Archive for January, 2007

Stickfigure animation program

Wednesday, January 31st, 2007

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Anyone can draw a stickfigure, and now anyone can make that stickfigure dance, do cartwheels, or even ride an elephant using the Pivot Stickfigure Animator. Draw your stick figure freehand, or use the program's simple visual editor to create figures and objects out of lines and circles. Then, move different sections of the figure to create a chain of animation frames. You can have multiple figures in your image, and can upload your own background. The figures you create aren't confined to just "sticks", so use your artistic imagination to to create something innovative.

While saving your creation, you're given options for file size and frame speed. The animations you create can be saved as gif files for use on websites and in email.

Get Pivot Stickfigure Animator

Mobysaurus thesaurus

Tuesday, January 30th, 2007

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You don't even need an Internet connection to use Mobysaurus, an English-language thesaurus of over 30,000 root words, and two and a half million synonyms. Well, you'll need the Internet to download the program, but once completed, it runs offline and can be accessed from within most other software programs by using a designated hotkey. Wildcard searching is permitted, and Mobysaurus will "suggest-as-you-type" and auto-complete. The entire database is cross-referenced, so click one word within a displayed list and you'll be taken to new results. Mobysaurus can also find words that are related through synonymous roots.

If you do have an Internet connection, Mobysaurus can access sites like Dictionary.com and Wikipedia.com to look up definitions and synonyms. Clipboard and print support are included, so you can quickly print your results, even the results of an entire session of searching.

Download Mobysaurus

Monitor prices at Amazon.com

Monday, January 29th, 2007

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If you love to shop online, and love to get a good deal, you'll want to download Amazon PriceWatcher. This program uses one interface to access all of Amazon's international stores, and allows you to search all the Amazon product categories. When you see an item you like, one click will add it to your library. You can then use the program to list the price of each product, and to watch for falling prices on the items you covet most. Using different color-schemes, PriceWatcher informs you if an item falls below your desired price so you can snap it up at a savings.

Amazon PriceWatcher will display images (if available), and can import your existing Wishlists. It can even create charts of historic price patterns. If you have huge lists of items you want to buy, and find it all difficult to manage, this program may help you get more organized and save some money at the same time.

Get Amazon PriceWatcher

Build an RSS feed for your website

Sunday, January 28th, 2007

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RSS news readers are all the rage, but unless your website is built around popular blogging software, it won't automatically have an RSS feed of its own. You can change that, and make your website more visible and accessible, by creating a feed for your site with RSS Builder. It provides a very simple interface where you can add your website news, headlines, updates, and even podcasts or other audio, then publish the result with one click. An FTP client is built-in to make the process as simple as possible.

RSS is a great way to stay in touch with your website visitors, and to keep them informed of new additions to your site. RSS Builder creates a feed which is in standardized RSS 2.0 format, so it can be read by all the most popular and free news reader programs.

Get RSS Builder

Free payroll tax calculator for Mac

Saturday, January 27th, 2007

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Tax time is creeping up, and everyone's mind is on taxes. If you own a small business you have to be concerned about taxes all year 'round, and Pangea Software has released a free calculator to help small business owners determine payroll tax for their employees. It doesn't sound exciting, but it's necessary, and it can substitute for expensive subscriptions to tax tables.

Pangea Payroll calculates the federal taxes to be deducted from each employee's wages, and it keeps track of each employee's wage tax history. This program isn't designed for a huge corporation, but for a small business where it's still practical to do the bookkeeping in-house.

Pangea Payroll is only intended to assist small business owners, and even if you use the program, you're still ultimately responsible for ensuring the payroll taxes you deduct are correct. This program requires Mac OS 10.3.9 or higher.

Download Pangea Payroll

Classic arcade games

Friday, January 26th, 2007

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Arcade! Classic Arcade Pack is a bundle of six familiar arcade classics. Whether you're old enough to have played them when they were cutting-edge, or whether you're that guy's kid, you'll get a kick out of playing Asteroids, Pacman, Pong, Snake, Space Invaders, and Tetris. I'm not sure if "Snake" is quite as fun as "Centipede", but regardless, the developers promise that each game features its original graphics and sounds.

Each game has an online score mode, so you can keep track of all the best players world-wide, and compete against them for imaginary honors like, "King of Pong". Tech support for these games is probably non-existent, but they seem to be Flash-based and fairly straightforward to download and install.

Get Arcade!

Broadcast your own Podcasts

Thursday, January 25th, 2007

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You've got something to say, and people want to hear it, so why not start your own Podcast? It's easily done using WildVoice Podcast Studio – you can record and publish from one simple interface. While recording your Podcast with a microphone, you can use the WildVoice to add sound effects like cats, dogs, and the all-time favorite sound, farts (there are more than 100 sounds to choose from). Your recordings can be completed in multiple segments, but when you're ready to publish, WildVoice will wrap them all up in one MP3 file.

The program requires Win XP and the .NET Framework, which many people already have installed. When your Podcast is completed, you can show it to the world by uploading it to the Wild Voice website.

Get Wild Voice Podcast Studio

Wikipedia on your iPod

Wednesday, January 24th, 2007

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Encyclopodia is a freeware project which brings the power of Wikipedia to your iPod. Encyclopodia can be installed on iPod generations one to four, as well as on iPod Minis and Photo iPods. The program is really quite simple and takes just a few steps, and while it looks a bit daunting to the non-iPod user, those of you who easily download songs will have no trouble installing the file for Encyclopodia. Installation files are available for both Windows and Mac/Linux users.

Once Encyclopodia is on your iPod, you can use it to import and unpack different languages of Wikipedia from your ebook library. Keep (mostly reliable) knowledge at you fingertips, by having Wikipedia to consult wherever you go. Maybe you could even impress a teacher.

Download Encyclopodia

Multiplayer online action game

Tuesday, January 23rd, 2007

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BOTS are virtual workers who have been called to save cyberspace from viruses. You can get your very own BOT by signing up for the BOTS game and downloading it to your PC. Your BOT can be customized using different wings, heads, weapons, and other features. Once created, you can battle through cyberspace by following a path through an online playing field with other players (that's "Sector Mode"), you can have head to head battles, of you can play in Base Mode where your team tries to destroy the other team's base.

BOTS is free to play — just download the software and create an account to get started.

Download Bots

Online art studio

Monday, January 22nd, 2007

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FunDraw.com is a full-featured art studio that you can play in from a browser window. There's nothing to download: just visit FunDraw.com, register for a free account, and you'll instantly have access to thousands of pieces of clipart you can manipulate and modify to create new art that can be saved or printed. Other users' art is available to modify as well, and a number of drawing tools allow users to create images from scratch. If you're into scrapbooking, you can upload digital photos, modify them or embellish them, and then print them out. Images users create can be downloaded at up to 4.3 megapixels.

FunDraw.com uses Flash, so it works in any browser, and on any computer. PC, Mac, and Linux users can all enjoy drawing, sharing, and printing artwork at FunDraw.

Visit FunDraw.com