Monday, 7 July 2008
Posted by Dave
Fixed up a bust laptop for the nippers, it's not a bad thing, athlon 64, x700 graphics card so it can do games and stuff. Made a real efford to load it up with freeware type stuff just to see how far I can go, and the end result is so impressive, I'd like to share it.Apps:Firefox 3 with Addblock and Procon Latte. The latter is a very smart filter that searches the text on websites and google results and blocks it if its norty. Also allows you to set up white or blacklists. Artrage: Nifty art programme that simulates paint and stuff, they love getting messy with this. Dia: Basically a light open sourced visio, great for doing little diagrams for school stuff.Games Maker: Nifty little app that lets you make your own games. This is really for the older one (11), and she finds it pretty challenging, but its cool.Open Office: They use google docs for word processing, but the presentation stuff's weak and there's no drawing tools. Open Office has those and they're pretty good. They can also prep stuff that's a bit richer in open office, then upload it to google docs for access at school. Paint.net: Bitmap package, a photoshop light, and bloody brilliant. Particularly good for photo shit. Scratch: Smalltalk based scripting thing that's geared towards making interactive stories and other procedural creations. Ace visual introduction to programming that can be very simple or pretty advanced. Scribus: Open source desk top publisher. Remarkably powerful, can use pdf files to printing standard. Nice for party invites and school newsletters, etc.GamesNow the fun stuff! De Blob: Started life as a student project, and is now getting a full commercial release on teh wii. The original PC version is free though, and ace for kids. It's a bit like Katamari, you roll a blob around and have to paint a town by absorbing the colour from it's residents. Weird, but ace.LinCity: Freeware Sim City, doesn't need any introduction surely?Ocular Ink: Roll an eye around using the mouse, and paint lines to attack things. Kind of like okami a bit? Anyway, ace.Secret Maryo Chronicles: Another Super Mario Bros rip off, but a very well done one. Crayon Physics: Draw things with a crayon, move the red ball. Pretty basic tech demo for an upcoming game, but loads of fun and the kids love it. Very smart 'what if i.... type game that's perfect for kids'.Knytt Stories: Looks like a very basic and abstract platform game, but elegently simple and highly enjoyable for all ages. Comes with a nice level designer too, which the kids enjoy.