I have now moved into my new falmouth accommodation. Its pretty nasty. But I wont bore you with the lengthy list of problems we've had to address in order to make the place habitable. I occupy the very top of 14 Tregenver Road, aptly named the "attic room". So I'm blogging from my supior vantage point, on stolen wifi, not sure which neighbour is facilitating this. Our own broadband should be arriving on the 27th. And now for the main event:

 Recently Bernard, my Playstation 3, died. It suffered from overheating, this melted the "heat sync" pads that monitor the respective temperatures of the RSX graphics chip and Cell processor...I think. This is known as the yellow light of death, or to be more precise, red blinking light of pure evil. After the initial despair and checking out my various repair options I decided I had nothing to lose in attempting to repair it myself. I mean it was completely broken. What could possible be worse? This was my reasoning anyway.

So I turned down Sony's offer of a £120 repair where I wouldn't even get my own system back and opted to buy around £35 worth of tools and materials myself and perform some mechanical surgery of my own.

I could not have done it without this guy who uploaded a series of videos to youtube detailing the complex process of "re-flowing" the PS3. So I set to work, armed with a heat gun, some flux organic solder, cleaning alcohol (99%), a range of screw drivers (precision and standard), and a tube of Arctic Silver 5 thermal compound. Me and my flatmate Liam stripped away layer after layer of the PS3's. There was such a shit tonne of screws I decided to draw out a piece a diagram stating how many there were of each screw as we removed them, how long it was, and where it went for when we reassembled it. Hardcore right?

Right at the centre of the PS3 lives the motherboard. It was dusty as hell, and there was melted thermal compound covering the chip covers and heat sync pads. So after cleaning all this off it was time to do the actual fixing part, this consists of strategically heating the motherboard and resoldering some of the SPU's with the flux at varying heats and for different amounts of time with the heat gun. Now my heat gun was a cheap thing of amazon which has heats 0,1 and 2. According to the manual this means off 300 and 600 degrees. Whilst following the instructional video I got caught up in the heat of the moment (hahaha haha ha...ha?) and didnt hear the temperature given in fahrenheit, not centigrade. So on my second pass of the heat gun I nearly melted one of the SPU covers into a tar like puddle, fortunately it mearly resembles a slightly shinier and more rubber like version of its original self.

Once that was done, and I was convinced I had screwed up the most crucial and risky stage of the operation; I applied a fresh coat of thermal compound to the heat sync pads and proceeded to reassemble. Incredibly, despite far from flawless craftsmanship, Bernard breathed once more. I felt cautious about using him at first, he still seemed fragile in my mind, so I limited him to 40 minutes of Batman: Arkham Asylum every night just to ease him back to full health, or as close as he'd ever be.

Probably not the most fascinating of blog posts but I thought I'd share this little ancedote as an insight into the ways I fuel my passion for gaming. Meanwhile here's an incredible gameplay demo for Bioshock: Infinite. Prepare to catch your jaw in your lap.


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