Here we go again! In honor of devnull's yearly tournament for the still-popular ASCII dungeon romp NetHack, we're taking a look at the five greatest modifications to this ancient classic. But in case you've never even heard of NetHack before, here's the deal: it started out as an ASCII-based dungeon exploration game that, in many ways, has become a precursor to all sorts of genre-busters. Even to this day, games like Fable II have borrowed from some of NetHack's better features (a travelling animal companion, in this case).
The game's dungeons are randomly generated each time you play. You can master the nuances and inventory management skills of NetHack, but there's always that little chance that the next step you take could spell you death in any number of creative ways--in fact, finding all the possible ways to die is a near-impossible task in itself, a fun little challenge for yourself in case you get tired of trying to "ascend," the term used for beating the game.
Strap on your adventuring sword and join us after the jump for the top 5 NetHack... hacks!
The best kinds of system applications are the ones that make your life easier without you having to lift a finger. While the freeware applications we're profiling in this weekly roundup still require you to input a few settings, they're great tools to help automate some of the critical parts of your daily computer life. From hotkey creation utilities to applications that help you conserve power by turning off your PC at specified intervals, these freeware tools are must-have additions to your computing repertoire!
Click the jump to check out this week's batch of free, awesome apps!
Are you sick of using iTunes? We don't blame you. The program eats up resources and makes us scratch our heads with its "Genius" recommendations, and we're ready to throw out display through the wall every time the Apple Software Updater tells us that there's a new version of Safari out. Arrgh!
Before our inner Hulk gets both mad and strong, we've taken a look at alternatives to the popular music library software. As luck would have it, we stumbled across an open-source solution that's every bit as good (and functional!) as iTunes. Better still, it comes without all of the clutter! You might have heard of the application before--it's called Songbird, an open-source music library application straight from Mozilla itself. But what you might not be aware of is the sheer depth of functionality (and dare we say it, iTunes replication) inherent in the program itself. And we're going to show you the top nine ways to tweak this application to bits and make it do exactly what you want, including features you'll never find in iTunes!
Throw on your headphones and check our out big list behind the jump!
There's a lot of stuff that goes on underneath the hood of your operating system. For the majority of you that are running a Windows OS, trying to figure out how all the bits and pieces work together is like popping the hood and wondering how you can make your car run faster. But you don't have to be a guru just to make the most out of your everyday computing experience. A number of developers have created programs to ease, and even automate, the innermost workings of Windows.
Click the jump to check out the four (free) programs we've found that will let you take ultimate control over your operating system!
Everyone's heard of Linux, right? We wouldn't be wrong in suggesting that Linux is the most well-known representation of the open-source platform. Or, at least, we're willing to bet that it's going to be on the tip of your friend's tongue the next time you sit down at bar, order up a drink, and ask, "What's an example of Open Source?"
But we think you'd spit out your drink if your friend answered "Chumby," or "RepRap." You might even try calling out your buddy because you think he's just feeding you jibber-jabber to sound smart. Well, you'd be wrong to do so. These are indeed open-source creations, but you aren't going to find these projects no matter how much you scour SourceForge. That's because they're examples of open-source hardware, not software. That's right. The concept of throwing back the curtain and revealing all the working pieces of a particular item for you to modify at your leisure isn't an act that's constrained to bits and bytes.
Click the jump, and we'll show you the Open Source hardware projects you can make right now!
Get your fedora hat, gas up your Weird Edsel, and practice avoiding all sorts of untimely deaths, because we're about to take you on a whirlwind tour of some of the most fun freeware adventure games you can find. It feels like there's never a shortage of freeware adventure titles on the ol' Internet. But it's definitely a little tricker to dial down and find the games that are worth playing--especially in the adventure genre, where the first three to five minutes of gameplay can greatly affect your interest in going through the rest of a game's storyline.
We've hand-picked five adventure games that you need to slap on to your hard drive this instant. Check out our comprehensive list, including details and screenshots, after the jump!
A new version of OpenOffice is upon us and it’s worth your while to check it out. We’ve long recommended this suite of programs as one of the must-have open-source applications on your PC. Simply put, it’s as close to Microsoft’s Office suite as you’re going to get without plunking down a small fortune. It doesn’t contain any unpleasantries in design and functionality that the idea of a “free office suite” might conjure up. And its newest 3.0 incarnation—all of .6 somethings greater than the last full OpenOffice release—adds even more versatility to the suite.
Hit the jump for an in-depth look at some of OpenOffice 3.0's top new features!
Today's batch of awesome open-source (or freeware) applications centers on a single word: wow. No, they don't help you level up in that MMO. We're going to show you a batch of free programs whose features are cool enough to make your jaw hit the floor, a small puddle of drool to escape from your lips and into your keyboard, and your twitter to light up with all messages you'll be sending your friends about these must-have applications.
We're serious. Prepare to be amazed. But if you haven't checked out the twentyotherthemedapplications we've hit up in our last four open-source updates, now's the time to fill in the backstory! Once you're ready for greatness, hit the link below. And get your bib on standby.
Welcome to Monday! In honor of the start of the work week, we're going to take a look at some of the top open-source and freeware office applications. We're not just talking about suites, though. Like our previous three features, we're going to run through programs that cover a wide range of activities you might encounter during a typical, nine-to-five day. Hey, maybe you'll even be able to convince your friendly IT person of choice to install these finds across a batch of computers! You'll be a hero! You'll save your company millions in licensing fees! Promotions will be thrown at your cubicle like butter on bread!
Open-source and freeware applications are just that exciting. But don't take our word for it. Check out the full list of applications after the jump!
We've already shown you our picks for top-notch open-source (or freeware) graphics applications and system optimizers. To celebrate the start of the weekend, we're going for the gusto this time around: games. But the difficulty in this list stems from the fact that there are a ton of excellent games in the independent scene right now. We frequently profile these as much as possible on the Maximum PC monthly CD, but even then, it's tough to pick five examples of top-quality games--we could fill an article with five hundred. Your favorite open-source game might not have made our list this time around, but feel free to leave comments about other awesome alternatives you've sampled!
Now that the disclaimer's out of the way, cancel your appointments and throw up your away message. It's time to game, and it's time to game for free. Check out our list of awesome free games after the jump!