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Nintendo Classic Games (Games) Emulation (Games)

$10K Package Of Super Nintendo Games Finally Found By Post Office (eurogamer.net) 155

A project to preserve (and validate) every Super Nintendo game ROM had been derailed when the post office lost a package containing 100 games from the PAL region. But now Byuu, the creator of the Higan SNES emulator, reports that the package has been found. An anonymous reader writes: Thursday Byuu finally posted photos of the unboxing for the package that was shipped to him January 5th. "I'd like to offer my sincerest apologies to the USPS for assuming the worst in that these games were stolen. I should not have been so hasty to assume malicious intent." At the same time, Byuu writes that "My package was sitting in Atlanta, GA for well over a month with my address clearly visible right on the box. Had this case not been escalated to the media, it likely would have gone up for auction in a bin with other electronics sometime in March."

Byuu is now refunding donations he'd received to replace the missing games, and says he can now also resume work on the SNES Preservation Project. And going forward, according to Eurogamer, "Byuu has said he will be more cautious with shipping games in the future -- only using smaller shipments, or buying individual games to scan and archive then selling them on to get some money back."

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$10K Package Of Super Nintendo Games Finally Found By Post Office

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  • by mirability ( 2308172 ) on Saturday February 25, 2017 @01:48PM (#53929341)
    They lost his package and didn't care. They would have sold it and profited from it if it hadn't gotten media attention. The rest of us just lose our packages. I hope this will trigger a larger investigation of how the USPS handles these things.
    • I would say the USPS showed as much care as the original packer showed using brown wrapping paper with no reinforcement to group two used boxes together.
    • You know it won't.
    • by Xenographic ( 557057 ) on Saturday February 25, 2017 @02:18PM (#53929471) Journal

      Well, the package got its address label ripped off, so there wasn't that much they could do. Yes, there was an old address label on the other boxes, but boxes get reused enough that they can't necessarily assume that's the sender or the recipient.

      • by Nemyst ( 1383049 )
        Between attempting to use the old label as a first step towards an investigation to find the legitimate owner of the package, and just doing nothing until they sell it off, I'd much rather they attempt to use the old label. It may not point you to the legitimate owner directly, but at least then you're showing good faith attempts to find them.
    • by Dutch Gun ( 899105 ) on Saturday February 25, 2017 @03:47PM (#53929773)

      I recently had USPS packages lost. You first have to sign up on their website, which is irritating enough. After a lengthy claims-reporting procedure, it was LITERALLY impossible for me to file a claim on their website, as the mechanism was completely broken, preventing me from submitting. When I called the tech support number listed on their web site to report this, I got an advertisement/marketing survey asking me my age (and if you're not in the correct age range, they just hang up on you). Beautiful. Then I called a general help number, selected the "claims / lost package" section, and still wasn't able to talk to a human being (apparently, you could only look up an existing claim by ID). All other options resulted in the same thing. No way to talk to a person that I could discover. I had already wasted several hours by this time, and the package wasn't valuable enough to pursue things further, so I just wrote it off as a bad experience.

      NEVER, EVER send anything you deem valuable or important via USPS unless you have no alternative, or are willing to write it off if it goes missing. Most of the time it gets their fine, but if not, you're probably screwed, and they apparently don't give a crap about fixing mistakes like these.

      Lost packages happen - I'm not asking for perfection. But I've dealt with other carriers and have gotten rare mistakes quickly resolved.

      • by dgatwood ( 11270 )

        USPS is bad for many other reasons, too. The post office where I live (a major city) is basically open in a narrow window from 8:30 to 5:00 on weekdays and a short four-hour window on Saturday. Need to ship something out? Unless it can wait until Saturday, you'd better plan to take time off from work unless you're willing to leave it on the side of the road for hours. And if the sender requests that something be held for pickup, that means you have to pick it up during that window, too. By contrast, t

        • While the USPS does have its problems, this is a bit misleading. It is very simple to print a paid shipping label and either have it picked up when the carrier makes a regular dropoff, or specifically request a pickup if there's at least one piece at Priority or higher rate. Lots of times I've also taken in pre-paid packages and skipped line to just leave them on the counter. Many PO's also have automated machines and drop boxes in their 24 hour lobbies. I've had UPS by comparison completely lose a pack
      • by Quirkz ( 1206400 )

        My recent experience was close. Lost a package. Tried to report it on the web site. Took me forever to create an account and log in, and probably half an hour trying to figure out how to fill out a report.

