Allen Howard's Writing and More

Allen Howard's Writing, Music, and Computers

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Office 2013 Preview

Posted by Allen Howard on July 17, 2012 at 11:50 AM Comments comments (0)

Microsfot has released the Office 2013 Preview to the public.  You can freely download and install it on up to five computers or tablets.


To get the instructions on how to install it, go to the Computers and Program section.


Catching Fire Review

Posted by Allen Howard on June 25, 2012 at 11:20 AM Comments comments (0)

As the second installment of the Hunger Games Trilogy, Catching Fire is a book that immediately capturesthe reader’s attention.  Building right off of the first book, Katniss Everdeen is beginning the victory tour of the seventy-fourth Hunger Games.  Along theway, she sees that the districts are in bad shape.  From starving citizens, to strict peacekeepers, the entire country seems to be falling apart.  Only once she gets back to District Twelve, does she see that the damage has also spread to her beloved district, starting with a new head peacekeeper, and ending with the whipping of Gale, her longtime friend.  She realizes that the Capital must be taken down, but not before she is whisked away for the seventy-fifth Hunger Games, being the Quarter Quell, two victors are required to become tributes once again.  In the arena, her and Peeta must once again survive the ultimate test, and hope that the odds are in their favor.  The book is highly recommended, but it is better to read The Hunger Games first.


Lego Harry Potter: Years 5-7 Review

Posted by Allen Howard on February 21, 2012 at 5:55 PM Comments comments (0)

Lego Harry Potter Years 5-7 is the second game in the lego harry potter series.  The first game was very good and highly recomended.  I wish i could say the same for this game.  First of all, all of the controls have changed from the first game.  In the first game, you drew symbols on the touch screen to make the spells happen, now you just select a bubble.

The graphics in this game are worse than i remember the first one.  I really don't know how the game became so bad.  I don't know if it is a different creator or what.  I really don't recommend this game.  I haven't finished it, and i'm not sure i'm going to.

If you haven't played the first one, though, I highly recommend the first one.

Rachet and Clank: All 4 One

Posted by Allen Howard on February 10, 2012 at 7:10 PM Comments comments (0)

Racthet and Clank: All 4 One is the latest in the Rachet and Clank series. It is only for the PS3.  The game starts out just like all other games, you have to run to escape an attack.  However, this time, you can play as one of four characters: Ratchet, Clank, Qwark, or Nefarious

The overall feel of the game is multi-player.  There is no traditional saving, when you go to play single player, you choose the planet and location and then from there the game is "started".  I don't really like how this is going, it seems that it will be going all online soon.

I have not played online mode yet, but you need to have an unlock code meaning that you will not be able to play online if you buy the game used.

I also have not beat the game, but so far it is really good, i look forward to finishing the game.

UPDATE: turns out you can get free desktop backgrounds and "fankits" from   I'm not sure what the fan kit is, but i will find out soon.

Spiral Knights Review

Posted by Allen Howard on February 6, 2012 at 12:00 AM Comments comments (0)

Spiral Knights is a game made by Sega that is free to playon Steam.  Having recently getting a Steam, I decided to take the game for a spin. After downloading it, I started it up and made a new knight.  The game starts you out on a basic run to a rescue camp from which you go to Haven.

A few things about the first part of the game, it isn’t easy at first.  You need to learn the controls and the game play is a bit odd.  It is an unusual style of MMO (Massively Multiplayer Online) game.  You do not always need to play multiplayer, but in the beginning, it is required.

After making it to Haven, you have the choice of when you want to go and battle enemies in the clockworks and what weapons you use.

Due to it being free on Steam, I highly recommend trying it, if you don’t like it, just don’t play it. If you want more features, or more times you can play levels throughout the day, you can purchase them online.


This game earns 4/5 Stars.


Portal review

Posted by Allen Howard on January 28, 2012 at 6:20 PM Comments comments (0)

A few months ago, Steam offered Portal as a freegame.  My brother downloaded it and started playing.  He told me that it was a great game, but I never downloaded it. Regretting it later, I persuaded my brother to play it on his account.

