İnternet dünyasının merkezinde olan Google’ın neredeyse internet kullanan herkesin aşina olduğu Gmail, Google Earth ve Google Maps gibi özelliklerinin faydaları hepimizin malumu. Her gün milyonlarca kişi tarafından kullanılan bu hizmetlere ek olaraksa, çok daha az kişinin bildiği pek çok servis daha sunuyor Google.
İşte dev yazı fontu kütüphanesinden, galaksimizin interaktif haritasına kadar pek çok alandaki Google hizmetleri:
1. Google Keep
Hep bilgisayarlarda, hem de akıllı telefonlarda çalışan bu uygulama, muhteşem bir not alma ve hatırlatma hizmeti. Buradan ulaşabilirsiniz.
2. Google Sky
Google Sky, evrenimizin derinliklerine doğru bir yolculuğa çıkmanıza imkan veren bir servis. NASA’dan, Hubble Teleskobu’ndan ve Sloan Digital Sky Survey’den alınan fotoğraflarla oluşturulan servise buradan ulaşabilirsiniz.
3. Google Books Ngram Viewer
Bu hizmet ise 1500’lü yıllardan 2008’li yıllara kadar yayınlanmış 5.2 milyon adet kitapta hangi kelimenin toplam ne kadar sayıda geçtiğini ve kullanım sayılarının zamanla değişimini gösteriyor. Göz atmak için buraya tıklayın.
4. Google Input Tools
Bu servis ise özel bir klavye indirmeden 80 farklı dilde yazı yazabilmenize imkan veriyor. Denemek için buradan.
5. Google Fonts
Google ücretsiz olarak yararlanabileceğiniz pek çok türde font sunuyor. Görmek için buraya tıklayın.
6. Google Scholar
Akademik dergilere ve makalelere ulaşmak için adres ise Google Scholar. Göz atmak için buraya tıklayınız.
7. Google Arts & Culture
Bu hizmet ise dünyadaki en önemli müzelerde yer alan eserlerin yüksek çözünürlüklü fotoğraflarını sunuyor ve bir nevi oraları dolaşmanızı sağlıyor. Ulaşmak için buraya tıklayınız.
8. Google Trends
İnsanların o an, o gün veya o hafta en çok neyi arattığını görebilmek için Google Trends, en iyi servis durumunda. Hatta aratılan konuların zaman içindeki aratılma sıklığına bile göz atabiliyorsunuz. Servisi denemek için buraya tıklayın.
9. Sound Search
Shazam gibi çalışan bu servis ise Google Asistan’ı kullanarak duyduğunuz bir şarkıyı bulmanıza yardımcı oluyor ve daha sonrasında şarkıya Youtube, Spotify gibi platformlardan ulaşabilmeniz için link veriyor. Buraya tıklayarak servise ulaşabilirsiniz.
10. Hayvan Sesleri
Google’a “animal sounds” yazdığında karşınıza çeşitli hayvanların seslerinin bulunduğu bir katalog çıkıyor.
Whether you’re a filmmaker, student, designer, artist or just a history buff, you might be interested in stock footage. Stock footage is generally free of copyright. This means that you are free to do what you want with it. These video clips can be edited, chopped up, stitched together, and manipulated in any way you see fit.
Fortunately, the Internet has made it incredibly easy to track down stock footage, with entire websites dedicated to collecting clips free of copyright. We’ve rounded up some of the best websites that host a plethora of stock footage for you to browse and use, free of charge.
1. The Public Domain Review
The Public Domain Review was founded in 2011 as a not-for-profit dedicated to collecting works of art and literature. If the name didn’t tip you off, the site specializes in curating works that have fallen into the public domain. This means that everything you’ll find on The Public Domain Review is out of copyright. As a result, users are free to do whatever they like with the works found within.
The videos found on The Public Domain Review mostly consist of feature-length films. However, there is also a decent amount of stock footage, experimental shorts and even old TV commercials. In addition, there is even some vintage amateur footage.
Videezy is home to Creative Commons stock footage. Most of the video found on Videezy is B-roll footage like landscapes, backgrounds and aerial shots. Furthermore, all the footage on Videezy is high definition, with a growing selection in 4K. However, be aware that most of the 4K content is only available to download by spending “credits.” At the time of this writing, 1 credit = $19, with other packages available that offer better value for the money.
Most of the videos found on Videezy are free to download. That being said, the use of some clips may be restricted for certain uses (e.g. commercial). So before you decide to use a particular clip for your own project, double-check the license to ensure you don’t run into any legal issues.
Every single video clip hosted on Videvo is 100 percent free. In addition to stock footage, Videvo is also home to motion graphics. Clips are organized into a variety of different categories, from computer-generated abstracts to drone footage. Furthermore, Videvo also prides itself on being an active community, with new videos uploaded every single week.
All of the videos found on Videvo have one of two licenses. The Videvo Standard License allows you to download clips to use in any way you see fit, commercial or otherwise. You don’t have to credit the creator of the clip – you just have to make sure you don’t make the clip available for download anywhere else. Other clips are licensed under Creative Commons 3.0. This allows users to use the clips so long as you credit the author.
Similarly to the Public Domain Review, Pond5 hosts a ton of public domain footage. The clips featured on Pond5 have a historical slant, including lots of footage from old news clips. Furthermore, Pond5 also has a paid section that gives users access to thousands of additional clips, at a price.
