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Honor Flight AZ to Washington DC

September 7, 2010 Leave a comment

I traveled to Gaithersburg, MD on Southwest Airlines today for work this week and was pleasantly surprised to run into a great group of people on a special trip.

There were about 80 people in the group and almost all of them had served in World War II.  The organization called Honor Flight Northern Arizona & Honor Flight Network is a non-profit that have been taking WWII veterans to Washington DC to see their own memorials.  Southwest Airlines also supports this organization.

Here is a bit of video I shot on the plane showing the fun time they had in supporting those that help provide for our freedom.

Too bad my grandfather (who came back from what went on in Bataan) is not around to enjoy something like this.

Thank you veterans for all that you sacrificed for our freedom!

– Dom

Direct youtube link:  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CcppV2aojFU

How to use VNC & Camtasia to record presentations/demos from other laptops

September 2, 2010 Leave a comment

Sometimes there is a need to record the content of another presenter or a group of presenters, and installing Camtasia on each and every laptop is not practical.

I’ve also seen this solved by using a “presentation” laptop, and often there are issues with the presentation & certain versions of presentation software or fonts or formatting.  I’ve done this once and at the end of the recording one presenter was confused with what was seen on the screen, did something and subsequently deleted the recording before I could get to the laptop to save it.

Another solution to this (and one of the more ideal) is through various pieces of hardware like VGA splitters and Frame Grabbers to go along with laptop and projector.  I’ll do a separate post on this later.

One of the more inexpensive solutions to recording content on a remote laptop is to use remote desktop software, in most cases I use VNC since I can connect to Windows, Mac, and Linux based laptops (it’s also free from realvnc.com, though this version does not have encryption).  My other choice when using Windows only is to use remote desktop.

All of this screen capturing is done over a wired or wireless TCP/IP network, and requires a fair amount of bandwidth on the local subnet.  If you were to do this across the internet or intranet, the latency of screen refreshes goes up which could impact the live recording and slow down the presenter.

Below is a little video I put together to summarize what I’ve done with VNC and Camtasia (PC & Mac setup/demos).  In addition I’ve included pictures of my wireless audio setup to capture the audio at the same time as the video.

The hardware pictured is of a Shure PGX wireless microphone system connected via a XLR cable to a Centrance MicPort Pro pre-amplifier which then connects USB to the laptop and appears to the system (and Camtasia) as a external microphone.

Enjoy the video!

– Dom

Direct link to video:  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HK2bjqgm1Cs

Record in 3’s

September 1, 2010 Leave a comment

One of the challenges of recording any kind of content (video or audio) to be distributed on the internet or a intranet is getting a good natural sounding “take”.

I came across this nice Camtasia audio article by Lon Naylor on capturing multiple attempts of the same audio to get a really natural “take” to be mixed or added to a longer audio sequence later.  The included youtube video is a great example of this (I’ve also included this video below).  The video also shows great microphone and pop filter placement.

This makes a lot of sense, once a person reads a script and gets comfortable with the content or phrase, repeating it will sound more natural the next time (also any nuances or word emphasis would be worked out by hearing yourself).  By the 3rd attempt it should sound good.

Thanks for the article and pointer to the youtube video Lon.

Enjoy!

– Dom

Direct link to video:  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t926G1FFzL4

Public Education

August 4, 2010 1 comment

This is a interesting video on public education by a Seth Godin interview.  I did not know some of the history on how public education was started.  I have come to believe that our kids need to be more creative and entrepreneurial to be successful today.  That the traditional public school & college teach our kids to look for jobs vs creating jobs/companies.  This is particularly difficult with kids on tribal reservations since distance & quality high speed internet access is a large factor in not being aware of their life possibilities.

– Dom

Modified iSkin revo case for iPhone 4

July 8, 2010 1 comment

Ok, I’m waiting for a email from iSkin.com on when their new iPhone 4 silicone cases will be available, no email yet, it’s been a week since adding my name, and 2 weeks since the phone has been out.  You can also see my iPhone 4 review here.

In the meantime, I took my iSkin revo case which I had for my original iPhone and modified it somewhat so I can use the 2 cameras on my new iPhone 4.  The older cases are still being sold on the iSkin website for $20.

Here is what the new modified case looks like, I removed material on the left side of the earpiece opening so the front camera is not covered & increased the camera hole size in the back to show the full lens and the led light.  The tools used, a paper hole puncher and small wire cutters.

These photos were taken using the iPhone 4 & uploaded to twitpic while waiting for a to-go order at the local Lotaburger (they have purple tables).

Additional photos below of the iPhone in the modified revo case below.

Now I can take pics and shoot video with the iPhone protected by a case.

– Dom

Dr George Blue Spruce Jr

June 27, 2010 2 comments

Last night I attended the book signing of Dr George Blue Spruce Jr (Laguna Pueblo / Ohkay Owingeh) and was very delighted to meet him for the very first time.  The room was full of family, friends, & most of all future medical students.  Roughly about 100 people were in the room to hear Dr Blue Spruce Jr talk about his life story.  A story he finally wrote down into a book titled “Searching For My Destiny”.  I have a previous post on my blog here, which contain some of what I was able to find on the internet about him.

I particularly enjoyed his jokes and how he overcame adversity being the only American Indian among many groups growing up.  What struck me most was how Dr Blue Spruce Jr had to develop the independence and sense of self worth to continue alone for many years away from his tribal home.  His life dedication and thoughtfulness of others helped craft Indian health policy to benefit not only the tribes he was from but those of so many others as well.

I am proud to have met this man, and I sincerely hope to continue the conversation again.

Dr Blue Spruce Jr and the family allowed me to video the event and share it.  Here is the full MP3 audio & download link from his talk (almost 43 minutes long, and 20MB in size), and a highlight video.  Enjoy!

– Dom

Full Audio:

http://tribalgrowth.com/files/2010-06-26_DrGBSwIntro.mp3

Highlight Video:

The Secret Powers of Time

June 24, 2010 1 comment

This video is another result of a twitter tangent I was sent on yesterday from a tweet on the Zeigarnik effect.  I found the short video (below) from Professor Philip Zimbardo to be very interesting, especially the part on kids who have spent hours in the digital world (another 10,000 hour example).  Kids become accustomed to controlling their environments through the games they play, and it’s this game playing frame-of-mind that is brought to the traditional classroom where there is no (or very little) player/student control.  The lack of control then contributes to boredom and a sense of helplessness in the classroom.  The video was worth 10 minutes of my time, I can apply the ideas to guiding my own kids.

– Dom

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