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Temaelrin

Shit I've Bought from eBay #2 - Pokémon Cards

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Temaelrin

When you were younger; did you collect Pokémon Cards?

Chances are if you were born in the late 80s/early 90s you probably did, I know I certainly did and I was pretty efficient at doing so, owning at least 6,000 or 7,000 Pokémon Cards by the time it went out of style, but I handled many, many more despite the fact that I only ever purchased 2 booster packs at the very beginning. I am going to start this topic by sharing some of my memories of Pokémon Cards and I really hope that you also share your memories too; please leave a comment and tell me what your fondest or darkest memories of the whole thing was for you.

There’s a lot of stories associated with these little cards in my history, I became quite astute in Pokémon card economics for my area where I’d see a hole in the ‘Market’ as it were and where I’d go out and ‘buy’ those cards cheap by trading outside of my area (Like around Darbyshire, Oxfordshire, Staffordshire, Wiltshire, Devonshire, Denbighshire and so on) depending on my travels; as I travelled a lot with family. I’d also quite often bulk up my deck by picking up Pokémon cards that were discarded by people who had way too many of that card and didn’t want them, it was very common in my primary school for students to dump cards and just toss them to the ground when they didn’t want them, or for students to drop the cards by accident, and for them to get blown around in the wind. I never got a shiny from anything like that, but I did get some neat cards, and I was willing to pick them up. As deck bulkers.

Of course I’d bring those acquisitions home and start bidding wars with groups of other people who wanted them to maximise my profits (In cards) which explains pretty much how I got hold of my ‘vast fortune’ of Pokémon cards. I didn’t need to resort to ‘crime’; IE - Stealing Cards, Fraud or anything like that because I was pretty damn successful at it. My favourite trick was to trade one card for multiple cards; and once (my best deal ever!) when I brought back an illusive shiny Charizard (Which I traded a Venusaur and Chansey shinies to someone who had three Charizards), I got it purely to trade with someone in my area who was willing to part with half of their collection (Including several shiny cards - which included a Venusaur and Chansey!)

Why? Because both of the people I was dealing with were collectors - respectable collectors that were only ever interested in completing the sets that they had; Base, Jungle, Fossil and Team Rocket's “Dark” cards. I was less interested in ‘buying’ from ordinary people and more interested in selling to them instead, and ‘buying’ from collectors who had no interest in having multiple copies of the same card. 

By the end of it; I had 4 Charizards. One in great - mint condition; that was for my private collection and was kept safe in a photo frame that I had in my bedroom; it was the pride of my collection and I very rarely took it out (Except for one incident), and I had three that were in decreasing conditions; one of them was barely a card anymore as the previous owner took it to bed with them and cuddled it causing it to be severely damaged and even the front was splitting from the back and there was no amount of repair work that could fix it; and surprise, surprise no one wanted it. 

Did I ever have a deal that went bad? Well to be honest, some of my deals felt like a drug deal. I’d have protection, the other side would have protection (In numbers of people) and we’d trade by putting one card on one table and the other side putting their cards on another table before crossing over to collect each other’s cards and leaving. I am and always have been a tall bloke; I am currently around six foot six (6’ 6”) and I was quite tall for my age when I was younger; and extremely strong for my age too. I tried to avoid deals that had to go to certain lengths but when you’re trying to run a ‘Pokémon Card Empire’ in your local area, sometimes you needed to make fantastic trades from people with bad reputations, something I thought I could mitigate with ‘Protection’.

One time I remember distinctly that I had a knife pulled on me (I was ~12 years old at the time)... Needless to say my reputation for people who fuck me around is as infamous as it is today. I become extremely unpredictable. Very quickly the guy who pulled the knife, lost control over me, I stared at him blankly and told him to put it down before he poked someone's eye out with it, or I’d ramn it up his arse. He laughed thinking that he had the upper hand, but then I just kind of lunged for him, grabbing his wrist with one hand and his throat with my other hand, knocking him onto the floor. I don’t remember too much of what happened during the struggle - this kid was around the same age I was, and he was holding me at knife point (With one of those red covered swiss army knives, with a tiny blade) and there we were fighting each other over fucking cards. I realised this when I had him to the floor, his own knife to his own neck below my hand; telling him to just let it go. He didn’t want to; and I could see it in his eyes. I told him ‘If you don’t drop it, then I’m going to push it in. If you let go; I can’t do that. Please let go.’ He eventually dropped it and I told him “Look at us. We’re going to kill each other over Pokémon cards. For fuck sake man.”...

The above story is absolutely true in that it was a dream. It's a particularly nasty dream that I remember to this day because of the effect it had on me. I woke up afterwards and reassessed what my (I guess you could call it) subconscious was telling me. I kind of saw that one of these days these deals with bad people is going to backfire, like it did in my dream, and I kind of stopped trading with bad people. This was brought about by the amount of people who were getting beaten up for the Pokémon cards, it was so bad that I remember it even being on the news at one point too. A young kid at the end of my street was left needing stitches because some other kids beat him up for his cards.

I have a story that I will share, that actually happened in that it happened in real life, not in a dream or nightmare, but real. Whether you believe it or not is up to you.

I was in a Pokémon card battle with a school bully in Primary School who when he’d win against people he’d take their Pokémon cards, he’d entice them with, “If you win, you can have all my cards. If I win you have to give me all of your cards.” He had advertised it the previous week, that he was doing it on the following Monday, and I knew exactly what was going to happen. (Spoiler alert: It did happen). It was the one time I risked my good Charizard; because I knew I was going to be in a position where I was going to be winning back the cards that everyone lost. He played fair and reasonable in each battle, having done about eight when I decided to stop this and challenge him, after watching his strategy. Needless to say, as soon as I started evolving my Charmeleons on the bench into Charizards, he started sweating. When I won... He didn’t play fair.

When he lost he didn’t live up to his end of the deal which I fully expected; I told him to the effect of; “I don’t want your cards; I just want the cards that you’ve taken from people. If you want to walk away from this with your own cards then do I am telling you. If you don’t want to walk away with your cards then carry on doing what you’re doing.” You’d think he’d chose the former option, but no, he chose the latter. After securing my cards which was easy for me because I only brought my fighting deck where as he had all of his cards there. I decked the ten tonnes of shit out of him, and took all the cards including his own; just as I promised, put them in my bag… Although I had to be careful where I was putting them, because my bag had a hole in the bottom of it, so I put them within this kind of stiched on meshed compartment in the bag that would hold them all. Then I got the fuck off School Premises, and took my stash home because I knew he’d go straight to a teacher and blab. I snuck into my home, and put the cards somewhere safe, and then I also made sure to have a new deck of cards, putting my fighting cards away and kept the other cards safe. The new deck of cards I had was full of my lowest quality cards that was mainly energy cards and trainers and I went back with them. When I came back, I hid behind one of the mobile buildings between a hedge and the building and waited for a teacher to find me. Why? Because that was my alibi. I didn’t “Leave the School.” I was hiding all along. I sat there and started planning every possible outcome I could think of to try and keep my story credible. 

The headmaster eventually found me and ordered me to get to his office where I found the fellow classmate I had beaten the shit out of nursing his wounds and forming bruises, and I just smirked at him… Like a fucking nutcase. When the headmaster wanted to get to the bottom of it; I decided because at this point I had nothing to lose to be almost completely honest with him. The only thing I lied about was the going home bit - as that would destroy my insurance. I told him that he was battling people for their Pokémon cards; and when they lost they had to hand over all of their cards or he’d beat them up. The headmaster said “Well then they knew what they were getting themselves into, not that, that’s okay. But that’s their fault. They could have said no to the battle in the first place.” So I said “we had the same deal”, I was the last to do it, and the deal was that if I lost I had to hand over all my cards or else I’d be beaten up. If he lost he’d have to hand over all of his Pokémon cards. He lost and refused to hand over his cards and all the cards that he won off of the fellow students. So I beat him up. 

The headmaster didn’t like that, and started pinning the whole thing on me; I repeated back to him “Well he knew what he was getting himself into, not that it’s okay, but he could have said no to the battle in the first place.” But of course he tried to twist and turn it, he then asked “What did you do after that?” To which I said “I ran from the playground and hid behind the classroom where you found me.”

