Beginner Builder series 75% done! will probably never be finished. :(

Monday, January 19, 2009

WiinRemote: Weeeeee!

WiinRemote is a very tiny program that allows you to use your Wiimote on your computer. Compared to some of the other programs out there that do the same thing, WiinRemote is much, much simpler. In other programs, you have to write or download code to make it work, but in WiinRemote, you just run the program and go. But that also means it's not nearly as customizable.

One quick note, you do need bluetooth for this app to work. So to use WiinRemote, start up your bluetooth program, and have your Wiimote on hand. Press both 1 and 2 on the Wiimote, which will make it start searching. Then, in your bluetooth program, connect to it through whatever is like "Human Interface Device Service," on BlueSoleil. Your Wiimote should then connect, and you can start WiinRemote.

So one to the program. When you start it up, you'll notice that there is a moving graph, showing the movement of the Wiimote in three dimensions. There's also an IR sensor, if you have that enabled. In the bottom right corner, there's even a percentage of how much battery is left.There are three basic ways of using the Wiimote: Motion sensor, IR sensor, and nunchuck.

Motion sensor
To use the motion sensor, set your Wiimote on a flat surface and go to "Options > Calibrate motion sensor", so that it's not crooked. Then you can control your mouse by tilting the Wiimote. In this mode, it doesn't matter where you point the Wiimote, as it's just the motion sensor being used. If you didn't calibrate it right and you can't seem to get control of your cursor, just press Control+S to turn off the mouse.

IR sensor
IR stands for "InfaRed." That's how the pointer precision works with a Wiimote. Basically, a Wii sensor bar is just two little lights that are constantly sending out infared beams, and the Wiimote interprets these as where the cursor is. So to use a Wiimote on the computer, all you need is two little things that put out infared light. The most practical is candles. Yes, fire puts out infared light, so light two candles, put them close together (about a foot apart), and then the IR sensor should work. This mode actually makes the Wiimote like it is on the Wii, where you point is where the cursor is.

Should be obvious. Plug in a nunchuck, and you can use the analog stick to control the cursor. You also get more buttons on the Wiimote to use for keys. In fact, if you want, you can set the Z button to be the left mouse button and the C button to be the right mouse button, and then you can use just the Nunchuck without the Wiimote as a fully functioning mouse (But you would have to keep the Wiimote plugged in.)

So those are the basic modes, and they work wonderfully. Here's a few other good features:

-Enable cursor at startup & minimize at startup: If you end outn using it alot, you can make WiinMote minimize to the tray whenever it starts, and enable the cursor. Add it to the startup folder in the start menu, and you might never have to use a mouse again.

-Motion sensor and nunchuck settings: You can set how fast you want for the cursor to move, or even invert it, just like inverted view in FPSs.

-Rumble on Edge: A nice addition. This makes it where the Wiimote rumbles when you hit the edge of the screen. Mostly for Motion sensor. But you can always turn it off to save battery.

-Button Assigment: A necessity, but still nice. Instead of having to type cryptic code like some programs, WiinRemote just lets you scroll through the buttons and set actions for them. They can act as any key on the keyboard (even combinations like Win+R), any of the mouse buttons (including middle click, and held down middle click), and even back and forward in a browser. In addition to all that, you can even set them to execute a program, like a hotkey.

-Use Motion when IR is lost: A nice feature. If you're using IR and your candles go out or something, it will automatically use Motion sensor.

-Three pluses: WiinRemote is (1) portable, (2) only 800kb, and (3) open source. Can't want more than that...unless it was free.......oh wait, it is. ;-)

Using a Wiimote on the computer is really cool, since there are limitless applications, ranging from gaming to presentations. WiinRemote makes it really, really easy to do it, and it's pretty customizable too. However, you can only handle one configuration at a time, but you can just keep multiple INI files and rename them if you want to use one for a NES emulator, one for a presentation, etc.

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