Should I go find the people who killed *my* family? Cut into 'em? I could torture them until they're crying in their own-"
Abby interrupts Owen violently, shoving him into the cabin’s walls. She does this because she knows what she did to Joel was cruel and perhaps unjustified, and she cannot bear to listen to Owen remind her of her monstrous actions. Their clash then shifts into a rough lovemaking session. This sex scene was not implemented arbitrarily; this is Abby trying to make the guilt go away. She’s desperate for any kind of temporary pleasure (like a night of coital bliss with the man she loves) that could distract her from her regrets. Unfortunately, this rash action ultimately exacerbates her guilt. 4.5Abby’s motivations for returning to Yara and Lev are externally dubious. Some players may think Abby helped them out of pity or a sense of obligation since they saved her from being lynched. Mel suspects that Abby wanted to use the kids as a means to manipulatively gain the favor of Owen (who’d begun to grow sympathetic toward the Seraphites). In reality, it’s none of those things. Abby was motivated by a desire to cleanse herself of guilt. Guilt for animalistically torturing Joel to a degree that even made her friends uncomfortable2. Guilt for betraying Mel by sleeping with Owen. Guilt for not being there to save her father. The most beautiful part of Abby’s arc, I believe, is how these selfish motivations evolve into a fiercely protective fraternal love for Yara and Lev. 5.6In the scene where Abby prepares to slice Dina’s throat, her enthusiastic “good” upon discovering that Dina was pregnant was born not out of sadism, but a grief-fueled desire for Hammurabian justice. This is a component of how she copes with losing her friend Mel, who was also pregnant. “Good”, in this instance, translates to: “oh, you killed my pregnant friend? Then I’ll kill your pregnant friend”. Lev, thankfully, pulls Abby out of her vengeful tunnel vision before she could follow through with the deed. 6. All of this is not to say Abby is 100% a hardened killer who never reacts to trauma in the moment; during gameplay, after you kill your first two Wolves as Abby, she is programmed to always exclaim: “oh shit… shit!” in a severely distressed tone. She is mortified that she is killing her own comrades to protect Lev. Does this complex style of characterization make Abby difficult for many to empathize with? Probably. I can understand why many people are unreceptive to her semi-abrasive disposition, especially if they’ve already decided to hate her from the get-go. Is it impossible to empathize with her? Absolutely not, especially if you are willing to analyze her with an open mind. Does her polarizing depiction make her poorly written? Hell no. A well-written character is not always universally likable, and Abby is an exemplar of this. For her nuanced portrayal, subtle execution, endearing dynamic with Yara and Lev, and continued mercifulness toward Ellie, I think Abby is a remarkable (and woefully misunderstood) character.
In the scene where Ellie is drowning Abby, a glimpse of Joel suddenly flashes across Ellie’s mind. This image causes her to have a change of heart about killing Abby, who she subsequently lets go. This turn of events is the result of poor writing due to its randomness.
While Ellie does hate Abby for killing Joel, she also hates Abby because she represents something Ellie has spent years wrestling with: what Joel did in Salt Lake City, an act for which Ellie has never forgiven Joel. It was never revealed to Ellie that Abby's quest to kill Joel was to avenge her father, so she has always operated under the notion that Abby and co. traveled to Jackson to avenge humanity, which had been robbed of its only chance at a cure. Thus, in Ellie's perspective, Abby is an agent of karma–the inevitable consequence of Joel's actions. Abby's very existence, to Ellie, is a reminder of how Joel took away her chance of making her life meaningful. While drowning Abby, a glimpse of Joel strumming his guitar on his porch flashes through her mind. It isn't too long later in the game when it is revealed that this is a memory of the night Ellie makes her first conscious effort toward forgiving Joel for his selfishness. When Ellie releases Abby, this isn't her forgiving Abby; this is her forgiving Joel.
It’s too violent.
This particular criticism is so silly I almost consider it to tread in the “dishonest” territory. While TLOU2 is undoubtedly more violent than a bulk of its M-rated peers, it has most certainly not earned the crown of that category. Here is a fatality from “Mortal Kombat (2011)”, where Kung Lao drags his opponent crotch-first through a buzz saw until they’re sliced perfectly in half. Here is the first combat scene in “Bioshock: Infinite” where Booker DeWitt slams the face of a policeman into an operating Sky-Hook. Here is a scene from the beginning of “Resident Evil 2: Remake” where Elliot Edward’s hip is torn off his torso, entrails hanging out in all their glory. Here is a scene from “Spec Ops: The Line” where the player is revealed to have deployed white phosphorus on military relief efforts and civilians. For Satan’s sake, here is Joel getting his jaw torn off his face by a Bloater. This objection against TLOU2 is nothing more than a red herring that has been brought up and blown out of proportion for dishonest purposes. Since when were Gamers™ concerned about violence in video games? That’s the job of Karens and Republican politicians. If we take a step back from the outrage, we’ll see that the degree of violence portrayed in TLOU2 is not abnormal–if anything, it’s tamer than some of its contemporaries. But even if TLOU2 were the most violent video game ever made, that has no bearing on whether or not the story is well-written. If anything, its exorbitant violence is justified since it actually serves a narrative and thematic purpose in this game, unlike the scenes I mentioned above (except “Spec-Ops: The Line”). In a story that focuses on the emotional consequences of horrendous acts the main characters perpetrate, violence is an excellent tool that adds stakes, highlights the ruthlessness of its world, and most importantly, shows the audience how traumatizing brutalization can be, which helps you empathize with distraught characters. If your stomach is too weak to handle this kind of violence, that’s fine, but it isn’t an objective mark against the game.
TLOU2 disrespects Joel by by cheapening him to a call to action.
Frankly, I'm of the opinion that TLOU2 respects Joel by making him the most important figure in the entire game. Joel is at the center of everything. His morally gray legacy lives on in an adult Ellie, the privilege she gets to experience in her peaceful life with Dina, her pursuit of revenge, Abby's pursuit of revenge, and the continued misery the rest of the world faces with the Cordyceps fungus. Killing off a character is not always the end of that character’s role, and that’s especially the case with Joel. His presence, be it implicit or explicit, can be felt everywhere in the game. I believe this was an excellent way to handle a character as morally dubious as Joel. It wouldn’t be right if the story allowed him to live the rest of his life peacefully in Jackson–not after condemning humanity. Millions will continue to die and suffer because of what he did. However, it would also be cruel of the story to simply kill and leave him by the wayside. Selfish or not, he was still a grieving father who obeyed the urge to save the one he loved, something anyone can empathize with. Joel deserved death for his betrayal of humankind, but he did not deserve to be demonized. TLOU2, as demonstrated by the flashback sequences, treated Joel as anything but a villain.
