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Tux Suite Part 2: TuxTyping

Which is better, having a computerized voice sass you every time you press the wrong key or saving the city from a meteor shower? Which one do you think your kids would rather do?

Tux Suite: Part 1

If you have children who are ready to learn then we have someone we’d like to introduce you to. Tux the Penguin.

The Tux series of programs, TuxTyping, TuxMath and TuxPaint, are all astoundingly good, adaptable, and professional. Each one is a learning program masquerading as a game—and each game is actually fun. The Tux products have been designed to be useful not to one age range but to appeal to all children through difficulty levels and parental settings that allow these educational games to be useful for almost every child.

Description Ages
TuxTyping Teaches letter recognition and typing for children young and old. 4-14
TuxMath Teaches math from addition and subtraction to multiplication and division and even factorials, factors and algebra. 4-12
TuxPaint Teaches art and lets children be creative in a safe virtual environment. 4-11

Read on to see if one of these programs can help your child.

AbiWord: Your Freeware, Word Processing Solution

If you were shopping for a bicycle and the salesman told you, “What you really need is a car. A car does all of the things a bike does and so much more—and only for a few thousand dollars more,” then you would probably laugh him off and walk away, Right?

Well if you’re looking for a simple word processor to write reports or memos on then that’s exactly what Microsoft Word is doing—it’s offering you dozens of features you just don’t need and then it wants you to pay for them.

A copy of Microsoft Office with Microsoft Word can cost upwards of $399.95. Why pay all of that for features you won’t use and a program that is so bloated with bells and whistles that it gets in the way of simple word processing?

Most people end up with Microsoft Word simply because they are not aware of the other choices.

Meet AbiWord , your word processing solution.

AbiWord is a simple, stripped down word processor. AbiWord works on just about any operating system and just about any computer—Windows, Mac OS, Linux, you name it.

With MS Word, your files have dozens of little additions that make the file hard to read for anything besides MS Word. With AbiWord , not only can you save in any file type you like, but you can open almost any file too.

Finally, the most important feature of AbiWord; it’s free. AbiWord is opensource and opensource means that some kind souls somewhere are pounding away at keyboards so that you can use AbiWord at no cost.

You need a word processing program; something a little more advanced that raw text in Windows Notepad, and something with a little less weight than the monster that is MS Word.

With AbiWord you have all of the functionality of a modern word processor without the fuss and cost of the competition. AbiWord has comparable features to any of the other word processors on the market and, because AbiWord is open source, it’s free and it will keep on getting better.

If you need more than the bare minimum but don’t need or don’t want to pay for all of the features of Windows Word that you don’t need, go for AbiWord and get just as much word processor as you need.

Tux Typing

Let’s face it; typing has become just as important of a skill as reading, writing and arithmetic. Just as you practice reading with your children, writing their ABCs and teaching them basic math to get ahead of school children now need to practice typing.

Tux Typing is an easy to use, fun and designed to teach your child typing while cleverly camouflaging itself as a video game. Your child will help Tux the penguin feed himself fish and shoot meteors out of the sky by pressing the right letters on the keyboard. With five different scenarios inside of both games and four difficulties your child will be working with Tux for a long time.

The first scenarios are designed for young children learning their ABCs at the same time that they learn to type. During this scenario there are only letters to be recognized and the correct keys typed, which makes this particularly helpful for both typing and learning to recognize letters. As the difficulty of the scenario rises, the letters come along faster, increasing a child’s typing and recognizing speeds. Use of this program can result in a child knowing how to type before they can spell.

The remaining scenarios are for increasingly more advanced readers, differentiating between short (3-4 letter), medium (4-6 letter) and long (5-7 letter) words. As the difficulty of these scenarios increases, the benefits can be felt by just about anyone. Most adults will have trouble keeping up with the long word scenario on hard difficulty so don’t think of TuxTyping as just a tool for your young children but also older children and for yourself as well.

The final benefit to TuxTyping is probably the best: TuxTyping is freeware. Freeware means that you can try Tux Typing right now at no cost. TuxTyping is distributed through the GNU license, one of the most popular freeware licenses.

If you have children or you need to learn to type yourself, then you can’t go wrong with Tux Typing because if you download it and find you need something else then you haven’t lost a thing.

VLC – The Video player that will solve all your problems

Have you ever had trouble opening up a video file that you just downloaded? It’s wierd, sometimes your regular old Windows Media Player is just unable to open up and play a video.

This can happen even if your video file looks like the standard *.AVI, *.MPG, or *.WMV file formats. You’ve been able to open those files before, why aren’t you able to open the file now?

Well here’s why you aren’t able to open those videos, and a head-ache free solution.

It turns out that video files are not as simple as AVI, MPG and WMV. These three types of files are really called container formats or “wrapper formats”. The actual video file inside these containers can be in a variety of different formats.

This is where your problem arises. You may be able to read .AVI, .MPG, and .WMV container files, but you may not be able to read the video inside the container. Complicated and backwards right?

In order for you to be able to read the video INSIDE the container, you need to have the appropriate codec for that video file. Some codecs come with your PC, some you have to download manually. But who has time to track down all these codecs?

This is where VLC media player comes in. VLC is the ultimate video player for windows. First of all, it is completely free. You can download and use to your hearts content.

Second of all, VLC comes with all the most popular codecs. You won’t have to dig around the net for all the codecs you need; just get VLC and handle it all in one download. You will be able to play all your video files with VLC.

Third of all, VLC can play damaged or incomplete video files. This can be a life saver if you do not have access to the original, complete, uncorrupted video file. It can also be great if you just have a piece of an entire video file and want to check it out. You can also use VLC to watch videos that you are still downloading!

You can get the free, “open source version of VLC” here.

There you have it, happy downloading.

Welcome to Uberdownloads

For many people open source software may seem a mystery. Who is developing this software, and why is it free? These two points alone scare most away from using open source software. We at uberdownloads.com believe open source does not have to be scary In many cases, open source software is more mature and stable than commercial alternatives.

The term “open source” just refers to the way software is developed. Open source is a method for software development that harnesses the power of the internet community. Software may be developed by hundreds of engineers at one time. Since the source code is freely available, even thousands more may be poking around and reviewing development. This community driven approach to software development often results in software that is more feature packed, and stable than traditional methods.

The best part of open source software is that it’s price: free! You are completely free to use open source software. Feel free to browse software at uberdownloads, and check out our featured open source software packages.