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"Goodbye, Jean-Luc, I'm gonna miss you. You had such potential. But then again, all good things must come to an end."
- Q, Star Trek: TNG

Tech Tips Return of the Commodore 64

by Ken Newquist / May 12, 2011

The Commodore 64 was the second computer I owned. The first was a Timex Sinclair (an ancient bit of technology that used a tape recorder for storing programs, and had a too-small, inflexible chicklet keyboard. Of course, it's big advantage was that it was mine -- while my mom taught me to program on an Apple II+, the Timex was the computer that I wrote my first original programs on.

The Commodore was a huge leap leap forward. For one, I got to hook it up to the spiffy new color TV I got for Confirmation. For another, it had an external floppy drive! No more having to carefully advance through the tape recorder, looking for exactly the right number to execute my program at. And the Commodore 64 had an amazing 64 kilobytes of memory, which made it ideal as a gaming platform for one of my all time favorite computer rpgs: Ultima II.

FollowFriday: Star Wars: Saga Edition

by Ken Newquist / August 21, 2009

A whole host of people involved in Star Wars: Saga Edition in one form or another have joined Twitter over the last few weeks. It's great to see -- D&D 4th Edition and Pathfinder have sizable fan bases on Twitter, but until recently Star Wars has been lagging. Hopefully with these new additions we'll see a nice uptick in Saga Edition-related tweets. If nothing else I'd love to see in-game tweets from these folks -- we've had a blast tweeting our campaign adventures, and it's be cool to read about what others are doing.

Four Essential Apps for Windows Netbooks

by Ken Newquist / August 6, 2009

My family recently got an Asus netbook, which has plunged me once again into the world of Windows XP. Fortunately I came prepared -- while I spend most of my day on a Mac, I occasionally dual boot into XP on my MacBook Pro, and I've accumulated a number of must-have utilities for thriving in Windows.

Launchy: A fast application launcher that allows you to quickly find and run applications on your computer. It's roughly equivelent of Quicksilver on the Mac, though Quicksilver offers more advanced capabilities.

Cute PDF: A free PDF creator for Windows; "print" your document to the Cute PDF printer and it spits out a finished PDF. It's something I do instinctively on the Mac; it's nice to have that functionality in Windows as well.

Bonjour for Windows: Apple's Bonjour software lets you quickly find shared printers on a network. I use this to print to my Airport Express-connected HP LaserJet printer. The alternative is trying to use the Windows network printing utility, and that way lies madness.

Twitter Follow Friday: 3/13/09

by Ken Newquist / March 13, 2009

#FollowFriday is a new meme that's popped up over the last few weeks on Twitter. The idea is that people identify folks they enjoy following and tweet about them using the #FollowFriday hashtag. It's a cool idea, though personally I wish that people would spend a few more characters explaining why they follow them.

I decided to join the meme this week, and thought I'd crosspost my #FollowFriday tweets on Nuketown.

Five Cool Apps You Didn't Know Your Mac Had

by Ken Newquist / February 17, 2009

One of the things I enjoy about my Mac is stumbling across different applications (or uses for applications) that I never knew it had. Some of these are legacies of earlier versions of the OS, introduced before being supplanted by some later software, while others are simply obscure, lurking in the corners of your Applications folder until the time you need them.

Here are five such apps that you might never have known you had, but which can be exceedingly useful in your day-to-day work.

Installing Ubuntu Linux on a G3 iMac

by Ken Newquist / May 23, 2007

I love it when a geeky plan comes together. A few weeks ago I heard a story on the Geek Acres podcast about a grade school teacher who installed Ubuntu Linux on a bunch of iMacs that had been donated to his school. I have a lime-green G3 iMac at home that's been running Mac OS X 10.3 … but is just crying out for experimentation.