Tag Archives: screencast

Create Your Own QR Codes

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QR Codes are showing up everywhere from posters, to shop windows, to the backs of business cards. How do you create a QR Code? Lockergnome guest screencaster Matthew Sabia shows you how to create and use a QR code in this screencast.

Matt came up with the idea for this video after seeing a question Justin posed on Lockergnome, asking if we agree with a particular statement. Instead of having any text, the message simply showed a huge QR code, which many people have no clue how to read.

QR codes have many uses. For instance, you can create a QR code on your desktop with information inside of it that you may need on your phone. Take a snapshot of that code with your mobile device using an app created for this purpose and the information is automatically transferred.

If you head over to miniQR, you can quickly create a QR code of your very own! Enter the information you wish to code into the little bar at the top, and click the “submit” button. Voila! You will then be able to save your QR code as a PDF or DOC file, or copy the direct link to Twitter, Facebook and more.

Thanks, Matt, for another excellent screencast.

Is That Website Safe?

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Aaron has recorded this screencast to show all of you how to figure out if a website you want to visit is safe or not. McAfee’s SiteAdvisor doesn’t require any downloads, and will give you a detailed report along with your green (or red!) light.

Not only does the report give you a red or green light, it also includes demographic information such as the country the site is located in and how popular it is. If there are downloads available on the web page, McAfee has already tested each and every one to be sure that it’s clean and free of malware.

Customer (visitor) commentary adds a nice touch to your report. See what others are saying about their experience visiting that site. You can become a member for free and add your thoughts to any web site report that you find.

You will find a handy little graph that shows you what other sites are affiliated with the site in question, as well as being able to quickly tell if they are “green” or not. When checking out my main site, you’ll find links off to my live page, Lockergnome and various other sites that I maintain. As I would expect, all of my sites have a green light.

Lastly, you’ll be able to see exactly what annoyances a site may hold – such as popups. The team at McAfee has built this excellent tool to help you learn how to stay safe online, and to alert you to potential dangers before you ever click that link.

Thanks to Aaron for this excellent tutorial.

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How To Create a Screencast

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We have had more screencast submissions lately than we can even count. I know all of you are anxious and hoping to be featured in our channels. However, you’re wasting your time – and ours – if you aren’t following a few simple steps. Dylan took the time to create this screencast to help all of you have a better chance of having your work showcased.

  • HD Quality – 1080p is not required. 780p is more than sufficient. If at all possible, render them in 1280×720 resolution. It’s the perfect size for your screencast.
  • Format – .WMV and .AVI files are huge and a pain in the butt to transfer, upload and process. Always try to use an .MP4 format to make life much easier on everyone.
  • Introduce Yourself – Who are you? What do you do? Make sure you state your name at the beginning of the video and state that it is being recorded on behalf of youtube.com/lockergnome. At the end of the video, it is okay to tell people where to find you on YouTube, Twitter or the web. However, again please remember to mention our channels and sites.
  • Speak Clearly – Why is it you feel you should be talking about this subject? What makes it interesting or exciting? Pay attention to your tone of voice. No one wants to hear a robot or monotone person. This is your opportunity to shine, so impress your audience. Put some animation and life into your voice.
  • Length – Keep it short and simple, silly. No one is going to sit through a twenty minute screencast.
  • Annotation – Put the lockergnome.com annotation in the lower right-hand corner of the video using just about any video editing software.
  • Uploading – Don’t upload your video to Geeks or your own YouTube channel. Send them directly to Chris and to Kat via email – using filemail.com. We prefer filemail due to faster download speeds and no intrusive popups.
  • Email Contact – Make SURE you CC Kat on every screencast email that you send me, whether it is questions that you have, an actual video file to send or if you’re just following up on something you have submitted. Chances are, I’m going to pass off your email to her to answer, anyway. She handles the upload of all videos for me, and it’s usually her you have to get through in order to be approved.
  • HAVE FUN – This isn’t supposed to be work. It’s supposed to be FUN. Relax and enjoy yourself.

Thanks, Dylan, for doing this screencast for us. I appreciate you breaking it down this way to make it easier on everyone involved.

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How Will RockMelt Change the Way You Browse?

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Marques is back with another screencast. This time, he’s taking a close look at the hot new RockMelt browser. If you’re a social media addict who cannot get enough of your Facebook and Twitter streams, you’re going to want to pay close attention.

RockMelt takes a whole new approach to sharing within a web browser. You’ll be asked to log in with your Facebook and Twitter accounts during setup. There are places to share photos, videos and links quickly and easily. You have a place to update your status without having to use a third-party application or having to head to either Facebook or Twitter.

