28 April 2007

For those who've played disc golf on the KSU campus, you know how impossible this is. For those who haven't, you'll just have to trust me.

23 April 2007

Happy Birthday, Netty!

In honor of my wife's b-day, I made this stunning video (with stunningly bad compression, but oh well):

21 April 2007

Muffin Wars: Episode 1

I made this today. It took about 30 minutes, which, now that I look at it, seems like way too long. :)

20 April 2007

Call of Duty

Ok. I just played Call of Duty on the PC using the Wiimote, nunchuk, and a candle, and it's freaking awesome. It works just as well as the Wii version of CoD. I am infinitely pleased.

[Update: I just downloaded the "wiinsaber" script. It's stupid fun, and does just what you'd guess. Get it here.]

Enter the Wii-puting age

For some reason it never occurred to me that the innovative and fun Wiimote uses Bluetooth for its wirelessness. Most companies are, let's face it, evil (Sony). They insist on using proprietary technology that's not compatible with anything. But not Nintendo. The Wiimote uses Bluetooth and good ol' IR. So I shouldn't have been surprised to find that there's a growing community of users finding ways to use the Wiimote on the PC.

I don't need to tell you that there's a lot of potential in that idea. Replacing the mouse in FPS games, making homebrew PC games using the Wiimote, etc, etc. I've started playing around with it, and even though it's still a little rough, it's also pretty spiffy. Here's how to get started:

1. You need Bluetooth. If your compy has it, great. If not, buy a USB adapter. I got the Kensington 33348 for $30 at Best Buy, but here's the complete list of compatible devices. Install the drivers from the included CD.

2. Download GlovePIE. This program runs all the Wiimote scripts. It comes with quite a few prewritten scripts, and new ones are fairly easy to write (I'm still learning).

3. Get your Wiimote connected. This can be tricky. You have to hit buttons 1 and 2, just like you do to connect to the Wii, but the controller only stays in "search mode" for a few seconds, so you'll have to keep hitting them until your Bluetooth program finds it (it's called Nintendo RVL-CNT). Connect to it as a human input device (HID).

4. Run GlovePIE. File-->open-->testWiimote.pie. Once the script is loaded, hit "Run." If the numbers in the white box change when you move the Wiimote, it's working fine. Now click File-->open-->Wiimote Scripts and find a script that interests you.
So far, I've played with WiiDrums and Wiiitar, which are both pretty fun, and I now regularly use the Windows Media Player script so's I can have a remote control for my media (Note: the volume controls in that script are messed up. Change "Wiimote.Left" to F8 and "Wiimote.Right" to F9. You'll get what I mean once you see it.) If you want to run any scripts that use the IR features (like the pointer/FPS scripts) you'll need an IR source. Until I can work up something with IR LEDs, I've been using a candle, which isn't perfect, but works ok.

If you mess around with this, let me know how it goes for you, and if I come up with any fun scripts, I'll post 'em here. Happy Wiiputing!

15 April 2007

A disc golf vista.

Remakes and adaptations and sequels, oh my!

The last two movies I saw?
300-- adapted from a graphic novel
TMNT-- a remake from the original animated series and/or the comic book

Movies I'm looking forward to?
Transformers--obviously adapted from the old animated series
Pirates 3-- end of the trilogy
Indiana Jones 4-- noticing a trend yet?
Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time-- adaptation from an excellent game
Hitman-- another game adaptation
Get Smart-- adaptation of an old TV show I don't care about, but starring Steve Carell, which interests me
Die Hard 4-- probably not something I'd pay theater money for, but definitely Netflixable

And these are just the ones that immediately come to mind. There are probably a lot more that I can't remember. (not to mention all the ones I don't care about--the recent Rocky Balboa, for instance.)

This certainly isn't a new trend, but it's starting to bother me. Don't get me wrong. I'll more than likely enjoy all of these movies. But not every movie I see has to be part of a giant franchise with sequels and games and freaking coloring books. Excellent movies that stand on their own do still happen--The Prestige is a recent one that comes to mind. We need more movies where the majority of the money and the creative energy goes into the movie itself, rather than this incessant franchise-building.

Sometimes, remakes do this well--both 300 and Sin City tried to translate Frank Miller's artistic vision to a new medium, and they both did such an amazing job that the adaptations were justified as more than just money-making ventures for the studios. Transformers, though? Michael Bay has no vision. He's just out to make some serious bank, as always. (That won't stop me from seeing it, though. A giant-robots-fighting-each-other-and-smashing-stuff movie is, after all, a giant-robots-fighting-each-other-and-smashing-stuff movie. Still, I hope I've made my point here.)

Right now I can only think of two films I'm looking forward to that aren't part of an existing franchise: Hot Fuzz and Stardust (which is going to blow my mind).  There are probably a few others, but I need more.

08 April 2007

It's about time

For many years now, I've been waiting for a DVD release of Kenneth Branagh's Hamlet. It is, quite simply, the best version of the play I've ever seen on film. I mean, look at this cast: Kenneth Branagh, Derek Jacobi, Julie Christie, Kate Winslet, Robin Williams, Billy Crystal, GĂ©rard Depardieu, Charlton Hesston, Jack Lemmon, Richard Attenborough...some of these are pretty small parts, but seriously. All of those great actors in my favorite Shakespeare play, and no DVD? Hondo, the Imaginary God of Mischief is clearly at work here.

Well, Hondo, I stab at thy heart! Warner is releasing a 10th anniversary edition that should be out by the end of this summer. It's about time.

[A bit of Me and Aaron trivia: back in the day, we started rotoscoping the duel at the end of this film, between Hamlet and Laertes, giving them lightsabers instead of swords. Why? Because we're awesome. It was a pain, too, since we had to capture the footage from crappy VHS. 'Twas a worthy pursuit, but we only got about six seconds of film rotoscoped before the tedium got to us. Any idea where that footage is, Aaron?]

01 April 2007


My disc didn't come out of the ordeal without a few scars (and shards of light globe embedded in it).  The disc and I both agree: it was totally worth it.

Justice is served.

That light'll think twice before dissin' my disc golf crew again.