In addition to video clips, Pond5 also has a massive library of still images, audio files and even 3D animations. All of the media found on Pond5 is in the public domain, so you are free to use it however you wish.
5. Archive.org’s Stock Footage
The Internet Archive is a non-profit dedicated to preserving digital culture, namely everything and anything on the Internet. The Internet Archive is divided into cataloged subsections to make it easier for folks to find stuff. For those of you hunting for stock footage, you’ll be pleased to know that the Internet Archive has a ton of it.
The Internet Archive’s collection of stock footage is submitted by Internet Archive users. The vast majority of the clips are not meant to be used as standalone clips. Instead, the footage is meant to be used in other videos. The licenses attributed to each clip varies, but they are all under the Creative Commons umbrella.
Do you know of other websites that host free stock footage? Which ones are your favorites? Let us know in the comments!
You’ve likely heard about the importance of coding, especially in helping prepare your children for their future careers. Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) skills are increasingly vital in all walks of life.
But it can be intimidating. Where exactly do you start? What’s the right age for your kids to start learning how to code? Do they need prior expertise?
Fortunately, you can find great toys for all youngsters, and make learning fun.
The key to getting kids into coding is inspiring them to see its potential and normalizing that attitude. That’s where the Barbie Robotics Engineers Doll comes in.
This brand has been a staple of the toy industry for over half a decade and has survived by adapting. Its latest development is a partnership with Tynker, a gaming platform that replaces source code with colorful building blocks.
Dolls come with six free lessons that can be unlocked on the Tynker site. These games are designed around an impressive assortment of careers: Robotics Engineer, Astronaut, Beekeeper, Farmer, Musician, and Pastry Chef.
They’re not especially intensive either. A course takes between 45 minutes and an hour, so your kids shouldn’t get bored.
And you can leave them to it because the program guides users through potentially complex notions like sequencing, problem solving, and debugging without the need for assistance. Nonetheless, Tynker offers instructions for parents and tutors if they do want to help out.
Lego’s popularity knows no bounds, so this is the perfect way to get your kids interested in coding. Yes, it seems a bit pricey, yet no more so than a full-sized Millennium Falcon, the Hulkbuster armor from Avengers: Age of Ultron, or any of the Technic sets.
You can build five models: the robot plastered over the box; a cat; a guitar; the Multi-Tooled Rover; and, perhaps coolest of all, an auto-builder—that is, a miniature production line for Lego bricks. Each take a couple of hours to make (alas, using the same bricks, so you can only have one robot at a time).
It’s ideal if you want to spend some time with your children. But they can also learn independently, using the tutorials available through the free Boost app. You’ll need a tablet running iOS 10.3/ Android 5.0 or newer; smartphone screens are simply too small.
It’s so fun, youngsters won’t even realize they’re learning something so valuable. And once they’ve finished with Boost, they can progress to Lego Mindstorms. Alternatively, the Raspberry Pi is an excellent next step, giving kids a similar level of hands-on experience.
Once more, you’ll need a tablet for this one; it does offer some variation, however, as you can connect it to two apps via Bluetooth. WowWee Elmoji is a small, brightly-colored robot with a simple screen for a head; by default, it displays the red Sesame Street character.
Elmo is a solid entry-level character, intended for preschoolers. But the two apps allow you to change its face into an emoji if you’re worried your kids are too old for the Muppet. Indeed, this is based on the Coji device, so you can learn to code using emojis.
Elmoji won’t occupy your children for countless hours, but it will prove a good distraction for a while. Considering this, the $60 RRP seems steep, but many retailers offer it for a much lower price, making this a fair introduction to coding.
Make sure you buy plenty of batteries, however. The three AAA batteries required are not provided and you’ll go through them surprisingly quickly.
Kids bugging you to get a pet? Here’s a neat solution which you won’t have to feed or clean up after!
Okay, your youngsters will probably still want a dog, but the Code & Go Robot Mouse should keep them preoccupied for a while.
This is more hands-on than many other sets as you don’t need a tablet to take part.
You use 16 grids, 22 partitions, and three tunnels to create a maze for the robotic mouse, Colby, to navigate. With 30 coding cards and ten activity cards, it might seem intimidating at first—which is why this is an excellent toy for parents to get involved. If all goes according to plan, it won’t be long until your children will be able to carry on independently.
It’s a reasonably priced set, though a cheaper variant, including a mouse called Jack plus coding cards, is also available. The two together would make a great Christmas present for siblings.
Ozobot’s main selling point is its marrying of technology and art. You’re encouraging STEM skills and creativity!
The robot moves by following marker patterns—your child draws on a piece of paper using different colored pens and the robot follows. Of course, it’s not quite that simple, but the accompanying OzoBlockly editor app is easy to understand.
The classic Ozobot Bit is suitable for ages 6 and above, while the newer Evo adds sounds and special features and so has a bigger appeal.
Our favorite bit is the custom skins to stick on your Ozobot. Don’t underestimate the appeal of superheroes on youngsters and big kids. It’s massive fun dressing your robot up as Rocket or Groot from the Guardians of the Galaxy. There’s also a great Spider-Man set (in which the wall-crawler is packaged alongside a Venom skin), but if you’ve got an Evo, bulkier Avengers models are available.
