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The Cool Stuff Page

Welcome to The Cool Stuff Page! Yeah, believe it or not, there are other cool things besides games!
Here youíll find other links to some shnazzy sites along with other fantastic stuff! As well as the section on free software, you can also find a new spot on some great commercial programs too. Iíve tried ALL of the stuff listed, so you know Iím not recommending anything thatís dodgy.
(Every link in this page opens the page in a new window for your convenience!)



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Sound Dogs — Lots of cool sound effects.
The Dialectizer! A humourous way to change the “sound” of web pages!
Maniacs Of Noise — Check out some awesome Module Music by WAVE (Jeroen Tel), DRAX (Thomas Mogensen) & Laxity (Thomas Egeskov Petersen).

Electronic Related Stuff

SM Components — If youíre looking for great service, and an amazing range of L.E.D.s especially, check out this eBay store. I had a very positive experience here and Mike from the place was generous too!

Mikeís Electric Stuff — In with the old & out with the new! Er, well sort of. This site has excellent sections dedicated to some of those old & quite frankly rather bizarre electronic contraptions of days gone by. From “nixie” tubes, valves and those fascinating mercury arc rectifiers to psycho high voltage gizmos and even LASERs — this site has it all. Check out all those glass goodies! Geissler tubes, old fashion lamps ó Mmm, yummy. Be sure to see the Muppet Alert section also. Youíll even find Mikeís circuit design for a nixie tube clock.

If youíre looking for electronic components, and other neat gadgets, Jaycar is always a good choice.

Computer Related Stuff

Computer Stupidities — Wherever there are computers, there seems to be a large collection of people who donít know how the heck to use them. Some are willing to learn, others are completely arrogant, and then thereís the ones who just shouldnít be using them at all. From the scary abuse that they give their equipment, to the physical trimming down of Nintendo 64 carts to work with PCs, and people who just donít even know the difference between Netscape and their operating system — itís all here on this hilarious site! Not to mention the idiotic technicians that donít know what Linux is, and computer store employees who havenít a clue…

Eliminate The Blue Screen Of Death! At Nathan Linebackís Site — Nathanís Toasty Technology page. This guy HATES Microsoft Internet Explorer, so watch out if youíre a fan of that browser.

Old Computers museum

Windows-less Laptop Computers

Power Notebooks ó Another American joint that offers customisable laptop PCs, including a no OS option.

Pioneer Computers. Hereís another Aussie joint that has laptop computers with a choice of OS option, including Linux (Ubuntu) or none at all.

Pens

The Pen Place — in Melbourne.

Goldspot Luxury Gifts — This American joint has quite a good selection of fine pens at reasonable prices. The international shipping costs are a bit painful, but if youíre getting up to 5 items, then itís not quite as bad. Plus they also have Conklin pens which seem hard to find in Australia.

Colorado Pen Direct — This American joint appears to be a great place to get yourself a quality pen for a good price.

See The Fountain Pens Page for more links!

Music

Red Eye Records — looking for import music? Or records? This is a great place to go. They have 3 locations in Sydney. Well, 2, since 2 of their shops are combined in the one building. This is where I ordered my Sudeki soundtrack. It was a piece of cake, and I got a good price too.

MOD Archive - Over 29 800 music files! Pro Tracker Modules, Scream Tracker, Impulse Tracker, you name it, they have songs in all these formats & more!

Art

Nothing in this section currently. (All the sites that were listed here have died over the years.)

Miscellaneous

In the interests of avoiding genetic engineering and other abominations, this little top section of the miscellaneous area will be listing various sites that promote natural products. I have no commercial relationship with these companies, but urge you to choose them wherever possible as a step to a better environment. Look for products that are approved by the ACO and which say GE Free.

Mrs. Oldbuckís Pantry ó currently under new ownership.

Zentveldís - check out this nice coffee that I had from up north.

The Purist Company ó makers of A'kin skin care.

Choose Cruelty Free

Flyiní Fox Ice Blox ó Great tasting and ethical ice blocks that you wonít feel guilty about eating! This company has a very high environmental standard, using broken surfboards for the sticks and non-plastic wrappers. (They look like plastic, but arenít.)

ACO ó Australian Certified Organic. The organisation which provides certifications on products.

True Food Network

Phoenix Organics

Daylesford & Hepburn Mineral Springs Co.

