Software

Oh No! DHTML Lemmings!

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There was this really simply yet fiendishly addictive game in the early 1990's called Lemmings. The premise was simple - stop a bunch of lemmings from killing themselves (falling off cliffs, drowing, walking into dangerous objects, etc) by instructing other ones to do specific tasks - build bridges, stop others, etc. It was a remarkably fun game to play and I wasted way too many hours playing it as a teenager. Now, with computers 100x faster and with fancier colors, someone has rewritten the game in HTML code!!! Those freaky geeks! Go have fun.

Quicktime 7 + High Definition video is breathtaking!

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Apple's newest Quicktime 7, finally released today for Windows, allows you to play high definition video files (using the video code H.264) that look simply breathtaking! If you're so inclined I recommend installing iTunes 5, which includes Quicktime 7, and then taking a look at some of these (very large files):

Apple released a beta of QT7 a few months ago and the playback quality was very choppy - even on our high-powered home PC the speed was very poor, but the final release is extremely smooth, I was able to play the space shuttle launch movie on my PC at work, and it has a relatively "slow" 1.8GHz Pentium 4.

The best spam filter for Windows?

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Junk email, aka spam, is a terrible problem for almost everyone these days. There is help at hand, though, for anyone using an email program on Windows. There's a completely free program called Spamihilator that will work with your email program to mark emails as spam. It looks like it should be really good, I'm going to give it a try both at work and at home to see how it fares. Note, however, that it will not work with web-based email clients, only ones like Thunderbird, Outlook, Eudora, etc, where the email is actually downloaded to your computer.

Also, one cool thing is that it seems to be under constant improvement and you can download beta versions (versions that aren't quite finished yet but should work fine) to try out, but I don't recommend non-geeks try this as it can lead to unexpected problems. Along with that they have a large number of plugins which you can use to improve the accuracy of the spam filtering. Lastly, there's also a support forum if you need help with it.

Opera web browser free offer!

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If you have a chance to do so, go to Opera's registration page and you can get a free registration code that lasts forever. This will let you run their web browser without dealing with any silly advertisements. They're doing this wonderful offer as part of their ten year anniversary, so kudos to them!

More Google fun

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Yet more Google fun and festivities. If you're into this kinda thing they've got what they call Google Desktop, a mini search engine for your personal documents. You can use it to search for documents, images, web pages you've viewed, email, etc, and it works with Outlook, Thunderbird, Firefox and a whole host of other programs. Traditionally it worked as a window that hovered around your screen but the new version 2 includes what's called a "sidebar", a window that fits on the side of the screen to show you a variety of information. The sidebar can show you web page news, stock prices, weather, email and more. Two really cool features are a Photos plugin that cycles through your pictures, and a status display for Google Talk to make using their new chat program even easier. To make life even better, they have an enhanced version designed for use in businesses called Google Desktop Enterprise that lets you set it up for everyone to use in your corporate network and centrally control their preferences. Very nice indeed.

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