There’s one font that is almost universally reviled. Just the sight of it causes people to cringe in disgust. You know exactly what font I’m talking about (even if you ignore the title.) Why does everyone hate Comic Sans? Comic Sans is one of those fonts that seem to have been around forever. It’s as iconic as Times New Roman and Arial in the font world. Who created Comic Sans? Was it always as hated as it is today? Let’s learn about the ugly duckling of fonts. Who Created Comic Sans? The origin of Comic Sans is intertwined with another much-maligned Microsoft product: Microsoft Bob . While Microsoft Bob failed so quickly that many people don’t even remember it, Comic Sans has lived on. Microsoft Bob was a wildly re-imagined desktop interface made for Windows 95 . People could create their own virtual “rooms” that acted as desktops, and guiding them through everything were cartoon companions. RELATED: Why I Loved Microsoft Bob, Microsoft's Strangest Creation … [Read more...] about The Origin of Comic Sans: Why Do So Many People Hate It?
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You’ve probably been annoyed at one time or another when visiting a website that requires a specific browser. Luckily, you can fool a website into thinking you’re using a different browser and you can do this with most, including Safari. User agent “spoofing” is not a new thing. It was sometimes necessary when there was a so-called browser war. Website designers would often design pages to render and deliver different content depending on the user’s browser. The solution to this was often to send a false “user agent string,” which would fool the web server into delivering you the preferred content. Today, users are less likely to have a problem since websites and browsers are better at adhering to web standards. That’s not to say you won’t still encounter one every now and then. If you use Apple OS X’s Safari, here’s how you change the user agent, and even create custom ones as well. What is a User Agent Anyway? When Safari visits a website, it will send a string of text such … [Read more...] about How to Change Safari’s User Agent on OS X
If you use Windows, you might have wondered about the small key with the Windows logo on your keyboard. It opens the Start menu and performs useful shortcuts, but where did it come from? Why is it there? Let’s take a look. The Origin of the Windows Key It might seem like the Windows key has always been with us, but it hasn’t. It first appeared in September 1994 on the Microsoft Natural Keyboard . This ergonomic keyboard was in the same vein as the earlier Apple Adjustable Keyboard , which split the standard QWERTY keyboard in half. Unlike Apple’s keyboard, though, Microsoft’s tilted each half at gentle angles to reduce wrist strain. By this point, Microsoft had already created other hardware products , including its widely acclaimed mice. When it was time to create its first keyboard, someone at Microsoft had the brilliant idea of including a permanent piece of Windows branding on it. This resulted in two Windows keys, located between the Control and Alt keys to the … [Read more...] about Why Do Keyboards Have a Windows Key? Here’s Where It Started
A while back we showed you how to customize your OS X Dock with themes and other kinds of changes with a small, free program. Today we want to take that a step further and create unique custom themes using that same application. If you’re not familiar already with cDock, we suggest you read our article so you know what it can do . It’s best to relocate the tiny cDock executable to somewhere like the Applications folder so it’s always there if you want to use it, plus it can automatically check for updates so you’re always using the latest version. With cDock open, go ahead and play around with it if you like. Today we want to familiarize ourselves with the custom options, so click the menu next to “Dock theme” and select “Custom” and “Apply.” Your Dock will reload plain white and semi-transparent (50%). Two text documents will also open, “settings info.rtf” and “settings.txt”. It is recommended you place these docs side-by-side to facilitate easier … [Read more...] about How to Create Custom Dock Themes in OS X
On Dec. 14, 1990, Apogee Software released Commander Keen: Invasion of the Vorticons . It was the first in a series of PC shareware games that brought fluid, Mario-like platforming to the PC. It also launched legendary developer id Software. Here’s why it was special. Keen: Playful Console Magic on the PC The first Commander Keen game, Invasion of the Vorticons , is split into three episodes designed for PCs with MS-DOS. In the first episode, you play as Billy Blaze (aka Commander Keen), a kid who must travel to Mars to repel an invasion of dog-like aliens called Vorticons. The aliens have dismantled your ship and scattered its parts across the planet. Your job is to retrieve those parts so you can get back home. Along the way, Commander Keen builds a compelling backstory through special stages. The mini-narrative scenes present items like a pogo stick and an alien language written in glyphs. Keen also picks up whimsical items, like teddy bears and books with the word … [Read more...] about 30 Years of Vorticons: How Commander Keen Changed PC Gaming
As a hobby, vintage computing is on the rise. A generation that grew up with classic PCs is looking back and revisiting the glory days of the ’80s, ’90s, and 2000s with the authentic machines. But what’s the best way to get the hardware? We’ll show you the options. The Catch: Many Vintage Computers Need Repair Before we begin, there are some “gotchas” you should know about buying vintage computers. Unless a machine has been shown to be in working condition, don’t buy it, because the older it is, the less likely it is to work as soon as you get it. That makes an “as-is” purchase risky for people who don’t have the technical background to repair or recondition a vintage PC. Almost no PCs were designed with three-decade longevity in mind. As a result, these sensitive electronic devices include components that degrade over time. Here are some frequent problems that pop up with vintage PCs: Plastics discolor or become brittle Rubber components or cables degrade and get … [Read more...] about What’s the Best Way to Buy a Vintage Computer?