Friday, 31 October 2008

Pointer+ for Mac OSX

I released Pointer+ for MacOSX earlier this week.

Pointer+ is a simple, very focused application for your Mac that adds additional functionality at the press of a key. Functionality that is invaluable if you are using your computer to demonstrate software to a third party, or if using any sort of screen recording software.

When running Pointer+ it installs itself in the Status Bar Menu, to the top right of the screen near the Clock and Spotlight. Pointer+ is shown as P+ in the Status Bar.

Once running Pointer+ gives you three extra 'Hotkey' options:

Shift + Ctrl + P: This key combination adds a small black circular surround to the middle of the screen. Once you click the mouse this enhanced pointer will overlay your mouse cursor and follow it's every move, providing much greater visibility to the cursor. Every time you click the mouse the circle pointer is made larger and bolder for a second and a cross-hair target is overlaid on the mouse position. To switch off the pointer use the same key combination.

Shift + Ctrl + Return: This key combination creates a large circle in the middle of the screen and magnifies the contents of that circle. Click in the circle to drag it to a new position, when you release the mouse the new position will be magnified. This facility is again very useful when demonstration something to another. To close the magnify cursor, use the same key combination. The default size in pixels can be set from the Preferences screen and the size can be between 200 and 800 pixels. The screenshot below will explain better than words.

Shift + Ctrl + S: This key combination saves the contents of the magnify cursor to the desktop as a Jpg.

Selecting the P+ Menu from the Status menu gives you mouse access to the above functionality and also the ability to access the About window and to Quit the program. From the about window you can use the 'Check for Updates' facility and also access the Preferences, which is where you can set the default magnification pointer size and also enter your name and serial number.
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Thursday, 23 October 2008

ScreenAudit Marketing, Dipping a Toe in the Water ...

I'm trying some marketing for my ScreenAudit product next week. This will be my first attempt at marketing this product, although I did release it with a press release from the excellent PrMac.

Initially I'm sponsoring the The Digital Lifestyle show with four 20 second video ads per day for the next month, and a link on the sponsors page.

Here is a link to the video that will be shown.

ScreenAudit is an application for MacOSX that performs timed snapshots of your screen(s) and / or webcam. It can operate in 'Full Stealth' mode, meaning that it cannot be seen in the dock, has no menu and cannot be seen in the 'Force Quit' list. Ideal for installing on your childs computer to monitor their activities. ScreenAudit also features the ability to convert the snapshots to a movie and archive them. More information here:
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Saturday, 18 October 2008

ScreenAudit 1.5 - Screen and Webcam Capture - Full Stealth !

This update comes with SASHelper, (Screen Audit Stealth Helper) which is effectively a version of ScreenAudit that runs invisibly. No Dock Icon, No Menu, Nothing in the 'Force Quit' list, no evidence that it has launched and is running.

For this to work you must set the 'Hide Window' preferences within ScreenAudit, these preferences are also used by SASHelper. If running ScreenAudit and the preferences are set to Hide Window' you can use the Tools menu to show the window and from there you have access to the ScreenAudit preferences and the standard ScreenAudit tools.
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Friday, 17 October 2008

macVCR Update to 2.1.1 - Even Better OSX Screen Recording

macVCR now supports annotations which are called in turn from a text file you have created whenever you press the key combination Option + Shift + D. The location of the text file is set within the macVCR preferences. Annotations are displayed on your screen for four seconds as large translucent overlays, ideal for software demonstrations etc. See image below:

We also have a new Icon and Logo for this version courtesy of Zack Weigand:
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Monday, 13 October 2008

macVCR Update to 2.1 - Better OSX Screen Recording

The 2.1 Version of macVCR was primarily to optimise the function of the pointer, how it is shown on the screen during recording, how to switch it on and off quickly and how to make it more intuitive and slicker.

