Friday, October 12, 2007

Weekend Project: Find Worthy Nintendo Wii Games

wii This past Summer I scoured the internet for ways to find a Wii Console.  They were never available in my city when I looked for them.  In the end, I found them using a little trick I discovered using a back door website for Gamestop - I'll get to that later.  Anyway, here I am many months later with zero games purchased.  That's right, all I have for games are the standard Wii Sports that comes with the console.  Your mission this weekend and early next week is to help me find the best and most worthy Wii games you think I should purchase. 

Yes Wii Sports is an excellent package of games that we actually still enjoy.  Regardless, I desperately need to justify my Wii purchase and to do that I need some good games that make use of the motion sensing Wiimotes.


Here's my initial list.  I haven't tried any of them so I'm looking for your advice if you have any experience with them.  Also, please give me some recommendations in the comments below of games you'd add to the list.

Help!  My list is too short and I need some advice.  If you have any recommendations - or games I should stay away from let me know.



Back to that backdoor site for finding a Wii console at Gamestop.  I'm guessing most of you are finding Wii Consoles easier now, but if not here's how I found mine:

1. Enter the following hyperlink into your web browser - LINK

2. You should see a page like this one (screen-shot of my area)


You can see that even today, there are none in stock at Gamestops near me.  (it often does say more on the way so don't get too excited about that)

3. Now in your browser link, change the zip=64158 to your local zip code and hit ENTER

4. It should bring up a list of all the stores in your area ranked by closest to that zip code.  The second column will show if that store has any units in stock.

5. If you really want one and it shows a unit in stock.  Call the store - don't wait as they sell fast.  If they say there is one in stock head over there now - as I said the sell fast so go get one if you want one.


There you have it.  A call for some help from my readers on recommended Wii Games and a tip from me on how to find a Wii Console.  Happy Gaming and Have a Great Weekend!


Review of the wireless sensor bar

Get a Free Cushion Remote Jacket for Your Wii Remote
Wii Hacked: Play DVD's with a Wii Console

Convert Classic Nintendo Controllers to work with Wii




Verify any Email Address and Help out Spammers???

Over at digg, I saw this entry for a site where you can verify any e-mail address by typing it in their form and clicking go.  The result tells you whether the e-mail is valid or not.  Well at first glance I thought this might be a really useful site, but after I think about it some more, I worry that it might be used as a way to harvest viable e-mail addresses for spamming. Is that a valid concern or am I being paranoid?

Here's a screen-shot of the site:


Interesting and it could be useful as you don't have to sign in or anything.  But I'm left wondering if its really wise to type in your e-mail addresses or addresses of your friends?  Couldn't this just be a way for spammers to harvest your e-mail address.  Also, what if the owners of the sight are just collecting the good e-mails so they can sell them?

Others commenting at digg have the same concerns and I'm going to pass on this site.  If you want to see it in action head over to, but I caution you it could be a scam so think twice before using it.

via digg



More concern that the e-mail checker site might be a way for spammers to collect and then sell e-mail addresses.  The owner of the site is "e-mail marketing pro" who makes their money doing e-mail marketing including "marketing" (read spaming) to e-mail addresses.  Here's a screen-shot from the bottom of the website:


Several Lifehacker commenters are also concerned about the site's intentions.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Free Printable Maps You Can Customize

Need a quick, free printable map - perhaps your a teacher or just larning your geography?  Well I have a great solution for you.  This site has several types of maps including world maps, Asia, Americas, Africa and Oceania.  All of the maps are printable and can also be downloaded in an Adobe Illustrator EPS format. So if you have Adobe Illustrator etc., you can edit the maps easily.  Many of the maps have other ways to customize including colorizing, zooming in and out etc.
First up is a Paintable and Printable World Map where you can select countries to "paint" or colorize, zoom in and out, and then print the end result.  Here's a quick screen-shot of the map tool with a few countries colored:

Note the tools at the bottom of the page where you can customize the map, download or print.

Check out the Paintable, Printable World Map HERE
There's also a printable (robinson projection) world map you can print or download.

How about a simple map of the America's like this one:

Check out the entire selection of maps by CLICKING HERE

If you like maps and geography, you'll love geography tetris--read about it here.
I love maps mashups - read about all of them I've covered HERE


Make Your Own DVD Box Sets With Your HTPC

Here's a great idea for those of you lucky enough to own a Home Theater PC:  Make your own DVD Box Set of TV shows or movies for that matter.

