But the second is the most fun. Upon selecting the desired brush shape, size and width, you click "start" and your picture then comes alive as if thousands of paint brushes are dabbing and swirling it with oil paints. (The colors are derived from your original image's palette.) This real-time rendering runs continuously until you stop it. Using Impressionist just to watch this effect in motion is hypnotic.
3. Sketchpad: Drawing made easy
Its tools (such as for drawing, cropping and masking) work smoothly, as do its toolbar and canvas windows when you click on and drag to reposition them in the work area. Sketchpad's other strength is its huge variety of built-in patterns and gradients you can use in your image -- there's even a "spirograph" drawing tool.
4 Twitterbrowse: Find friends and followers
Enter the username of a Twitter account into its search box, and twitterbrowse pulls up the user photos of the friends and followers for that person, laying them out into a grid. These images can be sorted alphabetically, or by friends or followers. When you re-sort, the photos neatly shuffle into the selected order.
Click on the user photo of a friend or follower, and information about the total number of friends and followers for that username will slide out from the right side of the user photo. You can then click a link to jump to a new page where you can browse through the friends and followers -- arranged into its own grid -- for that selected Twitter user.
Slick as this is, it would be cool if its developer could add reading and writing tweets to his demo. That would make twitterbrowse a great alternative user interface for using Twitter.
5. Vectomatic: Vector graphics for dummies
Although a demo, this vector graphics drawing program is almost a complete application that it would be a shame if its developer didn't finish it up. In its current version, Vectomatic still works well if you want to create simple vectorized graphics, and do so quickly. Or if you want to learn the basics of drawing vector graphics.
You can instantly draw rectangles and ellipses, and other shapes can be created using the point-by-point plotting "path" or the "poly" (for making curves) tools. The color selection system looks rudimentary and lacking, but you can adjust the range of each color. The stacking order of shape layers can be manipulated.
There's one setback: you can't save your work, nor can you export it to the SVG file format -- for now, Vectomatic can only render your art out as a finalized Web page image.
6. World of Solitaire: Full-featured card game