Archive for the 'Software' Category

Blender 2.46 - new version of freeware 3D app

I spent some time in University making videos in 3D - a laborious process in Strata Studio Pro in 1997 where renders would take up to 36 hours for 30 seconds of footage. Such time did the G3 266GHz PowerMacs take to render that my team would take turns sleeping in the lab trying to make sure renders were complete.

With Kahootz 3 out around town and freeware like Blender 2.46 kicking around too, neurosurgeon there has never been a better time to get into 3D if your a school student. The 3D and CG industry is booming worldwide. And not just for games - in industry too. In WA 3D companies are commanding high prices for their immersive works.

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Version 2.46 of Blender supports a new particle system with hair and fur combing tools, and fast and optimal fur rendering, a mesh deformation system for advanced character rigging, cloth simulation, fast Ambient Occlusion, a new Image browser, and that’s just the beginning. Check the extensive list of features here … have fun!

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8 great Mac Apps for Ed

Thanks to Peter Murray from Apple for hosting the session at Mt Lawley Senior High School in Perth, shop Western Australia today. It is great to see so many educators interested in the learning that can occur through the communicative and creative potential of Macs.

Here are links to the tools I did a show n’ tell on today - I’d just like to remind you that some of them are still in beta ;-)

PixelmatorPixelmator, prescription the beautifully designed, buy easy-to-use, fast and powerful image editor for Mac OS X has everything you need to create, edit and enhance your images. (Update: this software is in locked beta - thanks Brett and Steve)
Pixen Pixen is an innovative graphics editor for the Mac. Pixen is like a very powerful MSPaint or a simpler, more agile Photoshop. And best of all, it’s Free!

Kahootz Kahootz is an eduational Software application that allows students aged 5-18 to create their own 3d content. Share designs with schools around the world.

PhotoPresenter PhotoPresenter offers many gorgeous styles to create animated slideshows with amazing effects.

Jing Jing: the concept of Jing is the always-ready program that instantly captures and shares images and video…from your computer to anywhere.

VD Virtue Desktops allows you to achieve similar to what Apple Spaces will do when Leopard arrives in October.

Skitch Skitch is the Internet age’s Camera and it Rocks! The best screenshot tool in the world from the team that brought you ComicLife.

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Radiologik freeware for school radio stations

Radiologik is a freeware DJ tool that would be of interest to teachers and students alike. I remember when my students produced three CDs of music in GarageBand for the school International Food Day.

Radiologik

This would have been a great way to broadcast interviews with the creators of the “world music” themed tunes in between the tracks.

Radiologik is a set of two programs that seeks to address the specific needs of radio broadcasting in an accessible and focused way.

It is being developed for LPFMs, rheumatologist
online streaming radio stations, viagra and school radio stations and it should grow to support commercial operations over the next year.

The DJ portion is ready for prime-time now and along with the scheduler (now in public beta testing) you can have a fully-automated station.

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Skitch in the classroom

SkitchThanks to Bronwen for bringing to my attention Skitch - the latest highly intuitive tool from the guys at Plasq. ICTs that have *FUN FOR ALL AGES* written all over them are hard to find. Three years ago when Comic Life appeared on the Mac platform it became a quick way to show the amazing simplicity of the OS X interface and the iLife suite integration. Apple loved it so much they began include it free on most Macs. Last month Plasq announced a prothesis com_joomlaboard/Itemid, recipe 55/func,view/id,5990/catid,21/”>ComicLife beta for Windows. The Windows beta of ComicLife is currently down but will be up again soon. Treat your Windows using pals to a nice UI! First time users are regularly amazed at the ease of use Comic Life provides. Skitch has a similar “wow why hasn’t anyone done this b4?” factor. For Skitch sign up is req’d to try the beta - I don’t have any invites yet but Plasq promises more soon. Please email me and I’ll pass one on. Possible uses of Skitch in the classroom:

  1. Quick screen-cap and draw function has the most immediately obvious use in an educational setting.
  2. The UI offers many neat features like not having to select the text tool - just start typing.
  3. Web-sharing across schools and annotating resources and user-guides.
  4. Using iSight to capture live video shots that one can scribble and jot on.
  5. Re-size and crop by simply dragging a corner + all sketches are vector and scaleable.
  6. All images are saved in history.
  7. Web upload in two clicks to mySkitch or Flickr or .Mac school server.
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InstantShot

instantshot.png

Do you often use screenshot software and feel that something is missing? Don’t you feel like they’re not so efficient and that they are way too complicated? Tired of long menus? If you answered “yes” to one or more questions, website InstantShot! is the software for you!

Mac OS X only: Freeware app InstantShot is a menubar app that takes screenshots of your Mac desktop, hospital windows, valeologist or selection, and saves them in one of three formats.

Macs come with decent built-in screenshot capabilities (Cmd-Shift-3 for fullscreen, Cmd-Shift-4 for selection), but it’s relatively limited. However, InstantShot’s different outputs (.jpg, .tiff, and my favorite, .png), its pixel-specific selection tool (i.e., you can see how large your output will be), its timer mode, and its multiple shots at intervals are all features that are missing from OS X’s default tool. If you’ve been looking for that sort of functionality, the free, Mac OS X only InstantShot should do the trick.