Valley Produce Co. Crackerthins ó Non GMO Project Certified potato based water crackers. These seem kind of halfway between a regular water cracker biscuit and a chip.

Oliverís.

Nealís Yard Remedies ó Organic health & beauty products. Also promotes anti-animal cruelty.

Coco Tribe ó Sydney based dairy free yoghurt + coconut ice cream.

Amyís Kitchen ó Organic ďconvenienceĒ foods, such as canned soup, burgers, burritos and ready made meals. All their products are vegetarian, and they also produce various vegan products as well, and do not use peanuts for those with allergies.

Honey Australia.

Herbs Of Life ó Organic health foods, from Lawson, in the Blue Mountains of NSW.

Boulder Canyon ó An American company with various snack foods.

Coolibah Herbs ó Victorian joint with salads & herbs of course. Available at Harris Farm Markets.

Byron Bay Chilli Co. ó Corn chips and dips from Byron Bay of course, in northern NSW.

Queen ó Vanilla, peppermint & other essences for cooking.

Perfect Potion ó I saw this shop at Pacific Fair in Queensland.

Bellamyís Organic ó They do baby food.

Genovese ó Sugar and coffee. They seem to have ACO sugar, but I donít know much else about them at the moment.

San Remo ó GMO free pasta.

Proper Crisps ó They prefer the ďcrispsĒ name to chips to try and get away from the whole mass produced image. These are made in Nelson, New Zealand.

Wild One / Wild Beverages ó They do various soft drinks.

Junee Licorice & Chocolate (By Green Grove Organics) ó ACO too.

Pure Pops ó ice blocks from Sydney, using organic ingredients

GreenCane ó GMO free bamboo & recycled sugarcane paper towels etc. with non-plastic wrappers.

Also take a look at my document on how I feel GE should be dealt with in Australia and how we can clean up our act. Some of it may seem a little bold, but itís something that needs change. Feel free to pass this on to your friends, if you have similar ideals and even refer it to your local members in the government. (Do not ďe-mail bombĒ people with it though.) This has now been updated for November 2019.


Online Conversion — translate all those pesky imperial measurements over to metric easily and accurately. Although some of the spelling could be converted too from American to English.

Amoís online crossword puzzle dictionary — good for crosswords and for Scrabble too I suppose.

The Vintage Typewriter Shoppe — this is an American site that deals in restored typewriters in excellent condition. They send stuff overseas too. Worth looking at just to see what they have.

Automatic Washer ó collections of washing machines and what not.

VacuumLand ó The official site of the Vacuum Cleaner Collectors Club.

Toaster Central ó Vintage toasters, fryers, corn poppers etc.

Mikeyís Old Technology Page ó Check out some interesting old televisions and what not. (Based in England.)

Dob-A-Driver ó The driving blacklist of shame! If youíre listed here, itís time to clean up your act.

My personal driving blacklist ó Youíve been spotted being a git on the road! Pedestrians and good drivers take note if you spot these vehicles being driven poorly.

Witch Needle Threader ó My Nanna had a couple of these, and theyíre really useful for hand sewing.

Cool Free Stuff:

Operating System:
 
Approximate download size:
ē What was that saying? The best things in life are free? You already pay too much in life for a lot of things, so hereís some worthwhile goodies that you can pick up for bupkis, diddly and el zilcho. (Please note that I donít upgrade my copies of these programs on a regular basis, so I canít be held responsible for new bugs, viruses, pornography or any other surprises! )
ē Mac applications will now have the following balls, so you know which will run on Intel CPUs and which will run on PowerPCs. If there are separate versions of each, they will have both balls. Iíll also be mentioning which programs work with Mac OS X Tiger, which is the earliest version of Mac OS X I have, and as a lot of people still use it for the Classic environment, it could be handy to know what you can still use. Iím not listing any programs which do not run on Leopard or earlier, because theyíre of no use to me.
= PowerPC
= Intel
= Universal
= There is a version for Mac OS X Tiger (or earlier).
ē Also, apart from my own stuff (ó see the Downloads Page for my own Windows & Mac programs ó) I do not host any of the mentioned free programs, because there just isnít the room for them.
 