The headteacher then did exactly what I thought he was going to do. He told me to give him all of the cards I took from the student. (Give to the head teacher that is, not the student) to which I feigned resistance - after all if I make it look like I was all too willing to, I was concerned that it was going to look too easy. After several threats of expulsion I handed over the cards and said “That’s all of them.” Which the student said it wasn’t even a quarter of them. I told him “It’s all of them.” This would be the second lie I told. The head teacher then forced me to empty my bag and pockets, and even sent the receptionist out to go look for the cards around where I was found. Because of course he believed the bully over me. (And people wonder why I was such a little fucking shit back then?) 

When the receptionist came back and said that she couldn’t find anything the head teacher asked me “Where are the Pokémon cards?” For a moment I thought I was about to be found out, I thought my clever plan was falling apart right from underneath my feet, and I couldn’t understand how or why, because he was questioning everything. I told him and lied again, “That IS all of them. I don’t have anymore!”

My fatal flaw in my plan had become obvious when my head teacher asked “So where are the cards that you won the battle with?” Damn it; why does my head teacher had to have children who’s explained how they worked to him! I had to come up with an excuse fast, and the first thing I could think of was “I mixed the cards up, they’re all there… Including mine.” It was the third lie I told, and I only planned to tell one lie… I was already seeing that I was building a wall of lies… I had to stick to it - in hindsight like playing Poker. He then asked “So if he won a battle with eight pupils, and each battle deck has sixty cards including yours and his that’s at least six hundred cards. So where are they? This isn’t six hundred cards.”

I fucked up.

I fucked up bad. 

I hadn’t even taken that into consideration and I was kicking myself, that I hadn’t even thought about that, I had the perfect plan but I missed something so fucking obvious. I told him that on the way from the playground to the building I “dropped” the other cards somewhere on the path knowing that it was a high traffic area and that any student could just come along and pick them all up. It wasn’t uncommon to find Pokémon cards lying around when I was at school, either cards that someone chucked away because they were worthless or dropped by accident - as I said in the first paragraph. In fact most of the cards in this deck I gave the headmaster were what I called ‘dropsies’. I said that I couldn’t go back and pick them up because I didn’t want to get found by anyone as I only realised when I was hiding that they fell through the hole in my bag. I acted pissed off about it, to really sell that I was kicking myself for doing it. 

“You could have put them in the netted compartment in your bag.” My headteacher said to which I replied indignantly “Yeah I could of! Then I’d still have them. That’s all that’s left… I’m annoyed as it is, that I didn’t.” The lies were just compounding and compounding by this point, as I put on a look of annoyance, I was thinking about the lies I was spinning and working out if any of this was worth it or not, and what my narrative had changed from when I originally planned this out to what it was now, and focusing on trying to remember the key fake-facts of my narrative. 

The head teacher then told us both to show him where it happened and we all went outside to the playground where we showed him where the battle happened, we discussed a few things there, before he then told me to show me the route I took to when I went to go hide, which I did. I showed him my route making sure to tell him “I was running so my bag was bouncing up and down at this point…” And he was looking everywhere for cards, it just so happened that on the path we were walking by there was two Pokémon cards in the bush - a Grass Energy and an Electric Energy, and further down the pavement there was another card a Caterpie, I told him that “The cards must have dropped here and someone came along and picked them up.” But regardless we continued to the building I hid behind and said “I opened my bag and took out the only cards I had left. I swore loudly as I realised that I lost nearly all of them; and I put what I had left into my pocket because I didn’t want to lose anymore.”

We then went back to his office where the bastard gave the son of a bitch bully the Pokémon cards he took off of me and said “Let that be a lesson to you to never battle people for their cards again. You got lucky in that you got some of your cards back. But if I hear you’re doing it again, I will suspend you.” I felt relieved because if he was buying into the narrative that they were his cards then my lies worked, or were convincing enough for him to believe it. He then looked at me and told me that I was suspended for two days and my father will be called to pick me up for fighting a student. 

To me; getting suspended was no big deal - it actually happened often in Primary School (In year 4 especially) and I took it as two days off to play computer games or study on my own terms, and my own things… Or watch Star Trek:TNG and Voyager. xD

My father wasn’t happy - of course. And I couldn’t tell him the truth because I knew he’d take my cards from me, and go back to the school with all of my cards just to “teach me a lesson.” I was grounded, and when I went back to school I told the people who lost their cards to come to mine on Saturday when my grounding was let off. I also told them to come to me with a list of Pokémon cards that they knew that they had in their collections, and I’d happily hand them back over to them. My father was going to be out in the back garden mowing the lawn and my mother was going to be at work on that day.

There was a couple of them that claimed that they had cards that weren’t in the collection I stashed away, and I told them to be honest with me, otherwise they’re getting absolutely none of their cards back. One of them tried to push their luck but when I told them “That’s it. I’m keeping your cards.” He fessed up and admitted that he lied. I got pretty much all of the cards back to their rightful owners; and was left with the bully’s original collection, and several others… Where I got the Chansey that I’d later use to trade to get a Charizard. 

And if the bully ever reads this; and knows exactly who I am from it because he’d know the story, then you’ll know exactly what this means; “I’m such a winner that even your mum thinks that you’re a loser.” (It was his favourite phrase). This was one of the factors that eventually lead to Pokémon Cards being banned from the school; what put it in the coffin was when teachers started confiscating cards and people would come back to the classroom when it was empty and steal them. I know this because I proved it could be done, when I stole some from the teachers drawer that she had confiscated from my friend, just so I could  promptly return them to my friend, after school because the Teacher was going to confiscate them for “a month” - something I felt she wasn’t allowed to do. -- Again I don’t view that as stealing, I view that as taking back my friend’s property to give it back to my friend. I didn’t request or take payment.

I did feel dirty about lying, but I didn’t want him to win, and because I stuck with it, I won. Was it stealing? No. I gave him every chance and opportunity to play fair. But he didn’t. I had to lie… I don’t feel right about it, but at the time I saw it as the ends justifies the means… At the end of the day I was doing a net good. But it was still lying… But then again, the headmaster DID give the cards back to the bully… So… What do you think? Was 10 year old me, in the right or the wrong? If you have an opinion on it let me know. I think ultimately I was in the wrong, but it’s a complicated a case; I think I used morally ambiguous means to do something good. To give the cards back to the people who lost them. 

I of course had legitimate and fun battles with people I won’t say exactly how far I got with that because it probably can be used to personally identify me. But my tactic was sound; have a deck that had two types of cards (Like if I picked Fire, I’d pick something that if the player used something strong against Fire, I’d pick something weak against them. I never battled with Psychic cards), I may have thrown a couple of Normal cards in there; that way I could keep my energy cards to a reasonable level and have room to put in some decent trainers. It was a strategy that really worked for me, and made deck building - something I spent HOURS, on my weekends doing.

By the beginning of 2004, my collection was stored in my cupboard when we moved house, and that’s where it remained for years… Now as I’ve said openly a number of times; I was quite a little shit to my parents… Well, to everyone really. In 2006 I moved out of my parents when I was 16 and moved into a friends place until they made up some bullshit and threw me out. In 2007, 6 months after I came back home I moved out again this time permanently, except during this time one of my sisters (from what I have been told by third parties) stole all of my Pokémon cards and either sold them for weed or kept them to herself. They disappeared from the face of the planet, and I’ve never seen hide nor hair of them ever since.

Which brings me to Shit I’ve bought from eBay

I was talking to @Neptune and @SMFoxy about the days where I had Pokémon cards, and obviously they were talking about the days when they had Pokémon Cards, back in September. The only one of us that was able to keep a hold of their Pokémon cards was @SMFoxy, which he mentioned here in his status later in October. Both Neptune and I however; had zero to our names; except for two or three that were given by Neptune’s sister (My sister in law) from promotional packs that contained two or three cards. We were in town doing some shopping one day and we just happened to stop by Game in the high street, where Neptune saw the Pokémon cards and sighed in lemeant as she wanted them, I asked her what was up, and she pointed them out and said that she remembered the days when you could walk into some cramped and shady looking comic book store and buy Booster Packs for a quid, or get it from a book shop but didn’t want to ask for it, or to buy something for herself to which I told her that’s fucking nonsense and then I asked her which one did she want. She picked it up and I took it from her and waltz right up to the counter and said “One of these please!” Whilst she stood there dumbfounded. 