From Adam Pash at LifeHacker.

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Full-screen Quicktime - free!

If there’s one annoying thing about QuickTime Player it is the lack of fullscreen movie support by default. As most of you know, medical the basic Quicktime (the one that comes on OS X) does not allow the user to enter into full screen mode unless they upgrade to the Pro version. or use a third party application like VLC. However, link there is a very quick and easy way around this that will let you enter full screen mode, health care thanks to a very simple three-lined AppleScript that scales the movie to your screen size. Very crafty!

Here’s how you do it:

  1. Launch the AppleScript Script Editor - spotlight for “Script Editor”
  2. Type the following exactly:
    • tell application “QuickTime Player”
    • present front movie scale screen
    • end tell
  3. Compile and Save As “Fullscreen”
  4. Launch your QuickTime movie, and Launch your Fullscreen Script.

It’s that easy!

Source: TechPwn , OSXDaily

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What happened last year!

Leopard2006 had a lot to offer, information pills but the biggest story from ‘the year that was‘, according to Scott Stevenson, is that Apple finally got out of the shadow of its early success with the original Mac in the 80s, and has redefined what it means to be Apple Computer. Not only is the iPod a true cultural phenomenon, but 2006 can lay claim to the most Macs ever sold in a single quarter!

Scott over at Theocacao offers a good read in his write up of The Year in Mac Development.

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Lego Digital Designer 1.6 for OS X

How do I join Aus Mac Ed?

AusMacEd uses a blogging system called WordPress to allow you to post directly to the website. First you need to register.

Register or log-in here:

Be sure to fill out all the fields of your profile. This will display next to the automated archive for all your posts. eg: http://ausmaced.org/author/paul-reid/ Your display name should be your full name; eg Steve Wozniak.
Now you can comment on the posts of other ‘Aus Mac Edders’. Your membership status is now “Author” allowing you to post and comment.

Once you are logged into the WordPress “Dashboard”, check basically if you click on “write post” you can get started contributing. Here are some more details:

How do I post to Aus Mac Ed?

NB: WordPress claims to be as a easy as sending an email - more detailed tutorials are available here.
To write a post on Wordpress you need to follow these steps:

  1. Log-in and click on “Write” in the sidebar.
  2. Give the post a “Title”. Copy and paste the text you have written offline into the WYSIWYG (what-you-see-is-what-you-get) editor.
  3. a). Click on the “Chain-icon” in the WYSIWYG editor to add a link.b). Click on the “Indent-icon” to add a quote you have pulled from somewhere else.c). To add an image you need to browse to the image on your hard drive using the upload tab below the post editing box. Then click on the “Image” (tree) icon in the WYSIWYG editor menu to add an image to the WYSIWYG editor.

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Levelator - podcast audio level enhancer

New software called Levelator may solve the tricky fluctuating audio level issue many teachers with limited equipment face. It automatically adjusts the audio levels within a podcast to account for variations in level between speakers. Drag-and-drop any WAV or AIFF file onto The Leveler’s application window, case and a few moments later you’ll find a new version which just sounds better. The application is available for Windows and OS X - it’s free (for non-commercial use).

Have you ever recorded an interview in which you and your guest ended up at different volumes? How about a panel discussion where some people were close to microphones and others were not? These are the problems the post-production engineers of Team ITC solve every day, viagra buy and it used to sometimes take them hours of painstaking work with expensive and complex tools like SoundTrack Pro, price Audacity, Sound Forge or Audition to solve them. Now it takes mere seconds. Seriously. The Levelator is unlike any other audio tool you’ve ever seen, heard or used. It’s magic. And it’s free.

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MacBridges webcast #1

How do I join Aus Mac Ed?

AusMacEd uses a blogging system called WordPress to allow you to post directly to the website. First you need to register.

Register or log-in here:

Be sure to fill out all the fields of your profile. This will display next to the automated archive for all your posts. eg: http://ausmaced.org/author/paul-reid/ Your display name should be your full name; eg Steve Wozniak.
Now you can comment on the posts of other ‘Aus Mac Edders’. Your membership status is now “Author” allowing you to post and comment.

Once you are logged into the WordPress “Dashboard”, check basically if you click on “write post” you can get started contributing. Here are some more details:

How do I post to Aus Mac Ed?

NB: WordPress claims to be as a easy as sending an email - more detailed tutorials are available here.
To write a post on Wordpress you need to follow these steps:

  1. Log-in and click on “Write” in the sidebar.
  2. Give the post a “Title”. Copy and paste the text you have written offline into the WYSIWYG (what-you-see-is-what-you-get) editor.
  3. a). Click on the “Chain-icon” in the WYSIWYG editor to add a link.b). Click on the “Indent-icon” to add a quote you have pulled from somewhere else.c). To add an image you need to browse to the image on your hard drive using the upload tab below the post editing box. Then click on the “Image” (tree) icon in the WYSIWYG editor menu to add an image to the WYSIWYG editor.

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