        In the meantime, the recipient realized he'd send me the wrong address, went over to the place where it had been, and found the package.

        A month later the USPS emailed me saying, "We're still looking for that package." I felt bad and tried to cancel, but that option doesn't exist on the web site. I was unwi

    • and a buddy of mine who's a prolific ebay seller has had dozens. As long as you insure it they pay out within a few weeks (which is better than average for any kind of insurance).

      If I ship my kid a $50 dvd and it goes missing I don't care if the post office finds it. I get my money from the insurance and buy another copy. The last thing I want is the post office spending millions of dollars tracking packages full of easily replaceable crap.

      It's just standard biz practice. All things being equal if i
    • To be fair, this has happened to me before with international packages. I had a package sent express from Canada to the US, and instead of a few days it turned up 4 weeks later with tracking saying it left one US facility but never arrived anywhere else, without me even bothering to contact them since it wasn't expensive enough to not just re-order. There were no problems with the address either.
  • by known_coward_69 ( 4151743 ) on Saturday February 25, 2017 @01:55PM (#53929363)

    you can clearly see in the photos it's not packed well. something like that you don't use paper to brace the outsides of the box. he should have bought some packing peanuts or those plastic air things that amazon and every other professional shipper uses to brace their packages

    if he would have sued he would have been laughed out of court with those photos

    • by gweilo8888 ( 921799 ) on Saturday February 25, 2017 @02:12PM (#53929447)
      I guess you missed where he clearly stated that it was the post office (specifically, Deutsche Post) which was responsible for the manner in which the packages were taped together, not the sendor *or* the recipient.

      FTFA: "When the donor went to send me the next batch of 100 games, he reused my boxes and took them to Deutsche Post for assistance in packaging them up. They ended up taping my two boxes together, and then wrapping the box in thick brown wrapping paper. This was not ideal, but please understand that this was done at the behest of Deutsche Post. The sender was not aware of the possibility that USPS' sorting machines could rip the label off. The postal workers, who ship mail for a living, really should have advised him better."
      • It's hard to tell from the photos, but it looks like there are two well-wrapped and addressed boxes held together with strong tape. These 2 boxes are inside a third box and the surplus empty space filled with crumpled paper - adequate, but not good if it's at the bottom of a pile of heavy boxes. The flaw was wrapping the outer box in brown wrapping paper with an address label stuck on. It doesn't take much to tear off the wrapping paper, and that's how he got the first letter from the USPS with the label on

        • The third box was not part of the original shipment, at least not according to the description given. The original shipment consisted of just the two boxes taped together and then wrapped in paper. The third box would be what USPS repackaged it in after the fact in order to get it delivered since the the original packaging was poor.

      • by Kjella ( 173770 )

        The postal workers, who ship mail for a living, really should have advised him better.

        That's like saying the people taking orders at McDonald's make food for a living. While there's of course exceptions I generally assume retail clerks don't have any real experience with any other part of the business than pointing out where things are, pushing the products and accessories the company wants to sell and working the cash register. The real skilled people are often working somewhere else, the front line staff is often temps and extras or quite happy with jobs where they don't have to think so h

      • I guess you missed where he clearly stated that it was the post office (specifically, Deutsche Post) which was responsible for the manner in which the packages were taped together, not the sendor *or* the recipient.

        I guess you missed the part where the sender did a crappy job of packaging - and the Deutsche Post had to do the best they could with the pile of shit he dropped on their counter.

