Monthly Archives: July 2014

A free ScreenCasting / Presentation Tool

I have used Wink from for my basic presentation needs. I used this software to create flash videos for demonstrations and tutorials. This tool is free and it does the job well for small to medium duration presentation. I tried using Wink for Windows 8 and I found out that Windows 8 didn’t allow Wink to run. I will post that error later on. So I knew it was time to switch to another tool. I listed my requirements and they were coming to the following:

Mandatory Requirements

  • The tool should work on Windows.
  • The tool should be free.
  • Doesn’t really has to be open source.
  • There should not be any time limit on the recording.
  • Watermarking is OK but it should not blur out any part of recording.
  • Should allow me to record full screen presentation (my favorite mode).
  • Audio recording should be allowed.
  • System audio recording should be allowed (Only microphone recording doesn’t cut it).

Optional Requirements

  • Capability to export video in HTML5 or Flash movie format
  • Basic scripting support so that I can add controls like ‘Next’ and ‘Previous’.
  • Some option to cut out unnecessary parts of video.
  • Some effects like highlight and annotation is a bonus

My first few queries took me to a number of software which were either feature limited or time limited. So I decided to do some research on comparing the available software in the screen casting / presentation domain.  I found this link to be invaluable in narrowing my research. I ultimately found out that ActivePresenter Free Version from  Atomi Systems fulfilled all of my mandatory requirements as well as optional requirements. I decided on this tool based on the following points.

  • Very easy to install and configure. A real no brainer.
  • The performance of the tool was quite good. Although I didn’t like the non-cancel-able progress of video export. But it does the job well so I am happy.
  • The tool itself can be hidden so while making a presentation I can hide the tool into the toolbar and keep it discreet.
  • It records both microphone as well as system audio which is a mandatory requirement.
  • The documentation and tutorial for the tools are available in plenty.
  • There are sample projects on the website.
  • There is a paid version of this tool for 99 USD which is a deal if I decide to upgrade.

I think it is better to use a tool which follows the ‘Freemium’ model so that when the need arises for more functionality one can simply upgrade the tool and re-use the existing experience with the tool. I am hopeful that ActivePresenter Free Version will work stable and I can continue to use it for some time to come. Thanks to Atomi Systems for a free tool that comes in as a drop in replacement for Wink.

Problem found with GWT installation on Chrome

Problem found with GWT installation on Chrome

The idea with GWT is that you need to install a Google Web Tool Kit Plugin on Chrome to realistically debug GWT application in your browser. On Firefox browser the plugin is already outdated and probably discarded so Firefox is no longer an option. However on Chrome we still have a plugin and it should work ideally. However my efforts to debug my GWT apps hit a road bump when I encountered the following error when starting chrome.
At the time of starting chrome:
In the Extensions view:

At the moment I just re-dragged the GWT plugin into chrome and resumed my work but I have a haunch that this is not the end of the problem and it will come back to haunt me. I did some search on the internet and I found the following link where people have discussed this problem. The most potent solution which I have not tried yet is listed here for future reference.
Link #1:
Quick fix that might help:
1. Right click on the chrome icon>Properties>Shortcut
2. Add in target: –enable-easy-off-store-extension-install
3. Open chrome and navitage to extensions ( chrome://chrome/extensions/ )
4. Drag and drop on it the plugin (should be in your download folder if you tried to install it before and didn’t succeed)
Link #2:
I think the easiest way to install the plugin is, to load the google chrome Browser with the flag –enable-easy-off-store-extension-install With this flag you disable this “feature”.
Link #3:

Finally Solution:
I finally gave up after trying all the above approaches and none of them actually worked. I hit the following link:
I downloaded the latest devchannel version of Chrome and re-installed the GWT Developer Plugin. This seems to have fixed the problem, however I am not really sure how this has affected my chrome installation’s stability but atleast GWT Dev Plugin works and it’s good enough for now.