Part 3: Criticisms From Yours Truly
It's time for me to lay down my shield and pick up my sword. Here we go! A neat addition to the game was how human enemies call out to their fallen comrades by name. This humanizes the enemies and tremendously adds to the game’s exploration of the consequences of violence. However, this remarkable detail falls flat on its face thanks to one hiccup: names are repeated a lot. By the time Ellie killed her third Ashley, I was having a difficult time taking this detail seriously. But that’s just a nit-pick. Time for me to break out the big guns. My biggest grievance with this game can be summed up in two words: Santa Barbara. Santa McFreaking Barbara. Like a malicious Cordyceps that hijacks the mind and distorts its host into something unrecognizable, the Santa Barbara segment takes TLOU2 and warps it until you have to keep reminding yourself you're playing the same game you were playing an hour ago. The characters it built. The message it built. The themes it built. It is allthrown out the window. Here's why: 1. The Rattlers and their portrayal betray the game's theme of ambiguous morality. The Rattlers are unapologetically sinister, what with how they enslave their captives with a degree of brutality that makes death preferable. They keep and taunt their captives even after they become mindless zombies, which is unjustifiably sadistic. They tie up and leave their misbehaving slaves to die in a macabre yard of decaying bodies that wouldn’t be out of place in the middle ages. Unlike the Seraphites or the WLF, both of which are shown to have sympathetic qualities, the Rattlers are blackened to the bone and indefensible. This results in the most explicit case of thematic inconsistency I've ever seen in any professionally-written story. 2. Finally, the worst offender: the time skip. While I felt a tense emotional investment in the Ellie vs. Abby fight in the theater, I felt the opposite during the Ellie vs. Abby fight on the coast of Santa Barbara, which was supposed to be the emotional peak of the story. Here's the difference between these two events: -In the theater, I had a deep investment in both of the involved characters. I'd spent 25+ hours watching both girls brave the dangers of Seattle. I saw Ellie banter with Dina, cope with the trauma of losing Joel, discover a new type of infected, chase and beat the snot out of Nora, discover the Seraphites, kill Owen and Mel, and surrender to Abby to protect Tommy. I saw Abby's interpersonal drama with her WLF comrades, meet and bond with Yara and Lev, cross the bridges, descend deeper and deeper into the infected hotel, face the terrifying Rat King, refuse to move from Isaac's line of fire, and grieve after discovering her murdered loved ones. These were the characters I was with every step of the way as they seamlessly evolved during the trio of days in Seattle, and I wanted neither of them to get hurt by the end of it. -On the shores of Santa Barbara, I didn't know who either character was. I guess Ellie helped Dina start a farmhouse and deliver a baby, dealt with chronic PTSD attacks, and shared a peaceful life with Dina and JJ on the farm, but I never saw any of that, so why should I care about the person these experiences made her into? I guess Abby had been enslaved, beaten, starved, and on the cusp of escape (only to be denied it), but I never saw any of that, so why should I care about the person these experiences made her into? Whoever these new characters are, they're not the ones we spent the entire game getting to know. Those characters are long dead and gone, lost in the 1-2 years between Seattle Day 3 and the moment we first find Ellie in the farmhouse. As much as I hate to say it, the Santa Barbara segment, in only a mere hour, renders all the hours that came before it obsolete. Worthless. A waste of time. This isn't me getting upset at the ending. I have no qualms with it at all. How we got there is where the issue lies. Is there a solution to this massive problem? Yes, and it's quite simple: time. It would've been worlds better if this game ended with Abby and Lev leaving the theater (preferably on this screen), which makes for a juicy cliff hanger that leads into Part III (which is probably inevitable with sales like these). If Part III was almost or entirely dedicated to fleshing out the Santa Barbara segment, I firmly believe these problems would cease to exist. Time would allow us to marinate in the aftermath of Seattle. Maybe we get to see Ellie and Dina search for a farmhouse to claim. Get some sheep. Plant their crops. Dust up the house and make it a home. See Ellie's simultaneous terror and joy when JJ finally comes into their lives. See the ups and downs of Ellie and Dina's shared parenthood. In the meantime, packs of infected and wandering bandits are sure to spring up, providing the player with some stimulating combat as Ellie and Dina defend their new home and family. But in the meantime... Ellie wrestles with night terrors. She continues to see and hear Joel in his final hour. She sees Abby lurking in the theater, but she can't reach her weapon fast enough! The PTSD Ellie carries provides an undercurrent of negativity to her and Dina's otherwise peaceful life, and the pressure only builds over time. It makes her colder. Snappier. Maybe she even occasionally lashes out at Dina, only to quickly apologize afterward. But one day, Tommy pays his first visit in months, and he's brought a map and some information... Time would allow us to see Abby and Lev's journey to Santa Barbara and their search for the Fireflies. Their big sister-little brother bond grows stronger in their adventures. They probably have lots of run-ins with the infected. A trader probably tips them off to the Rattlers in the area. When they're ambushed and kidnapped, Abby does everything in her power to resist their captors to make sure Lev isn't mistreated, as his transgender status likely puts him at considerable risk for abuse. Resistance is her initial instinct, but she quickly realizes that she can exchange her compliance for Lev's safety. So she works gruesome jobs for gruesome hours. Maybe after realizing how much leverage they have over this talented soldier, the Rattlers give her a weapon and force her to help hunt for escapees and unfortunate travelers (of course, if she turns her weapon against her captors, they'll make sure Lev faces a fate worse than death). After months, Abby finally builds up the confidence to stage an escape with Lev... but their operation fails. She is punished severely for her misconduct. She's starved. Tortured. Beaten. We see her spirit break, and her body emaciates until she is just as weak and helpless as the man she killed in Wyoming. She thinks of him and wonders if this was how he felt. Once the Rattlers are through with making an example out of her and Lev, they're strung up and left to die among dozens of corpses... until a familiar voice comes calling through the fog... Unfortunately, as it exists now, the rushed nature of the Santa Barbara segment alienated the player from all of the characters involved-even Ellie, who the player is in control of throughout the entirety of the segment. Now, alienating an audience from characters via a time jump can certainly be used to great effect in some stories, but one such story is not this one. For 30ish hours, TLOU2 established itself as the kind of story that earned your investment through subtle character growth. What is the natural predator of incremental character growth? Time skips that gloss over major character-altering events. This was a disastrous decision on the writer's part, and it critically injures what I'd otherwise call a nigh flawless game.
Yes, my criticism of the Santa Barbara section was harsh, but it heartens me to remember it was only ~1.5 hours long. I wouldn't dare condemn the entire ~30-hour game for a fraction of a fraction of its content, especially not when the rest of it was as masterful as it was. A poorly paced ending does not make a story bad, and shame on anyone who thinks it does. It's about the journey, after all, not the destination, and by Satan was this an emotionally thrilling journey indeed. Excluding its ending, I’m glad to give it the highest praises I can offer. Unfortunately, due to a perfect storm of circumstances, this sequel may have cemented itself as the most controversial game ever made. I think that’s a crying shame because this is a great game that often goes where no game has gone before. It is one of the few games that not only challenged its players mechanically, but *mentally,* for it encouraged them to question their biases and see the reasons behind every seemingly evil action. It made giant steps forward for social progress, playing a part in making the world a better place for everyone. I sometimes fear the vitriolic reaction to this game may intimidate future screenwriters from making such bold decisions for their stories, and I believe that would ultimately hold the medium back from its fullest potential, particularly in the storytelling department. I have hope and a little bit of faith that this work of art will eventually stand the test of time, especially once the outrage simmers. Cheers to the developers for making such a wild ride, and I look forward to seeing what happens next.
