Whatever happened to…

Software come and go. We like some, despise some and are neutral to others. Most of the good and useful software obtain a huge following and userbase, and usually survive for a very long time until either a better software appears or the technology changes. There also are software that are based on innovative ideas, but do not get sufficient attention, due to the lack of which they perish sooner than others.

And finally, there are software that initially create waves, catch all the attention due to the wonderful concepts they are based upon, attain significant fan following, and then… disappear! In this article, I am going to talk about just these kind of software, err, that were. These are such software that I would have hoped to see flourish till, at least, a couple more years. And yes, all these softwares were free.

Microsoft Reader

MS Reader was Microsoft’s noble attempt to change the way ebooks were read. Reader offered an actual book-like interface that was easy on eyes. It had two other advantages. First, the ebooks created in Reader format (.lit) were considerably smaller in size than an equivalent PDF. Second, it introduced text-to-speech in ebook reading (it would read the book word-by-word with adjustable voice speed).

In my opinion, MS Reader was a novell software. Many popular ebooks were published in “lit” format, but as time passed, such ebooks also disappeared. Today, the most ebooks we see are in PDF format.

Continue reading Whatever happened to…

Install Shockwave in Linux using Wine


Adobe Shockwave is an advanced platform for 3D applications on the Internet, and online games benefit the most out of it. But unfortunately, Adobe never released a version of Shockwave for the Linux platform.

If you are a Linux user, worry not. Using Wine, you can easily play for favorite games made using Shockwave. Wine is a software that allows running Windows applications on Linux. Wine is an open-source, free software, and is now available as a stable 1.0 version.

Here’s what you need to do:

  1. Install the latest version of Wine.
  2. Install the latest version of Shockwave for Windows using Wine. To do that, open command-line (Konsole/Terminal) and cd to the folder where Shockwave’s installer has been stored. Next, issue the command: wine Shockwave_Installer_Slim.exe. This will install Shockwave as it does in Windows.
  3. Next, install the latest version of Mozilla Firefox for Windows using Wine, in the similar way as above.
  4. After it’s installation, open Firefox, go to the desired URL containing your favorite Shockwave application, and viola! The Shockwave application is ready to be used.

The screenshot in the beginning of this post shows Miniclip’s Table Tennis game being played in Google Chrome installed in Linux using Wine.

[ To installed Google Chrome using Wine on Linux, refer to this excellent tutorial ]

Improved Jumbled Words Game

Remember the little, cute Jumbled Words Game I prepared in Python? More than 4 months had passed since I made it, and now it was time it got some makeover. So, featuring a host of new improvements, here I am making the improved game available for download.

Installing and playing is easy. Just to remind the readers, the game is made in Python using the wxPython libraries for the graphical interface (GUI).

The Python source was converted into a Windows executable (.exe) using py2exe. An installer was made out of the executable using InnoSetup. Both are freely available for download and very easy to use. I’ll come up with a Linux executable soon. And maybe a Python Egg?

Changelog:
1. Words are now read from a text file
2. The words read from text file are jumbled automatically & randomly
3. Changed splash image
4. Improved font system
5. Score system
6. Improved overall interface

The various downloads are:

  • Setup – install the game from this like any normal application (Windows)
  • Zipped – just extract the zipped file and double-click on JumbledGUI.exe to play (Windows)
  • Source – the source code of the game in a zipped file (cross-platform)

I hope you like it. You may encounter bugs. If so, do let me know. Also, I would be happy to get some feedback from you regarding this little app. πŸ™‚

Credits: The game was improved with suggestions and inputs from DaniWeb.com.

Quick Updates

The Downloads page here has been updated by new stuff, like a report-cum-seminar on Introduction to Linux – A beginner’s approach. I have also updated the Resume page with the latest version of my resume. Further updates have come in the Movies section too, with myself giving my views and reviews on the about the movies I watched recently – Ocean’s Twelve, Good Will Hunting, Rock On!!, Equilibrium and The Spiderwick Chronicles.

I am also working on improving the Jumbled Words game I prepared in Python some time ago.

The college is going fine but with tight schedules. Also, perheps, it’s time to change my modem as it has been giving my constant annoyances since more than two weeks and giving me hindrance in coming online. I am just frustrated due to it! πŸ™

Assignments from college are pouring in, and so are the little and big projects from the HOD and the Computer Center in my department in college.

Cricket season is off these days. I am waiting for the forthcoming Australia-India test series to begin.

I am finding the Cryptography subject, a part of my college curriculum, very interesting.

PC-BSD 7 has been released which is looking pretty interesting at the moment, though I have yet to try it out. A pretty software I tried out recently was Elisa (media center application), built entirely in Python. It’s a good app, though not fully functional yet and hosts quite some annoying bugs. But the aesthetics are pleasing.

Jumbled Words Game Downloads

As promised in my last post about my Python-based jumbled words game, here I am posting the game for download in various forms. As of now, the first and second forms are for Windows 2000/XP/2003/Vista only.

First is the normal setup in which you install the game by following those usual Next buttons.

Second is a zip file. Extract it, open the extracted folder and click on the JumbledGUI.exe file to start playing it.

Third is the zipped source code file + other required stuff.

Let me know about your experience with this little game. Any suggestions and comments are always welcome.

Note: There is one little bug in the setup / installer, and that is the shortcuts for the game executable created in the Start menu and (or) during the installation process won’t work. You’ll have to start the game by running the JumbledGUI.exe file in C:\Program Files\Jumbled Words Game, assuming that you have installed the game in the default location.

[ Icon from Indeepop.com ]