Glossary

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This page serves as a glossary of commonly used Wii homebrew terms. Think of it as a mini dictionary for words you'll hear a lot while reading through our wiki. It was started to help newcomers to the homebrew scene better understand our jargon.


Contents A | B | C | D | E | F | G | H | I | J | K | L | M | N | O | P | Q | R | S | T | U | V | W | X | Y | Z

A

AES
Stands for Advanced Encryption Standard. It is used for encryption/decryption on the Wii.
See also: [[Encryption]]

AES-CBC-128
The CBC (Cipher Block Chaining) mode of AES with a 128 bit key, that is used on the Wii.

B

Backup
A copy of a game that has been dumped from the original disc in case it should become unusable due to wear/damage. Since the same method is used to pirate games, they are not discussed or encouraged here.
Banner
The animated graphics displayed on a channel's icon and startup screen in the System Menu. A channel with a corrupt banner can cause a banner brick.
See also: Banner Brick, System Menu.
Bannerbomb
An exploit used to run homebrew on any System Menu version. It uses a malformed banner to crash the Wii to load an .elf or .dol.
Banner Brick
An error preventing the Wii's channel menu from displaying. It occurs when a WAD is installed with a banner that uses the wrong image sizes.
See also: System Menu, Brick, Semi-Brick, WAD.
BASIC
An old programming language very few apps are programmed in via a BASIC to C converter and compiler.
See also: Source, Compile.
Binary
A term used to describe the base 2 number system when used with electronics. As slang, it also refers to an executable file.
Bit
Stands for Binary Digit; it represents smallest amount of digital data possible. It is either a 0 or a 1.
boot0
The first piece of code the Wii runs at power-on. It is burned directly into the CPU, so it cannot be modified. Its function is to initialize the hardware and load boot1.
boot1
The second stage of the boot process. The program is stored in flash memory, but is verified against a digital signature stored in boot0, so any modification of it will brick the system. Because of this, the signature checking bug in boot1 cannot be patched in existing units, although new units have started to ship with a fixed version.
boot2
The third stage of the boot process. This program is responsible for loading the system menu.
BootMii
Team Twiizers latest project. It is basically a replacement for boot2 that loads and runs code before the system menu.
See also: System Menu.
Brick
A console that is no longer working due to damaged hardware or an error with the internal software/filesystem. Usually the fault of the owner. Sometimes recoverable through special means.
Brick Recovery
The restoration of bricked systems to partial or full functionality.
Broadway
The codename for the primary PowerPC processor.
Bushing
A predominant member of Team Twiizers.
Byte
Eight bits, on all modern processors; the smallest number of bits that can be sent to/from memory at a time.

C

C
A language homebrew developers program in.
C++
An object oriented language homebrew developers program in. Like its name suggests, C++ is essentially a step up from C.
C#
Channel
A Wii application bundled in a WAD which typically also contains banner animations and sound that make it loadable from the System Menu, but some channels are "hidden".
See Also:Banner, WAD, System Menu.
cIOS
A customized/hacked version of an IOS.
cMIOS
A customized/hacked version of an MIOS.
Code Dump
Basically a crash that displays code (or seemingly random numbers and letters to those that dont know how to read it) on the screen. Wii Homebrew code dumps will generally read "Exception DSI Occurred" or "Exception ISI Ocurred".
Codemii
The development blog of the Homebrew Browser.
See also: Homebrew Browser.
Comex
Author of the Bannerbomb hack and primary author of a derivative of the Twilight Hack involving the stage loader in Super Smash Brothers Brawl. Comex has also worked on a variety of other homebrew related projects, often in collaboration with other coders. He is not a member of Team Twiizers.
Compile
To convert the instructions in source code to an executable format usable by the target platform.
See also: Source, Binary.