Even though i posted this before. I thought i share this again for those that need help with repairs. If anyone wants to share any more tips comment below. Hi i thought i share some tips for the systems i have repaired. You may need to have good soldering skills depending on the fault of your system. More info on soldering is here: https://www.reddit.com/consolerepaicomments/dt5tn5/soldering_tips_everyone_needs_to_know/?utm_source=share&amp;amp;amp;utm_medium=ios_app&amp;amp;amp;utm_name=iossmf Console 5 is a great website for parts console5.comWeb result with site linksConsole5.com Here is some info on the common faults on some consoles aswell as their fixes. Also whilst your taking apart your system clean the system with a soft brush and isopropyl alcohol and always make sure to check if the capacitors are bad. Capacitors can leak over time and it's best to replace them before they do. Console 5 sells capacitor kits for all sort systems plus they’re high quality genuine capacitors from companies like Nichicon and Panasonic. Can save you a lot of time and hassle. List of consoles Xbox 360 1st model. Has the infamous Red Ring of Death ( The cause of this is the Motherboard slightly flexing messing up the connections underneath the Processors. and reballing would Fix this, sometimes the GPU is dead. Or you can use your heatgun and use higher quality thermal paste. Also increasing the fan speed with a fan accelerator and or upgrading the fan could prevent this from happenning. Phat PS3 Yellow Light of Death (NEC Caps would fail Replacing it with 470uf Tantalum Caps for Phat model and 330uf for PS3 Slim. The best orientation would be to scrape away some of the pcb paint to create another rail. This should simply ways of installing the caps. https://www.psx-place.com › threadsWeb resultsPS3 - Tutorial - NEC/TOKIN Capacitors Replacement - YLOD ... PS4 Blue Light of Death BLOD Can be repaired via a reball if the chip isn’t dead. Any any drive issues if the laser mechanism doesn’t work then open it up and see if any gears are loose. If it doesn’t turn on at all you may have a dead fuse on the BlueRay drive board. The board cannot be replaced replacing the fuses or the entire system is your only option as of yet. PreviewPreview46:56PlayStation 4 BD-ROM No Disc Feed - Full Fault Diagnosis and ...YouTube · Andrew Paul28 Feb 2017 Wii the only issue i can think of is the laser failing, but i did have an issue with the original PSU where the 2R2Y power inductor was blown. Wii U GamePad’s U18 Charge IC tends to fail. If your Gamepad doesn’t turn on even with a new battery and a different charger then this chip may have failed. More info is in this video https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RFxCesFJ8ms. The chip says SN1010007 and it can be bought from AliExpress, eBay, Texas Instruments or this site https://thesavepoint.co.uk/product/nintendo-wii-u-gamepad-power-charging-ic-u18 Dreamcast Random Resets and Disc Read Issues (Grease the rails, replacing or cleaning with isopropyl alcohol/adjusting the laser would fix the laser and thickening the PSU legs with solder i recommend replacing the psu with a Pico PSU. As for lasers earlier model Dreamcast’s use a more rounded shaped laser SPU3200 and the later models use a more square shaped laser R48G). If controller ports don’t work replace the fuse on the controller pcb you can upgrade it to a fuse that resets. PS2 Disk Read Error (Replace the old laser with a new laser or cleaning/adjusting the old laser would fix it) If you have other issues like no video check the continuity of the fuses with a multimeter. If it beeps it works if not it’s dead and can probably be replaced with a resettable fuse. https://www.ps2-home.com › forumWeb results[TUTORIAL] [PS2 HARDWARE] Map of the Various PS2 Fuse ... Original Xbox Error codes, FRAG, not reading disc, leaking clock capacitor, failed caps,Trace Corrosion (Most error codes can be bypassed with a TSOP or a modchip install. Any issues with the laser. Clean with isopropyl alcohol, grease the rails, adjust or replace the laser Samsung Disc drives tend to be the most reliable you either have a Samsung, Philips, Hitachi or a Thomson disc drive the model number is going to be written somewhere on the DVD Drive examples of lasers you may have in your Xbox SOH-D16, SOH-D12, SPU-3141, as for clock capacitor remove it . If it leaks causing a Frag it depends where the leak has spread and what traces are damaged clean the motherboard and or fix the damaged traces. The best course of action on the earlier model Xboxes 1.0 to 1.5 before the 1,6 models aka known as models produced before 2004 is to remove the clock capacitor as soon as possible before it leaks onto the motherboard. To repair trace corrosion. Which is when your Xbox automatically turns when plugged in on or the eject/ power button doesn’t work, is to rewire the power button and or the eject button sometimes you can be lucky and cleaning the motherboard with isopropyl alcohol can fix this.) A FRAG is the worst of them all it can many things bad chip, bad modchip install, bad capacitors anything really. It’s the one error you do not want to have. If you do try to find what caused it. May just be a dead capacitor somewhere on the board. Original Xbox Repair guide http://adriancallaghan.co.uk/wp-content/downloads/Guides/XBOX_REPAIR_GUIDE.pdf Xbox Trace Corrosion Repair https://www.ogxbox.com/forums/index.php?/topic/29-how-to-fix-trace-corrosion/ NES Blinking Light (Replacing the 72 pin or boil the original pin connector and bending the pins or replacing it with the Blinking Light Win from Arcade Works should permanently fix the blinking light issue) another issue can be a dead 7805 voltage regulator or a dead capacitors. Blinking Light Win NES https://www.arcadeworks.net/blw Sega MegaDrive/ Genesis No Power (Reflow the DC Port i suggest using high quality leaded solder 6337 from a reputable brand. To maintain a stronger connection) sometimes the 7805 can fail. PS1 Laser Failure (Adjust the pot, clean the laser and grease the rails if they aren't damaged. If they are replace the laser. If you have an early model PS1 the hot PSU is to blame for the laser failing and if you can. I suggest replacing it with a Pico PSU or buy a later model PS1 or a PSOne laser which is more heat resistant). If your disc doesn't spin even with a pot adjustment or a new laser. Then the either the transistor BV3,4,5 is dead or it’s the drive chip that tells the PS1 to spin the discs has failed and will need replacing. The chip is called BA6392FP or earlier models and BA5977FP but i would always check the fuse PS606, or the transistoIC601 . Most CD/DVD based consoles have similar kinds of chips like the Sega Saturn which also give off the same faults. You will need a rework station to desolder the bad chip. If you get bad audio reflow the audio chip with good quality solder. PSXDEVPS1 Sound Trouble - PlayStation Development Network Controlle memory card ports not working replace the controller fuse PS605 on the motherboard. A black screen and or no response from the laser can also indicate a dead fuse check all the PS60X fuses, check the BVX transistor, IC601 regulator. The also be a dead PSU but usually it wouldn’t power. More technical info can be found on this service manual below. http://www.elisanet.fi/6581/PSX/doc/The_ultimate_Playstation_service_manual.pdf PS1 Schematics: https://console5.com/wiki/Playstation GameBoy Vertical Lines (Reflow the lcd screen ribbon) or replace the screen. More info here: https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=Y4osON9egOI If your Gameboy is freezing randomly or not powering on. There could be some blown fuses somewhere or you can buy a new power board from RetroSix. It’s more power efficient, higher quality, more reliable and the speaker will sound cleaner. https://retrosix.co.uk/CleanPower-Regulator-Board-for-Game-Boy-Original-DMG-p141361110 GameBoy Advance/ SP model no power (Replace the F1/F2 fuse) whilst your at it replace the screen with an IPS backlit screen. It will look much better. DS Black Screen (Replace F1/F2 fuse). Doesn’t read games check the cart slot and if it’s damaged use Chip Quik to desolder the cart slot. Make sure to line up the new cart with the case before soldering it in. Sometimes the P6 connector can break. Replacements can be bought online. PSP/PSP Go Black Screen replace the fuses on the motherboard don’t know what they’re called or where exactly here is the info: www.acidmods.com › ... › PSP GoWeb resultsPSP GO fuse locations. - Acidmods.com PSP. I encountered issues with my 1000 model PSP. What i learned was if there is any sort of damage to the WiFi board the PSP will not turn on replacing it will fix this issue, and if you are also one of these people that may have damaged the WiFi/Memory Card board. Perhaps it has water damge i recommend cleaning it with IPA and go over the solder. If it doesn’t fix it then replace it. Make sure to match the number for example MS-329, MS-299 otherwise you will get no sound. Any UMD clean/tweak the laser issue or replace the drive and make sure to screw it in from the outside iFixit should be useful for any tear downs. Also press the lever to test the laser to see if it turns on then your good. But if it doesn’t turn on with the disc in, then there is an issue with the tray. The metal tray has two prong make sure to bend them out a bit so that the tray can reach the lever. Sega GameGear Black Screen/No Sound (Replace the caps with high quality caps like Nichicon and Panasonic caps. No power? replace the Q3 transistor on the power board with a 2SB1301 and clean the motherboard with isopropyl alcohol. Faulty screen Benn Venn, MCWILL, Chinese Suppliers sell modern replacement LCD’s for the Game Gear and the Lynx they make a huge difference in battery life, cooling and picture quality. If you want to save money you can replace the power hungry backlight bulb with an led backlight such as one from a DS Lite screen this would also increase battery life drastically and reduce heat. Sega Saturn not reading discs/ black screen (Clean the laser with ipa, grease the rails with WD40. If the disc doesn’t move at all even with a new laser. Then replace the cd controller chip on the cd drive board. BA6798S chip you’ll have to desolder that and replace it. Sega Saturn uses an Optima 6S laser. As of current they are readily available and cheap i recommend buying an extra one in case the other one fails. To fix the black screen issue. I suggest replacing the PSU you can change it out for a Pico PSU. If you have a blown psu on your import Saturn replace the varistor and the fuse. PC Engine/TurboDou i suggest replacing the caps any issues with reading discs adjust/clean the laser or replace it with a new HOP-M3 Laser. Atari 5200 Controller not working (Replace the flex circuit or use a 3rd party controller if there are any. There is also an AV and power mod for the 5200. 11:13Atari 5200 Video and Power Mod -- Ditch the Switchbox!YouTube · This Does Not Compute31 Jan 2020 Atari Jaguar No power (Replace the U38 and Reg1 Chips i can’t remember what causes this issue but i think it is to do with using the wrong PSU Plug. There is also a mod to fix this issue from it happening again. CD Era consoles 3DO, Sega CD, Amiga CD32, Atari Jaguar CD, Neo Geo CD it is most likely going to be a bad Capacitor, CD rails, LaseCD Drive chip issues. If you want to save money search the models of the lasers to avoid resellers (Example Neo Geo CD Front LoadeSega Mega CD uses a KSS240 (A) Laser, Top loader Neo Geo CD uses a H8147AF Laser, Neo Geo CDZ uses a H8151AF laser, Sega CDX/MultiMega Consoles use a Sanyo SF-C93 laser, 3DO uses GDO101M, Amiga CD 32 uses either a KSS-210A or a KSS-210B) Panasonic GameCube teardown/ PSX DVR harddrive failure If the PSX DVR has this fault then i’m afraid i can’t help you much. If somebody knows a way replace the HDD comment below. Prevention as of yet is your best bet. Just use FreeMcboot.
