Top 10 Must Have iPhone Apps April 2010

Here’s this month’s must have list of the best of iPhone and iPod Apps:
Unless otherwise noted, all apps mentioned here are FREE (requires iTunes for download).

Must Have Apps for April 2010
With over 200,000 active iPod and iPhone apps, there’s nearly an endless selection of tools and toys for every occasion. We’ve scoured the iPhone apps directories and tested many hundreds of tools. Here’s our top ten list of must-have iPhone apps for April 2010.
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Top 10 Must Have iPod iPhone Apps February 2010

New – Click here to see April 2010 Top Ten Apps

Must Have Apps 2010
With over 200,000 active iPod and iPhone apps, there’s nearly an endless selection of tools and toys for every occasion. We’ve scoured the iPhone apps directories and tested many hundreds of tools. Here’s our top ten list of must-have iPhone apps for January 2010.

iPhone and iPad Suitable
We chose apps that are suitable and work well on both Apple iPhones and iPads. These apps will add to your iPhone experience, and are in addition to the great set of apps that Apple includes with your purchased device.

The apps listed here require you to have an iTunes account and you must download them from the Apps tool on your Apple device or from your PC or Mac’s iTunes.  Most of these apps are free.  The paid apps will include their cost in the description.

On Sale Now: Apple iPod touch 3rd Generation Portable Media Player (32GB) with FREE Shipping!
All iPod sizes on sale now.

Top Ten Must Have iPhone iPod Apps

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Google Chrome Beta for Linux Released

Good news for those of us who have been using Firefox as a last resort in our Linux machines. Google has announced the beta release of the mouch-touted browser for the Linux platform. Chrome is said to be faster and lighter than Firefox.

I’ve been using Chrome in pre-beta for quite some time without incident. It is a great step forward for Linux!

For more details and how to get your copy, check out:
http://www.google.com/chrome/intl/en/w00t.html

I’m Back with Kubuntu Linux (and Happy as Ever)

It was an uneasy breakup.  Kubuntu and I had parted about two months ago rather abruptly after I had installed 9.02.   After a nearly four year love affair between us, I felt that I had been jaded.  The new KDE 4.1 Plasma desktop was awkward and things just didn’t seem right.

Numerous crashes.  Not knowing where things went.  Applications acting strange.  It was as though I had returned from a vacation to my home and all the rooms had been redecorated.  After much soul-searching and investigation, I decided not to leave the Ubuntu “family” just yet, but to forsake KDE (as I felt they had forsaken me with Plasma) and to move to Gnome with Ubuntu.

From the get-go, Ubuntu seemed familiar and easy to use.  All the elements were in the right place.   It was as though the stars had aligned.  I was happy again as a Linux user.  I was sold on Ubuntu.  I wrote off KDE and Kubuntu.  Sure, there were plenty of pleasant KDE implementations, many better than Kubuntu, like Mandriva and SUSE.  Even Mepis 8.0, with it’s KDE 3.5 was appealing.  But, I had decided to stay with Ubuntu.  It was inertia, and it felt fine.

After about a month of using Ubuntu on Gnome, the cracks in the foundation started appearing.  Where was Klipper!  Amarok didn’t work well.  The Gnome tools felt different than KDE.  The Alsa sound drivers were having problems all the time.  Come to think of it, I missed KDE…

So, after two months, I’m back with Kubuntu.  This time, I’ve installed KDE 4.2.  Many of the kinks of the original Plasma version have been worked out.  I’ve been reunited with all my favorite KDE apps in their native desktop environment.  Even the sound card is working again.  I’m happy to be back.  The only real holdover from my Gnome days is Evolution.  I’ve left Kmail, and for now have taken a real liking to Evolution as the best email app for my needs.

KDE is working on releasing v.4.3.  They are up to RC2, and there are details on the Kubuntu website on how to upgrade your existing KDE desktop within Kubuntu.   If you are still struggling with KDE 4.1, I strongly encourage you to check out at least v.4.2, and/or leapfrog to 4.3.

