Tel-Aviv, Israel - http://www.ezuk.org
A technical writer for Tibbo Technology by day, Erez is obsessed with customizing anything and everything. After years of using Litestep and Blackbox, switching to a custom keyboard layout (Colemak), extending Word and Excel with elaborate VBA, losing weight with an AutoHotkey script he developed and spending countless hours tweaking Foobar2000 to get it to look "just right", Erez decided the time has come to try and share some of this obsession with the world at large.
Okay, I know what you're thinking: chocolate
on Download Squad? That's right! That's because Chocomize
is one of the nerdiest ways to get chocolate online: it's a website where you customize your own bar using a multi-step process.
We've covered Chocomize before in our holiday gift guide
, so when they reached out to us offering to do a giveaway, we really couldn't resist.
Chocomize is giving away ten gift certificates, each worth $50, for you to create your own customized chocolate. They sent us some pictures of their recent creations, which you can find in the gallery below.
Regardless of the giveaway, you can use the discount code switched
to get 10% off any Chocomize order. The code is valid through April 20th – just in time for Easter!
To participate, simply leave a comment. Fine print is after the jump.
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is one of those games that at first seem too hard to bother with, but when you try to stop playing it you discover you're hooked
The goal is to get as much sand as you possibly can out of the maze and into the bucket at the bottom of the screen. You need to rotate your maze every which way to get the sand rolling around it. You then try to direct the sand to one of the exits of the maze, and hopefully into the bucket. It took me several tries to actually get sand into the bucket, but that might be due to the fact that I didn't even realize the bucket was there at first. Things improved significantly after that.
As you level up, the mazes get more complicated, with moving parts and other things making your life more difficult. Once you manage to get through all these obstacles and get enough sand into your bucket, you can move on.
As I mentioned, this is not an easy game, but it's highly addictive. The graphics remind me of some long lost game from the 80s, but this just proves that you don't need super graphics and crazy sound to make a game work. There's a soothing guitar track playing in the background and that's it, as far as I could hear, and you can enjoy it just as much with no sound at all.
If you like a fun physics challenge, don't miss out on this one!
Okay, see that snaking line coming in from the right on the screenshot? That's you. And see those large round circles? Those are supposedly grapefruits, only they won't sit still – they keep moving up and down and cutting across your path. And if you touch one, you die!
That's what you have to deal with in Line Grapefruit
. But that's not all – you're also on a time limit. In fact, you have a very limited amount of time to make it through the "path" (for lack of a better word). You need to snake your way through the winding trail without touching anything. The good news is that a grapefruit only kills you if it touches the end
of the line – once you've made it past the grapefruit, nothing happens if it crosses the path you've made.
This is not
an easy game, but it's quite unique – I can't recall seeing another game quite like it.
I have a thing for full-screen text editing. I use WriteMonkey
for my creative writing needs, and VIM in a full-screen PuTTY session for my Web development work. That being the case, I'm all over the monospace, dark-background, focused editing scene.
attempts to take that aesthetic and make it somehow more spiritual, with three picturesque backgrounds and ambient background audio tracks (there are seven of each in the paid version).
I'm of two minds about this app. On the one hand, yes, it's beautiful. But if you want music as a background to your writing, why not pick your own soundtrack with Winamp or Foobar2000 running in the background?
OmmWriter also offers three keyboard-clicking sounds, which are kind of nice. None of these features are groundbreaking, really. OmmWriter could be seen as a way to gently ease into the world of distraction-free writing -- in case something like WriteMonkey's dark background is just too oppressive for you.
After the fold you can see a video showcasing several of OmmWriter's features and creative soundscapes.
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I'm getting fat; that's what you see on the screenshot to the right -- my gradual move from chubby to portly. But never mind the numbers, look at the pretty graph!
If you've ever read The Hacker's Diet
, this graph should be instantly recognizable. Each point shows the weight for a given day, while the trend line lets you see if you're gaining or losing weight.
When I use my "main" PC, I have a homebrew solution for creating and maintaining this graph. But I've had to find a temporary solution for Android, and Libra
It's a beautifully simple app, very true to the spirit of The Hacker's Diet. You can create a shortcut on your homescreen that brings you right into the data entry screen, so you just tap the shortcut every morning, feed in your weight for the day and hit OK, and then you get to see your progress (or lack thereof) on the graph.