Why make your own sets?  Zack outlines two great reasons and I've added the last two :)

1. Cost

2. Don't have to wait for them to be released to DVD

3. You can watch them anywhere - even away from your home (of course if you have a Personal Media Player like the iPod or Zune, you can automatically load those shows up on those devices too.)

4. You can draw your own palm trees (nice Zack) and DVD art to give it that personal touch.


Zack over at the Snapstream Blog walks through one of the nice features of BeyondTV recently added.  A DVD Burning Plugin has been available on the last few versions of Beyond TV and you can purchase this plugin for any of your Beyond TV or BeyondTV Link boxes.  The plugin gives you the ability to select a show or series of shows to burn to a disk, then click go all from your remote.  Once it's done compressing (if needed) and burning your new DVD, you can take that DVD to view anywhere there is a DVD player.

Zack's post goes through all of the steps to making your own DVD sets with screen-shots of the process and lots of detail.  You can do this with almost any of the Home Theater PC's, but Beyond TV has the advantage of the DVD Burner being "built-in" to the core software making the process seamless with no tweaking required.

Read the entire how-to over at the Snapstream Blog


Other stories you might be interested in:

Review of HDHomeRun Dual Qam Tuner

Windows Vista Media Center and XP MCE Cheat Sheet

Beyond TV & Beyond Media Cheat Sheet

GBPVR Cheat Sheet

Media Portal Cheat Sheet

RSS Feeds For Beyond TV 4.7

Beyond TV 4.7 Released




Music Industry Collapse Part 2 - Madonna

MadonnaLondon The Wall Street Journal is reporting that pop diva Madonna is close to leaving her record company contract (after one more album due to Warner Music) for a $120 million deal with concert-promotion giant Live Nation Inc.



The 10-year contract with Live Nation, gives Madonna money & stock for the rights to sell 3 albums, promote concert tours, sell merchandise and license her name.  This would be yet another major chunk of armor removed from the formerly formidable music industry.  As I mentioned earlier this week, the middleman is quickly being removed from the equation.  Other examples of major music artists going it alone without a record contract include Radiohead, Nine Inch Nails, Oasis, Jamiroquai and the Charlatans.

Read the full, original article at WSJ


Other Music-Related Stories:

Want to strip your iTunes songs of DRM so you can use that music on any device?  READ THIS

How to Find Songs From Commercials, Movies and TV Shows
Visualize iTunes Top 100 with iTunes TreeMap




Wednesday, October 10, 2007

This Halloween Don't Just Scare Them... Shock Them

doorbell It's getting close.  Halloween is just around the corner and you're probably trying to decide how to scare your victim trick-or-treaters this year.  Well T3Hprogrammer has come up with a frightening way to send a little shock.

T3Hprogrammer says:

I'm always looking for a new way to scare people on Halloween. This year, I thought up a way to make people think they are getting electrocuted when they ring the doorbell! It is very simple, requires little to no knowledge of electricity, is cheap, and can be built in only an hour or two once you have all the parts. It requires no permanent modifications to your doorbell.

Halloween Front door

Read how to set up a little shock on your doorbell for this Halloween...




Awesome Studs & Spikes DIY Digital Picture Frame

If you've been following this blog for a while you know I'm a big fan of DIY digital photo frames.  While browsing flickr, I found a very different, yet nicely done digital picture frame made by ragordon65. 

He had built several different DPF's all with different appearances.  This one was made with an old Pentium 233 Mhz Sony laptop.  He embedded a USB extension cable in the side of the frame that plugs into the laptop's USB port.

Spikes and studs for the "look" are from


Here's a few shots of his build process:

Be sure and check out his flickr photostream for more detail on how he made his digital photo frame with even more pictures.

I'm in the process of designing and building another digital photo frame, but in the meantime, check out the first one I made in this post.

You might also be interested in the Ultimate Flickr Hacks Collection.




Tuesday, October 09, 2007

CBS Outlines Their Plans For Season 2 of Jericho TV Show

One of the most searched for phrases at this blog is "When will Jericho Season 2 Start?"  And I decided to at least give as much detail to that answer as I can.  So far, there isn't a solid startJERICHO date other than to say that it is a Mid-Season replacement and its premier date depends on other CBS shows success.

