Sunday, April 2, 2017

Freeware as a game

When I was a kid, I loved playing with toys.  I was a big Lego person but I liked toys of all kinds.  As I got older, this morphed into what was frequently referred to as an "interactive" learner. 

In college, some of the best advice I ever got was to actively write in the margins of a book, as if replying or commenting on the text I was reading.  I used to dig into this quite far, carving up my textbooks with notes, making them less valuable when I sold them back but improving the experience by involving me in the book and it's outcome.

As I grew up, my interests turned towards computers and I found -- in some ways -- they were just toys for grown ups.  I liked how interactive they were and the flexibility they offered.  Freeware seemed like a near-unlimited set of free toys to constantly play with, but lots of installations would clog up the registry and slow down the computer.

Now with portable software, I have at my fingertips hundreds of programs for every use and interest.  Since they don't slow down my system, I have them at work, I have them at home, and I carry them with me everywhere.  Whatever I use for whatever small project, it's not as taxing or tedious with some kind of multi-tool.

Although work on the site is occasionally a chore because of my goals, projects maintain my focus as freeware never stops resembling play.

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