Archive for the ‘Computers’ Category

Jing Pro Retiring
March 2, 2012


February 28, 2012 TechSmith Corporation announced that Jing Pro was being retired February 28, 2013, the Free version of Jing will still be available.  Retiring is a nice word for termination or downgrading. I believe Jing Pro is cutting into Snagit’s market share and this is the reason for this move. This came as a shock to me, because I use Jing Pro everyday.  I work for a Dot Com company and the video feature in Jing Pro is invaluable to me for customer support.  If someone is having a problem or needs help with a feature, I can create a high quality video and upload it in just minutes after getting the request.

Next year, Jing Pro users will have to settle for low quality audio in their videos, not to mention larger file sizes than MP4 video files that Jing Pro supports. The free version of Jing uses Adobe Shockwave (swf) as the video format.  I do not like this one bit.  Don’t get me wrong, I really like TechSmith and have been a loyal customer since 1999. That’s when I first bought Camtasia. They have great products and great people, one of the best software companies out there, in my opinion.

But below is what we will have to settle with, low quality audio in our videos.  I have two samples, one from the free version of Jing and one from the Pro version.

Here is a sample video, created with the FREE version of Jing (SWF File):

Vodpod videos no longer available.

Now here is the Jing Pro version, notice the high quality audio (MPEG 4 File):

Vodpod videos no longer available.

I have tried Snagit and also the new version of Snagit 11 with video support.  However Jing Pro is way faster to use that Snagit.  Also Snagit is too cumbersome to use compared to Jing Pro. One person put it, Jing Pro is like a pistol, and Snagit is a Gatling Gun.

So whats next?  Tell TechSmith how you feel about this move.  My wish, is they continue MP4 support for Jing so we can have high quality video and audio as well as small file sizes.  Please make your voice heard.

Contact info for TechSmith:

Phone: +1.517.381.2300

Toll Free: 800.517.3001

(U.S. & Canada Only)

http://feedback.techsmith.com/techsmith/products/techsmith_jing

Please be courteous and professional when contacting TechSmith.  Thank you for taking the time to read this blog entry.

Canadian Bilingual Keyboard
December 13, 2010

Canadian Bilingual Keyboard’s are showing up in greater numbers on laptops and this sucks big time.  If you ever typed on a US layout keyboard, then try out a Canadian Bilingual Keyboard, you will most likely be very disappointed with all the keystroke mistakes you will make.  The only solution is to get a US layout board and have it installed to get rid of the crappy Bilingual board.

Most people in Canada speak, read and type in ENGLISH, not French.  Why ram this down our throats?   Make the French get Bilingual Keyboards, and give the US layout boards to the English speaking people.

Nov. 25 2012 Update Video, you have to see this.  French is talking over computers as the official language:

 

 

CAPTCHA
October 13, 2010

3dGameMan.com
September 3, 2010

Rodney Reynolds (AKA 3dGameMan) started Godem Online Inc. in 1995 as an Internet Service Provider. In 1998 3dGameMan.com was started as a hobby. Since then the company has migrated into the review industry.

The first Video Review was completed in 2000. Since then he’s reviewed over 1600 products. Today the site consists of video & written reviews, latest technology news and a large forum.

Here is a sample of the video reviews he does:

Here is a link to his site:

3dGameMan.com

Also Rodney has a live web show on Saturday nights at 9:30 PM Eastern Time, it’s a half hour show with viewers attending from all over the world.  There is a live chat as well, where he takes questions and feedback from the audience. 

Live show can be accessed here:

Rodney Reynolds Live

How Jing and Screencast Works
August 11, 2010

Vodpod videos no longer available.

Questions Jing Users Ask About Screencast.com

TechSmith develops Jing and Screencast.com (And other products too!) Jing can upload content to Screencast.com so you can send a link to it instead of sending files around. Here are some frequently asked questions.

What is Screencast.com?

Screencast.com is TechSmith’s content hosting service. You might think of it like a very private “YouTube” but two key differences are that you are in total control and your content is not altered in any way.

Why does Jing require me to sign up for Screencast.com?

Jing and Screencast.com were designed to work together to provide everyone with a free way to share links to their hosted content. Screencast.com is also used to verify your Jing account status.

Does Jing only work with Screencast.com?

No. You can upload content to your own FTP server, save images and videos to your computer, and more.

Is Screencast.com free for Jing users?

Yes. We give you 2 GB of storage, and 2 GB of bandwidth per month.

Is Screencast.com private?

Yes. Your content on Screencast.com is your business. (You can make it public if you want to.) To see your content, the viewer needs to have your link (URL).

How private is private?

