Friday Fun: Relive the 80’s with Nintendo Game & Watch classics

DonkeykongRemember those hand held games that we used to play like Donkey Kong and Turtle Bridge. You know the ones, they were the games that you could never find batteries for.

I used to play them a lot on camping trips with the family, so they bring back lots of memories. Unfortunately, these games are hard to find these days, and if you are successful finding them, you will need to pay top dollar.

I was very excited when I came across a site where quite a few of these games had been recreated for you to play on your PC. There are around 20 of these classics for you to enjoy.

Everything that the original game gave us is included in these packages. The sounds have been recorded and the graphics have all been scanned and touched up. The only main difference is that you control your character with your keyboard.

While most programs used to play old games are emulators, the programmer of these games was not able to get his hands on the required processor information that could have been used to make an emulator. I read on his site that each game has a unique processor. Instead of making an emulator, he recreated each game by hand. Each game is a separate entity. What this means is that the game may not run exactly the same as the original. Saying that, I couldn’t tell the difference in the games I tried out.

The site also contains a lot of interesting information about converting your hand held games to the PC format, if you would like to give the programming a go yourself. I might have a go at remaking Fire!

Get your favourite games from Madrigal Design.

Friday Fun: Who are you going to trick on April Fools?

Trick1April fools day is is just around the corner. It is time to start planning what tricks you will be planting, and who you will be playing them on. 

In my last job, I knew when I walked into work on the 1st of April, I would be greeted by a computer that had been tampered with. It was always fun to figure out how the trick had been planted.

This article will cover some of the tricks that have been played on me, and tricks I have played on others. They are all taken from the Friday Fun articles already shown at Inspect My Gadget.

Tricks covers in this article are

  • Trick Wallpaper Desktop
  • The Start Virus
  • My mouse is doing crazy stuff
  • The infamous Blue Screen of Death(BSOD)

All the tricks are completely harmless and the computer can easily be restored to its original state once the joke is over.

Which one will you pull?

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Easter Fun: Easter eggs for everyone

EggI wish I could give everyone who reads this an easter egg, but it’s just not going to happen. Well not with the kind of easter egg you want anyway.

There are more types of Easter Eggs than just the chocolate variety. They come in many forms. Easter eggs are also the name of hidden features or novelty items found in movies, DVD menus, software, websites and sometimes even hardware.

I have put together a list of some of my favourite software Easter Eggs for your enjoyment. I have tried to select examples from programs that are found on the majority of computers. This way you will be able to try many of them out yourself.

We are going to look at eggs in the following programs:

  • Pinball
  • Solitaire
  • Nullsoft Winamp
  • Notepad

Read on for your eggs…

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Friday Fun: Video or Audio startup practical joke

Difficulty: 2.5

NelsonWhile most how-to articles you will find on this site will help you to be more productive, it’s sometimes fun to plant a practical joke on your work mates computer. You’ll have them pulling their hair out and screaming at their computer while you work quietly nearby. 

None of these articles will damage your computer or expose you to viruses, and they will all be easy to revert the computer back to it’s previous state, at least, after a few laughs.

I saw funny video this week on YouTube of a guy logging onto a computer in a lab situation. Someone had planted some weird sheep sex startup sound on his computer that played at startup. This caused him a whole lot of stress and embarrassment. I thought it would be worth looking at a few options of how this can be done.

The result:

  • The desktop will appear untouched.
  • A video or sound sample will play at startup without any user input. 
  • Both methods will take around 30 seconds to return their computer back to it’s fully working state.
  • Using method 2, the victim will be able to close it down quickly once they realise what is going on. 

Maybe a sex video or audio sample isn’t the way to go. It might be more suitable to play some Barbara Streisand or Michael Bolton.

Read on to find out how to make this happen, and how to restore the system quickly before you get decked.

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Friday Fun: The Infamous BSOD

BsodThe Blue Screen Of Death (BSOD) sends shivers down the neck of anyone who sees it. Even the best computer technicians know that a BSOD error will not be quick or easy to fix. That is why it makes such a great screen grab to use in a practical joke.

There are a number of things that we can do with the BSOD, including one of the few practical jokes you can play on yourself, but have the effect of it seen by others in the room.

The BSOD Screensaver:

I was surprised that the BSOD screensaver was hosted at Microsoft. It isn’t really a great thing to be promoting, but it does show they have a sense of humour. Head over to Technet to get it.

The BSOD screensaver works the same as any other screensaver. Once downloaded and installed, you can select it in your screensaver settings. It will load up after the default 10 minutes your computer is idle. This screen saver also shows the machine reboot in an endless loop. It looks very realistic.

I used this on my work computer in a previous job. It was a fairly laid back atmosphere so I could get away with it. The screensaver would show up during meetings and presentations. People were quite concerned about the stability of my computer. They would tell me that I needed to have my computer looked at. They were also amazed at how quickly I brought the machine back from this crashed state.

You may have known about this already and you may be thinking I have nothing more to offer you. I assure you, that there is some value after the link.

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