viva la revolucion!

Nintendo has finally released details about their new controller (complete with pics). The feedback on the linked page seems mostly negative, but I for one am pretty excited about the possibility for innovative new game control paradigms.

The new controller is shaped like a remote, and the unit’s tilt and physical position in space are used as input. To me, this is incredibly natural in concept. I mean, if you can think back to the first time you used a game controller, can you remember what you looked like? If you’re like most people, you looked like a total dork, waving the controller about, as if moving the controller was going to help mario jump a little higher. It’s very intuitive and natural that we would think that the control interface would react to our movements in that way. Unfortunately, due to the very low-resolution capabilities of controllers designed at the time, technical and cost limitations, we were only able to interface via button presses. Of course there was the Nintendo PowerGlove, but that is best forgotten (anyone remember that horrible movie, where the “bad guy” kid was pimpin’ the PowerGlove?).

One of the things that the detractors state is that it looks like a remote control. Well, this makes sense. According to the article, Nintendo are targetting the non-traditional games market, i.e. older adults and females. Now, if you were to present one of these folks with a typical game controller, what’s the first reaction? “Wow, there are too many buttons!”. The new controller looks like something very familiar to anyone who has used consumer electronics in say, the last 20 years or so. It has a lot fewer buttons than the typical remote as well.

Personally, I think Nintendo have a winner here. Of course, I’m going to save final judgement for when I can actually play one in person.

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like a beaver gnawing my nerve endings …

The BeaverWhen I was 16, I had back surgery to alleviate a problem with a herniated disc. One never fully recovers from something like this, and one of the many charms of growing older is that these things come back to haunt.

Earlier this year, I started getting some pain in my right leg. With some stretches and exercise recommended by my favorite physical therapist, I was soon back to “normal”. However, some months later, the pain returned. Of course, if I’d get off my lazy butt and actually keep up with some kind of exercise routine, this probably wouldn’t happen at all.

Anyway, so the pain this time is much, much worse. It is reminiscent of the pain that led to my earlier surgery. Not good. I am currently only able to manage the pain until I can see a specialist (In this metro area, it can take weeks or months to see a specialist). I’m hoping that it is only temporary, since we are supposed to go to 日本 in October. I really don’t want to be in this condition for that trip.

Until then, I can only hope that the constant, irritating pain will subside, and I can start exercising to prevent this from happening again.

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ch-ch-ch-changes…

Well, after a little over a year, the startup that I’m working for has decided to close the location at which I work. It’s been fun, it’s been real, but I can’t say I’ll miss it too terribly. The long hours were gruelling, and now it’s time for a break.

So, what’s next? Honeymoon. My last day is Sept 30, and we begin our honeymoon Oct 1. Pretty sweet, if you ask me.

BTW, getting laid off sucks. I’ve gone through the emotions about it, and feel a lot better about it now that I’ve gone through them. In the end, I know that I’ve been called to do something else, and for the last several months, I’ve been feeling more and more that I should not be here anyway. This is just speeding up the process. My next step is to do some web work and multimedia work for a small company that does such things. Also, I’m going to step up the game with the nonprofit that I’m a part of. The next year will be interesting indeed.

After the honeymoon, I’m taking some much needed rest. I haven’t had a real vacation in years, and it’s about time to regroup, gather my thoughts, focus on my future, er “our” future 🙂

Oh, also, we’re trying to move. That’s a load of fun in and of itself. Add that to the other stuff going on, and it’s a recipe for an ulcer. Ah, everything in its own time, everything in its own time. (I’m no where near getting an ulcer, really, I just have a penchant for the dramatic. I’m really about as un-stressed about the whole thing as I could possibly hope for)

Here’s to the end. The end of Chapter 2, and the beginning of chapter 3!

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ease of use

I really do like MacOS X. I do. Of course, nothing’s perfect, and here’s one of them. Why can’t I create a CD image that is readable on Windows (or Linux or NetBSD for that matter)? Is this some kind of joke? There’s no option to create an ISO9660 image that can then be burnt to a CD? Give me a break! I really don’t mind using hdiutil from the command line, or even using mkisofs from the fink archives, but if Apple went to the trouble to make a nice GUI, then why aren’t these options available there? In Mail.app, there’s a checkbox for “windows-friendly atachments”. Couldn’t there be a similar option for Disk Utility?

So, what’s a nerd to do? Roll your own, of course! I decided to learn something new and write a little Applescript droplet that turns the dropped folder into an ISO image. Here it is in all its glory. It detects if you’ve gone over the rough size limit of a CD, but doesn’t check for DVD size limits. However, it doesn’t stop you from making an image any size you want.

Try it out (if you have a Mac) and let me know how I can improve it.

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