Default [Q]a500 Bricked? Dead? Fixable?

First off ive read almost every thread on the a500 in the past few days, ive downloaded the tools,came across alot of dead links, tried to follow them and i just cant get it to come back to life...my head is spinning trying to understand all this... ill explain what i know and all i have done so far...any help would be greatly appreciated

this is my dads a500 i did update it ota to the latest version of android stock for it a few months ago. he uses it every day
he was using it playing a game, it froze up, he tried a reboot...now it wont go past acer screen

in recovery i get the dead android guy with red exclamation point over him, if i dont switch the screen lock it will try fast boot 00.03.12 ics bootloader from usb...with no result

tried to boot to recovery with the update.zip on a newly formatted fat32 1gig micro sd card....and nothing was i using the right zip?
"Acer_A500_7.014.01_041.203.01_COM_GEN1_1333444043 393_2fe1ad59_decrypted"

in apx mode...apx flash tool will recognize it...but i never get anything on the tab screen confirming it is in apx mode...no boot loader or messages at all

Ive tried to install a bundle with apx flash from blackthunder...it went through the whole install process...but no result, i dont know if it was connected properly and everything the same.

my though is my bootloader is messed up... so i guess my question is how can i fix it if i cant connect correctly through apx mode or recovery mode... did i do something wrong? not install something i should have?

i downloaded a500 manager and apx flash, ics root, sbcalc, babsector,

any help with be greatly appreciated

thanks Jim