Read the updates and check out the media that all of your friends are sending. You can stay on whatever website you’re currently reading and still take the time to pay attention to the friends and family who matter most to you.

Sharing hot news stories is simple. While you have any web page open, simply click the share button and tell RockMelt which of your social sites you want the link sent to. Add a short message of your own to explain the link and you’re done. There’s nothing to copy and paste… there’s nothing to log into.

If you’re a social media addict, this may just be the browser for you. It’s fast as heck, being based on the Chromium build. RockMelt receives a perfect 100 out of 100 on the Acid 3 test! It’s available for any platform you may be on, and is simple to use.

Thanks, Marques, for an excellent screencast.

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Should You Be Using YouTube Instant?

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Scott has created another screencast for us. This time, he’s going to dive into YouTube Instant. You’ll find out what it’s all about, and how it can help you.

YouTube Instant is very similar to Google Instant. You’ll receive results as you type your search words – instantly. When your results come up, you’re given the link and embed codes just underneath the viewing area, so you don’t have to go searching for them.

You can help videos go “viral” instantly, as well. Click the handy buttons found underneath what you’re watching: Twitter, Facebook, StumbleUpon or even Google Buzz. Show your appreciation for the visuals and give the creators a little love.

Thanks, Scott, for a great look into YouTube Instant.

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Google Chrome 5 Beta

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Marques has created several excellent screencasts for us in the past. This time, he wanted to show off how fast and stable the latest beta release of Google Chrome is. He feels that it’s the fastest browser to date. Additionally, Marques loves that the Extension integration has been made much simpler to use, and is instantaneous when you install or remove them.

There is quite a large collection of Extensions available. You’ll find categories for web development, blogging, shopping, sports, fun and accessibility. They install to your browser instantly with just one click, and remove themselves even faster. All you have to do is click on the little wrench icon at the top right of the browser, and choose Extensions.

The Acid3 Test is a fantastic way to test your browser’s speed and capability. It works with any browser you might have installed. It will determine not only the speed of the browser, but also how well it renders things. As you saw in the screencast, this version of Google Chrome rated 100 out of 100. The rendering wasn’t perfect… but again, it’s still a beta release. Apparently, my assistant Kat tested her Firefox browser, and only received a score of 94/100. That should tell you something, folks, about how much better this iteration of Chrome really is.

Thanks, Marques, for another great screencast.

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Add a ColorSplash Effect in PhotoShop

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Michael submitted this screencast for use in our channel. If you’ve always wanted to edit a photograph to have just a portion of it in color, you’re going to want to use the ColorSplash effect.

To do this, you’ll need to first open your picture in PhotoShop. Choose the Magnetic Lasso Tool, and slowly but surely trace the outline of the portion of the picture that you want to have the color.

Once it’s selected, go to Edit>Copy to copy what you’ve done, and then de-select the flower. Make a new layer, and go to Edit>Paste. The new layer will only consist of whatever you just outlined. Go back to your background layer, and go to Layer>New Layer Adjustment>Black and White. If your colored portion isn’t aligned properly, you can easily drag and drop it into place.

That’s all there is to it. I know there are a lot of different ways of achieving this same effect, but this definitely seems to be the fastest – and easiest.

Thanks, Michael, for an excellent tutorial!

Log In to Facebook With Style

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Not long ago, I uploaded a video where I talked briefly about the new Microsoft Silverlight 4 Beta Client for Facebook. I REALLY like this application, so I was happy that Marques wanted to do an in-depth look at this in a new screencast. This Silverlight beta really is breathtaking, and makes Facebook visually compelling. It makes me actually want to USE Facebook more often!

The interface is just plain beautiful. The actual website doesn’t look like this with the glowing buttons down the side, and the gorgeous category filters. It looks way better than the actual Facebook experience.

At the top there are more category filters, such as to allow you to filter by people. This is what really separates this application from the rest. You can really interface nicely with your Facebook without getting distracted. Yet, you will get all of the data you will ever need.

If you notice in the video, this application is very quick and loads perfectly. It also makes heavy use of all of your Facebook photos… yours and your friends’. It’s integrated with your photo albums, which is nice!

Microsoft has also enabled this client to integrate with your Facebook calendar. Lastly, you have the ability to comment and Like posts from within the application, just like you could if you were on the website itself.

Thanks, Marques for another excellent screencast! If you’re interested in submitting a screecast for our channels, shoot me an email. We’re always looking from fresh new content to promote that deals with technology or social media.

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What Easter Eggs are Found in Google?