Good morning from the UK. Happy St Patricks day. It'll be a woeful one for many Irish people around the world with pubs and bars shut in multiple US states, several European countries, several Asian countries and worst of all, Ireland itself. Here in the UK you can still go to the pub, although as of late yesterday afternoon the UK government advised against it says the BBC. Virus statistics Several comments from redditors in past days complained the WHO stats I C&P'd did not come very close to reflecting stats being quoted by national media wherever they lived. As a result, I'm abandoning the WHO stats and going back to the John Hopkins University tracker stats for all countries. If it's good enough for the likes of Forbes, Business Insider, FT, USA Today to regularly cite it then it's good enough for me:-
Today (John Hopkins Stats at time of writing)
Yesterday (John Hopkins stats not the WHO's)
% daily change
All other countries with under 1000 identified infections not listed (sorry Denmark), yesterday's threshold was 750. Total countries infected worldwide = 155, an increase from yesterday of 9. Source for all countries (as discussed above): the John Hopkins University dashboard (Link). (Personal note: Western countries infection counts are increasing each day much faster than Asian countries but that may be due to cultural differences or it may be that they're doing my testing, if anyone can shed light on this please do). Reminder, these are identified case counts and medical experts are reporting this virus has a long incubation period with people being infections despite displaying no symptoms; the true infection figures are likely to be much higher. Note that some countries are reporting shortages of test kits which further skews the data available; assume true cases are much higher. Finally, no, I don't believe China's official statistics either. Selected Virus news Warnings of shortages of regeants (ingredients) to make test kits in the US - the Fool (a high quality finance website despite the name) reports that FDA Commissioner Stephen Hahn stated last week in testimony before a U.S. House of Representatives appropriations subcommittee that there could be supply chain issues with reagents needed for novel coronavirus diagnostic kits. He noted that the supply issues specifically apply to RNA used in testing for coronavirus disease COVID-19. Shortages in US supermarkets likely to continue until panic buying eases - The LA Times says that shortages will continue until people calm down in their shopping habits. The major chains usually get shipments overnight, or perhaps twice a day, to restock essentials such as paper towels, toilet paper and water, but “manufacturers in some cases are having trouble keeping up, and that’s where the void is, they’re not able to keep up with demand,” said Bob Reeves, vice president for the West at the Shelby Report, a research firm that tracks the grocery industry. “We’re seeing shipments coming into the stores sometimes without any of those products, and it will be like that until people calm down a little bit,” he said. In some cases, chains are sending their delivery trucks directly to manufacturers — bypassing warehouses and distributors — to get the items to the stores faster. (Personal note: the same applies for all supermarket supply chains globally) Pa. hospitals are rationing protective gear as the number of coronavirus cases grows -(Personal note, this is an example, there seems to be a general global shortage of medical PPE (personal protective equipment) - The Philadelphia Inquirer reports that hospitals across Pennsylvania are drastically limiting the use of key protective gear out of fears that a dramatic increase in coronavirus cases could diminish reserves and cause a dangerous shortage. The rationing comes as the state Department of Health maintains that it has personal protective equipment available and is working with health systems to make sure they have what they need. The gear includes eye protection, gowns, and N95 respirators, which are essential in preventing a health care worker from breathing in infectious particles when in close contact with someone who has COVID-19. In Philadelphia, two doctors who work at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania said it’s barring the use of N95 respirators “except in extraordinarily limited situations.” Penn Medicine declined to comment. Another city doctor, Daphne Owen, said in a tweet Thursday her clinic “for uninsured and undocumented patients” was out of masks. Two days later, the clinic, Puentes de Salud, said it was closed due to the pandemic. Other Virus news in brief - The Scottish courts and tribunals announced today that no new criminal jury trials would be commenced or new juries empanelled until further notice. - Iran has temporarily freed a total of 85,000 prisoners, including political prisoners, a spokesman for its judiciary said on Tuesday, adding that the prisons were responding to the threat of a coronavirus epidemic in jails. - Britain had “no time to lose” in changing tactics in order to prevent thousands of deaths and the NHS being overwhelmed, scientists providing guidance to the UK government have said. The Imperial College Covid-19 response team – which is one of several scientific teams advising UK ministers – published a paper (I've put it in the addendum below) showing that 250,000 people could die if efforts were focused only on delaying and slowing down the spread of Covid-19.Separately, England’s deputy chief medical officer, Prof Jonathan Van-Tam, could not rule out the strict measures having to last for a year but predicted they would last at least “several months“. - Australia’s Department of Foreign Affairs has advised Australians to return home as soon as possible by commercial means because overseas travel is becoming “more complex and difficult” as countries impose travel restrictions and close their borders. - Leaders of EU states were expected on Tuesday to suspend all travel into the passport-free Schengen zone by non-EU nationals for at least 30 days in a bid to instil uniformity across the bloc after some member states, including Austria, Hungary, the Czech Republic and Poland, unilaterally began imposing border checks. - China has issued an angry reaction (by diplomatic standards) to the US president Donald Trump’s characterisation of the disease as “the Chinese virus.” (he tweeted late last night "The United States will be powerfully supporting those industries, like Airlines and others, that are particularly affected by the Chinese Virus. We will be stronger than ever before!"). China’s foreign ministry spokesman Geng Shuang said the US president should take care of his own matters first and not seek to “stigmatise” China. - The postponement of soccer’s Euro 2020 Championship may already have been decided after Uefa last week cancelled its hotel bookings in Copenhagen. - The UK just advised its citizens against all non essential travel worldwide in the past 10 minutes - Mobile phone networks are struggling in some areas of the UK with significantly increased demands according to down detector. For sure a lot of people seem to be home working, my commute in this morning was like it was the middle of August and everyone else was on holiday. - Alitalia, the Italian airline flag carrier is to be renationalised by Italy - Cinema chains are closing in multiple countries due to shutdowns - Kazakhstan is closing down its two largest cities (despite only having 32 cases so far) - A preliminary calculation by a US expert suggests that tens of thousands of premature deaths from air pollution may have been avoided by the cleaner air in China, far higher than the 3,208 coronavirus deaths. - Jordan: the army has said it will deploy at entrances and exits of main cities in the kingdom in a move officials said was ahead of an imminent announcement of a state of emergency to combat the spread of coronavirus. - In a joint statement, Facebook, Google, LinkedIn, Microsoft, Reddit and YouTube said they would help ensure people could stay connected to each other during isolation as well as fight any misinformation and fraud linked to the outbreak. “We are working closely together on Covid-19 response efforts,” the statement said. “We’re helping millions of people stay connected while also jointly combating fraud and misinformation about the virus, elevating authoritative content on our platforms, and sharing critical updates in co-ordination with government healthcare agencies around the world. - Almost all Germans shops are about to close by government decree; supermarkets, pharmacies will remain open (including on Sundays when they are usually closed). Separately, government press briefings there have gone online only. - Olympic organisers in Japan are asking people not to create crowds along the route of the Olympic torch relay and not to gather near the route if they feel sick. A Boeing aircraft flew to Greece on 15 March to bring the torch to Japan. - France: No movement allowed except for essential work or health reasons. “There can be no more outside meetings, no more seeing family or friends on the street or in the park. We must slow the spread of this virus by limiting the number of people we are in contact with each day to the strict minimum. If we do not, we endanger the lives of those we hold dear.” said the French President Macron. - Israel’s government has approved emergency measures to track people suspected or confirmed to have been infected with the coronavirus by monitoring their mobile phones, immediately raising privacy concerns in the country. The cabinet unanimously approved the use of the technology, developed initially for counter-terrorism purposes, in the early hours of Tuesday morning. The Association for Civil Rights in Israel said providing the country’s internal security agency, the Shin Bet, with new secretive powers was a “dangerous precedent and a slippery slope that must be approached and resolved after much debate and not after a brief discussion”. - Indonesian president Joko Widodo said on Saturday that he had withheld some information about cases to prevent the country from panicking, the Jakarta Post reported. He has rejected calls for a lockdown to be imposed on hard hit areas. - Malaysia has announced it's closing its borders prompting neighbouring Singapore's citizens to panic buy (90% of their food is imported from Malaysia). - New Zealand on Tuesday deported its first unruly traveller flouting the country’s mandatory 14-day self-isolation rule for almost all arrivals, the health ministry said. The tourist, who had checked into a backpackers hostel in the city of Christchurch, was removed from the accommodation by the police after officials learned she did not have clear self-isolation plans. Economics Goldman Sachs doesn't think the stock market drops have finished - BusinessInsider says that Goldman Sachs thinks that the S&P 500 might plunge as low as 2,000 before recovering through the rest of the year, the investment bank wrote Friday. The level is the benchmark index's lowest since early 2016 and implies a 20% decline from Monday's open. Such a tumble would also place the index more than 40% below its February 19 peak. The coronavirus outbreak is responsible for "unprecedented financial and societal disruption," the analysts said, and equities have so far served as accurate leading indicators before the release of relevant earnings or macroeconomic data. That said, the analysts pointed out that "The lesson of prior event-driven bear markets is that financial devastation ultimately allows a new bull market to be born,". U.S. factories are likely to close because of the coronavirus’ supply-chain shock - Marketwatch reports (link) that there is a very real chance that companies from auto makers to electronics manufacturers will soon begin to cease or limit production. With a downed China as