Tech – for Everyone

Tech Tips and Tricks & Advice – written in plain English.

Women and Video Games

There’s been a recent “paradigm shift” and all of a sudden women are buying video games.

wii-fitWhat happened? Wii Fit. And sales are through the roof.

Wii Fit from Nintendo was introduced in May last year, becoming the best-selling game over its first 12 months and the most successful console title designed for women. Nintendo has sold more than 7 million copies of the game, which retails for $90 with a Wii Balance Board accessory.

Other companies have jumped on the “fitness game” bandwagon. “Everyone has seen that if you put out a good fitness product, you do good business and now everyone is getting in the game,” said Tony Key, senior vice president of sales and marketing for Ubisoft. “There is going to be a lot of fitness games coming to the Wii this holiday.”*

Yes, another inroad on the path to a totally shut in society. Why go to the gym? There’s sweaty people there. Ew!

When you think of the core level of people wanting to be healthy, as long as the industry can provide a way that’s convenient, fun and cheaper, it’s staggering how big the opportunity can be,” Jordan Edelstein, vice president of marketing at EA Canada, said.

There’s a downside though. As a study in England showed, women exercising indoors have caused up to £1.3 billion in accidental damage in the last year (yes, BILLION), as they increasingly give up gym memberships and use games consoles. (See, Women injured by Nintendo Wii and home gyms)

Nordic Track And last year researchers at Leeds Teaching Hospital identified an injury they called “Wii knee”. Osteopaths have also reported they saw an increase in back patients after Christmas, blaming the trend on fathers trying to keep up with their children on the machines.

I’m not terribly worried about this “paradigm shift” though, as I am kind of a grumpy old cynic, and I’d say that in about a year’s time that Wii Fit pad will be sitting next to the Nordic Track, and StairMaster and Ex-r-Cycle, underneath Sweating To The Oldies and Jane Fonda’s Workout tapes, out in the garage.. or at the back of the closet. About as remembered as “The All-Grapefruit Diet”.

But I could be wrong. Wii Fit certainly looks like more fun than the Nordic Track!

* Quotes from SF Chronicle  Wii Fit taps into new market for video games

Copyright 2007-9 © Tech Paul. All rights reserved. post to jaanix

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July 21, 2009 Posted by | computers, gadgets, Gaming, News, tech | , , , , , , , , , , , , | 6 Comments

Goodbye Bob Barker+recovery partitions+iPhone

Every now and then there comes a watershed moment and the world is changed forever and is never the same again. For instance; one day there was Pong, and suddenly we could ‘interact’ with our TV and a new word was born, “video game.” On another day the meaning of “apple” changed from ‘apple= a fruit’ to ‘apple= a personal computer that real people can use’…and it was in color so people actually wanted to (not to mention, it had a GUI), to name a few.

Pong screenshot             mac.jpg

Yesterday marked a watershed in my life — though certainly not on the level of import as the events mentioned above — and that is the retirement of Bob Barker from television and The Price is Right. Life will never be the same. Now I do not want you to think I’m a big fan of commercial/public television: I’m not. I particularly detest “daytime” television. There are however a couple of programs I watch fairly regularly, and whenever my schedule allowed, The Price is Right was one of them — in my younger days I would sometimes record it on a device called a “VCR”. The show made me feel…good. I become glad for the people who win (and saddened by a “double overbid”).

Some of my earliest memories are of watching Bob Barker on The Price is Right. He and the show have been a consistent part of my life…almost as consistent as “family”. Time marches on, and I am not angry at Bob for retiring. I just sort of feel like a part of my youth has gone missing. Goodbye, and thank you, Bob. (for an update on this click here.)

Some folks are saying the ‘invention’ of the Apple iPhone represents such a watershed moment in our history, much like Pong and the Mac were such moments. I want to state right here that I haven’t as yet touched an iPhone so I cannot say what it really does and does not do. I can say that it’s supposed to “revolutionize” our life experience by combining Websurfing (email), portable music, and mobile phone into one visually stunning and easy to use package (it runs a full OS, not some watered-down, “portable” OS), and I can say that from what I have seen, it is “cool.” If it can stand up to the physical abuse a cellphone takes, it could be a real winner. I invite anyone who has one of these items to submit their impression, as a comment, and let us know just how “revolutionary” it really is.

Tip of the day: Another recent ‘revolution’ in computing has snuck up upon us, more in the form of ‘evolution’, in that at some point and time PC manufacturers stopped shipping Windows Install disks and shipped instead a “recovery disk.” This disk was really an image of the machine taken after Windows, device drivers, and all the free-trial crud are installed. In the event of a serious malfunction, we could use this disk to restore our machine to as it was “out-of-the-box”. That is, by definition, without any of your files. Today, more and more manufacturers are skipping the disk altogether, and are storing the image on a “recovery partition.”

But what if the ‘serious malfunction’ was a hard drive failure (it happens)? Or, the machine simply will not boot properly? Your recovery solutions are limited. Windows Install disks have two very important features: they are “boot disks” , and they allow you to install the Recovery Console so that you can issue commands, and copy important system files back into the OS. I think this move to recovery partitions is just…wrong.

Fortunately, there are substitute boot disks, and the better ones also include utilities that allow you to scan for viruses, copy and delete system files, browse the Web, and other things that aid in making repairs. I recommend that you (if you haven’t already) download and burn one. I also recommend that you do this before disaster strikes. An excellent resource for boot disks can be found at bootdisk.com, and my top pick is listed below.

Today’s free link: The Ultimate Boot CD. “UBCD4Win is a bootable CD which contains software that allows you to repair, restore, or diagnose almost any computer problem. Our goal is to be the ultimate free hardware and software diagnostic tool. All software included in UBCD4Win are freeware utilities for Windows®. ”

Copyright © 2007 Tech Paul. All rights reserved.

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June 16, 2007 Posted by | advice, Backups, computers, hardware, how to, iPhone, PC, tech, Uncategorized, Windows, XP | , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment