George, Probably Blogs

Adding More Whimsy To Your Life

If you've looked in the footer of this blog, you'll have seen that it's hosted on This falls under the larger umbrella of, a collection of web tools that creator Adam Newbold of Neatnik thought would be useful. The reality, however, is that it is much more than that. In creating this service, Adam has found a way to bring together a community of passionate tinkerers who reside within an IRC channel (bridged with a Discord server, just in case you're not that technical).

Why do I mention all of this? Well, with the world seemingly becoming more serious and darker with every passing moment, these services (and the communities that thrive along with them) provide the light to help keep that darkness at bay. Whether thanks to the cute logo (known as Prami), the community, or just the fact that Adam is always willing to help you solve any issues you may have.

There are a few other products and services that seem to thrive on whimsy, so if you need to take a moment and stop taking things so seriously, here are some products and services that will help take your mind off of the world:

#1 - PlayDate

A picture of the PlayDate Handheld Console.

I only received my PlayDate a few weeks ago, but I already see it as an irreplaceable part of my gaming life. For those who don't know: The PlayDate is a $179 handheld gaming console released by Panic. You'll know them from Nova, an excellent code editor for macOS, or publishing games like Untitled Goose Game and the award-winning Firewatch.

The Playdate isn't a console that will immerse you in graphically detailed worlds; the screen is a mere 400x240 pixels. Even more crazily than that, it's a 1-bit panel, meaning it's black and white! Despite the restraints, however, the quirkiness of the device has led to some very inventive problem-solving, and the device's simplicity is a large part of the charm.

It is NOT lost on me that you're paying basically the same amount as a Switch Lite for this thing. Still, it is worth noting that the PlayDate comes with a season of 24 games (two are delivered to you every single Monday for 12 weeks after first turning on the device). It's the device you get to remind yourself of the GameBoy you had as a kid, where you weren't trying to run a ray-traced game at 8K and complaining that your 4090 couldn't maintain 240FPS.

#2 - Countdown to Anything

The Countdown to Anything logo, with screenshots showing how customisable the app is.

Screenshots from Countdown to Anything Play Store listing

In a world where we're all in a rush to do stuff, what if your countdowns were more... adorable? The wonderful side of Countdown to Anything comes more from what you choose to make the countdowns for whilst being helped by the incredible design of all icons. Whether it's a date you're dreading and want to take the sting out of; or a holiday that you can't wait to go on, there's a perfect icon just for you!

Last year, app developer Jupli also released an app called "Four by Six", which claims to turn your phone into a "digital disposable camera". You buy digital rolls of film on your phone, and once you fill them, the photos get printed and sent to you. A roll of 10 photos costs 39 pence per photo, with a large film of 20 photos costing 35p per photo. This price includes shipping, and if you want to give it a go, there's a trial film which contains four images for 50p per photo.

There is no option to re-take photos as with a real disposable camera. What you take is what you will get delivered to you, and the photos you took will only become available digitally within the app after you receive the printed versions in the post.

#3 - NFC Ring

A picture of an NFC Ring.

Image of NFC Ring

This is one of those products where the moment you know it exists, you can't help but wonder how you didn't think of it sooner! The product is just plain fun; it's a ring with an NFC chip allowing you to load WHATEVER YOU WANT on it. Every time you tap the ring against an unlocked smartphone, that action gets triggered. I spent £2.38 on mine in 2018, and I still wear it nearly daily. You will need a smartphone to configure it, but you can add everything from files, links, phone numbers, and even a Bitcoin address or Wi-Fi network! You can get them in multiple styles; I have one with transparent plastic, which shows the NFC coil (as pictured above). It is perfect for when you're in techy circles, but I also have one with black plastic for what I want it to stand out less.

These NFC rings are the dumbest (as in, not-IoT) rings you can get. There are products like the Oura Ring, which acts as a smartwatch replacement, or the McClear Ring, which allows you to make contactless payments without needing to pull out a phone or wallet.

#4 - Freerice

A picture of the Freerice homepage.

Want to do some learning whilst also giving back? Freerice has raised the equivalent of $1.5 million in rice, and the way it works is an absolute win-win! All you have to do is pick a trivia category and a difficulty. The player then gets given a question, and Freerice will donate 10 grains of rice if you provide the correct answer. This is all funded via the ads you see as you play, so make sure you've left your ad-blocker off when you go to the site!

They have dozens of categories to choose from, including Classical Music, World History, English Vocabulary, Cell Biology and way more! As well as that, thanks to the five difficulty levels, you can ensure that you're getting just the right amount of challenge to learn whilst also making an impact. Freerice partnered with the United Nations World Food Programme, so you know you're doing good things.

#5 - Hacker Typer

A picture of the Hacker Typer homepage.

Hacker Typer may be the most whimsical of all items on this list. Not because the website doesn't serve any practical purpose (it's used surprisingly frequently on film sets), but because all it will serve most people for is that feeling of being a hacker!

All it really allows you to do is turn up and start mashing your keyboard. On every key press, a small chunk of text will appear on your screen with green text on a black background. To someone looking over your shoulder, it will look like you're typing super fast and hacking into the mainframe! Want to make it super immersive? Just set your browser to full-screen mode, and watch as everyone around you freaks out slightly!

#6 - Tab for a Cause

A picture of the Freerice homepage.

Want to help raise money for charity but don't want to increase your knowledge simultaneously? No problem! Tab for a Cause places ads on your new tab page, with the money raised going to causes of your choice. Personally, I have been using Tab for Cats, which supports The Jackson Galaxy Project. There are loads of causes to choose from, including Black Equity, Reproductive Health, and charities such as Save the Children and Human Rights Watch.

The best part about Tab for Cats? Every single day I get a new "cat of the day" as my new tab image! To date, I have raised 650 cat treats, which, according to Tab for a Cause, is "how many treats your tabs can provide to help shelter cats get adopted." Gladly, the company behind Tab for a Cause, are also SUPER financially transparent. Gladly release quarterly financial reports clearly outlining how much money is raised and where it all goes, so you can see the exact impact that you have personally had.

#7 -

A picture of the homepage.

I want to wrap this up by quickly bringing it full circle. When I first signed up to, it was actually because I just needed something to host what I call my "digital business card", it's basically like a linktree but also with direct contact info, a link I have stored on my NFC ring, so I can give someone my contact details in a fast-paced environment (like expos and other events).

I finally took the plunge because I discovered they also offered vanity URLs (in this case, called PURLs). You ever notice how every Snappy-Tech link I share is ? That's how that happens! was an excuse for me to consolidate those multiple services into one, allowing me to pay less whilst getting the same amount done. Adam's dedication to the service and the incredible community around it will keep me on the service for years to come. Frankly, at $20 a year, the service is an absolute steal.

Note: This post contains referral links to multiple services. Here are the referral free versions of the links in order of first mention:, Tab for a Cause

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