It was awesome 15 years ago

I finally gave in to pangs of nostalgia and got a Super Nintendo last weekend. The selection on games was limited (and in fact so were the systems, I got the last one Gamers at Oakview had), but I managed to get out of the store with the deck, F-Zero, and Super Metroid.

Side story on that…

Gamers in Omaha officially sucks donkey balls. Things were wierd when I worked there 6 years ago, but I presumed it was for self defense against abusive customers more than anything else. For one thing I had to give my name, address, and phone number just to get a receipt and a warranty. What is Gamers really doing with that information? When I worked there, the explanation was we just wanted to get to know our customers, but if somebody objected we were cool with that. Not anymore. If you value your privacy enough not to divulge information about yourself to someone you don’t know working for a business you don’t patronize too frequently, you are a second-class customer to Gamers. Nevertheless, I wanted a Super Nintendo, and I was willing to take the risk.

Everything I bought looked and ran like absolute shit. This wouldn’t have slid by when I was working there. The simple fact is we would pay somebody $10 in cash for their Super Nintendo and turn around and sell it for $35. With a profit margin like that, you can afford to have a kid making minimum wage spend 15 minutes to make a used item look presentable to customers, not to mention check to make sure everything works. Anyways, when I got home I found that neither of the games I bought would work. Was it the games, or the console? Time to troubleshoot, with the prospect that I might have to go buy another SNES if this one is busted in the back of my mind. I gave the each of the games the Windex + Q-tips treatment, and that didn’t work. So apart came the console, and an hour later I had the solution – turned out the 62-pin connector that the cartridges slide into needed a good shot of compressed air. I cleaned that off and closed the case up, and voila – working games. Except for Metroid, because the PCB is dented and one of the connectors is basically destroyed. I can get that game to load maybe half the time. That’s ok though, because my copy of Final Fantasy 2 just came in the mail today and I have a feeling I’m going to be spending a lot of time revisiting that classic as it is.

It took me in excess of 2 hours to actually clean the console. Rubbing alcohol, paper towels, toothbrush, Q-tips, and elbow grease. But the real reason I cleaned the console wasn’t because I’m anal about how my electronics look (I am), or because it actually presented a threat to its own operability (it didn’t), but because I had plans in mind for it. Plans that involved spray paint – lots of spray paint. Can’t very well spray paint something when you’ve got somebody’s crayon on it, can you? Anyways, the paint job is finished and the console has been put back together – still in working order – and the results are pretty slick. I’ll post pictures when I get them.

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