Word Clouds on the iPad

I can’t ignore a good deal and I like visualizations.  Today, I had a chance to enjoy both!

Cloudart was available for free on Friday – so I downloaded it – I can’t ignore that.  I’ve had some people ask for recommendations for a word cloud generator for the iPad so it seemed natural to put Cloudart through its paces.  There are web based solutions and certainly they work wonderfully on a desktop – not so much on portable.  There are so many good ideas for the use of Word Clouds – here are 108 of them.  I think it’s quite natural to seek out a good iPad solution.  Cloudart looks like it will be a perfect fit.

Downloading was dead simple from the App Store.  Synching drove me nuts – I have so much stored on my iPad that anything new is an exercise in app / music removal so that there is room to perform the function.  But, a little while later, room was made and I’m ready to give it a workout.

Loading the application reveals the sort of regular utility desktop that you would expect.  The help was very interesting.  This is how help should be.  Short and to the point.

Certainly, there’s an assumption that you know what a word cloud is all about.  Who doesn’t in this day and age?

I asked to “Start a new cloud” but didn’t feel like creating from text.  Instead, I opted for the option to create a cloud from a web page.  What great choice is there than to tap into the wisdom of one of my lists of Ontario Educators!

Without any editing for filtering, I could see that this great group was doing a great deal of Twitter things.  As you know, the more frequent the text, the larger the words in the word cloud.  So, it should come as no surprise that there was a large number of replies, favouriting, and retweeting!

From the looks of things, @techieang, @acampbell99, and @rajalingam were pretty active when I took my snapshot.

(I was glad to see that “programming” appear in the list!)

Once created, there were a few options to rearrange the collection, edit a word, change the font, etc.  You know, the good things that you would expect to do with word clouds.  The “Share” option is create to get the production from iPad to anywhere you’d want it to go.

This app is definitely a keeper.  It’s got so much of what I would want for a word visualization tool.  Today, it’s back at its regular price -£0.69, if you’re interested.


Taking Instead of Sharing and Then Taking Off

It’s Saturday morning and my favourite movie “The Alamo” is on television.  Every time I watch the movie, I think of San Antonio, my tours of the Alamo, the Riverwalk, and all things I know about Texas.  Then, it hit me.  I had another Texas connection in the hopper.

I had read Miguel Guhlin’s post “Collect Student Work Easily – Setup Your #iPad as a WebDav Server” on Zite but I hadn’t actually tried it myself.  Whenever I read something inspirational like that, I do try it to see if it works as easily as the post says.

Up goes the laptop and I’m off to read his post.  Essentially, it required a couple of downloads.

  1. Documents by Readdle as the host for the teacher iPad;
  2. WebDAV Navigator for the student’s iPads.

OK, first problem.  That would require more than one iPad to experiment.  That’s a luxury that I don’t have here at dougpete labs.

I know – I’ll use my old iPod instead.

Second problem.  The operative word is “old”.  So old, in fact, that it’s not capable of running a current version of iOS to run the Navigator client.  Rats.

Well, maybe there’s another application in the App Store that will run on an older version.  Nope.  Nope.  No go.  Finally, I find DAV-E.  It likes my old iPod!

A quick setup on the host iPad and I’m ready to test the connection.  Voila!  It’s very fast and I’m browsing the host iPad very nicely.  I try to do a number of things and DAV-E wants me to make a purchase to a module to make it happen.  I’m just doing a proof of concept and so resist the urge.

Now, I should be able to connect my computer to the iPad.  “Go”, “Connect to Server”, enter the login credentials and I’m there browsing my iPad.  Very nice!

I head over to the Google Play store to install a WebDAV browser there.  WebDAV Nav Lite is a quick download and configuration away.  Connect and go!

This is really slick.  I would normally have used a third party for file transfer between devices – typically Dropbox but Miguel’s insights has streamlined that process.

In addition, Documents by Readdle is also a file browser and internet browser.  I’m going to have a great deal of fun playing around with this and seeing just what I’m able to do with it.

The original post was a fabulous launchpad for me and my explorations!  Thanks so much for the post, Miguel.  If you haven’t read the post, scroll back to the top and read his post completely.  Try it and you’ll agree – it’s a keeper.

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Ultimate Flash Face

One of the things that I get a kick from is watching crime television shows and the victim sits with a police artist to draw an image of the bad guy.  I always have a tough time making the connection between the drawing and the bad guy.  Plus, in real life, it might go by so quickly and you’d be under so many emotions.

I don’t know how they do it.  Hopefully, it’s never needed but we do live in a world where we all pretty much carry digital cameras and there are security cameras everywhere.

Today, I stumbled upon the “Ultimate Flash Face” program.  Written in Flash, it’s good to go for your PC but fortunately, there’s an app for it at the App Store and on Google Play.

I tried it out trying to draw myself but the real to live images kept looking like Tom Cruise.

So, I decided to give it another shot.  During a dog walk today, I took a quick look at a guy and tried to remember his features.  When I got home, I drew what I thought I remembered.


I’ll be honest here – he had a toque on and it wasn’t very bright.  Regardless, the above image bears absolutely no resemblance to the image that I was trying to remember.  This is much more difficult than it looks!

But, drawing the face is a piece of cake!

You choose from a selection of images like eyes, hair, nose, chin, etc. and compose your face.

It only takes a few minutes to put together a basic face, but with lots of options and detail adjustment, you could make this a serious endeavour with lots of classroom applications.

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