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12-31-2003 [Dark Force] Happy New Year.
Is this what everyone's been waiting for...?

Star Ocean V1.0 Public Release - Non Final

Thanks to everyone who helped bring this project to where it is today. For those of you who like waiting, version 2.0 (which will look much better) is due out some time next year.
11-27-2003 [Dark Force] Ask and you shall receive... in due time.
Everyone has been begging for an update, so here it is. I think it's funny how almost everyone kept asking "are you dead??". Did everyone miss the posts below saying we're not giving up and to stop asking us if we're dead? Doesn't anyone have faith in us to follow through? :P Thankfully some people do.


Whatever the case, sorry for any "inconvenience" that the lack of updates caused anyone. Part of the reasons for lack of updates was beyond our control. We haven't forgotten our obligation to the donators to finish this project or out promise to release a patch by the end of the year.

"When will you update or are you dead?"
"What's the status of SO?"
"When will you release the final version?"
"Why are the forums still down?"
"How do I patch an IPS?"
"How do I use the graphics packs?"
If you were one of those people who sent such an email then don't expect a reply, instead this post will answer your questions.

All the "thanks!" and "I know you're still working on SO even though you haven't updated so good luck however long it takes" emails, however, I will reply to eventually. Thanks for those emails, they help keep us going much more than the reminders of the lack of updates. In fact as far as I can remember, I only got 1 negative email from a dumbass who had his facts all wrong. I'm impressed that there weren't more.

So... what exactly happened to DeJap??
Why did we take so long to update? There isn't a simple answer, there were many reasons that prolonged our updates. Much of it had to do with server problems.

First of all, right after a certain dumbass hacked the forums and posted fake messages, coincidentally the server hosting the forums went offline. Most people thought that we took the forums offline because they were hacked but that was not the case, they went down on their own. The forums were offline for a while because of the server; once it was fixed _Demo_ worked on upgrading the php forum scripts which also kept the forums down for a while longer. The forums came back online several months ago but we didn't have the link updated so many people assumed the forums were still offline, although you could still get to it through the Zsnes site.

Secondly, shortly after the time that the forums came back online, the server hosting the DeJap site died and so browsing gave an error. Many people just assumed the worst and rumors started flying around and lots of shit was said about us. I'm not sure exactly what the problem was but it took a long time to fix. When the page finally did come back online, we were planning to do an update. Tomato had updated the Bahamut Lagoon scripts and wanted to do another release. I wanted to wait until I could fix the remaining bugs in BL before doing the release. So, I spent another month working on BL (and other projects) before attempting to do another news update.

When we were ready to do an update, _Demo_ informed me that they were in the middle of doing a server switch over. The switch over should have only taken a week, but afterwards two things happened: 1) the nameserver for wouldn't redirect to the new server's address, and 2) I couldn't access the ftp on the new server to update the pages. Something was not configured properly with the accounts and security permissions and as a result I wasn't able to log into the new server until a month later when the security was fixed.

That, combined with the fact that once again return an error (because the nameserver refused to switch over) once again made people spread rumors like we're dead and gone, or we took the "money" and disappeared - untrue of course. A few months back, the site, ftp, server and url all returned to normal, then something else had to happen...

First there were 2 deaths in the family and I had to fly around the world for the funeral. Then when I got back, my computer literally exploded. These things combined put me off working on anything computer related for a while. Besides that, Tomato became extremely busy with his translation job at Funimation, but also couldn't log into the server (security/firewall reasons) so he too wasn't able to do any updates and we weren't able to get in contact with the host. Tomato is currently still busy with his job and is no longer available to work on free translation projects with DeJap...

So, the local nuclear plant was doing some testing and my computer happened to receive a huge spike that killed the surge protector, caused all the capacitors in the computer/PSU to explode, melted all the ICs on the hardware and fried all my hard drives. This was late at night so of course everything else was off or unplugged and survived the electrical shock. YES I did have back ups of everything this time, but I had no computer to put the back ups into.

