I knew it was going to happen : my first pinball repair disaster. Fortunately, I resolved it within an hour. An hour of spazzing out.

Space Shuttle is known to include internal AA batteries to keep your settings & scores retained. These batteries are also known to leak & destroy the expensive CPU parts. There’s a mod which many people do that moves these batteries to a less sensitive part of the machine in case they leak. I cracked open the machine to investigate this (or at least switch out the batteries for newer ones) and found that someone had already done it for me – but the scores still weren’t being retained after the power was shut off.

Only later did I read that you need to leave your machine ON during this process, or else your specific settings will be totally lost. My settings included free play, and when I turned the machine back on, it refused to start an actual game. And the screen which presumably displays your setting choices – well, that’s dead. A new one is coming in the mail, eventually, and it’s a rare $75 piece.

I don’t know how I did it, but after I e-mailed a dozen people about WHAT THE FUCK DO I DO NOW, I figured out some weird thing by hitting buttons until the bizarre number displays kinda made sense, and I pressed a ’19′ until it said ’0′, based on weird manual instructions – and I can play again.

This marks the beginning of a 2-week vacation away from my family, and 3 weeks away from work.