Learn to read the fun way

Super Why is an interactive, educational reading game for preschoolers based on the hit PBS Kids show of the same name, featuring (much to the delight of Super Why fans, no doubt) many of the original sounds, games, and characters from the show.

Super Why gives you four different character-narrated, touch-based games, each with a different task for kids: Super Why's Story Saver (picking one of three words to correctly complete a sentence), Princess Presto's Wands-Up Writing (identifying letters by sound to spell a word, then tracing those letters with your finger), Alpha Pig's Lickety Letter Hunt (… Read more

How to change spell check language in OS X

When you initially set up your Mac, you will be asked to select one of several supported languages as the default language to use. This will set the system-wide spell checker to the desired language, and also cue other applications such as Microsoft Office to set their languages accordingly at installation time, if supported.

The language setting will not only set the system's display language, but also set up the various spell checkers used in word-processing programs like TextEdit, Pages, and Safari. Though this is convenient, there may be times when in typing documents you will need to use … Read more

Language leaper

We remember a time--not so long ago--when translating a text between two languages required a dictionary and a lot of patience. But now we have things like Tirgumit Right Click Free Dictionary. This handy utility makes translating between languages a breeze, whether you just need to know one word or want to translate an entire block of text.

The program's interface is attractive and intuitive, and there are several ways to access its features. If you're reading something in a foreign language and need to quickly translate a single word you don't know, simply hold down the … Read more

Pinch to play

Links from Wednesday's episode of Loaded:

The FCC approves Net neutrality rules

eBay launches Gifts Nearby to help you shop offline

Microsoft wants to enable the Kinect to recognize finger gestures

The new FourSquare iPhone app lets you comment on your friends' location choices

The state of Oregon will now allow spell check on state exams

And that's all folks! Loaded is on hiatus through the end of the year. We will see you at the 2011 Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas for new tech galore! Have happy and healthy holidays!

The dungeon awaits

Rimelands: Hammer of Thor is a fantasy dungeon-crawler RPG with turn-based combat, grid-based movement, and charming art and sound.

The first in a planned Rimelands series, Hammer of Thor puts you in the role of Rose Cristo, the heroine of a Norse-themed, fairy-filled, post-apocalyptic steampunk storyline. Using experience points and a system of branching skill trees, you can advance Rose's abilities down three different "paths": Barbarian, Assassin, and Shaman, corresponding to melee, ranged, and magical combat. Each path has its own "talents"--active skills and passive boosts that make you deadlier. The game gives you … Read more

Tip: Turn off automatic spell correction to avoid correction issues

One feature in OS X that I use on a regular basis is the system-wide spell checker, which is available in any application built to include this function (an easy thing to do with Apple's developer tools). In OS X 10.5 and prior, misspelled words were marked by a dotted red underline, but in Snow Leopard the new autocorrection feature is sometimes frustrating.… Read more

Spell check may be Internet Explorer's Achilles' heel

A reader named Lenny responded recently to a post from last August about browser spell checkers to ask whether Internet Explorer 8 finally has a built-in spell checker. Unfortunately, the only way to get spell check and suggested corrections in IE 8 is by relying on the spell check built into the site you're visiting or by installing a third-party extension.

But even then, Firefox and Chrome out-spell-check IE in a landslide.

The earlier post compared Firefox's built-in spell-check feature with the spelling checker in the free IE7Pro extension for Internet Explorer. It seems IE7Pro is no longer … Read more

Spell-check and other useful functions when typing in OS X

OS X has a few useful built-in correction and substitution functions that you can use when composing documents in various applications. One of these is the option to check spelling as you type, which has been around for a while, but more recently Apple has introduced system-wide character substitution and word suggestion options. While these options are available to applications, they will only work for those coded to take advantage of them. These include Apple's iWork and iLife programs, as well as TextEdit and Safari, but other third-party programs also support these services.… Read more

Catch all your spelling mistakes

Spell Catcher is the modern-day descendant of a spell-checking app from ancient times (as a Desk Accessory called Thunder, from 1985), now with powerful, system-wide spell-checking and text-expanding features.

By default, this muscular app tracks every word you type on your Mac, across every application, and provides you with much more than the live visual feedback you get in separate apps with built-in spell-checking. Spell Catcher can give you automatic typo fixing, spoken alerts (for example, pointing out repeated words, or curious spellings with a quick "Curious!"), instant access to the dictionary and thesaurus (with support for multiple … Read more

Slow typing in text fields? Check the spell checker!

Entering information in text fields should be smooth and fast, with no pauses or delays of any kind. Despite this, some background tasks if corrupt or otherwise malfunctioning may interfere with typing. One of the most common is OS X's spell checking behavior, but sometimes, the built-in options are not to blame.… Read more