Because of not having a computer and the recent funerals, it was time for me to take a vacation from 'the scene'. A month later, I got a new used computer - since I couldn't afford a new one - half way through September (then the M/B died and was forced to get a new one...) after which I was able to start working on Star Ocean again.

Anus P. began helping with Star Ocean in September but quit shortly after because of school work. Cidolfas (from the FFCompendium & RPGClassics) started helping in October with finishing off the script editing and managing testing. He has been begging for a site update ever since :). I was holding off until now, when we had some better screen shots to show off for Star Ocean.

In November, Bisqwit (who maintains the Finnish ToP translation) began rewriting the DeJap html web pages using PHP instead, making it much easier to do an update. A big problem and deterrent for doing an update and fixing the forum links in the past, was that EVERY html page on DeJap was hardcoded and was a cluttered mess to edit - it was just too much work to fix the whole site in one sitting so it would keep getting put off, which in turn meant no updates.

Converting the entire site to PHP took up much of our time (which could have been spent working on Star Ocean), but it allowed us to finally make this update. It will also allow us to do quick, easy and more frequent updates in the future, though there's still some more PHP work to be done...

And what's the point of all this?
The point is this: nothing is ever what it seems. I'm just asking people to think logically before jumping to conclusions and accusing us of quitting and letting everyone down and other nonsense.

Project Updates
Tales of Phantasia

Fixed some item names and tech names and will be fixing other stuff such as a better designed naming screen and allowing entry of 7 letter names, also some some script errors have been fixed. Thanks to Grinvader (I think) for suggesting corrections for several item names.

On a side note, I contacted Namco to ask if they would let us port and translate the new GBA version of ToP legitimately for a North American release. I was told a flat out "No." by their localization manager. Reason: head office didn't yet feel that ToP was suitable for English speaking audiences (i.e. they wouldn't make enough money from it); and then I was told even if they did want to translate it they would never let us do it. Heh... Stupid Namco.

Dragon Quest 6

A fellow contacted me offering to help with finishing off the DQ6 translation, currently he's agreed to finish up the last 10% or whatever is missing of NoPrgress' DQ6 script. Nothing's happened yet but hopefully DQ6 will finally be completed... unless the DQ curse says otherwise. :/

Dragon Quest 5

An update which fixes minor things including some names, will be released soon. If you have any DQ5 bug reports, now's the time to submit them.

Dragon Quest 3

This is my favorite of the series but also seems to be the hardest to find people willing to work on. Seiichi/Hojo (Front Mission) was helping to translate it but got busy and had to quit. I'm hoping we can team up with RPGOne since it would seem silly to have 2 groups working on the same game at the same time and not sharing information.

Bahamut Lagoon

Tomato fixed many item names a while ago which had been mistranslated. I was supposed to release a new patch but I still want to fix one bug first, allowing me to unify the copier and emulator specific patches. Unfortunately I wasn't able to fix the bug yet so the final revision of Bahamut won't be released for a while (until I can fix the problem).

I asked before but no one replied so I'm asking again: if anyone has real snes hardware programming/assembler experience and has a backup unit to test the game on and is willing to help with debugging Bahamut Lagoon, please e-mail me.

Far East of Eden Zero

DarkZero (from Star-Trans, a German translation group) has begun translating the text and is making decent progress. This game, however, considering all the work that needs to be done, may not be ready for a beta release until around 2005.

Samurai Showdown RPG

Some people have shown interest in wanting to help translate this game, though we might end up doing the PSX version instead since more people could actually play that one (though I don't know too much about PSX hacking). The NeoGeo version is still the easiest to hack and if anyone is familiar with Saturn hacking and wants to work on the Saturn version we could attempt that as well.

In fact, if there's anyone who's interested in helping with SSRPG and has knowledge of either 68000 ASM (Neo Geo) or PSX/Saturn hacking, please contact me.