The guy seemed to be hell bent in getting us a membership card, and offering pre-orders and god only knows what, to which I refused; I don’t shop at Game enough to warrant a card, and I don’t pre-order (Not since the X:Rebirth incident. No way. Never.) He then had no choice but to check it out, we paid £20 for it and told him to keep the change and GTFO’ed so fast it was unbelievable. Of course one of the booster packs in the tin contained a Mega Rayquaza EX, which she was very lucky to get and keeps it in a soft plastic sheet within a hard plastic wrapper because she considers it a high value card.

Items:

  1. 1x Pokemon TCG: Evolution Celebration Tin - Leafeon GX (Neppy)
  2. 1x Pokemon TCG: Battle Heart Fall 2016 Tin - Pikachu EX (Me)
  3. 3x 100 Pokemon Cards Bundle RANDOM HOLO GUARANTEED -Mixed Lot Mint (Neppy gets 150, I got 150)
  4. 1x Pokemon Promo Dragonite Card Nr Mint (Me)
  5. 1x Pokemon: Arcanine - 18/108 - Rare - XY Evolutions (Neppy)
  6. 1x Joblot Bundle Of 825+ Official Pokemon Trading Cards (No Energy Cards) (Split 50/50)
  7. 1x Dragonair rare non holo pokemon card. Base Set 18/102. Wizards of the coast. (Me)
  8. 1x Ninetales 12/102 Holo/Shiny Pokemon Card, Base Set, Rare (Neppy)
  9. 2x 90 Pokemon Energy Cards Lot - 10 of Each Type Bundle Deal (Split 50/50)
  10. 3x 100 Pokemon Cards Bundle RANDOM HOLO GUARANTEED -Mixed Lot Mint (Neppy gets 150, I got 150)

Price I paid:

  1. £19.99 (Game - Not eBay)
  2. £20.95 (Amazon - Not eBay)
  3. £27.97 - £5.01 (Buy 2 Get 1 Free)
  4. £3.49
  5. £0.99
  6. £37.49
  7. £0.99
  8. £3.24
  9. £10.00
  10. £27.97 - £5.01 (Buy 2 Get 1 Free)

Shipping:

  1. £0.00 (Bought from Retail Shop)
  2. £0.00 (Free Shipping)
  3. £0.00 (Free Shipping)
  4. £0.00 (Free Shipping)
  5. £0.00 (Free Shipping)
  6. £0.00 (Free Shipping)
  7. £2.00 (Royal Mail 2nd Class Signed For)
  8. £2.00 (Royal Mail 2nd Class Signed For)
  9. £0.00 (Free Shipping)
  10. £0.00 (Free Shipping)

Total Cost:

  • £157.08

To see the full list of both of our collections you absolutely can; right here. It’s been alphabeticalised and sorted. In the Mixed Lots (Where we would get three packs of 100 cards) we often got a little more like 103 - 105 cards. So I’d say that particular person on eBay is pretty good; and all the cards that come from them appear to be 100% genuine. If  you’re in the UK and you’re interested, in knowing who the seller is on eBay, send me an EcchiText and I’ll send you the seller’s name/listings. He usually sells them in 5’s, 10’s, 20’s, 30’s, 40’s, 50’s, 100’s. 200’s, 300’s, 400’s, 500’s and 1000’s, and at the time of writing has a buy 2 get 1 free deal (You might indeed be able to find him with that information on its own.) I can at least say that the things we’ve purchased from him were legit, and pristine. Very professional. If you play TCG Online; I think he also sells codes.

The 850 random card lot we got which was mainly commons and uncommons, there were hardly any rares in there, and if I recall - no holos. It was a bit of a bullshit buy to be honest, but the purposes of getting it was to pretty much bulk out the collection. Also I’m not going to complain 850 cards for under £40 is not bad at all, in fact I actually still left positive feedback, because there was nothing in there that wasn’t advertised, and there was nothing that was advertised but not in there. It seemed to be a one off sale, so this seller doesn’t regularly sell them.

With that aside; I will show you some pictures and show you some statistics of the cards we have. 

Here are some pictures of my cards, with a sneak peek of what’s to come in the next part of Shit I’ve Bought from eBay… 

large.IMG_1972.jpglarge.IMG_1980.jpglarge.IMG_2364.jpg

And here are Neptune’s Cards

large.IMG_2361.jpglarge.IMG_2323.jpglarge.IMG_2386.jpg

Graphs

The following graphs cover the following data:

  1. Amount of Cards in Each Set
  2. Rarity of Cards
  3. Date Obtained
  4. Card Types
  5. Pokémon Types
  6. Holographic Count

There are somethings that I feel I should point out before I start this; I am well aware that we have labeled a few things that are not canon in the Trading Card Games; for example what we call ‘Normal’ is what most would call ‘Colourless’, what we call ‘Steel’ is what most would call ‘Metal’, ‘Electric’ - ‘Lightning’ and so on. I know some of you will be itching to mention it in the comments below so I thought I’d get that out of the way. I did at least try to stick to the HTML colour pallet of the card types in “Pokémon Types”. We also only started recording date obtained after October 6th.

Amount of Cards in Each Set:

Temaelrin

large.395293709_AmountofCardsinSets.png

Neptune

large.215787808_AmountofCardsinSets.png

Rarity of Cards

Temaelrin

large.1623971339_RarityofCards.png

Neptune

large.9033876_RarityofCards.png

Date Obtained

Temaelrin

large.109505406_DateObtained.png

Neptune

large.225876554_DateObtained.png

Card Types

Temaelrin

large.167369616_CardType.png

Neptune

large.1053410549_CardType.png

Pokémon Types

Temaelrin

large.1025274974_PokmonTypes.png

Neptune

large.736885157_PokmonTypes.png

Holographic Count

Temaelrin

large.1301674121_AmountofHolographicCards.png

Neptune

large.1998867891_AmountofHolographicCards.png

Next on: "Shit I've bought from eBay" - HP ProLiant DL380 G5 Rack Mount Server

Do you still have your Pokémon Cards? Did you used to collect them? Please leave a comment below and share your experiences! 😄

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Casey

I never really played with or collected pokemon cards but my children have at some point in their lives... all of them.

I think as far as your story goes you kind of did the right thing but went the wrong way about it, dear. I know your ten year old self had a pretty warped view of the world based on what you've told me in private years ago... about your life around that time. but I think if you knew what you knew now, and had to do it again... I think you would have done things very differently. You're a smart person, dear and extremely resourceful. but the fact that you did it to get your fellow classmates their cards back, kind of shows the person you were back then and I think that's honorable even if the lies weren't so honorable. because it would have been so much easier to just stand by and do nothing.

but I do love how unapologetic you are. never apologize to assholes that have it coming. that was a great story and I enjoyed reading it.

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Whoreo

I am surprised that the resident Poképhile @ArdillaVerde93 hasn't said anything here about this topic.

On 04/11/2018 at 17:38, Temaelrin said:

what put it in the coffin was when teachers started confiscating cards and people would come back to the classroom when it was empty and steal them. I know this because I proved it could be done, when I stole some from the teachers drawer that she had confiscated from my friend, just so I could  promptly return them to my friend, after school because the Teacher was going to confiscate them for “a month” - something I felt she wasn’t allowed to do.

^ that was me he was talking about. 😄 I still have all my pokémon cards including the ones you got back for me from that Mrs.Whatshername teacher thanks again for that, Tem. I don't view that as stealing either. you were recovering my property, and you didn't ask for anything in return......nor did you take any of the cards. so that, I can vouch for.

