CaT Trax: Take a Walk on the iPhone Side

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  • iPhone Apps--they're so easy even aging cantankerous musicians can be successful with them.

    Hot on the trail of Brian Eno's Bloom as the best ex-rocker app, Lou Reed has released Lou Zoom, a simple program that takes your contacts, slaps them into Helvetica Neue and magnifies them. It's nothing too complex or radical, but we have to give props to whatever insight fueled the development, even if it is just 'I'm old and can't see as well as I used to.' Also, the Jitterbug-ification of the iPhone is slightly ironic and amusing.

    To underline that we don't just think app development is for dilettante rockers, check out Note Taker, from Dan Bricklin, the co-creator of VisiCalc, the first spreadsheet calculation program for a computer. As Bricklin says, "over the last couple of months I've been working on learning a different medium and a different business environment. In mid-September I purchased a shiny new 24" Apple iMac and an iPhone 3GS. I signed up for the Apple iPhone Developer Program. I bought some books and started doing the tutorials, step by step. I came up with the idea for an app I needed and built a prototype, then plunged in and started creating a full app that would be good for others, too."

    Respect. The app's pretty cool, too.

  • Core77 took a visit to Autodesk University and found Zebra Imaging, an Austin company founded in 1996 by MIT Media Lab graduates that makes several categories of 3D products, including a mindbending architectural hologram. Turns out, they're not so expensive--what better way to model your backyard geodesic dome before getting your significant other to divert vacation money to the project? Check out the video and be amazed.

  • Lastly, as we waltz through the last days of 2009 with delicious foods and fine company, we present Boing Boing's best console games and indie/iPhone games of 2009. There are some real humdingers in there to keep you busy until the CaT newsletter's back 'atcha on January 7, 2010.