D

DevkitPro
The SDK all homebrew developers use to create apps.
DOL
Most common executable file format for Wii and Gamecube homebrew.
See also: Binary, Homebrew.
Dump
To extract the protected contents of something like a chip or NAND drive or disc which are otherwise inaccessible and/or incomprehensible under normal circumstances.
DVDx

E

Electronic Gate
A device which takes electronic signals (inputs) and outputs a signal based on the status of its inputs. Some examples of electronic gates are AND, OR, NOT, NAND, NOR, and XOR.
ELF
An executable file format used for some Wii homebrew.
See also: Binary, Homebrew.
Emulator
Software that simulates a specific hardware environment (such as an old gaming console) so that programs designed for that hardware (such as old games) can be run on different hardware (such as a PC or different game console) which those programs were never designed to run on.
Encryption
Encryption is a common security measure used to obscure information, making it unintelligible unless a special "key" is applied during the reading process, thus "unlocking" it. A simplistic example would be to replace the letters in a text message with corresponding numbers so that only someone who knows which numbers represent the correct letters would be able to read the message; however, true encryption is much more complex and secure than this.
Exploit
A clever circumvention of security allowing a user to perform tasks that are not normally permitted. Often several exploits will be employed in a series with the user gaining increased authority over a system at each step, the goal typically being complete access and control.
See also: Stack Overflow, Twilight Hack, Fakesign, BootMii.

F

Fakesign
Homebrew that exploits a bug in the Wii's signature handling to bypass the digital signature. This exploit was fixed in IOSes distributed with system menu version 3.3.
Flash
A type of data storage used internally by the Wii.
See also: NAND.
Firmware
Fixed low-level code written directly into a programmable chip. The Wii's system menu software is NOT firmware, despite what some misguided people may think.

G

GPU
Graphics Processing Unit, responsible for rendering everything you see on screen.
See also: Hollywood.

H

HackMii
The development blog of Team Twiizers.
Hash
A way of verifying file integrity, often as a security measure. Basically, a hash function is used when examining a file, outputting a short string or integer. This value can be stored for later comparison. If the file has been altered, repeating the same process with the same hash function will produce a different result. When the result is compared to the stored value, if it does not match, it is an indication that the file cannot be trusted.
Hexadecimal (Hex)
A term used to describe the base 16 number system, in which each digit represents four bits. After the digits 0-9, the letters A-F are used to represent the values 10-15. Hexadecimal is the preferred format for displaying binary data, as it is easy to mentally convert to/from binary and uses only 2 characters per byte.
Hollywood
The Wii's integrated graphics chip, manufactured by ATi.
See also: GPU.
Homebrew
Unofficial software created for a platform by its users, without the involvement of the vendor. While some vendors support or ignore homebrew, most video game companies (including Nintendo) disapprove and make efforts to prevent it, due to the potential for unofficial software to brick the system or be used for piracy.
Homebrew applications
Generally refers to an application run on the Wii via the Homebrew Channel.
Homebrew Browser
A homebrew application that lets users download other homebrew applications directly to their SD card without the need to use a PC.
Homebrew Channel
A channel created by Team Twiizers that allows you to run exectutable .dol and .elf files.
Homebrew Developer
Refers to someone who develops Wii homebrew applications.

I

IDE
Indiana Pwns
IOS
Input/Output System. These programs run on the Starlet coprocessor and control access to Wii hardware and security.
See also: Starlet.
IRC
Internet Relay Chat; that is, realtime text-based chat over the Internet.
Infectus
A modchip that can read and write data to and from the Wii's internal NAND. Very useful for hacking.
See also: Modchip.

L

Library
Generally given the extension *.a, a library is a compilation of source code that may be linked into a program.

M

Marcan
A formerly predominant member of Team Twiizers.
MIOS
The IOS used in Gamecube mode, responsible for locking out all new hardware to make the system functionally identical to a Gamecube.
Modchip
A device containing simple firmware that is usually soldered or clipped onto a circuit board typically for the purpose of altering or circumventing the normal functions of a device. In a game console, a modchip almost always serves to enable the playing of backup and/or pirated copies of games.

N

NAND
Typically refers to the Wii's internal storage, which uses a NAND-based flash chip. The term actually stands for Not-AND; an electronic gate whose output is low only when all inputs are high.
See also: Flash.

P

Partial Brick
See "Semi-Brick".
PCB
Printed Circuit Board. The Wii has a few of these, most notably the mainboard containing all the crucial parts and the game disc drive's control board where modchips are typically installed.
Piracy
Copyright infringement.
PPC
PowerPC; Performance Optimization With Enhanced RISC Performance Computing. The processing architecture of the GameCube and Wii consoles. Also used in the Xbox 360 and PLAYSTATION 3 consoles and Macintosh computers made from 1994 through 2006.

