Archive for May, 2010

Leave a message to yourself with BrainCast

Monday, May 31st, 2010

Did you ever have a bright idea and no piece of paper to jot it down on? You may have had the clever idea of phoning yourself to leave a message containing that brainstorm. Good idea, but of course then your new message gets lost in the tangle of other messages in your voicemail in box. What if you had a separate place for those notes-to-self?

BrainCast is the tool for that. All you need to do is sign up for a free account, register a phone number or two, and start leaving messages. The number's toll-free, so it's not going to cost you anything to play along (unless your carrier charges you for air time). You can go online to check your messages at their site, which are saved off as WAV audio files. Categorize them, tag them, email them to other folks, just go nuts. And of course your strokes of genius are automatically emailed to you.

Since you have to register phone numbers to work with this service, you can't use this as an all-in-one voicemail inbox, but it seems like a handy way to keep those great ideas of yours from just disappearing like a puff of smoke.

Play Colossal Cave Adventure on your phone

Saturday, May 15th, 2010

Video games on a phone? Sure, your Blackberry or iPhone won't have any problems with this. What about on a not-so-smart phone? For that matter, what about non-video games? So where are we headed here?

Back when dinosaurs roamed the earth (1975 to be precise), Colossal Cave Adventure, one of the ancestors of virtual reality, was created. Designed to be played on a terminal of a PDP-10 mainframe computer, this game painted a picture using only words and the player's imagination of the places and things encountered in a huge underground cave.

If your mainframe's on the fritz, fear not: this game can now be played on your telephone. To dial in, just call 610-DEAR-BEN (1-610-332-7236). To play the game, just listen to the narration and then speak commands when it's time to make your move. Your goal is to collect treasures and bring them home, all the while avoiding various traps and obstacles.

Of if you can't get over the idea of the non-video game, you can also play at via Skype and choose to include graphics.

Note that the call to play the game is not toll free, but presumably you'll be home free if you choose the Skype option.