Stuff to Do When it Rains

Bahrain had one of those "mother of all rains" yesterday that lasted just about most of the day. Unlike other countries (in Europe for instance), that much rain is not normal around here. The sewers get clogged, cars break down, the sun is gone making it dark and gloomy (it went dark at around 4pm :-s) and people don't exactly know how to drive in the rain. If you are like me and prefer to stay home, here are some things you can do to pass time:

  1. Read a book! Or to make it more interesting an e-book. After getting my Android phone, one of the first apps I looked for was one of those e-reader apps. The best one I have tried so far in terms of functionality, book selection (lots of free) and interactivity is Kobo eBooks.
  2. Watch a TV show or a movie. This one is pretty old and too cliche. Does your laptop come with an HDMI port or provide connectivity to your TV? Hook it up and enjoy the latest episodes from US channels through SideReel. Prefer movies? Try 1Channel. Note: legal issues depending on region.
  3. Play games! Board games aren't for everyone (they are probably in your dusty closet), given the convenience of having a computer around you most of the time. The easiest way of playing games on your computer without cluttering your computer with lots of software is to install only 1 piece of software: Google Chrome. Once installed, you can access the Chrome Web Store, in there you can find not only apps but lots and lots of games (including Angry Birds!).
  4. Rather look for interesting stuff online? No problem, you will probably "stumble upon" something you interest on StumbleUpon. Prefer more "people news" sort of stuff try Digg. More of a geek? Try Slashdot. Don't try a news site, news ain't that good these days…
  5. Play a musical instrument. I've got a couple of guitar, but when it rains and is cold I'd rather stay warm under covers… Solution, musical instrument apps. My favorite is Guitar Solo for Android (free or paid). The chords by default upon installation are those of Hotel California, so even if you are not a guitar player you can still play something. It can even overlay tabs on screen from Ultimate Guitar ;-).
  6. Chat with your friends online. You might not be able to meet your friends for real on a rainy day, but you could always do it through Skype. You will be able to not only text chat but call and even see them through your webcam. There are versions for portable devices as well (from Android to Windows Mobile).
  7. Got a spare computer lying around? Why not try an alternative operating system such as Linux? How is this related to rain? The time it takes to find a good distribution, downloading, installing and configuring should kill time. You may find an overview of different Linux distributions on DistroWatch, along with their sites, download pages, screenshots and more.

As you have probably noticed by now, almost all of the above requires an electronic device. Hope you don't lose power during the rain :-P!

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