Bird Blasting Browser
You won’t find video games
mentioned here very often. That’s not because we have anything against them,
far from it, but we know only too well how much time they can waste and having
previously suffered from a serious addiction, we’re not keen to get sucked in
again. However, occasionally a game comes along that’s simply impossible to
ignore, and one such is Angry Birds, which has been a huge hit with mobile
phone users. So far so good, but what about all those people without smart
phones or tablet PCs? Well, help is now at hand with an online version of Angry Birds, which runs on any
browser, or you can have it as an add-on for Google Chrome. The choice is yours
and if you don’t have a fancy phone and you suspect that using a giant catapult
to shoot wacky-looking birds at wobbly structures could be fun then your prayers
have just been answered.
But is it Art?
We are not quite sure what
to make of this one. It’s called IOGraph
and the idea is that once started this little freeware application tracks your
mouse or trackpad movements. When it stops recording you are presented with a
graphical image, showing where your mouse has been on your desktop. The
designer reckons it’s modern art; well that’s open to debate, eye of the
beholder and all that. Nevertheless, we have to say that two or three hours
worth of mousing does look quite interesting and it’s easy to see where the
‘hot spots’ are on your desktop are but whether you want to print it out and
stick it on the wall is another matter…
Back to BASIC
Anyone who grew up with
computers in the 1970s and 80s will know all about BASIC or the Beginners
All-purpose Simple Instruction Code. In the hierarchy of computer operating and
programming systems BASIC is just a couple of steps up from raw instruction code,
and several layers below fancy graphical user interfaces like Windows and Mac
OS. As the name suggests it is a simple set of logical instructions, written in
plain text, more or less, but the beauty of BASIC is that just about anyone can
understand it, and make their Atari, Commodore, Sinclair et al computers do useful
things. However, the real point of BASIC was that it taught a generation of
kids to program computers, rather than just mindlessly play with them. Many of
them went on to write and create the operating systems, applications and games
that we all use today. Sadly BASIC is fast becoming a footnote in computer
history, but if you are old enough to remember, or want to know what it was
like back in the olden days then do yourself a favour and download and install Microsoft
Small Basic. It’s designed to run inside Windows (XP, Vista W7 etc) and it
works really well, providing novices with lots of help to compile and
troubleshoot their routines and programs. Old Sinclair hands won’t have any
trouble with it, though you’ll have to learn to forget some old (and mostly
bad) habits… Apart from anything else it’s fun to use and who knows, it may
even inspire a new generation of programmers to get their hands dirty and
discover what makes computers tick.
Kindle For PC Available
No doubt you’ve been
reading all about the Kindle e-book from Amazon and probably wondered what the
fuss was about and if this really is the end of the printed book as we know it.
Of course it’s not, but it is an interesting gadget and maybe one day you will own
one, or something like it but for most of us the price is still a bit off
putting. Now you can try Kindle for free, not the e-book reader, you
understand, but the Kindle
PC program from Amazon that incorporates many of the e-book reader’s main
features. You can download and read books on your PC (some are free), create
bookmarks and annotations and synchronise your e-library with a Kindle e-book.
There’s a couple of things the PC software can’t do, and it won’t let you view
newspapers, magazines and blogs, at least not yet, and it’s also only available
for the PC (XP, Vista and Win 7), a Mac version is promised soon.
Developing an interest in Coffee and Vitamin C
I’m having trouble getting a computer or technology
slant on this Tip but bear with me, it’ll be worth it. Let’s suppose that the
battery in your digital camera and mobile phone have both expired and you
absolutely have to take a picture of something or other in the next few
minutes. Here’s what you do. Dig out that old film camera that’s been gathering
dust in the drawer, take your photos and here comes the clever bit, develop the
film using coffee, and some vitamin C tablets…
Apparently it can be done and if you pop over to the photojojo
web site (where there are plenty of proper teccy tips), you’ll find the
recipe for developing films using the kind of stuff you’ll find in the average
kitchen. It probably won’t surprise those of you with a smattering of chemical
savvy, but instant coffee, vitamin C and a dash of washing soda makes a great (if
somewhat slow) developer, and it probably smells a lot better than the real
thing. My one gripe is there’s no recipe for Fixer, to stop the image fading
away and I have it in my mind that another household chemical will do the job,
but that’s another tip for another day.