My next hill to conquer is whether to leap with KDE to another distro such as Mandriva or Open Suse.  There are so many choices out there for Linux users.  But the old adage still rings true – “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it”.

Let us know about your KDE vs. Gnome vs. Xfce experiences.

Xubuntu 9.04 Linux – Official Ubuntu Lite Review, Screenshots & Comparisons

Xubuntu is Ubuntu’s official “Lite” version.  Their tagline “Linux for human beings” sort of makes me chuckle – as if the other flavors of unix are for monkees and aliens?  Xubuntu has set out to do what a number of comparable distros are also vying for, ‘the minimalist’ side of Linux.  They claim that Xubuntu is  “that is perfect for laptops, desktops and servers. It contains all the applications you need – a web browser, document and spreadsheet editing software, instant messaging and much more.”  We set out to see for ourselves.

Being that Ubuntu is a big organization, the download mirrors for Xubuntu are quite vast. Xubuntu 9.04 is a ~600 MB file and downloads rather quickly assuming you choose a nearby mirror.

Installation

For a lite distro, I was hoping for a much faster installation.  From start to finish, the install took nearly 45 minutes.  There may have been specific hardware factors that slowed it down, but the installer never complained, it just took a lot of time.

Our reviews of other “lite” distros have proven to be much quicker to install.  The amount of install screens and questions to be answered is the same for Xubuntu than for example, Mepis, and Vector, yet both of those distros installed in a fraction of the time that Xubuntu required.

First Impressions

The Xfce desktop is neat and clean.  There aren’t a lot of bells and whistles, but the things you need are readily available.  Xubuntu is meant to be a “lite” version of Linux, and on that promise they deliver.

desktop
Desktop

Installed Packages

You’re a click away from the Firefox browser and your file manager.  The folks at Xubuntu settled on Mozilla’s Thunderbird for your email client.  This is an interesting selection since although Thunderbird is quick and competent, and there are plenty of plug-ins to choose from, it is lacking the off-the-shelf integration with calendar and other desktop tools.

Xubuntu has a sparce smattering of installed apps.  The heavy tools like Open Office and Gimp are missing, but what you are left with is just enough to get your work (and some play) done.  By comparison, other lite-linux versions, like Puppy Linux, have foregone Firefox prefering the less-memory hogging Sea.  Xubuntu lacks a comprehensive multi-media app, such as VLC Player, which is included with Vector Linux.

Competition

Vector Linux is a fair comparison to Xubuntu since it is targeting a similar user audience, and both distros have chosen the Xfce desktop.  We liked the speed and power of Vector very much.  Vector is built on the Slackware frame, whereas Xubuntu takes its roots from Debian.  Vector’s installation went quicker, but it was bit less fool-proof than Xubuntu.  Vector includes the useful VASM, for powerful configuration options in an easy format.  The Vector landscape is filled with useful tools, while Xubuntu has only a few.

Puppy Linux is also a good distro to compare with Xubuntu.  The Puppy runs exceptionally fast as the entire OS is loaded into the computer’s RAM at bootup.  Puppy Linux manages to get everything done in only a 100MB download.  The installation from a live CD is a cynch that any non-techie could easily accomplish.  First-time Puppy users may get spoiled with the speed of their OS and never want to try another lite distro.

It boils down to user preference.  There are many flavors of ice cream at the shop too, and they all seem to get eaten.  There is a whole sub-category now of Linux distros for older machines and lite installations.  Xubuntu is less of an invention in its own right, and more of an adaptation of Ubuntu.

Xubuntu Screenshots Gallery

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Google Chrome OS – Boon or Bust?

chrome
Google Chrome

Google recently announced their intentions for launching Google Chrome OS (Operating System).  According to their blog release, the Google Chrome Operating System will first be targetted at Netbook users. Google plans to release their code to Open Source later this year, and make it available commericially in 2010.

