A Few of My Favorite Things

A long time ago on a blog far, far away I had an idea to do a weekly post about free stuff that can be found online. Well, I couldn't sustain the idea for longer than three weeks since I wasn't always looking for free stuff. So I quit that idea and moved on to other things. I am back now with what I will call a periodic feature where I discuss free stuff. Also, since I didn't get you anything for Christmas, here you go.

I've had a long time to look around and I have found useful tools, entertainment and fun stuff that costs nothing to own. Let's get started with a necessary piece of software that is required to get other stuff.

1. Google Chrome Browser
In case you’ve been in a coma or have no knowledge off this little, mom-and-pop run company known as Google, they have a web browser. It’s a pretty lightweight, fast browser that has its own web store which is why I had to bring up the browser first.

2. Angry Birds
The Chrome Web Store has, free-of-charge, this highly addictive game about birds who are angry at pigs and slingshot themselves at their hideouts (or something to that effect). I kept hearing about it for so long and finally, when I saw it free through the Chrome store, I had to download it. It can be played offline.

3. Word^2 (Word Squared)
Word^2 is a massively multiplayer online Scrabble-style game. Players level-up, get bonuses and can use these bonuses to buy blank tiles. There are achievements for various things throughout the game, like having no vowels or having no consonants. It’s an excellent way to waste time, but it does require an Internet connection.

4. If This, Then That (ifttt.com)
If This, then That is a service to set up triggers for many, many tasks, such as posting to Facebook when something is posted to Twitter, or posting an RSS feed to a site or e-mail or text message. I have a task set up to remind me that it is time to pay the bills (a monthly trigger) which is simply a Date/Time trigger that sends a text message to my phone on a particular day of the month. Check it out, I’m sure you will find a purpose for this site.

5. Ihnatko Almanac
Andy Ihnatko of the Chicago Sun Times and the TWiT network’s MacBreak Weekly has his own show on the 5by5 network. Each week is something a little different, such as comic books, the MIT yard sale, Roger Ebert’s memoir, why White Christmas is not a classic Christmas movie and many other topics. This is a weekly podcast and Mr. Ihnatko is witty and intelligent and just a lot of fun. Subscribe on iTunes or go to 5by5.com for more details.

Follow my guide and you will be entertained absolutely free. Do you have an interesting website, podcast, free game or useful tool to share? Send me an e-mail and tell me about it, then I’ll post about my favorites. Have a good day and I hope you enjoy this free stuff.