An excellent video editing program that also allows you to capture video. Great for editing unwanted segments of video, resizing, de-interlacing etc. You can also append videos together, stretch the audio on out of sync videos and choose from the various codecs you have installed for the final product. Thereís even a plug-in to remove transparent logos in videos.
 
A great tool for converting hundreds of 3D object formats. I use this to convert stuff I do sometimes in Corel DREAM 3D to the Unreal Editor .t3d format. Also comes in handy when youíve downloaded stuff in formats that you donít have the program for too. It supports OpenGL, and you can view objects with flat shading, gouraud shading, wireframe or points. This is shareware, so not all file formats are supported, until you fork up the dosh.
 
Edit your MIDI files, or make your own simple tunes up using your regular PC keyboard.
 
My fave music player for Windows. XMPlay is an excellent music player for MP3, Windows Media Audio, wave and Ogg Vorbis formats, plus it plays module type music more accurately than WinAmp also. Obviously plays XM files, MOD, S3M, IT, UMX etc. Itís compact, has some great features and an easy to use play list thatís automatically saved each time you quit. A must to download! (Also supports WinAmp plug-ins.)
 
The chat program used by over 150 000 000 people around the world and available in 18 languages. You donít even have to download it - you can use ICQ2GO anywhere in the world and still maintain your user list as well.
82.5 MB
If youíre looking for a powerful painting and image editing graphics program along the lines of Corel PHOTO-PAINT, but without spending hundreds of dollars, then this could very well be your answer. Itís already very well known, but I thought Iíd add it in here also, because itís definitely worth mentioning. There are versions for Linux, Unix, Mac OS X & Windows too, plus you can download the source code also.
2.57 MB
I used to make quite a lot of programs in QBASIC and Turbo Pascal and always did like to do a bit of animation. Now Iíve found something thatís given me quite a few extra things that Iíve always wanted. Just BASIC is fast, does sprites as easy as pie and gives you the benefits of whatever resolution and colour depth you have set in Windows too. Loading bitmaps, playing wave & MIDI files, creating buttons, tick boxes — itís all a piece of cake. It comes with a heap of tutorials and demo files, plus a comprehensive help file also. Check it out and see what it can do for you.
6.04 MB (With the IDE.)
If you used to use QBASIC, or still do, and want a high similarity but with more grunt, then this is the way to go. With minor modifications, you can get your QBASIC programs running in Windows or Linux, plus thereís a DOS version too. Make use of OpenGL, OpenAL, DirectX, high resolution screen modes, true colour, windowed or full screen modes and more new stuff that you wish you had in regular QBASIC. And of course itís great for starting out too, because itís easy to learn and gives you quite a lot of power at the same time. And because your programs are compiled, itís also very fast. You can write your programs in any old text editor, like Notepad, or Kate perhaps, but check out the package you get with FBIde. This includes the compiler and the IDE. (Integrated Development Enviroment.) You can even make programs for your XBOX, apparently.
Itís really easy to use with Knoppix also. You can install it anywhere you like, pretty much, using the install.sh program / script thingy, and then youíre set to go.
 
This has to be one of the best icon and cursor making software that Iíve ever found. You can edit your current icons, and even make up animating ones too. Itís a shareware application, but you can download it to see what itís like.
 
An excellent media player that comes in quite a lot of Linux distributions, and plays more formats than you can poke a stick at. It will play modules, DivX video, Ogg Vorbis, MP2, MP3, Sega Saturn .CPK files, videos with Duck compression, M-JPEG, QuickTime, Windows Media 7, (8 & 9 with extra codecs not included,) Electronic Arts .WVE files, Apple Interchange Format (.AIF), Autodesk Animator Flics, wave files, MPEG 1 & 2, Cinepak, Video CD, DVD (unencrypted), Audio CD and a big fat wad more. You can even de-interlace on the fly using various techniques.
4.85 MB
If youíre looking for a free word processor for your PC, this could very well be the answer. Itís available for Windows, and pre-compiled for Fedora Core 1, 2 & 3 Linux, Red Hat Linux 9, SuSE Linux, Mandrake Linux, QNX & Mac OS X. You can also download the source code.
420 KB
Niall Moodyís site, who has a cool PNG to icon converter. Turn those images with alpha channels into cool looking icons for Windows XP.
 