R

RAM
ROM
Root
RSA
An encryption/digital signature algorithm used by the Xbox, DS, Wii, and DSi, as well as secure (HTTPS) web sites. When implemented correctly it is too strong to be broken with modern technology. The acronym is made from the names of its inventors.

S

SD Card
A common type of memory card, used by the Wii, digital cameras, music players, etc. Stands for Secure Digital.
SDHC
Stands for Secure Digital High Capacity Card. A type of SD card with a higher storage capacity than normal SD cards.
SDK
Stands for Software Development Kit; An SDK is a group of libraries that allow a programmer to access the primary features of a platform.
segher
A predominant member of Team Twiizers. Originally found the fakesigning bug.
Semi-Brick
A console that is no longer working normally but still has some useful functionality which may be used to restore full functionality. Usually, a semi-brick is the fault of the owner.
Soldering
The process of attaching two or more metal components by melting additional metal directly onto them. This process is used to add components onto circuit boards.
Source
The code for a program before it is compiled into a binary executable.
Stack
The memory of a program. As one declares pointers and integers, the computer sets aside memory for each. That memory then "stacks" itself on the last declaration. Think about stacking up building blocks and each block is a piece of memory.
Stack Overflow
Simply put: Bad coding that makes the stack crash. There are a number of ways to do this. It can lead to an exploit in some cases. An exploit using a stack overflow is sometimes called a "Stack smash" attack.
See also: Twilight Hack.
Starlet
The unofficial name for the ARM coprocessor located in the Hollywood, which is responsible for the peripheral access and security control.
See also: Hollywood.
Stub IOS
A Stub IOS is an IOS that serves no purpose other than a placeholder. They are typically released by Nintendo in order to overwrite any existing version of an IOS and render it unusable for piracy or homebrew purposes.
Svpe
A very talented coder. He modified the libfat library which allows for support of SD and SDHC cards as well as USB devices in Wii homebrew. He also wrote a version of DVDX that installs on System Menu 3.4
System Menu
The Wii's main interface which appears after the health warning screen when the system is powered on. It is loaded after boot2. It allows the user to start channels, manage data, and change settings.

T

Team Twiizers
A team of people who have created many hacks for the Wii including the Homebrew Channel, the Twilight Hack, and DVDX.
Teknecal
The author and maintainer of the HomeBrew Browser.
See also: Hombrew Browser.
Ticket
Basically, a ticket is just an encryption key used to read the encrypted title it belongs to.
See also: TIK, Encryption, Title.
TIK
A ticket file corresponding to an encrypted title.
See also: Ticket, Encryption, Title.
Title
A title is a Wii game on a disc, a Wii channel or a virtual console game. A title is identified by a unique title ID, an 8 byte (4 character) long code used for title identification. All titles are encrypted for security purposes.
Title Metadata (TMD)
A format used for storing metadata about a title and its installed contents, including which contents they consist of and their SHA1 hashes.
Trucha bug
See "Fakesign".
Tweezer Attack
Involving some Gamecube homebrew code running on the Wii in combination with a pair of tweezers, the Tweezer Attack is what allowed hackers access to the locked portions of the Wii normally invisible when the machine is running in Gamecube compatibility mode. It allowed the creation of true Wii homebrew.
Twilight Hack
A hacked save game with a loader embedded in it for the Wii game The Legend of Zelda the Twilight Princess. The file exploits a buffer overflow to take control of the system and run a program found on the SD card, such as the Homebrew Channel installer.

U

USB

V

VC
See "Virtual Console".
Virtual Console
A phrase invented by Nintendo so that they didn't have to use the word "emulator".

W

WAD
An archive format that channels and updates are contained in.
Warez
Refers to any pirated digital content.
Warranty
A time limit regarding the unlikely event of a Wii getting bricked or broken. If a Wii breaks in that that time limit, Nintendo will replace or fix it for free. The warranty lasts one year from when you purchased the Wii, so it has expired for older Wiis. When the Homebrew Channel is installed the warranty becomes void.
Wiiware
A platform started by Nintendo that allows developers to cheaply create and then sell original content at low prices (compared to the prices of brand new Wii games).
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