On their official blog, Google asks for help from the open source community to accomplish their vision for a lightweight and easy to use Operating System that does not ‘get in the way’ of users.

Pundits will debate the significance of this ambitious release and its timing to coincide with Microsoft’s new Windows 7 OS.  As the established Search Engine leader, Google in recent years has competed for the desktop user on many other fronts.

Google Talk was released in 2005 as an instant messenger client and was tightly integrated with their email service GMail.  According to Comscore reports, Google Talk is still in distant 4th place behind MSN Messenger, Yahoo, and AOL-AIM.

Their Gmail service, although widely regarded as a superior online email tool, is in 3rd place in usage behind Microsoft’s Hotmail, and Yahoo Mail.

Google’s internet browser, Google Chrome, sits in 4th place with a meager 1.8% market share behind the venerable Microsoft Internet Explorer (65%), Firefox (22%), and Apple’s Safari (8%).  Browser Statistics Source

Google Chrome OS – Starting on the right foot?

What we do know about the Chrome OS is that it will be based on the Linux Kernel, and that the user interface will be minimal, coinciding with the Google Chrome Browser. Google will be working with many OEM’s to integrate their netbooks with the new OS.

Google vs. Microsoft or vs. the Linux Community?

Most of the media have concentrated on the impact Google Chrome OS may have on the ever-present Microsoft Windows.  Depending on deals made between Google and major PC manufacturers, we may see new laptops in 2010 being offered with Chrome OS pre-installed instead of Windows.

In a down economy, users may be looking for ways to save money and the Google OS, to be offered free, will ostensibly save on the licensing costs for Windows.  However, as the numbers above indicate, Google does not have a great track record in wooing mass-market PC users to their non-search engine products.

I think that in the months after the first release of Chrome OS, the first users most likely to give it a try will come from the Linux community.  Microsoft is still very entrenched as the default OS.  As far as the Linux community is concerned, even with the plethora of new versions and flavors of Linux being released on a monthly-basis, the competition has served to fortify the community as a whole.

Google’s Chrome OS may finally bring Linux to the forefront as a mainstream viable alternative to Microsoft.  It may not cut away at Microsoft’s stranglehold, but the Linux community will thrive.  If that happens, the biggest winners in this effort will be Linux users.

http://googleblog.blogspot.com/2009/07/introducing-google-chrome-os.html

Puppy Linux 4.2 – Super Fast Linux – Quick Review and Screenshots

The Fastest Linux Ever?

Puppy Linux is a popular Linux distribution that runs on less than 128MB of Ram.

We reviewed the June 2009 release v.4.2 of Puppy Linux, which comes in a 110 MB file download from their website, or from accepted mirrors.   The iso file is then burnt to CD and runs as a Live CD.  After installing the Live CD into RAM, I experienced my HP Laptop (2GB RAM) run faster than I’ve ever seen with any other OS or Linux Distro.

Bootup is fast and intelligent

The bootup sequence asks a few questions, such as if it has detected your mouse and keyboard correctly. It also gives you a chance to select, and preview, a suitable display for your monitor.  Lastly, you are given the choice of which X Server to load – bare-bones,Xvesa (Standard Graphics), or the recommended default Xorg (Advanced Graphics). The desktop environment is JWM, which is intuitive and well-organized.

Feel the Speed of RAM

Once you have reached the desktop screen, your entire session has been loaded into less than 128MB of RAM on your computer.  Your hard drive and CD ROM drives are not touched (unless you save files to them).  If you haven’t experienced it yet, you must feel the power of a computer running on RAM.  There’s no delays.  No skipped beats.  The nerve center of your computer asks almost human-like, action – response –  Scary!

Desktop Layout

Everything is very nicely placed on your desktop.  A lot of thought must have gone into where to put what elements.  The left top side of the screen has quick link icons, with a gadget that makes it easy to drag additional icons to the desktop.  The right side of the screen is for widgets, and has a gadget to choose and add from dozens of available widgets.

