Five Lessons from the Success of the Nintendo Wii

Humanizing Gaming - The Nintendo WiiAlthough I have never been a big fan of console gaming, it has nonetheless been interesting to watch the latest crop of consoles come to market. What really struck me is, even though I don’t intend to buy any of these consoles, I found myself hoping the Nintendo’s Wii would be the big winner. It is certainly not the most powerful, I’ve heard griping about the graphics and the better reviewed games are generally not in genres that interest me. Yet, despite this, I wanted the plucky little upstart to be win the day over the leviathan Sony and Microsoft’s entrants.

Why? Probably because it seems the most “human” of the three. I could easily imagine Nintendo developers actually having fun designing and testing the system. At Sony and Microsoft I could imagine, at best, nameless engineers spending long hours wringing one more frame per second out of the hardware – heat/power-consumption/cost/gameplay be damned.

For this reason, it was fascinating to read an extensive set of interviews with the system’s designers and developers, all on the Wii’s home page. It is an absorbing look into the creative process at one of the most clever companies out there.

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Add icons to PDF, XLS, DOC file links, links to new windows and more…

Whenever linking on the web, it is important to let the user know exactly where the link leads, especially if opening a new window or the linked item requires a plug-in or external software. For example, if linking to a PDF a small icon can provide a good hint of where the link leads. Unfortunately, manually adding icons to every link through a site can be quite laborious. This is where JavaScript comes in. With few lines of simple code we can automatically add icons to every link on a page.

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