Desktop


ABC Blocks by Rohan Baumann

A is for Apple. B is for Ball. C is for Car.

Yawn.

We learn these simple phonetic tools early in life. The idea is the first letter helps a developing brain associate the sound with the noun; person, place or thing. Adding to the learning a picture or drawing helps further reinforce the letter shape to the sound to the picture. It is typical to not use verbs in most cases because they are harder to visualize.

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Jackson 5 – ABC – Click to Play

Double Yawn.

“Did I  just walk back into Early Childhood Development? I thought Techlife writes about, well, Tech.” Ahh, young grasshopper this is a  good time to remind you of our mission, Techlife, where the crossroads of Technology and Life intersect.”  

“Well if you don’t get to the point soon I am going elsewhere.”

Window Blue Screen of Death

 Windows Blue Screen of Death

For years computers have had a way to speed up the way you work. Since the early days there always were a series of key combinations allowing users to perform many tasks and navigate their computer even without a mouse. The earliest two I used were CTRL+ALT+DEL and CONTROL + Open Apple + RESET.

Remember those? The first one was used for the PC and the second used on early Apple machines (pre-Mac) to reboot them. How many people remember jamming those three down hard when the computer got you upset? C’mon raise your hand. It was the ultimate power, forcing the computer to your whim. Reboot now! I command you.

Another fond memory was the first time you showed a friend or family member how to reboot the computer and them hitting each key in order and complaining because nothing happened. The magic was the combination, pressing all the keys simultaneously. Presto!

Reading a recent article about keystroke shortcuts, I thought how few of the more than 200 combinations I actually used. The problem is quantity; with so many options being able to use them regularly enough to remember them all is arduous. But then — I started to realize I am a power user, and I bet you are too.

Cat on a Keyboard by Anelis

Power User in Action

Let’s go over some basic useful time saving keystrokes combinations everyone should be using to help speed along their work. In the spirit of debate I have ranked them in order of importance.

KEY: Windows = underlined / Mac = italics / Windows & Mac = underlined italics

  1. TAB – CTRL+TAB/ALT+TAB/CMD+TAB – In Windows/Mac the TAB key combo is powerful. It does a ton to speed up access.
    1. ALT+TAB/CMD+TAB in the operating system cycles through open windows.
    2. In a tabbed browser or program, CTRL+TAB /CMD+TAB cycles through tabs.
    3. In online forms, spreadsheets and more TAB  advances to the next field.
  2. F –  Find everything. Search on a single web page, document, pdf, spreadsheet. Hit CTRL+F/CMD+F  if you like search already. You will love what you find.
  3. C, V and sometimes X – Cut, Copy and Paste are built for speed. Mostly Copy CTRL+C/CMD+C and Paste CTRL+V/CMD+V in my case. These are used many times a day. Big time saver.
  4. A – Before you copy, cut, bold, italic or underline you need to select the text. If you need it All, then CTRL+A/CMD+A is the fastest command of the bunch. Boom, you’re done!
  5. B, I, U – Style is everything. This entire column has been styled with Bold, Italic and Underline. CTRL+B/CMD+B for Bold and CTRL+I/CMD+I for Italics are used quite a lot in writing. CTRL+U/CMD+U is used to Underline text.

Is there a command you use for a repetitive task? Every pull down and right click menu offers up the short cut keys for each command, sometimes the letter is underlined as well. Got a quick key combination you can’t live without or disagree with the order of these short cut key combinations? Please CTRL+V/CMD+V them here.

Pixels by Martin Walls

I’m lazy. There I said it. Of course when I say, I’m lazy. I mean of course you’re lazy. Face it. You are.  I bet you are lazy enough you won’t even finish this paragraph.

Ha-ha! I tricked you into that one. Don’t be mad I promise the rest of the way, no tricks.

Let’s face it. We’re both lazy. More than ten years ago the Techlife office needed to store files much as we do today. We researched options and landed on a small server running a custom version of Linux and supporting RAID 1 (two hard drives that mirror each other, one dies, replace it and keep working.) Our office would diligently back-up the entire system every month taking the back-up hard drive off -site for safe keeping.

Pug Server

Three loyal readers of Techlife would often comment it was a great system for the time. But we began to see breakdowns in our process. First email back-up broke and wasn’t fixed. I got lazy. Then offsite back-ups stopped after a new PC didn’t get set-up with the backup software. I got lazy. Then the power supply in the file server died. I got scared, but was still lazy. But I did get the power supply replaced and then I got serious.

