Posts Tagged ‘Nintendo’

In a Slump? Try Something New!

Monday, June 22nd, 2009

It seems to have been a week since I posted. I suppose I could have managed to post something, but I was busy and I don’t think I’d really done anything new.

Everyone has slumps, and you’ve kind of got to ride them out. Try to work on whatever, or catch up on things you’ve missed while the slump has a hold of you.

This week, I’ve got a renewed energy. I’ve been reading the W3C SVG spec, and may have learnt enough to make something with it. I copied the text of the spec into a text file, then put that file on my Nintendo DS to read while I was out camping.
Here’s a little note for the frugal types, who can’t afford a $200 smartphone with the extra thousand or two you’ll have to pay out for a three-year contract: I got a Nintendo DS Lite, back in October when they were $129.99, open-case for $114.99 or so. I got a flashcart, which you can use to apply your own programs, and a microSD to put into the flashcart. You could get that whole setup for as little as $160. You can download a few programs, which would give you access to Google Maps (cacheable for offline viewing), let you write text documents, and let you read ebooks, among other things. The DS has built in speakers, two screens (one of them a touch screen) that fold up in a protective and small clamshell, wifi (though restricted), up to twenty hours of battery life, up to 16GB storage, and a couple other goodies. In short, it’s rather flexible.

I copied the SVG spec into a unicode text document, loaded it onto my microSD, and read it throughout camping. I also have some back-dated entries of a few blogs I’m following, so I can read back into 2007 or so while I have free time, as well as the recently-released Taking your Talent to the Web.
I’ll end up putting a tutorial for getting started with your DS in the Homebrew section of this site, sometime later. Needless to say, it was a great investment.
So I was carrying it around in my pocket all weekend, and managed to read about a third of the SVG spec over the course of four days. I’ve learned how to write the doctype and xmlns from memory, and I’ve learned about some of the elements and attributes used. I’m going to try my hand at it in just a few hours.

Before that, I’ve got a couple job leads. There’s a place about a twenty-minute walk from where I live, and that looks promising. I’ll ask them for advice and make some contact, though I’m not sure I can give up the freelancing life. I just love the freedom to work through the night at wake up at 8:00pm. I don’t know if there’s a single hour, now that I haven’t woken up in. When you wake up at 10:00pm, there’s just something inside you that leaps in joy.

Anyway, I’ve got a bit of a fresh start. Still looking for clients, but it may be time to bump my initial $50/week pittance to a realistic $100/week. If I could get a few full-time clients, I could be making a comfortable amount.
The price, really, depends on efficiency. Build Internet’s post on the issue really hits the nail on the head, when it comes to hourly (or per-period) wages:
20 hours x $30 = $600
10 hours x $60 = $600
If I can work faster, I can fit more clients in while they can get a product faster (without actually paying more). Just to see, I should try to completely recode my February client’s site, to see how long it takes me. If I can redo it in a couple weeks, it’ll really say something about how far I’ve come, because it took about two months of solid work to put together.

New: Nintendo Pulse Thing!

Wednesday, June 3rd, 2009

Nintendo just announced a new peripheral device: A sensor that clips onto your finger and measures your pulse. It sounds kind of simple and/or stupid, but I think Nintendo will be the first company to bring us completely immersive and realistic gaming. We’ve all played those games where you’re running around and you hear your character’s heartbeat in the background. Imagine if that followed the rhythms of your own heart? What if your character became shaky and jumpy when your own heart rate increased?
It looks like everyone is just thinking of fitness programs, right now, which the clip would certainly complement — But there are a good number of future applications for it, too.

What about the future? Nintendo has used the wii-mote in their guitars, steering wheels, guns, and more. They’ve got the balance pad, an old-style controller (old-style is a funny concept, because PS3 and XBOX 360 are still using them), a secondary tiltable/swingable device, and now the heart-rate sensor. They’ll add more, before the console is through: Imagine some sort of head- or ear-mounted device which measures the angle and direction of your head, which might move the camera angle slightly to give you a better view of your surroundings, and might make 3D applications easier (there’s already been 3D tutorials implemented by strapping a wii-mote to a helmet.

Then you’ve got sensors for your feet, hands, head, and heart. What’s left? Maybe they can read some simple brain signals, like blood flow, to control something else. (A game where doing math increases the potency of your magic spells?) I haven’t heard anything about microphones and voice technology, but I’m sure they have that.

Sony and Microsoft, meanwhile, will be left with as many buttons as fingers can touch, and little else. The days of hand-based games are going to slowly draw to a close, the way joysticks have.