Archive for the ‘games’ Category

December 2010 Macintosh Software Bundles

December 7, 2010 Leave a comment

Software bundles have always been a great way of building up a collection of useful applications, and the massively discounted price means you only need a couple of top class apps to make the price a bargain. There are several software bundles available for Macintosh users right now, offering a range of applications for prices between $9.99 and $63. Unfortunately there’s nothing currently available from Macheist or MacUpdate. The bundles are listed here in increasing price, with the second price in brackets a pound/dollar conversion at the current exchange rate (on 6th December 2010).

Macbasket.com7 apps for $9.99 (£6.36), ending 9th December 2010:

  1. NuKit – Finder productivity enhancer
  2. Money³ – Financial Management
  3. rooSwitch – profiles for your applications
  4. Radium – Internet radio player
  5. Healthnut – Diet/health tracker
  6. Chronicle 3 – Manage your bills
  7. Tracks -Play/browse music from the menubar

MacbundlePro7 apps for $19.95 (£12.69), ending 31st December 2010:

  1. AirRadar 2 – Wireless network scanner
  2. Inpaint – Remove objects from your images
  3. MacHider – Hide private data
  4. TranslateIt – Language translation
  5. ManPower – Man page GUI
  6. PacketStream – network monitoring tool
  7. DVDsnap 2 – capture screen shots from Apple DVD player

Mac Bundle Box12 apps for $29 (£18.45), ending 23rd December 2010:

  1. Compartments – Home inventory
  2. QuickScale – Batch image resizing
  3. Semonto – Web server monitoring for 6 months
  4. Radium – Internet radio player
  5. iCollage – Image scrapbook
  6. AllMyTube – Download/convert FLV video
  7. DVD Ripper – Convert DVD’s to other formats
  8. PDF Converter – PDF to Word, Excel, PowerPoint, EPUB, Text and HTML
  9. Photo Recovery – recover lost, deleted or formatted photos, videos and music files
  10. iMedia Converter – DVD ripping and video conversion
  11. TinyGrab – Screenshot utility
  12. Caboodle – Snippet machine

BundlesForMac – 12 apps for $49.99 (£31.80), ending 15th December 2010:

  1. skEdit – Text/html editor
  2. Yummy FTP – FTP client
  3. MyStuff – home inventory
  4. BlogAssist – blog/website editor
  5. AlienDestroyer – Secure erase sensitive data
  6. Involer – Invoicing app
  7. Deliver – File delivery to local and remote destinations
  8. ProfCast – Lecture recording app
  9. PDF to Word – Document converter
  10. iCash – Personal finance
  11. PDF to Epub – Document converter
  12. GadgetTrak – Laptop theft recovery

MacPromo.com10 apps for £39.99 ($63), ending 31st December 2010:

  1. TypeIt4Me – Text expander
  2. PathFinder 5 – Finder replacement
  3. DragThing – document, folder, and application and URL dock
  4. Name Mangler 2 – Batch file renamer
  5. Personal Antispam 10.6 – Antispam component of Intego Internet Security Barrier
  6. MacFreelance 2 – Invoice management
  7. Keyboard Maestro 4 – Keyboard macro app
  8. Personal Backup – backup component of Intego Internet Security Barrier
  9. Folx Pro – Download manager
  10. CuteClips 3 – Clipboard history
  11. The First 5000 buyers get Star Wars: Empire at War

Ambrosia Software 15th Anniversary bundle

December 21, 2008 Leave a comment

Not free but offering outstanding value, Ambrosia Software is celebrating its 15th year with a bundle of six games for $19. The titles are a mix of old (updated) and new, so there’s something here for everyone. I’ve already bought this one to keep me going over the Christmas holiday. Here’s the descriptions from the Ambrosia web site:

  • Apeiron X Arcade-style, fast-paced, frantic gameplay. You versus the nefarious Pentipede and other mushroom patch baddies.
  • Redline! Put the pedal to the metal in this intense 3D racing game. Hop in and burn rubber through myriad race tracks across the Web.
  • Bubble Trouble X – Arcade-style family fun, filled with frolic, fins, and fishy foes. Use the maze itself to pop the cutthroat competition.
  • Darwinia Save a virtual world from a deadly computer virus. Real-time strategy and lush3D landscapes remind you remember why gaming is fun.
  • SketchFighter Pilot your sketched ship through hand-drawn graph paper mazes, battle bugs and bosses, solo or with a friend.
  • Aki Mahjong Solitaire is an elegant blend of the ancient Chinese game of Mahjong with an enchanting journey across Japan.