Now that the seven-episode season of Jericho has finished taping and production, Kelly Kahl, the CBS head of scheduling is saying the show could replace "Kid Nation," "Moonlight," "Cane," or the yet-to-premier "Viva Laughlin" if any of those new shows falter in the ratings.  If (when) one of those shows gets dropped, Jericho would likely take their place this Fall - possibly as soon as November 2007.  If not, then the season 2 premier would likely begin in January 2008.

Carol Barbee, the executive producer of Jericho also addressed how they will deal with the storyline with the uncertainty of a Season 3.  The producers filmed two different version of the final, season 2 episode.  One of the version wrap up all the storyline's questions in case the show isn't renewed, and the other version leaves some cliffhangers for hopefully a continuation to a third season.

TV Week also discusses the shows fans sending tons of nuts to CBS to protest the shows cancellation.  The article also mentioned something I didn't realize until now about how the Jericho producers met with Sci Fi Channel personnel who expressed picking up the series as a potential companion for Battlestar Galactica.  I think this is a bit of good news and possibly brings further hope if CBS hesitates to continue the Jericho series on to Season 3.

Read More at TV Guide - but be warned there are some minor spoilers there

Read the TV Week Article on Jericho's Possible Return Dates


If you know about how the Jericho show was saved with the mass mailing of nuts to the CBS HQ, you won't be surprised to find so many Jericho Fan Sites and Informational Sites such as these places where you will find good info on the Jericho TV show:

The Jericho Bulletin

Jericho Central

Watching Jericho

TV Guide's Jericho Blog

TV.Com's Jericho Site

Jericho Blog

CBS's Jericho Blog

Jericho on CBS Blog

Jericho Monster

Jericho Message Boards


Don't forget you can buy or rent the Jericho DVD Now




The Music Industry Hasn't Died, It's Just Eliminating the Middle Man

radiohead_bigThe TimesOnline had an article in the Sunday Times titled "The Day The Music Industry Died" that along with several  similar articles has hit the Internet by storm.  The article proclaims that the music industry is practically finished based on major bands Radiohead and Nine Inch Nails making drastic moves to "go-it-alone" from the music labels.  These two bands will now control their own destiny and really their own business.  These bands really are the beginning of the new music industry!



What's the big deal?  Well the popular band Radiohead let their "record" contract expire and is letting the fans decide how much they want to pay the band for their music.  Beginning tomorrow, you can download their songs right from Radiohead's website


and name your price for the songs.  Here's a screen-shot from their website:


No Record company to do the marketing, packaging, or contract with Apple or Amazon, RIAA or DRM wrapper - just the music. 


If you think this is just a one-band stunt, lets discuss the latest music artists making similar moves away from the old music industry guard:

9inch Nine Inch Nails.  Just yesterday, Trent Reznor and Nine Inch Nails put this up on their site:

Hello everyone. I've waited a LONG time to be able to make the
following announcement: as of right now Nine Inch Nails is a totally
free agent, free of any recording contract with any label. I have
been under recording contracts for 18 years and have watched the
business radically mutate from one thing to something inherently very
different and it gives me great pleasure to be able to finally have a
direct relationship with the audience as I see fit and appropriate.
Look for some announcements in the near future regarding 2008.
Exciting times, indeed.

Both Oasis and Jamiroquai, two other very popular bands currently without a record contract are rumored to be considering moves similar to Radiohead's.

TheCharlatans The Charlatans are giving away free downloads of their new album and single if you visit the radio station of XFM.

Prince gave away CD's of his new album with every delivery of The Mail on Sunday newspaper in the UK earlier this year.

It's only a matter of time (not much time) before every music artist realizes how irrelevant the current music industry has become.  Once famous, music artists don't need a contract.  Instead, they can make their own deals with Apple and Amazon.  They can sell their music on their own sites or even give away music as loss leaders for concerts, fan paraphernalia, extras etc. 

What about new artists trying to break through and be discovered?  They don't need a major music company contract.  They need Internet exposure and once they get traction they'll be on their way to selling music and concerts.  It will likely make the biggest bands have to work a little harder to stay on top because they will earn what they keep.  But it will also make it a little easier for a newer up-and-coming artist to break through and be noticed.  I dare say it might even improve the talent pool and hopefully the music that plays on the radio and television.