Have you ever wished you could create an app? Maybe you want one for your business or just for yourself? Apps are not only useful for all kinds of business situations but in day-to-day activities as well. For example, you could make an app to help plan a wedding or other event. Only a few people would need it.
There are a seemingly unlimited number of websites promising an easy way to make apps. Most of them will be fronted with the word “free.” And to be fair, most of them are free to start. After that is when it changes. Depending on your need for the app, whether for your business or party planning, your budget may not allow for an expensive app or a substantial monthly commitment.
So if you’re not looking to make a million dollars from your app (or spend a boatload of money to create it), these five sites will allow you to create your own Android apps and still have money in your pocket when it’s complete.
Andromo is the most popular Android app-maker platform.
It only require three steps to create your own app:
Create an Andromo project.
Fill out a few simple forms to add features, graphics, content and whatever makes your app unique.
Click a button to build your app.
Unlike many of the other app builders, Andromo does not have a preview screen for you to see what your app will look like while adding items or changing formatting. After you create your app, they will email it to you. They do not support uploading of the app to the Play store. For free, you can create one app with ads. If you upgrade to the lowest cost plan for $8 a month, you can have up to fifty apps and monetize them.
AppsGeyser is totally free. They boast no fees, charges, subscription plans, or limits. There are over fifty different available templates to get you started and make creating the app even easier. The site uses a preview screen to show what your app looks like, but I had a little trouble getting that to work consistently. Because it’s free, they don’t support the publishing of the app to the stores. They will get fifty percent of any monetization you do to make up for the cost.
On the surface when you look at pricing, AppMachine seems more expensive, but you only need to pay if you plan on publishing the app to Google Play or another platform. There are 92 different templates available to choose from to begin making your app and a preview screen to keep up with the changes you make. They make it easier to imagine what you can place on a screen by comparing the building of the app to building with Legos. When you want to test out the app, they give you a QR code to scan which then opens it on your phone.
Appmakr charges $2 a month to have an app in the AppMakr market with their branding on the app. There is a free plan allowing you to publish mobile websites, but to have an app, you need at least that basic plan. Use their drag-and-drop interface and the preview pane to make as many apps as you want to for free. You choose a plan only when you decide to promote or publish an app. If you are only interested in creating an app to share with coworkers or friends, you can’t beat the price. It has tech support, a stats dashboard, and no charges or time limits for changes.
AppyPie has a straightforward user interface with a preview screen which allows you to drag and drop items onto your app and see the results. They also offer video tutorials to help you along as you create a Progressive Web App (PWA), not an Android. They do have a free plan that only allows you forty-eight hours to edit your app. The next plan jumps to $15 per month to create Android apps. AppyPie branding is on every app unless you are using the highest-priced plan.
How would an app that you design, just for your needs, make something in your life better? Give one of these sites a try and see if you can make it a reality.
URL shortener scripts are the latest buzz in the link-sharing business today. This niche has evolved over the years to become more than a simple service for sharing links. Now they can be used for analytics and more complicated stuff.
After Google decided to end their Goo.gl URL-shortening service, many people started looking for self-hosted alternatives to host their links. The following self-hosted URL shortener scripts grant you absolute control and allow you to tweak and adjust your links to suit your peculiar taste.
The following are five of the best URL shortener scripts available.
The ingenious creators of this excellent script prefer a more relatable name. YOURLS stands for “Your Own URL Shortener.” It is a set of optimized PHP scripts that allow you to run your URL shortener on any server of your choosing.
Unlike most of the competition, YOURLS is unique for a few reasons. First, it is open source, which has increased the level of refinement the PHP script has undergone over time.
It’s also bundled with features that allow you to decide how accessible your shortened links will be. Now you can set your links to “Private” or “Public” at your discretion.
Other features include the ability to check impressive link statistics. Some of these stats are click rate, the location of visitors and referrals tracking.
If you are seeking a solidly-coded PHP URL-shortener script, then you should check YOURLS out.
Another excellent solution for a URL-shortening service is POLR. Like YOURLS, it is also open source. The creators tout this tool as lightweight and fast. You’ll be shocked to find out that it is no hype at all.
POLR is one of the neatest self-hosted URL shortener scripts available on the Web today. It is straightforward to install and takes next to no time to understand.
Its modern interface ensures that managing and controlling your links are a walk in the park. You have the option to tweak and brand it to your taste with minimal effort.
Its robust API is one of the best in the business. Now you can integrate this tool into your other services without any hassle.
If you are looking for a simple yet powerful URL shortener script, look no further. You have POLR!
In the business of shortening URLs, simplicity is a real virtue. The makers of Wurlie understand this rule, and they incorporate it into their URL shortener better than the competition. Wurlie is a simple, but incredibly powerful, PHP script.
Despite its simplicity, it offers more features than most other solutions. It is very secure, with provisions for fighting off phishing and malware attacks.
It is also built for heavy site traffic, so if your website needs a tool that can take the onslaught, go for Wurlie. Other features include its robust support for Google Ads as well as social media sharing.
The process of installation is painless, too. There is enough documentation to guide a complete novice without much trouble.