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Devir has done a few screencasts for us in the past, with a lot of positive reviews. This time, he decided to have some fun, and show off several of the Easter Eggs he has found around Google’s sites. Don’t adjust your screen. The video is pausing at the beginning on purpose! That was Devir’s way of having a little fun with you all!

The first Easter Egg deals with the infamous Loch Ness Monster. Apparently, if you have iGoogle configured right, you will see this mysterious monster! If you change the theme to the Beach theme, you may see something interesting at precisecly 3:14am for about 60 seconds. This is a rumor, and is something that supposedly happens daily.

The next trick is a little simpler. Head over to Google.com/intl/xx-pirate/. This will take you to a search page that allows you to search like a pirate! All of your search results will be what you would normally receive. However, all of the text on the original page is pirate-speak!

You can also go to http://www.google.com/intl/xx-hacker/ to have hacker terminology on your main page!

Next you can have a bit of actual Easter fun! Point your browser to google.com/Easter/feature_easter.html. You can use your mouse cursor to help the little Easter bunny catch eggs in his basket, and spell out the word Google! You’ll probably end up addicted to this little game.

Now we’re going to head over to your Gmail account. Click on the Settings button. Now click on the Labs button. Now scroll down until you find the title Old Snakey and enable it. Make sure you save your changes. Now, whenever you are on your main Gmail homescreen, you’ll be able to click the & sign on your keyboard, which will allow you to play the Old Snakey game at any time, with just that one click on your keyboard.

The last trick Devir has for you is an old April Fool’s joke that Google played on us all a couple of years ago. Head over to google.com/mentalplex/. Once you’re there, you can enter a search term, or search smarter and faster using the Mentalplex. Stare into the moving circle while imagining what it is you want to search for. Let the Mentalplex show you your results! People really believed that this was something real, and was hilarious!

Thanks for another fun screencast, Devir. Great work!

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How to Convert Files Using Format Factory

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Trying to convert things from one file format to another can be a royal pain, as we all know. There are many programs out there that will do the job for us, but most of them will cost you an arm and a leg. Format Factory is a piece of freeware that is quite powerful. Matthew’s first screencast for us is going to show you how to use Format Factory to manage all of your file formats, conversions and more!

Not only can Format Factory convert video files, it can handle audio files and image files as well. Use it to reduce your file size, repair damaged files and even rip DVDs! It supports more than 50 languages, so you don’t have to wonder whether you’ll be able to fully understand the English version if you aren’t from the US.

Matthew says that the amazing thing about this program is the huge number of file types that are supported. Videos can be converted to: MP4, 3GP, MPG, AVI, WMV, FLV or SWF. Audio files can convert to: MP3, WMA, AMR, OGG, AAC, or WAV. Last – but not least! – image files can convert to: JPG, BMP, PNG, TIF, ICO, GIF, or TGA! Best of all, MP4 files support iPods, iPhone, PSP and BlackBerry format!

As you can see from the screencast, it’s exceedingly easy to use, and it won’t cost you a penny! Grab Format Factory for yourself and start managing your files more efficiently.

Thanks, Matthew, for an excellent first screencast!

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Create Folder Icons for OS X

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Alec has created another screencast for us! Today, he’s going to show you how to create your own custom folder icons if you’re using OS X. It’s not as easy to do as you might think, and I know many people who haven’t figured it out on their own. Alec’s tutorial will show you how to do this quickly and easily, without having to throw your computer out of a window!

The first thing you’ll need to do is to choose icons and download them from Apple’s site. There are thousands available, so this part might take you awhile. Once you have those downloaded, you’ll need to open the folder to see your icons.

Right-click your desktop and create a new folder. Name it whatever it is you want to have it called. Now, right-click on the icon you wish to you, and choose Get Info. At the top of the new window, you’ll see the picture of the icon on the left. Select it so that it has a little blue square around it. Click Command + C on your keyboard to copy it, and then close that little window out.

Now, right-click on the new folder you created, and once again select Get Info. At the top left, you’ll see your boring folder icon. Select it so it has the blue glow around it as you did before, and then click Command + V on your keyboard to paste your icon. Close that info window, and you’ll see your new folder has the correct icon on it now!

The folders work like any other folders. Drag and drop files in there, just like always! You can create your own icons if you want, but be sure that they save in the correct Mac format. The free program Img2icns will help you create and save icons for OS X!

Thanks, Alec, for an excellent tutorial! Very well done!

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Track Your Mouse Clicks for Fun

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Devir has done it again! He’s come up with a great screencast that is something fun for you to do. Haven’t you ever wondered how much you use your mouse each day? How many times does the mouse come to a complete stop? How often do you click? Using this nifty little program from Anatoliy Zenkov will let you find out all of this… and create a pretty cool little piece of art at the same time!

