After evaluating SnagIt for my 30 day trial period, I decided to go ahead and register it. I’ve used it to create a few screencasts, mostly for the purpose of teaching myself to use SnagIt, but I can see great value in screencasts in general. While it is possible to write out a description of how to do something, nothing quite matches seeing the actions that would otherwise have to be read and visualized mentally.
I first became impressed with screencasts when I watched this one on editing in Wikipedia by Jon Udell. Since friends occasionally seek my help in doing something with their computer, I have found screencasts to be a great way to do a demonstration that they can watch at their leisure and replay as often as they find it necessary to do so. Also if you create a screencast for one friend, you can share it with others too by posting it on the web at places like YouTube or Google Videos. My first efforts at using SnagIt to produce these screencasts (like the ones here and here) have been rather amateurish, but I am hopeful that, with practice, I’ll get better at it. I suppose we’ll see.
Another tool that I think would be quite useful for me, if Flock were a supported browser for it, is Roboform. It is a secure password safe and form-filler that eliminates the possibility of malicious keyloggers capturing your passwords as you enter them on web sites. Also Roboform has many other handy features that make it desirable. Despite the fact that Flock is based on Firefox, for some reason when I installed Roboform on my system, it indicates that Flock is an unsupported browser. However, it does work with Internet Explorer and Firefox.
Another recent discovery that I think is potentially quite useful is GSpace, an extension for Firefox, that permits you to have what amounts to FTP access to your Gmail account (if you have one) so that you can use some of that 2 GB of storage on Gmail to upload files that you might want to be able to access from anywhere. If you don’t want to carry around a thumbdrive with your files on it, just use the GSpace extension in your Firefox browser in combination with your Gmail account.
By the way, I found a link to an article that led me to this GSpace extension on Paul Stamatiou’s blog, which turns out to be an amazing resource for valuable information. I’ve found reading Paul’s blog on a daily basis to be an educational experience. (And an irritating one to boot when I consider the fact that he is a very bright 19 year old student at Ga Tech. Talk about bright futures!)