Teh Show v0.1

May 29th, 2008

My buddy Jared and I are experimenting with various screencasting/podcast setups. We decided to do an unrehearsed run, had a good time, and Teh Show v0.1 was born.

teh_show.jpg

We discuss random tech stuff like the semantic web, greasemonkey, and the brief-lived starbucks free-wifi hack. Plenty of screw-ups exist. For some reason I was shocked that Jared liked firefox but hated Vista (which really makes perfect sense). Jared could not get his screencasting software to keep running.

Mainly, however, it is just us being ourselves–blathering idiots. Comments, questions, and snide remarks are always appreciated.

The purpose of Spellr.us is to review your website and find all your spelling errors. Now in beta, spellr.us has opened to a few beta testers, and I was lucky enough to be selected to test the service. I have posted a screencast showing the service in action.

spellr.us screencast

A service like this should be very important to most blogs. Most people are going to search for terms that are correctly spelled. Therefore, having the correct spelling is essential to getting good placement by google in the search rankings. Of course, misspellings are unprofessional as well.

I am a horrible, horrible speller… and mightyq is constantly correcting my destruction of our language. Thus, I was very excited to use the service.

Sadly, right now, there is no way to create a custom dictionary. Therefore, instead of easily finding my misspellings, I was flooded with words and jargon that were not in the simple spellr.us dictionary. Of course, without the ability to add words or to filter these common terms, finding the misspellings among all the other tagged words is almost impossible.

However, the custom dictionary is coming. If it will be enough to find the misspelled needles in the haystack remains to be seen. My fingers are crossed, and I bet they will succeed.

Addendum: Kevin from spellr.us has already commented on at our higher resolution podcast on this topic.

This probably will not last long, but it is fun for now. Much like our hacking the wii servers with firefox post, user agents are providing fun once again.

Starbucks and AT&T wifi recently opened up free access to the iPhone. By changing the user agent the browser, anybody can make their browser look like the iPhone to the servers. A couple of easy switches away and it is access for everybody.

Here is how to do it in Safari. Switching user agents in firefox is almost as easy. This documents the iPhone user agent information.

1. Open Safari while connected to a AT&T wifi
2. Enter the Preferences, select the Advanced tab, and then select Show the Develop menu in the menu bar
3. From the Develop menu select User Agent
4. Select the iPhone User-Agent
5. The page will reload and ask for a geniune iPhone number. Everybody has a friend with an iPhone, right?
6. Welcome to free internet from Starbucks

I did a quick demonstration of this at my local Starbucks. Forgive the stammering but I didn’t want to take a bunch of cuts sitting outside the coffee house. Screenflow is adding some pauses and slurring too… Nice, but buggish program.

High resolution pod cast available here. YouTube video available below.

tease for youtube free wifi starbucks video

CamTwist is an OS X application that will add realtime video affects to a video stream. Most commonly CamTwist is used to provide video effects to a webcam or live video stream. CamTwist is free and requires a version of OS X that supports Quartz Extreme. This screencast demonstrates all the currently included video effects. Youtube version and higher resolution video podcast versions of this demo are available. CamTwist is free and is available now.

CamTwist demo

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This is a quick screencast describing how to remove toolbars in Firefox 3.

[youtube -aZj_gFCgWk]

I recently crafted a screencast based on Hack_Vista’s tech tutorial about docking the quick launch toolbar to the side of the screen. It has been accepted by the tutorial video site ShowMeDo.

I’ll blog about all the various screencasting hosting options later. However, for now, I’ll just say that showmedo’s screen quality is far superior to anything else out there.

For now, check out the high resolution screencast here:

Vista ScreenCast: Docking Quick Launch to Side of Screen

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Click To View Blip.tv Screencast

Many of vista's new features are just a keyboard shortcut away. In this screencast I give a demonstration of some of these new vista features and shortcuts.

The youtube version of this screencast is lower quality but available as well.

Screencasting Tips

January 29th, 2007

I have been playing with various screencasting software recently.  Sridhar Katakam has authored a nice article filled with hints on making screencasts with camtasia studio.  Sridhar always writes excellent tutorial content…

I have been meaning to author a post about screencasting; however, I just do not feel I have enough experience yet to really give strong recommendations. I have learned a few things the hard way:

  • Make sure that your cast looks good at 240 X 360. If not, then people using sites such as youtube will not be able to enjoy it.
  • Only render your video once. If you are going to use multiple programs to edit your screencasts, keep the information in the rawest format until the end.
  • Practice your narrative while capturing your screens. However, by dubbing in the actual audio later, your final product will be much more polished.