Archive for the ‘Tips and Help’ Category

Retro game carts don’t save anymore? Fixable, of course..

If you’re a collector you’re bound to have come across this scenario. You buy a SNES or NES game from ebay, or you dig one out of the cupboard, and insert it to find:

Save Game 1: —  –/–/–

Save Game 2: — –/–/–

etc..

Nightmare! So you think, well, maybe it will be ok. You start your game. You play a bit, you save, you go to bed.

Next morning, still no game!! Read on..

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Scam, Spam and Jam

Scam

A quick tip off about a scam going round at the moment “on ebay” which might catch you out.

I say “on ebay”, because actually that’s just the thing. It’s not. It’s actually just an email directed at you, with a question designed to get a “rise” out of you, so that you click the reply link in blind rage without thinking, and before you know it, you’ve given away your password.

How it works:

1) Scammer gets your username and email address from ebay. This is not hard, given that if you’re a business you probably have this info available on your about me page.

2) Scammer sends you an email like the one I received this morning:

I saw that you relist the item 200344258848. What is the bottom price for it?
Richard Nye

where the item number above contained a link to:

“signin.ebay.co.uk.ws.ebayisaapi.dll…”
(good so far right? If you only read this far, or your email client only shows the first few characters, it looks genuine – but the rest..)
“.tanglewoodkennels.com”

.wtf?

So yeah, there is a vague chance that you might click on this page thinking it’s real.

3) The page you’re directed to looks and feels like an ebay login page. You duly enter your username and password. Scammer then laughs all the way to the bank, as he’s just got your username and password for free.

I’ve seen a couple of these that contain ridiculous complaints, like “The item you have sent me <link to fake ebay page> has broken and I am going to leave you negative feedback”. Obviously this is a dangerous situation, as a seller you might rush to investigate, not sit back and think rationally.

The solution is simple:

Never reply to messages or respond to emails by clicking a link. Always go to your ebay “my messages” by typing in www.ebay.co.uk or .com yourself manually by hand.

If someone emails you from an address other than ebay, dont click any links. You can type item IDs manually into ebay search too.

A litle extra effort goes a long way.

Spam

I realise that posting this won’t make a blind bit of difference, but I’d like to mention that I have a wordpress plugin that completely filters all spam comments. It really does.

I recommend it to anyone with wordpress. It’s called “akismet”.

So, crazy spammers – you can post comments like this:

I enjoyed the article and thanks in esteem of posting such valuable appellation after all of us to skim, I skiff it both of avail oneself of and instructional and I ungracious sketch to address it as usually as I can

..as much as you like. It’s not going to get through, and your spammy links aren’t going to end up on the web through me. Even in the highly unlikely event that akismet misses your post, I still moderate all posts. It seems such a shame that you clearly waste your time with such….eloquent…erm….well yes.

Jam

Well, it rhymes with the aforementioned. Nothing else to say about that.

How to refurbish your SNES controllers – a guide

After 10+ years of use and abuse, you have probably completely forgotten how firm and responsive your SNES pads used to be. Restore your snes pads back to full working order and nice stiff response, with this guide, and the kit – available here.

Here’s the process, very simple as you will see…

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Retro collectors beware: polystyrene inners damage your cables!

This is actually a serious warning, not a joke. A hardcore collector will probably have observed this phenomenon but might not realise what’s going on. Well, here’s the lowdown!

For the Americans, by polystyrene you call it “styrofoam”. That clears that up for starters.

You may have seen this, you may not. Chances are if you have any boxed consoles, you will. The effect LOOKS as if the polystyrene around wires (gamepad cables, mains wires, RF leads) has melted. Only wires are affected. The polystyrene may be stuck completely to the wire, or it might be carefully removed.

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Packing Games to Survive the Mail!

Big Big Big topic here for any game collectors, as promised a post on this subject.

I get a lot of games sent to me in the mail, and I’d say probably 50% of them are invariably packed with almost no protection at all. Out of those, probably half have suffered some crush injury as a result. You can’t blame the postal system for this – they have a job to do, and I truly think they do it well. Fact is, your packet should be able to survive being at the bottom of a mail sack, with possibly even another mail sack on top of it. SNES and Gameboy games just aren’t designed for that sort of punishment.

I have been shipping games now for some time. Initially I had some teething problems with a few different packing techniques I tried, but I have settled on one which, to date, has resulted in no reported damage in the mail ever. I’m not here to gloat about it – I’m here to inform. This is how I would like my items to be packed when they arrive at my door please!! Read on..

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Removing price labels on games the easy way

If I were to ask my buyers what the most annoying thing about buying a rare high priced SNES game is, the answer would probably be that it gets crushed in the mail. More about that later though.

The second most annoying thing about buying a rare high priced SNES game is the price labels or other annoyances that shops have a habit of adorning the boxes with.

A sticky label adhered to printed cardboard is not the easiest thing to remove. Add to that almost 20 years of settling and most often the print and adhesive have “become one”.

Fear not, fellow collectors. In my quest for answers I have accidentally come across a miracle solvent for the removal of labels on just about any surface. Read on! Read the rest of this entry »

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