You Need Your Head Testing...
How often have you heard that? Plenty of times in my case,
but I can now say with some certainty that my noodle is functioning reasonably
well, at least according to this on-line brain tester. It’s called The 60 Second Brain Game and the
idea is you have to respond to aural and visual stimulus, simultaneously, by
tapping a key on your keyboard when a series of numbers and symbols appear on
the screen, accompanied by voice, that says a number. When the spoken number
matches the number of objects hit the spacebar. It’s deceptively difficult, and
the faster you respond, the faster the game goes. It’s probably not very
scientific, but a decent score is sort of reassuring, that you’re not completely
Vote For Me, US President in 2008
The rumours are true. I have decided to give up journalism
for a higher calling and you can see an exclusive news report, featured on News
Channel 3 in the US, on the surprise announcement of my candidacy for US
president here at tsgnet.com.
Pretty convincing huh? I am indepted to my brother Pete for
alerting me to this very clever website. If you want to have a go yourself,
just wait for the video to finish and fill in your own details. It’s quick and
simple and at the end you’ll get a web address, which you can open or send it
to a friend (or enemy) and give them a laugh.
Hat Trick For Choosing Names
Here’s something for all you quizmasters, teachers and organisers of
events out there, faced with the often thankless task of choosing someone, or something at random from a list, or organising
lists into a random order. It’s called The Hat, and the name
says it all. It’s an electronic hat, just put the names or entries into it,
click the ‘Pick’ button and one, or a pair of names are drawn out at random, to
the accompaniment of a drum roll sound effect. Keep clicking the button and you
compile a random list. You can import names from a file and Save and Print the
results, so no one can accuse you of cheating!
Sticks and Stones…
I’m not sure I should be telling you about this website
because it is a bit, well, naff, but just in case some of you are in the family
way, and stuck for a name for your new sprog, then maybe Nymbler can help. The idea is you type in a
name that you like the sound of and Nymbler chews on it for a few moments then
comes up with a page load of name suggestions that it reckons you might like. I
suppose it might help avoid arguments – I still bear the scars from the time we
named our kids – and who knows, it might actually come up with something
interesting. But remember, a name is for life, just ask Zowie, Moon Unit, Depressed
Cupboard Cheesecake (yes really…)
and all poor sods named after entire football teama.
Here’s something that might keep you amused if you’re at home for
the next few days. In fact if you have a slow internet connection it might take
the best part of a day to get hold of America’s
Army. It’s a free ‘first person
shooter’ online game developed by a team working for the US Army in an attempt
to encourage recruitment. The download is a whopping 2.9Gb but according to
seasoned gamers it is well worth the effort. There are numerous missions and
characters, you have to progress through basic training, gaining strength and
skills after which you are ready to set forth and defend the American
constitution, bound by the rules of engagement, though rest assured you will
get to shoot at people and things with big guns…
Top Taches Online
Here's a really pointless Top Tip that’s also a lot of fun. It’s called petmoustach.com and the idea
is you upload a portrait then use the tools on the website to create an
eye-catching, soup-straining lip cosy. You can choose the colour style and
shape, and use the Tonic, razor and wax tools to trim it into shape and apply a
few finishing touches, and throughout you’ll be regaled with some lively western
banjo music. When you’ve finished you can save the image, so if you’ve ever
wondered what you, or your nearest and dearest would look like with a wild
walrus or handsome handlebar, give it a try y’hear, y’all…
Pinball Easter Egg
We haven’t had an Windows Easter Egg for quite a while,
probably because Bill Gates (or rather the US Government – major buyers of
Microsoft products) banned them. Anyway, for those of you who are new to this
malarkey, Easter Eggs are hidden features inside programs, usually put there by
mischievous or bored programmers. Some of them like this one in the Windows
game 3D Pinball is probably a programming ‘tool’ that was forgotten or left
behind when the game was released.
