H  O  M  E          
Theological, Doctrinal, and Spiritual Musing - and whatever other else is on my mind when I notice that I haven't posted in a while.
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Daniel of Doulogos Name:Daniel
Home: Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada
About Me: I used to believe that evolution was reasonable, that homosexuality was genetic, and that people became Christians because they couldn't deal with the 'reality' that this life was all there was. I used to believe, that if there was a heaven - I could get there by being good - and I used to think I was more or less a good person. I was wrong on all counts. One day I finally had my eyes opened and I saw that I was not going to go to heaven, but that I was certainly going to suffer the wrath of God for all my sin. I saw myself as a treasonous rebel at heart - I hated God for creating me just to send me to Hell - and I was wretched beyond my own comprehension. Into this spiritual vacuum Jesus Christ came and he opened my understanding - delivering me from God's wrath into God's grace. I was "saved" as an adult, and now my life is hid in Christ. I am by no means sinless, but by God's grace I am a repenting believer - a born again Christian.
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Daniel's posts are almost always pastoral and God centered. I appreciate and am challenged by them frequently. He has a great sense of humor as well.
- Marc Heinrich

His posts are either funny or challenging. He is very friendly and nice.
- Rose Cole

[He has] good posts, both the serious like this one, and the humorous like yesterday. [He is] the reason that I have restrained myself from making Canadian jokes in my posts.
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This post contains nothing that is of any use to me. What were you thinking? Anyway, it's probably the best I've read all day.
- David Kjos

Daniel, nicely done and much more original than Frank the Turk.
- Jonathan Moorhead

There are some people who are smart, deep, or funny. There are not very many people that are all 3. Daniel is one of those people. His opinion, insight and humor have kept me coming back to his blog since I first visited earlier this year.
- Carla Rolfe
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Saturday, May 22, 2010
The Yellow Light Of Death
About two years ago I bought a used PS3.

It was one of the original 60GB variety, containing an actual PS2 chip for true, hardware, backwards compatibility. It had four (rather than two) USB ports, and three memory card readers, including SD/miniSD, Sony Memory Stick Pro, and a CF card reader. These particular units are sought after because they were better built and far more functional than the latter day, made for less (with less in them) models.

Even today these units generally sell for more than brand new units.

So it was with some disappointment that I began to notice a couple of months ago some graphic artifacts showing up as we played games on the machine. I knew that the system was running hot, so I pulled it apart gave it a bit of a dusting. But I didn't get too deep into it, I just opened the cover and carefully vacuumed out a lot of the dust that was in the venting grates and whatnot. It ran better for a time, but all of a sudden last week, in the middle of a game, it shut off, and refused to turn back on.

I had experienced the dreaded, YLoD (Yellow Light of Death). Which is rather a very poor name, given that the yellow light comes on for but a moment, and is immediately replaced by a blinking red light, and three short beeps. But there it was. Every time I tried to turn on the machine, the green light would come on, immediately replaced by a yellow, for a moment, then blinking red ad infinitum, with the three beeps. I couldn't even eject the disc of the game that was being played in the moment the machine died.

I tried letting it cool off: Nothing. I tried turning it on a few more times until finally I went on the internet to figure out what was wrong.

Well, as it turns out the problem was the same as the XBox's Red Ring of Death (RRoD), basically the sort of thing that bricks your game box so that you have to send it in, pay $150 plus shipping and handling, and wait three weeks to a month to get it back.

I found a website that said that the YLoD was sometimes just a bad Hard Disk connection. It said that if you unplug your hard drive, and plug it back in a few times, this sometimes fixes the problem. That came across as wishful (read: bunk) thinking, but hey, Naaman eventually dipped himself in the Jordan, even if it seemed dumb to him, so I gave it a try. Sadly, unlike Naaman, my skepticism was well placed. Nothing changed. But I had always intended to upgrade my Hard Drive anyway - I mean, 60GB is pretty small nowadays, and one could pick up a 250 GB drive for around fifty bucks or so, so I decided to try a new Hard Disk.

A quick trip to Best Buy, and one 250 GB HDD later, and I tried again. Nope.

Back to the internet.

Had I looked a little longer the first time, I probably wouldn't have picked up a new HDD. I admit, I was looking for some easy fix, and perhaps that, more than anything, is why I gave the old HDD thing a try. But the truth was the problem was likely either a blown power supply, or (far) more likely, a heat dissipation issue had caused a solder joint in either the CPU or GPU. Given that I had been seeing graphic artifacts prior to the blowout (little blue, rounded squares flashing now and again that shouldn't have been there), I presumed this was probably the real culprit.

The fix, if one wanted to try to do it at home, was two fold - first you had to fix the solder joint, and second, you had to fix the bad heat dissipation issue.

I am not afraid of electronics in the way some are timid, so I determined to fix the thing myself rather than spend $200 bucks sending it in. I found an online guide on what needed to be done (reflow the motherboard and chip set with a paint stripper/heat gun, then apply new thermal compound between the chips and the heat sinks, and voila! You either toast your main board forever, or fix it for a few moments, or fix it altogether.

So I borrowed a two speed Black & Decker heat gun, bought some "Arctic Silver 5" thermal compound for $14, and fixed my PS3 by myself in a couple of hours.

I took a bunch of pictures, and was going to post them, but, frankly, this probably interests me more than other people, so I am just texting this one sans photo style.

I really enjoyed ripping the guts out of my PlayStation, and even found an extra screw that had probably been dropped into the unit when it was first built! At least, I hope it was an extra screw...?

Anyway, there is a manly man feeling to sitting at home, ripping open an electronic thing, and fixing it with a glorified blow dryer and some silver thermal paste. I think I am ready to kill, skin, and eat a small woodland creature now.

Each one of us limits ourselves from doing things we are perfectly capable of doing, but shy away from for fear that it will turn out poorly. How many people have refused to take a new job, or move to another city, or buy a more suitable home for fear that things will turn out poorly?

Sometimes it is good to be reminded that we are capable of far more than we are willing to attempt; and to understand that the reason we do not attempt things is because we have been trained to fear failure.
posted by Daniel @ 8:21 AM  
  • At 10:07 AM, May 22, 2010, Blogger David said…

    Just one more reason why you're my hero.

    I(or rather, my son) has a laptop that needs fixing. I'll have it in the mail to you ASAP.

  • At 12:03 PM, May 22, 2010, Blogger JIBBS said…

    Manly men used to fix cars.

    Just sayin'.

  • At 1:13 PM, May 22, 2010, Blogger Daniel said…

    David, apparently the same fix can apply to laptops, providing the problem is the same.

    Matt - my dad never taught me about cars or fixing things around the house, though he was good at both. I always regret not knowing how to fix my own vehicle.

  • At 1:49 AM, May 23, 2010, Blogger JIBBS said…

    Ditto, brother. My dad is Mr. Fix It.

    I am Mr. "Where's the Yellow Pages".

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