Tag Archives: screencast

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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Wii Fit Plus Review

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This is a great time of year to have this particular screencast submitted for our channel! Many people are still looking for that perfect last-minute gift idea… and others are already thinking of how to lose those extra holiday pounds! This is the first time Joe has done a screencast such as this, and I think he did a great job! He took a different approach than many have done, and it worked out well. He’s taking a look at the Wii Fit Plus.

Wii Fit is not an exercise program. It is, however, an introduction to physical activity. It was very significant for Joe in that it helped him lose 20 pounds, and made him more aware of the level of inactivity that had been in his life.

Wii Fit Plus boasts three new features: new activities, a way to track the health of your pet, and the ability to customize your workout. Yes, that’s right… you can track the health and weight of your pet in your home! Think your cat is too fat? Keep track of it on the Wii!

The Wii Balance Board can read your real-life movements and bring them to life on screen, just like the Wii Remote controller. New features include a calorie burning counter, the ability for users to create custom fitness regimens or choose from a number of specialized routines based on specific objectives and available time, as well as having the option to create profiles for pets and babies. Users will also be able to navigate more quickly between exercises.

Joe did a great job reviewing the Wii Fit Plus, and giving us an insider’s look at how it works. Don’t forget that it’s not too late for you to submit a screencast for possible use in our channels.

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How to Make a Mac Dashboard Widget

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If you’re a Mac user, you may want to place a personal Dashboard Widget. In this screencast, Alex is going to show you how quick and easy it is to do this! Don’t forget that you can submit your screencast for possible promotion on our channels.

The first step in developing your personal Dashboard blog widget. You need to have the SDK downloaded and installed on your computer. It won’t cost you anything to register so that you can download what you need.

Once you’ve done this, open Dashcode, which was included in the iPhone SDK. You’ll be greeted with an untitled sheet, as well as a template chooser. On the left, select Dashboard Widget, and RSS on the right side, and then click “Choose”. Your basic widget template will now be ready.

In this case, my blog was used to create a widget. The first step was to set the attributes, and going into the RSS properties. My FeedBurner feed link was pasted here under “Feed URL and Properties”. Under “Show Articles”, five was selected. You can change this to display however many you wish to see.

Now, go back to the front and apply some styling. Rename your widget to whatever it is you want. Apply simple styling, such as your own personal color scheme. You can include an avatar, such as Alex did with my Twitter avatar.

You can also customize the back of the widget to your liking!

Thanks, Alex, for an excellent tutorial. It’s clear and concise, and very easy to follow along with!

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How to Make Google Dance

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You use Google all the time, I’m sure. Did you know that there are a ton of neat little Easter Eggs hidden inside? There are so many things you can do to have fun with Google, and most people don’t even know about them. Luckily, Devir has produced this screencast for us, to show us his favorite Google tricks. Some of these are more fun than functional. So – let’s take a look at the functional first!

Google is a calculator. Type your math problem into Google, and it will display your answer. This works for basic math, Algebra and even Geometry!

Google is a dictionary. Type in define: followed by any word you choose… and Google will display any and every dictionary meaning associated with that word! Make sure you put the colon after the word define, then a space, and then your word.

Google is a World clock. Type in time: followed by any major city or country in the World, and Google will tell you the current time in that location. Again, remember the colon and the space!

Google is a Stock checker. Type any stock symbol into Google, and it will display all of the current information about that particular stock.

Google holds the answer to life, the universe and everything! Type in: what is the answer to life the universe and everything. Google will correctly then tell you that the answer is 42.

Now, let’s have some fun! Head over to Dark Arts Media. You’ll now see a page that looks very similar to the typical Google search. However, click the two Os in Google, and they’ll disappear. It’s a fun little magic trick to show people. Click it again, and the Os come back. The third time you click them, it takes you back to the normal Google page.

Now, head over to Google, and do an image search of any type. In the url bar, delete everything there, and replace it with the following code:

javascript:R=0; x1=.1; y1=.05; x2=.25; y2=.24; x3=1.6; y3=.24; x4=300; y4=200; x5=300; y5=200; DI=document.getElementsByTagName(‘img’); DIL=DI.length; function A(){for(i=0; i-DIL; i++){DIS=DI[ i ].style; DIS.position=’absolute’; DIS.left=(Math.sin(R*x1+i*x2+x3)*x4+x5)+’px’; DIS.top=(Math.cos(R*y1+i*y2+y3)*y4+y5)+’px’}R++}setInterval(‘A()’,5); void(0);

All of the images on the page start flying around in a circle!! How cool is that?

Thanks, Devir, for an excellent screencast.

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How to Create Picture-in-Picture Effects in iMovie

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Michael has created an excellent screencast to show you how to create awesome PiP effects using iMovie. His tutorial will make it easy for you to manage this, without having to use any other guides or learning curves. Don’t forget that you can submit your screencast for possible use on our channels!

First you’ll need to activate the feature by going into iMovie features, and be sure that “show advanced tools” is selected. Images lack an audio feature, of course. Take some video from your event library and drag it into your project. Then, select Picture in Picture.

Select your orientation. Michael prefers to add it to the corner, and drag it out to the edge of his shoulders. That way, his audience is able to see both whatever he is demonstrating, as well as himself.

From there, you can go to Clip Adjustments, and change the video effect. You may want to flip it, put it in black and white, or even add a romantic effect. You can adjust the speed to play faster or slower… or even play it in reverse.

Michael doesn’t like to have PiP cut in quickly. He prefers it to fade in, so he chooses the “Dissolve” feature. He also tends to play around with different borders, depending on what looks right for each individual video.

You can also change the volume within the video. In the audio tab, you’ll see something called “Ducking”. With the clip Michael is using, he wants it to be softer than his voice. By using Ducking, the video will be lower than his voice. You can clearly hear what he’s saying, but still hear the cars in the video background.

There are many ways you can adjust your Picture-in-Picture clip, as Michael has demonstrated. Who knew it could be so easy to do something like this? Thanks again, Michael!

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Creating Your Own iPhone App

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Anthony walked us through the basics of creating an iPhone App in his last screencast. This time, he’s decided to get a little more in-depth, helping you to customize even more things. You, too, can submit a screencast to our channels.

This time you’re going to add an icon and a loading screen to your previously created iPhone App “Hello World”. Go into XCode, and create a new project, and then save it. Minimize that, so that we can manipulate our images. The icon has to be 57 pixels x 57 pixels. Anthony suggests using the .png extension to save your icon, as that seems to render the best within the App. Title this “icon.png”.

For the image that you will use for the loading screen, you’ll want to save it at 320 pixels x 480 pixels. Also, you will likely want the word “loading” on that image, so people will know they need to wait and not be tapping their screen. Title your loading image as “default.png”. Make sure you save your changes on both images!

Here is where Anthony gets a lot more technical. I’m not going to write out every instruction, as it is likely not something that all of you will be doing! However, if you are thinking of creating an iPhone App of your own – watch the video and take notes! Anthony does an excellent job of walking you through what needs to be done, step-by-step.

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