a DS Christmas.January 1, 2008
ok so the picture above is a Nintendo DS. I honestly had no clue until just a few days ago what exactly these things were capable of. I came home at Christmas hearing stories of how my dad wanted to get one of these for Christmas. My reaction was probably like yours… You missed the age range by about 40 years big guy, but apparently, in a completely unexplainable turn of events, my dad actually knew more about a new tech gadget than I did.
Turns out the new DS is doing some pretty amazing things due to additional software that is available online. (This type of software is called Homebrew) My dad had stumbled across some artists that were using the DS as a true digital sketchbook with software called Colors, and was instantly hooked. When I saw some of the images, I was pretty much hooked as well.
So my dad and I set out on a great adventure to find a shiny, black nintendo DS. Now for those of you that have not spent the last month or so trying to find one of these, let me just tell you, you can’t find them anywhere. period. We searched for an entire day in EVERY store in Fort Wayne, IN looking for a black DS for my dad. We found about 10 pink ones, a couple white ones, and got laughed at for even suggesting we wanted a black one.
We woke up the next morning to disaster, because of all the Christmas snow, our basement flooded, and my dad started working on cleaning it all out. He asked me to call around and see if there were any DS’s anywhere in Northern Indiana. I started calling. I called everywhere. I broadened my search to stores within 100 miles. We HAD to find a black DS. Now I should point out, we’re not just a super compulsive family, there is a little bit of tech knowledge needed to make this thing run, and we both decided if we were going to make it work, we would need to do it while I was in town.
About half an hour into my search we had a breakthrough. Target on the north side of Ft. Wayne had two blacks and two blues.
I asked them to hold one for me. They said no.
I ran down stairs and told my dad. At this point he is a soggy mess with fiberglass splinters in his arm. He yells to pack his bag and get ready, we’re headed out. I run back upstairs for some last minute pleading with the Target guys. “We’re headed there RIGHT NOW, PLEASE hold on to a black one for me.” After a few minutes of discussing with fellow employees, the kid decides to hold one for me for one hour. I am eternally grateful.
We fight through the rain and snow and get all the way up to Target within the hour. I have decided on this marathon trip that I will pick up a blue one. Maybe it was impulse, but after the two day search, I NEEDED ONE. We ran into Target, raced to the electronic dept, and looked for the DS’s.
There were none.
We found the electronics employee who informed us that every DS in the store had sold in the last hour. Even a pink one to a kid that just wanted one so bad he couldn’t wait anymore… We told him our name and from under the counter he pulled out a nice, new, black Nintendo DS.
It was a beautiful site. The holy grail of our holiday search, a Christmas Miracle.
We installed Colors and started to play with it. The program worked beautifully. It truly was one of the coolest things I had ever seen. Pressure sensitive, bright, colorful… My dad made some awesome pictures in the first five minutes.
I instantly wanted one.
Knowing that we would be at ground zero yet again, I gave up on that dream nearly instantly. I knew the stock of every store in half the state. There simply were no more DS’s within 200 miles of my house. My dad and I headed by the local video store to pick up a celebratory movie for the night. I wandered around the store killing time. At one end of the store the little mom and pop shop had a case. At the bottom of the case…
8 Ninetendo DS’s. 3 of them Black.
Keep in mind this is in Huntington, IN. 5 miles from our house. In a little shopping center flanked by a little mexican place and a Goodwill store. We spent two days wandering everywhere, and here they are in our own backyard. I don’t know if it was the two solid days of shopping, the biting cold, or my dad’s drawings, but I immediately bought one.
We installed the downloaded Colors program and I started drawing….
We had problems. For some reason the pressure sensitivity didn’t work in the corners of my screen. Not a big deal if your playing Mario, but kind of a big deal if you’re trying to create a digital masterpiece. So I returned the DS to our little video store. I felt terrible. Little mom and pop stores take a hit when you return items like that, and the truth is the DS worked great, it just didn’t run my little program.
They gave me a new black one. We tried it in the store. It didn’t work either.
At this point my dad and I begin to sweat. We’ve just opened two black DS’s at a loss to this little store, and neither one works. We decide the most likely explanation is that this batch of black ones is bad. Solution? The special edition gold Zelda version.
Now I like video games, I’m not gonna lie. But I’ve never touched Zelda. I couldn’t tell you the first thing about it. But somehow here I was, at a little video store buying the special edition Zelda version for an extra $20. I’ve never felt like more of a geek in my life.
We open it in the store as well. The pressure sensitivity doesn’t really work on this one either. Now I have a dilemma. I’m not going to open every DS in this store looking for one that works perfectly. Truth is, this DS works fine, just not on a couple little spots. And I’m not really sure that the problem isn’t with my little program downloaded off the web… Now I wish I would have just kept my original black ones instead of this weird little Zelda version. But the moral side of me kicks in and I just say fine. I will take this one. I gave up, and I went home.
Here’s the positive. I love the little thing. It is an amazing little piece of technology. My dad and I did little picture chatting all night through wifi in a house that only has dial-up internet. I drew some pictures that aren’t great, but hey, I’m a film guy… Here’s one I drew on the plane…
Anyway, this is a really long story just to say, if you see me carrying around a special edition Zelda DS, I haven’t given up on life, I’m not playing Magic the Gathering, and I’m not buying black shirts with funny phrases on them from Walmart. I’m a professional doing what all professionals do when they have time to kill.
Trying to save Princess Zelda from the Ghost Ship…
Happy New Year Everybody!