Cleaning N64 games

Nintendo 64 game cartridge internals

Cleaning N64 games is a controversial topic. It doesn’t have to be. There are some techniques floating around that can be harmful. But I also bristle when I see people say there’s one and only one right way. Here are some techniques for cleaning N64 games, based on my decades of experience fixing computers and game systems.

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A DVR without a subscription or monthly fees

What if I told you that you could have a DVR without a subscription that worked with free over-the-air antenna-based TV, and it cost less than $35, saving those monthly subscription fees month after month?

It’s called the Mediasonic Homeworx HW180STB. If you want to record and time-shift television without loss of quality and without paying a fortune in subscription fees, it’s a tremendous value. You have to provide an antenna–which you can even make yourself–and USB-based storage, but it means you can get whatever capacity you want, and if you fill up a drive, just get another one.

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Windows 2000 without Internet Explorer

Those of you who bought my book (both of you) know that the biggest secret to speeding up Windows 95 and 98 was removing the extra junk nobody used–especially the stuff Microsoft deliberately made impossible to remove via normal means.

In Windows 95, all it took was modifying INF files with a text editor to remove MSN, IE, and the other obsolete software it shipped with from the get-go. Win98 got a bit more complicated. But with 2000, Microsoft started getting nasty–putting encrypted data in multiple places, so even if you hacked the INFs, it didn’t do any good.

But several people still figured out how to do it.

Coming back

The phone rang this morning, around 9 AM. I’ve gotten used to that; my recruiter’s been calling me around 9 for the last few days. But this time there was a different tone to his voice. He was nervous.

Great, I instantly thought. Another rejection. What is this, high school?

How to connect a Commodore 64 to a television

connect a Commodore 64 to a television via switchbox

It is less than obvious how to connect a Commodore 64 to a television, especially a modern television, and it’s even more difficult if your C-64 didn’t come with the cables or the manual.

There are, as it turns out, several ways to do it. The C-64 and 128 have an RCA jack on the back that matches the RCA jacks on most televisions, whether LCD or CRT. Confusingly, this isn’t the key. If you just plug a cable from the RCA jack into the RCA input on a TV, you won’t get a display.

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