The three loyal readers each in their own way shared the same story. Hard drives are mechanical. They don’t last forever. I got more worried, but a little motivated. I did research and more research. I talked to the three readers about their areas of expertise. One is a business data back-up expert, one is a computer engineer and the third is a small business IT specialist. Each talked about RAID options (multiple hard drives setup to store data while reducing risk in case of drive failure.) They also talked about cloud storage for remote off site storage and about local back-ups as well.

With their help I setup Lazy Backup. It uses a variety of technologies but is flexible enough to allow you to mix and match your own Lazy Backup solution. Bottom line, protect your files before it is too late.

Here’s my custom Lazy Backup recipe:

1 x Windows machine to be the network file server (can be an older machine)

1 x 1 TB WD Blue Hard Drive – $60 (my Windows machine can handle more drives as  needed)

2 x 500 GB USB External Hard Drives – $55 (I had these already and just plugged them in)

1 x Install of TightVNC (allows remote log into the machine from another computer on the network)

1 x Install of Dropbox (allows easy sync of files if needed)

1 x Install of a backup software (I use Seagate’s which came with my external drives)

1 x Subscription to Backblaze (Used for off-site cloud storage, unlimited storage, less than $4/month)

Directions: Installed TightVNC, DropBox and the Seagate back-up software to the Windows machine. Manually installed the large hard drive and plugged in the two USB external drives  into the Windows machine.  Then copied all the files from all computers on the network to the new file server and set-up sharing so that each computer has network access to their files. After this I set-up  the Seagate back-up software and scheduled nightly at 10pm half the large hard drive to back up to one USB drive and half to the other USB drive, providing on-site local back-up.  Then installed Backblaze to the Windows machine and it backs up everything, including the Windows machine file server and the two USB hard drive local back-ups all to the cloud.

The three loyal readers all agree that RAID is nice but expensive and not needed for me. This solution has four copies of the data. One main, one local backup and then remote backup of each of the locals. After the initial setup, I do nothing and all data is backed up. Everything is automated. Just set and forget. It’s the perfect back-up for lazy people.  How lazy are you? What’s your solution?

Imagine gripping your handlebars tight, gunning the engine, shifting your weight while hanging on during a forward full flip of you and your motor bike all from the comfort and safety of your mobile.

bikerace

Turning back the clock to your earliest days with a Nintendo Entertainment System you may recall the classic Excitebike and exclaim, except for the flips you remember that game. Then long time fans of Techlife may recall the physics based builder Line Rider where you guide a rider and sled over a hand drawn course. It wasn’t a game as much as a chance to build your own track.

Then we have our faithful readers, you lovers of the mash-up bring us a motorbike-riding physics-based simple-line-track with user created levels and multi-player cross-platform experience. (Let’s let the rider race over the hyphens in that last sentence). How does it work? Addictivley well.

How to Play Bike Race

Visit your favorite app store and download Bike Race. Level 1 is a simple tutorial which explains the right side of the screen is “go” and the left side of the screen is “stop”. The game forgoes actual visible control elements but you shouldn’t need them. The game uses the accelerometer. Tilting left while on the ground pops the bike into a wheelie. Tilting left while in the air the rider and bike perform a backflip and tilting forward does a front flip.

You progress through each level as a time trial. Complete the level more quickly to earn the maximum three stars. Just after starting I got an invite from the loyal reader to play them in a multi-player match. Multi-player is a turn-based style game awarding you a win if you beat your opponent in head to head match of a single race. While you wait for them to race you can race other people or continue the single player racing.

Like Line Rider and the grand daddy Excitebike, Bike Race offers a track creator for those who want to build their own. Bike Race will take care of sharing them in the game and let others play your levels too. It gets addicting quickly so be careful that you have a few hours to kill before you try and build your masterpiece.

Thanks as always to the greatest readers for finding some real amazing things. We had quite a little struggle this month as reader suggestions came pouring in and made the job of curating just one a tough chore. Send those small ideas, fun things, and creativity to techlife at dkworldwide dot com.

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Look out! This is a warning to everyone who has ever bought a digital camera, and for all those future digital camera purchases. Don’t install the software! The first thing many readers are saying is, “Wait if I don’t install the software, how do I get my photos and movies off the camera?”

Here’s a secret the camera manufacturers don’t want you to know, you already have that software in most cases. That’s right, the cat is out of the bag. Now any good hardware company will argue you “need” their software but in reality  you don’t. Unless of course you do, tricky camera makers.

