It’s Not My Fault That My Xbox 360 Likes To Eat Discs….

…or that it freezes at the worst possible times!

Frustrating, annoying, and a total pain in the arse, my Xbox 360 has always been prone to errors. I clearly remember errors first surfacing back when I was playing Gears of War 1. I would constantly get that annoying ‘disc unreadable’ error whenever I tried to continue from a certain checkpoint online. My 360 just loves to eat discs, and it doesn’t matter what way the system is positioned either, it still happens. But I couldn’t part with my 360 then and it’s really hard for me to part with it now…

Why? Well, you see, with some extra time on my hands for gaming, it would really suck if I didn’t have a console to play. Sure, I’d still have my Wii (but when was the last time I’ve played that) and my DS, but I need my Xbox 360 around so I can reach my goals of beating all those games on my list (Well, except for the DS game Phantom Hourglass, of course).

Recently, my 360 has managed to annoy me enough that I may just have to part with it. The other night, while I was playing Dead Space (because Dead Space is really meant to be played at night so the screams of the creatures when they jump out at you also make you jump out of your skin), my 360 froze and displayed a bunch of blue vertical lines on screen.

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There wasn’t a red ring problem at all. I just remember hearing the disc stop spinning and not even the controller was responding. So I decided to just try it again in the morning.

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The next day, I was savoring the feeling of satisfaction of killing an enemy by test firing the shuttle engines at the precise moment, before he was able to regenerate. It was so great to finally see him burn up in the flames hehe..until I hear the disc stop spinning and see the blue vertical lines again. OMG! I wanted to throw the controller right at the screen. My 360 definitely hates me. Or, from what I’ve read online, the blue lines are the result of overheating. I’ve made sure that my 360 has adequate ventilation to prevent it from overheating but the error persists.

I just want to keep the system long enough to beat Dead Space (2 more chapters left) and then I will send it in for repair. I checked online and someone posted that for this same error, he paid $139 USD for his repair. I’m hoping it will be the same price for me. Considering that it has the disc problem as well as the hardware issue..it may cost a little more. A new Xbox 360 is around $300..and I, unfortunately, can’t afford it right now.

Besides the cost for the repair, another concern I have is how long I’d be without the system. I’ve heard the stories of long lost consoles, 360s taking months to be returned, and it’s not something I’m looking forward to. For those of you who have had to send your 360s in, do you remember how long it took to be returned?

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Cash only (?!)

When you can’t use your debit card…

I was at the grocery store the other day, it was the usual trip, you go in for one thing and come out with a few more items than planned. Anyways, I was all set to pay and as I was about to scan my debit card, the cashier says something about their debit system being down. I asked her if it was just this cashier or was it the whole store, and she had to ruin my day by saying it was the whole system. Unfortunately, I didn’t bring a credit card, and I rarely have cash on me, so I told her I would have to come back. She pointed me in the direction of an ATM, but for fear of the bank fees, I told her I would walk to my own bank and be back shortly.

I am so used to being able to just swipe my debit card that I don’t ever think to carry any cash. Debit transactions are included in the number of monthly transactions I am allowed and its a lot more convenient these days.

It seems the only times I have cash are for “Cash Only” restaurants. But just seeing that “Cash Only” sign is enough to make me cringe. Why must you be the minority? Can’t you accept debit cards??

This kinda reminds me of what the future is like, or at least the future depicted in some Sci-Fi shows like Babylon 5, where they just swipe their card all over the station and never have to worry about cash.

Speaking of Babylon 5, I have recently finished watching the first season, and must say that I am impressed with the number of really good episodes in the first season. What I always enjoyed about Babylon 5 is how each episode builds on the previous ones, and the overall story is told over the show’s entire lifetime. I can’t wait to get the second season so I can watch more B5 😛