Top 10 free Windows applications

These applications have been around for a while so they have been peer and community reviewed pretty thoroughly. Most of them are cross platform and they are all high performing applications . Some of them have a pro paid version but all of them are very functional as free applications. I am always using Gimp and I did used to use Scribus .This video reminded me to take another look at it. These applications are very much for 2018 so  , if you have time, take a look. Open Office is good to have loaded if you want an alternative to cloud services. It doesn’t have the high end graphics and presentation capabilities of the Apple and Microsoft alternatives but it works really well. Libre Office is also free and equally as good.

One minute videos are the thing

With video , you can achieve so much in one minute whether it’s instructional or informational. Snapchat knows it. Instagram knows it. Facebook is revisiting it and YouTube and Vimeo are embracing it. One of our local councils used to have a one minute video competition for 16-25 year olds but appears to have stopped it after last year. The featured video was designed to help the aspiring video makers for that competition in 2013. Like the 140 characters of Twitter, a one minute video is a skills and competencies challenge which disciplines  thinking and approach. When you have limits like that you have to think, plan and create very carefully. It forces you to have a laser focus on optimum content delivery and visual presentation. There are plenty of sites to help and inspire you with one minute videos:

oneminutewonders

one minute videos on YouTube

one minute travel films

one minute videos on Vimeo

how to make a one minute video

Stats for Nerds

stats for nerdsIf you pause a YouTube video and right click on it you get a pop up menu. On that menu it has an option Stats for Nerds. Love it! If you want to know what they mean I have explained them. Things like dimension you will know so I haven’t explained them all.

statsResolution @25 – @ 25 frames per second
Stream host – server which is running video
CPN- Probably Id for European Canon Professional Network
Mime Type – how the internet identifies the type of file. vp9 is  an open and royalty free coding format for videos
DASH 244/251 relates to audio. Format 251 Is Opus.
Dropped frame rate: Will affect smooth running and synching of audio and video. Can be caused by drivers, slow computers, internet access…

Put the A in STEM

“You might be studying to become artists and you might think that maybe a soldier, an engineer, a doctor can do more to try and help against war and bring peace but, actually, your talents in communication are what is really, really needed”

Nobody makes the case better for the A is STEM than the 2015 Sydney Peace Prize winner , George Gittoes. He was born in Rockdale and went to Kogarah High School. He has spent his life in places like Bosnia, Rwanda, Somalia, Cambodia, Mozambique and Afghanistan so that he could use his talents as an artist and filmmaker to teach local people media and art so they could take control of the devastation they were experiencing and find a way of expressing themselves positively and productively. In Afghanistan he even achieved permission to rent one of the billboards to show his Yellow House school children’s films. His important teaching of inspiring creativity in the face of destruction is why he is such a powerful but modest human being. A world changer. Such a remarkable man.

Extreme Adelaide

The GoPro Hero 4 Session action camera is designed for action sports like snowboarding, water sports , scuba diving. It is totally waterproof and can be attached to cars and other moving vehicles. It is a 4cm cube and so is very portable and dinky. That’s not why I have one. The tiny size means you can put it in your pocket or put it on a lanyard. It can be carried with no fuss whatsoever. I take it out when I am walking my dog. I have had 3 dog attacks in 3 years walking my dog. One attack meant I was off work for 3 days and had no proper walking function for 8 weeks. Someone suggested I take a video of what goes on. I always have my phone but it’s a hassle trying to get that out and set the video function up. The GoPro cube has one button. Press for on and press for off. That easy. It therefore serves the purpose of being my minder. Its other purpose is because , as I said, I want to work on improving my video skills and coding this year. The GoPro doesn’t have a preview window. It is not designed to be an official video camera. It’s for action sports. That’s not me. I am finding other uses for it and it is fast becoming a best friend. You can bluetooth connect with a phone or tablet to get a preview of what you are doing but when you are actually doing it’s not particularly convenient.It is convenient to connect after filming to watch the footage. The way it works means I have to trust myself and my judgement. It is forcing me to get better at noticing what I am filming and how to hold it to get better footage. It is making me more intuitive. I then have all these little videos to sort through which give me instant feedback on what I have done so I can be better next time. I have tested it for filming myself talking at it and the result is very good and the microphones work really well. I read some reviews where they were complaining about the fish eye lens. I love it. Gives footage a surreal quality but it also takes in huge panoramic views easily. The GoPro doesn’t like to be confined. When I filmed myself my image wasn’t at all distorted in any way. This is a good learning curve for me because it is making me do something I don’t normally do: just go and film something and not worry about how it will look because it will look fine!(mostly). I have made this film on Adelaide because we are going through massive upgrades in the city and it is all coming together. It’s something I could discover and share.

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