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Member #9,729
April 2008

I seem to remember (perhaps in a different community) a thread called "The Big Bad Thread of Freeware" or something like that.

I just wanted to share this program I recently found called DimScreen[1] That does what you'd expect without much other bs. I had to reconfigure the keyboard controls so they wouldn't interfere with imaging programs (I set [ALT] + [-/+] for controls)

I saw on a recent LinusTechTips video that the power required to produce a perceivable difference in brightness isn't linear, so even a very small percentage change can save a lot of power. You also can dim the screen pretty easily at night if you are doing something that doesn't require accurate color perception.

Maybe we can make this the current freeware thread until it inevitably dies.

<--- The ghost with the most!
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Gideon Weems
Member #3,925
October 2003

"Freeware" used to be one of my favorite words. It's funny how it has lost its good connotation over the years, at least for me.

The functionality provided by the freeware you linked is included in utilities such as xbacklight and xrandr, found in virtually every Linux repo known to man. (Alternatively, you can just poke around /sys/class/backlight.) Incidentally, a few years ago I drummed up a quick entry in my WM menu that looks a lot like DimScreen. It's funny how Linux saves time in this respect but quickly becomes a time sink when you realize you can hack anything. By the way, I have always preferred a dark screen with low contrast. It's easier on the eyes. (#FFFFFF will one day be considered a health concern. Mark my words.) Admittedly, I hardly ever use the aforementioned menu entry anymore, as I mostly work at a fixed location these days. Lighting conditions do not vary, and the brightness/contrast I've set through the monitor's physical interface is already perfect.

The ultimate piece of freeware shall forever be GIF Animator by Microsoft (at least for me).

Chris Katko
Member #1,881
January 2002

I love xbacklight. You can do xbacklight = 1 (minimum), or xbacklight +1 / -2 / +5 (add/remove more light). I bind those to key commands.

I love Ubuntu's Unity, once you get used to it it's super efficient on a netbook with limited screenspace. I'm pissed after all this grandstanding, now Canonical is like "Just kidding. Now we're going back to GNOME."

7zip is the ultimate freeware. Remember when people had to PAY FOR ZIPPING SOFTWARE?

I also use Notepad2-mod (over Notepad++) on all Windows systems. It's not as hardcore button/menu system overkill as Notepad++ and if you ever need a super-niche feature... just install Notepad++. (Windows)

Win CDEMU is a virtual ISO drive host that does NOTHING ELSE and has no ads and is FOSS. (Windows)

xcalib -i -a - inverts all colors on your Linux machine. Great for night mode. Though Ubuntu Unity has it built in these days. You can also adjust individual red/green/blue channels and gamma.

wavemon is a great ncurses visualizor for wireless strength, channels, and scanning.

iperf3 is a great throughput checking server/client. You can check your actual throughput for a connection/wireless/etc instead of theoretical.

fuser shows all users attempting to access a file. Good for finding that one process that refuses to give up a file lock.

“Programs should be written for people to read, and only incidentally for machines to execute.” - Structure and Interpretation of Computer Programs

Neil Roy
Member #2,229
April 2002

My own game, Deluxe Pacman has always been freeware. I started out making it as a PC version of the Amiga game of the same name (with the Amiga author's permission) for my wife who liked the Amiga game and missed it when I moved on to the PC.

I have two versions available for download, both made with Allegro 4 & 5. (actually 3 versions if you count the older DOS versions I still have as well).

Deluxe Pacman 1 & 2 are available on my personal website. DP1 is made with Allegro 4, DP2 is made with Allegro 5. And both have level editors. They're more than just Pacman clones, they have many more features to them.

This is a gameplay video I done up of DP2.


And you can download all versions here:

(same as the link in my signature actually)

One of these days I will compile it up for Linux and other platforms.

Other software I like are 7ZIP, already mentioned.

Irfanview for image viewing, I have the 64bit version on now and it works great.

GIMP, free photoshop like image editor.

Some nice software I have used in the past to help with my game graphics was Tile Studio, a free tile editor that also had a map editor which I found handy for prototyping maps, testing how the graphics look and sometimes I edited with other packages then imported into tile studio to organize them into sprite sheets as you can define the size of them etc.

BLENDER is an awesome tool to create really nice quality graphics for your games and it now has tons of tutorials on Youtube to help you get the hang of it quickly (as does GIMP actually).

And of course, most of us know about Code::Blocks etc.

It's a lengthy list honestly. I try and develop my games with 100% freely available tools with no strings attached.

Deluxe Pacman (website now gone)
"I am not ashamed of my belief in God."

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