Pinnacle VideoSpin

Avid (Pinnacle), 2009, Shareware

Long before I had this Windows 7, I had a Vista (ok, a dual-boot Vista/Ubuntu-Maverick.) On the Vista, I had a program called Pinnacle Studio 11. Man, that was a great video editing program. Unfortunately, when we moved, I lost the disc. So I spent a week or so scouring the Internet, looking for an equivalent for Studio. Then I found VideoSpin, a spin-off of Studio made by the same people.

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How to use VirtualBox

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Looking for some good software for your virtualization needs? Look no further! VirtualBox is a great software for running the obvious, like Windows, to running the unknown, like JRocketVE or L4. This simple tutorial tells you how to make a virtual machine in VirtualBox. Here’s what you’ll need:

VirtualBox and an Operating System of your choice.

I will be installing Windows 3.1 on my Virtual machine today. Let’s go ahead and get started!

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ContentBurst–Post 2: Stelarium Review

Ever wondered what’s out there, but have cloudy skies? Turn to Stelarium. This open-source software lets you see exactly what’s going on out there without you needing to leave you desk! One great thing about it, it works offline! The setup file is a bit large at 51.2 MB, but it includes everything you need to get started! I like the multiple modes of viewing in Stelarium. You can even see outlines of constellations and get detailed information about every star. If you run out of stars to look at, or you think something just isn’t right, you can update it and download more star packages! Now, I don’t know much about space, but this software is destine to teach me more about space! I like how it will take the time from your computer and then apply that to your view. For example, at noon, it showed a field (which I can change if I want) and it was day. But this won’t restrain you from changing the time.

Stelarium

As you can see, Stelarium is an impressive piece of software. I would go into all the features, but that would take way too long, so just go to http://sourceforge.net/projects/stellarium/files/latest/ to grab yourself a copy!

-Ben

ContentBurst–Post 1: Gedit review

Gedit is a text editor made specifically for Linux, but is available for any operating system, except for OS/2, but nobody uses that, except for Justin Timberlake, and everybody uses him. (That kinda sounds disgusting!) Anyway, Gedit is in some ways a lot like Notepad, but in more ways it’s nothing like Notepad. It has highlighting for certain markups (codes for programming). Another way it’s nothing like Notepad is this; have you ever heard of extensions and plug-ins for Notepad?! If so, please tell me, but I doubt it. Gedit has plug-ins. Some useful, some lame like crazy. Gedit would be a lot cooler by using a theme like Clearlooks, instead of the rather sad Windows 98 style for everything. It kinda gets on my nerves. So, I wanted to do this for ContentBurst February, so here:

Gedit VS. Notepad:

 

Feature

Gedit

Notepad

Plug-ins YES NO
Customizable theme Sort of…* NO
Cross-platform YES ONLY USING WINE OR SIMILAR
Free YES YES
In Linux repositories YES NO

 

*-You can change the color theme, but you can’t change the icon theme.

Now that I’ve done that, here is you link: http://www.gedit.sf.net/

We are doing a “ContentBurst” monthly to make sure you have something to read on this blog. I hope you like the idea! The content was made on Saturday, February 4th 2012, if you were wondering. Winking smile

-Ben

Armagetron Advanced

Hey guys! It’s Ben!

What’s that? Why am I here? (Cause it’s my blog, that’s why!) Well, because I can’t stay away from blogging, and Brenden is probably boring you poor readers to death right now! And no, My Internet has not been fixed, but I can post to GB7., so I’m doing a post about every 2 weeks or so. Before I get into tech, I want to announce 2 things:

  • If Brenden hasn’t told you yet, (tsk tsk) GB7 now has a Facebook page! Feel free to post on out wall anytime at http://www.facebook.com/GeeksBlog7!
  • I also wanted to welcome Zara Rethman into the group! She is the first female writer. The board of administration for GB7 (Me and Brenden Winking smile needed a fancy name) were thinking about Zara joining, and a few days ago, Brenden went ahead and sent her an invitation to join GB7, so now she’s part of the group!

Now that I’ve wasted a few minutes of your life, (Mwahaha! Devil) review time!!! (This was longer on paper…)

Don’t really care about the announcements? Skip to here!

You all know about Tron and all that stuff, right? If not, you are not a geek! (Oh wait, that’s LEGO and Star Wars… Never mind.) Anyways, one of the most famous parts of Tron is the light-cycle racing. Well, I found out about this great tri-platform program called Armagetron Advanced (AA, because typing the whole name is tedious.) TRI-PLATFORM: [Tri-Plat-Form] Works on Windows, Mac OS X and Linux, even though OS X is Linux. In this well-built game, you race around on your light-cycle and try not to be “dumped.” One great thing about AA, is that it has network game functions! This means you can sign in to the server and see a bunch of different games, all with random people from around the world. One thing that is a bit hard to preform, but pays off in the long run, is edit the source code, as AA is open-source. I don’t mean download the source code and make edits to the whole program, I mean opening up a .CFG file and putting in your own data. You can change maps, AI names, game settings and a bunch more! Maps are built in .XML format, so please don’t ask me how to make one, as my last attempt ended in failure.