      • They sell you package if you do not have them, sell you tape, but they do not tell you or help you make your package, when there is usually 10+ persons behind you fulminating that it is taking so much time to be done. There is on the other hand small outfit , usually at bar/tabac/dry cleaner/etc which are handled by the local shop owner and prominently state that you can leave post there. The personal there is not Deutsche Post personal. So yeah , I rather doubt the explanation is complete.
        • I haven't used Deutsche Post specifically, but I have seen post office and shipping company employees helping to pack items in multiple other countries, and I wouldn't be surprised in the least if they do the same in Germany. Particularly in the kind of rich neighborhood where somebody who owns this many rare games would be likely to live.
          • Other outfit MAY do that, the Deutsche post does not. I have been in many post office, small city, but city, big filliale, small one, big deposit place. And all have one thing in common : they tell you to do your package yourself. And i would bet it is a rule to avoid liabilities like in the case the package is done wrongly or damaged.
    • he should have bought some packing peanuts or those plastic air things that amazon and every other professional shipper uses to brace their packages

      hahahah OMG that was a laugh, and that bit about being laughed out of court for something that pretty much everyone does, truly hilarious.

      Those plastic air things that "professionals" use I find more in cheap Chinese ebay packages than anything from professionals.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday February 25, 2017 @02:09PM (#53929421)

    for the USPS, always use registered mail if sending something valuable. Registered mail is kept in secured, locked containers from receipt until delivery and the USPS is required to maintain full chain of custody records (every time the container with your piece in it is handed to a new person, they must sign that they received it). If lost, registered mail is traceable down to the person who lost it. If a registered mail piece is lost, the discipline in the USPS is quite strict because you know exactly who messed up.

    • by tlhIngan ( 30335 )

      Not only that, but if it's really that irreplaceable, packaging properly helps.

      First off, there should be more than one address label. You'd be surprised how often the one outside the box falls off. The postal service in most first world countries is generally quite good, and will open packages on the hopes that there's something with an address inside.

      If it's something that's individually wrapped (like those games should be in case the box gets soaked with water), and they're rare, it doesn't hurt to stick

    • I used registered mail to ship something to Canada and it just evaporated after it was picked up by USPS. No scans, no tracking information, nothing. USPS said the registration was invalid and sorry about your bad luck. I lost over $100 on that shipment with no recourse since USPS blamed me for the issue.

  • Next time he should use a company that knows what the fuck it's doing. Never use the USPS unless there's no other choice. Their tracking is something from the nineteenth century and their employees simply do not care about doing a good job.

    USPS - when it absolutely, positively has to be there sooner or later (or not at all).
    • by Anonymous Coward

      I've worked for UPS. I've found packages buried in the debris at the bottom of their trucks...for six months or more.

      I've seen stuff broken and smashed by FedEx.

    • We've been using UPS to send packages to our daught-in-law and grandson in Hallettsville TX, as the post office there can't find their address (they use a PO box for stuff that can't be shipped) The post office workers there couldn't find a firehouse if they were standing in front of it, and fire trucks were racing out.
  • Never EVER us the USPS to ship anything that you are not prepared to lose. They still have the government employee mentality of not giving a shit about the quality of their work. Individual mail carriers might care, but nearly everyone else in the organization doesn't give two shits about getting your package to it's destination. FedEx and UPS exist for a reason. When conducting business, one of these two carriers is always the way to go because they deliver consistently and on time.

    The USPS was a great

    • They still have the government employee mentality of not giving a shit

      Yeah because random employees in large corporations give so many shits about you personally. They really don't, you know, I mean really not at all.

      When conducting business, one of these two carriers is always the way to go because they deliver consistently and on time.

      aaaahahahaha.

      The USPS was a great idea 240 years ago and they served their purpose for a long time, but it is high time that we fully privatize them and let them go bankrupt

      • Random employees in a large corporation may not give a shit, but typically their managers care about their underlings customer ratings, and bad ratings reflect poorly on the manager and usually impact his annual bonus, so he/she makes random employee give a shit when I call to complain or he fires them for cause. So yes, they may not personally give a shit, but professionally they know they had better give a shit. Care to try again?

