Inspired by Terry Cavanaugh's Hexagon franchise, the ending of Fez, and his own apartment ceiling, Markus Persson, aka Notch, released a new Web game yesterday, in lieu of a contribution to this year's Ludum Dare competition. The game, titled Drop, puts you in a whirling representation of Notch's ceiling, where you must type the spinning letters in order, before the ceiling rushes up to crush you. Instead of frantically moving the arrow to find the path in Hexagon, you'll be typing words like "gnostic" and "journey" as fast as you can to … Read more
Learning to type is one thing, but typing well is another. Typing Trainer by TypingMaster helps you brush up on your typing skills with quick exercises and games, but it also studies your typing techniques to make specific recommendations to help you improve them. With games, tests, and reviews, Typing Trainer has plenty of features to offer even as your speed and skills improve. You can configure Typing Trainer for a huge range of languages and different keyboard styles, too. Typing Trainer 8.0 is freeware that is ready for Windows 8.
Typing Trainer opens with a full-screen user interface. … Read more
I love using the iPad. I also love some of its keyboard accessories. As a product, it's superior to a Surface Pro. But that doesn't mean it's the perfect laptop replacement. And that's still, in my opinion, largely because of one little touch pad. Or, a lack of it.
The iPad never claimed it was a laptop replacement. It stands in its own, hard-to-define "post-PC" territory. Yet, accessories have sprung up … Read more
Microsoft has finally put a launch date on the Surface Pro.
The full Windows 8 tablet, which made its behind-the-scenes debut in Las Vegas during CES, has been awaited since last year's Los Angeles Surface event. Originally expected in late January and 90 days after the launch of the Surface RT on October 26, the launch window has shifted a little. Still, it's on its way in two weeks. Panos Panay, Microsoft Surface general manager, made the announcement this morning.
The Surface Pro has a Core i5 or Core i7 Intel processor and either 64GB or 128GB of … Read more
Smartphones and tablets are often used for quick access to address book content and calculators, but there are times when you might find yourself looking up a phone number or running a quick calculation on your Mac and need to take the results with you to another location in the room. Instead of writing it down on a notepad, if you will be in view of your Mac from a different location then you can use some quick features in the Contacts and Calculator applications to be able to see the results from a distance.
Both the Calculator and Contacts … Read more
LAS VEGAS--Touch-screen typing solutions have primarily focused on either on-screen keyboards or external keyboards. The former is notoriously inaccurate thanks to fumbling fingers, and the latter defeats the purpose of having such a sleek, portable device in the first place. Startup Syntellia is working on Fleksy, software that will recognize your screen typing, no matter how sloppy you are.
Fleksy was originally tested with blind users, but the creators knew it could also be helpful for people like me who flail about at their touch-screen keyboards. Whether I'm typing on my iPad or my Android phone, I always find a way to hit the wrong key. I like the idea of an app that can save me from myself.… Read more
Despite the name, Google Type isn't a real Google product. The site generates fonts based on Google image search, hence the name. You type in words, the site digs through image search and regenerates your text using image versions of each letter.
This is all based on an interesting quirk of Google's image search. If you type in a single letter and search images, Google gives you a lovely collection of image representations for that letter. For example, plug in "Y," and you may see the "Y" from "Yahoo," an illustration of a guy with his arms up in a "Y" shape, and a hand making the hang-loose sign. Any of these could pop up in Google Type.… Read more
2011 Mavis Beacon Teaches Typing is a new release of the popular typing-tutor app for iOS. The goal of the app is to teach you touch typing, and it does so using a combination of traditional typing exercises and some new multimedia twists. Mavis Beacon Teaches Typing is available from the App Store and is easy to install.
The Mavis Beacon Teaches Typing interface starts with a classroom image, and you can click on hot spots for the different tasks you can try. Later editions of the app have added all kinds of new exercises, such as typing the lyrics … Read more
The slow demise of cursive handwriting is not a new story, but lately the death knell has been tolling a little louder. In a recent example, the State Board of Education of Kansas is about to debate the role of cursive lessons in the schools amid a nationwide decline in those lessons.
School districts large and small have been phasing out cursive. Verona, Wis., will phase out most third-grade cursive instruction by 2014. Indiana formally de-emphasized cursive last year in favor of pushing proficiency in keyboard use.
Common Core State Standards for what students are expected to learn have been picked up by most of the states in the union. Those standards don't require cursive. Keyboarding skills, however, are featured in the writing standards. That means most states no longer have a mandate for teaching cursive.… Read more
Types is a small configuration application that lets you manage filenames, icons, and other file and folder properties. It also allows you to modify context menus. There are several user-supported language ports of Types, a nice feature.
Types installs quickly and has a very simple interface that lets you navigate to different folders and click on files or folders to examine their basic properties and modify them, or delete the files. The problem with Types is that it is very basic and offers limited functionality. There are other applications that give you more control and more options, but Types does … Read more