Following up my earlier post about recording a VNC session to a screencast, I’m pleased to have a first attempt to show you:
This is a basic ‘tour’ of my 701’s desktop, which is now running the Fluxbox window manager. The movie is mostly a test to see if the ‘setup’ would work—in future, I’ll ‘script’ the thing before I make it!—but I reckon I can use this method for other ‘proper’ screencasts.
To capture the Eee desktop, I ran the “krfb” desktop-sharing app on the 701, which uses the VNC protocol to allow remote access to the Eee’s display. The actual capturing was done using ScreenToaster, a fine example of how advanced Web-based applications have become at the end of the 2000s.
ScreenToaster allows you to record a commentary using any microphone on your computer, and apparently it can even use your webcam if you have one, though I have yet to test that. As long as you have a computer with Java and a reasonable amount of CPU power, I think ScreenToaster does the job as well as (and possibly better than) your typical lower-range shareware screen-capture program, and is worth a look if you need to capture a screencast.
Ironically, one advertised ScreenToaster feature which I was hoping to use—the ability to record the output of a VNC session—didn’t work for me at all (it tried to overlay the 800×480 VNC display over our iMac’s 1600×1250 (?) screen, and capture that). Therefore, to make this screencast, I had to bring up the Eee’s VNC display on the Mac, and tell ScreenToaster to capture the part of the Mac’s desktop which was showing the VNC display. A bit of a “hack” (and this may have been why there are two mouse pointers sometimes!), but at least it worked!
Finally, I exported the movie from ScreenToaster as a QuickTime (MOV) file, and did some editing in iMovie 08, as well as adding captions, the “Digital Ramyun” opening and closing titles, credits, etc.
So, perhaps this isn’t the most thrilling viewing (OK, it isn’t ;)), but as a “proof of concept” I think it does the job…