Friday, 20 August 2010

PS3 jailbroken with USB dongle? Read on...

I've been reading various online reports about the PS3 being hacked with some USB dongle device. Videos have been surfacing on the 'tinterweb' purportedly showing how it all work. There is one in French, but a more useful Aussie one can be found, courtesy of OzModChips.

The website of the USB jailbreak device in question ( is currently down at time of writing but I have managed to grab the text of the website below:

PS Jailbreak is a USB plug and play solution that installs in seconds, keeping your valid warranty seal in tact.
Easy to use installer and GUI takes you step by step.
Compatible with all production models FAT and SLIM. Supports all regions: USA, JAP, PAL and KOREA
PS Jailbreak disables forced software updates and will never brick your console.
Supports all games (it does not allow backups of bluray movies , dvd movies , or past consoles games)
Backup games to your internal hard drive or external hard drive through USB, and boot directly off GUI. Eliminating the need for expensive blueray burners and costly blank media.
Play backups off your hard drives 2x as fast as off the blueray drive. This eliminates lags and glitches to provide you with smoother game play.
Open up your console to a new generation of homebrew applications. Load homebrew apps/games off any USB hard drive/flash drive.
Fully updatable with new features/updates by connecting PS Jailbreak to any computers USB port.

The USB device, which apparently sells for around £80 (US$120), is plugged in prior to booting. When the PS3 is switched on, the Eject button is also pressed in quick succession. LEDs light up on the USB device to indicate mode of operation.

Its basic premise is that you seem to be able to perform backups of games to an external HDD, and then be able to run them as if you had loaded the game CD/DVD/BluRay into the drive on the PS3. This sounds great in practice.

Although BluRay discs seem to be quite resistant to scratches, once a game disc fails to load - then you are stuffed. Time to go out to the shops and buy another. This device fits the bill for my requirements, although having said that, I can see other miscreants using it for copying say rented games.

I'm convinced that Sony will be trying their best over the next week or so to release a new firmware update to negate this device's effect on the operation of the PS3. If they are unable to do so, then I might be interested! It may possibly give me the option of being able to perhaps reinstall my Ubuntu Linux as another OS to use, which was the 'other os' option that Sony so kindly removed for me in a previous firmware update.

Fingers crossed.

More info available here in the Register article:

PS3 jailbroken - The Register

Tuesday, 17 August 2010

SATA connections

I'm a touch 'old school' when it comes to connections inside or outside computers. I had the pleasure of sorting out a PC that belonged to the parents of a dear friend over the weekend, and all seemed to be going well.

They had a rather dodgy version of Windows 7 installed and Microsoft Security Essentials was complaining that it might not be 'genuine software'. I elected to remove this and install Grisoft's excellent AV product called AVG. All was going well, until I went to reboot. I had removed a game CD from the CD drive prior to rebooting.

System rebooted and promptly told me there were disk errors - press Ctrl Alt Del to restart. Each restart then displayed differing errors, namely - slight corruption on the BIOS screen, failure at different points of the boot process, and oh dear, it was all going wrong for Johnnyboy at that point.

After checking the obvious, and then booting into my OS on my USB flash drive, all seemed OK. I normally carry around an install of Puppy Linux 4 OS to assist me in case Windows can't boot. And that happens rather too often for my liking.

Opening up the case revealed a rather warm PC. The power supply unit (PSU) was in the opposite corner of the case to that which I was expecting, and consequently covered most of the motherboard connections for the PC/case. I hadn't been able to figure out why I wasn't able to boot up after simply removing the CD.

After a bit of prodding around and checking, and then reseating cables, I discovered the cause. The CD drive had ejected rather forcefully (a good example of this effect would be a slide hammer) and in doing so had made the connection for the SATA HDD lose partial connection with the motherboard. I suspect that this was mainly due to the heat build-up and subsequent heating/cooling effect when the PC was switched off and on, and therefore making the connections possibly somewhat looser than required.

IDE connections are very firm and secure, but hard to work with in the confines of a PC case. SATA cables are great, and easy to work with but the less than solid connection has always concerned me. If you ever have troubles booting your PC after installing a new HDD, then I would certainly recommend checking the SATA cable connections as a first port of call.

Friday, 13 August 2010

Dad in hospital last night

I had a frightening moment this morning when I woke to find a text msg from my Mum, saying that Dad had gone to hospital at 3am this morning on a 999 call. Apparently, he had breathing difficulties.

I arrived at the hospital to find my father in good spirits. It seems that he had suffered his first asthma attack, which wasn't too bad I guess for a 73 year old spring chicken. So panic mode over, and I can now relax again.


Thursday, 12 August 2010

Call of Duty - Black Ops

The latest offering in the Call of Duty series of games is called Black Ops. There's a preview video available here:

Call Of Duty: Black Ops

The ability to send a remote-controlled car  is ingenious - think something along these lines: (Tamiya model r/c car)


After my return from Uruguay last year, and a consultancy position working at my last company on an LDAP/Active Directory implementation project, I'm looking for work.

If there are any openings within your organisation or company, then of course I'd be glad to hear from you. Skills include HP-UX, Unix, Windows, Linux, ssh, DNS, TCP/IP, LDAP, Active Directory, rsync et al.