Screencasting Software

“Screencasting” is simply the act of capturing parts of your laptop screen as a video file and sharing it with others. I have only recently started experimenting with it, but am impressed with what is possible. It has become really, really easy to produce a short educational training session and to post it on YouTube or Vimeo.

There are loads of software for it, paid as well as free. Start experimenting with free stuff and then buy a professional
version if you have sustained interest. All you need is a microphone to get started. You can also make “silent” movies, but those are not much fun to view and learn.

What is ScreenCasting? (Explanation from O’Reilly)

Here’s a Comparison of screencasting software (wikipedia article)

The following links have reviews of the different “screencasting” software options available.

I myself use CamStudio and it works just fine for my needs.



IPad Apps That I regularly Use

If you own an iPad, you should seriously consider getting these apps. They are all free.

iBooks: I still don’t understand why this is not rolled in with the device as it ships. I have downloaded the Kindle and Nook Apps, but this one is great. I use it mostly to read PDF files. Love the feature wherein if I double click a pdf page, the font grows big enough to fit the whole page, makes it easier on my eyes.

Flipboard: I love the way this application presents everything. It is “my” newspaper, with the very best possible layout. I especially like reading my Twitter feeds in Flipboard, because the pages linked to are right below the tweet itself.

Zite: Something that I discovered recently. It “learns” of my preferences and keeps dishing up better and better articles. I especially love the “custom” sections for topics that are not that popular. I love the simple click to tell it to serve me “more articles like this.”

RSS reader: Mine is called MobileRSS and it links to my Google Reader feeds. It is not the greatest of interfaces, but I have grown used to it.

The above are the “must-haves.”  The following Apps are ones that I like and frequently use.

NY Times: This is the App that I often use to ‘show off’ the iPad. I think they have only the Times Editor’s choice articles, and the presentation is crisp, spectacular even.

StumbleUpon: Truly surfing, aka whiling away time while feeling that we are being doing something productive. I find that it works better if I focus the topics I want to “stumble upon” instead of letting it pick. The photos section is good, but many of the articles that are highly popular are too sentimental and syrupy for my taste.


  TED: The Ted Talk app lays out the talks in a very appealing way. The “Themes” are a good way to select a talk that sounds appealing. The save talks feature is good, but it seems to take forever in my broadband connection. Come to think of it, the iPad Safari web browser should suffice, but I like having this app stream the Talks to me.

  BrainPop: Check out these short information-packed animations, especially if you have kids who are 5+, though they are good for all ages.  They are entertaining and educational. (Topics range from history of wars, botany, animal life, life of scientists, freedom fighters etc. I watch quite a few of them myself, and then I take the 10-question multiple-choice quiz to make sure that I have learned something from it.)

Games: After a year of owning the device, the only games I go back to are: Blue Block (I am still figuring out optimal algorithms) and Gears. And if you like cricket, for your cricket updates (IPL) consider an app called Cricitch. It seems to be enough for my needs.


Pandora is the ‘jukebox’ App that I sometimes use. (If you happen to be of Indian descent and enjoy Hindi or Tamil film music, you should download Tandora. Thanks to Mukund for the pointer to Tandora.)

For TV Guides and local movie listings, I have been using “Zap2It’s What’s On.”

Let me know (via email or comment below) if I am missing any Apps that you absolutely love.


Last updated on May 16th, 2011.

The Freelancer’s Toolset

The Freelancer’s Toolset – 100 Web Apps for Everything you will possibly need.

This site is great. There were a large number of products that I wasn’t aware even existed.  (Some, not all, do cost some money.) Definitely worth picking and choosing.