Archive for the ‘Wii’ Category

Wednesday Wii

April 2, 2014

First one of these in a long time.

Our Wii console died after 2018 days on the job. Pretty good, I guess. The failure was mechanical rather than electronic — it wouldn’t read the disk, but it worked fine off of stuff saved to the SD card. Unfortunately, you can’t save the game itself (in our case, the “game” is Wii Fit+), you can only save the data — Nintendo is deathly afraid of piracy. What to do? Well, we did what we always do when we need something in the gaming line. Off to GameStop!

There, we got a replacement console. Brought it home. Plugged it in. Works fine. Except.

This card cannot be read by this console

The card in question being the SD card whereon we’ve saved 2018 days of data, plus our lovingly crafted Mii’s. Five and a half years of work down the drain.

Yep. Nintendo did it to us again. Whatever their “upgrade” process, it left early Wii SD cards unreadable. This is the same company that puts “system updates” on all their new games to break the latest unlocking techniques. That thinks it’s OK to put a large glob of heat-retentive plastic on top of a chip to keep it from being accessed and jailbroke. That uses draconian regional locking so that you can’t play games from overseas, games that will never be offered in the US.

I’d like to say that we should boycott any company that engages in these restraint of trade practices, but they all do things like this, in some way or other. I’m not even sure it’s possible to pick a “least bad” company out of the pack — as in pack of hyenas.

Do you wonder why I’m in favor of Open Source?


Wednesday Wii — Weighty Factors

February 22, 2012

The fabulously beautiful planet of Bethselamin is so concerned about the erosion caused by ten billion tourists per year that the net balance between the amount you eat and the amount you excrete while on the planet is surgically removed from your body weight when you leave: so every time you got to the lavatory there it is vitally important to get a receipt — Douglas Adams

Your weight changes on many different timescales: second by second as you inhale and exhale, hour by hour as you eat and excrete (be sure to get a receipt), day by day as the size and timing of your meals changes, and week by week as your true weight drifts in response to your overall intake and expenditure of energy. The official Wii Fit line is that weight can vary by as much as two pounds during the day, which is why you should weigh yourself at the same time every day, under the assumption that you take regular meals and are, well, regular. The trouble is, the Wii Fit only tracks daily weight, and day-to-day your weight (well, my weight) can easily change by two pounds, even if measured at the same time.

What you really need, and what the Wii doesn’t provide, is a graph of the running average of your weight, say, with a five-day or one week average. Enter, The Hacker’s Diet.

The Hacker’s Diet, notwithstanding its silly subtitle, is a serious book about how to lose weight and permanently maintain whatever weight you desire. It treats dieting and weight control from an engineering and management standpoint, and provides the tools and an understanding of why they work and how to use them that permit the reader to gain control of their own weight. The book is intended primarily for busy, successful engineers, programmers, and managers who have struggled unsuccessfully in the past to lose weight and avoid re-gaining it. Computer-based tools and experiments in Microsoft Excel or the Palm Computing Platform are available, as well as an online Web application, but a computer is not necessary to use the techniques described in the book; paper and pencil alternatives are provided. — John Walker

The book, available in .pdf and ebook formats, as well as online, is by John Walker, founder of Autodesk, Inc. developers of the AutoCAD program. He’s not a dietician, but his recommendations make sense. Particularly the ones about averaging your weight over five days or so, and watching that trend line. The book is free to download and distribute.

It’s too bad that the Wii doesn’t offer any way to automate this process. It could do those calculations very easily. Or it could save the data files in a format that we could read, so that we could do it. But Nintendo, like all the other companies out there, is bound and determined to control how its product is used, and if it doesn’t feel like providing a certain capability it certainly doesn’t want anyone else doing it. That would cut their revenue stream.

Or something.

Wednesday Wii — Wii Game Play(s)

February 9, 2011

Here is a review, not by me, of The Wii Plays, an off-Broadway performance that’s a series of playlets that are based, too loosely it would seem, on various games in the Wii repertoire.

If I read the review correctly, any budding playwright or high school drama group can do something like this. The trick is to rummage around your playchest until you find a brief verbal passe d’armes between two actors (a scene cut from a previous play, a scriblet of what might be a future play, a weekend writing assignment), and then change the setting so that it can be construed to be associated with the Wii. Set it in a Wii location (the bar in the Wii Resort?). Give the characters Wii game identities (Link as a high school boy asking Zelda for a date?). As long as you do more than just paint the set white with blue-green trim you should be OK.