Tactics Ogre

Earlier this year I was helping Lord Tech with Tactics Ogre. We took the script from the PSX English version and transposed it onto the Japanese SFC rom. That was supposed to be the extent of the hack and we were going to release it, but then remembered all the menus and such weren't in English so the game was still largely unplayable.:) Lord Tech did some ASM work on the menus but had to stop to work on more important things, as did I.

I know some of you must be thinking "WTF?! Why bother??" but this project is not completely stupid. Mainly I wanted to help with it just to shut up all those annoying people who keep e-mailing and begging for a Tactics Ogre translation and don't have the sense to play the PSX version :). The other reasons are because the SFC version does have some minor advantages over the PSX version: better music, no stupid load times, more story cut scenes, etc. Of course, retranslating the script would have been a complete waste of time. I don't know what Lord Tech plans to do with it for now (probably nothing..) but if it's still at the same stage when I'm done with the other projects, I'll attempt to finish Tactics Ogre off.

Star Ocean

What can I say... I've been working on the reprogramming almost full time, day and night for the past 2 months. I had grossly underestimated the work involved in hacking this game. As a result, I've been sacrificing everything (food, sleep, work, money, free time, friends, entertainment, even sex - not a lie!) to keep working on Star Ocean. I'm not about to break the release date..! Hopefully you'll appreciate the effort more once the patch has been released.

Despite the amount of time I've put into the game, there's still lots of hacking left to do, most of it cosmetic work to pretty this game up and to redesign various menu interfaces. Originally I thought that all the hacking was done months ago, but after more testing I found that the patch didn't hold together. There wasn't enough room to fit in all of the replacement text and graphics, then even more untranslated text was found.

I've had to throw out all of the previous hacks for Star Ocean and virtually start from scratch again, which was an awful lot of work and really was not fun. Now, I've implemented 5 new forms of text and graphics compression (which didn't originally exist in the game) and I've been rewriting hacks to allow for multilingual support for later - contrary to what you might think, not everyone is waiting to play Star Ocean in just English.

The game is starting to shape up as it should, though there are still many issues left to address. One of them is the use of a variable width font for the 8x8 item names and menus. Because of the way this game is written absolutely nothing is ever easy to change, including the stuff that really should be, so an 8x8 VWF is definitely going to take the most amount of time to implement. Basically, if something looks like it should take only 30 minutes to hack, it ends up taking 5 hours or more and this is just for really minor stuff.

So, the 8x8 VWF is on my list of things to do, but it is last. This means that most likely the patch that gets released this year won't have menus and items using a VWF, instead I'll release an update early next year to support this. It's not required but it will make a big difference in the game. Not having the VWFs makes it look just like ToP's menu system, which wasn't that bad.

Currently, the patch supports translated dialogue, menus, items, spells, techs, skills, monsters, item descriptions, spell/tech descriptions, battle messages, treasure chests messages, coliseum messages, re-nameable characters and whatever else was missing from the last beta patch. What's not completely done yet (apart from a lot of hacking/reprogramming work) is script editing. Editing relating to all forms of text, not just dialogue.

At this time I would like to invite people who donated towards Star Ocean to contact us if interested in actually helping with beta testing. Cidolfas has been going over the patch and dialogue edits and believes it's ready for beta testing.

Please DO NOT APPLY if you do not have the time to TEST (and not PLAY!!) because we don't have much time left before the end of the year, so we do not want to lose time by waiting on someone who's too busy with other duties to help test efficiently!

We need to have several testers run through various parts of the game with all the different combinations and permutations of character parties, so we'll be assigning who gets to pick which characters (i.e. you will not be playing the game the way you want to play it).

So if anyone who was a donator is still interested and can actually afford the time to help: please contact me using your email you used to make the donation or else specify the name that the donation was made with so we can verify you, also please specify how much of your time you would be able to offer to help with the testing.

In case a few hundred people apply (like what happened with DQ5), we will have to choose people at random so it's nothing personal if you don't hear a reply. I'm expecting this might overflow my mailbox, so please send all emails regarding beta testing to Cidolfas ( If you get a returned/undeliverable e-mail error, try again the next day or try me instead.