AW Icons Lite - Make your own icons and cursors for Windows. Works on Windows í95 & up. Also supports icons with alpha channels.
142 KB
(Mac - Intel)
Iím not really a fan of Bink Video, but they have a nifty program you can get for free that lets you play the .bik files, and convert files to other formats too. You can convert the Bink videos to AVI files, and even convert .wmv files over as well, and it includes resizing options, cropping and so on. Highly recommended.
6.14 KB
Want some cursors I made up? Thereís a neat looking glowing arrow which is transparent, with additional window resize cursors, plus a purple 3D arrow also. Theyíre only for Windows XP though.
Shuangz WAV To MP3 Converter
509 KB
Hereís a quick and easy to use program that will convert wave files over to MPEG Layer 3 in a jiffy. It also gives you bit rate and frequency options too. (This site seems to have gone, so Iíll try to hunt down another program that does the same thing.)
444 KB
This is a handy dandy Dashboard widget for Mac OS X Tiger that can play an alarm sound and have a label. (Universal.)
1.26 MB
Change your whole dock, into several categories that you can switch between. (Universal.) For Mac OS X Jaguar and up.
3D Desktop Aquarium Screensaver 1.25
974 KB
(Shareware - Universal.) A nifty screensaver where the screen begins to fill up with water and 3D fish start swimming about. If you have the right type of laptop computer, you can even tilt it, and see the water level stay parallel to the ground! For Mac OS X Panther and up.
 
A suitable replacement search utility for Windows XPís rather broken search feature.
2.77 MB
Give yourself more than just one workspace. Choose neat transitions also. (Universal.)
For Mac OS X Tiger. This program doesnít work in Leopard unfortunately. (Beta version only.) (Another site that seems to have gone unfortunately. This was one of the most eye catching pieces of software for Mac OS X also, so itís a shame if itís gone for good. If I can find a link to this somewhere Iíll put it here.)
 
Keep an eye on how hot your CPU is in your Mac. (Only for Intel processors.)
 
65 KB
A brilliant extension for various Mozilla based browsers that blocks all Flash animations until you say otherwise. Obviously the best purpose of this is to prevent annoying ads. Add to the white list what you want to allow.
 
Iím into track editing with Need For Speed: High Stakes, and I found this to be THE texture editing application for the game. Of course it does more than that. You can do things with the cars too, and with previous Need For Speed games. It provides alpha channel support also by importing Targa bitmaps. Works with the QFS and FSH files very reliably. Worth checking out!
2.72 MB
A pretty cool audio player for Mac OS 8.6 and up. You can get some really shnazzy looking “faces” to change the look, most of which use alpha channels for some spiffy effects. Itís a PowerPC application, so it works best on those CPUs, but runs fairly well on the Intel ones under emulation, so long as youíre not doing much else.
3.79 MB
This is a neat and, pretty much the only, decent audio player for Mac OS X Panther & up. (New versions require Tiger.) It plays a great range of formats, including MP3, Ogg, various modules (S3M, XM, IT, MOD), FLAC, Monkeyís Audio, wave, AIFF and more. Thereís a nifty file drawer, that lets you view all the files and folders off your Music folder, so you can just drag tunes onto the play list. This gets saved automatically when you quit too. It also supports the remote control. Has a bug though that ignores files with capital letters in extensions. But worth checking out.
111 MB
This is a nifty “virtual machine” which if you donít know, is an application which simulates a real computer inside another operating system. It supports various versions of Windows, OpenBSD, OS/2, ReactOS, SkyOS, Solaris, Linux and possibly a few other operating systems also. It runs on Windows, (including the 64 bit versions), Mac OS X (Intel CPUs only), Linux and Solaris. Iíve tried it with Windows XP on Mac OS X, and it was very easy to set up and get going with no real problems. Apart from my RAM being eaten up, but this is adjustable. Guest OSs are stored in an “image” file, which represents a hard drive, so no repartitioning is required. Definitely worth looking at if your computer no longer runs an older OS, and you need to run older applications that wonít run any more, or simply to have 2 or more different OSs running together. The version I have supports OpenGL acceleration, and apparently theyíre working on implementing Direct 3D if youíre guest OS is Windows XP or probably Windows Vista also.
1.75 MB
This handy utility will help you keep an eye on your PCís temperatures and a whole lot more.
 