A few weeks ago a Techlife reader was taking their new camera out for a spin. They shot some photos and recorded some video and got back to the computer to transfer it. Lo and behold they had never installed the included software so they asked me if they should. What do you think I would say? The title of this column should clue you in.

“How do I get my photos and video off the camera then?” they asked.

Cameras are big thumbdrives

Cameras are truly big storage device enclosures with a lens. Obviously they do much more, but to your computer they are just another drive. If you pop out the portable storage often times an SD card,  a computer can accept them with a USB card reader. The camera company often preaches for a user to connect the camera via included cable directly to the PC. Of course then the more modern operating systems attempt to detect the type of camera and then offer a dialog asking what you want to do.

Since most start up guides explain you should install their software first, the dialog box has you naturally choosing the “camera software”. But look at the dialog box from the Techlife computer (see image). Notice the Secure Digital Storage Device, that’s the card taken out of the camera and put in the computers SD card reader.  I then have three Picture Options and some other General Options.  The simplest option is often the best.

How to get your Photos without Camera Software

  1. Under General Options choose Open folder to view files
  2. You will see a basic folder view with all the files
  3. Simply choose the images you want and copy them to the folder on your computer
  4. Then delete the files off the SD card

No additional software was needed. It was easy and something most users are comfortable with doing; copying files from one place to another.

Camera Makers Fight Back

Bringing us back to the Techlife reader, who followed this How to with ease for their photos. Then asked about the movie files.  After careful review it seems the camera shipped from the manufacturer set to record in a non-standard format. Worse there was no mention of this anywhere and the only way to access the few movies were, you guessed it, the software that shipped with the camera. The simple fix, switch the camera to record in a standard movie format and ignore the installed software once again.

New Camera? File Basics

For all new camera purchases, take a few test shots and test movies before you do anything.  If your the files are easy to copy to your computer with the additional software great. You’re done. If they aren’t, change the file format the camera saves in and try again until you do.  In the end the camera should have files that allow you do use the software you want to modify the still images and the movies, not the other way around.

And what of our Techlife reader? Happy to report the movies are now set to record in a standard format, and we should see a lot of new cat videos on YouTube.

“On thine day, in thine month, in thine year, it has come pass thy new The Tab King has been crowned.”

Is Techlife really declaring it is the king of something? Well of course not loyal subjects, I mean readers. Kings are people and Techlife is but a vessel to share knowledge. And what is it again that I rule you ask? Tabs? Sit back and let me explain the kingdom of web browsing and open tabs.

Modern web browsers all employ the concept of tabbed browsing. A tab is a way of storing many browsing sessions in a shared window. Need to look up something but want to keep search window open as well, just open the search in a new tab. Visiting Facebook and need to read an article in your stream, open it in a new tab . The advantage of a new tab is your existing window remains as you left it. There is no hard and fast data on tab usage but in a recent unofficial Twitter poll, my usage of more than 60 concurrently open tabs outdistanced the rest by more than 35 tabs. (As I write this there are 73 open tabs in two browser windows.)

Why so many open tabs?

I use tabs for Techlife research of course. As well as keeping tabs on news of the day, shopping takes a few tabs for research and reviews, another for price comparison and yet another for the actual online store.

“So it came to pass that The Tab King began to worry about losing all the tabs.”

With all the open tabs Google Chrome rarely crashes and even when it does restoring the tabs is pretty easy. But yet, there are times when restoring the tabs is not easy and tabs are lost. I’m sure the astute reader says, what about Xmarks, the solution from a previous Techlife column? Bookmarking each tab is more of a chore and less a solution for short and mid term tabs.

The Elegant Evolution

Faithful reader Rob who has emailed back and forth suggested a new tool he found, TabCloud by Connor Dunn, a student at the University of Warwick, UK. This amazing tool allows a user to save the current tabs. But it does more. It lets you save them to the cloud. (Quick sidebar: The Cloud is another way of saying the internet, or more accurately not saved locally on your computer.) By saving your tabs to the cloud, TabCloud let’s a user access them anywhere.

“So faithful subjects of the realm, The Tab King was worry free and the brave reader Rob granted knighthood.”

Epilogue

“As The Tab King began to prepare for sharing the discovery of the brave knight Sir Rob with the loyal subjects, the King made yet another discovery.”  

TabCloud has an Android application and an iPhone and iPad webapp! The apps allows a user to access their saved tabs on their mobile device as well and it is as simple to use as the Chrome and Firefox extensions.

