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Great Moments in Home Entertainment Hardware

So all in all, I’ve had pretty good luck with my XBox 360.  No serious hardware problems, no scratched discs, and no over-heating despite stuffing it into my already-crowded stereo hutch.  In fact the only problem I’ve ever had with it was a bad wireless adapter.  The first wireless adapter I bought refused to work.  The “ready to connect” light would come on, but my XBox would insist that the adapter wasn’t connected.

This, apparently, was a problem which Microsoft had been oblivious to, despite the fact that I found several people on the internet posting about the same issue.  So I spent an irritating hour on the phone with Microsoft before getting the brush off “eh, maybe the adapter’s bad” and being told to return it for a replacement.

I went back to Best Buy, swapped it out, brought the new one home, and it worked fine.  “Okay”, though I, “just a piece of faulty hardware, it happens.”

So imagine my consternation when, after a long day at work, I went to sit down to pwn some n00bs at Halo and my XBox wouldn’t connect to live.

Checked the internet, no reports of live outages.  So I checked my network settings, and my XBox was insisting I didn’t have an adapter connected.  The adapter’s “ready to connect” light was on, but the XBox refused.  The problem was back.

So after some more googling, I found a few kindred souls whose adapters had been working, but then quit.  I tried a few of their solutions (mostly variations on the “unplug it and plug it back in again” theme), but to no avail.  And then I found a few posts suggesting that this problem can occasionally be repaired with the oldest trick in the book: the kit whack.

That is to say, there were a few souls on the internet for whom the solution to a misbehaving, $100 electronic widget was to grip it firmly, find a hard surface, and to introduce widget to surface a few times at a reasonably high velocity.

“Well”, thought I, “what have I got to lose?  Looks like I’m out $100 anyway.”  So I disconnected the adapter, gripped it firmly, said few invocations to Cthulu and the FSM, and gave it three sturdy whacks on the top of the stereo hutch.

I reconnected the adapter, and was greeted by the red “ready to connect” light.  And then, a few seconds later, it switched to green as the adapter found the network and connected.

Ladies and Gentleman, always remember the moral of this tale: where electronics are concerned, sometimes violence really is the answer.

Posted in Geekery, Realtime Autobiography.