AA

As seen above, I have version 0.2.8 right now. I haven’t updated in a while, so there may be a newer version. Winking smile

History:

I know, history? Ugh! I hate history! Well, I couldn’t find anywhere else to put this, so I put it here. AA was based off of Tron Legacy, but that was not the first instance of this style of game. According to the readme, the first instance was Blockade from 1976. The first home version was SNAFU for the Intelevision system in 1981 and the next was Surround for the Atari 2600. Either way, the game is great!

I like the game’s menu system and I like the snazzy 3D camera angles, too! There is also a nice little console for you to type commands in. The gameplay is smooth on most operating systems, but I see a major speed-up on Windows as opposed to Ubuntu. (Somewhere from about 100 on Windows and 50 on Ubuntu.)

The whole game is brilliant and I’ll be sure to keep playing for ages to come, and I hope you do too! To grab yourself a copy, go to http://armagetronad.net/.

I want to apologize about the sad state of the blog lately. We hope to get posting again soon, so stay tuned, guys! Smile

-Ben

My Final Post: How to record audio from a device using Audacity

Hey readers! I am sad to say that I am leaving GB7. Perhaps only for a few weeks, a few months or even a few years, but my Internet that I use now blocks sites like WordPress (Who hosts GB7) and Youtube, so I am unable to keep up with comments and such. I am happy to say that the comment issue seems to have been fixed! Our friends over at WordPress took a look and seemed to know what was going on. I am keeping my profile up on the About Us page and will keep my account active, if I am able to resume blogging. From now on, Brenden Reeves will be our webmaster. If you have questions related to the website, you will now need to direct those to him. I will probably be lurking about the blog at every chance I get, but I won’t be doing much else. I know what your thinking, “Ben, you started the blog, why is it you are the first to leave?” Well, things happen, I guess. Winking smile Keep on keeping on!

Now for the tutorial. I will be showing you how to record audio from a device such as a iPod or in my case, a Nintendo DSi. The device will need a headphone jack in order to do this. You will need:

I’m going to do this step-by-step, cause I like it that way. I can’t stand Kelly Clay’s posts on http://www.lockergnome.com/, she NEVER does step-by-step! Anyways….

  1. Start up the device and get to the file or menu with the audio you wish to record.
  2. Insert the line-in cord in the headphone jack of the device and in the microphone jack of your computer.
  3. Download and install Audacity by using the link above or by clicking here.
  4. Open Audacity and make sure the drop-menu to the right of the microphone icon on the second-to-last bar says “Primary sound capture”
  5. Click the large record button and start the media on the device. Wait until that finishes and stop recording by clicking the stop button.
  6. Trim the un-wanted parts by clicking and holding on the large window before the media and after and pressing delete.
  7. Go into File –> Export and save as a WAV, MP3, WMA or your desired format.

There you go! If you want, feel free to use some effects on the audio. I like the “Wahwah” effect. Audacity has tons of great tools for you to use on your music and audio, try them all out! Smile

This is Ben High, for his last blog post for awhile, signing off. Good bye, community! I hope to return to you soon, so stay tuned and try to act excited about iOS posts from Brenden. Winking smile

-Ben High

Apple Safari, Google Chrome, Microsoft Internet Explorer or Mozilla Firefox

If you use the Internet, which you are now, you want a fast an simple Internet browser. In this post, I will cover Safari, Chrome, IE and Firefox.

Internet Explorer (IE)

I would not recommend using IE 9 at all. It slows your system down, it crashes and it’s slow. The first thing I did on the Internet was go and get a new browser (Chrome, of course) Here’s my default IE screen:

IE9

As you can see, it is a basic browser. I like the fact that it blends into the top-level window (which I’ll get into in a minute) like MirandaIM or some other Windows 7 program. Other than that, I dislike IE completely.

Google Chrome

This is my favorite browser and used by both writers here on GB7! It is the fastest I’ve used, has a top-level theme, a great home page, apps and extensions, sugar, spice and everything nice! If you look back in the archive, you should see tutorials and app reviews for Chrome!

Google Chrome

It has apps and some extensions. The picture in the background is a bit ominous, but I like it. A great thing about Google Chrome is that you can customize it with themes. These not only change the home screen, but also change the top-level window style.

Top-Level Window Style on Google Chrome

I would use this for a browser any time!

Apple Safari

This browser is usually for Macintosh, but also has a Windows version. Unlike Chrome and IE, it does not have a top-level window style.