Really private. Your content is uploaded to your account on Screencast.com. No one, including TechSmith employees, can view your content unless they have the URL to your content. URLs are randomly generated from one of 1028 possibilities.

Does my content expire or get deleted?

No. Your content remains until you delete it.

Can I use Screencast.com for stuff besides Jing?

While Screencast.com is optimized for images and video viewing, you can put any type of file on Screencast.com.

What does bandwidth mean?

Bandwidth is the amount of data that is transferred between your Screencast.com account and your viewers. You are allotted 2 GB for free per month. To add some context, if you had a 10 MB video file, it could be watched 200 times per month. You can buy more bandwidth as needed or upgrade to a Screencast.com Pro account.

What does a Screencast.com Pro account give me and what does it cost?

A Screencast.com Pro account costs $9.95 per month. The two largest benefits are more storage and bandwidth, and the ability to customize the page your viewers see to reflect your brand identity or personality.

Where’s the best place to learn more about Screencasts.com?

Check out the Help Center: http://www.screencast.com/help/

To download Jing, click here:  http://jingproject.com/

How to post a chart or image in your Silicon Investor message with Jing:  Click Here


Jing Overview Video
June 10, 2010

Vodpod videos no longer available.

Most everyone on Silicon Investor knows I am a real fan of Jing. I use it daily for image captures and also for sending quick videos to the site admins on problems. Sometimes it is faster to show the problem and explain it. It only takes seconds to create a quick video, and you get your point across more effectively. Jing just makes communicating more efficient.

I know some just use Jing for stock chart captures, thats great, but you should at least give the video function a try. Say you have a family photo you want to send to a friend or relative. Capture it with the Jing video button, and tell your audience about the photo.

See this example:

http://screencast.com/t/MGQyM2Y5Njc

If you think Jing can make you communicate more effectively, click below to go to the download site. Its a quick and easy install. Have fun!

http://jingproject.com

Browser and Email Poll
May 18, 2010

Data Backup Poll
May 16, 2010

A Great Keyboard
April 9, 2010

The Key Tronic USB Classic keyboard is a high-quality, 104-key Windows Compatible keyboard that’s a perfect entry-level or basic replacement keyboard for any user.

The affordable Classic has all the durability and strength of the Lifetime line, built into a compact, space-saving design.

This keyboard features an extra large L-shaped Enter key and Windows application keys for easier Start and Task Manager operations. All keys are factory tested to withstand 20 million keystrokes.

Affordable pricing and a Lifetime Guarantee make this 104-key keyboard a necessary addition to every user’s PC.

The Classic-U keyboards meet the European Union RoHS initiatives.

Now shipping with Ergo Technology. Most keyboards use a standard 55 grams of force required to register every key, Ergo Technology has 5 different levels of force. From 35 grams to 80 grams – that correspond to the strength of the finger that touches the keys. The result is more comfort for your hands.

My experience and history with Key Tronic keyboards

I have used Key Tronic keyboards since 1991. Back then I used the KB101, it was great, a large L shaped enter key and above that a large backspace key.   It felt great typing with that board.  Later when Windows 95 came out they offered the KB101 Plus that came with 3 Windows keys.

These were switch technology keyboards made in Spokane, Washington. Very high quality build, the Num Lock, Caps Lock, Scroll Lock lights were in the keys, leaving the space normally allocated for the lights to house a custom nameplate you could order for 5 dollars, I had my domain name on it.  Nice personalized touch.

Around 2000 they discontinued the switch technology boards and replaced them with membrane technology. I was told they were just way too expensive to manufacture since everyone was going to membrane keyboards, most made overseas at a fraction of the cost they could be made in North America. After years of use and dirt and spills took it’s toll,  I needed to upgraded my KB101 Plus.  I was really concerned about finding a board with the similar feel to it.   I spent about 300 dollars on keyboards trying to get one that I could get use too, but no luck.

I called Key Tronic and spoke to a very nice lady, I expressed my concerns about the switch technology keyboard being discontinued and she sympathized with me, she knew exactly where I was coming from.  I asked if they had any keyboards that have the similar feel to them as the switch technology, she said yes, the Classic.  It was about the closest you could get to the feel of the switch type keyboards, similar key layout and they also had keys that needed different input force to give you a tactical feel to it, as mentioned above, Ergo Technology.

You could not replicate the exact feel of switch technology keys, but the Classic was a very close match. I ordered one and tried it. After a couple weeks I was really happy with it and ordered 5 more keyboards, just in case they were discontinued. If there is one thing I can’t stand is a keyboard that just doesn’t feel right.

