Gamerang: Not Your Aussie’s Boomerang

Usually, with a boomerang, you throw it just the right way, and it will swim across the air and arch back to you. Well, if you are good. If you are like me, you might either get it hung up on a bush or have it land near you. ๐Ÿ™‚

Anyhow, my childhood experiences with a boomerang my parents gave me aside…

Gamerang proved to be a complete waste of money. Sure, they were happy to extend my trial month-long offer to cover the extra week that it took for the first game to arrive, but that first game took 14 days to arrive. I live in the same state as one of their distribution centers, for cryin’ out loud.

The next couple of games came pretty quickly (5 days each), and, over the course of that first month, I received a grand total of 3 games. Whoopie.

In that same month, I did the blockbuster thing, and got nearly 20 games (hey, my kid is pretty good at beating these things!).

When the time came to cancel the membership, I had one game in transit that was one my kid was looking forward to since it would be replacing a disc that no longer worked (yes, I was going to copy it, but I have an original (with oodles of scratches)). Nearly 13 days later, and it hasn’t shown up. In the mean time, their crappy system thinks that I have it, so, even with my report of it never showing up, I they don’t resend it.

Bleaugh. The whole process is sickening. I canceled them right away. Basically, they sucked me for an extra month of fees, and I got nothing for it. The game I was supposed to get shipped three days before the new billing cycle. It is now half-way in to the new billing cycle, and I have not gotten that game.

How retarded.

Never again.. I will go back to borrowing games from friends and family, and I will definitely go back to BlockBuster!

Windows XP Slipstream

Ages ago I used the steps to create a bootable Windows XP CDROM which had been slipstreamed with the latest service pack. Since then, I have used that CD a number of times to restore systems, build systems, etc.

I noticed, however, that the site no longer has the steps available. Primarily because the author (and, so it seems, a lot of other people) no longer sees the use in performing slipstreamed fresh installs. In fact, it seems that popular opinion has swayed away from performing complete re-installs or repair installations. I have no idea as to why this would be the case, but I personally have a lot of use for these instructions, so I am saving them here for myself (at the very least).

This entire operation MUST be performed on a Windows XP system.

From a Windows XP CDROM, copy the entire contents of the CDROM to a hard drive. For example, make a directory “C:\cd-root” and copy the entire CDROM contents there.

Download the Windows Service Pack and place it at the top level of your “C” drive.

Under “Start” select “Run” and enter “c:\win2ksp4.exe -s:c:\cd-root” (I need to update the image to reflect this)

Run Command

Even though the following images reference Windows 2000, the same procedure applies to Windows XP.


The update will now be applied to the copy of the windows CDROM that you have on your hard drive. When it completes, the C:\cd-root directory will now contain a fully updated image. The trick is to burn it out such that it is bootable.

Extract the file and move the w2kboot.bin file to C:\cd-root\w2kboot.bin.

Start Nero (not Nero Express, since we need options that Express doesn’t have). Start by makeing a new CD-ROM compilation and select the “Boot” tab. The w2kboot.bin file is the “Image file” that you need in order to make the CDROM bootable. Make sure that you use the exact same settings as in the images below:


The following settings are arbitrary. In other words, you don’t have to do these. ๐Ÿ™‚


Now, add the new slipstreamed files to this CD image:


And burn it out. The result will be a bootable Windows XP CDROM with the latest service pack installed.


Dutch Wonderland

We decided to try out a small park called Dutch Wonderland in Lancaster, PA. Sure, it was a fair bit of a drive for us, but we thought it would be fun.

I personally knew nothing about the place, which was a nice way to approach it. The park is geared towards young kids (pre-teen) which means that they can go on nearly every ride (depending on height, of course) on their own. Parents can even ride on most of the rides with the kids.
In addition to the rides, Dutch Wonderland offers a small water park which is fun and refreshing. When we went, it was pretty crowded at the water park, with the occassional kid who was completely out of control (where his mother?!), but it was managable. The large tube slide was the only disappointment there: the line was hidden and surprisingly long. So, even what you thought was a short line was at least a 30 minute wait.

The rest of the park, surprisingly, absorbed a lot of people. There were little to no lines, which meant that it was very easy for kids to get right back in line to go on a ride again. This only added to the fun!

The park is pretty shaded with trees and other foliage, so even on hot days, it isn’t like baking in the sun at Disney World.

The park closes at 8:30pm, which is more than enough to wear out pre-teen kids. Exiting the park passes everyone through the gift trap shop where kids beg and plead for their parents to purchase them something. That basically means that if you expect to get out of the park easily at closing time, forget it: the gift shop gets mobbed making it difficult to maneuver through. That also means that if you want to buy a gift or trinket, buy it earlier in the day.

Dutch Wonderland was a lot of fun!