I remember at the time you absolutely smashing Thomas the fuck up and then picking up all the cards before running which is exactly why people thought you stole them. But word very quickly got around what actually happened and most people only didn't like it because it was you that dispensed much needed justice on that bully.....I think it had have been anyone else, people would have it liked it.....I know I fucking did #NowThatsWhatICallKarma.......I don't know why people were so unfairly rough on you back then. I think Kari would have approved of what you did as well....bless her.

Its sad to see that you lost your entire collection......especially in those circumstances, I know how hard you worked to get that because I saw half of it but its good to see you're rebuilding your collection again, and not going to the extreme lengths you used to take.......those were ridiculous, but arguably necessary. keep it up. ^_^

I hope to see more XD but I have to ask........why the hell would you want a 'HP ProLiant DL380 G5 Rack Mount Server' which you mentioned as being in the next.......whatdoyoucallthis......forumisode? episodes on a forum? ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

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Temaelrin

Thanks for your feedback. I think @Casey you're right. If I had to do it all over again as a ten year old knowing now back then, I would have done it very differently. I wouldn't lie, but I wouldn't tell them everything either. Kind of like I'm not going to lie but I'm not going to tell the truth either. 

@Whoreo: I don't remember her name either, but I know that a few years ago she apparently died of cancer, or so I'm told. I wasn't very popular at primary school for a lot of reasons, and I didn't want to be popular. I'm still like that today. So I guess somethings wouldn't change. As for what's to come in the next topic... Well I guess you're going to have to read it to find out. 🙂

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Dbm420

Never bought pokemon cards on ebay. I did it old school on my bike also got mtg collection those i have bought on ebay. 

I had all 3 shiny first ed charzard,blastoise,and venasure first gen ftw!

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KentuckyEevee

I had a fuck ton of Pokémon cards at one point. One of my good friends went even further, though. He was a Pokémon GOD at the time, and I still keep in touch. But if anyone asks him how I managed to get his 1st Edition error Charizard, well... Let’s just go by the saying: “What happens in Vegas, STAYS in Vegas”~...

Anyway, this guy was the only person I know to have legitimately owned EVERY SINGLE US RELEASED POKÉMON GAME. I’m talking Red and Blue version for the Nintendo Game Boy, to Pokémon Sun and Moon for the Nintendo 3Ds. But he didn’t stop there. He even own every side game as well! I’m talking Pokémon Stadium, Hey You Pikachu!, Pokémon Colosseum, XD Gale of Darkness, the Pokémon Ranger and Pokémon Mystery Dungeon series games, even ones like Pokémon Dash and Pokémon Conquest!!! This guy had them all!!! Hell, he even had, and I quote from him, a “Graded 10, Reverse Fireworks Foil Charizard Holo”. A GRADED 10!!! 

Sadly he’s since sold some of it, but he says that Pokémon made his childhood. If I wanted to list off other crazy ass things he has, well, here’s a sample;

$1,000 Halo 3 Master Chief cosplay, Yu-Gi-Oh! Battle City duel disk signed by the voice actor of Seto Kaiba; Eric Stuart, a 15th anniversary Japanese Digivice with signatures from some of the cast and directors, a Japanese Medawatch from Medabots...

The list goes on!

As for me, I still have some cards and games, buuuut the kids aren’t getting those until later.

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    • Temaelrin
      By Temaelrin
      What use is an all in one PC, especially by HP of all OEMs?
      Watching YouTube or listening to music in the Kitchen, of course. Naturally.

      I found this one whilst browsing on eBay. It was marked down as broken; specifically “The Screen is Cracked” but it otherwise powered up. It included everything internally - HDD, RAM, processor, etc. But did not come with a power pack.
      There was no excitement with this one, I put down a maximum bid of £20, with the intention of taking it up to £30, and I pretty much won it at the end of the seven day listing for the listing price of £5 +£8.99 Shipping. Although I knew I would need to make other purchases, so £13.99 is not all I paid for it.
      Honestly I was surprised to have won it as over the last few days I kept getting bid sniped on everything (Where someone comes in and put in a bid with a few seconds to spare so you can’t react to it) so I didn’t expect to win it. But I did and I was ecstatic. Immediately after paying I put in a call to a well known supplier of odds and sods of computer parts to see what kind of deal he could offer me for a HP Pavilion AiO LCD Panel; after taking the part number, he told me he could get one for £39.99. I thought that, that was a reasonable price, but I said that I was going to do some shopping around first. Credit to this supplier: He did say that if I can find a cheaper price to contact him and he’ll see what he can do.
      A few days later I found one for £17.49 on eBay; that was pulled from a fully working MS215UK model HP AiO PC. Now these OEM computers sometimes use the same components as similar models, such as it were I found out via HP’s Partsurfer that the same LCD Panel is used in the MS215UK as the MS228UK and a handful of other HP AiO’s. It was a risk; but I decided that it was worth going for it.
      After I had gotten the AiO, I noticed that there was no power supply; so I needed to shop around for one. I found an aftermarket one for £10.49 and after testing it on the computer I was able to turn it on. However my problems started with it, which I will explain later. So I went and purchased a genuine power supply for £22.90, and I have sent off the aftermarket one back to the seller for a refund.
      There are several items that made this possible.
      Item: HP Pavilion MS228UK All in One Desktop PC
      Price I paid: £5.00 Shipping: £8.99 (Courier) Total Cost: £13.99 Came With: An entire family’s private data including pictures, bank information, passports, password files, pay slips, tax information, memes and music. Item: HP Pavilion AIO MS215 LCD panel
      Price I paid: £17.49 Shipping: Free (Courier) Total Cost: £17.49 Came With: Enough bubblewrap that @Neptune will be happy for a while. Item: HP Part Number: ‘594294-001’ Power Supply
      Price I paid: £10.49 REFUNDED Shipping: Free (Royal Mail) Total Cost: £10.49 REFUNDED Came With: UK Mains (Clover Power Cord) Item: Genuine Original HP Compaq 594294-001 90W SMART AC PSU
      Price I paid: £22.90 Shipping: Free (Royal Mail) Total Cost: £22.90 Came With: Nothing. Grand Total Cost: £54.38
      As you can see from the above image; I was successful in repairing the AiO PC. I am quite confident at repairing computers and I have been doing off and on for over two decades. My first computer that I repaired was when I was five or six years old; and it was at school. The school teachers knew I was great with computers - it seemed to be this ‘Natural Talent’ I had, and I remember telling them frankly “I get on with computers better than I get on with people.” Which is still true today. I had always owned a computer (My first ever being a Basic Amstrad CPC464) so when I was presented with a C drive error and my teacher had no idea what was wrong with the computer, I told her that I could fix it; I knew how to put Windows into DOS and perform a ‘Scandisk’ of the C drive; which found errors and fixed it. When the computer booted up afterwards it worked perfectly. In my primary school after this incident; I became the primary school’s defacto IT technician as they didn’t have a real one; and back then things were much simpler. If there was a problem with a computer somewhere in the school; that teacher would end up sending a student to come to the class with a note to the teacher, and I’d be excused to go fix it, although I always had time limits (10 Minutes, 20 minutes, etc). This all changed when a new headmaster came in, and I don’t think this headmaster liked me very much; but that’s a different story. My point is; from a young age I’ve been learning and studying computers. Playing around with them at home trying to break and repair them on a software level and learn how they work. Reinstalling Windows, and DOS, playing around with the various settings and such. Back then there was no Internet in the house so I had to teach myself everything.
      It’s precisely those lessons that I applied here, I have a set of diagnostic steps which I use to identify and repair faults, then I fix them. For a start on the listing I knew the screen was cracked - common fault on LCD monitors. Usually this is caused by a person; especially if the screen is cracked. I knew that there is no point in repairing the actual panel; it’d need to be replaced. I have never had a HP AiO before; so I opened it up.
      First of all I opened the two panels on the back - one was for the RAM, the other was for the Hard Disk Drive (HDD) but had a screw in there that held the CD drive in place. I ejected that and set this components aside; I took the HDD out of it’s caddy and put it into a hotswap bay on my PC only to discover that it had a full Windows installation on it.
      OH DEAR. OH DEAR… We’ll come back to that.
      Going back to the actual computer now; when I finally got it opened, I was presented with a shocking display:

