Wednesday, May 2, 2012
It's a fact that the gaming community runs on batteries.  Laptop batteries, game controller batteries, cell phone batteries, tablet batteries, and cartridge batteries.  An overwhelming menagerie of portable power exists in nearly every place you go.  When something runs out of batteries that aren't easily replaceable such as AA, then typically it is time to go and get a new one of whatever's battery just died.  However, what if you're really attached to that electrical mechanism with no electricity?  The answer comes naturally, send it to the company to replace!  And see, this is where the company makes their long-term maintenance profit.  To put it bluntly I recently upgraded my phone from an iPhone 3g to an iPhone 4s and gave the 3g to a friend of mine who was in need of a new phone.  Suffice it to say after 4 years of use, the 3g can only hold a day and half's worth of charge.  Being concerned about the phone's lack of ability to hold a charge, my friend called Apple and asked about the cost of replacement for the battery.  $80 they told her, an unreasonable amount.

So, we looked up the prices of batteries for the 3g, on average they sold for $15.  The best part is that the replacement of an iPhone battery is extremely simple.  For those too sleepy to do the math, that is $65 for approximately 5 minutes of labor and shipping!  Outrageous!  Back to the simplicity of the repair *ahem* here's what needs to happen, and this applies to any iPhone version I believe, and oldschool iPods (although the seond instruction is a little different.
1.  Turn off the device and switch it to silent, if applicable.
2.  Unscrew the bottom two screws on the iPhone (on the iPod, pry the cover with an exacto knife once everything is unscrewed).
3.  remove the front cover.
4.  Admire shinies, gently remove the battery connector and pry the old battery loose.
5.  Place new battery, close her up!

Another interesting thing you wouldn't think that you could replace the battery in, but can, are PlayStation 3 controllers.  PS3 controllers get very heavy use in my home, and I'm happy know that I can replace the battery in them to make the fun last rather than spending $50 for a new controller or playing while it is plugged in on the short charging cord.  The process for this one is simple, unscrew, unplug the battery, plug in the new battery, rescrew.
Now, there are also some items that you would not initially think needed batteries to function properly that display different symptoms than an inability to hold a charge.  Computers for example, whether they are a desktop, laptop, or netbook, they all require batteries (aside from their main source of power) to allow the system to boot up and save new data.  If your computer has issues booting up (everything is running, but the screen remains black), and if it actually boots up the clock is wrong and files are missing, this is typically the result of the battery I have been alluding to, the CMOS battery.  What this battery does is save your settings in BIOS (basically what controls your operating system whether it be OS X, Windows, or Linux) and controls the real time clock on your computer.  Thankfully, like those previous issues above, this is a simple fix.  Locate where the CMOS battery is located on your motherboard, remove the old battery, replace with a new battery (of the same type, information is on the battery), and again call the surgery a success!  I do not have a video showing the process for this, every computer's anatomy, particularly when it comes to laptops and their various brands, is different.  This means that the process to get to any given CMOS battery is different.

So, I'm going to end this with 3 videos (I am aware of how abusive I am being with the YouTube embedding feature right now) about how to save your Pokemon, and maybe some of your N64 and SNES games if you still have the actual systems around to play.  From the dawn of video games and into the mid 1990s, video games in most cases came in the form of cartridges.  These cartridges all have motherboards and chips inside of them, and how you would save your data to these cartridges was in these chips.  However, without power, these saves are forgotten in the volatile memory of the chips.  To actually have the game remember where you were these game cartridges had little SRAM batteries (the same as the CMOS ones in computers, just smaller)  to provide power to the chips at all times so that your memory would be saved (for 15-20 years) forever, hoorah!

In other words, as our games are sitting in our closet, or wherever they may be, the little batteries that are keeping your saved games alive are slowly discharging.  It doesn't have to be this way, you can continue to play these games AND save if you replace the battery.  Again, the trick is to simply open the cartridge, replace, and close.  The first video is of replacing a GameBoy game before the battery has died and successfully saving the data.  The second and third are parts 1&2 of a more detailed replacement on slightly more new GameBoy Color cartridges.  I assume the same principle works on other cartridges, but I will not be covering anything specific about them.
Now that YouTube will probably not let me embed another video on this article, I believe my point has been delivered.  Batteries are amazing!