I have strayed off the mathematical path in my last few posts, and this is indeed no different. But I do hope that this will be beneficial, some websites you may know but might not know some of the amazing things these websites can do. The lists will be compromised from the best: games, freeware programs, educational resources and miscellaneous so if you're looking for something specific search for it.
Addicting Games - Some of the best online games from around the around the internet have been collected, hours have and inevitably will be lost to this collection of games.
It is very, very good collaboration of games that are well designed and as the title of the website says, addicting. The website design is faultless and easy to navigate, and there are some handy features. You can add your own games to the website and could gain 'internet fame' from that, but the reviewing system is also very good and allows members of the website to submit their comments.
PlayR - Ever wanted to relive some of the fond memories you have from the countless hours you spent button mashing on your old handheld consoles? Well with this website you can! Fancy taking a nostalgia trip and playing some of the older renditions of Pokémon, Harry Potter, Mario or even Madden? This website allows you to do exactly that.
The collection is huge, the games (from all the ones I've tried) are in perfect working order, the controls are customisable, the layout is perfect and the memories of the giddy excitement some of the games connote is just immense. The only thing I can really say about it is, I was never a huge fan of too many of these games, except Pokémon (-nerd). 8.5/10
Robot Unicorn Attack - A flash game that centres around a robotic unicorn galloping around in a fantasy world with purple grass, rainbows and sparkling dolphins. And it still makes you feel as if you are the manliness person on the face of the Earth.
This deserves a special mention, it's not a website packed to the brim with games. It's better than that. It doesn't have a plot with twists and turns that keep you on your seat until the end. It's better than that. You make up your own storyline, in your head. You don't need other games, this one is enough; I don't think I have spent more time on any other online game. As an added bonus, the soundtrack is fucking banging (pardon my language but that's the only way to say it). 9.9/10
CrimeBloc - This is a text-based online mafia game, and there is a lot of them about on the internet nowadays because they are great time wasters where you can communicate with people from anywhere in the world one minute and be killing them the next.
What sets this game aside from the rest? Well, the game is coded to perfection, the administrators are very active in the community and with updates, some of the casinos you can gamble on are actually better than ones I've seen on actual gambling websites. With promised updates to come (including a multiplayer poker system, and having beta tested it is nothing short of phenomenal), a growing number of users and something that can literally have you coming back for more for months and months, you simply must sign up to this game. 9/10
Top 150 Flash Games - Pretty self explanatory, the collection of the 150 best online flash games from around the internet.
Yeah you can't comment on the games or gain achievements because well it is just an article with a list of games. But you can not help but lose yourself in the sheer enormity of these games and the fun that could be had. However because it is just a blog post, I can not rate it as highly as some of the games on that list deserve. 8/10
Special mentions - XGen Studios, Miniclip, Mousebreaker, Ijji and Kongregate
Avast - This is one of the most well known freeware out there, but it needs a mention here nevertheless. With the rise in the amount of people who frequently use the internet, the amount of viruses and hackers that are around has increased almost exponentially. So there is a huge market out there for anti-virus software.
There is a huge market, but the kind developers of Avast offer it to you for free. Not only is it the best free anti-virus software available, but is actually better than a fair few anti-software products that you have to pay for. Most notably McAfee, it is head and shoulders above it. For finding viruses, for the stability of the product, for not shoving stupid little adverts down your throat even though it's free! 9/10.
OpenOffice - This is the closest piece of software on the market that rivals Microsoft Office. In the modern times a lot of work now has to be done on a computer, be that a presentation, a report or mathematical calculations you need office software. But not all of us want to pay a lot of money in order to just do work. Well your prayers are now answered.
This software is quite simply, amazing. If you want to create: text documents, spreadsheets, presentations, databases or even small drawings you can do all of that and more. You can save all the documents in a number of different file types, and the best bit? Because it is open you can get numerous extensions for the different programs which can enhance all of your work. 10/10
Linux Mint - The commonly overlooked OS that is Linux. It used to be the case that you had to be a computer genius to be able to run Linux effectively. With the rise in its popularity and with Linux rapidly having programs released specifically for it as well being released alongside Windows and Mac OS X.
