August (Co-Op Gaming and Tech Purchases)

Looking back over August this blog post covers co-op gaming, tech purchases and salvaging a hard drive.


This monthly post covers items that I might not blog about in a stand alone post. I think some of my tech activities just don’t warrant their own post, so my monthly posts allow me to mention them.

I’ve been unwell recently, but I still managed to play some games, buy some hardware and work. Whilst the hardware purchases mentioned might seem boring, for me they’re essential and they were not impulse buys.

Co-Op gaming

Last month I played a bit of Company of Heroes, but this month my health has deteriorated and I’ve only played a few games for a short while with my fiancée and a friend.

My better half, my friend and I played this game via Steam’s remote play. It’s a game that these days I will usually only play for a short period of time. You either play on your own or I believe up-to four people.

The game is quite simple and involves you playing a character based upon an action hero, killing baddies as you move along the 2D level. Each character you play has a special weapon and if you’ve watched some old action movies, you might recognise some of the ‘action heroes’ the characters are based upon.

Again with my friend, my fiancée and I played a co-op game. This time, my fiancée and I played the game using gamepads connected to my PC, whilst my friend ran his purchase of Gauntlet and joined our game.

A screenshot of co-op gameplay in the Gauntlet PC game.

I played the wizard and unlike in BroForce I wasn’t able to quickly get back into the flow of gameplay. I had forgotten quite a bit about the game, but enjoyed working my way through the levels.

TowerFall Ascension
My fiancée, friend and I played this 2D game as co-op via remote play and I think my friend was using a keyboard. It’s quite a fast paced game, shooting arrows and jumping all over the place.

A screesnhot of TowerFall Ascension gameplay.

I didn’t notice any issue with lag and my friend learnt how to play the game quickly. It was a fun twenty minutes.


Kingdom Bundle via Fanatical
I purchased the first two tiers of the bundle for what I think is an incredible price for some PC games. I’m a fan of Fanatical and remember them back in the Bundle Star days. I like Bundles and this particular bundle has five games that interest me and for the price, I think I got a great deal.

I also use Groupees, Indiegala and Humble Bundle, but I buy less bundles these days. I often look at to monitor bundle releases and price changes.

Though I have so many games now, that I could easily and happily not make another game purchase for a long time.

WD Red Plus 2TB SATA Hard Drives
I own a D-Link DNS-320L NAS which I purchased back in 2013 and I installed a couple of 1TB hard drives, but now one of the drives is faulty and I’ve not used the NAS in a while.

A photo of hard drive packaging.

My plan is to upgrade the DNS-320L with custom firmware, then hopefully install the two 2TB hard drives I just purchased and use them in a RAID mode. I then want to use the NAS again to backup my personal and work files, such as email backups and photographs.

Targus Docking Station
I found the Targus Dock120EUZ-50 for what I think is a reasonable price second-hand on eBay, but I’ve not plugged it in yet to try it. I’m hoping I can use it with an old laptop, external keyboard and mouse, ethernet connection and a monitor.

Integral microSD USB Card Reader
I already own a couple of microSD card readers, but I liked the small size of the Integral microSD card reader and the price, so I decided to purchase it. Apparently it’s USB 2.0, which I’m happy to still use.

A photo of a microSD card reader

For a quick test I placed a SanDisk Extreme 128GB microSD card into the Integral reader and plugged it into my ancient PC and it was recognised by my Windows 10 PC.

SanDisk Extreme 128GB microSD cards
I was given one of these microSD cards as a gift and purchased a second card myself. According to the piece of cardboard that came with the card, it’s “Speeds up to 160 MB/s read and 90 MB/s write”.

A photo of a SanDisk microSD card and adapter.

I’ve placed one of the microSD cards in my Samsung Galaxy SM-G900T mobile phone. Using the ‘Cross Platform Disk Test’ application, I ran a test and the sequential write was 29.74 MB/s and the sequential read 39.85 MB/s.

I think the speed and write results could be a limitation of the S5 phone itself, but whatever the reason for the results, I’m happy with the read and write speed.

Kioxia TransMemory U301 16GB USB Flash Drives
I seem to use memory sticks a lot these days for various projects and I find them handy for transferring files. I decided to buy four more sticks and I liked the price of the Kioxia memory sticks.

A photo of four Kioxia USB memory sticks.

I plan on using one of the sticks for booting an operating system and might see if I can use another for temporary storage for a thin client project.

Salvaging a hard drive from a set-top box

As part of clearing out unwanted items, I got rid of a Freeview set-top box, but not before I removed the 2.5” SATA mechanical hard drive.

A photo showing the inside of a Freeview box.

I’ve removed hard drives before from set-top boxes and the size of this hard drive is 320GB, which I might find quite useful for various projects or even as a replacement drive in one of my laptops.

What’s coming soon?

I own a few old thin clients and I would like to restart work on those projects, but I’m not sure if I will publish about them during September or later on.

I will publish another monthly blog post covering various technology.

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