This seems to be one of the more decent FLV players out there for Mac OS X. It has a play list, video position scroll bar and smooths out any pixelation on re-sized videos. Apparently it works on all versions of Mac OS X, (Tiger recommended), and there are seperate Intel & PowerPC versions too. The only bad point is that it takes up 27 MB or so of space, compared to the one I use in Windows that only needs 6.4 MB. Also I found it rather SLOW on my (800 MHz) iMac G4, so you might want to have a pretty zippy CPU.
79.9 KB
If youíve ever opened a JPG file in a text editor, youíll have noticed that many have copious amounts of extra garbage. (Especially ones created with Adobe Photoshop.) This excellent little program for Windows í95 & up is just perfect for scraping out all that extra junk! Not only that, it also allows you to preserve the original file date and time! Huzzah! A must download!
 
This is a Mac program that does the same kind of thing as the one above, including multiple file processing. On one image I tested, I got exactly the same file reduction results from both programs with no recompression. It works perfectly well for my personal camera images too, and I get the same final file size result as what the JPEG & PNG Stripper does in Windows. Some images arenít trimmed up as well, unfortunately, so it may be a case of trying it and seeing if it works for you.
(For Mac OS X Panther & up.)
NovoEdit (Another one that seems toíve gone.)
 
This is a great plain text editor for Mac OS X Tiger and up. Itís a lot smaller than Appleís built in TextEdit application too. The other advantage is that you can view files in their raw format which TextEdit wonít allow for some types, such as RTF and DOC formats.
9 KB - Windows
840 KB - Mac
Hey, a program by me! My new version. For Windows í95 & up. See the Downloads Page for Windows 3.1 & Mac OS 9 & 10. Click on the Finder face dealie to the left for the Mac version also.
623 KB
This is a neat and quite small FTP program which seems to have been made about 12 years ago in 1999, but works quite well, and has the features I need to upload my files and keep track of how much space Iím using on the server side. You can also compare file differences.
 
Iíve actually had this program for a while, but I didnít get around to adding it to this page until now. With FastIcns, you can easily convert images such as PNG over to Appleís Icon format (ICNS) and create resource forks that you can apply to files, folders and what have you. Itís a simple drag and drop procedure and then you just save it! You can also save images back the other way as well. You can run it on Mac OS X Tiger I think and above.
1.57 MB
Iíd say this is bit of a multi-purpose tool for working with videos. I found it handy to trim up and crop videos Iíd captured with my Canopus ADVC-110 on my MacBook. You can also “containerise” raw DV files into AVI, but I found that it didnít work with the audio. But I still say: check it out, and see what it can do for you! (For Mac OS X Jaguar and up or Windows XP and later.)
 
This is a handy plugin for WinAMP which will let you play CMF (Creative Music Format) and other not so common files.
513 KB
This is part of the Windows XP Powertoys, which is a great little dealie that lets you right click on a folder and have a command prompt open at that spot. There was a similar feature in KDE, which I noticed when I used to use Knoppix, and then I wondered if such a thing existed for Windows XP or not. And it does!
523 KB
Convert your AIF (or WAV) files into FLAC format quickly and easily! (For Mac OS X Cheetah and up.)
Soundflower
(I will try to find a new link for this.)
289 KB
In Windows, with most new SoundBlaster audio cards, if you want to record something that you can hear, you just set your Record Control to “What U Hear.” Well on my MacBook this sorta thing doesnít exist in the Sound preference pane. But with Soundflower it can! This nifty kernel extension allows your Mac to send its output audio from whatever application is making a noise to the input, so you can record it. Itís not something I do very often, so this free bit of software suits just fine. If youíre running Tiger like me, youíll need version 1.4
206 KB
Thatís right, I finally made up some nifty icons for Mac OS X. Use them to spruce up your folders or Dock perhaps. Get a preview here.
895 KB
This will allow you to play files in Windows Media Player which have their video stream encoded with H.264.
Johnís Extended Character Guides
 
Here are a couple of handy PDF files that list the extended characters and how to get them in Windows and Mac OSs / System software, which I whacked together. Click on the Finder face for the Mac version and the window for the Windows one.
4.83 MB
This is a pretty speedy conversion tool with a good lot of options. Convert to various video codecs, choose audio bitrates, crop and so forth. On a small-ish resolution video I got a conversion speed of almost 200 frames per second on my 2.4 GHz AMD Athlon 64 CPU, to XviD with MP3 audio. I use this mainly for converting videos to watch on my S9. (Installation size is 5.16 MB)
8.57 MB
This is a fairly decent video converter for Mac OS X. At over 20 MB (installed), it does feel a bit bloated for what it does, and doesnít give you as many options as the Pazera dealie for Windows. It is quite quick though.
 