      The whole system was caked in dust, and I knew instinctively that if this thing had an integrated GPU; on the same copper pipe as that one heat sink (Which I could already tell was infinitely likely) then there was going to be a problem with the GPU on this, which is a common fault caused by overheating that the original XBOX360 owners will know all too well.
      Opened up the metal panel cover the motherboard, disconnected the fan and then unscrewed it before pulling it away from the board. I was then able to see how clogged the heatsink was:

      Yeah - that’s not a good thing. There is very few fins that the air can escape through. On top of that, dust can be an insulator; and that coupled with heat is not good. I thought for sure - this computer is going to have suffered overheating damage. This wasn’t good. I was not going to boot this up in this state. Taking this off of the motherboard was an absolute pain in the arse to be quite honest with you.
      The problem is, is that it was practically glued onto the CPU. There was such a tight seal between the two with the thermal paste between them which had hardened that I actually delidded the AMD processor under it, which I did finally remove it. I cleaned up all the thermal paste that was on it and replaced it immediately with Arctic Silver 5 (Including the processor chip under the IHS), and then cleaned the heat sink with some compressed air, and an old tooth brush with Isopropyl Alcohol to clean it up. When I was satifiied I attached it back to the board and then I looked at the fan, and took it apart.
      The fan was in a shocking state as well. I’ve cleaned up desk fans before and I’ve noticed with all of them that if there is a lot of dust built up on the blades, the amount of air that they push out seems to be diminished. If they’re cleaned up they noticeably push out a lot more air. I haven’t scientifically tested this, but it is something I have noticed, and I wonder if the same principle applies here.

      Here is it after just a basic cleaning:

      I finished up on it and made it look as good as brand new.
      Taking a look at the motherboard; I could see no obvious signs of capacitor wear and tear; nothing exploded or bulging:

      But I did notice that as I suspected the GPU was on the same heat pipe as the the CPU, all on one heat sink… Oh boy.
      USB Ports Ethernet Port (I think it only does 100Mbps, I’m not sure) Power Port SATA Wireless Card SD Card RAM Slots (4GB Max, DDR2) Central Processing Unit Graphics Processing Unit Monitor Connection I knew straight away that the GPU was going to be iffy and would need reflowing (The act of heating up the chip to ‘reflow’ and refresh the solder) which was extremely risky. In everything I had tried this on, I had failed and made things worse - I had NEVER successfully reflowed/reballed a chip a before… So I was hoping that I didn’t have to.
      I didn’t take any pictures replacing the screen; but needless to say it was a tedious and careful process. I had to remove a lot of screws and connections, and carefully note what I had done so I could reverse it when I wanted to put everything back together again.
      Taking my time, and being as careful as I could, I attempted for the first time ever to put in the screen; and when I did it and had almost everything back together, I breathed a sigh of relief. I powered on the machine and saw!
      Nothing.
      The power light came on, the fan span up, but then everything went dead, the power light was still on and it was powered up, but nothing appeared on screen. SHIT! I thought. I then tried to diagnose the problem, and according to a HP forum post I read this was likely to be a power pack failure.
      At this point I was using the after-market power pack and I tested the power output through an AMECal ST-9905 (As used by BigCliveOnline, one of my favourite YouTubers) and found that the output voltage was at 16.32 and dropping (The last test I did with it, it was at 14.59V). The computer needs 19V to operate, and the amperage needs to be 4.79A which surprise - surprise this Power Supply wasn’t and was all over the place.

      Not acceptable.
      I started a refund and returns for this power supply and got a genuine HP one which took some finding as they’re quite difficult to come by at a reasonable price nowerdays. When that arrived I plugged in it; and booted it up.
      The screen came on, and everything seemed to work, for a moment. Then everything went dead again. There was another problem; and after a lot of diagnosing and avoiding what I knew in the back of my mind to be true, I came to the conclusion that the GPU needed to be reflowed… I don’t own a heat gun…
      I do however own one of these bad boys from my weed smoking days:

      Let there be fire
      It’s basically a lighter that’s more like a fucking mini-blow torch. Risky… Very fucking risky. This has the tendency of quickly setting fire to things, and so I wanted to be extremely careful with it. Turning it on, I ran it over the chip for thirty seconds, making sure to keep it moving, and not too close to the chip as I moved it around making sure to cover each part of the chip equally. Afterwards; I hovered my hand over it afterwards to feel that it was hot, but I did not touch it - and nor should I. I let it cool down on it’s own without touching it any further for the duration of an episode of Star Trek the Next Generation and put the heat sink back on…
      Oh I also replaced the HDD with a WD Black 1TB Drive, and installed Windows 10 Home.
      The result:

      It worked. To be clear though it only works with the Genuine HP Power Pack; the other power pack has the same problems I described earlier. Therefore I can deduce that the aftermarket brand Power Pack is not fit for purpose. I installed Windows 10 Home, and spent some time setting up the machine, which will be in our kitchen so we can watch things on YouTube, or BitChute whilst we’re in the kitchen - or have music playing.
      So now I’ve been through the repairs, and this machine is 100% operational again, let's get right into this shall we?
      CPU: AMD Athlon II X2 250u AM2+, 45nm Chip K10 Microarchitecture (64 bit) Dual Core @ 1.60GHz L1 Cache 2 x 64 KB 2-way set associative instruction caches 2 x 64 KB 2-way set associative data caches L2 Cache 2 x 1 MB 16-way set associative caches 24.9W Typical Power Consumption (25W TDP) 4GB Max Supportable RAM* Chipset: AMD RS780M + AMD K10 IMC (Northbridge) and AMD SB700/710 (Southbridge) RAM: 4GB DDR2 (2 x 2GB) 2x SK Hynix (2GBN Each) Non-ECC RAM Bandwidth: PC2-6400 (400 MHz, DDR2) Timings: @ 400 MHz 6-6-6-18 (CL-RCD-RP-RAS) / 24-51-3-6-3-3 (RC-RFC-RRD-WR-WTR-RTP) @ 333 MHz 5-5-5-15 (CL-RCD-RP-RAS) / 20-43-3-5-3-3 (RC-RFC-RRD-WR-WTR-RTP) @ 266 MHz 4-4-4-12 (CL-RCD-RP-RAS) / 16-34-2-4-2-2 (RC-RFC-RRD-WR-WTR-RTP) Model: HMP125S6EFR8C-S6 Optical Media: HP DVD A DS8A4LH SATA CdRom Device Firmware: DHD5 Can read: CD-ROM CD-R CD-RW DVD-ROM DVD-R DVD-RW DVD+R DVD+RW DVD-RAM DVD+R DL DVD+R9 DL Can Write: CD-R CD-RW DVD-R DVD-RW DVD+R DVD+RW DVD-RAM DVD+R DL DVD+R9 DL Network Cards: Qualcomm Atheros AR5007EG Wireless Network Adapter (b/g only) Realtek RTL8139/810x Fast Ethernet Adapter (10M/100M) Graphics: ATI Radeon HD 3200 Graphics (Integrated) No external output. Upto 256MB shared memory PSU: 1 x External “Laptop Style” Genuine Original HP Compaq PSU (594294-001) 90W Model 594294-001 HDD: 1 x 1TB (Originally: WDC WD5000AAKS-65V0A0, 500.1 GB, 7200 RPM, SATA II) WDC WD10 EALS-002BA0 SATA Disk Device (1 TB, 7200 RPM, SATA-II) Monitor: (Reportedly) Samsung LTM185AT01 (18.5”), but is actually a AUO M185XW01 V2 (18.5”) Sound: Realtek High Definition Audio (ESS1869 Chipset, I believe) Stereo 2x 2W Internal Speakers (Built in) Remember when I said that we’d come back to what I found on the hard drive? Yeah; we’ll let's talk about that shall we?
      So I rebooted my computer and booted into that windows installation to see that it was Windows 10 Home, upgraded from Windows 7. The user account that logged in, which I will call ‘User 1’ didn’t have a password so I was in - instantly. I then discovered that the hard drive seemed to be taking a long time to do anything. It was at that point I decided to terminate the session as I believed I was looking at a dying hard drive. Long story short: I was correct. I rebooted back into my Windows 10 and took ownership of the /users/ folder, then copied off to my hard drive; I then ran a file recovery program on it, and recovered a massive payload of deleted files that had not been overwritten.
      Whilst this was doing that, I had a look at the files I copied over to my hard drive; and oh deary me… This hard drive wasn’t even formatted before being sent to me. In the Users Folder I found five (5) different user accounts; User 1, User 2, User 3, User 4, Admin 1 (I’ve removed the names), and I have permission to share the details of what I found in there, and what happened.
      In total I recovered 38GB of information from the drive.

