Software

OpenClipArt.org Version 2.0 released

OpenClipArt.org screenshotThis March (2010) OpenClipArt.org released version 2.0 of their giant clipart library. It contains over 24,000 public domain images in *.svg and *.png format. The zip format is a 417 MB download. [Download link]

SVG stands for scaleable vector graphic. That means that the graphics are vector based and that when scaled to larger sizes, they do not pixelate as do *.gif, *.png and *.jpg files. The image below is from a Wikipedia article about SVG and offers a good example.

scalable vector graphic demo

As of 2009, all major web browsers support *.svg images inside the <img> tag except for Internet Explorer. Click on the attached *.svg file at the end of this message to see if your browser supports *.svg. The file below does not display inside of a Drupal post because Drupal does not yet support *.svg as an image file. There are several groups working on this problem.

A great software tool for creating and editing *.svg files is Inkscape. It's free and runs on Linux, MAC and Windows workstations.

Inkscape sample

Free video converter

any video converter screen shotIf you're uploading videos created by PhotoStory or MovieMaker (wmv), you may need to convert them to *.MP4 format before web servers like Drupal and Kaltura can publish them. A good tool for this is Any-Video-Converter. The program is free, easty to install and use and it has all of the features you need for preparing videos for the web. It even runs on Windows 7. It will even download videos from YouTube and convert them for you. Be sure to consider YouTube's terms of use when you're using content posted on their site.

 

 

Software for new Windows computers

Did you get a new computer for Christmas? Are you tired of tracking down all the software you'll need to install? It CAN take a long time. I didn't get a new computer but I did find two sites that will help you. The first is an article called 13 Things You Must Do First with Your New PC. This is a great place to start with lots of tips that will save you time and money.

One of my favorite new links from the article is a site that will let you download all the extra software you'll need via one web page. Visit Ninite.com.

See also: 

Screen sharing and video conferencing software

More

Convert video to flash (*.flv or *.swf)

flashtovideoFor those of you uploading video to your blogs on Drupal, you'll want to convert your videos to *.swf format before uploading. I found a FREE little utility that seems to do a great job of this. See the end of this post for a download link.

There are many other utilities you can get from this same company. I'd be interested in your reviews. Use the comment feature to let us know what you think.

When you install this software, be sure to uncheck all the options for the ASK toolbar if you don't want that installed. ASK.com is a good search site but I tend to avoid too many toolbars.

JING screen capture

Jing is an easy-to-use screen capture utility. It produces *.png still captures and allows for easy *.swf flash file creation of narrated screen annimated movies. Jing is free but you can upgrade to Jing Pro for $15 a year.  http://techsmith.com/jing/

Saving YouTube videos for classroom use

Sometimes you can't link to a YouTube video or embed it in your blog because YouTube is blocked. You may need to find the video on another site, like TeacherTube.com or try to download a copy to show locally.

There is a javascript that will help download the video. Just bookmark Download Script and when you are viewing the YouTube video you need, click on the bookmark for additional YouTube download options.

Note that your downloaded video should not be re-posted on the web or you will be violating YouTube terms of use.

Super video converter

super video converterThis program is called Super and that's a perfect name for it. It is a video converter importing and exporting a wide range of formats. This is now on my "must have" list of free software to install in all PCs running Windows.

You can download the most current version from the Super web site at:

http://www.erightsoft.com/SUPER.html

Or use the copy I've provided in the files section below.

Power Publishing - Three for free

 

Gimp

GIMP is a photo and image editing package. You can also use it for drawing and painting. It produces bitmapped images and can save files in many different formats.
Inkscape

Inkscape is a vector based drawing and illustrating program. It produces SVG (scalable vector graphics) files. It can be used for logos, fliers, and technical illustrations.


Scribus is a desktop publishing program. It supports publishing features, such as CMYK color, separations, ICC color management and versatile PDF creation.

 

This course is published on the NWRESD Moodle server at:
http://nwonline.nwresd.org/course/view.php?id=218. You may view the course online or download it and install it on your own Moodle server. See the bottom of this post for links to software download sites.

Free Windows software

I just got a new MacBook with an Intel processor and thought it would be useful to document all the free software I put on it after I installed Windows XP on it. These programs are all free to use. I'll post another article with all the free Mac software I find.

You should install Apple's Boot Camp software so you can dual boot with Apple and Mac OS X. You will have to buy a Windows license. I'm still working on different versions of Linux to install but the Knoppix Live CD runs just fine. I'm also using VMware Fusion to run virtual sessions in Mac OS X.

Read more to see the list...

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