Well, it got here like last week, but I’ve been neglecting my blog duties 🙂 So, I slapped in a Seagate 160GB hard drive into my PS2 and booted up HD Advance; you can hold down any button on the PS2 controller while the disc is booting to place it into server mode, which is the mode you need to be in to transfer ISO files from your PC to the PS2. So, I started up my copy of hl_dumb and began the process of sending files on over.
Now, the first little annoyance with HD Advance is that you cannot change the default IP address (at least not that I’ve seen). My home network does not use the 192.168.x.x scheme, so I had to assign a second IP to my PC’s NIC. Second irritation is that the transfer rate is SLOW; I get about 1Mbps on a 1Gbps network. WTF? Even better, the hl_dumb program doesn’t recognize my PS2 hard drive when I connect it directly to the PC, so I’m stuck sending the ISO files over the network, taking an hour to an hour and a half (nearly three hours for Rock Band!) to send files over the line.
But last night, I played several games directly from the hard drive; and the speed was AWESOME! (See, I even used all caps there!). The wait times are practically non-existant, which improves gameplay ten fold. Unfortunately the PS2 doesn’t have a way to reset the device with the remote, so I still have to hit the reset button to restart HD Advance and choose another game, but not having to swap discs is well worth that little bit of effort.
Unfortunately you can’t save your games to the hard drive, which makes sense considering how HD Advance works. It’s also not hard to fill a hard drive up; I’ve only got about 50GB left and I’ve only copied a few of my many games. The good thing is that you can simply put in a new hard drive and then swap your hard drives as needed. For example, put your RPGs on one hard drive and your action games on another, then swap them when you want to switch genres.
I think I’m still going to buy a mod chip, even if it is just for shits and giggles.