      I didn’t find any porn; or porn collections but I’ve not fully gone through everything. What I have gone through and seen on this hard drive is the following:
      Lots of family pictures and selfies, including pictures of people using this very computer. Bank information, such as sort codes, account numbers, card numbers and pin numbers for those cards. Scans of passports Unencrypted text files containing: Passwords Pay Slips Tax information Tame Memes One or two spicy memes Music Documents Homeworks, coursework information and so on. Pirated Movies Internet Browsing Histories of 5 people Autocomplete passwords access Their contact information (Names, Addresses, Phone Numbers, Email Addresses, etc) This is why I left the feedback:

      And no I won’t be doing that, I'm not that sad.
      Within this treasure trove of information I found the names, addresses and phone numbers (And even a passwords text file) of the family and made contact with them. Yes; I called them up, and spoke to the father, which was quite risky. I asked if I could have five to ten minutes of his time, and that I wasn’t trying to sell him anything or do market research. He agreed and I thanked him. I then explained to him why I had called…
      I told them that I had brought this computer off of eBay and described the computer to him; I told him that all of their data was still on it's hard drive. The man wasn’t very happy - and I don’t blame him at all. He told me that they had an an accident something got knocked over and smashed into the screen, and they took it to a repair shop to get it repaired. However… They were told that it was beyond economical repair, that it wouldn’t be worth repairing the PC, but they will if they wanted them to; it’d just cost £199.
      The father went home to discuss this with his family, however when he got home he found his son setting up a brand new PC that he had brought with his own money (I think he was the one who broke it) to replace the broken one for the whole family to use.
      Now that’s sweet, isn’t it? A young person taking personal responsibility for his actions. You don’t see that too often nowadays.
      So the father went back to the repair shop and told them “Categorically”, to "Destroy the Hard Drive, and dispose of the PC as you see fit". So to find out this after the fact; you can imagine that they were not happy with the shop to say the very least, and I can’t blame them.
      The family were not aware that their PC was sold on eBay either!
      I told them that I would be very happy to send the files back to them, via a flash drive in the post - completely free of charge, and I confirmed their address, however they wanted it sooner and so it was emailed to them instead. They were extremely happy that I was able to recover their files and I had sent it back to them, but the father (Admin 1) said it was a little surreal that I called out of the blue and offered to do something extremely kind. Meh; that’s the kind of person I am, I guess. I told them to change their bank pin, and debit cards and passwords as I had access to that information and if I did; whoever’s hands the computer has been in before I got it, could have it too. I also told them that I was able to repair it for about £20; and that this repair shop was nothing short of extortionists.  
      I sent the files back to them and they have received it and thanked me. They even offered me money for my assistance (£100) which I have declined; although that would have completely paid for this PC and then some.
      The hard drive after all this got completely corrupted; and it was clear that there was something going on under the hood. So I pulled up Crystal Disk Info:

      Yikes. 9,773 pending sectors (9,773 * (Sector Size(4096 bytes)) / 1024 = KB / 1024 = MB = 38.17578125MB of the drive is unstable) and 15 uncorrectable sectors. I would not use this hard drive for anything at all. Still - I zero wiped it twice and this didn’t change. So I’m inclined to believe that this drive is on its way out. I will not be selling it - so I might play around with it, or take it apart for the magnets, and assign it to physical destruction (I have a place that I can go to that allows you to chuck them into this giant shredder.)
      I want to urge everyone here; if you’re selling your computer/laptop then please at least do a proper format (Not a Quick Format), or worse yet don’t just *delete* your files or “Restore Windows from a Factory Image” and call it job done, it most certainly isn’t. Do not be lazy about this. Overwrite that data. So assholes like me can’t come along and recover it; I really can’t stress that enough. In most cases a single pass of random bits will do, but if you want to be sure, 3 passes like with the DoD 5220.22-M is usually a good idea, but if you’re a little paranoid, a 7 pass write like DoD 5220.22-M ECE I guess is alright. But if you’re extremely paranoid - just don’t sell the hard drive, and physically destroy it, and sell/give the rest of the computer. Chances are if you’re reading this, you probably don’t need to be told that.
      There are far worse people out there and I can’t tell you the amount of times I’ve purchased second hand hard drives online, that people haven’t properly formatted the hard drives of. I’ve had access to various kinds of sensitive materials that have either been too hot to handle or have been wiped properly by myself. But the stuff I will talk about openly is that I’ve also had access to a company’s customer database which included names, addresses, phone numbers and credit card information of their customers. But most commonly I’ve had access to people's private and personal files, and in one case I got access to someone’s private porn library. Even if you’re taking your computer to a repair shop and tell them to dispose of it- as for the hard drive back! Don’t trust them with it! This is exactly why you shouldn’t.
      To see someone actually take data protection seriously and to wipe their drives before selling them is a good thing to me. I actually like that they do it properly. But I always format again; just to be sure, it roots out any bad sectors, and makes sure that the drive is properly cleaned and conditioned, ready for use. You don’t need to use the Gutmann method (35 pass write) because that is most certainly overkill.
      For more information you can read the following:

      • http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Data_remanence 
      • http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Computer_forensics 
      • http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Data_erasure 
      • https://www.cs.auckland.ac.nz/~pgut001/pubs/secure_del.html - Secure Deletion of Data from Magnetic and Solid-State Memory (Floppy/Tape/HDDs)
      • https://www.cs.jhu.edu/~astubble/600.412/s-c-papers/remanence.pdf - Data Remanence in Semiconductor Devices (Flash/SSDs)
      Due to the fact that this drive was dying I put a 1TB HDD that I had spare. I thought it was a WD Black; but apparently it’s a Blue. Which is strange because the label is black. Hence the assumption. Either way I think it’s only capable of SATA II, so it’d be a waste of time putting in a SATA III drive.
      Despite HP’s reputation for overheating; when I ran AIDA64, and told it to stress the CPU, FPU, Cache and System Memory, I couldn’t get it past 40-45oC. I don’t think any thermal throttling was going on either. The air coming out of the top of the device was pretty much cool and the system was running fine without breaking a sweat. In fact I was concerned that the stress test wasn’t even running. Strangely however despite that kind of temperature the cores of the CPU seemed to be running at about 20-25oC which is about a 20oC (50%) difference to the rest of the CPU. I’m not really sure what was going on here, as I’ve never worked with AIDA64 before. But Prime95 and Speedfan, as well as HWInfo produced the same data. Apparently the maximum operating temperature of the CPU is between 55°C - 81°C so to get what I’m getting - I consider that to be extremely good.