The app remembers the previous day's weigh-in, which makes it easy to enter today's weight (as they're usually not too different). The graph is zoomable and scrollable, and most importantly, you can export the data to CSV so you're not locked into the app.
If you ever need to track your weight using an Android device for any period of time, Libra is one excellent solution.
It sure is nice to see some new developer action over at Flickr. The relatively slow-moving photo-sharing service has just announced a new sharing update
, which consists of several new and easy ways to embed or link to your photos:
Share from Photo page: There's a new sharing option on each and every photo page. When logged off, the button shows only Facebook and Twitter options. But once you log on, you get Tumblr and Blogger too, and can configure other sharing venues as well.
Share non-public content on Facebook: This doesn't sound like a great idea, but you now can share private photos on Facebook if you're so inclined (and if you trust your privacy settings).
That's the gist of the update; it makes it easier to show off your pretty pictures in a plethora of places.
Back when I was a kid, I used to love crafting ornate puzzle boxes out of Lego. There would be just one way to open the box, by carefully shifting and rotating a bunch of pieces. Well, either that, or breaking the box in frustration.
takes that spirit and turns it into a beautiful Flash game. It's a good thing the soundtrack is soothing, because the game itself can get pretty frustrating.
At the start of each level, you're presented with a box built out of blocks in different colors. You can click and drag the mouse to rotate the box any which way. Once you decide you want to shift a part of the box, hit SPACE
to switch into "move" mode. You can then click any part of the box and drag it. Of course, you can only move a part as long as nothing is in its way. So it becomes a matter of understanding how the box is built, and what parts you need to move around so you could eventually take the box apart.
It's a tricky, difficult game, but it's a great brain teaser -- and definitely a keeper.
A good mobile application is a fine balance between simplicity and functionality. You're using it on the go, so you don't have a lot of time to sit there and fumble with the phone to figure it all out. But you also need it to be powerful enough to let you do whatever it is you're trying to get done.
is one mobile app that gets it right. It's an expense tracker that lets you use your Android-powered phone to quickly log the money you spend and then analyze it and see where it all went.
I recently had the chance to use it in a real-life situation – a road trip that took a few days and involved quite a few expenses. Logging each expense took seconds, and at the end of each day I could get a great overview of how much money I spent on each category so far.
Categories and tags are user-configurable; the app also sports its own number pad to make number entry easy, regardless of what keyboard you're using.
While not a game per se, I found Mitoza
intriguing enough to spend quite some time with it. You start off with a seed, and are then presented with two choices: you can either click a flower pot, or click a cute little birdie.
If you click the flower pot, a flower pot appears and the seed is planted inside. You're then presented with two further choices -- a water can or a bottle of fertilizer. Each choice you make causes your creation to morph, and presents you with two other choices.
There's no winning or losing, really. Each "game" usually lasts around four or five choices, at which point the plant/animal dies in some creative (but not too gruesome) way. At this point you instantly start over with a new seed.
The graphics are captivating; the whole thing has a cinematic feel to it, with a bit of artificial camera shake added for style.
All in all, it's a fun, peaceful way to spend a few minutes, and it might even make you think a little bit while you're at it.
is a pretty simple game, but if you're into gummy bears you might find it addictive.
As you may have guessed from the name, you're a bison (not a burrito, though). In the course of your day-to-day grocery shopping, you're abducted into a bag of gummy bears, and must now fend for yourself.
At the beginning of each round you launch yourself onto the marching gummy (gummi?) bears, while you're being watched by a huge crowd of even more gummy bears. Your goal is to keep bouncing on the bears and earn more and more money while you do it. Every time you hit a gummy bear, you lose some momentum. If you hit the floor, you basically lose all of it.
But don't give up just yet! You have an emergency thrust which you can use to gain some momentum and keep bouncing on those bears. This extra thrust gets refilled as you hit more bears.
There are also special gummy bears that give you extra thrust or extra money. The money comes in handy at the end of each round, when you can shop for cool stuff to make your bison even more effective against those gummy bears.
It's a fun and colorful game that kept my interest for quite some time, and almost sent me running to the closest store to get some gummy bears!