Amp's blog

Amp Blasts: Xbox 360 controller drivers for Windows!

I kind of mentioned some of the difficulty I have had with this, but after today I've decided I may as well mention this too. The simple fact that I have to rely on another program such as XBCD to CORRECTLY use my 360 controllers is bullshit. Microsoft created the 360 controllers and the common input drivers for Windows so I honestly thought they would make it work straight out of the box. The reality though is that it's three levels of fucked up.

The biggest issue is why the fuck the D-Pad mapped to the POV hat. This breaks the overwhelming majority of joysticks, including those who allow for the joystick to be mapped to the left and right analog triggers. The majority of games don't read controls from there and as a result it leaves games such as Touhou unplayable in newer operating systems unless major league modifications are made. Seriously Microsoft, there's no fucking excuse for these awful drivers.

Amp Blasts: Driver Signature Enforcement in Windows

Recently, my Street Fighter IV Tournament Edition FightStick arrived and I figured why not try it with some PC shmups. I hooked it up and drivers were instantly installed. However, the drivers install mapped the joystick to the POV hat which renders it practically worthless for most shmups. I attempted to use XBCD+, but when I try to install it the system gripes about the drivers not being for Windows 64 bit despite seeing information to the contrary. On my desktop, which I have Windows XP on, I got it to work with XBCD almost instantly and was able to get everything working.

Amp Blasts: Unnecessary GPU acceleration in applications

Ok, it's no secret that GPUs are rather powerful and can do more than run games in Modern gaming consoles and PCs. It can speed up various processes such as video playback for common users and for more advanced users, cracking encryptions. Developing programs to take advantage of this also is not very difficult thanks to the development of OpenCL. However, the majority of programs that use GPU acceleration either don't need it, or are heavily unoptimized.

Future Amp Blasts writings....

Since I do have a little free time for once, here's some planned Amp Blasts works that will hopefully be done in the future.

- GPU accelerated applications that AREN'T games
- Windows 7 Driver Signature Enforcement
- Pentavision and PM Studios (For those not in the know, the makers of the DJ Max series.)
- Cave (I hate to do this, but after some news that was announced this morning I have to do this.)

Madcatz Arcade Fightstick: Tournament Edition review

It's no secret that I love having higher quality controllers. It's also no secret that Mad Catz was known for anything BUT high quality controllers for gaming. With this in mind, when I first heard that Mad Catz would be making controllers for Street Fighter 4, I thought they would be the usual cheap knockoffs. Then, they decided to state that there would be an entry level, and a pure arcade based version of the fight stick which again had me skeptical. Well, I was skeptical until after seeing the controller in action.

iXtreme LT+ released: Put a stop to AP25 checks!

At the start of the month Anti-Piracy 2.5 was announced with the newest Xbox 360 Dashboard with the first two games using it being Fable 3 and Call of Duty: Black Ops. Last night though, iXtreme LT+ was released for Lite-On and BenQ drives to defeat this anti-security measure. For those using Samsung drives, it cannot use the AP25 correctly so that check is turned off so they are safe. In the future there will be a release of iXtreme LT+ for drives used in the Xbox 360 slim so stay tuned if you own that version of the console. This new firmware can be downloaded at and the newest version of Jungle Flasher can be downloaded at for those who are interested.

Note: For updating to the newest dashboard, revert back to the Official Firmware first as trying to update with iXtreme on the drive will cause the console to be banned from Xbox Live.

Should my PSP modding tutorials be updated?

Along with the other tutorial I am planning, there is some debate on if I should revisit the topic of PSP modding. The reason for this is that since writing my tutorial there have been some major developments.

- Currently, Official Firmware is at version 6.31 and the guide that I wrote cannot run UMDs that require anything beyond 5.03.
- CFW Enabler uses m33, which probably won't see another update as Dark_AleX is no longer working on it. Since then, Team GEN's Custom Firmware has overtaken m33 in terms of quality and work.
- Furthermore, an add-on for the GEN CFWs known as Prometheus has come out that allows for UMDs and ISOs of 6.xx games to be played without patching if no anti-piracy failsafes are on the game.

While patching ISOs to make them run on Custom Firmware can still be done, the OFW check on UMDs bugs me enough to legitimately consider updating these guides. The main thing that will make me decide on if I should update these is if there is enough demand.

A New Tutorial is coming this Holiday Season....

After discussing this with RaT, I have decided to start planning a future tutorial that will be written during the Holiday Season. (This is being done so that it won't conflict with class.) Like other tutorials before it, the main focus will be on something that while not technical, is more intended for a practical solution. I will mention though that this is a tutorial that I feel should be done cause it approaches a topic that I feel that Home Theater PC owners have been getting fucked over on now for the last 4 years and honestly, it's time some things change.

Serial Experiments Lain on Blu-Ray?

Recently, I was alerted by RaT that Geneon was working on a remastered 1080p release of Lain for Blu-Ray for an October 2010 release. What I have seen looks legitimately impressive, but there are a few small issues. First, it's going to be a limited pressing from Japan. Second, it's going to be $300 to get it. Third, given the track record about these types of remastering of shows like this it may not reach the US. (The best example of this was the remastering of End of Evangelion which to this day has not seen a domestic release thanks in part to the douchebags at Manga Entertainment.) As a result of this I figure that I may as well make this plea.

Amp Blasts: The Wii Goldeneye Remake

This is guaranteed to anger people, but to me Goldeneye represents a vastly overrated game. Everybody has tried to say that it was groundbreaking for it's multiplayer, for it's graphics, and the music. The reality though is that IT WASN'T. If anything the low framerate of the game is rather piss poor, the multiplayer just showed that as being worse not to mention the poor reaction time, and the soundtrack actually feels like a step backwards in quality when compared to the MIDI fanfare in Doom! The fact that people try to name it as ground breaking also shows a lack of knowledge in FPS games as long before it there was Doom, Quake, Duke Nukem 3D (more like 2.5D, but still it was more fun), and even Wolfenstein that did a better job for their respective eras. The reality was that Goldeneye got lucky.

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