Note to everyone who emailed us asking if they can do voice acting: your e-mails aren't being ignored, they're being saved until next year for when we have time to work on the dubbing project again.

And finally, here's what everyone was waiting for, proof of progress for Star Ocean: browse the Star Ocean project page and scroll through the available screen shots; Javascript is required. A big thanks to SirYoink for helping with creating the screenshots.

PS: Again, for the people who can't seem to read: check the FORUMS for HELP with GRAPHICS PACKS and IPS PATCHES. Do NOT E-MAIL us asking how to use them, we will not be able to reply. Thanks.

- We're not "back" because we were never "gone" ;).
11-09-2003 [Bisqwit] Website updates
The website has now changed a bit. You should not see much difference, but for us it means that it's now easier to write news without getting cluttered with HTML code, which in turn will make us want to post news more often :)

The changes use Cascading Style Sheets (CSS), which means that not all layouts will "work" on older browsers.
Standard complying browsers like Mozilla and Lynx (my favourites, in that order) should be fine :)

The Message Forum is back online! Well actually the link to the forum on the menu bar has been restored and updated to the new link (i.e. you can now click the 'Forum' button at the top of the page). Anyone who's still having problems with patching IPS files or graphics packs should visit the forum to look for assistance.

Expect more frequent updates in the very near future.
9 months of news blackout sure is scary ;)
02-03-2003 [Tomato] Update
Certain lamers have decided to impersonate DeJap members. Please refrain from believing what these impersonators might say on messageboards, especially late at night. They are most likely lying. That is all.
02-01-2003 [Dark Force] Happy Lunar New Year
I've been seeing many negative posts about "the scene" on various msgboards the past couple months, largely by people who don't really understand what it is they're bashing. Message to all these people, including all the selfish people who just want new patches for themselves and don't care about the people who contribute to the work, be they donators or otherwise, and what they have to do to finish these works:  piss off :p!!! This update isn't for you.

For everyone else, read on :).

Star Ocean

Lately, we've been bombarded with "are you dead yet?!", "will you ever finish SO?", and "what is the release date??!" emails - like a broken record. I can understand some people's frustration or anxiousness, but did anyone even read the last post :p? It didn't say anything about us giving up, in fact it said the project is not halted, meaning we're going to finish Star Ocean.

So, for everyone wanting to know when the release date will be for Star Ocean, here it is: some time in 2003! That's about as precise as we can be, though I promise we WILL have it completed before the end of this year (though hopefully much sooner).

What's going right now is we're doing some more bug fixing and Tomato is testing the script over again, finding new errors. After this, a new beta will be given out (by request) to the people who donated to the cause, for testing, suggestions and reviews. After all, the donators deserve to get something back before most other people. I know there were several other people who offered to donate who we declined or who wanted to donate but couldn't at the time, whose generosity is also appreciated, but we need to keep the testing to a confined list.

I apologize to everyone (including those who don't deserve an apology, you know who you are) that this is taking so long, but trust me it will be worth it. I am also pissed it's taking us this long. I was planning to do a VWF for the 8x8 text but I may have to leave that for after the first *final* release. I want it to be finished just as much as everyone else interested in the project, but shit happened and unfortunately we had to slow down.

If you're a donator who's wants to help beta test, don't email us just yet requesting a beta, there will be an announcement when the new beta is available.

About the voices, yes I did get everybody's emails and sorry I didn't get a chance to reply to them all yes. If you emailed us about voices and haven't heard back, don't worry you haven't been ignored, I've just collected your emails and categorized your voice offerings for now until we actually start working on the dubbing project again.

The dubbing project is a far bigger project than finishing up the translation and hacking, we can't promise that it will get done this year so we're putting it on hold until after the final Star Ocean patch is released. Plus I think it would be better to find someone else to coordinate that project and have a system to let the fans decide which voices they'd like to hear rather than us, as well as have multiple voice patches (because no everyone will agree). Of the voice files that were recovered from Tomato's hdd, none of the final recording we selected were recoverable, but ironically enough all the try-out voice samples we declined as well as try-outs for people we accepted were all saved. Tomato thought it would be fun to release all the funny try-out/runner-up samples in an mp3 release, probably before the final patch is released.

