Yesterday reddit guided me to the wonderful world of free video lectures from great schools, specifically this introductory programming course at MIT that seems to have been filmed in the last year or two. I’ve watched two of these lectures so far, and it’s crazy how much faster MIT computer science goes than NYU CS does. I’m now in Data Structures, which is the second officially required class for CS majors, third if you count NYU’s “Introduction to Computers and Programming” prerequisite. This single-semester class that I found on MIT’s website covers a lot of mathematical and algorithm-related topics that we still haven’t covered in Data Structures. I know I’m only a month into my course, but it’s at least fair to say that this MIT course is worth two (or more) that I’ve taken at NYU. Crazy. But the great part is that I can watch all the lectures for free. Which I’ve certainly been doing. I’ve found the section of the class that’s right around what we’re currently talking about in Data Structures, as well as another Basic Algorithms class that I can watch after that. Learning is a lot of fun.
That’s been a good part of my day, as has waking up and finally cleaning the kitchen again, which took upward of 90 minutes to do top to bottom. It’s nice, though, because now it looks spiffy and it’s all my fault. I also finally, after many hours, completed Super Mario Galaxy 2 (that is, got 241 stars). The single green star I spent the longest on was the first in the Boo Moon Galaxy, which as you can see from the video is kind of difficult. The last level (Grandmaster Galaxy) was far too easy, I only ended up trying it about ten times before I finished it. I know that sounds like a lot, but it’s not compared to the second-to-last level, which cost me about twenty lives. Still, what a great game. I remember quite a while back I was complaining that I had to do the “whole game over again”, and now it’ finally done. Boom goes the dynamite.
And my Andrew WK shirt is now in my possession and on my body. Again, boom goes the dynamite. Also, there have been rumors going around that the photo I posted of myself in elementary school a few days ago is not actually me. Let me assure you that this is not the case. It’s really me. I know it’s hard to believe I was actually ever that cute. Just deal with it.
I just got a package in the mail, and when I was going to get it I was so convinced that it was going to be my Tropicana gear, but it ended up being Valentine’s Day cookies from my mom. I was really excited for the Tropicana stuff, but cookies are very awesome too. Thanks mom. I’m expecting the gear tomorrow then, or (hopefully not) the day after that. It just needs to get here already. Along with letters from my friends and the confirmation of my double major declaration. I’m waiting for a bunch of stuff in the mail. And as I do so, I’m getting pumped up by I Get Wet. I honestly used to hate that album, but it’s growing on me rather quickly. I feel the same way about it as I do about Blink-182, in a sense – I acknowledge the fact that it’s simple and kind of idiosyncratic, and then stop worrying about it and jam out.
I finally finished getting all the star coins in New Super Mario Bros. Wii, which took an ungodly long time, even with our whole suite playing in a shared account. I decided that I’d just go ahead and do it today, but level 9-7 is so unbelievably annoyingly difficult. I don’t want to talk about it. I have bad memories attached to that level. The second star coin is stupid if you don’t have the propeller hat – which I never did – and I ended up trying it about forty times. I did succeed though. This was about an hour ago.
I was playing Mario instead of doing something productive partially due to the fact that I chose today to once again reconfigure my MacBook Pro – I deleted the Ubuntu partition (decided I have enough Ubuntu on my old MacBook, and Portal 2 is coming out for Mac) and reinstalled Snow Leopard, crossing my fingers very hard that my automated backup scheme had been working correctly. Turns out it had been. It’s gone through a lot of revisions over the last few months, but it works awesomely now. I am, once again, proud of myself. Also because of that piece I wrote in LSDJ over the weekend; I still think that sounds rockin. I rerecorded the guitar since it was a little bit out of tune, it’s way more rockin now. Check it out.
And I finally preordered Portal 2 on Steam today. It comes out on a Monday, and let it now be known that I will not stop playing on that Monday until it’s finished. If I can’t, I will eat my own shoe.
Hi there. Let me just begin by giving a heads-up to Jen Barbosa for being an awesome person. We hung out two nights ago until way too late at night and it was quite nice. Actually we hang out often (and it’s quite nice then too). I just wanted to say thanks for being my rad friend, Jen.
Last night ended up being awesome once again – much better than expected. All around, the Upright Citizens were funnier than last week, although there were still a handful of jokes that I was embarrassed to be laughing at. It was probably a result of some of the weird, weird stories that the show started off with. They start each show by asking the audience what they did over the weekend, and last night’s stories were kind of crazy. There was one about a homeless guy who walked into a Starbucks and started setting up his clothes on individual chairs around one of the tables, and was subsequently vomited upon by a man who ran into the store. There was also a semi-pro wrestler/dominatrix in the audience who told this crazy story about a mansion she visited to do a “session” – it was just nuts. But the show itself was fantastic, as was the rest of my evening. I didn’t get to sleep until 2:30, though, as my roommate had a guest. I had to get up this morning at 7 for class, so I can expect to be pretty toasted in a few hours. I’m thinking seriously about not going to my 5 PM class – it’s finals week. Come on.
