Techniques for Finding a Wii

It turns out that finding a Nintendo Wii is not easy, even one month after the launch. So in a situation like this, I ask myself "what are my resources?" Suddenly, an answer presented itself.

DTS Email

The page for DTS reads, in part:

Whether you need direct one-on-one support troubleshooting issues, hands-on assistance to accelerate a project, or helpful guidance [...] Apple engineers are ready to help you.

Works for me.
Design Element
Techniques for Finding a Wii
Posted Dec 20, 2006 — 16 comments below


Aaron Tait — Dec 20, 06 2776

Tell me if that works. I am just about willing to do anything now. Besides, those Apple Engineers seem to have an answer for everything. Well, at least at WWDC they did.

Andy Finnell — Dec 20, 06 2777

OK, that really cracked me up. I would love to know if you'd get charged an incident for that or not.

It also reminded me of an event at the end of the Dreamweaver 8 cycle, back when I was working for Macrodobia. We were tracking down the last of the Mac performance problems, and a beta tester had recently reported a particularly troubling performance bug.

Instead of letting me track down the issue, I was told that upper management wanted me to ask Apple what the problem was. The problem was, we didn't know what the problem was. We just had a bug report from a user, with no investigation, so we didn't where the bug was, or whose it was. The reasoning seemed to be: let Apple spend resources fixing our bug, so we don't have to.

Unfortunately, because of the lack of information, I had no idea what to ask our Apple rep. My first draft was:

We don't have a clue. Do you have an app that fixes that?

I eventually rewrote the question to use weasel words, but, unfortunately, Apple still hasn't come out with iClue, and Apple never came up with a response.

Chuck — Dec 20, 06 2778

If you're willing to show up at Target a few hours before it opens, that's how I got one.

Steven Michalske — Dec 20, 06 2782

iClue can be replaced with Shark from CHUD. A spiffy tool from apple that can give you insights on where you spending time in your code.

Andy Finnell — Dec 20, 06 2783

iClue can be replaced with Shark from CHUD

The problem wasn't that I wasn't aware of Shark, the problem was management didn't want me to spend any time using it, but wanted Apple to do the work for us (thus freeing me up to fix other bugs).

Thus, instead of a performance tool (that was already there), management needed a clue to know that other companies typically don't want to fix your bugs for you.

wombat — Dec 21, 06 2784

What is this Wii? I search on Google and see it is some game console. But what is so special about it that makes this worth looking-for rather then just buying another brand? Am I missing something? :-)

svend — Dec 21, 06 2785

Dear Wombat,

I realize that your comment was probably rather tongue in cheek but in case there really are people reading this who don't know what a Wii is I'd like to share my experience.

I have never felt the urge to buy a game console. Heck, I never play any games, on a console or on my computer (except Photoshop ;) ). But the hype around the Wii intrigued me, so I started checking out videos of people playing. I was amazed. Yesterday I walked into a local consumer electronics shop and out of curiosity asked wether they had a Wii. To my utter surprise they said yes (it's supposed to be completely sold out where I live) and on impulse I bought it.

Long story short: even though I've never used a game console ever (except one time, many years back, some other Nintendo-thingy (Mario-something, I was crap, couldn't figure out the controls)) I instantly understood the system and what's more: I had 4 friends round last night and we were literally screaming with laughter for hours on end. Rayman totally killed us laughing and with all the physical, bodily action required. I still have sore arms from the WiiSports "boxing", and my belly still aches from all the laughing.

A word of caution though: take the advice about using the wrist-strap seriously! A friend of mine first thing slammed the remote into the TV-set while "bowling"... luckily both the remote and the TV-set weren't damaged.

Scott Stevenson — Dec 21, 06 2786 Scotty the Leopard

But what is so special about it that makes this worth looking-for rather then just buying another brand?

Wii : Other Consoles :: Mac : Other Computers

The story from svend is interesting, and he doesn't seem to be alone it it. For me, the main point is that the Wii has Zelda. The other games look great too, but I'd buy it if Zelda was glued to the drive.

Nintendo is also working on new versions of Mario, Metroid, and presumably the other francises like Mario Kart and Starfox.

In gaming, there's Nintendo and then there's everything else.

Kenneth Ballenegger — Dec 21, 06 2788

DTS sucks. I once mailed them about a problem with the WebKit when I was on Jaguar and the latest system was Panther. Their answer was like, "upgrade man, we're not helping you"

Scott Stevenson — Dec 21, 06 2789 Scotty the Leopard

Their answer was like, "upgrade man, we're not helping you"

Without having any context at all, I might guess that the issue is that they found something that would require a backport to fix.

Chuck — Dec 21, 06 2791

If Zelda's the only thing you're interested in at the moment, there's a version for GameCube out now. The only real difference is that the Cube version obviously doesn't let you point at the screen to aim though as a really nice side effect, it also doesn't have that goofy cursor-fairy making twinkling noises all over your screen!

Andy Lee — Dec 21, 06 2794

This is getting dangerous. I have no aptitude for video games, so I've always felt comfortable steering clear and saving time and money. I thought Dance Dance Revolution looked like a fun way to burn calories, but my downstairs neighbors would never stand for it. Then a friend showed me the Nintendo DS, and I had that "Apple of the gaming world" reaction -- I immediately recognized the Mac-like sensibilities in its design. And it was so affordable. Still, I staved off the gadget temptation. *Then* I saw this: ("I bought a Nintendo GameBoy DS just to play this game"), and now I'm almost certain I'll get one.

My 9-year-old nephew got a Wii the day they came out -- he and his dad were at the store at 6 in the morning. I'm almost scared to go over and see how much fun it is. From what I've read, it's reasonably priced, it's a joy to use, in a way that Mac lovers immediately appreciate, and it involves physical movement, which appeals to me greatly.

Scott Stevenson — Dec 21, 06 2795 Scotty the Leopard

If Zelda's the only thing you're interested in at the moment, there's a version for GameCube out now

Are they graphically equivalent?

wombat — Dec 21, 06 2796

svend thanks for your answer. My question wasn't meant tongue and cheek, I really didn't know what Wii is. Sounds great but ... I would like a game console with a train simulator game. You know, one of those things where you select a track and drive a steam or diesel or electric train, with all the sounds and signals and scenery etc :-) As far as I know there is no such thing for any console.

Steve-o — Dec 21, 06 2799

Are they graphically equivalent?

Yes - except that the Wii version runs in widescreen, and the cube version does not. So you see more of the gameworld at any one moment with the Wii version.

I think Chuck's comment about the pointer functionality understates it - being able to aim your arrows (or what have you) with pinpoint precision with a pointer is much easier, substantially faster, and fundamentally more satisfying than using the analog stick. It's hard to imagine going back to that way of aiming.

Chuck — Dec 21, 06 2803

Yeah, the Wiimote is really cool. I also like spinning and shield-bashing with the nunchuck. I was just saying, if Zelda is all you want, the GameCube version is there. (I'm actually considering buying the GameCube version after I beat Twilight Princess just to see how it feels with an old-fashioned controller.)


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