My Pointless Project For The Day…

…was playing World Of Goo using my iPhone as a virtual mouse:


I am geek, hear me make weird, smug nasal noises. (Also, I apologise for my face.)

Why did I do this? Well, why not? But why write about it? Because unfortunately that’s the only remotely interesting thing I’ve done with my day, apart from blow my nose a lot and, in the depths of flu-ridden fever, inadvertently scream “SILENCE!” at a screaming child in the supermarket. I’m not proud.

Anyway. I’ve doggedly refused to buy any applications for my iPhone until now, preferring to make do with the free alternatives and the homebrew apps I can stuff on it because I’ve jailbroken it (Quake! ScummVM! MAME!). Intelliphone, though – that I dropped real Earth money on. I do most of my music and movie watching via my PC, so an app that lets me use my iPhone as a universal remote for it proved the stuff of happy, nerdy dreams. Earlier, I discovered that it can also emulate a mouse/laptop touchpad:

RPS’ most exciting screenshot, ever.

Woo! Not a very fast mouse, but nevertheless a mouse, and one with the range of my home wi-fi connection. It was enough to let me play Peggle from bed, and World of Goo from the other side of the room. When previously attempting to achieve this most slothful form of PC gaming, I had this awkward wireless-mouse-on-magazine-on-my-lap setup, which wasn’t terribly effective. This just about is, so long as I stick to games that don’t require rapid response times. Yeah, it’s nerdy and pointless, but so am I I do enjoy doing this kind of thing for the sake of it.

There’s also a virtual keyboard function, which means the next step is attempting to play WAR with it. Wasting time is fun.


  1. Dave says:

    Yes but do you have the “I AM RICH” app?

  2. Petethegoat says:

    Mr. Meer. An apology isn’t enough. We need blood.

    I’ve made worse faces, on occasion. :(

  3. Chris Evans says:

    That is actually damn useful, hmm maybe one of these new fangled iPhone’s are worth it…

  4. Watcher95 says:

    What’s that under your nose?

  5. Alec Meer says:

    Er. My mouth?

  6. Citizen Parker says:

    Blustery Day! I’ve said it here before – I’ll say it again. That’s the best level in a game, ever.

  7. teo says:

    That blue abomination of a phone is a nice contrast to the apple design :p

  8. The_B says:

    The next step is to use the iPhone to make random calls to people, yell “SILENCE” down the phone and then hang up.

  9. Radiant says:

    Can we talk about how you colour co-ordinated your phone with your speaker,mug,books,screwdriver and jacket lining?
    Who does that?

  10. Alec Meer says:

    You people really are staring at that photo too hard.

  11. Pags says:

    Corporate whore! *shakes fists*

    I hear all iPhone apps are being shipped with Securom [/flamebait]

  12. Radiant says:

    What do you mean you people?

  13. aoanla says:

    Us non-iPhone-owning plebians, I guess…

  14. futage says:

    Why the long face?

  15. The D-Man says:

    What do you mean you people?

  16. Rogue says:

    I like that blue telephone. It’s very calming, ideal for those tense games of Peggle at 2 in the morning.

  17. Zuffox says:

    Your phone is blue.

  18. Zuffox says:



  19. Radiant says:

    @ D-Man
    Well played good sir.

  20. Internet Gentleman says:

    Fetching Mugabe sir.

  21. James G says:

    I have the same mug as you, or rather had, I’m not quite sure where it is anymore. I imagine it died on one of the trips I made back and forth from uni. (Now things get destroyed when they decide to leap out of cupboards. Does anyone else have suicidal crockery?)

  22. Radiant says:

    Hold on boys.
    It also goes with his mouse
    Mr Meer would you like to tell us something?

  23. RichPowers says:

    Pffft, real men have red telephones. They give every phone call the urgency of requesting nuclear launch codes from the president, though you’re inevitably disappointed when it’s just another telemarketer calling and not, in fact, the president.

    The mystery: WHO TOOK THE PHOTO!?!

  24. Rogue says:

    But have you considered the blue mug also? Its soft roundness to the phone’s hard edges?

  25. StalinsGhost says:

    The Iphone did. It’s also sentient, didn’t you hear?

  26. Rogue says:

    My work here is done.