The offer ends midnight December 24th, and the titles purchased separately cost $123. Sounds like a bargain.

New game download services

September 26, 2008 Leave a comment

There’s always been a lot of nostalgia for older games. Maybe it’s the cost of keeping up with the latest title’s hardware requirements, or just that a good game is always a good game irrespective of age. I’ve been playing some older titles myself recently, and having just completed Tron 2.0, Far Cry and even Unreal again I understand the appeal.

There’s a new site for buying these older games at, short for Good Old Games. There are two very good reasons to use the service, the games are cheap at either $5.99 or $9.99 and are downloaded fully patched to the latest version and compatible with Windows XP and Vista. I signed up for the public beta a couple of weeks ago and now have an entry pass before the service goes live. There’s over 30 games currently available with more being added soon. Here’s some of the titles offered from the front page.

Read more…

Hackintosh video card upgrades

August 14, 2008 7 comments

Things aren’t looking too good at the moment for those wanting a reasonable priced video card to use with a hackintosh and Windows. My system has an Nvidia 7300GT that works well with Mac OS 10.5.4, and performs ok under Windows XP. I only really use Windows for games, and have recently been playing through Half Life 2 again. I tried using Crossover Games to install it on OSX but the performance was choppy, so I’m rebooting into Windows whenever I want to play. The original game is fine at 1680×1050, and Episode 1 ran just as well. Episode 2 is the stumbling block, with a big drop in smoothness unless the video options are turned all the way down or resolution dropped. Episode 3 doesn’t have a release date yet but is sure to up the hardware requirements even more.

So what are the upgrade options? The Nvidia 9600GT is unsupported and doesn’t appear to be working yet, and neither are the newer 260 and 280. There are several options lower in the range, but how much of an improvement these would give is debatable. The best option from Nvidia looks to still be an 8800GT. On the ATI side the latest 4850/4870 are reported as working, as are the 3850/3870 that preceded them. Aria have a 3870 512Mb for £82.19 and a  4850 512Mb for £123.26. The problem here is going to be noise. My current Sparkle 7300GT is passively cooled so is silent. Looks like much research ahead, just as soon as Insanelymac starts working again.

Is this the coolest toy ever?

June 15, 2008 1 comment

Take one radio controlled car. Add a video camera with wireless transmitter and slimline video glasses. The end result is you in the drivers seat of a white knuckle ride in your own garden (backyard for US visitors)

Is this the coolest toy ever?

WWDC 08 thoughts

June 9, 2008 Leave a comment

Once again Steve Jobs has delivered an impressive set of updates and new products that managed to surprise. We already knew the 3G iPhone was 99% certain to be unveiled, but who would have guessed the price would be $199 and $299? I’m hoping that will convert to £129 (more likely £149) and £179 (again, probably £199) for the UK. If the 3G iPhone is hacked to run on any network as quickly as the original there’s no way I will be able to resist for long.

The MobileMe service answers several requirements I have found recently, and synchronising across iPhone, Mac apps and Outlook is genuinely useful for those of us who have to use Windows at work. Once 3rd Party Developers start building on this there’s no telling what will be possible. 20Gb of storage still doesn’t look very generous for $99/£69 a year, but the rest should make up for it. The web apps look useful, but you will be at the mercy of your ISP. The UK boasts some fast services but the reality is that a 20Mbit connection is swamped by more than one task at a time.