It's difficult to mention the major earthquake in the music industry going on right now without noticing the RIAA's misguided legal escapades.  The RIAA has been going on a lawsuit spree to sue individuals for damages.  In doing so, they have put the worst possible face on the music industry and instead of discouraging music sharing, instead created a disdain for the very industry they sought to protect.  Now, the music industry will discover they are fighting for their livelihood to even keep the artists they supposedly were trying to protect and whom they were profiting from to stay in long-term music contracts that all of the sudden don't look so attractive to the music makers any more.


Related Stories:

Want to strip your iTunes songs of DRM so you can use that music on any device?  READ THIS

How to Find Songs From Commercials, Movies and TV Shows
Visualize iTunes Top 100 with iTunes TreeMap



Monday, October 08, 2007

Catch All Heroes & The Office Episodes For Free with Netflix Watch Instantly

heroes The third episode of Heroes Season 2 is airing tonight and I've watched all of them enjoying each episode.  I like Heroes as much as I like Jericho.  If you one of the few people who never started watching Heroes you now have a way to catch up with the current season.  To do this look no further than Netflix Watch Instantly.

Not sure what Heroes is all about?  Here's a summary:

Heroes tells the story of a group of people who thought they were "regular people" until they realize they have "super-human" abilities like flight, ability to regenerate after being wounded, telepathy and more.  Yes it is based off of a comic book method of storytelling.  If you're not sold yet, let me encourage you to give it a try.  The various stories they tell in this show are very well written and begin to "interlink", the characters are interesting and well acted and the show makes you really look forward to each new episode.  It's somewhat like Lost was in its first season, but it hasn't "lost" its way so far at least.

You have no excuse now.  Netflix has all the episodes of Heroes Season 1 and the first two episodes of Heroes Season 2 available on their watch-instantly, free streaming service.  You have to be a subscriber of the best DVD Rental-by-mail Service - Netflix of course, but its an excellent way to see what this show is all about.  If you're not a subscriber to Netflix, you can still catch all of the old episodes for free, but plan on watching some commercials.  The alternative method is via NBC's ReWind service.  It works pretty well, but I prefer the commercial-free Netflix version.

Netflix Watch Now: Heroes Season 1

Netflix Watch Now: Heroes Season 2

NBC Rewind: Heroes Seasons 1 & 2



You might also be interested in some of these other TV shows offered on Netflix's Watch Instantly Service:

The Office: Season 1

The Office: Season 2

The Office: Season 3

Dexter Season 2

30 Rock: Season 1


Here are some related posts I've written recently:

New TV Premiers for This Week Beginning October 8th

Full listing of TV Premiers for the Fall 2007 Television Season

Jericho Season 1 DVD Available!




DVB version of the HDHomeRun Coming - Support For MCE & MythTV Confirmed

Silicondust A post by the main developer at SiliconDust confirms that SiliconDust, the makers of the awesome HDHomeRun Dual-QAM/OTA HD tuner is developing a DVB version of their tuner.  This is especially important to the non-US TV viewers as Europe and many other non-US countries use DVB as their digital television standard.  Included in the SiliconDust tuner will be support for DVB-C (digital cable) and DVB-T (Terrestrial broadcast).  Without a DVB tuner, many in Europe, Asia, Australia and Africa cannot tune to the majority of television channels.

According to Nick at SiliconDust, MCE & MythTV support have been confirmed with Mac & other Windows DVR software packages support still to be determined.  He did mention that they will be talking with Snapstream as part of the development process for support for BeyondTV.  Because the process they are using to make the new tuner work with Windows is via standard Windows BDA drivers, it is expected that most of the Windows DVR software programs will eventually work with the tuner.

This is especially good news for Snapstream's BeyondTV as the BeyondTV software currently has no support for DVB tuners.

Source: SiliconDust Forums


Related Posts:

Review of HDHomeRun Dual Qam Tuner

Windows Vista Media Center and XP MCE Cheat Sheet

Beyond TV & Beyond Media Cheat Sheet

GBPVR Cheat Sheet

Media Portal Cheat Sheet

RSS Feeds For Beyond TV 4.7
Beyond TV 4.7 Released




Tivo DVR Alert - New Premiers For This Week

There's still a couple of New TV Season Premiers this week.  One on VH1 today and the rest of them Friday through the weekend.  Here's a quick rundown of all of the new ones.


