Author Archives: Richard A. Cook
Poly-Frame is a pretty cool app for those who would like to display several photos together. It allows you to use preset frames and fill them with you family and friends. You can easily fine tune the position of the photograph as well as the frame’s color, design and width. It functions quite intuitively and allows you to share these photos via email or social media or store the in your camera roll. Below is a photo collage I created with Poly-Frame.
Well its that time of year again and everyone in my home State of Indiana is basketball crazy. Here in Indiana work seems to really shuts down the first weekend of the tournament which I also thinks is the best. Because things get so busy at work and in my life it is difficult to stay up to date on the action. The CBS NCAA app is a life saver. It will allow you streams the games and access information through either your iPhone or iPad. I used it last night while at the Butler game and was very impressed with the TV like quality of the picture. The technology has really improved from my early days of streaming games on my 1st generation iPhone. The only drawback was the inability to pick up the studio show in between the 1st round playing games. In addition to watching the games you can receive the various type of updates and message should a big upset happen. The top picture is from my iPad while the bottom picture is from my iPhone. The cost of $3.99 seems to be putting some people off which is crazy since this is less than a Starbucks Specialty drink. Hope you enjoy your hoops baby!
This an addicting action game that will keep you running for hours on end just a few steps ahead of an angry group of monkeys. You make you way through a maze of walkways as you pick up coins and powers that allow you to become invisible or run through the maze at breakneck speed. The graphics are amazing which play to jungle drums and shrieking moneys. You run, jump and slide you way through various obstacles such as hollowed out tree trunks, rings of fire, damaged walkways, and rocky ledges. This game is easy to learn but tough to master. The app is free, but you can buy coins for a price if you don’t have the patience to earn them on your own. It is available for both the iPhone and iPad, however the iPad version is a little more difficult to beat. Below are couple of screen shots from this app.
Apple is offering more and more interactive forms of media that fully utilizes the genius of the iPad platform. “The History of Rock and Roll” app fully realizes the potential of this platform by offering a timeline driven app which allows one to explore the history of rock music in a nonlinear manner. The year to year time line of Rock and Roll Music allows you to explore as little or deeply as you like from the 1950’s up to the present. You can jump between short paragraphs to in-depth articles, song clips and videos. The app is visually attractive and fun to use. It is filled with interesting trivia and pictures. This style of format will continue evolve and encompass academic subjects and redefine textbook used it schools. In the meantime, you can enjoy this finely crafted app to explore your interest in rock music, both now and then.
Contour is an app designed to help focus the creative process of writing a screen or teleplay by utilizing a known structure and series of central questions to develop your main character as well as create and properly set up your story in a way that will draw the reader in and fulfill the requirements of the plot and pacing of your story. Contour was developed by Jeffrey Alan Schechter, a WGA, WGC, Emmy, and BAFTA nominated writer, producer, and director. According to Schechter the four questions you must ask and answer for your movie to successful are:
Who’s your main character?
What’s your main character trying to accomplish?
Who’s trying to stop your main character?
What happens if your main character fails?
The answers must be:
A sympathetic character, who is…
…trying to accomplish a compelling goal while being opposed by…
… a powerful and committed opponent, over…
life and death stakes.
The app’s script structure use four archetypes to develop the main character through the course of your script. These are the four classic archetypes that every main character moves through in every great movie:
ORPHAN in Act One
WANDERER in the first half of Act Two
WARRIOR in the second half of Act Two
MARTYR in Act Three.
For reference, the app includes a number well-known movies and dissects and analyzes them using this structure. These examples of successful movies are included for ready reference. The app has an extensive user manual which will help you learn the Contour structure and apply it to your own writing. There are built in links to the Contour website including extensive references to current movies, message boards and tech support. The program costs $5.00. The program allows you to work and capture those ideas on the go whether it’s during a lunch break, between appointments or late at night while lying in bed. The program costs $5.00. For the cost of a Starbucks Chai Latte, Contour will help you shape your screenwriting.
Have you ever wanted to make your own Obama styled “Hope Poster.” Need a motivational tool for your family and co-workers? Well, I have a couple of apps just for you. HOPE Poster and Motivational are two apps to fit the bill. The HOPE Poster app is currently free and allows you to turn your own photos into an Obama style poster. You simply select your photo and scale it. Once you select your color scheme, the photo is posterized and you are free to add your description below. Below is a poster of my two daughters.
Or perhaps you want to motivate those around you with the perfect poster. Well, the Motivational app will do the job for the cost of just $0.99. You select, scale and adjust the darkness and shadows of your photo to create just the right mood for your motivational message. Once you have perfected your picture, you can add your title and motivational tag line. Both programs allow you to share your posters via email or on social networks. Below is a motivational poster I’d like to share with my daughter’s dates!
AutoStitch allows you to create hi-resolution panoramic photos with your iPhone that are truly stunning. You simply take a series of overlapping photographs as you rotate from a fixed position and the app stitches the photos together to form a single high resolution picture. I have used other apps which do the same thing, but I really feel like this app is the best. The quality of the panoramic photo is quite good. The photo above of Hinkle Fieldhouse on the Butler campus was created with my iPhone and was stitched together from 9 separate photos.
As the screen view above from the app demonstrates, the process is pretty simple. I believe the photos are exceptional because you can stead the camera for each individual photograph which leads to a sharper image overall. Also, the process of stitching together more photos leads to greater data and therefore higher resolution. Try it. You will be impressed.
WolframAlpha is app like no other app. It is amazing all that it can do. Want to find basic statistical data for a city or town? Need to calculate the braking distance for a passenger vehicle traveling 60 MPH on asphalt? How about the blood alcohol level of a person of a given weight and sex? Want know what phase of the moon was present on a particular date and local? Wolfram Alpha can do it all whether it is mathematics, statistics, engineering, physics, regression analysis, transportation questions, dietary information, conversion of measures, etc. It is an amazing computing device and source of information. It almost like science fiction to it solve problems you present to it. The app is great for students and information junkies, alike. Below is an example of the app determining the blood alcohol level for a 155 pound man and a graph plotting his blood alcohol level over time.
Top Camera is an app that combines a digital photo/video camera and a number of photo shop tools into a single app. Pictures can be shot in landscape or portrait format. The camera allows live adjustments for contrast, brightness, saturation and temperature. It enables your iPad or iPhone to employ the use of a timer, image stabilizer and a high dynamic range feature to improve the quality of your pictures. You can adjust the shutter speed and can also take rapid burst of photos up to 6 per second. There is an on-screen level and grid display which also you to properly position your camera and compose your picture. There is also a digital zoom feature as well. Top camera also allows you to edit your picture by cropping, rotating, adjusting color, saturation, brightness and contrast. There are also various effects which may be superimposed on your image as well as borders. The program retains the original photo making it possible to revert back to your original picture. You are also able to share photos with little difficulty through social websites or via email. You can also record movies with the video camera. The app has received high ratings from other users. The app is a bargain price wise as well at $2.99. A free version is available as well with more limited options and tools. The picture above was taken and edited with Top Camera.