This self-hosted URL shortener script is one of the simplest to install and run on your website. It is an entirely open-source script that is continuously improved upon by a large community of users.
Z.ips.ME greatly emphasizes privacy. It provides the feature to ensure that your links remain as private as you would want.
Other powerful features include statistics view. Z.ips.ME allows you to view and analyze your links for clicks and referrals. You also get to know which browsers they use to access your links and many more.
Its responsive design on both mobile and tablet devices is a huge relief. This feature means you can use it without qualms on any screen size.
5. Lessn More
This URL shortening script has been around the block for quite a while now. In fact, it is a modified version of another shortening script – Lessn – but way better.
Lessn More comes bundled with some of the best features that you’ll need for a self-hosted URL-shortening script. It also comes with an impressive simplicity that allows you to focus on what you need while ignoring everything else.
It also incorporates smart features to ensure that your links are not getting skipped over. One of these features prevents two similarly-styled alphabets from being used side by side. Another feature screens and blocks offensive words from your shortened URL. It uses a block list that you can edit.
Its support for custom URLs lets you edit your link for your peculiar purpose. Its rich API supports give you the flexibility to leverage multiple services.
URL-shortening scripts have gone past being simple tools used for social media-sharing purposes. Marketers now employ them for sophisticated marketing campaigns as well as data analytics. Whatever solution you decide to adopt, ensure that it suits your purpose well.
The recent spat of “classic” consoles offer nostalgic gamers an easy way to experience their favorite titles from the 8- and 16-bit eras. Unfortunately, finding one can be a bit of a pain, not to mention they can command more coin than you might be willing to part with.
Of course, one could always install RetroPie or RecallBox, but configuring them can be time-consuming. Luckily, if you’ve got a retro gaming itch you can scratch it immediately. In recent years a number of websites have popped up that are dedicated to preserving old video games. The best part is all of the games are playable directly within your browser.
The mission of Archive.org is to keep an online repository of all things for posterity. From music to magazines to movies to everything in between, Archive.org has an extensive collection of artifacts on a wide variety of subjects in its database. Gamers young and old will be happy to learn that Archive.org also maintains libraries of classic video games.
Archive.org organizes its collection of games into two libraries called Console Living Room and Internet Arcade. Console Living Room is home to the game libraries of numerous consoles. Here you’ll find favorites like the Sega Genesis and the Atari 2600. In addition, you’ll find more obscure consoles like the Bally Astrocade. Just pick your favorite console, select a game and play it in your browser, no emulators or roms necessary.
If you’ve got a desire to revisit the arcade, you’re in luck. Archive.org’s Internet Arcade has a huge library of coin-operated games from the 70s, 80s and 90s. The best part is, no quarters needed! Finally, if you were more of a PC gamer, you can check out Archive.org’s DOS Collection. The downside to Archive.org’s massive collection is that the emulation can be a bit hit or miss. Additionally, control documentation is noticeably absent from a lot of the games. Unfortunately, this means that you’ll be tapping keys on your keyboard until you can work out which ones work with the game you’re trying to play.
2. Classic Reload
Speaking of classic computer games, Classic Reload is home to over 5,000 DOS and Windows titles. You’ll find games from the 80s and 90s in a variety of different genres. There’s something for everyone here, from real-time strategy games like “Command and Conquer” to first-person shooters like “Duke Nukem 3D” and “Doom.” The emulation is pretty spot on, and unlike Archive.org, the controls for each game are documented, so you can jump right in without hassle.
One of the more interesting features of Classic Reload is the ability to change sound cards, graphics cards and more when emulating a game. This is because the games on Classic Reload come from a time when games ran on different PCs with vastly different hardware specifications. This allows users to truly capture what their individual gaming experience was like from back in the day!
Retrogames.cc isn’t the prettiest website out there, as it is riddled with somewhat intrusive ads. However, the site does have a fairly large collection of games. Most of the titles featured on Retrogames hail from the 8- and 16-bit era; however, you will find some newer games from consoles like the Playstation 1 and Atari Jaguar. In addition, Retrogames has an impressive library of coin-operated arcade games. They even have multiple versions of arcade games so you can see what the game was like in other regions around the world.
An interesting feature of Retrogames is the ability to embed a game directly within your own website. It’s not a feature everyone would use, but it’s a welcome addition. Finally, it should be noted that the in-browser emulation of the more demanding consoles can be spotty. During testing we found that some of the games crashed, while others simply wouldn’t load.
4. Retro Games Online
Retro Games Online does not categorize its library of playable games as well as the other sites on this list. You can search by system, new additions, most played and top rated. Unfortunately, the titles in each category are not listed in alphabetical order, making browsing the games a bit tedious. Luckily, there is a manual search bar you can use to find specific games that you want to play.
Like Retrogames.cc, Retro Games Online has quite a few ads peppered throughout the site. In addition, you’ll have to sit through an ad or two before you can start the emulation of your chosen game. One unique feature of Retro Games Online is that it gives users the option to emulate the games using Flash or HTML5. Most of the other sites require the use of Flash, so it’s nice to have the option.
Do you know of any other websites that allow you to play your favourite games of yesteryear directly in the browser? Let us know in the comments!
While Tasker for Android is powerful, it can sometimes be difficult to use. If setting up Tasker profiles has been a pain, then this is your chance to enjoy some automation on your Android device.
