gbSnippets - Amusements

gbSnippets is a freeware program which provides an extremely easy-to-use method of storing and searching single and multi-line text data. As a special special bonus, gbSnippets provides several built-in games and graphics programs to provide you with amusements for those moments when you get bored - work a while, play a while!

This page provides the latest online Help information covering the games and graphics provided as part of gbSnippets.

I've released a number of freeware programs over the years, mostly focussing on graphics applications. I decided to merge my separate freeware graphics utilities into gbSnippets - in part to have them all at my fingertips but also to test of the graphics capabilities of PowerBASIC.

All of the games/graphics share common design features. They all occupy the same space as the Search Results listbox and they all have a custom toolbar located at the bottom of the graphics area.

Text Stereogram
When folks think of stereograms, most usually they envision the random dot stereograms that were all the rage in the 90's. Few know that you can make a stereogram using simple letters, arranged in the appropriate pattern. Here's a text stereogram created by gbSnippets.

This image of gbSnippets, with the text stereogram displayed, shows how the graphics capability occupies the space of the Search Results listbox and also shows the toolbar located at the bottom of the dialog.

This particuarly image consists of two small, overlapping rectangles. The rectangles can be animated, and their speed controlled, using the toolbar controls.

Mosaic Stereogram
Just as text can be use to create stereograms, so can small images. After all, a text character is just an image itself. gbSnippets uses a built-in library of small images to create what I call a mosaic sterogram. Here's an example.

This example consists of the same two overlapping rectangles and can likewise be animated.

Matrix Screensaver
There's just something about those falling characters in the movie The Matrix. Here's a screenshot of the version included in gbSnippets.

Even knowing how they're made, I can just sit and watch the animated display for minutes.

3D Modeler and Lathe
This app lets you display and rotate 3D point models. It also allows you to enter points via the mouse and apply a lathe action to each point - creating a circle of points. The resulting 3D model can then be rotated.

I'll be especially working to add more 3D graphics displays to gbSnippets. I find the programming issues of interest and the eye-candy plain fun to watch!

Lifetime Financial Planner
This amusement is more "serious" than "amusing". If you want a very top level view of what you must do to retire, with the ability to analyze the impact of various pre- and post-retirement savings, then the Lifetime Financial Planner is for you!

Using the LFP:
The LFP loads with default values and plots the results. The green area represents pre-retirement net worth and the blue represents post-retirement net worth. The parameters used to calculate the values in the chart are shown on the left.

To change a parameter, simply click one of the down arrows in the toolbar and select the value you want. If you want a value not in the list, then press the toolbar button itself to get an inputbox that allows you to put a custom value.

The plot automatically updates itself when you make a paramenter change.

Here's a description of all of the parameters, both pre-retirement and post-retirement.

Pre-Retirement Arguments

Post-Retirement Arguments
Once retired, the LFP assumes you may continue to have a (probably) smaller income that eventually goes away. It also assumes that you will be eligible for Social Security and allows you to elect which year you will start receiving benefits. LFP also allows you to input your monthly expenses, which are assumed flat throughout retirement.

Finally, the LFP allows you to identify two lump sum events that take place at any time. For example, you might expect an inheritance to kick in at a certain age, or you might plan a major trip.

Additional Information
Net worth values are assumed to be end-of-year values. The value entered as pre-retirement monthly savings is used without change (no inflation impact) during the pre-retirement years. Interest/inflation is applied to net worth values.

Post-retirement expenses, income, and social security are entered in today's dollars. Inflation is applied to generate then-year dollars.

Notice of No Guaranty
For the record, I am not a certified accountant nor financial planner. I hold no finance-related degree. This information is provided as-is, with no guarantee of accuracy. Use at your own risk. You should consult your own financial advisor before making any financial decisions.

Stock Market Simulator - 1000 Days To Riches!
Do you have the skills to get rich in the stock market? This game starts you off with $250K (part cash and part stocks). You then have 1000 days in which to increase your net worth to a cool $1,000,000 !!!!

The stock price is plotted, as is your net worth. Use the toolbar buttons to buy and sell stock (you know - buy low, sell high!). Your best score is kept. If you quit the game, all the information is kept until you return to play.

If you can't beat this game, then DO NOT quite your day job to become a day trader!

Applications in Work
There are all kinds of mini-applications I can add to gbSnippets. Here's some of the ones already on my list to add in the near future.

I'm completely open to suggestion from gbSnippets users. Tell me what you'd like to see added!