If you are in the market for a new keyboard, try the Key Tronic Classic.  Available in USB and PS2, Black or Beige. In the USA it can be purchased through many retailers for around 35.00 dollars, in Canada you have to purchase it direct from Key Tronic for 45.00 dollars.

http://www.keytronic.com/home/index.html

Hard Drive Imaging
April 2, 2010

There is one piece of software I can not live without, it’s hard drive imaging software. Also known as mirror image, or cloning, this software takes a complete copy of your hard drive and stores it in a file that can be copied to another hard drive, or in some cases on DVD disks. If you ever have serious problems with your operating system going haywire, or your hard drive crashes, restoring an image file can save you hours of work.

Not all people are fans of imaging hard drives. When you image your hard drive, once again it takes a complete snap shot of your complete drive the way it is at the time the image was taken. If you do changes to your drive and you need to restore an image you took, you will loose all those changes.

For me this is not a problem. I have been using hard drive imaging software since 1999. Back then I used Drive Image by Power Quest. They are no longer in business, they were acquired by Symantec and their imaging technology was incorporated into Ghost.

Back in the early days of imaging my drives, I would take an image of the drive once a week, and copy critical data to an external hard drive. This would be new data that was not included in the image I took. If you restored an image you would also have to copy your new data back to the drive as well. This may seem like a lot of work but it is really not.

I was an avid gamer back then and would download copies of game demos and play them. But before I did this I would image the drive. Then play the games and see what ones I wanted to buy and what ones I wanted to keep. Once that was done, I would restore the image I took of the hard drive to restore my computer to the way it was before the demos were installed.

You could have used Windows uninstall, but that does NOT remove all traces of the software you installed. Restoring an image will bring the computer back to the way it was before the game demos were installed.

When Drive Image was no longer available I tried Ghost for a while and did not like the user interface. So I bought Acronis True Image. I was really surprised, it had the look and feel of Drive Image.

I like to install software on my computer and experiment with it till I find one that I want to keep. So before this project I would image my drive, install the software and play with it, once my experimenting was done I would restore the previous image to get my computer back to where it was before the software was installed.

Over the years I must have restored hundreds of images of my hard drives. Some from experimenting with software and others from problems with the operating system.

I currently use Acronis True Image 2010. Oh, and I never installed the imaging software on my computer, I always ran it off the boot floppies or boot CD. When you buy the boxed version of Acronis True Image, your installation CD is actually a boot CD as well and will run off the CD. No need to install it. You will be missing some features, but for me, all I needed was the create and restore function of the program. I never felt comfortable running imaging software from within Windows, I always felt safer from conflicts using the boot disk method.

Out of hundreds of restored images, I have only had two occasions when an image failed on me. I called it the Y2010 bug. In the last week of 2009 I created images on my desktop and note book computers with Acronis True Image 10.0. January 1 2010, I created images again on both machines. I found some software and was experimenting with it on my desktop, did not like it so I restored an image taken on January 1 2010 and three seconds before it finished restoring the image failed . I could not boot my computer as during a restore process the program deletes your C: partition so it can copy the new partition you created.

The error it gave me was:

E0007001

number of SECTORS differs from counted

Now the work began, I had to create a new partition, format it and restore an image.  I restored an image taken in the last week of 2009 and it restored perfect. This had me baffled.

I did some research on this and found that bad sectors on the hard drive could cause this error message. So after diagnosing my computer it all came back fine, no problems.

Now I did some experimenting on my notebook, did not like the software I installed and restored an image I took the first week of January 2010. Three seconds before the image was fully restored, the image failed. I could not believe it. It gave the exact same error that I got on my desk top:

E0007001

number of SECTORS differs from counted

I scanned for problems on the drive and all came back fine. So created a new partition, formatted it and restored an image I took last week of 2009, and it restored perfect just like the one on the desktop.

Why was True Image 10.0 failing images restored in 2010, yet would restore images taken a week earlier in 2009? The CD boot disk could not be damaged cause it restored 2009 images just fine.

Time for a software upgrade. I purchased Acronis True Image 2010 boxed version. I tested it on my computer and it worked fine.

Out of the hundreds of images I restored, these were the only times I had a failure and it went unsolved. I did contact Acronis tech support, but it took them almost seven weeks to respond to me, by that time I was well into using the 2010 version and really didn’t want to communicate with a tech support department that took that long to get back to me. Version 2010 was working just fine so I dropped the issue.

Imaging has served me well, and if you are thinking of imaging your hard drive for back up give drive imaging a serious look.

Also see here for methods to store your images:

https://blog.unicus.com/2010/03/26/bullet-proof-backup/