        I have shipped a lot of business packages both nationally and globally, s

    • The USPS was a great idea 240 years ago and they served their purpose for a long time, but it is high time that we fully privatize them and let them go bankrupt if they can't perform a competent service.

      The USPS can not be fully privatized. It is an integral part of the US legal system, and the one and only courier service that delivers to all physical addresses in the United States. In nineteen jurisdictions, process service can be completed on an individual by mail: Alaska, California, Washington D.C., Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota (with prior written consent), Mississippi, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Nebraska, Ohio, Oregon, Texas, Virginia, and West Virginia. In

      • OK, so split the legal function of address location and zip code and leave that part of the federal government with a few hundred employees. As far as delivering legal things, private companies can easily fill that gap with a delivery confirmation service. Private companies already provide all kinds of legal services, from authorized notary to lawyers to... serving confirmed legal notice... If you live 200 miles off in the sticks, your private mail should be delivered to a post box in the nearest town, a

        • Why should I subsidize people living that far from civilization, especially when all banking and bill payment can be done online as well as correspondence?

          You like food, don't you? And wood and paper products? And cotton clothes? Hell, even petroleum-derivative clothes come from feed stocks acquired "off in the sticks". Humanity has managed to automate 90% of the work required to gather all of these things so there's a smaller percentage of people doing that work than ever before in history, but as with all things, the first 90% is the easy part.

          Automating that last 10% completely may never happen. It certainly won't happen in your lifetime. A lifetime

          • Competitive private industry always does it better, faster and cheaper than the government (note I said competitive).

            "This is purely a religious statement, with plenty of contradictory evidence. Competitive private industry does many things quite well, it's true, but the one thing competitive private industry never does is ubiquity. It can sometimes come close, especially for portable things, but when it comes to utilities, private industry never achieves ubiquity unless both coerced and ince

  • by sibsybcys ( 820086 ) on Saturday February 25, 2017 @02:43PM (#53929565)

    I have had several high-value packages, which I paid extra shipping for in order to get better tracking and recoup some of the most money if lost.

    USPS does have a fairly good track record of finding packages when you continue to escalate. I've always done it in steps, up to and including contacting the highest levels available.

    One package that was sent Priority Overnight to me did not arrive for 10 weeks. After several calls and filling out their online tracking / trace / lost package form, I finally made a phone call.

    48 hours later I received a call that my package, as in this case, had just been sitting in a distribution center, unharmed with both the return address and my address on the box. Apology included.

    It really can be worth it to continue to escalate until they either find the package or if you have insurance, recoup your losses.

    Just my 2 cents. I've had this happen a few times and every time I followed the escalation process... eventually the item was found and delivered promptly. promptly.

    I'm glad he received his games. Also, package your items carefully. I print out the return address and destination address. I jam it full of bubble-wrap. Then I use tape to completely water-proof that paper.

    It seems all worked out in this case. It was kind of him to apologize.

    I don't think the USPS is "out to get" anyone. They're also, to my knowledge, the only delivery service that requires a warrant to inspect a package sent within the US. My understanding is that other carrier, such as FedEx and UPS have standing agreements to allow LEO's to inspect without warrant.

    73,
    -sibsybcys

    • by Anonymous Coward

      Several years ago at work someone sent us a package but it never arrived. Thankfully, they had a tracking number.

      Both my mailroom guy and the sender escalated.

      To be fair to the post office, the box was slightly mis-labeled - it had the wrong zip code or some such.

      Anyhow, it wound up in the regional shipping center near us sitting on a carosel for several weeks. We finally got it after a several-week delay.

