It's Wii U Weekend!

The Wii U launches on Sunday. The Deluxe Model includes Nintendo Land. Of course, I’ll be buying New Super Mario Bros. U, and feeling like a kid on launch day (and then remembering exactly how much I hated having to turn my game off so my dad could have the TV to watch football, as I have a “prior engagement” for Sunday Night Football). And although I don’t have stars in my eyes and I’m not excited for this console as a gaming console, I’m excited to see it as someone who has owned every console Nintendo has ever released – I’m excited to see it Nintendo mature, to see what is going to come next. I’m excited to see if, this generation, firmware updates will be for more than combating piracy (and failing miserably at even that).

I’m almost anxious, but the feeling, with a little more than 48 hours to go, is nothing like 1996 when I knew there was a Nintendo 64 in the house, but I couldn’t have it until Santa delivered it. It’s certainly not like 1992, when I DIDN’T know there was a Super Nintendo in the house and was blown away to open my Super Mario World / Mario Paint Super NES Super Set. It seems like a life time ago.

To prep myself, mentally, I read up on the latest offering from Nintendo: Iwata Asks: Wii U: The Console. I have to say I’m not floored – we’ve already seen how the hardware barely holds up against the Xbox 360 and the PS3 – it basicall brings the Wii in to the HD era, but it is still sweating itself to be that much more than the Gamecube. Perhaps there is hidden potential to unlock, and I think I’ll have more to say on that next week – but I still have that “new console” buzz going through my mind. I wonder if I’ll get any sleep Saturday night?

How an IT guy is like a Park Ranger

Sometimes my nerdy friends and I come up with funny analogies. Recently I decided that your IT person should be thought of as a park ranger. Don’t get mad at them when things aren’t going well, be glad they came around when they did! The more I laughed at the analogy, the more I started to like it. Continue reading “How an IT guy is like a Park Ranger”

Recording Lite for the iPad – get great audio on the go

I was in a pinch and needed to record some simple conversation this week. I had my iPad with me, and remembered downloading an app that I hadn’t tried before, Recording Lite. Recording directly to AAC, this app can record for hours without taking up much space at all. Thanks to the high quality microphone on the iPad, I had some crisp clear recordings, even of people across the room. Built in is the ability to upload the files to iCloud, or even swipe to the third and final screen, which loads up a small web-server app allowing you to navigate to the IP address of the iPad in a web browser, and download any recordings straight through a web browser.

There’s one more superb feature found within Recording Lite and that is the ability to convert any recording from an AAC to a WAV file. By default, audio records as a Mono track, 44.1Khz. I made a few recordings this week, on the iPad, that I wanted to convert to smaller sound-bites. I converted the AAC files to WAVs, downloaded them from the built in “HTTP” server, then opened the WAV files in Audacity on my computer. Before I knew it, I was slicing the sound files up without a hitch. I’m so thrilled with this app, I might upgrade to the pro version if I have another case where I might use it. I record audio very infrequently, but am I thankful for a full-featured app like this – the Pro version, available for $1.99, removes a banner ad, and I believe adds the feature to password protect your sound files, so people don’t just open the app and listen. Just as many times before, I can’t believe something so great is out there for free!