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All the Perl that's Practical to Extract and Report

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  • Note: this is for Windows

    I've recently been playing w/ screencasting, and I gotta say, its pretty fuggin kewl. The s/w is FOSS, not as spit & polish as commercial stuff, but very effective.

    Obviously, you'll need a mic and whatever presentation s/w you use; note that the codec for this is for fairly static content, so avoid including Indiana Jones action sequences in your presentation!

    To setup for screencasts:

    1. Download/install MSU Screen Capture Lossless Codec [compression.ru]
    2. Download/unbindle VirtualDub [virtualdub.org] (current version 1.78)
    3. Download/unbundle CamStudio [camstudio.org] (current 2.5 beta 1 release)
    4. Adjust your display settings to 16 bit color
    5. Start CamStudio by clicking on Recorder.exe in the CamStudio folder
    6. Click the Region menu item and then select Fixed Region..
    7. Set fixed region to 800x600 (or smaller if you wish; 800x600 worked well for me)
    8. Click the Options -> Audio Options -> Audio Options for Microphone
      • select "22.05 kHz, mono, 16-bit" from the Recording Format drop down
      • click the "Choose Compressed Format" and Choose "PCM" from the Format drop down
      • click OK
    9. Click Options -> Video Options
      • Select "Microsoft Video 1" for the Compressor dropdown
      • Slide "Quality" to a setting of 80
      • set "Set Key Frames Every" to 150
      • set Framerates: "Capture Frames Every" to 66
      • set Framerates: "Playback Rate" to 15
      • make sure "Auto-Adjust" is unchecked
      • click OK
    10. Click the round red Record button when you're ready to record
      • a region selector will popup; move it to whereever you want the capture region on your screen
      • once you've placed the capture region, recording will run until you click either the Pause or Stop button.
      • as you open applications on your screen, you'll have to drag them into the region, and possibly resize them to fit, in order for them to be captured. Note that audio is captured during the entire recording (assuming you've got a mic enabled)
      • If you're recording something thats going to be static for awhile, its a good idea to hit Pause to skip over it, then hit record again when you're ready to continue.
    11. Once you've Stop'ed recording, a file save dialog opens and you can enter the name of the AVI file to save the capture to.
    12. After you've saved the file, close CamStudio, and open VirtualDub (by clicking on VirtualDub.exe in its folder)
    13. Select File -> Open video file...
      • a file dialog opens; select the AVI file you just recorded
    14. Select Video menu itme and make sure "Full Processing" is checked
    15. Select Video->Compression...
      • select "MSU Screen Capture Lossless Codec" from the dropdown list
      • set the "Force keyframes every" value to 150; make sure the checkbox is checked.
      • click OK
    16. Select Audio and make sure "Full processing mode" is checked
    17. Select Audio -> Compression...
      • select MPEG Layer 3 from the left hand list
      • then select "24kBit, 22.050 kHz, Mono" from the right hand list
      • click OK
    18. Select File -> Save As AVI...
      • the file save dialog opens; enter the filename you want to save as (different than the input filename)
      • click OK
    19. A dialog will open displaying the compression progress, and the window will fastforward through your video as it recompresses.
    20. When it finishes, you're done! You may want to check the file sizes of the original and the compressed version and see the (astounding) compression ratio. You may also want to view the compressed version to double check its ok.

    Once you've got the compressed AVI, you can convert it to WMV using Window Movie Maker (tho I haven't tried that yet) or another converter (google up "avi to wmv"), but the quality tends to degrade a lot. CamStudio also provides a SWF converter, tho I haven't yet tried it with the Screen Cast Codec. With the original codec, the number of swf files was huge; hopefully the better codec with few keyframes will reduce the number of flash frames.

    But the AVI file will likely be reasonable size; I recently did a 6.5 minute screencast with lots of keyboard/GUI interaction + audio that was only 13Meg (which sounds like a lot, but for video, thats pretty damn good.)

    Then you'll just need to find a website to host it.

    BTW: if you google up CamStudio you should find dozens of screencasts on how to use it.

    I'd love to see the Perl community jump all over this tech; I wish I had more time to whip up some screencasts for some of my CPAN goods.