1. Launch Music Player When You Plug in Headphones
Your selected music player starts playing music as soon as you plug in your earphones. Be ready, as you’ll get an earful as soon as your headset makes contact with your Android phone’s 3.5mm jack.
1. Create a new Tasker profile by clicking the ‘”+”’ icon.
2. Select “State” from the menu and then choose “Hardware.” A new set of options will pop up; select “Headset plugged.” Go back.
3. Give this task any name you want when prompted.
4. Now tap the “+” button. Choose Apps, then “Launch App”. Select your preferred music app. You are done!
2. Set Phone to Mute Calls When Turned Upside-Down
When you are in a lecture or a meeting, this Tasker profile can spare you some real embarrassment. It uses your phone’s orientation feature to detect a change in the position of your phone.
1. Create a new Tasker profile, but this time choose “State,” and then select “Sensor.”
2. Open the menu options and select “Face Down.” Go back.
3. Name this task with your choice of wording. Click on the ‘‘+’’ button. Select “Audio,” then “Ringer Volume” in the new options. Set the volume level to zero.
3. Open Some Apps in a Sequence
If you need to consume information fast, here’s your profile. It’s helpful if you love the feeling of automating your day.
1. Create a new Tasker profile and select “Application.” A list will show on the next screen. Choose the application you want to open first. Go back.
2. Name your Tasker profile. Click again on the “+” button. Click on “Choose App” and then “Launch App.” Now select your second application. Go back. On your Tasker profiles list, long-press the second app and select the option “Move to Exit.”
3. Name your task when prompted and click on the “+” button. Select “Display,” then “Display Timeout.” Now you can set the value as you deem fit.
5. Send Text Message When Battery Juice Is About to Run Out
Sometimes you may be on a trip or a volunteer mission and can’t afford to plug your phone in to charge. Having a flat battery could mean that you are cut off from family and friends for a while.
You don’t want them worrying about your safety. This Tasker profile sends a text to them as soon as your phone hits a set low battery percentage.
1. Create a new profile and choose “State.”
2. From the options, choose “Power,” and then select “Battery Level.”
3. Set the battery level for which you want Tasker to send the text message. Go back.
4. Name the task and click the “+” button. Select “Phone,” then choose “Compose SMS.” In this new screen, type in the details of the message and create the list of recipients.
6. Use Tasker Profiles to Secure Your Apps
Privacy is a sensitive topic, and you need as much of it as you can get. Thankfully, the Tasker app provides the means to lock away some of your essential applications from prying eyes.
1. Create a profile and choose “Application.” From the list, select the applications that you need to secure. Go back. Choose a name for the new task and hit the “+” button. Select “Display,” then choose “Lock.”
2. Now select the lock key for the section.
7. Switch Mobile Data Off When Battery Is Low
This Tasker profile is a means to help you conserve battery and regulate your mobile use – especially on long trips of adventure. It enables you to shut your mobile data connection off when your battery drops below a particular value.
1. Create a profile and go to ‘”State -> Power -> Battery Level.” From the “Options,” edit the “Battery Levels” for which you want to trigger the profile.
2. Choose a name for the new task profile and tap on the “+” button. On the next screen choose “Net,” then “Mobile Data,” and then select “Turn On.”
8. Set Up an Alarm to Catch Privacy Invaders
Remember those apps you secured for privacy reasons? This Tasker profile helps you protect them further. It sets up an alarm that alerts you the moment someone attempts to open them.
1. Create a profile and choose “Application.” Select all the applications you want to secure. Go back. Give this task a name. Click the “+” button. Go to “Options,” select “Alert,” and then “Beep.”
2. In the next set of options, tweak the settings such as frequency, duration, and amplitude per your liking.
9. Switch WiFi on When You Open Google Maps
Google Maps work best when using WiFi, so it’s best that you switch to this mode while using maps. Also, WiFi helps you save on mobile data cost. These instructions show how to configure the Tasker mode to help you achieve this.
1. Create a profile and choose “Application.” From the menu, select the “Google Maps Application.” Give a name to this task and click the “+” button. Click “Net,” then WiFi.
2. In the next screen, change the status to “On.” Now you are all set.
10. Turn Off Auto-Rotate During Bedtime
Nothing is as annoying as having your phone flip orientation when you are using it on the bed. This Tasker profile automatically turns off the auto-rotate feature during bedtime hours.
1. Create a new profile and choose “Time.” Select your bedtime hours. Set these hours on this screen. Choose a name for this new task, and click the “+” button. Select “Display,” then “Auto-Rotate,” and then turn it off.
Tasker is a powerful tool that can turn your Android phone into a powerful personal assistant. If you haven’t used the Tasker app before now, this is your chance. Tasker profiles should not be a pain to set up anymore.
Which is why, in between classes and lectures and tutorials, you should set aside time to play these programming games and challenges. Not only do they serve as fun breaks, but you’ll learn faster and retain more info thanks to the hands-on practice and experience.
Robocode is a complex programming game where you code robot tanks that fight against each other. Your job is to write the artificial intelligence that drives your robots to success—using real languages like Java, Scala, C#, and more. To get started, check out the Robocode Basics and Tutorials.
