Monday, January 23, 2012

Computer Power User - Free Magazine Subscription

This one is for all my computer enthusiasts and custom builders. Follow the link below and enter your information for a free subscription to Computer Power User magazine:

CPU magazine focuses on gaming, hardware and software reviews, and caters to the computer nerd in all of us that has an urge to tweak out that new desktop.

You can chose between the digital or physical subscription. I chose the physical for myself. You should receive your copy in the first week of February. Let me know how you guys find it!

Enjoy, and live free!

Monday, January 16, 2012

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. - Celebrating his Legacy

Today we celebrate the Legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Civil Rights activist, Nobel prize winner, clergyman, husband, father, and friend to many. Dr. King is best known for his role in advancing civil rights in the United States in the 1960's.

He played a critical role in shaping the zeitgeist of American history and even the world. He stood for nonviolence, equality, and diversity, and worked to have those values be inseparable from American society and culture.

The FreeStyle 2.0 Blog would like to recognize and salute the achievements of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., and thank him for positively impacting the lives of so many around the world.

In his most renowned speech, Dr. King shared his vision of the future of the United States of America. I invite you to read/listen to the final section (it was a 17 minute long speech) of his speech:

I Have A Dream

"I still have a dream. It is a dream deeply rooted in the American dream.
I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed: "We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal."
I have a dream that one day on the red hills of Georgia, the sons of former slaves and the sons of former slave owners will be able to sit down together at the table of brotherhood.
I have a dream that one day even the state of Mississippi, a state sweltering with the heat of injustice, sweltering with the heat of oppression, will be transformed into an oasis of freedom and justice.
I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.
I have a dream today!
I have a dream that one day, down in Alabama, with its vicious racists, with its governor having his lips dripping with the words of "interposition" and "nullification" -- one day right there in Alabama little black boys and black girls will be able to join hands with little white boys and white girls as sisters and brothers.
I have a dream today!
I have a dream that one day every valley shall be exalted, and every hill and mountain shall be made low, the rough places will be made plain, and the crooked places will be made straight; "and the glory of the Lord shall be revealed and all flesh shall see it together."
This is our hope, and this is the faith that I go back to the South with.
With this faith, we will be able to hew out of the mountain of despair a stone of hope. With this faith, we will be able to transform the jangling discords of our nation into a beautiful symphony of brotherhood. With this faith, we will be able to work together, to pray together, to struggle together, to go to jail together, to stand up for freedom together, knowing that we will be free one day.
And this will be the day -- this will be the day when all of God's children will be able to sing with new meaning:
My country 'tis of thee, sweet land of liberty, of thee I sing.
Land where my fathers died, land of the Pilgrim's pride,
From every mountainside, let freedom ring!
And if America is to be a great nation, this must become true.
And so let freedom ring from the prodigious hilltops of New Hampshire.
Let freedom ring from the mighty mountains of New York.
Let freedom ring from the heightening Alleghenies of Pennsylvania.
Let freedom ring from the snow-capped Rockies of Colorado.
Let freedom ring from the curvaceous slopes of California.
But not only that:
Let freedom ring from Stone Mountain of Georgia.
Let freedom ring from Lookout Mountain of Tennessee.
Let freedom ring from every hill and molehill of Mississippi.
From every mountainside, let freedom ring.
And when this happens, when we allow freedom ring, when we let it ring from every village and every hamlet, from every state and every city, we will be able to speed up that day when all of God's children, black men and white men, Jews and Gentiles, Protestants and Catholics, will be able to join hands and sing in the words of the old Negro spiritual:
Free at last! Free at last!
Thank God Almighty, we are free at last!"

-delivered 28 August 1963, at the Lincoln Memorial, Washington D.C.

Also visit Dr. King's memorial website and organization, founded by his wife, Coretta Scott King:

Enjoy, and live free!

