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Post Xmas

I got an iPhone for Xmas, and I’ve been playing with it a lot.

My first photo with the iPhone, heavily Lightroom-treated to “fix” it. Me and my skug. (But which is which?)

I put about 10 Gigs of music on the iPhone, and am now dreaming of ripping all my old vinyl records, which would take days. I converted a bunch of my photos to the native iPhone image size of 900 pixels wide or high, at 326 pixels per inch (!?) and used iTunes to put them on the iPhone. I even found a site explaining how to put my manuscripts on it in E-Pub format, not that I’ll ever look at them, I don’t think.

And I got some apps. I’d been to an “augmented reality” conference in 2010, so I was especially interested in augmented reality apps, that is, apps in which a live video image of the world is overlaid with information or with game elements.

[UFO disguised as a princess cake.]

My favorite among these is AR Invaders. You see UFOs flying across your sky, or, for that matter, around your living-room. And you shoot them, twisting wildly back and forth to see them all through your iPhone screen. My son Rudy was really into it. “There are so many UFOs in here,” he said. “And nobody else can see them.”

My family and I were in the SF MOMA for about twenty minutes the other day—no longer than that, as we had four young children in the party. On the top floor they had a show of recent art. It’s rather rare to see any real paintings at all in an art show anymore, but there was a good one by Amy Sillman, “US of Alice the Goon.” I found a lot more of her paintings online with a Google image search.

I also saw a weird video by Ryan Trecartin. You can find a lot of his work online at this great avant garde art site, UbuWeb.

[This is the only other iPhone photo I’m posting today, all the others are from my Canon S90. This is just a picture of a folded blanket, and should not be confused with the story line in Duane Michal’s ribald photo series, “Take One And See Mt. Fujiyama.”]

The iPhone camera is, as my nephew Embry puts it, “a nasty little camera.” I am getting better at using it—learning to tap on the screen to focus, and to zoom in a little bit to reduce the fisheye effect. I tried some photo apps, including Hipstamatic and Camera+, but neither of them really seems to improve such basic weaknesses as speckling and distortion. You can fix a little of that in Lightroom, but, really, that’s kind of a waste of time—if you want a nicer looking picture, you want to use a nicer camera. The iPhone camera is handy, though, and it’s fun for making videos to be viewed basically only on the phone.

Speaking of cameras, I read an interesting article about digital camera sensors in the New York Times the other day. I like this article because it speaks favorably of the Canon S95 that I’m using as a pocket camera these days (well, actually I have last year’s model, the S90). These guys have larger sensors than generic digicams, although not as large as the high-end SLR digital ones.

What else? My article “Lifebox Immortality” is on the h+ Magazine site.

Now for New Year’s Eve and Day.

6 Responses to “Post Xmas”

  1. nick herbert Says:

    It’s about time you joined the MACWORLD, skuggie. Your formal membership card in the REAL WORLD will be delivered soon thru subtle quantum-intimate channels.

  2. emilio Says:

    good to see you moving into the 21st century:-)

  3. Alex Says:

    A great gnarly math type puzzle game for the iPhone is Drop7,
    I think you’d like it.

  4. HAL-1701 Says:

    two pix i saw today:

    they look like you. the page’s caption was “which one is the android”:


    and i was reminded of this image by the rudypainting-ized photo of you:


  5. Justin Says:

    Hi Rudy,

    Just reading through your H+ lifebox article, and it occurred to me that you might not yet be aware that the late Mac Tonnies is the cornerstone in a recent New York Times article called “Cyberspace When You’re Dead”.

    Seems very apropos to the lifebox idea. They actually mention your name, too, so sorry if you’re already aware of the article.

  6. Rudy Says:

    Thanks for the heads-up, Justin. I just read that article in print today, and I put up a blog post about it, see

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