In order to download the program, you’ll need to grab the right one for your operating system: Windows Version or Mac Version. It’s a little Java script, and needs to run in the background. Once you unzip it, let it stay running in the background. Use the letter S to save what you’ve done, and R to restart the application.

No, this isn’t software nor is it productive. But, it is fun! It’s pretty neat to see what your mouse is doing throughout the day. It’s a definite time-waster, but it’s one that I already like. I enjoy finding out things like this about my computing habits, don’t you? I may just print and frame a few of my saved mouse-click creations!

I’m sure that in the very near future, someone will release a “study” that they have done using an application such as this. They’ll tell us how much we’re working, how often we’re playing and how we can manage to close the perceived gap between the two.

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What is a Microsoft Courier?

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The first screencast that Joseph did for us was a big hit within the community. It seems you all love his style! I happen to like it quite a bit, as well. It’s different – and it’s fun! Today, Joseph is talking to us about his love of technology, and his reaction to the new Microsoft Courier. What are your thoughts? Feel free to leave a comment with the video, or even make a follow-up screencast of your own!

On paper, Courier looks like it would be an innovative device, with some awesome features. It’s main function will purportedly be a day-planner / notebook that lets you keep track of things like appointments and to-do lists. Also, Courier is supposedly going to be more flexible than the rumored Apple Tablet, in that you can create original drawings and sketches using something like Microsoft Paint. You can use it to snap pictures, take notes, browse the Web, and clip things you want to keep from websites.

In addition, the rumored Courier will have two 7-inch screens, with a flexible hinge in between them. This allows the device to close like a book. The two screens could both accept handwriting from a stylus, or multi-touch input from your fingers. It wouldn’t have a keyboard of any type… it would rely completely on handwriting recognition!

Joe says he recently had a dream that he had a pocket computer that included dual touch-screens. Instead of buttons, the entire face was a multi-touch screen. He felt this was too good to be true, and knew it may just be a dream after all.

However, after hearing about the Microsoft Courier, Joe began to feel that perhaps that dream is coming true. Again, all of the above information about the Courier is based on supposedly leaked rumors. Joe is excited that maybe we will see something like this coming out in the near future. He is keeping his eyes open and his wallet at the ready… just in case!

Thanks, Joe, for an informative – and hilarious! – screencast! Great work!

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How to Put a Clock on Your Desktop

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Devir has come up with another excellent screencast for us! If you’re tired of changing your background all of the time, a wallpaper clock might be the answer for you. Alternatively, you just may be someone who is forever needing to check the date and time! Again, this would be the perfect desktop wallpaper for your system! This wallpaper is fun – and functional.

Head over to Vladstudio to download. You’ll see versions for both Mac and Windows. The Windows version has a free 30-day trial. The OS X version is actual freeware. Once you’ve downloaded, you’ll be able to browse their huge selection of clocks. You’ll find ones with nearly any color or theme you can think of. Also, if you’re a developer, you can create some of your own. There are already 288 pages full of different designs!

Choose one to download. It will recommend a size for your screen after detecting your resolution. There are sizes compatible with nearly ever size of monitor, up to 30″ ones!

Adding a clock is simple. Once you’ve downloaded the actual program, just choose your design and download that. Click on your downloaded clock file, and it will automatically open in the program. Once the program is open, highlight the wallpaper clock that you want to use at the present time, and click the Apply button. It’s that simple.

Last, but not least, each clock comes with different options, such as adjusting the way time shows up. Choose between standard and military time, different date display options, and more!

The next time you need to know what the date is, just install a wallpaper clock. You will no longer confuse yourself as to what day your brain should be on! (Doesn’t it always feel like Monday?!)

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How to Stream Music to Your Xbox with Vuze

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Vuze is a program that allows you to stream your music, videos and even photos through your Xbox 360 console. Billy submitted this screencast, which details step-by-step how to set up Vuze and get started streaming your files.

Once Vuze is installed, go ahead and open it up. Grab a song out of your iTunes folder and drag it into the Vuze library. Now you’re going to need to set up your devices. Drag your song over to the device you want — in this case, the Xbox 360. Vuze will automatically sync it over the wireless network.

Sign in to your Xbox, and be sure you’re connected to the wireless network. Open up the destination folder, and you’ll see your file there automagically. Vuze will detect whether or not the video format will playback on the device you select, and convert the file for playback if necessary.

Keep in mind that while Vuze is a BitTorrent client, you still should always pay for music, videos, and software you download. We don’t condone stealing files — ever.

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