PS3 Slim won’t play Blu-Ray movies – A fix

Recently I have noticed that most of my Blu-Ray movies wouldn’t mount on my Playstation 3 Slim, video games load fine, and DVD’s load fine. It’s actually rare that I bother to watch them on the Playstation but with more movies being bought on that format for the kids I needed to resolve this issue with it being the only Blu-Ray player we have.

Inserting certain Blu-Ray movies into the PS3 will result in the disc never appearing on the XMB.
The disc will spin and there will be a constant clunking noise as the lens moves back an forth.
The disc will re-seat and the process will happen again until finally the PS3 gives up but will not eject the disc.

After getting frustrated with this I did a search on Google and finally came across a comment by someone which stated turning off one option in video settings would cure the above as long as the drive wasn’t faulty.

Settings -> Video Settings -> 1080p 24Hz Output (HDMI) -> OFF

That’s it, insert the Blu-Ray and it should then mount the movie and play it fine. I have posted this simply because it will remind me how to resolve this issue if I experience it again  and hopefully to make it easier for other people to find this fix.


70% off Mac Games from Origin (EA)

Origin are running a sale at the moment that provides . That works out at quite a saving! Looking at this further it would appear that it’s until 15th April (My birthday! ;))


EA Sale – Fifa 13 for only £0.69p

Electronic Arts currently have an iOS sale on at the moment, 55 games with up to 90% off. The highlight for me is Fifa 13 being £0.69p

Here is just a few of the iPhone apps that are £0.69p
Battlefield:Bad Company 2
Fifa 13
Need for Speed Most Wanted
Word Smack
The Sims 3

and a few iPad apps again that are £o.69p
Battlefield:Bad Company 2 for iPad
Command & Conquer Red Alert for iPad
Fifa 13
Need for Speed Most Wanted
Word Smack

This is just a selection of the many games that have been reduced. Got to love the EA iOS sales :)
Electronic Arts


Installing NAS4Free on a Lacie Ethernet Disk (Rackmount)

I recently decommissioned a rack mounted 1TB Lacie Ethernet Disk. I connected up a monitor to see what  the embedded Windows XP looks like. Well it’s pretty much locked down by Lacie with very little you can do with it. It was always a little buggy for me too, shares would randomly be inaccessible until a reboot, or the admin interface would become slow and unresponsive requiring a hard reboot which was one of the reasons that it was removed from the rack.

So, thinking about whether to stick it on eBay or not I decided to first look into installing some sort of Linux on it and getting rid of the windows environment. This however, was not as straight forward as I would have liked. The hardest part was finding software that would actually install and work with the VIA C3 1Ghz processor, it seems that most modern variants of Linux have dropped support for such old architecture.

Looking into various NAS software I stumbled across NAS4Free which stated it supported the processor installed in the Lacie Ethernet Disk so I set about trying to install it.

There are two methods to get NAS4Free installed. The first is to burn the image on to a CD and the second is to copy onto a Flash Drive, I *TRIED* the latter using the following method on my MacBook Pro:

Downloaded the latest x86 version from here
Converted the ISO to IMG using Terminal

hdiutil convert -format UDRW -o /Users/Stephen/Desktop/NAS4Free-x86-LiveCD- Users/Stephen/Desktop/NAS4Free-x86-LiveCD-

Next we need to get a list of disks to see which one is the Flash Drive

diskutil list

Mine was showing as /dev/disk3, I then unmounted the drive

diskutil unmountDisk /dev/disk3

Now it’s time to copy the file to the Flash Drive

sudo dd if=/Users/Stephen/Desktop/NAS4Free-x86-LiveCD- of=/dev/rdisk3 bs=1m

With that done now all we need to do is boot the Lacie from the Flash Drive and install it. So I plugged in the Flash drive but the Lacie refused to boot from the USB ports no matter what settings I selected in it’s bios. Tried alternative Flash drives with no joy. I also tried the Embedded version, again with no luck.

