Lightweight screencasting with vnc2swf

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Thinking about producing a screencast? Will quick and dirty do the trick, as long as it’s free? vnc2swf could be just what you need:

  1. Set up a VNC server. The free VNC Server for Windows (previously WinVNC) will do the trick on Windows boxes, and there’s OSXvnc for Mac.
  2. Install and run vnc2swf. You’ll need to set up Python first, but everything you need is linked on the site. Once it’s running, hit F9 to start recording your desktop.
  3. Stop recording when you’re done. An SWF is produced, which you can publish on the Web.
  4. Use the companion editing tool to chop off the pieces of the movie you don’t want to keep, and then add an MP3 soundtrack recorded separately.

And just like that, you’ve got your screencast! The screencast demonstration on the site is a little tough to follow if you’re not up on your Unix commands, but with a little tinkering at the command prompt you should be able to get it to work on Windows or Mac OS X with relatively little trouble.

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