Author Archives: Administrator

Visual C# 2008 Express and XNA Game Studio 3.0

Most of the professional game development community will tell you that you should learn C++ to get into the industry.

In reality, they’re only partially right. The professional game development companies are using C++ to develop their games, while an independent (indie) game developer has the freedom to choose the language and platform on their own. Visual C# 2008 Express and XNA Game Studio 3.0 are superb tools for the indie developer. C# is very easy to learn, and Visual C# 2008 Express greatly increases development speed. XNA Game Studio 3.0 is a framework added onto Visual C# 2008 Express. It takes the headache out of developing a lot of the low level systems in game design. The two together make an excellent choice for indie game developers. You can get games out faster and easier!

HandBrake

HandBrake is a wonderful and free application that will transcode your DVDs into MP4 format so you can play them on your ipod.

Not only will it rip the data from DVDs it also will take any video_TS folder you have lying around on your computer and convert that into MP4. But, that isn’t all folks, HandBrake also has the ability to transcode video for output to your Apple TV and PSP, if you have either of those lying around. Using HandBrake is dead simple, you just point it to the file or disc, use one of the built in presets for whatever device you are using and click start and then just let it sit for a while and do it’s magic. In short, HandBrake is a simple tool that fills a niche that no other software I have found has. Although it is a little simple to look at, and some features are lacking (like just a straight DVD rip) what it advertises to do it does it very well. So go out and try to finally fill up that 60gb iPod.

Stellarium – Your Own Planetarium

Stellarium is a stellar sky simulator.

It puts the shifting and changing beautiful night sky on a star watcher’s computer screen deplete of city lights. Users can fast forward or rewind time to see how stars shift position over time. Otherwise, you can just watch the moon, sun, and stars go by at your location in real time without braving the great outdoors.

Curious what the other hemisphere looks like at night? Just remove the ground and see the big picture. Or watch the zodiac go by when the constellation options are checked. Visit stellarium.org and figure out where the north star (Polaris) was 4,000 years ago for the same price as going outside. Free.

Get Wise Cleaner

I was finding that over a period of time, the computer becomes slow and sluggish.

I realized that at times we tend to delete a program which is not working properly or which we are not able to uninstall properly. As a result, the registry gathers a lot of junk over time. The greater the amount of junk in your registry, the more sluggish and slow your computer becomes. I was looking for ways to clean up my registry, but I did not want to tamper with it with half knowledge, least I delete the wrong files an my computer stops working.

I searched the internet for some software to clean up my registry and came across Wise Registry Cleaner. Wise Registry cleaner is a free software which can be downloaded and installed. After carrying out a scan, it flags orphaned or bad registry entries. It indicates which entries are safe to delete. It also identifies registry entries which are not needed but may be dangerous for you to delete unless you have sufficient knowledge. You can select the entries you want to delete and delete them at the press of a button. If you want to be able to undo the deletion, you can also take a back up of your registry before you do the scan.

Kar2ouche Composer

Kar2ouche Composer is the core application for the Kar2ouche range of educational software titles. Each title addresses a particular school curriculum area and may even address a particular focus within a broader curriculum subject.

Within the general category of “History” titles, therefore, there are specific titles for “The Romans”, “The Greeks”, “The Vikings” and “The First World War”. However, there are also titles appropriate to religious education, Science, Math and so on. The individual titles provide a rich set of characters backgrounds and props and come with a dossier of teacher’s notes and other resources such as sound clips appropriate to the theme. The composer application provides the basic interface and all the tools that the user deploys in order to organize these resources on or across a series of “scenes”. These scenes are very loosely comparable to the slides in a PowerPoint presentation and, as in PowerPoint presentations, the transitions between the slides can be programmed to create simple animations that can be ultimately exported as QuickTime presentations. The real power of this application lies in its usability, however, for it is extremely well designed and benefits from an extremely accessible interface that owes little to windows oriented principle that characterizes many software applications. Children as young as six or seven years of age can quickly learn to import elements into scenes, manipulate and compose these elements in a variety of ways and even create soundtracks from the files provided by the titles or that they have recorded themselves.

Bueno Bento

The new Bento program from Filemaker makes it easy for Mac users to create and manage personal databases.

Simply select one of the pre-formatted templates and begin entering data for projects, contacts, events, home inventory, items for sale, and more. Bento templates are already designed and include the fields the programmers think you’re likely to use. Some fields link to iCal so that you can enter events and tasks in Bento and later see them in iCal. The templates are also easy to customize. You can change the “theme” to pick a new color and/or type style, add data fields, select number of columns, or completely rearrange your layout. By adding fields and customizing your layout, you can get much of the power of a more traditional (and expensive) database program for a fraction of the time and cost. Bento is just $49.