Eventually I gave up and burned the image to CD. Removing the three screws on the back of the Lacie Ethernet Disk I connected a CD drive to the second IDE cable, set CDROM as the only boot up device and  it proceeded to boot up off the CD.

NAS4Free then installed onto the primary hard disk 250Gb with no problems at all. (I did manage to install NAS4Free onto the USB stick and it does try to boot up from it, sometimes successfully other times it just seems to hang. I guess the Flash drive is either not compatible or I just got too impatient. I will re-visit this in time though.)

Setting up NAS4Free after this was a breeze, however the next issue I ran into is that the Ethernet card installed in the Lacie Ethernet Disk simply will NOT show a link when connected to a Sky Fibre router supplied by Sky. I tested the port using my MacBook Pro and the TP-Link TL-WA701ND 150Mbps Wireless Lite N Access Point that I had set up for use with Sky HD box and it worked perfectly so there is some sort of compatibility clash between the two.

After swapping cables, trying a different Sky router (original one prior to getting Sky Fibre) I discovered that behind a blanking sticker there was an on board ethernet port. Connected that port to the Sky Fibre router, enabled it in the bios (Lacie had disabled it), rebooted and it connected fine.

So there you have it, my experience with installing NAS4Free on a 1TB Lacie Ethernet Disk (Rackmount).

Next task will be to set up the NAS4Free as a Time Machine destination, though hard drive upgrades would be essential for this.


Olloclip Lens for iPhone

I have had the Olloclip iPhone Lens for quite sometime now and I never ceased to be amazed at the quality of the photos that this little lens can produce with the iPhone 4S. Priced at a reasonable £59.99 this lens kit comprises of the following :

  • Macro Lens which applies roughly a 10X multiplier and allows you to focus the iPhone within 12-15mm of the subject
  • Wide Angle Lens with cover which gives you approximately double the field of view of the normal iPhone.
  • Fisheye Lens with cover which gives you 180 Degree field-of-view
  • A nice little bag to store them in


To use the fisheye lens you simply slide it over your iPhone with the larger lens covering your camera, to use the wide-angle simply switch it around. However, to use the Macro lens you need to unscrew the wide-angle lens from the Olloclip. This is where the bag comes in handy, once you have unscrewed the wide angle lens simply pop it in the bag and store it securely whilst you take your photos.

A couple of things to note is that due to the design of the lens it cannot be used with any case which to be quite frank that’s understandable. It fits snugly onto your iPhone 4/4S so that it won’t drop off and secondly it cannot be used with the flash on, well it can but you get reflections of itself, see below 😉

I recently read that you can remove the Fish Eye lens from the Olloclip by twisting it as if you were unscrewing it. However, I didn’t dare try it and well, to be honest although I rarely use the Fish Eye lens I would rather it remain attached lol.

All in all this is a cracking little lens and I would highly recommend it.

Check out some of the images I have taken with the Olloclip Lens for iPhone below, take a look at the Flickr Group and feel free to comment with links to your photo gallery either on Flickr or elsewhere.

Keeping Look Out
A fly on a dandelion, no edits using iPhone 4s and the Macro lens.
Keeping look out

Rocks of coffee
Instant Coffee granules on a spoon. iPhone 4S with Macro lens
Rocks of Coffee

Are you lost
iPhone 4S with Fisheye lens attached

Are you lost?

Another Charm
iPhone 4S with macro lens attached
Another Charm

Meeting of ladybirds
Again another iPhone 4S with macro lens shot
Meeting of LadyBirds

Pretty impressive eh! To see the difference between with and without the wide angle lens I took two photos in the same spot, as you can see the wide angle lens provides quite a significant jump in the visible area, with obvious distortions though.

Stadium of light WITHOUT lens
Stadium of Light

Stadium of light WITH wide angle lens
Stadium of Light Wide Angle

Stadium of light with fish eye lens
Fish Eye

Example of macro with flash on


Example of wide angle with flash on, guess I need to clean the lens eh!