PSP Dead Pixel Woes

Before I went to Amos, I bought a PSP at my local Toys R Us. I didn't open it until 600km later when I reached my destination. Turns out there were 2 dead pixels and 1 piece of dust stuck in between the protective screen and the LCD itself. I was infuriated. Not because of the fact that I had bought a defective product (I thought I could always return it) but because of what's stated on page 13 of the PSP manual :

"Red, blue or green spots (bright spots) or black spots (dark spots) may appear in certain locations on the LCD screen. The appearance of such spots is a normal occurence associated with LCD screens and is not a sign of a malfuction. LCD screens are made using highly precise technology. However, a very small number of dark pixels or continuously lit pixels exist on each screen."

Now, I understand that for all that it does (movie/music/console) the PSP is on the cheap end. And to get it out that cheap you had to make compromises. Among those compromises were poor quality control on the LCD screens. Fair enough. I don't mind a company that accepts that a certain percentage of units will be defective to lower costs. What I do mind is a company that guilt trips it's customers into thinking it's their fault if they think there is a problem with their screen. A company that lies about the nature of LCD screens, stating that "each screen" as in "all LCD screens ever built" have burned, defective pixels. A company that tries to make you feel like a moron for thinking there's a problem. That I mind.

I have used several LCDs, on my laptops, digital cameras and Gameboy Advance. I have never had any dead pixel on them. Don't tell all LCDs have them, unless you previously painted "sucker" on my forehead.

I have to say this turn of event stressed me during my vacation. I was 600 km away from the place of purchase and had no idea how Toys R Us would deal with my return. Would they try to tell me my unit was fine (like Sony is trying to tell me)? To my defense, the piece of unremovable dust caught in the middle of LCD screen would probably save me, as it was not a "normal occurence found in all LCD screen".

I went to Toys R Us and I'm happy to report that they've accepted my return. In fact, even 1 burned pixel would've been enough. I'm very happy and satisfied that unlike Sony, they recognize that shelling 300$ for a piece of equipment that is defective is not something to be happy about. They gladly replaced my PSP and this one looks top notch. I still have about 40 days to make sure of this before my store warranty ends and I have to deal directly with Sony. Hope it never comes to that.

Thumbs up Toys R Us, thumbs down Sony.


One C.R.A.Z.Y. movie

I saw the movie C.R.A.Z.Y. over the weekend while on a trip to my hometown of Amos, Quebec. Excellent movie, great acting. It's in french (you can probably get it subtitled). It's drama with a touch of nostalgia. You follow one child of one suburban Quebec family from the '60s all the way to the '80s. It's mostly about homosexuality and how intolerant towards it people were in those days. (Of course there's still alot of intolerance, but I like to believe it's not as widespread). Anyway, check it out. 8/10.


Things that suck about the Battlefield 2 demo

- Most servers run 12 minutes games. Come on people, 12 minutes isn't enough for any serious games.
- Server time limit is badly reported on the server selection screen. You'll often see 12 minutes even with games without time limits.
- Server selection screen will make the computer freeze completely when you try to use filters.
- Many servers don't have VoIP support. No VoIP? Why not play Desert Combat instead?
- "There is a problem with your connection", yeah, except in every other game or application.

Getting to a 32+ game without the 12 minutes limit and with voice support is getting to be very complicated. If you know of any good reliable servers without the problems above, let me know!


Look me up in the Gulf of Oman

Downloaded the demo of Battlefield 2. Like it so far. Not enough people use voicechat I find. Squad and strategic features are also underused. Maybe it's all too new. Look me up, I'm Sheng Han Abdoulette.

Update : Finally had two awesome experiences. One as part of a squad that used voicechat extensively, we were really really working out as part of a team (malarkey###, a few others). Unfortunately the team commander was silent and passive, so the next game I got to be commander and it really rocked because 3 of the 5 squad leaders were using voicechat so the effort was coordinated like I've never seen in Battlefield. Integrated voicechat is IMO the defining upgrade since 1942. Strategic mode and homing missiles rank second. Can't wait for the real deal.

BTW the demo is buggy, first release will probably be buggy. Already looking forward to the patches :-)


Episode III sucks!

Episode III was a major disappointment. The number of inconsistencies within that universe skyrockets again, as this movie is a series of artificially and forcefully strung together events. That wouldn't be so bad if the dialogues weren't even more artificial than the plot. Some say bad acting, I say you can't deliver these terrible lines with any credibility, no matter what your acting skills. Want to show your position to the vocal but very wrong majority? Check out this store.

And check out these people, who are just so damn right about this. Here, and here.

Update : 2028 hours, another good review from the Montreal Mirror.