Sharing this corner of the world with you takes the effort of many. It starts with folks who make and do amazing things from a 15 year old artist to my mom’s hack of Gmail to IBM’s researchers who built a thinking computer in Watson. While Techlife shares some things you have seen, and some you haven’t the goal is always the same giving some focus to these talented people and their efforts. It’s great when organizations get behind sharing too. Often they do it to showcase their own wares, while providing a spotlight on the exceptional. So for all the print and mobile readers, spend some time with “GL doesn’t stand for Good Lookin’ but it could” in a full screen browser, it’s worth it.

Made to showcase Google’s Chrome browser and the advanced features it can support, Chrome Experiments is a site with a curated “best of the best in cool” all showing off user-submitted works. (Techlife ran some tests and some of the developers were kind of enough to still play nice with others, so the latest Microsoft Internet Explorer, Firefox or Opera Browser might work just as well.)  In just over18 months the site has posted 277 works, starting with the first one “BallDroppings” by Josh Nimoy which has gotten nearly 5 stars from over 1500 people. It reminds me a lot of Line Rider.

Some of the best works involve animated water you can interact with in the browser, such as “Chrysaora” by Aleksandar Rodic and “WebGL Water Simulation” by Evan Wallace.  The first is a collection of jellyfish and the second is a simple ball in pool of water. But when you consider both are using just the browser to render and animate you begin to understand the genius behind these works.

As expected there is quite a collection of games, all of which aren’t built in Flash which has been a common building block of web based games.  “Dots, the Game” by Nicolas Smith and Aviv Keshet, “Z-Type” by Dominic Szablewski, “Asteroids, Inc.” by Jarred Draney, and “Word²” by Massively Fun are all examples of the future of web gaming built right in the browser.

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The Techlife favorite of these Chrome Experiments is an interactive digital short using Arcade Fire’s “The Wilderness Downtown” by Chris Milk and Google Creative Lab. Sure the team works for Google, but it does not diminish the effort.  For online viewers we have embedded a screen capture of the interactive experiment, but trust me it doesn’t do it justice compared to typing in your own childhood address and it building a custom show for you. (Be aware not every address works.) This has taken music videos to the next evolutionary stage of development. And I like the direction.

As a final fun, enjoy the “Shaun the Sheep” by Google Chrome Team, clearly an entry by the team that has all the tricks at their disposal. They don’t disappoint.

As the future of browsing evolves into what we see here, the enjoyment and fun of even everyday work and entertainment should keep interfaces and applications from all looking and acting the same. I like the future.

*So what does GL stand for then? Nothing fancy, just “Graphics Library.”

 

 

Here at Techlife we have had the pleasure of writing about many family and friends who needed technology assistance. Remember the reader who dropped his phone in the toilet? A fan favorite and a personal friend. How do I get so lucky knowing these folks?

As Techlife likes to pay homage to the greatest hackers, Moms, we have had past columns such as GeekDad happy for Mother’s Day and This Mother’s Day Tell the Truth. Well, now it’s personal. In a celebration of Moms’ ingenuity, I offer up How my Mom Hacked Gmail.

My mom plays this mental game with herself. Maybe you do too. “Technology is too hard, and I don’t get it,” she often exclaims. But in reality she does get it, just at her own pace. Which leads us to the recent multi-year process of getting a smart phone. Now you may be saying to yourself what special smart phone did she get that took a few years to arrive?

Well, once again this is my Mom. The smart phones have been here, it was her reluctance mentally that hadn’t turned the corner. She had a cell and a Palm and was eager to carry a single device.  After years her realization was,whatever she imagined as the perfect device still hadn’t been made apparently.

So she settled on a top of the line Android Powered G2 with Google. Immediately the questions begin. Her biggest was Palm Notes. She used the basic notes function and wanted something like it. A simple request. Searching the Market resulted in more than 1000 note apps. “But, son,” she said. Always there’s a catch, right? Hers was she wanted to access the notes even when in the basement of her work with no connection, she wanted changes to auto-sync, she wanted to search them, and wanted to organize them. So far there are still hundreds of apps that work, no problem Mom.

Life got in the way of the family helpdesk, a few days later the smart phone vs. the toilet and other tech foibles speaking circuit concluded, I checked in with Mom again and asked her how it was going.  Expecting to hear how she still had had 48 more apps to test drive in the notes. She said, “I just decided to use Gmail.” I cocked my head to the side like a dog does upon hearing an unfamiliar sound. Slowly I replied, “How does that work?”

