Service Manual: Sony SLV-373UB VCR

So only a week after I repaired my Sony VCR's power supply without the benefit of the service manual, guess what I came across on an unrelated search? No idea why I couldn't find this before; all I could see was shady sites that claimed to have it behind their paywalls. So in case anybody needs this in future, here's a copy of the PDF (13MB).

This service manual covers:

Sony--SLV-373UB--service--ID12634.pdf

Power Supply Repair: Sony SLV-373UB VCR

Some time ago I purchased a VCR player to use while digitising some family video tapes. It was the rather fancy Sony SLV-373UB with on-screen menu and massive jog-wheel remote control. Shortly after I had transferred the last video from tape, the VCR player quietly died—the front panel display turned off and it stopped responding to any input. Inserting a cassette didn't prompt it to pull it in and load it. I put the machine to one side and forgot about it for a long time. Now I have unearthed more tapes to digitise and dispose of, I've been trying to get the player working again. (The new tapes aren't anything exciting — old WordPerfect training videos).

Since the VCR is quite old (I think from 1990?) with no obvious mechanical problems before the failure, I suspected the power supply. Electrolytic capacitors from the 1990s tend to have dried out or leaked after thirty years so they're a first suspect for failures that don't involve loud bangs.

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Repairing a Gridcase 1520 Power Supply

A few years ago the power supply for my Gridcase 1520 portable computer died. It emitted a cloud of bad-smelling smoke and wouldn't turn on again. I placed it to one side and forgot about it for a few years. Now it's time to get it working again!

The Grid 15xx-series of portable computers use a removable power supply. It's shaped a bit like like a brick with one edge rounded off. Once the power supply is removed it can be replaced with a battery pack and the power supply used as an external charger. I have a couple of battery packs but they are long since dead and will not hold a charge. Maybe I'll open one up one day and see if they're fixable…

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Compiling AS MacroAssembler on Linux

Some notes on getting the AS MacroAssembler running on Debian (Windows Subsystem for Linux 2, although that shouldn't make a difference).

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Map Detectives: Data Files 2

Time to take a deeper dive into the AppData directory of Map Detectives. This is where the bulk of the game lives. The .DXT and .CXT files are compressed/exported Shockwave Director and Cast files. There are some projects out there dedicated to reverse-engineering and documenting the Shockwave file formats. They're far enough along that you can export some of the graphics and bytecode from the game, but after playing around with them briefly it looks like modifying and repacking them is not yet possible. So no Map Detectives mods yet :-( From the file names it appears as though the game is laid out in a fairly modular fashion, with one Director file per major segment: menu, teacher options, underground map, arrest scene, etc.

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