Perhaps the most surprising news for me (after the 3G iPhone price) was the cost of the games. $9.99 seems low for something like Super Monkey Ball that costs several time that on other gaming platforms, even portable ones. This could help Apple make the iPhone King of several markets, Pocket Gaming Console, PDA, Smartphone, GPS navigation, Media Player and Social Networking. Is this the device that takes Apple from being a computer manufacturer to a Consumer Electronics giant?

iPhone games priced at $9.99

June 9, 2008 Leave a comment

One thing that really surprised me was the pricing of the games announced during the WWDC Keynote. Have paid around £30 for Super Monkey Ball on the Nintendo Wii it seems a steal for $9.99. Looks like Apple are serious about making the iPhone a viable gaming platform. Here’s the list of software announced:

  • Super Monkey Ball from Nintendo
  • Enigmo, a puzzle game from Pangea
  • Cro-Mag Rally also from Pangea, a racing game
  • Digital Legends Entertainmentshowed a 3D game similar to God of War, due in September
  • Ebay app that allows you to do anything you can do through your web browser
  • Loopt, a location-based service for tracking friends
  • A Typepad client
  • Band – virtual instruments and songwriting app
  • Associated Press showed the Mobile News Network, which uses the location aware features of the new OS to pull in local news
  • for baseball highlights and live video clips

iPhone updates

March 6, 2008 Leave a comment

Apple today announced several big updates to the iPhone and iPod Touch platforms. These will be supported in firmware version 2 due for release in late June.

  • Direct support for Microsoft Exchange using licensed Activesync technology. This includes push e-mail, push calendaring, push contacts and remote wipe.
  • From today the iPhone SDK is available to software developers, apps will downloaded directly to the iPhone/iPod or via iTunes. Free apps will cost nothing to distribute, commercial app writers will receive 70% of the price with Apple taking the other 30%.  There is a $99 fee to join the developer program. The link at is currently not working. Are hundreds of eager programmers hammering the site?
  • AOL instant messenger(AIM) is coming to the iPhone/iPod
  • SEGA showed a Super Monkey Ball demo that is controlled using the tilt sensor
  • Several other medical/financial/entertainment companies are on board with software development already
  • The iPhone update is free, iPod Touch owners will have to pay again to get access to apps that Apple take a cut of. The reason given is again the accounting method. “The way we account for the iPhone is with subscription accounting, so we take the revenue over two years. The way that we account for iPods, is more normal accounting. And so because of that, we have to charge a nominal fee, but I don’t see that changing. We’ll set it when we release the software in June. But we don’t look at this as a profit opportunity.”

The ethics of console bundles

February 19, 2008 Leave a comment

WiiMrs Basshead has been after a Nintendo Wii ever since we spent an evening playing with some friends. She’s not the sort to be impressed by technical specifications or cutting edge 3D graphics, but Wii sports had her captivated for a couple of hours. I think it’s fair to say that Nintendo have captured the market for gamers who don’t usually like computer games.

I promised I would buy a Wii after the mad Christmas bundling died down, but it’s only now starting to fizzle out. We visited the Lakeside shopping centre on Sunday, where we couldn’t find a Wii without a game bundle. Woolworths had the cheapest at £215 including one £35 game of your choice. There were only three £35 games on the shelves, and two of those had ‘temporarily unavailable’ labels. Most impressive. Game wanted £245 for a console and two games from a choice of six. The other stores were similar.

Having seen that had the console available for £180 we decided to head home and order one online. We stopped at a Tesco ’10 minutes to walk from one end to the other’ superstore for munchies and nibbles on the way home so I thought I would try the electrical department. They had seven Wii’s in the store room at £180 because Tesco don’t do bundles, but they do give you a free game with the console. So we now have a Wii.

The free game is the awful Alvin and the Chipmunks, so they may as well have given us a free drinks coaster. The point here is that at least one store isn’t forcing their customers to buy more games than they want. Since Nintendo don’t sell the bundles it’s the retailers that are boosting their profits through forced game sales. The worst thing about this is that the stores are preying on parents who don’t want to disappoint their children so have little choice but to pay. What next? The Xbox 360 you can only buy with an extended 3 year warranty? Given the claimed 16% failure rate that’s probably not a bad idea.

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