Here are a few not too old screen shots of Star Ocean progress. The bugs aren't as bad as they look, I just need to replace another font.


For people who keep asking about DQ3R: work has restarted on it. I can't say much more than that right now, other than I plan to get more people involved to help finish the project faster since it still needs much work, however, there is renewed interest.


For people who keep asking about DQ6: I've halted the completion of NoPrgress's patch. I think some people are seriously confused when it comes to DQ6. I get several incoherent emails about DQ6 and all the Different DQ6 patches and which one sucks and which one doesn't. For the record, the only one being worked on as of late was NoPrgress's patch but under our supervision. The DeJap DQ6 patch is currently based almost entirely on NoPrgress's hacking so it can also be considered his work.

A friend was working on retranslating the DQ6 script on his own, but his hd crashed (I know how clichéd that sounds but it's true) and he lost everything, along with the will to work on it again :/. If you would like to finish translating the remaining 5%-10% of NoPrgress's original script (and you're quite fluent in Japanese), let me know and perhaps we can work something out.

Bahamut Lagoon

Also, a Bahamut Lagoon update is in the works, owing to a person who sent us the correct transliterations for all the terminology (weapons, armor, monsters, etc.) used in the game.

There is just one bug left that I can't seem to fix in BL which only relates to playing the game on a copier (real SNES), so if you have a SWCDX/2 or a GD3/7 *and* know a fair bit about SNES programming *and* would like to help fix this bug (very unlikely...), then please, contact me. All other bugs are caused by improper patching or corrupt roms!

I just watched a certain video by a certain 'competition' (and I use that word very loosely) and it really gratified the last 10 years of my part in the scene. It helped me realize how we accomplished what we set out to do and how fortunate we are to be appreciated and have such a supportive fan base (despite our current drop in productivity). Even people who don't like us still like our work, some even enough to steal it and take credit for it. And even for the people who hate us, it's proof that our work is meaningful if it can inspire such a passion for hatred and jealousy in those people :), again, you know who you are. If you don't know what I'm talking about, don't bother asking :).

Oh, um, one last thing.. I got myself a PSOne for X-mas, I was wondering if anyone had the game Suikoden II for sale or trade..? Not that I have any time to play right now, but I was just searching for it and it seems to be one of the rarest psx games on the planet.....
11-06-2002 [Chess Piece Face] What ever happened to...?
Greetings to all you faithful DeJap readers out there. I hope the last few years have been as kind to you as they have been to me. Some of you may be wondering "what happened to Chess Piece Face and makochin?". Some others of you who are new to the translation scene may not even know who we are. Well, to enlighten you, makochin and I translated almost all of the text in Tales of Phantasia and worked alongside Dark Force in that massive effort.

Masako is currently living in Kansai, Japan, working and enjoying a successful modeling career. After I graduated from my university, I returned home to Los Angeles to become a teacher at a private school in Pasadena, teaching computers to Kindergarten through to 5th grade, and music appreciation and choral music to middle school. I really enjoyed my time as a teacher, but I decided to make another move this fall, this time to North Carolina, to pursue a career as a professional musician with my band.

Our band is called GOxMACHINE, and our webpage can be found at - there are some mp3s to download and all that good stuff. If anyone is local to the Triangle, we are playing at Ringside in Durham on Thursday, November 7th (tomorrow), so please check out the show.

I don't have as much time for video games as I used to, but I did get Animal Crossing for my Gamecube and am pretty hopelessly addicted - I play at least half an hour every day on that. In addition to working with the band, I've begun recording on a solo record called Accept After Sea, and a few mp3s of that can be found on my webpage at If anyone would like to point me in the right direction for getting a decent job in North Carolina, I'd be grateful.

