Relaxing Things

First, two relaxing games:
Boomshine, with incredible music by Tim Halbert, is played by clicking the field to create a bubble.  When this bubble touches small disks bouncing around the screen, they turn into bubbles – hopefully creating a chain reaction.  You must turn a certain number of disks into bubbles on each level.

Obechi, from the creators of Boomshine, is played by creating rings that grab small disks and pull them into the center.  You must grab a certain number of disks by using a certain number of rings on each level.


Then, some good relaxing music:
Rainymood, as seen here.

Show Me by Michael Lington.


Monochrome Theme

Hello, all.  I’m trying out the new Monochrome theme — tell me what you think, or if you like the old one better.  Thanks!

Excellent Firefox Add-ons

A while ago (Sep 5, ‘09), I wrote this post about recommended Firefox addons.  It is by now out of date.

There’ll be some addons that stayed, some that left, and some new ones.  Clicking the title of a bullet point will take you to that add-on’s page in the Firefox Add-ons directory

Also, screenshots for most add-ons can be found on their respective pages.  If you have question or comments of any kind, please leave a comment.  I’ll respond as soon as I see it.

So, without further ado:

  • autoHideStatusbar
    Hides the status bar, which reappers when you hover your mouse over a user-set distance from the bottom (defaulted, I believe, to five or ten pixels).
  • Better Gmail 2
    A compilation of Greasemonkey scripts to enhance Gmail.  This, along with the Helvetimail script, is my current Gmail setup.
  • Better GReader
    A compilation of Greasemonkey scripts to enhance Google Reader.  I use this with the HelvetiReader script, included in the add-on.
  • ChatZilla
    A very nice IRC client that comes as an addon, but opens in its own window.  You’ll most often find me in #xkcd on (about the channel here, about the server here)
  • Download Statusbar
    "View and manage downloads from a tidy statusbar," according to the add-on – which is exactly what it does.  In my opinion, is much better than the default download window and should come bundled with Firefox.
  • FaviconizeTab
    Shrinks a tab (right click on tab –> Faciconize Tab) to just its favicon.  When paired with PermaTabs Mod as described here, you can create permanent, favicon-only Mail/Reader tabs.
  • Flashblock
    When any Flash element is detected, it is blocked until (if) you click on said element.  Then said element works as if it was never blocked.  Works very nice for blocking annoying ads and animations.  Has the added benefit (IMO) of stopping YouTube videos from autoplaying.
  • Greasemonkey
    You need this add-on to use Greasemonkey scripts.  Highly, highly recommended.
  • gui:config
    Gives you a GUI (Graphical User Interface) for some great about:config items.
  • Hide Caption
    Hides the title bar of Firefox and moves the Minimize, Restore/Maximize, and Close buttons to the address bar line.
  • Hide Menubar
    Hides the menu bar of Firefox, which can be temporarily reshown by pressing ALT.
  • Hyperwords
    Makes all the text on a page interactable.  Numbers can be converted from one form to another (e.g. Celsius to Fahrenheit or milimeters to inches) right on the web page.  Words can be referenced or entered into a search engine.  Words can be translated – right on the page.  No redirects.  See the home page for more info.  Highly, highly, highly, recommended.
  • InvisibleHand
    When a shopping page (Amazon, NewEgg, Borders, etc) is visited and a different page has the same item for a cheaper price, InvisibleHand lets you know with an unobtrusive bar at the top of screen.
  • LeechBlock
    Within a user-set period of time, actively blocks a user-defined set of sites.  As a high school student faced with homework or the entire internet, very useful indeed.
  • Morning Coffee
    When clicked, the taskbar button opens up a user-defined set of sites.  I use this every day to check on blogs that either don’t have an RSS feed or from which I don’t want every post showing up in Reader.
  • Omnibar
    Integrates the address bar and the search box into one.  A very slick affect.
  • PermaTabs Mod
    Lets you keep permanent tabs that only load when clicked on – so Firefox doesn’t take any longer to load up than normal.  When paired with FaviconizeTab, permanent Mail/Reader tabs can be created.
  • Speed Dial
    Gives you a Chrome- or Opera-like home page (more like Opera) that gives you nine slots that can be set to any URL you desire.
  • StumbleUpon
    Helps you discover new websites with a toolbar that has a “Stumble!” button.  The sites you are sent to are based of your interests, which you identify during sign-up.
  • Stylish
    Enables Styles, in a process similar to Greasemonkey.  The difference is that Greasemonkey uses JavaScript and Stylish uses CSS scripting.
  • Tab Mix Plus
    Gives you various option to control exactly how you want your tabs to behave and look.