So here’s how it works, launch the game by going to Start
> Programs > Games then straight away type ‘hidden test’ (minus the
quotes). Now you will be able to drag the ball around the table and interact
with all of the game’s features, notching up as many points as you want.
There’s more, press the ‘H’ key and you can enter you name and a score up to
1,000,000,000 points. That should impress the neighbours…
Hidden Flight Simulator in Google Earth
Here is another good reason to upgrade to the latest version (v4.2) of Google Earth. Drop
what you are doing now, open the program and press Ctrl + A (or Ctrl + Alt + A) to launch the
hidden Flight Simulator program.
It’s based on Google Earth’s image streaming
and you can fly around the area currently showing, choose from a number of preset locations or takeoff and land from a selection of airports around the world.
You have a choice of two aircraft, an F16 fighter or a
slightly more sedate Cirrus SR22 single engine aircraft. Obviously it’s not as
sophisticated as full blown flight sim programs but you have a good heads-up
display showing attitude, altitude, heading, engine speed and so on, and there’s a full
set of controls using your PC keyboard, or you can plug in a joystick. It’s great fun, highly
addictive and very realistic. Stick to around 2-3000 feet for the best effect,
and landscapes with a lot of buildings or 3D structures works really well, just
watch those dives and stalls!
Unless you’ve been
in the Big Brother House, or on another planet (pretty much the same thing…)
for the past two months it probably won’t have escaped your notice that The
Simpson’s have made a movie, and it’s coming out in a few days time. To
celebrate this fact the web is awash with Simpson’s websites. Most of it is
dross, but here’s one that might amuse you, from the folks at Burger King. It’s
called Simpsonize Me and
the idea is you upload a full face piccy of yourself – or someone you want to
Simpsonize – make a few choices and hey-presto, you’re a character from the
series. By the way, the handsome bald chap opposite is me, and I have to say
it’s not a bad likeness….
Gift of the Blab
Here’a another one
of those really innovative novelty sites that you are really going to enjoy
playing around with. Blabberize lets
you make your photos talk, sing, or just make funny noises. Pop along to the
site and click the ‘Make a Blabber’ link. You can sign in for free with the
username and password ‘guest’. Now all you have to do is upload a picture from
your PC -- preferably a full face shot
-- then using a simple tool, define the area of the mouth and jaw. Next, plug
in your PC microphone and record up to 3 minutes worth of sound and the mouth in
the picture moves in time with the audio, it’s brilliant. Save your file and
upload it to the site or email it to friends or even embed it in your web
pages; trust me, it's hilarious!
On the off chance that you are not sick to death of the highly
addictive number puzzle game Sudoku here’s a way to play it on any handy PC.
The good folks at PortableApps.com
have developed a version that runs happily from a USB flash drive, or your MP3
player, so there’s no need to install the program, and it doesn’t leave
Just download the program onto the removable media/device of
your choice and you are good to go. Plug the drive or player into any PC and
run the program, now you can get a fix of your favourite brainteaser anywhere.
It’s resizable, there are 4 difficulty levels, a ‘cheat’ mode and your current
game is automatically saved on exit. The next time your flight is delayed and
you’re stuck in the departure lounge, why not see if some kind soul will lend
you their laptop…
Asian or Drunk…
I’m not sure how to
categorise this website, but basically The Face
Transformer lets you upload a mug-shot and with a few clicks, see what you
would look like if you were Afro-Caribbean, Caucasian, East Asian, West Asian,
a Botticelli painting, older, younger, a man or a woman, Manga cartoon, apeman (or apewoman) or simply drunk…
Once the picture is
uploaded choose the sex and age you want to be, frame the image, centre the
eyes and mouth, and make your selection. Some effects work better than others,
and Drunk is decidedly unflattering but the results are always interesting, so
if you’ve ever wondered what it’s like to change colour, race, sex, species or state of sobriety,
this is your chance.
