Here I sit, with my lightly toasted whole-wheat bagel and my extra-potent 14bar cafe con leche. This process always ends up taking me at least an hour, as I sit enjoying the deliciousness while fiddling with my ThinkPad (whose name is currently Overlord). Yoshi “The Destroyer” Ketone (my cat) has been a bit of a butt today. During the night, he somehow managed to track large amounts of dirt and dust bunnies across the kitchen counter. Since I just cleaned the place last night, I have no idea where the hell he found the dirtiness. Behind the fridge perhaps? He also got on top of the fridge, where we are keeping the paper towels to keep him from shredding them- and destroyed one of those rolls.
And finally, this might be a recurring theme (indeed might comprise the entirety of an entry here or there):
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I have been exploring things to do with my laptop to (a) streamline Windows a bit and (b) find cool free things. I did a lot with (a) and eventually murdered my computer. Overlord’s name at that point was Sidney, after my then-favorite creature- an old pet cat, now deceased. I realized, however, that no technology could ever bring Sidney back, so now my newly rebuilt computer has a new name. But that was a random tangent. Anyway:
Firstly, the free open-source version of Office is amazing. I have not fiddled with it extensively yet, but from what I can tell it is almost identical to MS Office. It is called OpenOffice and can be found at OpenOffice.org.
The game that inspired Valve’s upcoming Portal is free and can be found on Downloads.com. It is called Narbacular Drop. The story is pretty dumb, but my understanding is that the game was made as a senior project by some students studying game design. I also understand that these students were hired by Valve to work on Portal. Narbacular Drop is a tiny program that does require decent computing power (Overlord gets its ass kicked by it). Check it out.
Through LifeHacker.com (which you should also check out) I found a freeware program called MonkeyJam, which is a brilliant, inspiring name. It is for making movies with cameras that can be controlled by your computer (maybe just webcams?) and you can use it to capture single frames at a time so you can make stop-action animations or claymations. I don’t actually have a webcam, so I have yet to try it out. Jenny has one here somewhere, however, so that will likely be a project for the next couple days. I’ll discuss that when the time comes.
There are many, many more, but I need to go shower and then put together some Excel (or Calc, with OpenOffice) templates for the data I’m collecting at work.