                Portal is a puzzlegame where the player must make portal between two places to follow the objective.  It is a great game to challenge the brain.  On the first levels, it starts off easy as a tutorial, but as the levels go on, it gets harder and harder.  The graphics were good, and I don’t have a good graphics card. The graphics only lagged once and that was during the boss battle, which was disapointing. 

All and all, I liked the game, but there are three thingsthat I did not like.  First, the last level was a bit difficult because it was hard to locate where to go.  Next, there were only 19 levels; I would have liked to see more levels.  Lastly, the ‘person’ who was giving the instructions was a bit annoying at different points.

The end was very good, and I can’t wait until I can get the next one.  This game receives 4 starsout of 5.


The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword

Posted by Allen Howard on January 15, 2012 at 11:20 AM Comments comments (1)

          One major game I wanted this holiday season was The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword.  Well, I got it and immediately started playing.  To begin, it asks you what you want your name to be and it uses that name throughout the rest of the game.  At the start of the game, it gives you a brief overview of everything that is going on.  It then takes you to the present day, in a place called Skyloft.  Skyloft is an island in the sky that was made by the Goddess to protect her people, as you play through the game, you will learn more about Skloft and the Goddess.

            Soon, youfind yourself with Zelda and her father getting ready for a flight ceremony, but you soon find out that your bird is missing, so you have to go rescue it.  This will be your first time using the motion controls. 

The motion controls in this game are aided by the Wii Motion Plus accessory. The only complaint I have about the motion plus is that it needed to be recalibrated a lot.  Other than that, the game play was awesome.

After finding your bird, you take place in the ceremony and soon you are on your way through the journey.   Along the way, you will face many trials and bosses.  The bosses in this game are not as hard as in past games.  The trials are what will get you.  In order to enhance your sword and return to the past, you must find three sacred flames in the three areas where you played through already. Once enhanced, you can return to the past and learn of the last thing you must do before the adventure is over. I feel like the programmers drew this part of the game out, it should have been a little shorter in my opinion.

I won’t give away the ending, but I will say that it was both happy and sad for me to see, as it is a video.  It was a very fitting ending.

Once you beat the game, you canplay through on Hero Mode which you take double damage in.  All and all the game earns a 4.5/5 stars.


Happy New Year!

Posted by Allen Howard on January 1, 2012 at 12:00 AM Comments comments (0)

Hello everyone,

It has been a while since I posted anything to acidplanet or figment.  I have been busy doing things with the family and other holiday things.  I got a guitar for christmas, so my music will soon be having guitar in it as well.

I have a few plans for the new year.  First, i will be starting a journal on figment, it is going to be about my actual life, but it will have a touch of fiction in it.  All names and locations will be fake.

I will be writing many new songs over the next year and add many new stories.

I am also working a few new programs that will allow for Windows to search for missing system files, unlike System file checker (SFC).

But for now, good luck in the new year, and i'l be talking to all of you soon.

Thank you for following me!!!!!

Al Howard

FBLA Victory!!

Posted by Allen Howard on December 23, 2011 at 3:40 PM Comments comments (0)

Hi everyone,

I got the results of the FBLA contest the other day.  I won FIRST!!!!!!!!!  I get to attend the State Leadership Conference in April.  All in all, as of right now, 8 of our members will be attending with another two probable.  Congratulations to all the other members that quallified!

FBLA and Testing

Posted by Allen Howard on December 6, 2011 at 4:20 PM Comments comments (0)

So, as president of my local chapter, it is my responsibility to ensure smooth operations of the Future Business Leaders of America.  Today was test day, where for an hour, the group of us that joined would take a test for the regional Competition.  I am doing computer problem solving...  As an A+ Certified technicain, one would think that this would be an extreamly easy test.  Well... parts of it were, but there were some parts that made no sense (even to my teacher who i asked after i was done).  But all and all, i will soon find out if i get to attend the State Leadership Conference or not, hopefully i will. :D