I don’t know about
you but I missed out on the whole Boy Scout tying knots experience and it
shows, just look at my shoelaces… But I digress, if you’ve ever wanted to know
how to tie a Rolling Hitch or Sheet Bend, or wondered what the difference was
between an Alpine Butterfly, a Double Fisherman’s and a Necktie Half Windsor,
then pop along to Animated Knots by
Grog. This website has seven categories of knot (Boating, Climbing,
Fishing, Scouting, Search & Rescue, Household & Decorative) and just
about everything else you ever wanted to know about knots and rope. But the
best bits are the animations, which show in simple steps how to tie each know.
Be prepared! One day you’ll thank me for telling you to bookmark this brilliant
Type Better With TypeFaster
Most people learn to type as they go, graduating slowly from
hunt-and-peck to look-see every now and again. If you are anything like me after
a few years you can go at a fair old lick, but you still make a lot of mistakes,
simply because you’ve never been taught to touch-type.
It’s never too late to learn and this little freeware program,
called TypeFaster Typing
Tutor could help you to lose some of those bad habits, and increase your
speed. Download the program and every so often work your way through the lessons.
It starts swith some really two-finger moves then gradually ramps up to more
challenging exercises. If you stick with it you’ll be typing like a pro in no
Cubism for Beginners
If you’ve ever fancied yourself as a bit of an
impressionist, or you want to explore your cubist tendencies then you can put
your skills to the test with Mr
Picassohead. It’s a web-based drawing program, with a distinctly surrealist
flavour. Just choose you head, eyes, hair, mouth and so on, place and size them
according to taste, add a signature and voila, an instant masterpiece in the
style of the Spanish master, which you can save or email to a friend or your
local auction house. Hours of fun for all the family!
Take The Idiot Test...
Just how clever are you? Well if you are really smart you
will ignore this altogether and go and do something useful but if like us, you
can’t resist a challenge then take the online Idiot Test but
be warned, it’s a real time-waster! All you have to do is visit the web page
and follow some very simple instructions, but keep your wits about you and
assume nothing otherwise you won’t make it past ‘Borderline Idiot’.
Doodle and Dance with Pictaps
Here’s a brilliant time-waster. It’s called Pictaps, simply pop along to the
website, wait for it to load and click the Paint button. You can now use the
simple drawing tools to design a character, based on the outline template; add
colours and features. When you are happy with it click the OK button, give it a
name and your character is transported into a 3D landscape, and starts dancing,
along with countless copies and clones of itself.
It’s mesmerising, and highly addictive and when you get a
moment have a look at some of the characters created by other visitors to the
site. You can share your efforts with others with a link address, or download
it to your blog or website, you can see the results of my pathetic drawing
skills, called ‘Nukeman’ here,
and yes, the resemblance is uncanny...
Use For Old Laptops
If you have an old laptop sitting around gathering dust here’s
something interesting to do with it. A freeware program called LCARS24 turns it into a
Star Trek computer, complete with an authentic looking Starfleet graphic user
interface (GUI), containing games, utilities, simulations, a graphical
reference library and a full-screen alarm and clock display. It helps if you are
familiar with DOS although it will run under XP -- see the ReadMe files -- but
it works best on older Windows 9x (DOS) machines with TrueColor graphics
adaptors. Great fun for Trekkies and teccies of all ages
Notepad Bug In Vista
Here’s an interesting little oddity in Windows that will keep any conspiracy theorists
you know entertained for hours.
Here’s how it works, open Notepad
(Start > Programs > Accessories) and type the following ‘bush hid the
facts’ (without the quotes). Now go to
File > SaveAs, call the file bush.txt, click OK and close Notepad. Run
Notepad again and open the file and see what happens. Spooky! Your text message
will have been scrambled, turned into foreign characters or little boxes… Now
try it with ‘moon pix are fakes’ and the same thing happens, it’s uncanny!
