Thank you for shopping with Nintendo!

We wanted to let you know that your order has been shipped.

I got this email while I was at lunch. I ordered the Wii Component Cables for my Wii a week or so before it came out. They have been on backorder since then, and stoped taking orders a little while back.

These cables let me get 480p out of the Wii rather than the 480i it does with standard AV cables. For those of you who dont understand what this means, basically the picture will be much sharper and look a little better. Its almost at the standard resolution of most DVD players when hooked up using component cables. Unf, due to the Wii design, it cant go any higher to 720 or 1080…yet.

Im working on some reviews and notes of the Wii since I got it which I plan to have up soon. I also will post some info once these cables come in to see any difference. I havent been able to post much since Ive been busy at work, plus spending a lot of time playing with the Wii 🙂

Listening To: ‘Red Rain’ by Peter Gabriel

The Wii-kend starts now :)

Update 1 – added info from earlier saturday morning
Update 2 –  added the rest of the info from the weekend…

Sorry for the cheesy name, but I just had to do it.

Unless you have been living under a rock for the last few weeks, the Nintendo Wii comes out at 12AM on Sunday. I pre-ordered one back in October from a local EB Games, and I wanted to document my process of getting one of the COOLEST game systems in a long time.

11/17/06

  • 6:30PM – Get a phone call from a long distance number, and of course wonder who the heck it is. It happens to be a recorded message from one of the higer-ups at Nintendo of America calling to tell me the Wii is released Sunday. Then, since they have my order booked at EB games, a lady from EB games (recording again) notifies that they ARE having a midnight opening where I purchased my preorder from.
  • 8:00 PM – Go to EB Games in Short Pump (the one I got my preorder from). I wanted to pay off the rest of my Wii, as well as drop off some movies to trade in. Once all this was done, we were about to leave…but the guy that was playing the Wii left – so I gave them my license and got the controller. Of course the only game they are displaying is Excite Truck, so I played two rounds of that. Ill write up a review a little later about what I thought of the game. Before we left, discussed the plans with the employees to check about the midnight opening, when they will be re-opening, and what to expect. Its possible that we may be be checked out with our Wii (and any other purchases) before midnight, and then not be allowed to leave (or even be handed the system until 12AM).

11/18/06

  • 10 AMread on digg that Sears somehow ended up breaking the release date and selling some Wii’s. Contemplated going by to get one, or see if they even had some.
  • 11:30 AM – running errands, and decide to go by Wal*Mart to finish getting Christmas presents for the all the little kids. We go into the electronics section, and they had all of the Wii games placed above the GameCube games ready to sell. Ask two employees if the games are for sale yet, both immed. answer that “the console goes on sale at midnight”. Then I found a lady that looked like a manager (she was actually a vendor). She said ‘I dont know what those guys are thinking, we can sell the games now!’. Picked up Rayman Raving Rabbids, and was just about to pick up Zelda TP, but didn’t. Also, the lady said that they did have a ton of the Wii’s in the back and there were a few large boxes of controllers, but that since she wasnt a ‘full’ walmart employee, she couldnt go back there, and didnt know when they were going to put them on the floor.
  • 11:15 PM – after a dinner at captial ale house and relaxing back at home, decided it was time to head up to EB Games in Short Pump. Sat in the car for about 20 more minutes, until it started getting crowded around the door.
  • 11:40 PM – employee comes outside with a clipboard that has the names of all those who had a pre-order. Nate and I (and debs) were in the first 5 in the door. Courtney tried to join us a few minutes later, but they wouldnt let her in no matter how hard we tried.
  • Around 11:50 – Debs went back outside to join here, and then they walked to Wal*Mart to see if any of the remotes were sitting out. ALL Wii products were being held at layaway, and they said the line was a complete mess. Cops, etc. In the meantime, I had already ‘confirmed’ my Wii, had my name taped to a bag holding my new console, and was in the back checking out some of the stuff they had on display and some gamecube games.

11/19/00

  • 12:00 AM – ‘confirmations’ are stopped so they can hand out consoles to those who are ready to go, and also run a quick giveaway. Two people win giftcards. Guy that was in front of me wins a tshirt. I WIN A TSHIRT! It was black and had Reggie of Nintendo of America all buffed up holding the controllers. Eric (a coworker) won a Super Monkey Ball t-shirt, and we swapped because of sizes.
  • 12:05 AM – head out of EB Games, meet up with Debs and Courtney to head to the car.
  • 12:20 AM – plug everything up…fire it up, and do setup. Setup the network, which worked great on the second try (because on the first try i forgot to set the encryption, etc).
  • Till about 2AM that morning we played everything in Wii Sports as well as some of Rayman. Its hard to explain, but its amazing. I also realized that I may end up loosing a lot of weight from this thing…Wii Sports Tennis is a LOT of fun to get into!
  • For the rest of sunday, we ran around town looking for stuff. I managed to score an extra remote and nunchuck, and also had nate pick me one up. I got word today that he found some more nunchucks, so that now means I have 3 of each.