Wanna see font previews of non installed fonts without having to double click through every one? Well this handy program will allow you to speedily preview fonts from any drive or folder as well as showing you which fonts are already installed.
1.16 MB
Use your screensaver as your wallpaper. For Mac OS X Tiger and later.
   
Hereís a handy true type font which has the 437 character set which you see mostly in text mode applications. The archive contains both a Windows version and a DOS version. This is explained in the accompanying text file.
28.8 KB
Ever wanted to change the time & date properties of a file? Well, this easy to use program can do it for you. Set that text file you edited back to 1980, or maybe correct a picture from your camera, where the time was way out. :-) See the Downloads Page for my own Mac rendition.
1.26 MB
Like JPEG & PNG Stripper, this is another program that removes all the junk out of JPEG files, but scrapes out even more. The other program had issues with certain colour profiles, which affected a lot of my pictures from Photo Booth on my MacBook. However, this program can deal with removing that stuff too. I would have preferred a drag & drop interface on this, but it isnít too bad. :-) It preserves the file date and of course does not recompress your images.
 
Like FLAC, Monkeyís Audio produces lossless compressed audio files. And while FLAC is very good, I thought I would give this a whirl also. :-) Itís another format supported by my Cowon S9 too. The Windows application from the official site will work back as far as Windows í95 and has an easy to use interface. The installer also includes a WinAMP plug-in that will work with XMPlay as well. Cog for Mac OS X can play the appropriately named APE files, but if you want to encode, click on the Mac icon to get Max for Mac OS X (Tiger & up). It may seem a bit bloated, but it does many audio formats, so keep that in mind. If you find an encoder specific to Monkeyís Audio on Mac OS X, let me know!
2.39 MB
As well as its ability to deinterlace videos, this is a cracking converter for NTSC to PAL conversions and PAL to NTSC as well. It retains interlacing if you prefer and does a nice, smooth job. Iíve tried this in both directions, and the output is fabulous! It will take various video formats as the input, and outputs to a DV file, which you can use with iMovie. Conversion time is pretty good, but donít expect it to be faster than the video playing time, unless you have a pretty grunty CPU. My dual core 2 GHz MacBook converted a video of 7 minutes & 20 seconds from NTSC to PAL in around 18 minutes. For Mac OS X Leopard & up. Worth checking out!
Pale Moon
14.6 MB
This is a customised version of Firefox made specifically for Windows XP and above. You will also need a CPU that supports SSE 2. If you donít like the look of the newer Firefox browsers, like me, then this is a pretty good alternative. Plus it supports new Firefox plug-ins as well. The people behind this program are no longer supporting Windows XP, so I may soon remove the link.
334 KB
This handy program allows you to do something in Windows Iíve kinda wanted for some time ó using your mouse wheel over other programs without changing focus manually. Especially handy when youíre working on something, while youíre watching a DVD or listening to music, and when you donít realise you havenít changed focus, and end up changing the volume instead of scrolling down a page of text for instance. Mac OS X kind of lets you do this with Finder. One issue though is that certain programsí functionality may change. In Corel Photo-Paint for instance, you could zoom in and out of an image with the wheel so long as the program was the one with focus. With KatMouse you must have the mouse over the image window at all times for this to work, since it regards the outer window as being separate. In any case, you can always quit it to restore the normal Windows method.
27 KB
Similar to the KatMouse program, but slightly different. This one can change a program focus when you scroll the wheel on your mouse, and it works better with zooming in Corel Photo-Paint and Windows Picture & Fax Viewer. Uses slightly less RAM as well. Available as a 32 bit or 64 bit program. Works on Windows í98 & up. Requires no installation. Just run it from anywhere and youíre in action.
1.11 MB
Fony is a nifty little font making program for bitmap fonts. If youíve ever browsed through your fonts in Windows, theyíre the ones with the .FON extension. With Fony, you can set the size of your characters and import from a bitmap. I found the best way to do this, is to make a BMP image ďsheetĒ, with the letters in black, and the background in white. Then you simply line up the square on the letter you want to start at, and as you type the letters matching your bitmap, the square grows into a rectangle as it moves along, selecting more letters! So you can import a whole row in a flash! Once you work it out, it really is quite smart. There is a paste function too, but it didnít work too well for me. Importing from a BMP image which contains your entire font is much better and faster. Or you can create the letters in Fony and make them right there. Your left mouse button draws, and your right one erases. Simple.
11.5 KB
I got this little program for Windows 7. It allows you to edit your context menu ďNewĒ selection, so you can remove what file types you donít want in the list.
HandBrake
(This site may be gone.)
13.6 MB