The Robocode installer comes with a development environment, built-in robot editor, and Java compiler. You’re actually writing real code! Despite launching back in 2000, Robocode is still regularly updated and maintained, helped along by the fact that it’s open source and extremely addictive.
Codecombat is another web app for game-like puzzles and challenges that can only be solved by writing code. But whereas Codingame is more entertaining, Codecombat has a significant educational bent with a “Classroom Edition” that teachers can use to help their students learn how to code. As of this writing, three course paths are available: Computer Science, Web Development, and Game Development.
Codewars isn’t so much a game as it is a gamified way to practice coding and solving algorithmic challenges. You get points for completing puzzles and point values are determined by how efficient your solutions are. Codewars lets you view solutions submitted by others, which you can study and learn from. I believe it’s one of the best ways to learn a new programming language and its idioms.
Codehunt is a game that can be played using either Java or C#. It’s designed to teach you the fundamentals of whichever language you pick, starting with Training, moving through topics like Loops and Strings, and ending with intermediate challenges like Sorting, Cyphers, and Puzzles. What’s interesting about Codehunt is that it doesn’t tell you how to win each challenge—figuring that out is part of the fun!
Vim Adventures is a fun game-like tutorial for learning how to use Vim, a highly unusual but extremely powerful text editor that many programming pros love to use. It has a huge learning curve though, which is why tutorials like this exist. So while Vim isn’t a programming language per se, mastering Vim can help you become a more efficient coder, hence why I’ve included it in this article.
“It’s the assembly language programming game you never asked for!” It says so right there on the tin. TIS-100 is a video game like no other, forcing you to learn and use a mock version of low-level assembly coding to solve its puzzles. This game is not a joke—it’s difficult, it’s open-ended, and it has incredible replay value as long as you don’t become so frustrated and confused that you uninstall in a fit of rage.
From the same studio behind TIS-100 comes Shenzhen I/O, a puzzle game where you’re tasked with creating simplified circuits and writing simplified assembly code that runs on said circuits. Between the two games, Shenzhen I/O is easier to get into and more enjoyable yet just as satisfyingly complex.
In Human Resource Machine, you play as an office worker who completes tasks by combining various instructions together. In a sense, this game is all about puzzle solving through visual programming, even going as far to touch on concepts like logical flow and memory management—but presented in an easy-to-digest, office-themed way. It’s a great game for exercising your programmer’s brain.
Download:Screeps ($15, optional subscription for $9/mo)
This list aims to introduce you to the best indie RPGs you’ve never heard of. Whether you’re just looking for a one night change of pace, or you’d like to run an extended campaign, each of these free games has something fresh to stir your imagination. Break out your dice; it’s game time!
Lady Blackbird’s simple rules and pre-generated characters make for an awesome ready-to-play package that caters to groups comfortable with the idea of the players building the setting as the game is played. Each player takes charge of one of the five crew members of The Owl, a steampunk airship that sails a fast expanse of sky between exotic worlds. The included story starter has the characters attempting to break free of an imperial battleship to escort Lady Blackbird (played by one of the players) to her pirate lover at the far end of the Wild Blue, but from there, you’re encouraged to develop characters, worlds, and complications your group finds most interesting.
The biggest strength of Lady Blackbird is the way it weaves its pre-generated characters together in a powderkeg of interpersonal drama ready to explode. Each character comes with a personality, and predisposed attitudes and relationships to at least some of their fellow crew members. The game’s mechanics reward players each time they tap into their personal motivations, and encourage them to look toward and roleplay with one another instead of putting all eyes, and all pressure, on the GM. If you have a soft spot for Joss Whedon’s Firefly, you’ll find lots to love here.
Weighing in at only six pages, Risus is a system designed for comedic games, but capable of running serious ones if you put your mind to it. You’ll describe your character with a series of flexible clichés and assign each one a number of dice. So, for example, your character sheet might include the cliché, “Savvy Netizen With Great Taste In Tech Blogs (3)”, whereas mine might have, “Self-Important Blogger With Delusions Of Grandeur (2)”. Anytime you come up against a task a character with that as one of their clichés might be able to solve, roll the appropriate number of six sided dice, and compare the total to the target number or opposition.
Risus’ niche is that it’s easy to play when you and your friends are up for an RPG, but are too tired or unfocused for a complex game like Dungeons & Dragons. Clichés immediately and clearly communicate character strengths, so there’s no need for a bunch of fixed skills or long lists of unique talents and spells. GMs can run the game with no preparation, since coming up with characters or monsters is as simple as describing them, and assigning numbers that fit. If play is the point, Risus gets you to it quickly.
Want a game with the spirit of Dungeons & Dragons, but at a fraction of the size? Warrior, Rogue & Mage (WRM) is an incredibly complete game for its size and price point, and that’s before you add in the game’s five supplements (also free). Every character in the game is described by their proficiency in each of the title’s three archetypes. Add in a few skills, talents, and spells, and you’ve got a character ready for adventure.
WRM sits in a complexity sweet spot with its 41-page core rules. When rules are too light, conflict resolution can feel arbitrary, and some players struggle to get invested if there’s too much luck involved in overcoming challenges. Here, characters are detailed enough that you can make interesting tactical decisions, and players have a sense of control over how events play out. It also doesn’t suffer as much from D&D’s issue of physical characters being completely overshadowed by spellcasters, since even a character with even one point in the Mage stat can perform some amount of magic.