My Mom’s Gmail Hack

  1. Visit Gmail on Desktop and log in (not all Androids can do this on the device)
  2. In the upper left click on Contacts
  3. Under the New Contact Button, scroll down to “New Group”  and click
  4. Enter a name, I chose “Notes”
  5. Click the “New Contact” Button
  6. In the “Add Name” field add a category such as Work, Home or School
  7. Click the button with the “…” and enter the Note’s subject as the last name
  8. Now begin entering your notes
  9. Upon completion, click on the groups pull down and select “Notes” and leave “My Contacts” selected
  10. Repeat for all your notes
  11. Notes are searchable on desktop and handheld and synced to Google’s back end servers

Yep, my Mom took the simplest, easiest method she knew and adapted. Creating Gmail Notes, proving once again simple beats fancy every time. If you know her, call her a geek. She earned it. Happy Mother’s Day to all those moms.

 

The red spots indicate where each person in the shot was standing, identifying them for removal.

Can you remember the Techlife column from 3 years ago? “I can’t even remember what I had for lunch yesterday,” you are probably thinking. If you can remember, you probably have what is known as a photographic memory.

Back in the column, Image Resizing and MS Paint – Techlife TV Double FeatureI covered the amazing video by Ariel Shamir talking about image resizing or retargeting. Simply the idea of cropping and scaling are not always the best ways to keep the key parts of an image intact while allowing it to fit the space required. The video from the column gives plenty of great visual examples of using an algorithm to remove or add content to an image.  Another name for this process is seam carving.

After targeting the people, the final shot looks serene and peaceful.

Recently I came across code ninja Gabe Rudy’s work in the same space. (pun intended)  Gabe has created software to allow Mac and PC users to easily run the unique CAIR (Content Aware Image Resizing) algorithm on their own machines. I easily downloaded it and tried quite a few different images using the many settings the software provides.  Included for your review are two successful images that used only Gabe’s application Seam Carving GUI for Windows.  No Photoshop, image editors or other special tricks were used to create these unique images.

Bonsai Tree after Seam Carving with all elements vanished with the push of a button.

Bonsai with a few key points in red to target for removal. They could easily be targeted to keep as well.

So the challenge Techlife readers, download the program, and try it out.  If you get a few good shots leave a note in the comments with a link to your before and after shots. And the next time someone says they have a photographic memory ask them if they can selectively edit, retargeting the important memories and seam carving with the best of them.  Enjoy the blank stare. Whom just carved whom?

This original shot had people dotting the landscape, what if we could remove them?

The original shot prior to any seam carving and retargeting.

The Dojo's Cubed Addict - Multiplayer Real Time game for Android, Mac, PC and Linux.

The Dojo's Cubed Addict - Multiplayer Real Time game for Android, Mac, PC and Linux.

As we meet with client’s the hardest thing for them to wrap their arms around is that on the web, your business is instantly global.  “Awesome, bring it on.”  “Yeah, so, no big deal.”  These are some of the common answers we hear from client’s.  It is then we sit them down and using their enthusiasm or lack thereof, we coach them on doing business in a global economy.  It’s not always easy with i18n (shorthand for internationalization) and l10n (shorthand for localization) and social networking and web 2.0 and e-commerce.

Now imagine adding mobile customers to the mix.  That is exactly the challenge David Kainer of The Dojo experienced.  Provide his customers a gaming platform globally that easily works for all mobile devices and Linux, Mac and Windows computers (<=computer download link, start playing today) based customers.  He also added in multi-player real-time , and to top it all off…it is all FREE.

Techlife sat down with David, who from his Sydney office, works with the London office to learn about The Dojo.  How?  Why? How hard?  It’s all in there, and we even cover why he chose Google’s Android first over Apple’s iPhone. 

Techlife: What is The Dojo?

David Kainer: The Dojo is a global platform for uniting game players in interactive gaming, irrespective of platform. It’s aim is to provide great multi-player experiences on mobile and online and really begin to blur the boundaries between the two. Best of all – it’s free.

T: How did you come with the idea for The Dojo?  Was it based on something?

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Reading by Christine RondeauTechlife brings a special feature to our readers, Techlife Illustrated. We have put together a visual tutorial for installing Google Gears. I deem Google Gears, the company’s trojan horse, because it is the gift to us the users, that strikes at the underbelly of Microsoft. It provides Google a platform for working with a user who is offline, say on an airplane. They re-sync when they are back in range. This gives them a real foothold on the desktop market.