the headstream of global manufacturing, mercantile America simply can’t function as it’s accustomed to. We’re starting to see this happen in official reports: The New York Fed’s Empire State business conditions index, released Monday, plunged by a record 34.4 points to minus 21.5 in March. And Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell said Sunday he expects a contraction in GDP in the second quarter. (Personal note: I expect similar problems across all G20 countries). The article goes on to explain that many supply chain directors may understand their first tier suppliers but often do not have full visibility of the status of their 2nd or 3rd tier suppliers Supply impact of the coronavirus outbreak is waning, but demand shock will linger, economist says - CNBC says that in January and February, industrial output fell by 13.5% from the same period a year earlier, the weakest reading since January 1990 — when Reuters' record began. China's industrial production is likely to improve in March over a slump in January and February due to the coronavirus outbreak, but consumer demand will take longer to recover both in the country and globally, an economist said Monday. "We will see some recovery, but this recovery, I think, is being undermined by the global spread as well," said Bo Zhuang, chief China economist at TS Lombard. Meanwhile, retail sales in January and February shrank 20.5% from a year ago, compared with a 8% growth in December as fearful consumers avoided crowded places like malls, restaurants and cinemas. "We were worried about supply-side issues, but now it's becoming a demand shock issue," said Zhuang. Smaller outfits like restaurants and service-oriented businesses have "resumed work but there are no customers," said Zhuang. "I think we are going to see a delayed V-shape (recovery), and this V may be a tilted V or W, or even U. We are not sure," he added. Coronavirus Impacts Every Sector of the Supply Chain - Supply and demand chain executive reports that the global supply chain continues to experience disruption. "We have seen that in the way that it’s spreading across into different hubs where we see alternative routes to be overly burdened, such as the rail system,” says Koray Köse of Gartner. “Now with the crisis and the hubs being closed and product movements are still active to some extent, but not necessarily from those regions, will become crowded and impacted. This means that there’s an additional strain on the overall network to move material.” Some products have experienced significant upticks including Chicken noodle soup (+37%), Hand sanitizer (+65%), Disinfecting Wipes: (+353%) and Cold & Flu medications (+197%) amongst others. Coronavirus pandemic worse than 1997 financial crisis, Malaysian ex-PM Mahathir warns - The Strait times reports on Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad, the former premier who steered Malaysia's recovery from the 1997 Asian financial crisis, expects the current coronavirus pandemic to hit the global economy even harder. "This is worse than the financial crisis," he said in a Bloomberg Television interview. "This is really a terrible blow to the economies of the whole world." Dr Mahathir joins other world leaders in warning that the virus impact may be worse than past periods of upheaval (Personal note: I pointed out yesterday the NZ PM also saying this). Supply chain news relating to Covid-19 For Global Supply Chains the Worst Is Yet to Come - Supply Chain Management review says (Link) that most industrial companies have 30-60 days of parts and raw materials either on hand, in-transit, or obtainable on short notice. After these supplies run out, we will start to see shortages of finished products as well as parts needed to produce other goods. Shortages will start to become more evident toward the end of March and beginning of April. Production in some non-Chinese factories will have to be put on hold for lack of parts. Partially finished products will remain in suspension until all parts are available to build finished products. Some companies are pressing their engineers to redesign parts that can be sourced in the U.S., or at least outside of China. Other companies are giving 3D printing a serious try for the first time. The article goes on to point out delays in sea freight ex-Asia and extremely high airfreighting costs are exacerbating the situation. U.S. Suspends Truck-Driving Limits to Speed Coronavirus Shipments - The Wall Street Journal reports as of 2 days ago that maximum working hours for truck drivers in the US have been suspended. This applies to truck drivers moving emergency supplies such as medical equipment, hand sanitizer and food in response to the nationwide coronavirus outbreak. It comes as hospitals report shortages of medical masks and as retailers and manufacturers are straining under surging demand for everything from hand sanitizer to staples such as toilet paper and rice. As anxious consumers stockpile goods, grocers have turned to rationing, imposing purchase limits on disinfectant wipes, cleaning supplies and other high-demand products. The move is the first time the FMCSA has issued nationwide-wide relief from hours-of-service regulations, although regional declarations have waived those rules in response to disasters such as hurricanes. Federal regulations limit most commercial truck drivers to 11 hours of driving time in a 14-hour workday, restrictions intended to reduce accidents caused by highway fatigue. For supply chain companies, U.S.-Mexico border closures could be catastrophic - Marketplace points out that Mexico’s deputy health minister says he’s worried about people coming into Mexico from the United States; currently the U.S. has far more cases of COVID-19 than Mexico. The Mexican government even said it might consider restricting access at its northern borders. For businesses that operate on both sides of the border, any shutdown could be catastrophic. The article gives a case study of a manfacturer employing 150 people in Texas. The company president says before anyone considers closing the border, President Donald Trump and Mexico’s president, Andrés Manuel López Obrador, should discuss a coordinated response to the virus. As for now, he says all of his people can work from home, if the situation calls for it. Everyone here has a laptop, he said. But he says the independent truck drivers and contractors who work on the loading docks, they have to be on site to run things. Those people also only get paid if they show up for work. So, for now, they’re glad the COVID-19 hasn’t shut this part of Texas down, yet. It won't be long before Coronavirus shuts down local African supply chains - The major Kenyan newspaper daily nation reports that there are imminent difficulties facing Kenyan pharma firms due to the industry importing 70% of its ingredients from India and China, both of whom have restricted exports. Studies show that the Kenyan pharmaceuticals market is worth Sh100 billion ($965m USD), 80 per cent of which is prescription drugs. Although Kenya exports 50 per cent to the COMESA region and 75 per cent to East African Community, most of these exports are re-exports from India and China. European automotive factories shutting down - Ferrari and Lamborghini have both suspended almost all production (says the Express and Star) whilst Yahoo Finance reports that Fiat Chrysler said in a statement on Monday 16 March that it would halt operations at most of its European plants, from now until 27 March because of an “interruption in market demand.” The Italian-American automotive group said the manufacturing stop includes six factories in Italy, the EU country worst hit by coronavirus. Italy has had over 24,700 infection cases so far, and more than 1,800 people have died from the virus. The PSA group, which includes Peugeot, Citroen, and Opel, said today it will close all its European plants, including in the UK, France and Germany for the remainder of the month too. German car giant Volkswagen is also suspending production at a number of manufacturing bases in Europe, including in Slovakia and Spain. VW-owned Seat has shuttered its main factory near Barcelona for at least the rest of the month. Meanwhile, according to the Financial Times, Volkswagen may also be forced to curtail production at the main factory in its home town of Wolfsburg, because of running low on parts. Useful parcel courier current operational status links for anyone else in eCommerce:Canada Post, DHL Express, DPD, Fedex, Parcelforce, USPS. If anyone has any other major courier links for service status, please let us all know :) Good news section Amazon to hire 100,000 more workers and give raises to current staff to deal with coronavirus demands - CNBC says that Amazon is hiring an additional 100,000 employees in the U.S. to meet the surge in demand from online shopping amid the coronavirus outbreak, the company said Monday. The company is looking to add extra full-time and part-time positions for warehouse and delivery workers. Through the end of April, it will raise pay for these employees by $2 per hour in the U.S., £2 per hour in the UK, and approximately €2 per hour in many EU countries. Amazon currently pays $15 per hour or more in some areas of the U.S. for warehouse and delivery jobs. Amazon encouraged employees in other industries whose jobs were "lost or furloughed" as a result of the coronavirus to apply, including members of the hospitality, restaurant and travel industries. "We want those people to know we welcome them on our teams until things return to normal and their past employer is able to bring them back," the company added. Educating in denial older relatives anecdote Personal story time; my 69 year old Aunt is very grumpy because despite me telling her for well over a month, it is finally dawning on her that her dream guided coach bus tour of the West USA national parks in 10 weeks time is rapidly going up in smoke whilst my 75 year old Dad has realised his third cruise of the year (this time around the med) in 5 weeks time is also about to be toast. My Aunt complained on Facebook yesterday that nobody is mentioning the 46,000 people who have recovered from the illness and that "it's just a bit of flu". It isn't, otherwise governments around the world would not be reacting as they are. If you have an elderly relative like mine who relies far too much on social media anecdotes rather than good quality fact based mainstream media, maybe point them at this businessinsider article here where it points out that 1) flu mortality rates are 0.1% vs. Covid-19 is 3.4% and 2) for 70-79 the mortality rate is 8% and for over 80's it's 14.8%. Hopefully they might just realise the seriousness of the situation; my Aunt dismissed it as "a website I've never heard of and won't believe" despite the article clearly citing CDC figures. ---------------- Donations Several asked if they can send me $/£/€ via Patreon (in some cases because I've saved them time or money, others for no reason at all). I don't need the cash (that's lovely though) but food bank charities are getting really hit hard with all this panic buying. Please consider giving whatever you'd have given me to a foodbank charity instead: UK: https://www.trusselltrust.org/ France: https://www.banquealimentaire.org/ Germany: https://www.tafel.de/ Netherlands: https://www.voedselbankennederland.nl/steun-ons/steun-voedselbank-donatie/ Spain: https://www.fesbal.org/ Australia: https://www.foodbank.org.au/ Canada: https://www.foodbankscanada.ca/ USA: https://www.feedingamerica.org/ Thanks in advance for any donations you give. If there's foodbank charities in your country and it's not listed above, please suggest it and I will include it going forward. EDIT: Missed out virus news in brief, added as of 12:45. EDIT 2: Added in the Dutch foodbank link (hat tip siliconfrontier)
So you got yourself an XMG Gaming Laptop laptop, huh?