There are hundreds and hundreds of free distros that can provide you with Linux in a brilliant form. But I have chosen this version because it comes ready to use. Many distros require you to install a lot of essentials, but with this you are ready to experience Linux first hand within minutes of installation. Once you are more adept with Linux you can venture into some of the more elegant and more difficult distros (such as: Fedora, Ubuntu Studio and openSUSE). But this as a starter package has to get 8/10.
Miro - Simple ideas are rarely executed very well at all. Miro however is a very simple idea that has been executed with such brilliance. A video and audio player that allows you to subscribe to and download podcasts and other online media. It also allows you to view your own videos that are on your computer.
A beautifully designed piece of software is geared more towards watching videos, and with the sidebar you can quickly switch between videos on your computer, and the central pane allows you to search for and view videos. The reason for placing this in above other media players is the ability to download video from torrents and watch them all within Miro and that id you have to exit a video suddenly it allows you to go back to that video at the same place. 8.9/10
Special mentions - Freeware list, Notepad ++, GIMP and Browser list
Wolfram Alpha - Need some help with your homework? Not certain how to answer a certain problem? Want to know how the population of Papa New Guinea ranks in the world? You can find all of that and much, much more here. The amount of data that Wolfram Alpha can show you about almost anything is simply staggering.
I do not think there is a single computational engine that rivals Wolfram Alpha, the speed it can compute what you enter rivals Google for impressiveness. It can: intergrate; differentiate; give pi to over 10,000 digits; give e to over 10,000 digits; multiply matrices; calculate volumes and areas; plot graphs; factorise; show roots and much more. This is one of the greatest technological advances of the past year. 10/10
Ask a Mathematician - A blog where a mathematician and a physicist openly answer any mathematical questions you have, the posts are very informative and interesting. Incredibly advanced topics are explained in a very manageable and clear way.
I've not seen a single mathematical blog that regularly and openly answers any questions you have as good as this one. An easy to look at and simple design doesn't take anything away from the content, which is of an incredibly high calibre. Questions that are emailed are answered incredibly quickly which ensures you always come back to the blog for more. 8.5/10
Special mentions - Wiki Answers, Yahoo Answers and Maths Revision
Grooveshark - A website that allows you to search and listen to music all for free on the internet. You can search for artists, albums and song title. This all adds to an amazing website.
The design is pretty much perfect, everything is clearly laid out and is very easy to get to grips with. It allows you to discover music where you already know the artist or album name, but you can also go into Groovesharks different stations that automatically directs you to a song of that genre. The ability to upload your own music means the database is constantly growing. 8/10
last.fm - Very similar to Grooveshark in that it's a music streaming website that allows you to discover new music that the intelligent system thinks you'd like.
Yet again a faultless design, that is easy on the eye and very easy to navigate. Where these two sites differ is last.fm starts creating a profile of the types of music you like and randomly chooses music it thinks you'll enjoy, if you don't you can skip the song and it then develops more of an understanding for what you like. I'm never without this open because you've set a profile up you really don't have to do much work at all. 9.5/10
StumbleUpon - You're very unlikely to have never seen this website before. If you haven't prepare to lose hours and hours of your life. Seriously, this is like crack. You simply tick boxes of subjects you think would interest you (and there is a lot of them) press stumble and you're on your way to having no life outside your computer.
If you install the recommended StumbleUpon add-on from FireFox then it is simply a button press away from being thrown onto a site it's sure you'll love. If you like the site, press the thumbs up button, if not thumbs down. This helps to develop a personality that StumbleUpon can then use to find more websites it thinks you'll like. A resounding 10/10, that really doesn't justify the awesomeness of stumble upon.
Special mentions - io9, Keyboard Shortcuts and YouTube