Fall 2011 Connect Schedule

on Friday, August 26, 2011

The Fall 2011 series of Connect sessions will deal with two subjects: Working With Websites and Creating Video Podcasts.

On the first Wednesday of every month the Working With Websites sessions will explore the basics of managing a website, and is strongly recommended to those learning to work with the CSU Extension webpage template. Each session will end with a troubleshooting segment, where we open up the session to solving specific web problems and answering questions.

Webpage Template sessions:

  • Sept 7: Defining the site in Dreamweaver; Root folders; Making and uploading simple changes
  • Oct 5: Adding content (paragraphs, headers, lists, blockquotes); Adding new pages
  • Nov 2: SSIs (Server Side Includes): How SSIs work; Manipulating SSIs
  • Dec 7: Creating an engaging home page (tables and multimedia)
On the third Wednesday of every month Joane Littlefield and Jeff Wood will hold a series of Connect sessions on Creating Video Podcasts. They will take you through the entire process of creating your own video, from creating your storyboards and recording your narration to editing your video and distributing the final product.

Creating Video Podcasts
  • Sept 21: First steps, best practices / Working with titles
  • Oct 19: How to shoot / Working with sound
  • Nov 16: All about editing
  • Dec 14: Distributing your video
All sessions start at 9 a.m. and will last about an hour. Mark your calenders now!

OSSwin: Open Source for Windows

on Wednesday, August 17, 2011

The OSSwin Project, at http://osswin.sourceforge.net/, is essentially a very long list of links to free, open-source tools available to Windows users.

All of the most popular open source tools are here: GIMP (image editing), Audacity (audio recording and editing), Filezilla (file transfer, or FTP), Firefox (browser), Thunderbird (email), and Open Office (a office tools suite, similar to Microsoft Office). But there are more esoteric tools here too, from CAD software and zip compression to firewalls and anti-virus tools. All free, all open source. Take a look!

Embedding YouTube Videos Into PowerPoint

on Thursday, August 11, 2011

You can embed a YouTube video directly into a PowerPoint presentation, so that it plays in a tidy little window on your presentation slide, rather than the YouTube site.

Go to the YouTube video you want to embed. Click the Share button just below the video.

Scroll down the page to the Embed button. Click it. Before you copy the code, make sure you check the "Use old embed code option" option (note: not all videos allow this option). Then click inside the embed code, right-click, and choose Copy.

Go into PowerPoint, and navigate to the slide you want to embed the video into. Choose Insert. Choose the little drop-down arrow just below the video icon (this will be in the upper right of your screen). Choose "Video From Web Site"

A dialogue box will appear. Paste your code into the box (right-click, choose Paste), then click the Insert button. A black box will appear on your slide, which you can resize by dragging one of the corner sizing circles (using the corners will keep the width-to-height ratio the same). When you go into Slideshow mode in PowerPoint, a screenshot of the the Youtube video will appear. Click the center of the screenshot to play the video.

Thanks to Gisele Jefferson for posing the question.

VideoLAN Media Player

on Friday, August 5, 2011

The VideoLAN media player (http://www.videolan.org/)is a free, open-source, cross-platform video and audio player that I've been using for close to a year now. It will play most DVDs, virtually all audio CDs, as well as web-friendly formats like Flash and the Windows .wmv format (a complete list is available at http://www.videolan.org/vlc/features.html). It has, in fact, played almost every media file format I've thrown at it, without requiring me to go online and find the applicable codec.

It's fast, and simple. It plays on Windows, Mac and Linux systems. It's a great alternative to Windows Media player, and I've made it my default media player for video and audio on both my personal and work computers.

Give it a try! You can download it here: http://www.videolan.org/vlc/.