So:  have fun!


Here’s a bunch of cool links I’ve been saving up:

The Case Of The 500-Mile Email
The statistics department at a certain college seems to be unable to send email more than “500 miles, or a bit more” away.  There actually is a valid reason.

This open-source machine can, when given a diagram and a load of raw plastic, ‘print’ three-dimensional objects, from eyeglass frames and wall brackets to action figures and 3D renderings of Walt Disney’s head.

Better Late Than Never
A Japanese man completes a marathon after 54 years, 8 months, 6 days, 8 hours, 32 minutes, and 20.3 seconds.

Road Lights
These towers use the wind of passing cars on a highway to generate electricity to power streetlights.  I bet that electricity could be used for other uses, too.

These wireless earbuds, when clipped into their case, can fit into any AA battery charger to recharge.

This wireless hotspot finder is shaped like a dowsing rod and points toward the strongest spot.  It can also act as a repeater, to strengthen the signal.

Cube Jigger
This jigger is shaped like a cube and can measure liquids in six common measures.  Each side has gradients, also, so using the ‘Cup’ side you can measure out 1 cup, 1/2 cup, 1/4 cup, 1/3 cup, and so on.

SWITCH Screwdriver
The handle on this screwdriver can swivel to form a ‘T’ shape, offering better grip for stubborn screws.

Proof That Girls Are Evil
While in fact most of them aren’t, it’s a good (and funny!)mathematical proof.

How To Get Your Camera Back
One man made a series of pictures on his camera to convince someone to give it back to him (and how to get in contact) in the event of loss.  He also compiled them together in .gif format just for the web.

Star Wars Status Updates
Hilarious.  Facebook status updates by Star Wars characters.   Nothing more needs be said.

Metal Pen
This pen has no ink.  It works because the nib is a special alloy that slowly comes off onto the paper; when used on printer-paper-style paper, it looks similar to a pencil’s mark but does not smudge and cannot easily be rubbed of the paper.  For a full-length alternative, see the Beta Pen.

How To Change the Color of Office 2010

This is, in essence, an update to my previous post, How To Change The Color Of Office 2007.

If you’re running the beta version of Microsoft Office 2010 (available free (as in beer!) from the Microsoft website), you can change the color scheme from blue (default) to black or silver, just like in Office 2007.  If you’ve already changed the color, I found that Office 2010 preserved that change upon install.  If you haven’t yet, or if you want to switch the color, or if it didn’t preserve that color change, here’s how to do it:

For pictures with each step, see this Instructable.

0.  Steps 1 – 3 detail how to download the Office 2010 Beta.  If you already have it, skip to step 4.

1.  Go to this site and click through the various Download Now buttons until you can actually download the installer.  You’ll need a Windows Live ID (if you don’t have one, click the link anyways; the site’ll tell you how to make one) and you’ll have to sign up (email, name, country) to use the beta.

2. Save the installer to your Desktop or wherever you put installer downloads, DON’T CHANGE THE FILE NAME.

3. Once the download completes, run the installer.  Follow the instructiono in the subsequent window.

4.  Open any Office 2010 window (Word, PowerPoint, Excel, etc)

5. Click on ‘File.’  In different programs, this button will be different colors:  Red in PowerPoint, Blue in Word, Green in Excel, and so on.

6. Click Options, the second-to-last button.

7.  Make sure the subsequent window is set to the ‘General’ tab.

8.  Under the dropdown list titled Color Scheme currently set to blue, choose either Black or Silver.  I personally prefer the black scheme.

9.  Click OK.

10.  You’re done!  Doing this affects the following Office 2010 windows: Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook, Access, OneNote, and Publisher.  I do not have any other Office programs.




Rubik’s Cube

I recently went on a vacation to Japan (which I will be writing posts about at some point) where I, among other things, got a little Rubik’s Cube.  I can finally solve one! 

Also:  Some shameless self promotion:  If you like my blog, or even if you don’t really think much about it, I’d greatly appreciate you passing the like to it around to people you know (  Thank y’all kindly.

E-book proposal

Whilst wandering about the net today, I discovered this post at Thunder and Lightning about an idea about eBook futures.

In short:  Save eBooks online, and access them wirelessly from your e-reader, thus eliminating the ‘my e-reader just broke and now I lost all my books’ problem.  Have a list of people who can read-only view the books in your online library, thus eliminating the ‘but I like borrowing and lending books’ problem.

Hit up the link for a more detailed explanation:  [Thunder and Lightning]

Also:  Windows Live Writer seems to think ‘ebook’ is spelled with a capital B.  Interesting.  Does anyone know why, or if eBook is more proper than ebook?