The more eagle-eyed amongst you
may have spotted something. In both cases the messages comprise an even number
of lower case letters in the form ‘xxxx xxx xxx xxxxx’. This combination of
characters just happens to trigger a little known bug in Windows that prevents
it from checking short strings of ASCII characters, and it seems to have
escaped the attention of the Vista development team because it works in that version
of Notepad as well. Now see if you can come up with a Notepad boggling phrase
to confound and amuse your friends.
little flipbooks you used to get in comics (I’m showing my age now), or maybe
you’ve made your own by drawing ‘stickmen’ on the corners of an exercise
book? Now you can make your own with
this simple to use ‘donationware’ utility (it’s free but if you like it then
you are encouraged to make a small donation). It’s called Flipbook
Printer and it creates custom flipbooks from video files shot on a
camcorder or digital camera. It’s really easy to use, just select the movie
file you want to use, set up your print options, click the Print icon and away
it goes. Cut out the images, or use ready perforated ‘Business Card’ blanks,
staple them together and flip away!
Plague on you RayRay!
just wasted two hours of my life on one of the most pointless, banal and
bewilderingly addictive web games ever and the only way I can get my own back
is to inflict it on you lot!
called StandRay and
all you have to do is make a lot of little guys, called RayRays, all stand up
at the same time. Groups of them march onto the screen and crouch down,
clicking on a RayRay makes one or more of them stand up, so using logic and
memory you have to find the right combination of clicks to get them all to
stand together. Sound’s simple enough doesn’t it…
Poser From Peugeot
for a quick break from the teccy stuff and thanks to Peugeot I’ve just wasted
the best part of an hour struggling with an infuriating little website game.
It’s all linked to a promotion for the Peugeot 107, but it’s okay, you don’t
have to buy one to play. The game is called Parking Perfection and as
the name implies it involves parking a 107 in a number of designated spaces.
It’s pretty straightforward and you use the keyboard cursor keys to control
steering and forward and reverse motion. It’s surprisingly addictive, and watch
out for the dog in the last level…
Warning Forever! Zap those Alien Devils!
Normally I avoid games like the plague, I'm easily distracted and
know that I can waste hours playing the damn things when I should be getting on
with my work, but I just couldn't resist this one. It's called Warning Forever,
by Hikoza. T. Ohkubo and it transported me back more than 20 years to the early
1980s and an almost forgotten video game system called Vectrex. It was
revolutionary in its time as it used vector graphics to display boxy shapes on
the screen but the games were fast and furious and a lot more challenging than
the slow cartoon like graphics of rival systems.
But I digress, Warning Forever, is a classic space shoot-em-up in
the mould of Asteroids and Space Invaders in glorious 2D vector graphics, but
brought up to date with a lot of fancy effects. Your mission is to pilot your
funky space fighter around the screen and destroy the nasty pink-laser firing
'Boss Ship'. Well, you probably didn't have anything important to do today
Can Your PC Read Your Mind?
Could a computer program that appears to read your
mind be a security threat? In exhaustive tests we’ve carried out The Mystic Ball scored an astounding 99.9 percent success. Nine possible explanations we’ve
seen for this amazing phenomenon include the chips inside your PC being
sensitive to brainwaves, or maybe somehow it’s picking up microscopic and
unconscious movements of the mouse or keypad. Whatever the explanation it’s
YOUR OWN NUCLEAR POWER STATION
regular readers may know I’m fascinated by all things radioactive so how
could I refuse the chance to run my own Nuclear power station? Fear not, the
inevitable meltdowns were all virtual, using a Nuclear Power
Plant simulator that runs from a browser. It’s all down to juggling your
control rods, and coolant flow, and keeping an eye on the energy outputs and after
a while I got quite good at it, so if any nuclear power station operators are
reading this I’m volunteering my services…
GAME MAKES YOU SMARTER…
speaking I avoid computer games like the plague; I’m easily distracted and end
up wasting hours playing the damn things, but Word Craft I can just about
justify because it really makes you think, so it’s probably quite good for my
aging and increasingly befuddled brain;
that and the demo version is time limited to an hour’s playing time.