Puppy Linux Initial Desktop
Puppy Linux Initial Desktop

Wireless Network Support

I ran Puppy Linux on my HP Laptop and was able to connect, after several minutes of tinkering, to a secure wireless network.  This was one of the few kinks in the Puppy Distro.  I clicked on the Connect icon on the desktop and had to repeat the steps of scanning for and connecting to a wireless network several times until I got it to work.  The average user may have given up after a couple tries.

Repository

Like every great Linux Distro, Puppy Linux has its own repository PET. When you want to add new packages, you can do so through the package manager, or just GET PET  – what an infectious phrase.  The thin-client targeted default installation comes with hundreds of very useful apps.  The repository gives you access to much of everything else.  Tough decisions on which packages to include (or exclude) in order to keep away from product bloat are discussed on the Puppy Linux website.  For example, Sea Monkey is the default browser, and the Sea Monkey email package comes installed.   The website FAQ explains the difference between Sea Monkey (by Mozilla) and Firefox means a savings of over 40 MB, which is required to get everything in to the target RAM budget.

Great for Network Clients

Puppy Linux is suitable for thin-clients, and can be booted from a network, USB Flash key or hard drive (buy why?).  There’s a nifty setup menu that gives you step by step instructions on how to install Puppy Linux on to your USB Flash drive.

Save configuration to your CD

One of the nice features of Puppy Linux is that you never have to touch a hard drive, and can even keep all your settings and added files to the original live CD.  The program writes the changes since your last session to a file that contains an EXT2 file format onto another session of your Multi-Session CD.

Or you can simply write your files to a USB or Hard Drive, and keep files the “old-fashioned” way.  As strange as it sounds, your Multi-Session CD is still probably the best archival system out of the three choices.

Look and Feel

Continue reading “Puppy Linux 4.2 – Super Fast Linux – Quick Review and Screenshots”

Ultimate Edition Linux 2.2 vs. Ubuntu – Quick Review and Screenshots

Ultimate Edition 2.2 was released on June 17. It’s the latest salvo from TheeMahn, creator of this popular distro of Linux. Ultimate Edition was originally released in late 2007 to be Ubuntu with a “better user experience and with improved usability.” In the releases since, they have broken from Ubuntu and actually have created their own repository .

Like Ubuntu, Ultimate Edition is Gnome based. TheeMahn also built Ubuntu Gamers Edition, and it shows in Ultimate Edition (UE). Ultimate Edition has software pre-installed and ready for use on a live DVD environment.

Slow to load, Gamer appearance
We reviewed the live DVD x64 version. The file was 1.1 GB and downloaded  quickly from one of their mirror sites.  They do recommend you seed this file as a torrent afterwards to help distribution and to enable UE to continue to be offered  for free.

The DVD loaded to the desltop environment after a couple minutes of considerable churning.
Here’s the default desktop

Ultimate Edition 2.2 Desktop
Ultimate Edition 2.2 Desktop

First impressions are that it’s a gamers distro.  I can’t imagine business users embracing a mouse cursor of a rotating fighter jet (at least that’s what I think it was).

Here’s a gallery of screenshots for all the menus and installed software

There is a healthy helping of installed programs.  There aren’t 2,500 programs as we saw in the “uber” linux version of ArtistX, but there is definitely a good mix, with emphasis on sound and video, and graphics.  UE also comes packaged with some non-licensed video tools,  such as Handbrake.  Although Ubuntu doesn’t offer some of these tools out of the box, and sometimes not in their official repositories, there is such a large Ubuntu user-community, that often you’re only a few clicks away from adding anything that you can’t find at first try.

UE comes with a large assortment of backgrounds and Gnome themes.  That may account for the bloat in the size of the file download, as the installed base of programs is not too different that what is available out of the box for Ubuntu.