      I had another several-week in-shipment delay several years ago on something a vendor shipped to us bu

    • If they can actually track the package and after 1-2 hours on the phone don't tell you something like:
      -- "Your postal worker wasn't working today."
      Ok, but it was supposed to be delivered yesterday, the tracking says it was yesterday.
      -- "We'll look into it, here's a case #"

      Later that same day, a neighbor stops by with a package that was delivered to her two days ago. I do not waste another hour+ on the phone notifying the Post Office.

      < 5 days later >
      --"Our investigation shows no trace of your pac

      • by v1 ( 525388 )

        Reminds me of a recent incident. I've had so many problems here that I keep a motion-activated wildlife cam trained on my mailbox 24/7. Got an email while at work, "package delivered, left at side door".

        Get home. No package. Check camera. Postman never even stopped at my mailbox let alone my door.

        Called USPS 800#. "Sorry sir the carrier logged your package as delivered, so that means it absolutely WAS left at your house, it must have been stolen, you need to contact your local police to report a stole

  • on the 18th when reported it was 5000$ worth of games, then an update to that summary put it at 8000 gbp (9968$) and now its 10,000!!!!

    loose it for another couple weeks it will be worth 20!

    https://games.slashdot.org/sto... [slashdot.org]

  • While i'm grateful the box was found, Byuu should have been smarter. If you're sending anything of value ($10k worth of games seriously) , get a tracking number, insure it, and get it sent via certified/registered mail. There'a no excuse for this carelessness. He got lucky. Had he had done that he would have had a way to find where it got lost. You should always do this for anything of value.
  • "...Given all that's happened, I've lost a lot of trust in shipping games like this..."
    You really mean to say "I've developed a more realistic appreciation of the process and how appropriate (or not) the various services are for shipping valuables, ie, not to ship something of high-value via the lowest-possible-cost method."

    "...Once again, I'd like to offer my sincerest apologies to the USPS for assuming the worst in that these games were stolen. I should not have been so hasty to assume malicious intent.
    I'

    • by Anonymous Coward

      What? He used a service. It was shit. Who gives a fuck about the "real challenges involved in modern shipping"? Other courier companies seem to have a significantly better record of not completely fucking up a delivery.

  • by kamapuaa ( 555446 ) on Saturday February 25, 2017 @04:36PM (#53929983) Homepage

    A decade or two ago I was a hard core EBay re-seller, as a sort of side hobby I had Chinese movies (generally VCDs!) shipped in-mass and re-sold them in the normal mail, I used USPS and often the cheaper media mail rate. I sent hundreds (thousands?) of packages and not once, ever, did I have a problem with packages being sent in the post office getting lost or damaged. A couple times it took a week or two longer than it should.

    • Back in the 90's I had a computer store selling Atari stuff (yes, they had computers!) and we had to send an external hard drive to a customer vial APO to Saudi Arabia. The customer never got it. We had insured it so USPS did pay us for it. About a month later we got the package back and it looked like they had parked a jumbo jet on it. The metal case had been bent around the 3.5" hdd inside and you could see the shape through the sheet metal. The hdd's solid aluminum block had been cracked in multiple loca
  • Is there something different or more legal about this project than past SNES scanning projects?

    "My friend" has an archive of ROMs that's complete. It has every game, and even has every regional or versioned release as well (several ROMs per game). Same for NES, Genesis, and N64

    • by Megane ( 129182 )
      This about dumping and documenting each individual actual cartridge, not some random torrent of ROMs from a shady corner of the internet. The really serious arcade ROM dumpers even want a chip-by-chip dump from an actual machine, which is a little hard to do with cartridges since they're almost always soldered.
    • by Z80a ( 971949 )

      Not really.
      According to byuu:
      https://byuu.org/emulation/pre... [byuu.org]

      Not only there are some unknown revisions of the games that he managed to find with his project, as the roms were often modified for dealing with emulators with poor heuristics, hacks to remove anti dumper code and just plain malice, like signing the rom with the name of the dumper etc..

    • He has already re dumped other batches of cartrigdes and already found some bad dumps...so I'd say this redumping is good to have.

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