Friday, January 13, 2012

Paint.NET (Free Image and Photo Editor)

Paint.NET is a free, open-source, image and photo editor for the Windows operating system. It is fully featured, and, in my opinion just as capable as Adobe's Photoshop in the right hands.

Some of the software's strong points are its speed(start-up and performance), its suite of effects, the plugins available, its unlimited history (redo/undo) and its community.

It is worth noting that I've used this software, both for personal and educational purposes. As a student, I used it to create/edit custom templates for presentations. That being said, Paint.NET never took up too many resources to run on my Lenovo T43 Thinkpad, and between double clicking to open the program and starting my edits, it took no more that 10 seconds. Keep in mind that I may have had MS PowerPoint, MS Word and Firefox open simultaneously.

The features and tools are also worth noting, and if you are at least familiar with Photoshop, you will see some similarities in the functionality of Paint.NET. Layers, cloning, looping, gradients, special effects, special brushes, it's all there. You can also download various plugins to add to the base functionality.

The Paint.NET community is very supportive, and always willing to lend a hand to both newcomers and veteran graphic artists. They will assist with every thing from basic tutorials to advanced techniques and manipulations.

Here is a screenshot of the user interface:

and here is something I did a while back:

I clearly am no expert, but you can do all the cool stuff you can do with Photoshop on Paint.NET, including logos, banners, and website themes, with all the crazy and dazzling effects expected from the former...and all of it is of course, free!!

Remember, it is only available to windows users. Paint.NET can be downloaded here:


Enjoy, and live free!

Friday, January 6, 2012

Free Xbox Live Games

Here's one for all the Xbox heads out there. Five (5!) free games you can download from the Xbox Live Marketplace. Hopefully you are familiar with the new interface by now, I think Microsoft has done right by the players with the update. Here are the games; click the names to head over to the Xbox Live Online Marketplace, or you can just search for them from your Xbox Dashboard:

Aegis Wing

Aegis Wing is a fast-paced space shooter with single player and co-op modes. Great for online play with up to 4 buddies when you want to take a break from Skyrim and shoot some space baddies.

Harms Way

Chaotic, action-packed racing game where players work in driver/sniper teams to win 3 lap races on destructible courses. Reminds me of the early Twisted Metal games. Offline single player and co-op modes of up to 4 players, and online you can play with up to 8 people.

Hexic HD

Hexic HD is the remake of an online puzzle game. Great for when you're overdosed on all the mind boggling graphics of the latest titles. The aim of the game is to create clusters of same-colored tiles to clear them from the board. My little cousins love to play it when they come over (after a round or two of Street Fighter IV of that is...)

Doritos Crash Course

Hilarious runner game, with all the humor from the Wipe Out and Ninja Warrior t.v. shows. You run with your Xbox Live Avatar through 15 insane courses to achieve the best time. The obstacle filled courses present a challenge in the later levels, and its always hilarious to watch your Avatar get bopped onto the screen by a giant hammer, or carried away by a reverse treadmill. Great party game, and fun for all ages.

For all those who own a Kinect, here's one just for you:

Kinect Fun Labs

I don't have a Kinect, but this seems like a cool piece of software. You get to experiment and create cool stuff using the Kinect to input objects, pictures and record motion.

Check these games out and let me know what you think about them in the comments section!


Enjoy, and live free!

Monday, January 2, 2012

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Blender (Free 3-Modeling Software)

Blender is a free, opensource 3D modeling software, available for all operating systems, including Linux based systems.

The software itself is very powerful, and very flexible. I had the opportunity to use Blender in a game development class I took as an elective in college, and within a semester, my class was able to put together a very simple 3D game, with some coding and basic models/animations.

As with most 3D creation software, it has a steep learning curve, but I found the interface intuitive after several sessions of use.

If you are a blooming 3D animation artist and would like to start working on projects without shelling out big bucks for software, head on over to the website and check it out.

Blender Website:

Here is an animated short film "Sintel" made entirely with Blender by volunteers of the Blender Foundation:

Enjoy, and live free!