Nerd rush (DSE had a sale)

So, DSE had a big sale today – stuff for super-cheap monies was up for grabs. But, due to working commitments, I wasn’t able to make it for the 9am opening rush and didn’t have any luck on the website either – that had crashed and burned under the strain of the number of fellow nerds jumping in.

So I’m not sure how I want to phrase this post, because it’s very petty to have a whinge just because I missed out. On the upside at least I wasn’t aiming to be greedy – I was after a PSP, DSi and some MS points to start catching up on some XBLA gear, but no luck unfortunately.

I guess the reason I’m a bit frustrated is the way in which my fellow gamers acted in-store – Whirlpoolers have noted that police had been called in on a couple of occasions because a few people chucked wobblies and were abusive towards staff, and stories abound of people combing stores and hoarding like a pack of greedy children let loose in Willy Wonka’s Chocolate Factory. Perhaps if people had some manners and took what they wanted (versus hoarding stuff to sell for a healthy profit on eBay), I’d be a bit less frustrated.

It’s a very sad reflection on how gamers act when in the presence of a ripper sale.

On the upside, it did result in the following piece of hilarity:

Thanks to adamiam on Whirlpool for the link 🙂

For the record, I popped into a store during my lunch break today and there wasn’t much stuff left – a few games at really good prices, but I already had them so no real utility there. Props to the DSE staff though, the person who served me at the counter when I asked if I’d missed anything after a quick loop around the store was really nice and seemed genuinely apologetic that there wasn’t much left over. Considering they’d probably had to deal with a hoard of tight-arse gamers, I really appreciated the courtesy.

Hopefully in turn I demonstrated that gamers have the capacity for good manners 🙂

New soldering station (DSE T-2200)

So DSE are having a sale on all their electronics stuff. This is in some ways a good thing, as I picked up a DSE T-2200 soldering station for a nice price (along with a couple of tips), which means I can retire my cheapie 25w soldering iron I’ve been using for years.

At the same point, it’s also sad. My understanding is that DSE are well and truly getting out of the hobbyist electronics scene – most of their electronics gear is on sale at the website as the company moves to only sell cheap consumer electronics gear (generic imports from overseas), laptops, PCs, Apple products, home electronics accessories (like RCA cables and powerboards), phones, that kind of thing. My local DSE was recently refurbished, and I was shocked to see all of the electronics were unceremoniously dropped as part of the fitout. No more switches, caps, resistors, soldering irons, LEDs, and so on.

In some ways it probably makes sense – the staff lacked electronics experience so they weren’t much help in that regard, and the margins are probably better with CE gear with faster turn-around compared to hobby electronics.

But anywho – new soldering station. I’ve been using cheap/disposable 25w soldering irons for years now. I picked up my first one from DSE back in… 1999 or 2000 when I started modding consoles, and that one did the job for a number of years until the plastic shrouding started heating up too much and made the thing difficult to handle during long soldering sessions. I replaced that one with a similar entry-level 25w iron from Jaycar and that’s done a good job over the last 3 years, but the iron and the tips aren’t offering the kind of performance I’m after. It also helped that the price on the station was amazing.

I haven’t given it a whirl yet, but I have a few mods on the to-do list (Master System II S-Video mod and A/V mods on an Atari 2600 and a Famicom), so there’s plenty of excuses to give it a whirl. Expect posts in the future showing the above mods – I also have a stack of images from a series of mods to a Mega Drive 2, as well as a mod to disable a late-model SNES security chip (the theory on that one’s not mine, I just followed another tute).

The purchase of this has also inspired me to write up a post noting some of the essentials that should be in every console modder’s toolkit, or at least what things would have been handy if I had them when I first started modding consoles over 10 years ago 😉

Oh, and for the record – that denim shirt on the guy in the above photo is a golden time capsule 🙂