Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Technical Problems

Oh the joys of running a usable archive! Some of the technical difficulties we've run into over the last couple of weeks:

* As mentioned earlier, our Atari Flashback 2 just stopped working. There's a complete lack of status indicators on the unit, so no telling what the problem is... I'll order a replacement and hope it lasts longer than a few weeks. (At least we get a couple of usable Atari joysticks out of the deal!)

* While testing out donated games, the refurbished NES we bought off eBay stopped loading games, instead giving us a yellow screen of doom with everything. From what I've been able to gather this means that the pins are probably damaged--likely by one of the games we were testing--so I'll look into replacing that component. We still have an older (and more finicky) NES that was donated. I'm also thinking of getting a Famiclone to have around.

* Grand Theft Auto IV won't load up at all in our new Xbox 360 Pro, but loads and plays just fine in out Xbox 360 Elite. Anyone ever encounter this?

* Our new copy of NCAA Football 09 for Xbox 360 suddenly developed a nice carved ring on the surface of the disk, and thus won't load or play. Nobody recalls this happening, but it must have been one of the units. We haven't had any further problems with games getting carved up, so I'm not worrying for the time being...

Friday, October 24, 2008

Scenes from a Moment in the Archive

I'm taking a rare stint right now as the monitor in the Game Archive (typically it is staffed by student workers). Right now we've got:

* A person playing Assassin's Creed on the PS3 on the large screen

* A person playing Bioshock on the Xbox 360

* Someone playing Fable on the Xbox

* Two guys playing FIFA Soccer on the Gamecube

* A group playing Duck Hunt on the NES.

Have I mentioned that Duck Hunt is one of our most popular games?

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Flashback 2

The first casualty of our video game archive was our Atari Flashback 2. It just up and stopped working one day a couple of weeks ago. I plan to purchase a replacement, but first I figured I'd put my long-neglected electrical engineering degree to use to see if I could find something obviously wrong (like perhaps a loose wire connection). I didn't find anything, but did snap some photos of the insides:

Atari Flashback 2 Innards

Atari Flashback 2 Innards

Atari Flashback 2 Innards

Monday, October 20, 2008


A couple of weeks ago, the fine folks at the Computer Aided Engineering Network (CAEN) gave us a Battlezone mini-cabinet for the archive. As you can see, it fit in just perfectly near the back door!



Monday, October 13, 2008

Expanded Preview Hours

We've expanded our preview hours in the Gaming Archive to Mon - Fri, Noon - 8pm.

We've also set our Grand Opening date for Monday, November 17; there will be an event from 3:30 - 6pm that day, with remarks at 4:15.

Friday, October 3, 2008

Friday Fun: Snack or Die

At the blog Snack or Die, Jocelyn shows how to make cookies (and other desserts) designed after your favorite video game characters. It's yummy fun!

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Student Paper Article

Despite our having done hardly any publicity, the student newspaper, The Michigan Daily, found out about the video game archive and sent a reporter to do a story: "Library opens video game archive."

Only one notable error that I noticed: I was quoted as saying that we could buy about a dozen new games per month, if we don't buy any equipment. That's not right; the annual budget includes about a dozen new games per month, plus some older games, plus new and replacement equipment. Less major, although we were budgeted a certain amount of start-up funds, we haven't yet spent all of it.