UE backgrounds ultimate edition linux

Conclusion

Ultimate Edition has done a good job with deskop design, and offers a great number of themes and background to further tailor to your individual needs.  The initial default setup looks childish and is geared more towards a young adult gamer group.  The product set of installed programs was very good, but we didn’t see an amazing jump over what’s available out of the box from its mentor, Ubuntu.   The usability was good, but not a great diffrentiator to give up the comfort of the solid Ubuntu distro with the large installed user base.

For users looking for a “different distro”  than Ubuntu/Kubuntu, we recommend trying out Mandriva Dream Linux, ArtistX, and MintLinux (click for reviews).

24 Linux Graphics Tools – Review & Screenshots

Linux Graphics Tools

One of the great features of Linux, (truth be told there are too many to mention),  is the vast wealth of graphics programs available, all of course free and open source.  It’s nearly impossible to say that something can’t be done in Linux.   Here, we present some of the more popular graphics programs that are included with many distros.  Any app that you see here and wish to add, simply go to your package manager and search for the name of the program and request for it to be installed.

If you are a graphics professional, or looking to create a media work environment, then you may wish to have a look at the ArtistX Distro (see our review), which includes over 2,500 media applications (that’s two thousand five hundred!).

Review & Screenshots of popular graphics tools

Most of the apps here are managed in the KDE repository, however many of them work in Gnome and other desktop environments, or there is a Gnome equivalent.

Xsane – Scanning  http://www.sane-project.org/

xsane

xsane (Scanner Access Now Easy) is a flatbed scanner application.  You can preview and save individual scans as images as a standalone command line program, or combined with GIMP, the popular image program (reviewed below).   We recommend using Xsane with Gimp.  You invoke the scanner from Gimp and manage the entire scanning process and export through Gimp.   There’s a list of scanners supported on the Sane website.  Many (most) of the big names are there.    Here’s one more reason to toss Windows and the clunky proprietary software that came with your scanner.

XDVI – KDVI – GDVI   DVI Viewers

kdvi

KDVI is the KDE version of  a DVI preview tool. This program displays DVI files which are produced by the TeX typesetting system.   If you have no idea what the TeX typesetting system is (this author didn’t…), then go to the homepage of the TeX users group for a nice introduction.

KFaxView  (using kviewshell)

kfaxview

View your saved faxes here.

kfax

kfax

or here…

GIMP (GNU Image Manipulation Program)  http://www.gimp.org

gimp1

Not enough can be written on the greatness of GIMP.   Here’s one of the great Open Source programs of all time.  Gimp is everything a graphics editing tool should be.  It rivals Adobe’s Photoshop in many regards, and surpasses it in speed and ease of use in others.  (By the way, there is a Windows version of Gimp as well – if you are still on Windows, give it a try).

There is a large number of plugins and tools that work well with Gimp and add to its feature set.  There is also a seemlingly unending number of effects that can be applied to your image.   One element that may take time for you to get used to is the way the program opens and how it is managed on your desktop.  The side panels, toolbars, and the image(s) itself each open in independent windows that float on your desktop.  That is a departure from what you’re probably used to from Photoshop and other Windows stanards.   Once you’ve gotten used to this interface, you may find it even better!  (Quick tip – With the image displaying on your desktop, hit the tab bar to make the other floating elements visible).

Kuickshow

kquickshow

Quick access to your images.  Nothing fancy here.

Kpdf

kpdf

View your PDF files here.

xpdf

xpdf

or here…

Kghostview

kghostview

This tool lets you view PDF and  Postscript files

Kolourpaint – Paint Program

kolourpaint

A Nice KDE paint program.  The screenshot shows that it’s simple by useful for those quick paint jobs.

Krita – paint and image editing

krita

Krita is similar to GIMP, but not as popular.  I enjoyed using this tool as well, and the interface is quite simple and intuitive.  I like that the panels and image are bound together, like in Photoshop, and unlike GIMP where each element is floating freely on the desktop.  If you are looking for a simple and powerful graphics and image editing tool, Krita is a great choice.

