Collection of random stuff

The Motorkhana event photos are up! Check them out here: http://www.kaichia.com/events/05/051204M/

Internet shopping can be really rewarding. A 40GB hard disk came in the mail today. It costs RM25 plus postage. Now I have more storage than ever. Hmm.. come to think about it, this hard disk costs more than my IDE to USB converter.

The damai trip has been cancelled because of costs problems and lack of people.

Need online storage? Check out the free file host list! Continue reading

Mp3 player resurrection!

I mentioned that I was working on a secret project. This is it. Here’s the full coverage:

I (or rather zhing) bought a used 1GB mp3 player for RM120 plus postage from KL. The reason the seller was selling? The volume control buttons were spoilt and the volume was stuck at 0. No one listens to mp3s at 0 volume I presume. That means all the player can do is store files. So he sold it at a “1GB thumbdrive” price. As far as I know, 1GB mp3 players are selling for around RM250-300 if I’m not mistaken.

So it was quite a bargain. But now to solve the volume control problem. I figured that it would take at most 15 minutes to get it fixed. And I was right, until someone came along and screwed the whole player up. And it took me another 3 days to get it fixed.


RM120 1GB mp3 player with everything working except volume control.


With backcover opened. Here you can clearly see (maybe not in this photo) that both volume control buttons are missing. Surprise surprise!


Dug deeper into the player to see how it’s like. The biggest chip there is the Samsung 1GB memory chip.


I found one of the volume control buttons floating in the player.


Testing out the volume control buttons. I managed to turn the volume up by shorting the volume control contacts. But it wasn’t a permanent solution because once the battery is taken out, the volume falls back to 0.

And then the unexpected happened. I went out to “ta pao” dinner and when I came back, Shih told me that the player is dead. He had shorted out the whole thing. Nothing works. But I know it’s not really dead. Probably the firmware was corrupted. Luckily I know of a forum that is dedicated to these kind of players. It’s at http://www.s1mp3.org/en/ and I started to browse for a suitable firmware. Let me tell you, finding the right firmware for your dead player is harder than finding a non-existant needle in a haystack. I didn’t find it.


Downloading firmwares…

Believe me when I say I tried over 100 firmwares and none worked. Uploading a new firmware is not as easy as plugging it into the computer and running a firmware upload program. First you have to short the pins on the memory chip to make it think that it has a corrupted firmware. It was very frustrating and the seller wasn’t being helpful. He said there wasn’t any CD that came with it.

Anyways, I found one firmware that was “compatible” with my player. It could load the menus and all that. But the thing is the buttons are all messed up. The play button became the next button, the next button became the enter button and so on. There wasn’t a play function! So I still couldn’t play mp3s. Without any choice, I decided to try my luck on modifying the firmware myself. I won’t go into details here, because they all involve replacing numbers. Read the How to fix your button configuration guide here if you are interested.

I managed to get all the buttons fixed except for the previous button. That means I can’t scroll back. But that’s not such a big problem. And the best thing is that this firmware sets the volume at a proper level! So I don’t need the volume control buttons anymore!


Plays like a dream! Hard work really pays off!

Okay, you might be saying that you’re better off with a new player if your player is in the same condition as my player. But hey, don’t expect much from a RM120 1GB mp3 player ;) Continue reading