Lastly, and most exciting for me, is that makochin is going to come visit me in North Carolina for a week this December! I am really excited to see her again, it's never the same around without her.
11-06-2002 [Dark Force] More on ToP
Congratulations to GCT, the Swedish ToP translation team, for completing their ToP translation! The majority of the text had been finish several months ago, it was the task of formatting text to make it read well during game play which took up most of their time. They actually released the patch a few days ago but I wasn't able to update at the time. This patch is 1.0 but is expected to have some minor bugs, so let them know what you find so they can release an update in the near future. The translation looks really nice, though I only know about 5 words in Swedish :).

Tales of Phantasia - Nerladdning Version 1.0 - (General CoolNES Translations)

Also some time ago, Bisqwit had updated the Finnish ToP patch to version 1.003, which I believe fixes some translations and minor bugs. (Sorry for taking so long to update.)

Tales of Phantasia - Suomenkielinen versio 1.003 - (Bisqwit's ToP page)

Star Ocean news and donations update

Since we recovered most of the scripts, I forgot to remove the Paypal donations button. Just so people don't get confused, it's been removed from this page now. Tomato has finished retranslating the parts of the script that were lost, however, I haven't been able to compile a new patch due to some unforseen problems and new bugs which arose. In case anyone is wondering, no the Star Ocean translation has not been halted. For all the people who emailed us about doing voices, I haven't had a chance to get back to you yet but I will eventually.

For all the people who emailed about donating old hardware, I would like to ask if several people were waiting for a reply and never got one? I replied to almost everyone who offered but only heard back from very few people. Perhaps hotmail never sent my messages, so if anyone was still waiting to hear back from me, you could send a short message if you want. A big thanks go out to the two guys who sent in video cards!
08-24-2002 [Dark Force] Back On ToP
After many, many months of work (and not so many months in one case), 3 new versions of Tales of Phantasia are available!

First, the Brazilian (Portuguese) translation led by Sandman was the first to be completed. This patch is a final, compared to the beta that was released a few months ago, though a small future update is planned (in case of strange bugs).

Tales of Phantasia - Versão Brasileira 1.0 - (Emuroms Translations)

Next, after a brief pause and a few hurdles, the Norwegian translation led by Mike Haggar from Just4Fun was also recently completed. (Will Swedish be next? :/)

Tales of Phantasia - Norsk 1.0 - (JUST4FUN Translations)

Last but not least, Bisqwit and Warp have translated ToP to Finnish, resulting one of the quickest (but not rushed) translations to date. Bisqwit is even helping out with the further hacking of ToP for other languages.

Tales of Phantasia - Suomenkielinen versio 1.001 - (Bisqwit's ToP page)

Congratulations to all three parties for completing such a lengthy translation.
08-22-2002 [Dark Force] Success!! (More or less...)
We finally got the HD back from the recovery lab a few days ago! At first look it seemed like all the files were corrupt. The data recovery lab did something sinister in the way of telling us they recovered all the files but neglecting to mention that the recovered files were all corrupt. We weren't able to find out what they had actually recovered until after paying the bill. Not only that, they also charged us $200 over the highest price they quoted us, not very nice at all.

However, the files weren't completely corrupt and there were several back up copies of the script among the restored data. Different back up files had different sections missing, so after examining them all we were able to reconstruct 80% of the dialogue script and 100% of the item/menu/spells/decriptions/battle scripts! Really bad news, however, for the dubbing project: the voices were 100% non-recoverable :(. This really sucks because it was one of the main things we were hoping to recover, since it took so many months to organize and work on all the voice recordings...

Other stuff that was unrecoverable was preliminary work on FEOEZ and all the BL files (not that it matters since the BL patch was already released). Other things that were (partially) recovered include the Langrisser 2 scripts and some other translations that Tomato already finished and released - how ironic...

Since we have most of the SO data restored, Tomato is working on redoing the corrupt parts of the dialogue and I'm working on building a new patch that contains the item/menu/spells/decriptions/battle texts. We should hopefully have a new beta out before too long. The Star Ocean translation will get back on track, indeed.

