Quick Snippets

Published on Thursday, September 08, 2011 in , , , , , , , ,

Luc Viator's plasma lamp pictureWelcome to September's snippets! This time, it's a digital edition, with a heavy iTunes Store influence. If you like the idea of and app I mention, but don't find that you can use it on your system of choice, you can search for a similar app for your system using Quixey.

(Note: There will be no post on Sunday, as Sunday is the 10th anniversary of the September 11th attacks. I will be getting together with friends and associates, spending it in remembrance of those who died in the attacks.)

• We'll start off with memory techniques. The best place to start is with the basics. Just learning the Link System? Check out Membox Free, a free iOS game which gives you more and more objects to remember. If you like it, its ad-free big brother goes for $1.99.

Maybe you're learning the phonetic alphabet for use in the Major/Peg System. In that case, check out NumberThink. This free iOS app both challenges you to translate between words and numbers, but also helps you look up words for numbers, as well.

iVocAudio is a memory program that helps you remember things by having you record them in your own voice. It dropped to free yesterday (Sept. 7, 2011), and will probably only remain free for a short while, so if you like the idea, get it now. Update (Sep. 9, 2011): It's just gone back up to $1.99.

• If you want to learn to memorize a shuffled deck of cards quickly, check out the free How to memorize a deck of cards app. It uses the PAO (Person-Action-Object) system, as popularized in the book Moonwalking With Einstein.

• Speaking of books, there are a couple of app-based books on memory available for free. Check out How to Memorize Anything and the game/book combination The Best Memory Game & Memory Technique Most Effective.

• One of the more unusual apps is The Date Game, where you race through the calendar to be the first person to land on Dec. 31st. It's free, with a 99-cent charge for a clue on how to win. However, regular Grey Matters readers and Scam School viewers will already know not only how to win this version, but how to win while going backwards, too!

• Since I mentioned Scam School (iTunes Link), it's time to turn our attention to podcasts. Brian Brushwood's Pi Day and Pi Day 2 cohort, James Grime now has his own podcast on iTunes U, courtesy of the University of Cambridge! It's called Quite Easy Done (or QED for short). It's planned to contain not only his classic videos from YouTube, but new original content, as well.

• To round up this app-based column, I should update you on my progress with the new app version of Train Your Brain and Entertain. I've got all the quizzes from the original version working! My focus now is on developing the animated help system, where an arrow takes you through how to use each part of the interface. When that's done, I'll be creating in-app slideshows teaching the techniques themselves. After a little user-based testing, I'll be releasing it for sale! It shouldn't be too long now.

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