As the name implies it’s a
word game, but with a difference. Your job is to make words -- three letters or
more, from a grid of letters but you have to be quick. When you make a word the
letters heat up and change, but if you allow them to cool, by not using them,
eventually they become frozen and when they’re all frozen it’s game over. It’s
really addictive and now that my hour has almost run out I’m seriously thinking
of shelling out $20 for the fully registered version to keep exercising the old grey matter.
ULTIMATE MINESWEEPER CHEAT
Avert your eyes now if you are an aficionado of
the Windows game Minesweeper because I am about to reveal a hidden secret that
will allow you surreptitiously see where mines are located on the grid. All you
have to do is open the game, move the mouse cursor to the game panel, type the
following code: xyzzy then press Shift > Enter > Enter. You should now
notice a small white dot -- 1 pixel in size -- appear in the top left hand
corner of your monitor screen. If you now move the mouse pointer to the game
grid every time it passes over a mine the pixel will turn black.
It’s okay, you can look now, we’ve finished…
CANDY CANES, TEAPOTS AND EASTER EGGS
Windows XP is not supposed to have any Easter Eggs. These are extra little
features hidden away by programmers with time on their hands.
The story goes
that Microsoft agreed not to include any secret or undocumented features in Windows in
order for it to be used by US Government Agencies. In fact there are several and
here’s one, possibly two, that slipped in through the back door, carried over from
earlier versions of Windows. The definite one is a way to brighten up the 3D
Pipes screensaver, changing the pipes to stripy candy canes. To try it out select the Screensaver tab in
Display Properties (Start > Control Panel > Display). Select 3D Pipes
from the list then click the Setting button. Under Pipes select Multiple, under
Pipe Style Joint Type select Mixed and under Surface Style select Textured.
Click the Choose Texture button and it will open the Windows folder, just click
Cancel, click OK on the 3D Setting button and fire up the screensaver by
clicking Preview. Pretty…
The second, possible
Easter Egg is a teapot, which on 3D
pipes in earlier versions of Windows randomly appears in place of pipe joints.
It should still be there but I gave up looking after 20 minutes. The teapot is
quite small so it’s easy to miss, but if anyone spots it let me know. In case
you were wondering the teapot is homage to the ‘Utah Teapot’. Back in 1974 it
was the first computer graphics object to be designed and rendered as a
sculptured surface (previously solid shapes were built up from lots of polygons)
and you can find out more about it here.
SLAP UP MEAL, TAXI HOME AND
HALF A CROWN…
Kids today, don’t know they’re born, I remember the days when a one
megabyte memory module costs the best part of a weeks wages, and that was if
you knew the bloke who’s mate drove the lorry they fell off of.
We’ve all heard
the stories from parents and grandparents about the good old days, when you
could buy a car for seven and sixpence and the average annual wage was tuppence
ha’penny, but just how true are these yarns? Well, there’s an easy way to find
out, just pop along to the EH Net website and have a play around with the
Relative Value calculators. You can find out exactly what ten bob (50 pence) in
1922 would be worth today or compare the value of the pound against the dollar
from 1830 to 2004, fascinating stuff.
Here’s a good one in 1985 a mid-range
Dell desktop PC (75MHz CPU, 8Mb RAM 525Mb HDD) would have set you back almost
Ł1900, which would be almost Ł3,800 at 2004 prices (the most recent year for
calculations); it makes you feel quite humble…
Solitaire game in Windows must be one of the greatest time-wasters of all time
-- it drives office managers crazy -- but even though it is so simple it can be
highly addictive. If you're one of the millions hooked on it then you have
probably figured out by now that the Draw 3 option -- selected by default --
slows the game down, increases the odds against you winning and makes it harder
to play. Of course you could just switch to easy-peasy Draw 1 setting and play
it that way but where's the fun in that? The next time you're in a fix try this
simple little cheat. Press and hold down the Crtl, Alt and Shift keys, then
click on the top card and you'll find that you can now select cards one at a
& MINESWEEPER CHEATS
that the FreeCell and Minesweeper games included in almost all versions of
Windows have a devoted following and some may consider what follows as heresy
so if you're a purist avert your eyes now because we are about to reveal some
simple cheats and enhancements.
