Nooks and crannies online
This column originally ran in ComputorEdge on November 25, 2005
Like most of you, probably, when I'm online and come across an interesting link or Web site, I often bookmark it, intending to come back later. And it's only when I try to find something in my bookmarks/favorites list that I realize how out of control it's become.
In an effort to regain control over my favorites list, I'm sharing some of those odd entries with you this week so I can delete them with clean conscience.
Make your own logo
Google and Yahoo! have two of the most immediately recognizable logos in the world. Bright and colorful yet still kind of classy, the two former start-ups are now each a ubiquitous presence.
Two different Web sites each let you make your own Google or Yahoo! logo, using your own name or, in fact, any word you like.
In each case, of course, the Webmaster simply wrote a script that generates the new "logo" based on whatever letters you type into the form. They've taken the existing logos and extrapolated a full alphabet in that font style. In fact, the Logo54 site also lets your create your own Ferrari, Nintendo and Star Wars logos, among others.
In each case, once done, you end up with an image file you can copy to your hard drive if you like.
More logo fun
Logo54's Harry Potter logo generator contained a link to a font site that has a section that specializes in lookalike fonts. dafont.com has one set of fonts titled "Famous" with subcategories of TV, movie, video games, food and drink brands, and a various (miscellaneous). You can find fonts made from the logos of popular bands like Bon Jovi, Enya, The Doors, Kiss, the Scorpions, Led Zeppelin and more. You can also find fonts from the logos of famous TV shows and/or networks, like ESPN, Star Trek, The Sopranos, Ren and Stimpy, the Simpsons and Bewitched. There are videogame logo fonts made up to look like the CounterStrike logo, Halo, Final Fantasy, GameCube, Sega, Atari and Intellevision. You can get a Coca-Cola font, Pepsi, McDonald's or Heineken.
In the various category, you'll find the Apple logo font, RCA, Hard Rock Café, Holiday Inn, Compaq, IBM, Xerox and NASA.
There are also dingbats fonts with tons of logos in them, too.
Note that you don't get a logo in your name from this site the way you did above; here, you get a free font you can download to your PC or Mac to use in any application with text Word, WordPerfect, PhotoShop, etc.. How legal these knockoff fonts are is open to question, but they are a ton of fun.
Every year, sports games get more and more realistic. From the ability to draft real professional players in league-approved fantasy sports leagues to the latest sports simulations on the PS2, GameCube or Xbox, it's getting to the point where any old Joe can pretend he's The Boss, running his own team.
But it's also all kind of getting to be the same.
SmallBall.com has a different approach. Here, you can create and manage your own virtual baseball or soccer team from the ground floor up. No using computer models of real-life players these are completely make-believe.
And you don't swing a bat or throw a ball; this is closer to the classic "Earl Weaver Baseball" from the late '80s in that you manage the game rather than play it.
What SmallBall is really about is training - you have to train your players to improve their skills. Then move them to the position that best suits their skills (their default skills are randomized, but can be improved with training).
While an online game, SmallBall does feature a client you have to download and install on your computer. It seems free to play, although they sell upgrades to improve your team. Still, those upgrades are fairly inexpensive a couple bucks here, a few bucks there. Nothing to break the bank.
The training does seem to be key, though. I only trained my team for about 20 minutes (it's pretty boring, to be honest), and then challenged another team to a game. It was 26-0 against me with only one out in the first inning when I decided to minimize the window and find something else to do.
Still, those who enjoy strategy games may find this to be an enjoyable alternative to the arcade-style sports games. The graphics are old-school but charming, the interfaces are clean and intuitive, and the Web site has lots of help files to walk you through the process of becoming a smallballer.
© Copyright Jim Trageser
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