      I know the CPU is vastly underpowered (25W) but that is incredible results to me. Especially for a a HP. By this point I had already refreshed the thermal past of the CPU and GPU; when I repaired it. But this is actually highly encouraging. It’s a shame I can’t overclock the CPU. CPUID doesn’t display correctly for this either. The Socket has AM2 printed on it, the CPU is AM2+ (Or AM2 Revision 2) and yet CPUID reports it as AM3:

      This small CPU clock of 1.6GHz pretty much reminds me of the crappy netbooks that was quite popular about about ten or so years ago, and the computer does struggle from time to time especially when things are loading up, but that could be a hard drive bottleneck as well as in Task Manager I’d frequently see the HDD activity stuck on 100%, and the CPU would be fine. It might be something I consider later, buying a cheap SSD to slap in there so that it boots up quickly and we can truly use it as a PC-TV. That said it seems to be able to run videos be that from YouTube, BitChute in 720p and the DVD Drive plays our Star Trek and Babylon 5 episodes just fine. So for the purpose I’m using it for, it’s fine.
      EcchiDreams loads in the browsers, no problem too. So that’s also good. Although I’m not ever going to sign into EcchiDreams (Because my staff account is a high security account, and I’m not even allowed a duplicate account) and I do not consider this machine to be a high security machine.
      For a start; doing a full disk encryption for the system drive is most certainly going to slow it down to a crawl. Secondly I can’t even put in a BIOS level password. Where I showed a picture of the motherboard, look carefully towards the edge of the motherboard in box 7; You can see two sets of two silvery looking contacts, one says “CLEAR PASSWORD” and the other says “CLEAR CMOS”. Instead of hiding this further into the board, where it can’t be easily accessed, all you need to do is remove the memory cover, and press on the two contacts to remove password with your screwdriver to clear the password and boom. Job done. You’re in. I don’t consider this to be a good thing, and is a prime example of convenience defeating security. As this has been designated a low security machine on my network, it doesn’t have access to any network resources such as any of the servers, or the NAS or our computers which means music and stuff needs to be manually loaded onto it via flash drives. It doesn’t have a username or password so you can just turn it on and it’ll go straight into Windows. The USB ports on this machine are all USB 2.0 from what I can tell, which means it’s capable of 480Mbps maximum and there are six USB ports on the device. Four on the back and two on the side.
      It also has a built in SD Card reader; which I can honestly see using that instead of putting in DVD’s, or holding music libraries on that and having and SDCard case next to the computer as SDCards are dirt cheap nowadays.
      We’ve got this computer set up in the kitchen so that we can watch videos, or listen to music whilst we’re cooking or cleaning up, or just to have a ‘Stereo’ of some sorts, but let's talk about the sound quality shall we?
      It’s bearable, but compared to my dedicated set up with the Matrix Mini-i Pro and HE400s it’s fucking awful quality. Watching things that mainly have dialogue isn’t too bad, but music sounds tinny, and frankly like they’re coming out of a set of laptop speakers from 2009/2010. I suppose I shouldn’t have expected much considering A) It’s age B) What it was intended to be used for and C) It's not specialist equipment. Lol
      Despite having a sticker over the webcam, I actually disconnected it and left it disconnected (On purpose) whilst I was in there, and I think it’s on the same board as the microphone which was connected too because it’s on the same cable. I’m that type of guy who covers these webcams (And front facing cameras on their phone) for a damn good reason. It is something I have done to every laptop I’ve ever owned, where it’s been included. So I haven’t tested these out, but I am sure if I did it’d be absolute dogshit; given that it’s a VGA Webcam so I expect it to be around 0.3 - 1.3 Megapixels, and it’s from around 2009/2010. It’s a Chicony CNFA09921004171LH (Model: HP CFNA099-A2) (Part: 537546-001) If you’re interested.
      Do not count on this machine to play any games; it doesn’t have the processing capability or the graphics power that would be required.
      All in all I can say that I like this machine and it will serve its purpose in the kitchen just nicely. What I don’t like about this machine, is that in order to clean out the heatsink and fan, you need to take the whole damn thing apart which isn’t all that easy. But it’s something I will do yearly. I do not want to let this PC overheat again, otherwise I’m going to potentially have to reflow the solder; again. Other than that it’s a neat little thing and everything is very well contained. In my experience I wouldn’t call the internals ‘Desktop Components’ but more like Laptop Components, that’s neither a plus or a negative for me, although it does limit its power. I suspect that I could replace the CPU with a 260u; but I probably won’t, and I don’t know if it can take more than 4GB of RAM; according to the CPU Spec - it can, but according to the PC Spec, it can’t. I don’t have other sticks of laptop sized DDR2 RAM so I can’t test it.
      It goes to show that there is a use for these older machines today; although as an everyday working computer? Probably not.
      I’ll close with some AIDA64 Benchmarks:
      RAM
      Memory Read: 8,934 MB/s
      Memory Write: 5,811 MB/s
      Memory Copy: 8,089 MB/s
      Memory Latency: 97.9 ns
      Central Processing Unit Benchmarks
      CPU Queen Score: 5,809
      CPU PhotoWorxx Score: 3,122 MPixel/s
      CPU ZLib Score: 40.7 MB/s
      CPU AES Score: 212 MB/s
      CPU Hash Score: 524 MB/s
      Floating Point Unit Benchmarks
      FPU VP8 Score: 1,156
      FPU Julia Score: 2,005
      FPU Mandel Score: 1019
      FPU SinJulia Score: 509
      SIMD-enhanced Ray Tracing Benchmarks
      FP32 Ray-Trace: 303 KRay/s
      FP64 Ray-Trace: 160 KRay/s
      Next on: "Shit I've bought from eBay" - Viglen Genie Ultra Small (2009/2010)
    • Temaelrin
      By Temaelrin
      What do you call a computer strapped to the back of a monitor?
      Apparently it’s a AiO computer… 😕