I can easily see Picasa, Google Desktop and a few other products being folded under Google Gears as time goes on and Google’s strategy become more focused. For now learn how to get Google Gears working for you and your work.

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Many experienced internet users have made the switch to Firefox, a web browser built by the Mozilla open source group. I know a lot Techlife readers are less likely to just switch from Internet Explorer or AOL’s web browser, because “Why switch, this is so easy and all my bookmarks/favorites are in Internet Explorer or AOL?” Today, I am asking to you think about switching.

While many sites tout the new features, extensions or the browsing speed of Firefox compared to other browsers, I have found the most compelling feature to date. Restore a previous session. This simple feature understands that brownouts, blackouts, kids, dogs, cats, husbands, wives and even your foot is often the culprit in your computer restarting. Here’s the genius part…

  1. You are surfing doing a big research project on your trip to London
  2. You have 5 to 15 windows open with flight times, hotels, car rentals, places to visit, even a make-your-own-map of your itinerary
  3. As you are dreaming about being knighted by the queen, your foot slips off the desk and hits the power button — restarting your computer
  4. Quick before you say “Oh, no!” which browser were you using?
  5. In Internet Explorer, I hope you took note of the sites you had open because all is lost otherwise
  6. In Firefox, the restore the previous session feature when you reboot allows you with a single push of the button get back ALL the pages you had open previously.

Even writing this column, I have 25 windows open at a time. Restoring them has never been easier and even makes me wish other times in life had a restore button. So yes…it has happened to me that the PC crashed or I shut down or restarted and this little feature makes it so much less scary than before. Give Firefox a try and let me know what your favorite feature or extension is in the comments.

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Joost is hot.

Techlife recently posted about our invite to Joost, the free online video network currently in beta testing. We offered up an invite to people who commented in that thread. Then I ran into a snag installing and each person who requested an invite instead got a personal email from me. Basically stating, thanks for your interest but we couldn’t hand out anything until we got it working as the invites were in the software itself.

We got it working!

I plan on posting a review next week of by far one of the coolest applications I have seen in quite a long time. We also plan on providing a lucky winner the chance to try it out and tell us their thoughts. Watch for our review and our contest post.

Note: As of right now the contest has NOT started, so if you want to enter, check back or sign up for our feed. Comments in this thread will NOT enter you in the contest.

Note 2: We have never locked a thread before on Techlife, but the original Joost thread is going to be locked to avoid confusion. For our Techlife superfans who commented on the original post, an added bonus, one of those select few will ALSO get an invite to Joost from us.

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Joost is hot.

Joost contacted me today! Apparently the Beta has gone widespread. Want an invite? Make a comment here. I will report more as soon as I have more.

Note: Comments have closed for this article.  Please see our Techlife’s Joost Invite Contest article.

Hello Dave,

The waiting’s over! Since we received your application to join the Joost
beta test program, we’ve been very busy fine-tuning it for you.

So here’s some good news: we’re now ready to expand our beta test
program, and we’re delighted to invite you to join us.

You can download the Joost software right away, by clicking on the link
below. You’ll find instructions for installing and running the software
on our download pages.

Get Joost here: {sorry had to erase this}
Before you can watch Joost for the first time, you need to choose a user
name and password. We’ve provided instructions for doing this on the
screens you’ll see the first time you run the software. So hurry – this
is still beta software and it’s not available to the general public yet,
so this is your opportunity to get the user name you want ahead of the
crowd!

Thanks for your patience in waiting for Joost. We hope you’ll enjoy
using it as much as we’ve enjoyed creating it.

Cheers,

The Joost team

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True Combat Elite - realistic street scene

Getting your computer ready for a software install can often make the process a lot less painless.  And I am all about making things a bit easier.

I visited the Windows Installation Guide for True Combat: Elite.  As I mentioned I am not a real gamer, but I know enough that if your machine isn’t powerful, you can’t run the games.  So looked over the “Preparation” section carefully.

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True Combat Elite - awesome rendering of the sun 

As we jump in with two feet today, I felt it would be cool to use another immersive metaphor, first person shooter (FPS) games and this one is FREE!  For those unfamiliar, this a game where your on-screen view matches the perspective your character is seeing the world.  An example:

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A trailer for a free video game.  Gotta love the dedication.

You hear a noise above you, you actually need to make your character look up to see it, from the first person view.  The shooter part should be pretty self explanatory.

So I found a really neat game, True Combat: Elite, a free FPS based on another free game called Wolfenstein – Enemy Territory (both downloadable at the True Combat site). 

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