Jing Zing!

Originally uploaded by Chris P Jobling

I am grateful to OUseful.info for the post that lead me to try out a new Screencasting tool from TechSmith called Jing. Made by the same company that makes SnagIt (an indispensable screen caspture tool) and Camtasia Studio (a screencasting tool that I covet but can’t afford), Jing is a “couldn’t be simpler” tool for making screencasts that you can share.

The results can be shared with others as videos via (charged for service) Screencast.com [see the headline link for an example], as individual images via flikr (see the image on this post), uploaded to a web site using FTP or saved to disk. It’s a great tool. This should be great for sharing video “how to’s” but as an academic who uses a PC in lectures, it seems possible that I could actually record a lecture with Jing and make it available as a video screencast within minutes of completing a lecture. This is an experiment I’m keen to try next term.

Warning for Vista users: Jing suffers from a problem that I’ve seen with a few apps since upgrading from XP to Vista. When Jing is installed, the user permissions are not set up properly and you have to manually take ownership of the installation folder in Program Files to get it and its shortcuts to show up! After that, it seems to work OK!

Crunchy Demos on ShowMeDo

André Roberge has created three screencasts on the use of Crunchy. Crunchy is an interactive Python interpretor that runs inside the Firefox browser and can be used to create interactive Python tutorials, library documentation, demos and tests. The principle is similar to “docucentric design” which was explored by one of my PhD students. The key benefit of the Crunchy approach is that documents are just web pages with embedded tasks. It is worth investigating whether Crunchy can be combined with a wiki to add some value to my current research project.

Happy New Year

It’s been a while since I blogged, but the reason is that I’ve been on holdiday with the in-laws in Regensburg (Bavaria: see picture) and am undergoing the always time consuming task of catching up with RSS feeds and email. Nearly three weeks worth this time!

I’ve spotted a few interesting things in the feeds that deserve further investigation and commentary, for now just check out the links that are tickling my fancy. These are taken straight from my Google readers starred items.

In the meantime, Happy New Year to (all) my reader(s).