Perhaps you too have an unused exercise bike languishing in a dark corner. Lets face it, its pretty boring exercising on one of these things. How to get motivated? Make it fun using WiiFit!
Here's what to do:
Stick your bike in front of the TV.
Fire up WiiFit, and select Jogging (under Training -> Aerobic Exercises -> Jogging).
Attach the Wiimote to the lower part of your leg. Its normally meant to go in your hand or pocket so its pretty insensitive to orientation but does need a good amount of movement. If you're wearing socks, you can just slide the Wiimote in - remember to face the buttons away from your leg so you can press "A" through your sock. It also works to put it the cuff of track pants, though it tends to flop about too much for my liking.
Press "A" and start riding. It can take a couple of seconds for the Wii to learn the motion pattern.
Wiifit gives you some nice visual feedback that helps you keep a constant cadence. As you ride, your avatar runs along a path, following your training guide. The landscape is quite pleasant, and you can see other runners and dogs exercising too. If you slow down, your avatar starts to lag behind your guide and it will prompt you to keep a steady pace. You can select your desired activity level as you start the game. If your bike has a variable load, you can adjust this if you find the jogging pace too easy.
Notice some activity in my RSS feed? No, don't get too excited - I'm not actually blogging. However, I did move my blog from WordPress to WordPress MU. Here are some thoughts on why and how to do this.
WordPress MU is the multi-user version of WordPress which is used for sites like wordpress.com and edublogs.org. A single WordPress MU site can host many blogs at once. If you have more than one blog this simplifies the process of maintaining, updating, and backup because you can handle all your blogs in one hit. According to the official docs, a single box running both web server and MySQL will get you about 10-20 thousand blogs. WordPress.com currently has over 3 million blogs.
Norman Fairbanks has released his latest album "7 Days Microsleep". Eight tracks are available for free download from his web site. Its pure electronica - calming, mellow, yet full of motion and melody. For some reason I'm reminded of gamelan.
What's unusual about these compositions is that they are produced entirely on Yamaha's new gesture-based synth, the Tenori-On. Designed by Toshio Iwai, the Tenori-On is a hand-held device boasting a 256 pixel (16x16) LED display. By touching the display in different ways, the performer can build sequences of sounds that can be layered into complex soundscapes. The novelty of the interface is that it allows relatively complex sequences to be controlled through intuitive gestures. Unlike a traditional multitrack sequencer, the Tenori-On is a live performance instrument. This stuff is all real-time.
This video shows some of the different gestures that can be used to generate tone sequences : Score Mode, Push Mode, Changing Loop Points, Bounce Mode, and Solo Mode. Yamaha have some neat videos explaining these and other interactions here. Some technical details are available in this NIME06 paper.
I was quite intrigued by this gadget when it was released earlier this year, but I admit to being underwhelmed by some of the demo music I heard. Having listened to Norman's album a couple of times now its definitely growing on me. The standout tracks for me are "The Glam Machines Arrive" and "The Freedom Loop", but all the tracks have something to offer, sharing a unique tranquil hypnotic style. If you like this sort of thing, or are simply intrigued by the possibilities of this instrument, give "7 Days Microsleep" a try. A brief interview with Norman Fairbanks is available at Create Digital Music.
Youtube is the undisputed leader of the video-sharing game with world-wide market share of 66%. Everyone wants a piece of that market, and there are lots of new players entering the business. To attract users they have to offer something different, something compelling.