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For Software Addicts: Yes!MaybeNah!
Articles In Category <em></em>

Articles In Category

December 1st, 2006

ScreenSend: A Reliable Method of Screen-Sharing!

November 29th, 2006

Constrictor: Not Just The Same Old Screen Captures

November 8th, 2006

ScreenShot Plus: A Small Step Up From Built-In Screen Capture

September 28th, 2006

Writing on Your Screen: Digital Annotations Can Save Time, Trees

I’ve had an interest in Digital Annotation Rocks!the “paperless office” for years, ever since Adobe Acrobat came out and was pitched as a possible solution. However, despite the growing sophistication of personal computers over the years, people seem to cling to paper methods no matter what great digital idea comes along. There are reasons for this, of course. For example, I still much prefer to read paper documents instead of trying to read onscreen. My desk is littered with web articles I’ve printed out to read later, although I do take steps to minimize the amount of paper required… by printing duplex (those new Pixma printers from Canon finally make duplex practical in an affordable desktop printer), and by even sometimes printing two pages up, thereby fitting four pages on one sheet of paper.

My preference for reading paper has more to do with portability than readability nowadays. I simply prefer to read in a more relaxed position than one can muster at a desktop PC, and I also like reading in places where even laptops are uncomfortable to use. (I didn’t say the toilet, mind you.)

One small area where little progress seems to have been made in eliminating paper involves marking up comments and other notes on paper documents. If I see a web article or some other electronic document and want to pass it along to a colleague with a few comments, my digital options aren’t great. I can forward the URL in an email, but then it’s hard to focus attention on the particular passage I want to comment on. I can take a screenshot and somehow include that in an email or word processing document and send it along. Or I can print it out and mark it up, then stick it in interoffice mail… or simply walk it over to my colleague.

But what if I could simply mark up a few comments right on my computer screen and then transmit a snapshot of that? Wouldn’t that be easier all around, and save paper as well?

Full article

July 26th, 2006

Getting Ready for Screencasting: A Review of Video Screen Capture Software for Mac OS X

Video Screen Capture Software for Mac OS XI’ve been hooked on the idea of screencasting ever since Jon Udell started pushing it a couple of years ago.  He pointed out some very effective screencasts that others had made and posted several excellent screencasts himself, interspersed with articles on best practices, tools, and tips.  As Udell pointed out in “Movies of Software,” Apple has done a less-than-stellar job at making screencasting on the Mac as super-simple as other creative and educational tasks are.  He was also dismayed–well, at least, I was dismayed–to report that he was doing his screencasting on a Windows machine mainly because Microsoft had provided superior, free tools for doing so.  *Groan*  Let’s see… that was a year and a half ago!  I thought surely someone from Apple would have read his blog post and rushed an update to QuickTime Pro to make amends.  Not that it’s completely equivalent, because QuickTime Pro isn’t free, but at least Mac OS X users wouldn’t have to go hunting and pecking for a tool to do a basic job like screen-capturing.  The problem is, you see, that the world has moved on from Grab, and when I think “screen-capture” today, I don’t just think still pictures.  Heck, no.  I want to capture motion… I want to capture sound.  I want to capture software.

The sound part is easy, thanks to the truly superior tools Apple provides in iLife… in this case, GarageBand.  But the video… Like I said, *Groan*!  On a Mac, you can capture yourself making funny faces in both stills and videos… You can create little video miracles of your family at play… You can turn yourself into a budding American Idol with GarageBand and iMovie.  But you can’t do a simple thing like capturing the beautiful animations and user-interface delights that Mac users enjoy while working with their software.  In other words, you can’t capture videos of Mac OS X in action.

So, one of the categories of software I’ve been keeping an eye on–and cataloguing possible purchases in–has been video screen capture products.  I don’t think I’d ever have the time–or talent–to prepare true screencasts in the Jon Udell mold, but I have found myself wanting to capture small videos of Mac OS X software in action on many occasions.  In fact, little videos have been creeping into my software reviews and other blog posts for the last 6 months or so.

Full article

July 25th, 2006

iShowU: Screen-Capture/Video Capture Movie Utility

July 8th, 2006

Screen Mimic: Screen Recording in Flash or QuickTime

June 8th, 2006

DeskDoodle: Draw Freehand on Your Screen

April 28th, 2006

Desktastic: Draw Directly on your Mac OS X Desktop!

April 23rd, 2006

SnapWeb: Unique Web-Page Archiving Utility

April 17th, 2006

Display Eater: Screencasting Assistant

December 9th, 2005

Screenography: Capture Screen Movies to QuickTime or Flash

Just Say No To Flash