WiimoteLib v1.7 Released

image I have just put up the latest version of WiimoteLib at CodePlex.  The changes for this release are:

v1.7.0.0

  • Writing registers is now properly waiting for the Wiimote to reply before continuing…this removes all of the Thread.Sleep() calls and should *greatly* improve performance when setting LEDs and rumble (Serial Nightmare & wwibrew.org)
  • Guitar Hero: World Tour Guitar and Drums now properly recognized and used (wiibrew.org, tested by Tyler Tolley and Mauro Milazzo)
  • Guitar whammy bar is now a 5-bit value instead of 4 (wiibrew.org)
  • Position of 4 IRs now properly reported in Basic reporting mode (Dan Carter)
  • Found1/2 now properly reported in MSRS (reported by akka243)
  • MSRS project updated to Microsoft Robotics Developer Studio 2008

Please give this new version a try and let me know how it works for you, especially if you have one of the newly supported controllers.  And, as always, what features/bugs would you like to see added/fixed?  Please leave a comment here or contact me directly so I can add it to the list.  Enjoy!

Hanselminutes Podcast

image At the very last minute before Scott left for Africa, Dan Fernandez and I were able to do a quick episode of Hanselminutes to promote our book.  Have a listen to learn a bit more about our book, the projects it contains, how they were developed, and some issues we ran into when trying to use some technologies in a way they weren’t intended to be used.  Head over to the main site to stream the show in your browser or download in a variety of other formats.

Coding4Fun Book News and Preview

9780596520748_catI received my first copy of the book on Friday afternoon and it looks great!  It is now also listed as “In Stock” on Amazon.  Additionally, there is now a Google Preview of the book If you’d like to see a preview of the book, you can do so by clicking the Google Preview link below, or navigating directly to the Google Book Search page for this book.

I can’t think of a better holiday gift for the geek in your family than this.  But, I may be a bit biased…

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Head Banger Is Now Available on Xbox LIVE Community Games

xboxboxart Several friends and I work together to write “indie” video games under the brand Ganksoft EntertainmentYou may recall that for Maker Faire 2007, we created a very simple rhythm-based music game (think Rock Band or Dance Dance Revolution) using XNA called Head Banger.

With Microsoft’s official release of Xbox LIVE Community Games with the New Xbox Experience, we decided to blow the dust off of Head Banger, add a couple songs, integrate it bit more with Community Games and XNA 3.0 and release it.  It is now available for purchase for 200 Microsoft Points (or, as with all Arcade and Community games, there’s a free trial) straight from the Community Games section of the Games Marketplace on your Xbox 360.  It will be listed under New Releases for a little while, otherwise you can go to All Games and then the letter H to find it.  Additionally, you can view the official Marketplace page on the new web-based Xbox LIVE Marketplace site.

Please give the trial a go and let us know what you think!  And, if you think it’s worth 200 points ($2.50), we’d be happy to have you purchase it so it will move up the “popularity” list.  Thanks!

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Animated Musical Holiday Lights at TVUG

image I’ll be presenting a session on building your own holiday musical light show using Phidget boards and .NET at this month’s Tech Valley User Group.  I’ve previously written an article about this topic on the Coding4Fun site, and there will be a full chapter on this in our upcoming “Coding4Fun: 10 .NET Programming Projects for Wiimote, YouTube, World of Warcraft, and More” book.  Here are the session details…

Abstract: This month, learn how to build an animated light show set to music, much like the famous holiday light show videos you may have seen on YouTube.  This session will cover how to build the hardware, how to build the software, and how to combine them to create a synchronized musical show for your home.
When: Tuesday November 18th, 2008 – 6:30-9PM
Where: VersaTrans Solutions, Latham, NY

Hope to see you at the session!

WiiEarthVR Article and Source Code Posted

I previously talked about my WiiEarthVR project shown at PDC project, and now I have posted the article for the application up at the Coding4Fun site.  Full source code is available.  You’ll need some hardware to make this go, namely a Wiimote, Nunchuk, Wii Fit Balance Board and a pair of Vuzix VR920 glasses, but the hardware can be toggled on or off depending on your own setup.  The VR920 glasses are pretty cool in that they also work with a variety of FPS games on your PC with a custom driver they include.

The article will, among other things, teach you how to use Virtual Earth 3D from a managed host (i.e. a WinForms app, not a web page), how to talk to the Wiimote, Nunchuk and Wii Fit Balance Board, how to retrieve the head tracking data from the VR920 glasses from .NET, and how to draw stereoscopic 3D images to the VR920 glasses from .NET.  Quite a bit packed in there…

Anyway, have a read and, as always, questions and comments are welcome.

WiimoteLib v1.6 Released

image A new version of my managed Wiimote library for .NET has been released.  You can find version 1.6 up at CodePlex now.  The changes are as follows:

v1.6.0.0

  • Added "center of gravity" calculation to the Wii Fit Balance Board (thanks to SJB)
  • Structs are now marked [Serializable] (suggested by Caio)
  • Battery property is now a float containing the calculated percentage of battery remaining
  • BatteryRaw is the byte value that used to be stored in the Battery property
  • WiimoteTest app now reads extensions properly when inserted at startup
  • Exposed HID device path in new HIDDevicePath property on Wiimote object
  • Changed the time delay on writes to 50ms from 100ms…this should improve responsiveness of setting LEDs and rumble

I feel like I’m running out of things to implement and bugs to fix.  I know that’s not true.  So, I want to hear from the people using my library…

What features/bugs do you want to see added/fixed?  Please leave a comment here or contact me directly so I can create a master list.  Thanks!

We Have a Cover!

c4fcover We finally have an official cover!  This is likely exciting to no one but me (and Dan)…

Dan and I are working on the very final round of edits and formatting.  The book goes to the printer next week and it should be available the first week of December according to Amazon.  So what are you waiting for?  Order now!  🙂

And be sure to visit our book’s website.  The chapter items will be filled in as we near the official release so you can get a head start on the book’s content.

This Week On Channel 9

While at PDC2008 we shot an episode of This Week on Channel 9.  If you feel the need to waste 13 minutes of your life on a PDC recap with me, Dan Fernandez, Scott Hanselman and Clint Rutkas, then this is the video for you.  I have embedded the video below, but you can also click through to the main page to watch or download the video in a variety of formats.

This Week on C9: PDC recap and Halloween with Scott Hanselman, Clint Rutkas, and Brian Peek

TL39: Coding4Fun: Windows Presentation Foundation Animation, YouTube, iTunes, Twitter, and Nintendo’s Wiimote

Well, PDC2008 is over.  I had a lot of fun, met a ton of interesting and fun people, and learned about a lot of exciting new technologies.  I hope to make it back out there next year.

Our PDC2008 session video has been posted up at Channel 9 along with the PowerPoint slide deck.  In this session you will learn about four of our current projects:  WiiEarthVR by myself, InnerTube by Dan Fernandez, TwitterVote by Clint Rutkas and BabySmash by Scott Hanselman.

If you’d like to check out the video, you can watch it “live” or download the deck and video in various formats with the following links:

Source code for all projects will be available soon and I’ll provide an update when it’s available.  WiiEarthVR will also have its own Coding4Fun article within a week or two.  InnerTube and TwitterVote are also featured in depth in our new book, “Coding4Fun: 10 .NET Programming Projects for Wiimote, YouTube, World of Warcraft, and More”, which comes out very soon.

As always, questions and comments are welcome on the session.  Thanks!