I do have a few pictures that I will post eventually. I also hope to have some reviews of some of the games (and the system) soon. I also hope to have a little Wii ‘party’ eventually to let everyone see this thing. It almost happened sunday but I had to finish getting ready for my trip!
Listening To: ‘The Autumn Effect’ by 10 Years

Pictures posted from Imogen Heap show

I just finished posting the pictures from the Imogen Heap show that I posted about Thursday. I didnt really take any time to try to fix color or lighting on any of them (not sure how much I could have done in the first place).

If you see any you REALLY like and you REALLY want a higher res version, I can send you one. I also have some videos, but not really sure where I plan on posting them yet, if anywhere. I think quite a few of these could end up making VERY nice desktop backgrounds. Let me know what you think!

You can get to my flickr page by clicking the link below…

http://www.flickr.com/photos/jonlumpkin/sets/72157594418988409/

Imogen Heap – 11.16.06 @ The Norva

So last night Debs, Courtney, Nate, and I ran down to Norfolk, Virginia to go to the Norva to see Imogen Heap perform…and I have to say, its one of the best shows I have ever seen.

I first have to say that the Norva is a GREAT venue. I have heard that it actually has some of the best sound on the east coast. Its a nice big open room, that wasnt even too crowded, and had a balcony. It really reminds me of Alley Katz, a local Richmond venue (but Alley Katz is MUCH smaller). Other than some of the traffic down there, it was pretty much a straight shot down and back (other than a deer jumping out in front of the car on the way home).

So, to the music.

While we didnt catch the first opener, we did catch the end of the second who was Kid Beyond. This guy is amazing. He is a ‘beatboxer’. This means he makes beats with his voice, then samples them and then loops them on a laptop. He then will sing and perform OVER this beat that he JUST made. The sounds and energy it presents is just amazing. You can purchase his EP now on iTunes, so I think I may be picking it up (clicking that link takes you right to the EP in iTunes, so make sure you have iTunes installed).

IMG_2547_small

Imogen Heap came on around 9:30. Her performance was amazing. Oddly enough, I knew every song (she only has 3 albums, some solo songs, and b-sides). The best part is that she had Kid Beyond and others come out and play with her too. So, on some of the songs, they REALLY had the place rocking. I also liked how she bounced around too, from really rocking out and screaming and then turning around playing a quiet song on the piano and NO ONE in the place moving. While Imogen did a whole lot of synth as well, she even did some ‘beatboxing’ herself. I really like when artists try to involve you in their music-making as well…and explain what they are doing. For example, Deborah didn’t fully understand what she was doing with her voice until she actually SAW Imogen sample on stage.

I got some pictures, and video, and ill post them hopefully tonight. Unf, the lights were really low in there, so the pictures may not be all that good, but I think I got some great ones still.

I have to say again, this is one of the best shows I have been to in a while. Yeah, KISS puts on a show, but stuff like that is getting old. I LOVED the NIN show for the same reason as the Imogen show – they were artistic, creative, etc. Not that there is ANYTHING wrong with pyrotechnics though :).

Listening To: ‘Look After You’ by The Fray

Right on Target!

So, last night Debs and I ran some errands, and then dropped by our friends work to get some Spiced Apple Cider. Well, her work happens to be right by a Target, and I thought it would be cool to drop by to check their clearance racks (usually you can ALWAYS find something good).I also wanted to check out their electronics section to see if they had any Zunes in as well as accidentally released anything early (with the Zune, PS3, and Wii coming out this week, of course ONE store could slip up).

Well, I didnt really find anything cool on clearance, but what I did find was better. A PS3 just sitting around with no one to play it. With quite a few people in the store, I was supprised to see everyone just walk RIGHT by it! So I picked up the fancy new SIXAXIS controller and started playing some racing game (didnt catch the name of it). You basically drive either a bike or a dune-buggy-truck over various land.

It was actually a lot of fun. The graphics were great, and the gameplay was actually a lot of fun for a racing game. But, NUMEROUS times the graphics kept ‘flickering’ where it looked like the system had locked up a few times trying to render something. This could have been caused by it being in such an enclosed space though and poss. overheating. The audio was nice too, but to loud for me (well, thats Targets fault, the TV was cranked WAYYYY up). The controls were REALLY nice, but at times it just felt unresponsive. I would hit the turbo, and nothing would happen. The steering was off a little bit too, and sometimes very hard to control the truck. I dont remember and rumble in the controller, which I thought was actually a feature. After about 5-10 minutes of play (NO one had come by) I gave up. This little kid was standing right next to me watching on and talking, and it just was kind of uncomfortable. Im sure I look like an ‘grown up’ to him, and grown ups have better things to do than play videogames.