KPovmodeler – Povray modeler
kpovemodeler

Don’t ask me what this does, I have no idea!

Kooka – scan and OCR http://kooka.kde.org/

kooka

Kooka is the nickname for our daughter, and it’s also an easy to use  and very powerful OCR (Optical Character Recognition) and Scanning program.  This standalone tool will enable you to scan an image and convert it to a text file.  I like the interface to this app.

Knapshot

ksnapshot

The venerable KDE version of snapshot.  This is a very useful tool, especially to blog writers (hey, that’s me) who like to take snapshots of their desktop all day.   The KDE version is great.  It also remains active even after the snapshot has been saved – the Gnome version annoyingly closes after each use.

KColorchooser

kcolorchooser

Sure, you can choose colors in Gimp, but why have a big bulky program open if you all you need to find a color?  This tool is a great go-tool utility to have available in your arsenal of desktop goodies.

Kcoloredit

kcoloredit

Kcoloredit is a KDE Color Palette Editor. It can be used for editing color palettes (which can also be used in GIMP) and for color choosing – similar to KColorChooser above.

kiconedit

kiconedit

Here’s a nice icon editing tool.  As seen in the screenshot, you can work pixel by pixel on creating and editing program icons.

kruler – screen ruler

kruler

Simple and handy ruler tool for measuring pixels on your screen.  This is a nice “pocket app” to have at your disposal.

Ksvg

KSVG screenshot

Ksvg is a KDE plugin to enable viewing SVG (Scalable vector graphics) files on your computer.  In the example above, you can see an SVG file opened in Konquerer.

Kview

kview

Here’s KDE’s simple file viewer.  It should be preinstalled on your Linux distro.

Cheese (as in “smile”, not the curding of milk)

cheese screenshot

Take photos using your webcam.  I had this guy snapping dozens of photos of the kids with my HP Laptop.  It’s a lot of fun.  You get to see yourself in the preview window before hitting the – Take a photo – button.

Gwenview http://gwenview.sourceforge.net/

gwenview1

Gwenview is a sleeper. This is a great KDE image viewing tool that everyone loves, but noone talks about.  The preview screen is great.

Inkscape http://www.inkscape.org/

Inkscape

Inkscape is a great SVG compliant vector graphics drawing tool.   It’s light and works well.  It seems to have just the right amount of tools to allow you to do your work freely.  Yet, it’s not weighted down with add-ons and bulky plugins.  Who needs Adobe Illustrator?  Here’s another amazing open source tool.  Viva la difference!


20 Linux Games Cards, Strategy & Toys – Review Screenshots

Linux Free Games Quick Review – Card Games, Strategy & Tactics, and Toys
Here’s another instalment in our  huge list of great free games broken out by category that you can install and enjoy on your Linux desktop.  We tested these on Slackware on a KDE desktop, but they should work on Gnome and other distros as well.  To install them, simply go to your package manager and add any or all of them to your desktop.

Card Games

Lskat – Lieutenant Skat

lskat screenshot

Lieutenant Skat is a two player card game (real opponent or vs. computer) which follows the rules for the German game Offiziers Skat.  I have no idea how to play it, but if you like card games and have the time, it has many options, and card decks to choose from.  You can practice on this live demo.

Kpat (Kpatience)

linux-game-patience screenshot

KPatience is a collection of many popular card games. Klondike, Freecell, Yukon,  Canfield, and many others.  There are language packs, and card options to keep you busy for a while.  This is perfect play-on-your-laptop-game while waiting for a flight.