Like watching cool anime? Can’t get enough Final Fantasy? Anima Prime takes clear inspiration from both with its innovative battle system that paces fights like the best of Japanese media. Characters open battles by building advantage with descriptive maneuvers, and then spend that advantage to cut loose flashy signature moves, combos, and finishing strikes. The game relegates all non-combat activity to freeform roleplay to keep you focused on big cinematic battles with legendary weapons and summoned monsters.
The free version of Anima Prime may come without art, but the game’s rules do a great job of letting you play the character you want. Each special ability in the game has unique rules, but gets defined with enough flexibility that you can easily describe it how you want in the fiction. What’s your fiery strike like? Is it a blazing sword? An arm possessed by fire spirits? Do whatever sounds coolest to you!
What do you when fickle deities torment mankind with plague and disaster? You end them! Mythender lets you play superhuman heroes of myth and legend as they fight to kill divine beings. But your mythic powers come with great risks. Lose touch with humanity, and you might become one of the very creatures you set out to destroy. The game is rich with all the heavy metal badass attitude you’ll need to get you in the mood to slay a pantheon.
Mythender has a similar mechanical feel to Anima Prime, but with special reinforcement for playing grim, tragic heroes. Neither human nor god, the only other people who will understand your plight are your fellow Mythenders. You’ll find yourself stuck in battles for the sake of mankind that you know you can win if you just embrace your inner demigod a little bit more, but each time you do, you take on a little more corruption that will one day make you everything you despise. At its best, it isn’t a game of happy endings, but rather one of pressing on for one more fight in a battle you know you’ll one day lose.
All of these games are a blast. Make sure you download them, even if you’re not sure you’ll ever play them as written. If nothing else, they’re great inspiration for crafting new stories or house rules for your favorite existing games, and there’s certainly no arguing with the price.
Have a favorite free or small press RPG? Tell our community why it’s awesome and where to find it in the comments!
For the holiday weekend, we wanted to provide you with some more ways to have fun. The following sites allow you to play and download classic and retro games, such as DOS games, classic adventure games, and old console games.
Anonymous Game Developers (AGD) Interactive
AGD Interactive is a game development group that has committed to bringing back classic adventure gaming by remaking the classic Sierra On-Line adventure games, such as King’s Quest. They’ve remastered them with enhanced graphics, polished voice acting, and more, and now offer them as free downloads.
VirtualNES offers hundreds of vintage Nintendo Entertainment System (NES) games you can play online. They also offer some special games, such as unlicensed games by enterprising developers, unreleased games that were left unfinished, and excellent homemade games by people who love video games and decided to make their own. The NES brought home console gaming back to life when it came out.
Nintendo8.com offers hundreds of classic 8-bit Nintendo games from the eighties and early nineties available for online play. It’s a link site that does not actually host any ROMs. All games linked to on the site are assumed to be “abandonware or copyleft.” The games use the vNES emulator from the VirtualNES site mentioned above.
They also have some sister sites that offer other classic console games you can play online.
Snessy (SNES games)
c64i (Commodore 64 games)
DOSDose (DOS games)
MasterSystem8 (SEGA games)
GBemul (Gameboy games)
DOSBox offers a full DOS environment that runs ancient DOS apps on Windows, Mac OS X, Linux, and other UNIX-like operating systems. It emulates an Intel x86 PC, with sound, graphics, mouse, joystick, etc. necessary for running many old DOS games that can’t be run on modern operating systems.
They also offer frontends to DOSBox, such as D-Fend Reloaded (discussed below), to make it easier to use DOSBox.
See our article for more information on using DOSBox.
D-Fend Reloaded is a graphical environment, or frontend, for DOSBox. The installation and configuration of DOSBox can be complicated. The D-Fend Reloaded installation package includes DOSBox, so there is only one installation to be run. You do not have to install DOSBox manually first before installing D-Fend Reloaded.
For more information about installing and using D-Fend Reloaded, see our article about it.
MAME (Multiple Arcade Machine Emulator)
MAME is a non-profit project whose purpose is to preserve many historical arcade games so they don’t disappear once the hardware on which they run stops working. In order to play games on MAME, you must provide the original ROMs, CDs, or hard disks from the arcade machines. There is no original game code inside the MAME executable.
There are also frontends to MAME (available at the link above) that make it easier to use, or you can use MAMEUI, which is a desktop-oriented GUI front-end for MAME. See our article about playing classic arcade games on your PC for more information about MAME and MAMEUI.
Some game developers have released some of their games for free, which you can download from the MAME developer site.
Abandonia offers downloadable, classic abandonware games for DOS. Abandonware games are discontinued game programs for which no product support is available and whose copyright ownership has expired.
Most games on the site have a review, screenshots, an editor rating, and a user rating. Browse and download old PC games by name, year, rating, and category.
Abandonware Games offers a large selection of abandonware DOS games that are no longer supported by anyone. You can download games in categories such as action, racing, RPG, and strategy. Most games have a star rating, status (freeware, shareware, etc.), screenshots, and facts and trivia about the game.
Classic Arcade Games
Classic Arcade Games offers free online arcade games you can play online or even add to your own website or blog. They have a lot of retro games such as Super Mario World, Galaga, PacMan, Donkey Kong Classic, and Sonic the Hedgehog.