Congratulations! :-) Follow this handy guide to go through your first steps and some commonly recurring questions. This guide is pretty long and might look frightening on first look, but please note:
Sometimes it's not a bug, it might be a feature
Sometimes a thing might be caused by Windows or might be a known issue for a generic hardware components (including NVIDIA Optimus), i.e.: not caused by us
Some issues covered in this guide are extremely rare, have only been reported once or twice and might be very easy to fix
+++ BREAKING: Fix "No Speaker" issue on XMG FUSION 15 +++
Windows Update has recently brought us a "No speakers, no sound" issue on XMG FUSION 15. Please read all about the solution in this post. This should only be a temporary condition and solved soon by pulling the incompatible driver from Windows Update. Update: incompatible driver has been pulled on May 19, 2020. New driver going to be rolled out shortly. Now, moving on to the actual content of this thread:
I unboxed my XMG Laptop – what are my first steps?
1. If you purchased with Windows. When building our laptops, we always make sure to install the latest firmware and drivers. If you purchased with Windows, all drivers will already be installed and you can pretty much start working. NVIDIA updates their driver pretty often, so they might already have a new driver out. Open up GeForce Experience, log into your account and see if the app offers any driver updates. 2. If you purchased without operating system. Your SSD will be empty, but your firmware will be up to date. Even if you purchase without operating system, we will already have updated the latest BIOS and latest Thunderbolt firmware. Now it’s time to install Windows and install our drivers. If you don’t have your own Windows install media at hand, you can get the latest official version from here. The drivers for your XMG Laptop will be on a USB thumb drive in your shipping box. If you want to make absolutely sure that you’re getting the latest drivers, download them each by each from our download portal. Both sources will include a PDF file that will guide you through each step. The only tricky step is the Audio driver, where you’ll have to do a specific install and reboot sequence. This is explained in detail in the PDF file.
++ Troubleshooting (all models) +++
The following items might apply to any XMG or SCHENKER model. In fact, they might also apply to laptops from other brands. Further down below, you'll find a section that is more specific to individual models.
My battery life is less than it should be / I have high Idle power consumption / my dGPU is not turning off.
Battery life and power consumption are closely interconnected. If your system consumes too much power – even in Idle – your battery life will suffer. Preliminary: check your CPU usage, sorted by tasks Your first look should be into Windows Task Manager, tab "Details" and then sort by "CPU" usage. You should know that your CPU has multiple cores and threads. For example, on i7-9750H (6 cores, 12 threads) if one single-thread task is running at 100%, it translates to "only" 8% CPU load in Task Manager (100 divided by 12 = 8.33). 8% might not look like much at first glance. But in reality it's one core that is running at maximum speed, taking almost as much power as if all cores would run at the same time. This is because the CPU would boost a single core to much higher speed than it would boost all cores together. In other words: CPU usage values in Task Manager can be misleading, especially if some broken or badly programmed software is going rogue on a single thread. Do the math! So, on a 6 core CPU, if you have any process in Task Manager constantly running at 8%, something is off. Please identify which task it is, and either end it right there it or uninstall the related software altogether. Another way to check is to separate the Task Manager CPU activity graph into logical cores. Check these two screenshots:
In my example you can see one core in the middle was almost maxed out for a short amount of time. Thanks to the nature of Turbo Boost, this core would induce a boosted clock speed, leading to almost maxed-out power consumption and high temperatures. This is not always immediately visible because most programs would keep jumping from core to core, so you always see individual spikes to 100% on single core. You can try this yourself by using Prime95 and running it on only 1 thread. All systems nominal? CPU is nice and idle? Check the dGPU status. If you don't have any rogue tasks clogging up you CPU but your Idle power consumption is still off the charts, it might be because your NVIDIA GPU (dedicated GPU, dGPU) is not turning itself off. Under the system of NVIDIA Optimus (MSHybrid), all common Windows apps are run on the Intel UHD Graphics (integrated GPU, iGPU) by default and the dedicated GPU (dGPU) should turn itself off when it is not needed. This removes the dGPU from the power source but it also saves power on the CPU side, because the CPU can turn off the PCI-Express x16 dGPU connection and thus achieve lower sleep states in each CPU cycle. This system can be disturbed in a number of ways, leading to higher power consumption which in turn leads to lower battey life. 1. Check which system monitoring tools you are running in the background Some system monitoring software intentionally wakes up the dGPU. Keeping such software running in the background will inevitably lead to higher power consumption. We will keep a list of tools here which do and which do not keep the dGPU awake.
