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I am Eric Hameleers, and this is where I think out loud.
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Using the Wiimote as a pointing device

t-dose-square

What does a Nintendo wireless controller have to do with Slackware?

Well… you’d be surprised!

On october 4th I am running a presentation about “A history of Slackware development” as part of T-DOSE (fyi: T-DOSE is a free and yearly event held in The Netherlands to promote use and development of Open Source Software). One of the other speakers is Dag Wieers, a former IBM collegue and a big name in the RPM and Redhat world. Dag is going to present his software “wiipresent” and when I read that, my curiosity was triggered. I own a Nintendo Wii (or rather, my son does) and I am interested in things that you can do with it apart from playing cool games.

Wiipresent is a small linux program that connects your computer to a Wiimote (the Wii’s wireless controller) over a bluetooth link and enables you to use the controller as a pointing device. Of course Dag is going to bring a Wiimote to the conference, but so am I ;-)

Wiipresent  turned out to be extremely easy to use and the variety of buttons and the diirectional cross on the controller are all functional. The cool thing is that it uses the tilt function of the Wiimote to move the mouse pointer across your screen. So, by waving the Wiimote I can steer and control my KDE desktop, and the directional cross will be useful when I give my presentation – it allows me to move forward and backward through the slides.

And since bluetooth is used instead of infrared, I can walk around without the need to point that Wiimote to the big screen.

And this all from a program that was born as a demonstrational hack at another conference. I created some packages for Slackware 13.0 (both 32bit and 64bit) which you can obtain from my repository as usual: wiipresent and libwiimote (a required supporting library).

Have fun trying it out! Eric

Edit 09-oct-2009:

I have uploaded a PDF of my T-Dose presentation (as well as the original Tex plus bitmap files used to create that PDF). They are available at http://slackware.com/~alien/tdose2009/ .

Comments

Comment from CĂ©dric
Posted: September 8, 2009 at 11:32

Great :D ! I can’t wait for my next presentation at my office to try it out.

Comment from A.J. Venter
Posted: September 9, 2009 at 07:35

I have exactly this setup configured on my media-player hooked up to my TV as a control mechanism. I don’t use it anymore though… it works just fine, but it’s a really rapid battery killer for the WIImote, a wireless mouse works better for controlling the media box.
That said, I can see it having other potentially awesome uses (e.g. for interacting with mouse based games using the wiimote perhaps ?)

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