Apple Safari

I haven’t gotten a chance to use this browser very much, but the style is very nice. I like the top bar for the simplicity, but I would still use Chrome over this.

Mozilla Firefox

This is the first open-source browser I have used, and I like the style of it. It has a top-level window style, but isn’t as flashy as Chrome’s.

Firefox

I use this browser on our home computer, because it is connected to dial-up (the really slow Internet connection that nobody likes.) It’s a nice browser. Here’s the top-level window:

Top-level window theme on Firefox

(6 pictures… not done yet!!)

Comparison:

These are the four main choices for a browser. I didn’t go into much detail up there, so I’ve made a table of features!

IE Chrome Firefox Safari
Local Home page x check x x
Apps x check x x
Extensions x check check x
Free check check check check
Top-level window themes x check x x
Downloadable themes x check check x

It’s all about choices. As you can see, Google Chrome has a yes on everything while others stumbled. Especially IE and Safari. Well, that’s all I have for now! And now the image count. Drumroll please.

Da da da da da da da da da da da da da da…

30 IMAGES!! (Man this will take a while to upload.) That’s 3 times Brenden’s record of 10! HA!! Winking smile The war is on!

-Ben

DOSBox

If you have used MS-DOS (Microsoft Disk Operating System) and have switched to Windows, you might be missing some of those old games you used to play on DOS. Sure you could install them (or try to at least) on Windows and probably end up with a crashed computer, or you could use what is called DOSBox. It is a free program that allows you to install and use DOS programs, including games! It is only at version 0.74, but it’s going to get better. You can even run Windows 3.1 in DOSBox, that is, if you want to. You have to use a certain command to mount the folder with your games in it. This is my command:

mount C: C:\dosgames\

I store my games and programs for DOS in the folder dosgames at the root of my hard drive. You can add this line of code to your “AUTOEXEC.BAT” file, which is actually just part of your settings, which is one thing that needs completed. This is what I see when I start DOSBox:

DOSBox default screen

Pretty nifty, no? DOSBox has so many great features, it would take so long to get into them all, but since I’m in a battle on how many pictures you can cram into a post, I will go into the ones I know.

IMGMOUNT

This is an interesting feature of DOSBox. You can mount .IMG files to use for files or to boot from. An IMG file is a Virtual Floppy Image, mostly used in emulators and virtual machine host applications, such as Virtual PC, VMWare or VirtualBox. You have to do a little something special to get the file in DOSBox, but it’s worth it.

Wrong way to import files into DOSBOX

Right way to import IMG files into DOSBOX

As you can see, it’s kind of advanced, but now that I’ve mounted that, I can do this!

What I do with my spare time

It’s Windows 1! No? Lame…

Anyways, that’s how you do it.

BOOT

This command does just what it says it does, boots. You can load in .IMG files and I think .RAR and .VHD files, too! This is how it works:

BOOT

Yes, it’s the right command, but it has an issue booting .VHD files, so I’m just going to close DOSBox. If you guys caught it, I’m trying to boot into OS/2. If you don’t know what that is, it’s older than you.

(Right now, I’m at the record of 5 pictures! Not done yet!)

Additional features

DOSBox comes with some other features, like a keymapper and movie recording! Here’s a picture of that keymapper I was talking about:

DOSBox keymapper

Nice? Well, that’s all there is to know about DOSBox for now, so I’ll end us off with a screenshot of what I use DOSBox most for:

Windows 3 in DOSBox

Smile Thanks for reading guys! I have reached a new record for the blog, 7 images! Have fun catching up, Brenden! Winking smile

-Ben

Blender review

If you are in the market for a good 3D modeling and animation and game creation software, look no further than the wonderful price-tag of $0.00! Blender is a great tool for not only animations, but also modeling, coding and even video games! One of the greatest things about Blender is that it is free and stands as one of the most used Open-Source pieces of software out there. Another great thing about Blender is that it works on all 4 operating systems out there! (The fourth being Solaris.) That’s two great reasons to get Blender! You can obtain it from the Ubuntu software center or SUSE software repositories, or you can download it for free for any other operating system at http://www.blender.org/. It’s really good for anyone’s 3D needs. It starts in seconds, with no splash screens in the way. One minor issue is that you may need to download and install Python just to get it to work. Windows users should be able to get away without needing to do that. The current version of Blender is 2.60, but I use 2.49b for my everyday use, as I don’t like the new layout in 2.60. If you are new to Blender, this won’t matter to you… Unless you are extra picky or something like that. Here is a little still frame I made with Blender in 3 and a half minutes:

 

b249bsf

Pretty good for taking only 3 and a half minutes… counting the time it took me to decide what to do! And the watermark was made in the blogging application, Blender doesn’t put watermarks on anything. I chose this frame just for the close-up cube at the right of the image. That image is actually the very first one on my blog! Yay! Well, thanks for reading! 🙂