    Gentlemen. *adjusts tie*

  27. Meat Circus says:

    Alec Meer: the thinnest man in the world.

    At the Thinkosium, we must hold you down and feed you pies.

  28. Radiant says:

    Smurf Love
    by Alec Meer
    foreword written by Derek Jarmen

  29. Man Raised by Puffins says:

    Is that a highly polished mini-Cthulhu next to your leftmost speaker, or should have I be worried that I’ve started seeing miniature Great Old Ones everywhere?

  30. subedii says:

    Personal solution if I don’t want to use a keyboard is to simply run a mouse emulator for my gamepad. Not sure how well it would work in World of Goo, but probably not too bad.

  31. Shadowcat says:

    Petethegoat said:

    Mr. Meer. An apology isn’t enough. We need blood.

    No, he cancelled out the blood-letting consequences of his face by screaming “SILENCE!” at a screaming child. He gets deductions for having done it whilst semi-delirious, as opposed to being in full control of all his faculties, but the balance still remains in his favour.

  32. Rob says:

    I was about to count up the number of off-topic comments in this thread until I realised I’d be part of the problem.

  33. Paul B says:

    Good to see that Alec’s taking time off from the Barclay-card adverts (admit it, it was him hand-cuffed to the bed) and presenting DIY SOS, to do his own projects. Keep it up, Alec :)

  34. Ben Abraham says:


    What is the topic of this thread, again?



  35. Mr. President says:

    Personal solution if I don’t want to use a keyboard is to simply run a mouse emulator for my gamepad.

    Run a what? There is such a thing? Awesome. My “watching-Youtube-while-lying-on-a-couch” sessions are about to get so much better (worse).

  36. Radiant says:

    Wait I can use the iphone as a mouse?
    Where in the article does it say that?

  37. Gap Gen says:

    Hmm, that reminds me to hook up my Wiimote to my PC again. I’m not convinced it’ll be better than a mouse, though. I could try my drawing pad, although again…

  38. Vanderdecken says:

    That’s some face shadow ye got there.


    Good on the R&D front. Now complete Ep2 with all the achievements using only a Motorola Razr.

  39. drewski says:

    I have never in my life imagined what you look like, but if I had, that would be it.

  40. phuzz says:

    And after obsessively examining the photo, I note you’ve got one of those curly snail shaped LianLi aniversary cases, how posh!

  41. Owen says:

    I bet Alec’s really looking forward to meeting ‘us people’ next Tuesday now!


  42. Nallen says:

    Holy Balls, might have to buy that app!

  43. Maximum Fish says:

    You can get Quake, ScummVM and Mame running on an iPhone? Holy shit. Maybe i’ll get one afterall…

  44. Sam says:

    @Maximum Fish
    You’ve been able to get PDA and Smartphone versions of Quake for a while now, it’s hardly a reason to get an iPhone.
    ScummVM and Mame I am less sure about, but they seem technically feasible, so they probably exist somewhere for the portable phone/pda hybrid of your choice.

  45. Switchbreak says:

    For big serious men who use manly gadgets with Windows Mobile on them, there are some programs that do this too. GRemote is free, and PPC Tablet costs money but it lets you see your PC screen on the phone while you use it.

  46. Andynonymous says:

    I’ve been using my Sony Ericsson K500i as a remote control for my PC for years now. Its excellent, and all via a bluetooth dongle. You can mouse, tab, esc, volume control etc etc via it. In the past I’ve had my PC upstairs, with a long HDMI cable running down to my HDTV in the lounge, then using the phone to browse the net/watch films/queue up music etc. It was geek heaven. Also messing with peoples minds while they are using the computer, by randomly alt tabbing for them is funny. For about 5 minutes.
    This was all possible with the phone out of the box, no extra apps required. Sony Ericsson > IPhone. But yes, there is something about connecting bits of technology that aren’t usually connected that gets the nerd in me super excited. I for one welcome Skynet.

  47. Vanderdecken says:

    @Andynonymous: Sod Skynet, I vote we network the Galactica.

  48. Radiant says:

    I have a w580i it plays music and tells me the time.
    It also tells me how far I’ve run in any given day.
    2.3 miles today.
    Granted most of that was on the tube.

  49. Radiant says:

    And sliding between two desks and monitors.