Does not keep the dGPU awake
Keeps the dGPU awake
AIDA64 (only when “Sensor” pane is open)
ASUS GPU Tweak II
Intel Extreme Tuning Utility
NVIDIA Control Panel
NVIDIA GeForce Experience
TechPowerUp Real Temp
Windows Task Manager
Open Hardware Monitor
XMG Control Center (only when “System Monitor” pane is open)
Please check if any of the programs on the right side of the table is running in the background on your machine. If they are, please remove them from Startup in the Task Manager. Some of the programs on the left side of the table might wake up the dGPU once for a few seconds during initialization. But according to our testing, they won’t keep the dGPU awake during normal operation. If you want to see, whether or not your dGPU is awake or not, the best bet is to use the “Sensors” function in HWiNFO64 and keep an eye on the GPU Temperature of your NVIDIA GeForce card. If the temperature reads 0°C, the dGPU is sleeping. With a right click on the Temperature value, you can even set up an alarm in form of a sound file, notification popup or logfile entry if the temperature reaches a value ≥ 1. 2. If external monitor is connected, dGPU will be awake. Both HDMI and USB-C/DisplayPort/Thunderbolt are connected directly to the NVIDIA GeForce card. This dedicated connection gives the XMG FUSION 15 the power to drive very high resolutions, refresh rates and to support G-SYNC and FreeSync on external screens. The trade-off: the dGPU will always be awake as soon as an external monitor is connected. Rendering can still happen on the iGPU (Intel UHD Graphics) - but the dGPU will always be "awake" to deliver the pixels to the screen. 3. Every app is running on dGPU as soon as external monitor is connected? No. NVIDIA’s Control Center has a hidden function called “NVIDIA GPU Activity” which supposedly shows which app is being rendered on the dGPU. You can find it by enabling "Display GPU Activity Monitor Icon in Notification Area". Unfortunately, this function is not accurate when using an external monitor. As soon as you have an external monitor connected, the notification window shows every newly launched app as if it’s being rendered on the dGPU, even though it is not. This has been confirmed by our NVIDIA contacts to be a general issue that affects all laptops with NVIDIA Optimus (MSHybrid) of every brand. It does not look as if NVIDIA has any plans to resolve this issue. Therefor, the “NVIDIA GPU Activity” will continue to show inaccurate information and should rather not be used at all. 4. dGPU does not go back to sleep after disconnecting external screen while browser is open If you launch your browser (Chrome, Firefox, Edge) while you are connected to an external screen, the browser’s hardware acceleration will use the dGPU. This happens despite the fact that you are forcing that app to run on Integrated Graphics. If the browser keeps running after you connect the external screen, it will keep the dGPU awake. Even sending the laptop to Standby and waking it up again won’t change that fact. The dGPU will only go back to sleep after you close the specific app that triggered this behaviour. This seems to affect every laptop with NVIDIA Optimus (MSHybrid) – not only XMG laptops. We have filed a report with NVIDIA and we are awaiting their feedback. Here is a short list of apps that are affected and not affected by this issue:
Not affected (Control Group)
This might also affect other apps if they are secretly using the dGPU for Hardware Acceleration. But so far, the 3 major browsers are the only apps we have confirmed to trigger this behaviour. According to what we heard, NVIDIA does not seem to have any plans to fix this issue on a fundamental basis. Workaround #1: Restart your Browser Close your browser and launch it again after disconnecting from the external screen. Workaround #2: Disable Hardware Acceleration in Browser You can find this in the Settings menu of your Browser.
Workaround #3: Disable and re-enable the dGPU instead of closing your Webbrowser Download here: dGpuCycle Script.zip Written by Notebookcheck user ‘Stepon’ (source). You can open the script with Notepad to read the source code. After disconnecting the external screen, run this Batch Script with Admin privileges. The script will disable and re-enable the dGPU in Device Manager. During that moment, your browser will drop the Hardware Acceleration from dGPU and go back to iGPU. Chrome will flicker for a fraction of a second. If you play any videos on your browser while running the script, you might have to restart playback by jumping to a different point in the video timeline. With some programming skills can be further automated to always run in the background. 5. Same as above, but for most if not all apps that use a browser engine underneath. The browser hardware acceleration issue applies to apps that are using a browser engine to create their GUI. If you launch such an app while you're connected to an external monitor, they will use the dGPU for hardware acceleration and won't let go of it until you either close the app or manually disable the dGPU. The most popular such apps are:
Microsoft Visual Code
The most widespread framework for such apps is Electron, but it's not limited to that. For example, Spotify uses a different implementation, based on Chromium browser engine. We are not aware of any way to disable hardware acceleration on these apps. Disabling hardware acceleration in your browser won't affect those apps. The only workarounds are:
Start the apps before you connect your external screen
Restart the apps after you connect your external screen
Disable and re-enable the dGPU with the above dGpuCycle script
As with other root causes in this section, this seems to apply to every laptop with NVIDIA Optimus. We have asked NVIDIA to comment in April 2020. 6. Outdated Killer Wi-Fi driver increasing power consumption. We had a report where an outdated Killer Wi-Fi suite caused high background CPU load. If you are using a Rivet Networks Killer Wi-Fi module, please download and install the latest drivers here. 7. Missing NVIDIA USB-C and Audio drivers keep the dGPU awake? We have a report from a user who made a custom install of NVIDIA drivers and unselected the NVIDIA USB-C and Audio drivers because he thought we won't need them. In this case, not having those drivers will cause the main driver to not shutdown the dGPU when searching for those two drivers. We were not able to reproduce it but we'll leave it in this guide for future reference. Solution: reinstall NVIDIA drivers and include every driver, even the optional ones. 8. Outdated Windows and firmware? If you haven’t already, make sure you are running the latest Windows updates and the latest BIOS. Some major Windows milestones (also called “Redstone” updated) need to be triggered manually by opening Windows Updates, then “Checking for updates”. Under “Optional updates”, there might be a “Feature update” which you can initiate with “Download and install now” (screenshot). 9. Third party PCIe/NVMe SSD preventing CPU from sleeping? We had recently a few reports on budget SSDs from smaller brands preventing the CPU from reaching C8 sleep states, severely cutting battery life. If you upgrades your SSD yourself with a model that is not listed in our online shop, please consider to swap it out, re-install Windows from scratch and try again. If you found your SSD to be the culprit, please share the product name with us. 10. Corsair iCue Software causes +10W power consumption? We have seen this report from a single user:
I spent a week trying to figure out why the processor on my Fusion 15 was consuming so much power when idle (around 10W!). My battery life was absolutely abysmal at about 2.5 hours on a full charge. I thought I had ruled out the iCue software because I closed the app completely, but it turns out only a complete uninstall will allow everything to return to normal so it must have been the mouse driver itself rather than the iCue software.
Source We haven't checked it ourselves but any kind of hardware-related 3rd party software could potentially cause power saving issues on any system. 11. Dig deeper? Check out this amazing in-depth guide about Windows power saving optimization and C-States. Written by user Che0063 on Notebookreview in 2018 and constantly updated into 2020, this guide is a deep dive into all things C-States.
You can find a PDF copy (pulled on 2020/05/26) of this guide here.
Random short spikes in lag and stutter
Intel Driver and Support Assistant (DSA) is acting up, causing CPU spikes up to 40% every 1-5 minutes. Taken from this post:
Intel Driver and Support Assistant (DSA) is acting up, causing CPU spikes up to 40% every 1-5 minutes. See this picture of task manager cumulative CPU time. Funny you already mentioned that it stopped working, as I experienced the same thing. Solution (TL;DR): Uninstall Intel DSA for now. You can do this via the windows Apps and Programs, or if it fails for any reason, download the official Uninstaller from the intel website. [...]
My laptop randomly wakes up from Standby.
1. Firmware solution for Wake-up 3 hours after entering Sleep/Standby. (XMG FUSION 15 only) There was an issue with the NVIDIA USB-C driver which caused the laptop to wake up exactly 3 hours after entering Standby. The laptop was trying to transition into Hibernate (Suspend to Disk) but failed to do so. This issue is resolved in BIOS 0062 and beyond. 2. Disable Wake timers (applies to any PC and Laptop) Depending on your Windows configuration, there might be certain task schedules (including Windows Updates) which prompt the laptop to wake-up from Sleep or Hibernate. To check on these issues, please read this article. The most common solution is to disable the “Allow wake timers” option for both “plugged in” and “on-battery”. Please note: this setting depends on each power profile and your laptop has three of them: Silent, Balanced, Enthusiast. Please switch to each of these profiles and modify “Allow wake timer” in the Advanced settings in Windows power options for each one of these. 3. Check the Wake-up cause There is a simple command that will tell you the reason why your laptop woke up for the last time. Usually this is something like "Power Button" or "Lid Opening", but in your case it might point to a different driver or Windows component. Find "Command Prompt" in Start Menu and type:
This command does not need Admin right. Please copy it by marking the output text and pressing Enter. The marked text from the Command Prompt windows is now in your clipboard and can be pasted into a text file or message box. Alternatively you can take a picture and report back to us.
My laptop needs a long time to boot up.
Cold Boot and Wake-up from Hibernate should not take much more than 12 seconds between pressing the power button and seeing the login screen wallpaper. If your laptop takes much longer, please consider the following options. 1. Enable “Fast Boot”. Enabling “Fast Boot” in BIOS is a requirement to use Microsoft’s “Hybrid Boot” technology which saves a lot of time on Cold Boot. Before shipping, we always enable “Fast Boot” in all XMG laptops – but it might get disabled by user operation. On some models, it might also get disabled during BIOS Reset. To make sure, you have “Fast Boot” enabled, follow these steps:
Reboot and enter BIOS Setup [F2]
Open [Boot] menu and enter [Boot Priority]
Find [Fast Boot] and set it to [Enabled]
Back in [Exit] category, select [Save Changes and Exit], Reboot
(the location of the "Fast Boot" option might be slightly, depending on your model) 2. Flash firmware again You can clearly seperate the boot process between BIOS time and Windows time. Everything that happens before you see the XMG boot logo is BIOS time. On XMG FUSION 15, it usually takes about 7 seconds between pressing the power button and seeing the XMG boot logo for the first time. If this time period is much, much longer in your case, the root cause might be in hardware or firmware. One potential solution was found in this post. This user already had a system with Thunderbolt Firmware NVM v56. But based on a hunch, he just tried to update the same firmware again and it instantly fixed his long BIOS time. It makes kind of sense. VBIOS, Thunderbolt... those are large, complex and kind of external components that are initialized in the very early steps of the the BIOS. If anything is stalling there, you won't see the boot logo because the BIOS hasn't even attempted yet to start talking to the SSD. Rule of thumb: if you have long BIOS time before you see the XMG logo, please consider to flash the BIOS and the Thunderbolt Firmware again. Now, let's look at various Windows-based causes: 3. Clean up TEMP folders Taken from this post.