The dubbing on the other hand, I don't know what will happen to it. The contact list of all the people who were working on the dub was also completely corrupt. Tomato says he isn't going to work on the dub anymore, which is bad because he was running the whole show as far as the dubbing went, I didn't take part so I have no idea what's going on with the voices or who worked on them and how.

I would like continue the dubbing project, however, I don't think we should include voices in the final patch, I'll make it a separate project with a different release date from the final SO patch. This way we can spend more time on it and not worry about holding up a final SO release, as well as finding new people to record the voices and give opinions on how they should sound.

If anyone reading this tried out for the voice recordings in the past or submitted samples which we chose as finalists, please contact us, you might still have back ups of your recordings. I do know that several of the people who did send in finalized recordings have disappeared or don't want to re-do them, so basically all of the characters are up for grabs (unless someone re-sends an entire character set).

Once again, thank you so much to all the generous people who donated and to those who couldn't but did offer support instead. You guys really came through for SO, benefitting everyone who'll play the finished translation, including the nay-sayers/lamers/dumbasses who bad mouthed us and the whole donation operation. This site is currently going through a complete redesign, when it's finished we will post the complete list of donators and contribution amounts.

To all donators: Within the next week (when we finish sorting out the bills and final donations), you will receive an email with full details about how much was donated, what was used, any amount that's left over and how it will be refunded/redistributed. Sorry to the people who haven't received replies yet, you will soon enough.

Famous last words: I can assure everyone that we'll never be repeating this.
07-10-2002 [Dark Force] Some of us just don't have any luck
While waiting on the news about Tomato's harddrive, I was using my scanner to scan in the Star Ocean instruction booklet (which we were planning on translating) and after scanning only 10 pages, the scanner stopped working! I didn't know what was wrong at first, the system would just freeze. I wondered if yet another ram stick was going bad on me. I tried again and the scanner made some bad clicking and grinding sounds then just stopped responding completely. What luck. Anyone know what this might be? I couldn't understand why this would just happen, but it did. Later on, I decided to replace the ram anyways, given my past experience. After putting in the new ram stick, the computer seemed to boot fine, until I got the death message: Primary master hard disk fail. At this point I was ready to throw my computer off the balcony. I don't know what it is, but this isn't the first time a harddrive has died on me from simply opening the computer case. Luckily, since the last disaster, I had backed up all my files so this time I only lost a couple days worth of work. Nevertheless, it's one less harddrive and more irritation.

First we'd like to personally thank all the people who donated thus far, it means a lot to everyone involved. We're still a long way from our goal so Tomato is still selling all his video game related stuff (check here), I don't have much left myself. Second, we'd like to thank all the people who have been spreading the word about our situation and the sites who posted news about it.

I know many people can't afford to donate or have problems using paypal and just offer supportive e-mails instead, but even a donation of $1.00 is meaningful! It all adds up in the end.

However, I'd like to ask at this time if anyone could spare (old) hardware donations (we can pay for shipping), which is usually easier than donating cash. I really need to build a backup computer. And more importantly, if anyone can offer hardware knowledge and advice. Since Tomato has a newer system now, I don't think he needs to worry about stability issues. I on the other hand, do, especially since my computer will crash far more often due to the type of hacking work I do. I don't trust my data with my current system anymore so I'd like to know what people can recommend for building a fast stable system, though I can't afford anything like a P4.

The kind of advice I'm looking for is from personal experience (not just what you read in an article) about what type of harddrive is the best (ex: Seagate Barracuda, not just Seagate), what specific model, what rpm, if it's a bad idea to turn on the harddrive sleep mode. What type of motherboard to get or not get, what BIOS features should be turned off to enhance system stability, what operating system with wich patch revision is best (needs to be dos compatible), what brand of cd burner won't die after 2 years, should I use SCSI, etc., etc.. I'm sure some people who visit this site know a good deal about hardware.

I'm thinking we should give something back to the donators, but I don't know what yet. Constant patch updates/betas comes to mind but then they would get leaked really fast. At the very least we'll put the list of contributor's names in the credits for Star Ocean.

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