Free Classic DOS Games offers about 200 free games, most of which are accompanied by a review, description, screenshots, and a download link. The types of games available include action, adventure, arcade, role playing, shoot-em’ up, and strategy. You can browse through each category one by one or use the search feature to find a specific game.
RGB Classic Games
RGB Classic Games offers a large combination of classic games, previously unreleased games, and even a few “modern” DOS games. RGB Classic Games is “devoted to preserving classic games for defunct PC operating systems (DOS, CP/M-86, OS/2, Win16, Win9x) and making it easy to play them on modern computers.”
Almost all the games on RGB Classic Games were originally distributed commercially, except for a few shareware games that were extremely good. RGB Classic Games concentrate on quality, not quantity and they also attempt to include every version of each game listed on the site.
From the site: “The highest ideals of this site are to support the authors by providing links to their web sites and ordering information for the full versions of games that are still sold, and to encourage the authors of classic games to preserve their games for future generations by making them available for sale or as freeware. If you enjoy a shareware game, please consider buying it from the author.”
All the games on RGB Classic Games are “freely distributable because they are shareware, freeware, or because the copyright holder has officially and legally released all rights to the public domain (abandonware).”
DOS Games Archive
DOS Games Archive offer an archive of 275 DOS games from the eighties and nineties that can be downloaded for free. They are shareware, freeware, playable demos, and full versions of games that are released as freeware or into the public domain.
Free Game Empire
Free Game Empire offers classic games you play directly in your Firefox or Internet Explorer browser. The in-browser emulator is powered by DOSBox. They also have many forums dedicated to discussion of the games, a blog, and a My Games section, where you can log in and find all your active games. They also offer some old games for purchase that are still being sold for reasonable prices.
You do have to download each game to your computer, but game play takes place in your browser. Each game only has to be downloaded once. After that, you can return to the site and play it any time. The emulator can be uninstalled from within the Control Panel. The games on Free Game Empire can only be played in Windows.
Play.vg offers classic DOS games you can play online, such as PacMan and Sonic the Hedgehog, without downloading anything to your computer. Simply use your arrow keys and spacebar to play games like Zork, Asteroids, and Tetris.
Abandonware at Free Game Downloads
Free Game Downloads offers a large collection of free abandonware games. Their site is not very exciting to look at, but it’s easy to navigate through the categories and search for specific games. Their list of games also includes some remade versions of classic Atari games.
Remain In Play
Remain in Play offers commercial DOS and non-DOS games that were deliberately released as freeware. They have plenty of new and old games for download. You can sort the games by name, genre, OS, and even game data type. If you want to search by rating, refer to their list of Top 10 Games in the left sidebar.
Bgames.com offers free classic games in Flash format, such as RetroMash, Warning Foregone, and Alley Fighter. They update their list of fresh, free games daily. You can also browse through other games you can play online, games available for download, massively multiplayer online role-playing game (MMORPG) games, and Multiplayer games.
Free Classic Games at Online Flash Games
Online Flash Games offers classic games for free in their classic/retro category, such as break-out games, Tetris games, Mario games, Sonic games, Arkanoid games, and Invader games. You can also find Flash remakes of old consoles, or platforms, such as Commodore 64.
Online-Games-Zone offers free classic games, retro games, and old-school games for playing online, such as Tetris and PacMan. The thumbnails of the games in the middle of the page are not listed alphabetically. However, you can find an alphabetical list on the left side.
All the Oldies
All the Oldies offers free classic games found all over the web that you can play online. All the games, except for multiplayer games, require no registration. They are of high quality and are always free.
GamezArena offers a collection of free online classic games, such as Ludo, Connect 4, Solitaire, and Battleship. You can also license or purchase these games if you want to add them to your website.
Free Classic 80’s Arcade Games
Free Classic 80’s Arcade Games offers classic 1980’s Atari 2600, Nintendo (NES), Intellivision, and Colecovision games and even the Pong Game Console game for playing online. They also have Shockwave, Flash, and Java games and classic DOS games.
Pogo.com offers a collection of classic games you can play online, such as Monopoly, Chess, and Cribbage. You can register for free so you can enter daily for chances to win prizes and earn tokens that you can keep and redeem for fun gifts. Join Club Pogo to gain access to premium classic games and to play games ad-free. Club Pogo also allows you to download more games on the download page. Until September 10, 2012, you can join Club Pogo for $29.99 per year, which is $10 off the normal price.
You can also browse their collection of free games.
GOG.com offers 100% DRM-free games for sale, a lot of which are less than $20. Once you buy a game, you own it. There are no limits on how often you can download your games off the GOG.com cloud. You can also install them on as many PCs as you want and back them up without limits. They also bundle exclusive content as free bonus downloads.
When you sign up, you receive 9 PC classic games for free, including Beneath a Steel Sky and Ultima IV, so you can try GOG.com out before buying any games.
Wikipedia’s List of Commercial Video Games Released as Freeware
Wikipedia has a list of commercial video games released as freeware. These games were not freeware when originally released, but were re-released at a later date with a freeware license, sometimes as publicity for a forthcoming sequel or compilation release. The list is kept fairly up-to-date.