Recommendations: Software

53 Paper. World’s coolest iPad drawing app  

Drawn with 53's iPad app, Paper

This app is intuititive, simple, and powerful. Get it. 

Posted on 01/15/14 _________________________________________________________________________________________________


A very easy and effective way to learn a foreign language

Pimsleur is the method of learning languages that was developed by Paul Pimsleur. It is primarily aural, and has a reputation for teaching quickly and accurately, with little accent. My experience with it was with the first 30 lessons of Norwegian. It was amazing to learn so much so quickly and enjoy the entire process. Now that I finished the first 30 lessons, I am at a bit of a loss what to do next. I am working on my vocabulary by reading books in Norwegian and listening to podcasts.

If you want to learn a foreign language, Pimsleur is definitely a great option.

Posted on 06/19/12 _________________________________________________________________________________________________

Alchemy Open Drawing/Sound Software  

Sound + Chaos = Inspiring Visual Seeds
Image by Andrew Jones using Alchemy and
Painter X software

At first, I thought this was a silly novelty, but after inspecting a little further, I see this as a fantastic creative tool for the generation of form and pattern.

My work is pretty stodgy- figurative sculpture - but I can envision this tool thoroughly entiching my conception of gesture, fabric flow, and composition. 

I can also see this tool as having fantastic power to unstall someone who has white canvas block. 

All this, not to mention that this tool is free - the code is open -  it's designed and implemented to make the world a better place. It's Mac/Windows?Linux compatible.  Take a gander:

Posted on 07/07/11 _________________________________________________________________________________________________

Expression Engine  

A Tremendous Content Management System
Content Management System

I learned to use Expression Engine for one of my day jobs. It wasn't long before I decided to make the transition for my own pages. EE, as it has come be called in the field, enables relatively easy coding for blog-type sites like this one. The great thing about it is that the html and css are COMPLETELY up to you (so you need to know html and csss). I have made three science-oriented sites with it that have very formal but deep navigational structures. This site, on the other hand has a simple structure and is more focused on graphics.

EE requires that you learn it's logic of channels and categories, and there is a system of tags, too. Learning all this is well worth the effort as it makes building rather complex content structures much easier than other systems with significantly more visual versatility than Drupal, Plone, and such.

EE is supported by a very active and helpful forum. I usually get an answer that works within 5-6 hours.

The cost varies depending on your application and ranges from $99 to $300. EE also has a 'kid-sister" called MoJoMotor, which is touted as a very user-friendly CMS. I have not used this yet.

Here's the EE link:
Here's the link to MojoMotor:

Posted on 03/18/11 _________________________________________________________________________________________________


Traditional Animation software

Pencil is a remarkably simple FREE program that you use to create classic flip-book type animation. It has easy to use brush and color tools and a simple time-line tool. It's a tool to introduce anyone to digital time-based media. Simple enough for elementary school kids to use with some guidance, it is also used in college film programs.

Posted on 03/14/11 _________________________________________________________________________________________________  

Blender is a FREE open-sourced software program for making 3D digital animation is a community of artists and software engineers who use and develop one amazing software package. Whether you are interested in digital animation, games, or making 3D models, Blender can help you. It can be complicated to use, but that's because it is so versatile. I recommend the website, too because it is full of helpful tutorials and examples. There is another forum for helping with Blender use, The p.rogram can be downloaded from Make certain that you get the newer version, 2.5 or greater. Blender is as powerful as similar software programs like Z-brush and Maya, but it is entirely free. It also runs on mac and PC. My biggest tip is to learn the keyboard shortcuts. I have made summary sheets of the keyboard and mouse shortcuts that you can download ShortCuts.pdf . Above is a mesh that I built from the ground up using Blender.

I also have some free blender lessons that introduce the the complicated program in small steps, suitable for teens or methodical adults.

Blender 2.5 Keyboard Shortcuts

Posted on 03/14/11 _________________________________________________________________________________________________