Today will involve the last stages of my electronics project design. Yesterday I finished the prototyping process and soldered the circuit to a PC board. It works fine, first try. Not really a big deal or anything, I’m just awesome at soldering. Circuits are scared of me. I also got some knobs to fit on top of my potentiometers from Radio Shack, and stopped by the St. Marks comic store for another Star Wars lunchbox to use as an enclosure. The first one (last semester) had Darth Vader on it, so this one has Luke, Leia, Han Solo, and Obi-Wan, of course. I’ll be drilling a bunch of holes in it this morning, and hopefully not hurting myself too badly with the power tools. I’m actually going to go start that right now.
I tried drawing a “hawk woman” last night, but then I realized that I suck at drawing. That was the end of that. Instead, I ate a large quantity of Kit Kat, played some New Mario Wii and watched Arrested Development.
Since I’m home for the weekend, I spent about two hours yesterday hacking my family’s Wii to allow it to play media/games from a USB flash drive. I found some instructions on how to do this on a site called wiihacks.com, which has a bunch of forums for people who write and use homebrew Wii software. It was sort of hard to find the actual steps to go through, since the site is a bit convoluted, so I’ll reproduce the steps here in case you care to try this out for yourself.
I ran into a lot of warnings that doing certain steps in the wrong order could break the system and make it unusable, but managed to avoid doing this during my hacking process. These steps work for Wiis running version 4.3 of the software, and no others, according to wiihacks.com. And you also need a specific game for it – so if you own a copy of Super Smash Bros Brawl, you’re in luck. There are also a few games that you can also do it with, but I’ll just share my experience using SSBB.
DISCLAIMER: Not following these steps exactly, or trying to follow these steps on a Wii running a version other than 4.3 can easily result in your Wii being unusable. Please read these instructions before you begin, and make sure to follow them as closely as possible. Help can be found at wiihacks.com.
Things you’ll need:
- 1 or 2 GB SD card
- Internet connection
- Wii running 4.3 with at least 300 free memory blocks
- Super Smash Bros. Brawl
Part 1 – Obtaining Homebrew Channel and BootMii
- Format SD card as FAT32
- Download this file and extract contents to root of SD card
- Turn off WiiConnect24 in the Wii System Menu
- With SD card removed from Wii, launch Super Smash Bros Brawl
- Go to the Stage Builder, delete all custom stages, and exit the stage builder
- Exit all the way to the main SSBB menu
- Insert SD card, return to Stage Builder
- HackMii installer will load
- Read the warning and wait for the “press 1″ message to appear – press 1
- Install the HomeBrew Channel
- Install BootMii as boot2
- Prepare the SD card
- Create a backup:
- Load HBC, press ‘home’, launch BootMii
- Make a backup (press Power, Power, Power, Reset, Reset)
- Download this file – password is www.wiihacks.com
- Extract to root of SD card
- Using the computer, run md5summer.exe
- Click “Verify Sums”, then ModPack-AnyWii.md5
- This should complete without errors
- Insert SD card to powered-off Wii
- Start HBC, press home, launch bootMii
- Multi-Mod Manager should start
- Select WAD manager, press A
- Press 1 to “install all WADS”, press A
- When installation is complete, press A
- Return to the main MMM menu by pressing B twice
Part 3 – Protection from future destruction of your Wii
- At the MMM main menu, select App Manager, press A
- Select Priiloader, press A
- Read warning, press +/A to install
- It will probably glitch or freeze when it’s done – don’t worry, it worked
- Remove SD card and reboot Wii while holding reset
- Priiloader will load
- Select System Menu Hacks, insert SD card, press A
- Enable “Block Disk Updates” and “Block Online Updates”, save changes
- Reboot Wii without SD card
Final Steps – Obtaining Software
- Download this file and extract to root of SD card
- Opening Homebrew Channel with this card inserted will give you access to a few nice apps, including a browser that allows you to download new ones to the card.
- I recommend MPlayerCE for playing media from a USB flash drive
- It’s now safe to turn on WiiConnect24 again
So those are the steps that I went through to hack my Wii. Note that it is incredibly easy to break your Wii after doing this if you install any system updates. The automatic updates should be disabled by Priiloader, so as long as you don’t install any manually you should be ok. Happy hacking!
And here’s an introduction to the Whitest Kids U Know - a very funny comedy group who put a lot of stuff up on the internet.