10/8/2007 Monday I Love New York   (VH1)
10/12/2007 Friday Men in Trees    (ABC)
10/12/2007 Friday ** Women’s Murder Club  NEW (ABC)
10/12/2007 Friday America’s Psychic Challenge    (LIFETIME)
10/12/2007 Friday Blood Ties    (LIFETIME)
10/12/2007 Friday Life Among the Dead    (LIFETIME)
10/13/2007 Saturday Search For The Next Elvira    (FOX REALITY)
10/14/2007 Sunday Girl Meets Cowboy    (WE)


For the full listing check out the original post on the new, Fall 2007 Television Season

And if you missed any from last week, you might want to check out this post:  More Free Downloads for Network TV Shows

Week In Review

In case you missed any of last weeks posts, here's a quick review:


  • Brent Evans Geek Tonic Blog Hits 100,000 Views!

    I don't spend much time on this blog talking about blogging because I know that's not why you're here.  Still, I wanted to mention a milestone reached today for the blog.  Today, we achieved over 100,000 views in just over one year.  In addition we're getting about 200 links in…

  • Home Theater PC News:

    Some HTPC Recent News Links: Has Dave Zatz discovered the Replay TV PC Hardware Edition Tuner? Gizmodo's Story on The Release of Beyond TV 4.7.1 with  focus on the new iTunes Integration - Link is to Digg Chris Lanier Reports: Sony Is Not Out of the Media Center Market asks: Can…

  • The College Football Geek - Tools For The Fans

    In honor of the upcoming College Football Weekend I'm bringing you a compilation of great College Football Tools for the Techie Fans - you know like me.  These are all useful and pretty cool as well.  I plan to be in attendance when Missouri beats Nebraska this weekend (I hope at least...) and…

  • Getting Gouged by Geeks?

    CBC News Ran This Expose Story on Getting Gouged By Geeks.  It highlights the quality (or lack thereof) of the various in-home geek services such as Geek Squad, Firedog and others and how they can take advantage of those less-then-tech-savvy people who call on them to help them with tech help at…

  • Search Nearby Libraries for Materials With One Simple Search - WorldCat

    My local library has an online site where I can search for books, CD's, DVD's etc.  It's a decent way of finding materials, but sometimes they don't have what I'm looking for.  So then I have to go to another library's site (there are more then one library networks in my…

  • Stay Up To Date With BrentEvans GeekTonic Blog

    Hopefully you are enjoying your time reading this blog.  If you are and you would like to keep up with the posts I have many great ways to do that. SUBSCRIBE 1. Subscribe to the RSS Feed 2. Subscribe to the E-mail Feed - This is simple to do.  Just enter your e-mail address in the…

  • Get a Free Cushion Remote Jacket for Your Wii Remote

    Do You own a Nintendo Wii Game Machine?  Nintendo is giving away free Wii Remote Jackets for anyone who owns a wii remote.  Why you might ask?  Well I'm thinking it has something to do with lawyers worrying about people being still not attaching the wrist strap to their arm and not holding…

  • Photo Slider Game for Flickr

    Just last week I highlighted a bunch of great games using flickr , a photo sharing site.  Well today I bring you another neat flickr game - this one is a photo slider game.  The game created by noviKorisnik is simple yet fun and works by taking any photo on flickr and then scrambling the photo…

  • RSS Feeds For Beyond TV 4.7

    A new, lesser-publicized feature of the most recent Beyond TV 4.7 that was just released is RSS Feeds.  With this latest version of BeyondTV , the webadmin provides access to RSS feeds of your upcoming recordings, recent recordings, disk space remaining and recent showsqueezed (compressed)…

  • Census Data By Zip Maps Mashup

    ZipSkinny is a site where you enter a zip code and it presents you with detailed data from the 2000 census report as well as a map of the area.   It's another good way to scope out a neighborhood or even check out things you might not have known about your neighborhood.   Check it out at…

  • Top Tech Sites: Techmeme Leaderboard

    Techmeme , a technology news aggregator launched their top tech sites page they are calling the Techmeme Leaderboard .  People are calling it a direct competitor to Technorati's Top 100 as it ranks the top 100 "sources" of Techmeme.  My opinion:  I love techmeme and it is in my….

  • Jericho Season 1 DVD Get it Tuesday!

    On Tuesday, October 2nd, Season One of the excellent, Jericho Television show will be released to DVD....