(I also tried HandBrake 0.93 on Windows 2000, and even though it doesnít require Internet access, the program requires Microsoftís NET dealie #2 as well, which is 22.42 MB. And THAT requires the Windows Installer 3. So I just got the 3.1 v2 edition. So if you donít want to download all that, I would probably recommend getting this for a newer version of Windows which comes with most of this stuff. The 0.93 version of HandBrake does support direct AVI creation however, but will not work with DVDs which are encrypted. You canít run HandBrake 0.991 on Windows 2000, because it requires the NET frame work 4, which isnít supported on that OS. Just thought youíd like to know. )
This program is really good at converting DVDs to MP4 files, which you can then watch / convert for PMPs and the like. With the libdvdcss.dll file in the same directory as HandBrake (for the Windows version), you can do pretty much any DVD. Even ones with oddities in the file system. I run the 64 bit version on Windows 7 and itís pretty zippy. I get around 200 frames per second, and with 2 pass video encoding, youíll get a 90-ish minute movie done in about 22 minutes or so, depending on your CPU speed. You can choose what title from the DVD you want to convert, and if you have VLC installed, you can work out which one you need first. You can also have HandBrake preview the processed result in VLC to see if youíre happy with it.
Other settings include output video size, compression levels for audio and video and frame rate. You can save presets and delete them too. Usually the program will pick the correct title for you as well, but if you have DVDs with several episodes, you can pick from the list. HandBrake will also usually choose correct crop settings for you, so black areas will be trimmed back, and the size will be changed accordingly. You can turn this off or manually adjust it too. The finished product is a smooth playing video! If you have a Cowon S9 like me, you may wish to check out the program below as well.
3.04 MB
I use this program with HandBrake. It can ďre-containeriseĒ MP4 files (& others) into AVI containers without recompression. I couldnít figure out what settings my Cowon S9 would work with when it came to MP4 files, so I just used this program. It became a simple method of choosing the file I wanted, and then having it start. Even if you recompress the audio, but not the video, it is still pretty quick about it. Whole 90 minute movies took a couple of minutes.
30.5 MB
Something free from Microsoft! Good gracious! This, as the name suggests, is a virtual machine program, which lets you run an operating system (designed for Intel / compatible CPUs) inside another one. For instance, Windows í98 on a 64 bit version of Windows 7, so that you can run 16 bit programs. With the extensions enabled in the guest OS, you can drag files between the 2 OSs and resize the screen to unusual resolutions as well. If you want to run Windows í95, you can use the extensions from Virtual PC 2004 with Virtual PC 2007, since there is no support for Windows í95 in the later version.
The program is easy enough to use, and supports disk / disc ďimagesĒ as well. You can specify RAM limits, virtual hard drive sizes and share your optical disc drives.
976 KB
This link will take you to the Tiger & Leopard versions. Tinker Tool lets you tweak various settings in Mac OS X, such as viewing hidden files, which can often be beneficial, for reasons like seeing whatís on your install discs. Plus it does numerous other tweaks.
EasyFind 4.5
(This link is broken already! I shall probably never fix it @ this rate.)
866 KB
This is an excellent search program for Mac OS X Tiger & up, which is much more powerful than the likes of Spotlight. You can search through package contents without any issues, hidden and system files, and really get down into the tucked away files on your Mac. You can even drag folders onto the search location drop-down menu thing. Totally recommended for those of us who like to tinker, tweak and tidy up!
2.78 MB
At last, an archiving program for Mac OS X that actually lets you see within the files before you extract them. (Yeah, it only extracts archives.) As Mac users will know, zip files are usually just extracted in their entirety with the BOMArchiveHelper program, and StuffIt Expander only does the same for RAR and SIT files too. But with Zipeg, you get to see what you want to extract first! Huzzah! (Requires Java 1.5 or higher.)
3.07 MB
This is a pretty neat calculator which lets you see your entire equation, which it works out on the fly. For Mac OS X Tiger & up. (Intel CPUs only though, if you see the green ball to the left. I believe thereís an earlier version for PowerPC CPUs.)
327 KB
A handy hex editor for Mac OS X Tiger & up. It tried it with removing some Adobe cr*p from a GIF file and it worked okay. It was apparently tested on a 118 GB file, and it worked well with that too, so it hasnít got any troubles with big files.
270 KB
This program trims up universal binaries by removing the stuff for the CPU you donít have. On Intel based Macs, it will remove the PowerPC part, and the other way around too. You can even use it on itself. I saved 21.79 MB from Opera, 42.44 MB from MAME OS X and 21.24 MB from Thunderbird. (For Mac OS X Jaguar & up.)
10.4 MB
Add audio, video and text to a time line to create a finished project. I found it handy for blending various songs together. Just drag them to where you want to overlap, and adjust the volume with fade-ins as necessary.
     