FreeCell you can win instantly by holding down Ctrl + Shift + F10, choose Abort
from the menu that appears and drag any card to the top.
switch off the Minesweeper timer, position the mouse pointer on any grey part
of the game window, press and hold the right and left mouse keys and press the
you can add some simple sound effects to Minesweeper by opening Windows Notepad
(Start > Programs > Accessories) select All Files then open the
'Winmine.ini' file in the Windows folder (you might want to make a backup copy,
just in case). Add the line 'Sound=3' to the end, Save and exit Notepad. If you
add a subsequent line 'Tick=1', you'll hear a bleep as the timer counts up
Eggs' are diverting little features hidden away inside software applications,
and another reason why programs take up so much hard disc space these days...
This one is in both Windows 95 and 98. Open Display Properties in Control
Panel, select the Screensaver tab, choose 3D Pipes, click the Settings button
and check 'Multiple', 'Traditional' and 'Solid'. In Joint Type select Mixed,
click OK then Preview and look out for Teapots... No prizes, but can anyone
tell us what's so special about this particular teapot?
next one can be found in Windows 98 and is quite challenging, calling for a
very steady hand, and possibly an atlas. Double click on the time display on
the Taskbar or click on Regional settings in Control Panel and select the Time
Zone tab to display the world map. Hold down the Ctrl key and move the mouse
pointer to Cairo, at the northern end of the Red Sea, click and hold the left
mouse button then move the mouse pointer to Memphis Tennessee (above Florida)
release the mouse button, then without moving the pointer click and hold and
move the pointer to Redmond in Washington State (just North of San Francisco)
release the mouse button, watch, listen and be amazed (well, mildly
surprised...). Don't give up if it
doesn't work first time, you have to be very precise.
Easter Egg is quite diverting and it lives in Excel 2000. It's a challenging
driving game with excellent graphics; note that you will also need DirectX 6 or
7 on your PC, if not you'll find it on most PC magazine cover-mount CD-ROMs.
attention, it's quite involved, but well worth the effort. Open Excel 2000, on
the File menu select 'Save As Web Page' then check the items 'Save Selection
Sheet' and 'Add Interactivity', click Save and a file called 'page.htm' should
end up in My Documents (or wherever else you choose to put it). Exit Excel and
open Internet Explorer and open the saved 'page.htm' file. Scroll all the way
down to row 2000 and along to column WC, check the cell, highlight the whole
line and use tab to select cell 2000 WC again. Next, hold down Ctrl + Shift +
Alt and click on the Excel logo in the top left hand corner. The screen goes
black and after a few seconds the game starts. Use the arrow keys to steer, the
spacebar to fire your guns, H for headlights, O to spray oil and Esc to exit.
Explorer 5 has its own Easter Egg. On the Tools menu select Internet Options
then the General tab and click the Languages button. Select Add and in the User
Defined field type 'ie-ee' (minus the quote marks) then click OK. Highlight the
entry and click the Move Up button to put it at the top of the list. Select OK
to close the windows click on the Search icon and in the side menu you see a
new set of options. Select Previous Searches and follow the links on to the
Internet to see the guilty ones!
actually more of a curiosity and it concerns most versions of Windows 98. Try
this: right click on the taskbar select Properties and the familiar Taskbar
Properties dialogue box opens. Close it and this time hold down the Ctrl key
and keep it pressed while you right click on the taskbar and select Properties.
The same dialogue box opens but this time there's an extra tabbed item called
Deskbar. If you click on it a new dialogue window opens but all of the options
are greyed out. It's almost certainly an unfinished or deleted feature but what
it was for or supposed to do is one of life's little mysteries...