Wii Play Tanks Platinum Medal

I love the tank game shipped in the Wii Play DVD. Each time I finished all the 20 missions of it, I wondered why they didn’t expand this wonderful game into a individual DVD.

This weekend I again finished all 20 missions. Having no other things to do, I played it again. And after I killed the two invisible tanks, to my surprise, the game continued to mission 21 with a bonus life! OK – I still don’t know why my Wii doesn’t keep the records when shutdown.

The first time I ran out of lives in mission 30 and got a platinum medal which I had never seen. The second time, I finished the first 20 missions without losing a single life, and managed to reach mission 47 or 48 which I can’t remember clearly, with 210 enemies destroyed.

The missions above 20 have random maps, many same as missions below 20 but also some new ones. Each time you play, the order is different. But there are often invisible tanks (starting from 20) which are big threats.

Then I visited a friend and played Wii tanks on his machine. This time I went as far as mission 54, and killed 254 enemies. Starting from mission 50, I saw a new type of tank which was black but not the weak one which appears in mission 2. It can move extremely fast, shoot missiles like the green tanks in mission 5, and can set mines. The last skill is of no threat, but the first two make it very powerful.

So the wikipedia page says that in single play mode it has 100 missions…

P.S. I also got platinum medal in the cow riding game by toppling all the scarecrows – on my friend’s Wii :)

Update 2011-01-23: I got to the “final mission” but failed to win it. The map was the same as the first mission, but with way more tanks of various kinds. It seems several people have finished the game and posted some screenshots on the web.

Ruby HTML Parsers

Sometimes you need to crawl a web page and extract specific data from it. It doesn’t have to be “evil” things like crawling competitors’ data. For example, you may want to do periodical checks for unreachable links in your own web pages – extract all links on the page and see if they’re still accessible.

For extracting specific parts from some text, we tend to think about regular expressions first. For example, the regular expression for extracting links might look like:

/<a.*?href=".*?">/im

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Mac Needs More Love from Chrome

Google just announced a Chrome extension listing page featuring web development tools on both Google webmaster central blog and Google code blog.

At first glance I was quite excited to see some extensions similar to the ones I had been using in Firefox. I tried them one by one – Measureit!, View Selection Source, Eye Dropper, and Chrome Editor. But only Chrome Editor worked.

It’s really frustrating. We’ll still rely on Firefox/Firebug when doing web development, while Chrome provides faster experience in daily web browsing.

Mac Software Update Not Working – Solution

Recently a lot of Mac users are complaining that the software update program is not working correctly and I also ran into this issue today. It just tells you “your software is up to date” but obviously there’s some software not up to date. For example, I opened iTunes and it told me there’s a newer version of iTunes, would you download it? I clicked “download” and the software update app opens but it told me that there’s no update – that made me crazy.

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How to Install ruby mysql on Mac OS X 10.6 (Snow Leopard)

Do a quick google search for “ruby mysql mac” and you’ll find the first result:

How to install the MySQL/Ruby gem on Mac OS X Leopard

This article really helped me when I was using Mac OS X 10.5 and wanted to connect to MySQL with ruby. I just got a Macbook Pro with Mac OS X 10.6 (snow leopard) pre-installed and the method this article taught us no longer works. Do a simple test in irb and ruby will give you an error like:

>> Mysql.new('localhost', 'user', 'pass', 'db')
ArgumentError: wrong number of arguments (4 for 0)
     from (irb):4:in `initialize'
     from (irb):4:in `new'
     from (irb):4

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Gravity E71 – Using GPS

The other day I wrote a blog post “Gravity unable to use GPS on E71?” complaining Gravity not being able to use E71’s GPS module. But now I know how to enable Gravity to use GPS on E71 so that we can check-in on foursquare and geo-tag our tweets.

Actually the problem is rather simple – just install the FP2 version! But before that I wasted a lot of time trying to figure out how to let Gravity use GPS.

Although it lacks documentation, Gravity is updated very frequently. Each time a new version is realeased by the author @janole, two different versions are available. For example, he just released the 6375 alpha, and sent two links on twitter: http://bit.ly/6375ALL, http://bit.ly/6375FP2. We all know that E71 is feature pack 1, but for Gravity, you must choose the FP2 version!

During install process, you’ll notice that on the data access alert screen, there’s a new item of GPS data – that means it will access your GPS module (great!). FP2 version runs without any problem. After installing this version, you should be able to find a new row “Places nearby” in foursquare account and after clicking it you will find a list of venues and select one to check-in. For twitter, you’ll also be able to use the up arrow key to switch GPS on/off when writing tweets.

By the way, don’t forget to turn on the geotagging feature in your twitter account settings (go to twitter.com, it’s not in Gravity).

Happy checking-in and geotagging!