Neither of us are real gamers, per se, and thats why I think the Wii will apeal to us more. Debs said that she did like the graphics of the PS3 better than the XBox 360, but that the gameplay on the 360 seemed a little bit more fun (and the controller looked a little more comfortable). And who could beat the price tag? $600 for a game system is a little out of budget…

Well, when walking out, debs pointed out ‘Hey, check it out, they have that Zune thing’. Her immediate next words are ‘I hate it’. Thats why I love you baby! It gets better….’I like my iPod a lot more, that things just ugly and fat and slow’. We both played with the interface quite a bit, which is actually my selling point – im really bored of the iPods interface. They have spent time on the ‘Human-computer interaction’ part of it with the super cool click-wheel, but not on the visual UI. I Really like how the Zune shows album art (above the song info, and very large), as well as even the animations when going through the menu’s. Even more so – you can choose themes! With the iPod, you really just have blue and white….

But what more – the hardware interface is just CONFUSING! It has a ‘wheel’ and then two buttons on the side of the wheel that you use for navigation. Well, clicking the one on the left does what you think it would do – take you to the previous menu (just like clicking menu on the iPod). But I swear that button had a ‘+’ on it? What the heck is that supposed to mean? Also, it took me a while to figure out how to actually turn the volume up and just get around on the interface.

As a positive, I like the video on it. You can turn the unit on its side, and display what you download in widescreen, which is nice. The wireless addition is nice as well, and I am curious to see where they go with that over time. With everything combined, I still would actually switch to a Zune if it wasnt for the following reasons:

  1. I have to much DRM’d iTunes music
  2. I REALLY like iTunes
  3. I have no clue if the Zune software has podcasts, free downloads, movies, etc
  4. It looks like a brick
  5. White headphones are so much cooler

Listening To: ‘You know who you are?’ by Nine Inch Nails

Who’s Rocking Out?

Ive been using last.fm for a while now, and I am pretty sure I have even made a few posts about it.

Last.fm is a wide range of services, mostly dealing with music. I use it to record my musical tastes, and then recommend new music to me. You can all use it as a community to learn more, download music, and even share music. I love watching trends of my ‘random’ listening, and also how those trends in the end really DONT look all that random (my favorite artists are actually just about right in my REAL order!).

On my desktop at home, I have installed one of the ‘scrobbling’ programs. This tracks the songs you listen to in WinAmp, iTunes, what have you, and then sends them to last.fm for record keeping. I used to use jscrob, but now I actually use another ‘scrobbler’ that tracks my iPod as well. This actually helps me a whole lot, since I spend MOST of my time listening to the iPod. When I sync my iPod, it checks the recently listened list, and then adds them to my last.fm record.

But im curious, are there any of my readers that are using at well? You can see from my profile that I dont have many friends on last.fm yet. Thats mainly because for a while I have only been using to record stuff, and really have not gone looking yet. If you are using last.fm, whats your username? And if your not using last.fm, you should be!

Listening To:  ‘Dragula (live) by Rob Zombie

Busy, as usual…

So I have been lacking a bit on posts recently, mainly because I have either been runing around like crazy with work, or to tired too want to be near a computer until the next day at work.

Over the weekend had a bunch of fun. Courtney’s family came up to Richmond, so we did a bunch of shopping and hanging out. I picked up a t-shirt for 97 cents, and also got a VERY NICE and warm sweatshirt-like jacket. Went to a fun birthday party that night at 1411, and learned about the joys (and pains) of playing beer pong with Rum & Cokes. Sunday I got to try the brunch at Capital Ale House with a bunch of friends. I had a $50 gift cert, so after applying that to everyones order, everyone only had to pay $5 a pop. Not to shabby.

The rest of sunday was sitting around trying to pass out, and then finally watching The Chronicles of Narnia (which was amazing!). The only problem I had is sometimes I really wished I had a house to REALLY crank up the sound. This movie when using DTS really stood out, but I found myself having to turn it down not to piss off the people next door.

This week has a lot in store for it as well. Orig, I was supposed to be in Charlotte, NC until Tuesday. Due to timing, stuff going on, etc, I am not going until the 19th.

Well, the 19th is a big day for me – thats when the Wii is coming out! I plan on getting mine really early that morning, and checking it out. Maybe we will even have pics! Wednesday is going to be pretty cool as well, Im going to The Norva to go see Imogen Heap. I plan on bringing my camera to that as well, but not sure if I am going to be able to get it in…but we will see.

Listening To: ‘Take On Me’ by Ah-Ha