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March 7, 2009

Another fine example of the Microsoft Seal of Quality. My Falcon (the one I purchased at best buy at the beginning of the first xbox saga) died for no reason today. It was running just fine as I was experimenting with its media capabilites. I turned it on again about 20 minutes later and was greeted by Microsoft's famous Red Ring of Death (not to be confused with Microsoft's other famous Blue Screen of Death... do you see a pattern here?). Anyway, I called tech support, fought through their absolutely horrible automated menu system and finally got to a real person. I immediately requested to speak to his advisor. I answered some basic questions for him and was forwarded on. For what it's worth, he did an excellent job and helped cool me down a little. The advisor couldn't guarantee me a new Jasper, but I was told I would get the same kind I am sending in (Falcon). I was also told not to mark the box with "Microsoft" or "Xbox" in any way. As if that matters - for one of my last returns, when I dropped it off at UPS, the guy working there immediately identified my package as an xbox. Apparently they see several a week going back. I was also given a choice of getting a free wireless controller or camera for my troubles. Since I already have both it wasn't a huge win for me, but at least they see that replacing somebody's hardware for the 7th time deserves a little something extra.

The next day I did some research on identifying the new Jasper consoles. The power requirement number on the back seems to be the big indicator: 12.1A = Jasper, 14.2A = Falcon, 16.5A = Xenon/Zephyr. I also discovered that according to this number, my Falcon wasn't a Falcon after all! Strange because it definitely ran cooler then the previous one. Maybe Zephyr was an improvement over Xenon after all. Out of curiosity, I called the guy who owns the replacement I got for my first dead one and confirmed that it was in fact a Falcon. I also went to Best Buy to see what was in stock. At this time, pretty much any Arcade console is a Jasper but the Elites were Falcon's and the Pros were still Xenon/Zephyr's. According to what I've read in forums, finding a Jasper in a Pro or Elite is still pretty rare. The Resident Evil 5 special edition console that will release next Friday is almost certainly a Jasper. I would like to upgrade to a 120G hard drive, and being able to immediately resell the game (NO interest in RE5 here, thank you) would make it a little cheaper. Unfortunately, that would also mean having a pig-ugly red console. At least it would match the lights!

March 12, 2009

I got the empty box today and sent the console back. The UPS guy immediately recognized the package as an Xbox 360. He said he gets at least one of them a day. The Microsoft Seal of Quality! I am still undecided as to whether or not I will pick up one of the ugly red Elite (AKA Resident Evil 5 Special Edition) consoles tomorrow. According to a post I read in a forum, they have been confirmed as Jaspers.

DateEventCountSerial #Reference #
March 7Red Ring of DeathReturn #12069882803051096012787
March 12Got return box and returned consoleReturn #12069882803051096012787