      I found this strange little thing on bid for £4.99, and there really wasn’t all that was said about it. No specs, no model number, nothing. Just “It turns on” but “It has a password” therefore it was being sold for spares and repairs. 
      A BIOS password is extremely easy to bypass; usually it’s just a matter of moving a jumper and turning the computer on, or just taking out the CMOS button cell battery (Usually a CR2032). 
      I figured at £4.99 (Plus £9.99 shipping) there really wasn’t much to lose, and took the plunge, putting in a bid for it. My max bid was £20; I wasn’t really willing to spend more than £29.99 on it, because it was a curiosity more than anything, and I had no idea what the specs were, at all. I was surprised that no one else was interested in it. He claimed he had brought a load of them from a joblot and was selling them individually on eBay. It was advertised as coming with the power cables and VGA cable, but other than that; there wasn’t much.
      Of course after I bought it, the seller started charging £14.99 for them +£9.99 Shipping. 
      Item: Ex-School AiO PC (Parts and Spares)
      Price I paid: £4.99 Shipping: £9.99 (Courier)  Total Cost: £14.98  Came With: A heavily modified Windows 7 Installation.  This topic won’t be as long as the others because there’s not really much to talk about. 
      When I got it, I was impressed with the condition of the machine; I have to admit I had reservations about the overall build quality, especially when one of the CEO’s for Viglen back in the day was Bordan Tkachuk who is perhaps famous/infamous for saying:
      He’s completely wrong, of course, in more ways than one. So I wasn’t inspired to say the very least, as the man seems to know nothing about basic knowledge for people who are supposed to be working in Technology.
      Anyway, the condition of the machine was pretty good, and when I booted it up there was indeed a BIOS Password. Removing this was a simple matter of opening the case and flipping the jumper which was readily accessible. When I turned on the PC it told me that the password had been cleared and that I needed to reboot the machine with the jumper in the correct position. 
      I did that, and I was presented with not Windows Vista (Which is what I was sold) but Windows 7 (Enterprise, I think) and it was very heavily modified. It seemed to have come from a primary school, and thus it was expecting a domain server on the network that it couldn’t find. 
      I’ve spoken about this before in regards to school computers and servers. Quite often there are no sensitive files on these machines because the files aren’t stored on them. Instead they’re stored on a kind of ‘Profile’ on the server that allows you to log into any authorised computer on that network, and have your files/documents travel with you when you log onto that computer. This is because the files aren’t stored on the actual computer - it’s just a workstation. The files are stored on the actual server. So there wasn’t any sensitive files on this device - I knew this before I hacked my way into the OS.
      Once I was in the OS (Using a backdoor user account that was created on the machine probably during setup) I confirmed that there was nothing groundbreaking left behind. Not a single document, or text file, incriminating evidence, family pictures or otherwise. I ended up wiping the hard drive and put Windows 10 on it - although I some issues after I opened it up again and took it apart. Which I will get to in a moment. I had rolledl back to Windows 7 whilst I was sorting these issues out, but eventually I diagnosed the fault and put Windows 10 back on it. 
      And it works perfectly.
      Before I get into it this time; let's find out what I bought: 
      Viglen Genie AiO PC (With Intel DQ35JO Motherboard)
      CPU: Intel Core 2 Duo (E8400) LGA775, 45nm Chip Dual Core @ 3.00GHz L1 Cache 2 x 32 KB instruction caches  2 x 32 KB data caches L2 Cache 6MB (3MB per Core) 4 KB Pages, 4-way set associative, 128 entries 4 MB Pages, 4-way set associative, 32 entries 52.81W Typical Power Consumption (65W TDP) 4GB Max Supportable RAM Chipset: Intel(R) Q35 Express Chipset Family (North Bridge: Intel Bearlake Q35) (South Bridge: Intel 82801IO ICH9DO) RAM: 4GB DDR2 (4 x 1GB) 2x Samsung M3 (1GB Each) Non-ECC RAM Bandwidth: PC-5300 (667 MHz, DDR2) Timings: @ 333 MHz 5-5-5-15 (CL-RCD-RP-RAS) / 20-43-3-5-3-3 (RC-RFC-RRD-WR-WTR-RTP)  @ 266 MHz 4-4-4-12 (CL-RCD-RP-RAS) / 16-34-2-4-2-2 (RC-RFC-RRD-WR-WTR-RTP)  @ 200 MHz 3-3-3-9 (CL-RCD-RP-RAS) / 12-26-2-3-2-2 (RC-RFC-RRD-WR-WTR-RTP) Model: M3 78T2863QZS-CE6 2x Kingston (1GB Each) Non-ECC RAM Bandwidth: PC2-5300 (667 MHz, DDR2) Timings: @ 400 MHz 6-6-6-18 (CL-RCD-RP-RAS) / 24-51-3-6-3-3 (RC-RFC-RRD-WR-WTR-RTP)  @ 333 MHz 5-5-5-15 (CL-RCD-RP-RAS) / 20-43-3-5-3-3 (RC-RFC-RRD-WR-WTR-RTP)  @ 266 MHz 4-4-4-12 (CL-RCD-RP-RAS) / 16-34-2-4-2-2 (RC-RFC-RRD-WR-WTR-RTP) Model: Unknown Optical Media: Optiarc DVD RW AD-7633A SCSI CdRom Device Firmware: 1.00 Can read: CD-ROM CD-R CD-RW DVD-ROM DVD-R DVD-RW DVD+R DVD+RW DVD-RAM DVD+R DL DVD+R9 DL Can Write: CD-R CD-RW DVD-R DVD-RW DVD+R DVD+RW DVD-RAM DVD+R DL DVD+R9 DL Network Cards:  Intel(R) 82566DM-2 Gigabit Network Connection (1000M) Graphics: Intel GMA 3100 (Integrated) on the Intel(R) Q35 Express Chipset. VGA Output DVI Output Upto 256MB shared memory PSU: 1 x Enhance 250W Power Supply (80 Plus Bronze Efficiency Sticker)  Model ENP-7025C HDD: 1 x 80GB (Originally: WDC WD800AAJS-00WAA0, 80GB, 7200 RPM, SATA II) Monitor: A 4:3/5:4 Ratio Maxdata Belinea 17” Display with USB Passthrough and built in speakers (They’re awful).  Sound: Realtek High Definition Audio (Realtek ALC268) Stereo Speakers Integrated with Monitor (I don’t know the wattage, they’re absolutely atrocious though).  For £4.99 ($6.30 USD, $9.09 AUD, €5.57 EUR, $8.35 CAD, at the time of writing) the specs are really not bad at all! I could easily flip the computer on it’s own for quadruple the price, which makes back the shipping and I get a free monitor for my troubles. It could make a fantastic computer for a child who uses it for homework and basic word processing, as well as light internet usage. 
      I think it’s got reasonably competent connectability; a gigabit ethernet port is a major plus with this machine, which is on the back with a firewire port, six USB2 ports a VGA and DVI port as well as microphone, headphones/speakers and a lineout port. On the front it has two USB2 ports, a headphone jack and a microphone jack.
      However; as I expected with Viglen - which might as well mean buy the cheapest possible components and throw it all into a computer case to see if it sticks - the internal engineering is absolutely abysmal. At 5.1KG for the computer unit alone, (5164g) this is not a lightweight. Cable management was an absolute nightmare and no thought was put in to the case either. 
      Take a look at the inside:
      This is after I cable managed it. 
      The major problem with this machine is heat, and on that note I’d love to meet the absolute spanner who thought it was a good idea to put a PSU directly above in near contact to the Intel 82801IDO Southbridge heatsink! It gets to temperatures in the region of 92oC hot and it cannot dissipate the heat properly because there’s no airflow over that area, and to top it all off the PSU is generating a generous amount of heat as well. In addition; the HDD is right on top of the RAM (Also generating a good amount of heat). The Power distribution of the system seems precarious at best. 
      The thermal paste was god awful and was causing several Thermal Cutoffs (Where the machine would outright shut down to protect the CPU), not allowing me to do an accurate test of the CPU temp before thermal pasting. But in fairness most OEM’s have poor quality thermal pastes. I replaced it with my standard Arctic Silver 5, but under the current configuration it’s temperature is erratic under load: 
      But at least it’s not cutting off outright. 
      This is this machine’s biggest enemy, and I think I might know of a few solutions to help with it. The CPU fan seems to be an intake, where as the PSU fan and the one opposite are output fans. 
      Picture I took whilst I was dismantling it to replace the Thermal Paste:

      After stabilising the machine, I did some cable management and tied it up. I did try replacing the HDD with a higher capacity one, however I had lots of errors happen when I did that, such as “Memory_Management”, and so on until the computer just outright failed to detect any other hard drive other than the 80GB one. You’d hear it power up, and then it’d power it down repeatedly - and this was with a good hard drive (Because I use it in the HP AiO now and it’s absolutely fine) This is why I suggest that the power distribution is precarious… Perhaps and SSD will do fine in this system - were it not for the heat issues I’m finding. I do not like subjecting SSD’s to more than 35oC of heat, certainly no more than 45oC if I can help it. 
      That said. Despite the system running much hotter than I’d personally care for, it does run now, and I’ve not had a problem with it. But perhaps I will run it in the winter when I don’t want to use the heater in the house. 
      I believe this motherboard could be translated to a different case and utilised to its fullest extent. With a decent cooler on the CPU there is plenty of upgradability here; especially with those SATA ports (Red one is designed for External SATA).
      There’s not really that much more to say about this machine, it was extremely cheap and you get what you pay for, however individually, the parts are worth more to me than the whole machine. Why I can use the RAM with another old machine I have, and the CPU with the next item I will be featuring. If you do have any questions please leave them below!
      I’ll close with some AIDA64 Benchmarks, but I will be comparing them to my next ‘Shit I’ve Bought on eBay’ as the next machine is comparable as it has the same CPU:
      RAM:
      Memory Read: 7,098 MB/s
      Memory Write: 6,955 MB/s
      Memory Copy: 6,384 MB/s
      Memory Latency: 100.0 ns
      Central Processing Unit Benchmarks:
      CPU Queen Score: 12,662
      CPU PhotoWorxx Score: 3,498 MPixel/s
      CPU ZLib Score: 75.3 MB/s
      CPU AES Score: 328 MB/s
      CPU Hash Score: 959 MB/s
      Floating Point Unit Benchmarks:
      FPU VP8 Score: 2,102 
      FPU Julia Score: 4,056
      FPU Mandel Score: 2,144
      FPU SinJulia Score: 1,099
      SIMD-Enhanced Ray Tracing Benchmarks:
      FP32 Ray-Trace: 582 KRay/s
      FP64 Ray-Trace: 305 KRay/s 
      Next on: "Shit I've bought from eBay" - ACER Veriton L670G PC (Coming Soon!)
    • Muramune
      By Muramune
      For any Pokemon fans on here: If you were a Gym Leader, what type would you specialize in? Who would your team be? And what would your badge be?
       
      I would most likely specialize in Dark types. My team would consist of an Absol, Zoroark, and Umbreon
       
      Upon my defeat, I would confer to the victor the Eclipse Badge
      Rematch team: 
      Absol
      Zoroark
      Umbreon
      Houndoom
      Weavile
      Honchkrow
       
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