Found out, during each boot Windows (namely it's ProfSvc service) takes everything you have in users/yourprofile folder and writes over those files. I suspect it's changing some meta data in the files. Probably edditing read/write premissions. But it goes one by one. And logon process waits for it to finish. As long as your computer is relatively clean, this operation takes a second or two. But when Visual Studio update "forgets" 160 000 files in your AppData/Temp folder, it results in 35 secs of profile loading during boot. All I needed was to empty the Temp folder and the bootups are back in normal!
You can either clean the Temp folders manually or use a software like CCleaner. Please beware, we would only recommend CCleaner to clean temp files, but don't clean the Windows Registry. It's usually safe to do but it can sometimes lead to false positive situations and side-effects. 4. Riot Games 'Vanguard' might block one of our drivers If you have game titles from Riot Games installed, the software 'Vanguard' might be blocking the 'inpoutx64.sys' driver on some of our systems. This driver is related to the Control Center. We have heard of one single case where the presence of Vanguard lead to a significantly increased boot-time. In other cases however, it had no effect despite getting the 'Vanguard has blocked' message in Windows. We will share this information with our ODM to see if our signed inpoutx64.sys/dll can be whitelisted. Meanwhile, please consider disabling or uninstalling Vanguard to see if it improves your boot time. 5. Consider a clean reinstall It might be inconvenient, but if you have any boot times that are wildly longer than above reference data, please consider a clean Windows installation. 'Clean' means deleting the system partitions on your SSD in the first step of the installation procedure. Before you do this, you should backup all important data on external storage. 6. Other causes. If your system still takes a long time to even display the XMG boot logo or to boot into the Login prompt, there might be another issue at hand. Please make sure to update your BIOS, load setup defaults, enable “Fast Boot” again and make sure that your Windows and drivers are up to date. Please also consider to follow the generic advice in this article. There is currently no other known systematic issue that prevents our laptops from doing a fast boot or fast wake-up. If you cannot resolve the issue on your machine, please consider to backup your data and do a clean Windows re-install. 7. Discussion For XMG FUSION 15 we have opened a dedicated tread about expected boot times after a clean install. Please move all relevant discussion to this thread:
(I might be using Discord) First, please make sure you increased the microphone gain to 100% and added the +20dB boost.
Find "Sound settings" in Start menu
Scroll down and click on "Sound Control Panel"
Select "Recording" tab and double-click your microphone
Select "Levels" tab and put everything to maximum (screenshot)
Now, some apps including Discord put additional processing on the microphone, including echo and noise cancellation. This can have a negative effect on microphone audio quality. Please see if you can disable all such options from your chat application and from the Realtek Control Panel.
+++ Troubleshooting XMG FUSION 15 (2019) +++
The following items apply only to XMG FUSION 15. Please check first if your issue is covered under the general section above. The latest BIOS and Control Center update can be found in this thread.
My speaker sound is underwhelming / I cannot get Soundblaster Connect running.
Sound Blaster Connect is an important app to improve the experience of the audio system. It can increase volume (SmartVol) and Bass of the speakers. 1. Reinstall Audio drivers in the proper sequence Normally, when all pre-requisites are met, Soundblaster Connect should install automatically from Windows. You can then find it with a simple search for “Sound Blaster” in the Windows Start menu. If Soundblaster Connect is no where to be found or if it only shows an empty screen, please follow the sequence precisely:
You only need the file “AudioDriver_Package_4-in-1.zip“
Extract the ZIP Archive
Install Smart Sound Technology and reboot (!)
Install Realtek Audio and reboot
Install Speaker EQ and reboot
Install CreativeAudioEffectsComponent and reboot
If you are connected to the Internet, the system will now automatically install "Sound Blaster Connect" from Microsoft Store. This might take a few minutes or more. (The last 3 reboots are actually not necessary. Only the reboot after “Smart Sound Technology” is a hard requirement. But we kept the reboots after each step for the sake of redundancy.)
My touchpad sometimes does not react.
This is a very rare issue that we have encountered a few times. For some users we have fixed it by replacing the laptop. The root cause is not entirely clear yet but there have been a few successful workarounds. Solution #1: Set Touchpad to “Most Sensitive” Find the “Touchpad” settings in Windows Start menu and change the sensitivity setting to “Most Sensitive”. Please report via PM with your order number if this fixes the issue for you. Solution #2: Reinstall BIOS and Control Center We have reports from users who got rid of any Touchpad issues by reinstalling the BIOS and Control Center. Please get the appropriate downloads from our Download Portal.
My CPU shows high activity in idle while having devices connected to USB-C port.
We are currently tracking an issue where users have reported >10% CPU usage in Idle while having certain devices connected to the USB-C port. Current Workaround: Disable Automatic Sleep on Thunderbolt controller Device Manager > System devices > Thunderbolt Controller > Power Management > Disable "Allow the computer to turn off this device to save power"
I’m unable to turn off my keyboard backlight during boot.
Normally, if you disable the keyboard backlight in Control Center using the slider switch, it should also be disabled during Reboot, Cold Boot etc. We had one report of a rare issue where this settings was not applied to firmware anymore. If you encounter this issue, please click the “Restore” button in Control Center to reset all you Keyboard Backlight settings. Then, try again to disable the Keyboard Backlight and reboot.
My keyboard backlight is not turning on anymore.
We had a few reports of keyboard backlight not being able to turn on anymore. If you encounter this issue, please reset your BIOS settings.
Reboot and enter BIOS Setup [F2]
Open [Exit] menu; select and confirm [Restore Defaults] but do not reboot yet
Open [Boot] menu and enter [Boot Priority]
Find [Fast Boot] and set it to [Enabled]
Back in [Exit] category, select [Save Changes and Exit], Reboot
I cannot access my BIOS Setup (F2) anymore.
This is another very rare issue that was only reported once so far. If you cannot access your BIOS Setup, you cannot do a BIOS Reset anymore. Solution: Remove CMOS Jumper from Mainboard and Reboot The mainboard of XMG FUSION 15 has a jumper to control the BIOS Reset. In order to reach this jumper, you will need to remove the bottom case of the laptop. This is as easy as removing the 10 screws on the bottom side and then simply lifting the bottom cover away from the laptop. The jumper is located next to the WiFi module
After having done this Reset, please place the jumper again it it's original position, connecting pins "1" and "2" as seen in the "Top View" picture linked above. Now, please see if you can now get back into BIOS Setup with the F2 key during boot.
My external USB mouse sometimes stops moving.
We have some reports from USB gaming mouse with ≥1000Hz polling rate that sometimes stop working when used together with USB hubs, both on USB-A and USB-C (Thunderbolt). Please install the latest official drivers from your mouse vendor and see if you can reduce the polling rate to 500Hz to see if it makes any difference.
I would like to improve my DPC Latencies.
For guaranteed low DPC latencies, please check out our SCHENKER Audio Editions. For all other models, we're going to collect a number of tips here over time.
I have issues with USB-C or Thunderbolt 3 adapters on XMG FUSION 15
XMG FUSION 15 (2019, XFU15L19) had a bit of a shaky history with some USB-C adapters and Thunderbolt Docking Stations. It seems like the most serious issues have been ironed out with BIOS 0064 and Thunderbolt Firmware-Update NVM v56. If you plan to use USB-C port and you purchased your laptop before May 2020, please make sure to update your firmware as explained in this thread:
For more FAQ on XMG, SCHENKER and Bestware, please check our FAQ Page:https://bestware.com/faqs/ If we find more commonly asked questions (especially ones that are specific to popular models), we will add them to this guide. If you have any questions or issues that are not covered in this guide, please reply in the comments below! // Tom
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