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The Wii-Optical-Drive-Emulator (WODE) makes it possible to load Wii and GameCube ISO files from an SD card or USB storage device. This hack uses the ribbon cable for the optical drive to connect to the Wii, requiring no soldering. The WODE is based on an ARM9 processor, runs Linux, and features a backlit LCD screen and 4-way center click joystick. Storage can be hot plugged and then an ISO selected using the stick and LCD display. Selected ISO files appear in the game channel as if an original disc had just been inserted into the drive.
The developers claim that a Wii firmware upgrade will not be able to lock out the WODE. There is also a second ribbon-cable connector to use as a pass-through, giving the option to keep the optical drive hooked up if you so desire. Now the race is on for a replacement case that can house all of this new hardware and still look nice like the original. We wouldn’t be surprised to see a homebrew channel program that allows ISO selection without having to walk over to the console.
The original report (in dutch) is a dead link so here’s the Google cache copy translated. These links came via the translated Tweakers article (here’s the original Dutch). Video after the break. Don’t pirate video games!
Torrentfreak offers up a few reasons why you should get a seedbox if you’re a bittorrent user who likes to share a lot of files. A seedbox is a dedicated private server used exclusively for torrent transfers. [sharky] discusses a few pros and makes a few claims that we think might be a little overblown. Although the seedbox will speed up your downloads and allow you to bypass ISP limits on your bandwith, we’re a little leery of the claims that the seedbox is completely safe and secure, or that it’ll protect you from getting sued by the RIAA or MPAA. As pointed out in the comments, paying for a dedicated hosting service and paying for cable is no different. Of course, the seedbox also costs money, so you’ll have to weigh whether you’d rather have speed or risk getting throttled by your ISP. Torrentfreak does list a few hosting solutions that may be reasonably priced.
The more we think about this one the more we like it. [Michael] built himself a wind-powered persistence-of-vision weather station. Okay, that sounds interesting, but he ups the ante when you find out what’s included in the system.
A stepper motor acts as the generator which powers the electronics. As we’ve seen before; if you spin the shaft of a stepper motor electricity is produced. [Michael] is actually spinning the housing of the motor, with the shaft mounted to the base that holds the weather station in place. This way, the electrical contacts are spinning along with the blades of the generator. By mounting all of the electronics on these blades he gets around the problem of transferring power onto a spinning platform.
A set of LEDs on the end of the blades display temperature and relative humidity readings. A hall effect sensor pulled form an old floppy drive syncs the display with the rotational speed. He’s even got a shunt system which keeps the input voltage at a safe level, and will act as a break in high winds to keep the rotors from spinning out of control. See what we mean? An interesting idea because a fantastic project when you build in features like these!
We love games here but we don’t often get a reason to write about them. This, however, is worth mentioning. The indie hit Minecraft is eating the entire internet right now. The game itself is hit and miss amongst our staff, but this project is unanimously accepted as awesome. [Theinternetftw} has created a simulation of the ALU section of a 16bit processor. He can set it in motion and run around watching as the states change. This is part of an even bigger project to create the entire processor as shown in the book "The Elements of Computer Systems".
For those that are wondering how long it took him to place all of those pieces, he actually imported most of it from another program. You can get more details on how they pulled this off in this forum thread. Be sure to catch the video after the break.
[Raj Sodhi] and [Brett Jones] have been working on interactive augmented reality as part of their research at the University of Illinois. What they have come up with is a stylus-based input system that can use physical objects to create a virtual landscape. Above you can see that an environment was built using white blocks. A camera maps a virtual world that matches the physical design. From there an infrared stylus can be used to manipulate virtual data which is projected on the blocks.
What they’ve created is a very advanced IR Whiteboard. There are buttons on the stylus, one of which opens the menu, made up of circles that you can see above. From there, you can select a tool and make it do your bidding. After the break there’s a video demonstration where a game is set up, using the menu to place tanks and mines on the 3D playing field. We wonder how hard it would be to do this using a projector and a Kinect.