Kpoker

kpoker screenshot

Here’s KDE’s version of Poker.  There’s many game variations, such as 5 card draw, 7 card stud, etc… You can bet on your hand, and watch your earnings grow – go bankrupt.  The game has many other features.  How about getting yourself ready for Vegas?  Here’s your free tool to help you prepare…

Kiriki
kiriki screenshot
This game is not about cards, it’s about dice.  From one to six players collect points by rolling five dice for up to three times per single turn.  Kiriki reminds me of something I’ve played before, but I can’t put my finger on it…

Tactics & Strategy

knetwalk

knetwalk

This is where things start to get tough!   Knetwalk is a single player strategy game where you get to construct the network, and try to connect all the terminals to the server in the fewest turns possible.For those of us who do this for a living, this is plain cruelty to make a game out of it :).  Seriously though, this a good game to give to your high-school aged children who are considering a career in systems.

kbattleship

kde4 kbattleship screenshot

You sunk my battleship!  Certainly one of the more memorable commercials of the 80s.  If you missed it then, you can play it now, for free on Linux.  This Battleship, like the original, lets two players try to locate and sink their opponent’s ships.  You can play against the computer as well – but how do you know he isn’t peeking?

klickety
linux-game-klickety

Klickety is like Tetris, but you also have to match colors and click on them.

Konquest

konquest screenshot

This KDE version is based on the original Gnome version by the same name.  The object of the game is to  conquer other planets by sending ships to them. As you progress, you try to build an interstellar empire and ultimately conquer all other player’s planets.  Sounds a bit like life…

Ksquares

ksquares screenshot

Who needs a piece of paper and a pen?  When I was a kid and was bored, all I needed was to jot down some dots and start connecting.  KSquares is the KDE version of that great kids game.

Kmines

KMines_2.1.10

Unless you have been on Mars for the past twenty years, you should be familiar with Mine Sweeper. Here’s the KDE Linux version.

KSudoku

ksudoku screenshot

KDE version of the the classic and popular puzzle / number game sudoku.

Ksokoban

ksokoban

In this KDE version of the Japanese classic game Sokoban, you are a warehouse keeper trying to push crates to their proper locations in a warehouse while being stopped by obstacles and met with prizes.

Katomic

KAtomicScreenShot

Katomic is both fun and educational. If I told you that the topic of the game is molecular geometry, would you keep reading? You get to look at 2D chemical elements and mix them up, or something like that. I was having fun just looking at all the graphics. Try out the online demo version of this game.

kjumpingcube
kjumpingcube

This game is sure to keep you busy for hours. The squares on the board contain points. Players move by clicking on either a vacant square, or on their own square. Try to conquer all the squares on the board.  Simple to play, but deep in tactics and strategy.

klines (kolor lines)

klines screenshot
KLines is one of those games that you can’t put down.  It’s a one player game where you move the colored balls around the game board, gathering them into the lines of the same color by five.  Sounds easy enough?  Give it a try, you’ll be addicted!

Toys

kodo

kodo

Ever wonder how far your mouse travels each day?  Are you paying your mouse (or hand) per meter travelled?  This nifty mouse odometer may just be what you are looking for.  (Kodo means drum in Japanese.  What that has to do with kodo, I’m not sure? )  I had to download this from the Debian packages  http://packages.ubuntu.com/dapper/kodo

Amor  (Amusing Misuse of Resources)

amor screenshot

Amor is not so much a game, but a cultural phenomenon.  Enjoy…

kteatime

kteatime-events

This isn’t really a game, but it’s a novelty and a heck of a lot fun.  Ever wished you could be prompted when your tea was fully steeped?  Did you know how long Earl Gray should steep vs. English Breakfast?  Well finally the KDE world has come up with the answer in KteaTime.  I’m sure this will be a big hit in the United Kingdom.  Don’t forget the milk!

kworldclock

kworldclock

This very pleasing graphical app is KDE’s world clock.  You can see what parts of the world are currently in daylight, and have all kinds of fun with setting up your favorite timezones to track.

Potato Guy  (Politically correct version – we used to call him Mr. Potato Head)

kpotato screenshot

Not so much a toy as a kids game, but I still have fun with this guy, and I have fun watching my kids play with it too.  Potato Guy is loads of fun for the younger ones.  The screenshot says it all.