Anyone remember the old Best Of Windows Entertainment Pack? I still have mine, which came with Windows 3.11, which is just as well, since itís pretty hard to find now. Iíve arranged the following games here not because theyíre exact replacements, but because they happen to be similar in gameplay to those which came with that classic floppy disk. Some are very similar as you can find out.
2.95 MB
If you like Tetris, Quinn ought to be right up your alley! With online play in tournaments, high scores for everybody and customisable pieces! See my high scores here. (The official site seems to have gone.)
1.92 MB
This is a free version of Chipís Challenge of sorts, although it does not have the original levels. If you have the original Windows game, you can use the chips.dat file with Tile World. It does not contain any music either, but you can always play the old CHIP01.MID & CHIP02.MID files if you have the original game in the background for the right mood.
This site only has the Windows and Linux version to download. Click on the Mac icon to get the Mac OS X version or the BeOS icon to get that version.
Ivory Mahjongg
(Currently gone as well.)
 
This is a neat 3D version of Mahjongg / Taipei. Since itís Java based, itís very heavy on the memory & CPU usage.
38.4 KB
SkiFree, if you donít know, was a neat little game made back in 1991 by Chris Pirih. You can get the original game here and a newer updated 32 bit version.

Cool Commercial Stuff:

Operating System:
  Of course some things are worth paying for, so hereís a list of some great stuff to buy:
Iíve been using Corel DRAW since 1995, when I had version 3, and itís absolutely brilliant. I also have version 8, which Iíve been using since 1998 and version 11 on my Mac. If you can find it, version 11 is the last Mac suite ever made, but you can now get Corel DRAW 14 for Windows.
For me, this is the ultimate web page creation application. There are some other programs that claim to be a match for its features, but all that I've tried have nothing in comparison. You can split between WYSIWYG and code view simultaneously, and edit your page in both, and watch the code updating as you edit the design view. It will also make up the code for you for button style images, and makes inserting link properties a breeze.
I like this DVD player, which came bundled with some piece of hardware I have. It always seems very smooth. The new version will play the high resolution stuff also.

Handy Hardware:

  Here are some handy gadgets and what not that you might find useful also.
This nifty, compact, light weight converter will allow you to input video to most computers with a FireWire connection and suitable software, such as iMovie, Final Cut and Pinnacle Systemsí Studio. You can use it with Mac OS X Puma and higher, Windows 2000 with DirectX 8 & service pack 3, and Linux as well. If you can plug a video camera into your computer and capture video through your FireWire port, then this will most likely work for you too! Use it to connect up VCRs, game consoles, or even just your television. It works both ways, so you can convert digital video back to analogue. So long as youíre using a 6 pin FireWire port, it needs no extra power supply. However you can purchase one seperately if you need it for a 4 pin connection. These sell for about $400 or more in Australia, but you can pick one up for under $300 from America, including postage. (If youíre using this with low resolution console modes, turn off the audio lock underneath, or you may get jittering audio in the final product. You may need to re-sync the audio though!) Read more details in the Gadgets Page.
Read about this nifty portable music / media player here.