Now you can use the hotkey combination of Shift + Option + P to turn the pointer on or off. When the pointer is on it will follow the mouse and be recorded on the video output. Mouse clicks will be shown as a ‘Target’ crosshairs. This is a more intuitive and convenient method of recording the pointer. Note: The pointer will not follow the mouse when macVCR is the foremost application. This allows you to control macVCR without it being recorded and without switching the pointer off.

2.1 has slightly tidied up the interface with all the options now being shown on the Settings drawer. In addition you now have two additional options which are just for fun. You can Invert the colours of the recorded movie and you can Mirror the movie so that it appears upside down ! See the Screenshots below, it’s iTunes Inverted, Mirrored then Mirrored and Inverted :-)

There is also a bug fix in 2.1 which was caused by checking for a Microphone when one was not available. macVCR 2 does not yet support sound so the code should not have been active.

macVCR v2 has been very popular so far and I’d like to thank all my customers for their patronage. - Steve
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macVCR and ScreenAudit Bundle - Movies & Pictures !

macVCR and ScreenAudit are now available at a bundled price of £20. That’s a saving of 20% if bought separately. Go on, treat yourself :-)
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Friday, 10 October 2008

macVCR Screen Recorder v2 Released for OSX

macVCR Version 2 has now been released. macVCR 2 contains the following new features:

Live Camera Feed Option
Resolution Presets
Date and Time Overlay Option
Performance Adjustment
Enhanced Area Selector with Snapshot
Magnify Area at Cursor
Unlimited User Presets

It’s a significant upgrade from version 1 and is free of charge to existing customers.

macVCR can be downloaded from here:
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Sunday, 5 October 2008

macVCR Preview Part 3

An overlay can now be placed on the screen thats shows you a continually updated date and time. This overlay can be dragged anywhere on the screen and will be captured by the screen recording.

macVCR Trial Version available here:
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macVCR Preview Part 2

Part 2 of my preview of some of the features that will be available in macVCR Version 2, which will be available from next week.

Record Mouse Pointer
There is a new ‘Pointer’ menu. From this menu you can turn the Pointer on or off. The Pointer is designed to be used when you are recording screen activity for training or demonstration purposes.

When the Pointer is switched on, it appears in the centre of your screen. It is a small circular loop with targeting cross hairs. It does not follow the mouse automatically. To move the pointer grab the edge of the circle and move the Pointer to where you wish to perform a mouse action. When you release the mouse button the Pointer is ‘zeroed’ on the object you wish to manipulate, ie: a menu, folder, a button etc. You can then select or click the object through the middle of the loop.

By making the movement of the Pointer with the mouse a conscious decision, it leaves you free to use the mouse on the screen without it being seen in the resulting video, maybe you wish to move the mouse to a second monitor and perform some action, or you wish to manipulate the screen environment without being seen to do so. Using this method that movement will not be seen in the final video.

Use of the Pointer does introduce some additional CPU overhead.

Resolution Presets
The default screen record area is determined by the resolution of the selected monitor. This can be changed manually by overwriting these figures. Now in version 2 you can select from four presets. These are 50%, 25%, 16:9 and 4:3. These presets all work on the currently displayed resolution figures. For example if your default resolution on your Primary monitor is 2560 x 1600 then pressing the 50% button will set this to 1280 x 800. Pressing the 50% button again will reduce this by a further 50%. To reset these figures to their defaults just reselect the radio button for your Primary or Secondary monitor.
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Wednesday, 1 October 2008

A Preview ... macVCR 2 - Usability Testing Facility !

macVCR Version 2.0 is due for release next week, all current customers and those that purchase before 10th October will get a free upgrade to Version 2, the introductory price for macVCR ends on the 10th and a price increase will be announced.

One of the major new features in version 2 is the ability to display a live feed from your webcam on your desktop. Ideal for usability testing as the subsequent screen recording records both what they did on the computer along with their facial reactions as they are doing it. A screenshot from a demonstration movie is shown below.

Another new feature is the enhanced Area Selector with the ability to capture a high resolution (300 dpi) snapshot, as well as determine the portion of the screen that is subsequently recorded.

I'll release more information soon.
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