Archive for April, 2007

Kingdom Hearts 2 exposes PS3 backwards compatibility flaw

Sony’s backwards compatibility took a hit when they removed the PS2 hardware from the European Playstation 3. Gamers and critics roared loudly and dismissed the move as a bad one but Sony responded by producing figures detailing compatible games and the dismay subsided.

Players of Square-Enix’s superb Kingdom Hearts 2 are now faced with an awkward dilemma, they are powerless to finish this game on European Playstation 3, as discussed over at the forum, despite it being listed on Sony’s own compatibility chart as having “No known issues to date”.

This video shows the problem first hand at the point where you face off against the Hostile Program in Tron’s world. Keep an eye on the top right energy bar, towards the end you’ll notice it stops decreasing despite numerous attacks making the enemy impossible to defeat.

Fortuantly for those Playstation 3 owners with access to a Playstation 2 are in luck as a workaround is at hand, as detailed at PS2 Save Tools but as yet there is no sign of an update from Sony to fix this show stopping bug.

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I’ll procure me some of that!

If your company or place of work is anything like mine you’ll have a team or a manager whose task is procurement. They’ll have a fancy title like procurement team, (in)direct procurement manager and so forth. We all think we know what procurement or ‘to procure’ means. Ask your work colleague or friend, I’ll lay down money that they reply something like “to obtain something”. Lets look up procure in the dictionary shall we…

Procure: to obtain (a person) for the purpose of prostitution.

What about that manager, the one with the fancy title?

Procurer: person who procures, esp. a pander or pimp.

Your company could well be employing a pimp and even a whole team of pimps! Is there a word for a collection of pimps? There should be. Get yourself a fedora hat, furry trenchcoat (something distasteful and purple), a low rider, print some pimp cards and declare yourself a procurement manager today!

Xbox 360 saves backup and sharing, the way it should have been

By now anyone interested in Xbox 360 save backup and sharing will know about Xplorer360, it’s a functional tool but I hate the interface, it lacks grace and ease of use. Back when it was first released I wanted a superior and more familiar way of presenting save data to users rather than displaying the confusingly long folder names that had no relevance to the actual name of the save it contained.

Unfortunately the developers continued with their current look and feel for the app which was then later cloned by others. Not owning an Xbox 360 it mattered little to me but, as always, I had that nagging feeling that I could do a lot better….

What you are looking at are the first public images of an application I started well over a year ago, all without even seeing an Xbox 360 let alone having access to one.

The interface was inspired by the old Action Replay Xbox, in fact I flirted with calling the program XboxAR360 (as in Xboxer 360) in homage to the program that I helped shape and use at Datel.

As you can see on the left is the current memory unit contents, this can be an actual memory unit or a full card backup image file on your PC. On the right is the PC database which lists all the saves on your PC. Image 3 clearly shows the saves properties dialog, this is where you can add comments to your saves and list the region and so on. Saves are stored in a zip format and include an ascii based file detailing the saves properties, the plan was to open up the layout so that websites for sharing saves could extract all the data needed from this file on upload as well as the program itself using it.

So where is this amazing looking program now? Still on my hard drive in an incomplete state. You see when I said I didn’t have access to an Xbox 360 to aid in development that wasn’t a boast, it’s a sad fact that whilst the Xplorer 360 guys were able to buy Xbox 360’s with donations to make their program, I still do not have an Xbox 360 and cannot continue development without one.

Will I ever finish this program? Maybe, I need to get an Xbox 360 first and, until I can afford such a luxury, development has ceased. I’ve seen that Xplorer360 cannot access the new 512MB memory unit so who knows, sometime in the future you could be using my program to backup your saves and share with friends with full 512MB memory unit support 🙂

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