How to make a video tutorial on a Mac using Quicktime

In the past week or so, I have been asked a few times how Mac users could create video tutorials of their desktops. Fortunately, Snow Leopard includes the latest version of QuickTime, which, while I do have some complaints about Apple having removed a slew of useful features, they did add one that is extremely handy; Screen Recording.

To demonstrate, I’ve made a video tutorial for your viewing pleasure:

Once QuickTime is open, simply go to File –> New Screen Recording (or press Control-Command-N) and the simple interface will appear:

The small triangle on the right side of the window will open the options window, allowing you to select the microphone, quality of the recording, and where the resulting video will be saved.

Once the video is recorded, you can bring it into iMovie, Final Cut Express/Pro, or other editing software and make any additional changes, if you so desire.

Let me know if you have any questions or requests!

Managing hard drives made easier

Drives, drives, drives…In my years as a video editor, I’ve gone through lots of hard drives. One thing that became a bit difficult as the drives piled up was keeping track of them all. Necessity being the mother of of invention, I came up with a simple mechanism to handle this.

When I buy either a new hard drive or hard drive in an enclosure with a drive in it, write a number on it, and record the information about it in a easy to use spreadsheet.

Here’s the information I collect about each of the drives; drive number (the number written on it), brand, model & serial numbers, drive size (in GB), interface, the warranty expiry date, and the supplier I purchased the drive from.

I do not really need to keep track of what I am using the drive for, or what it’s currently called because frequently I wipe and rename my “floating” drives for specific purposes, like delivering content to a client.

For drives in enclosures, I use the purchase date on the invoice as the beginning of the warranty date.

To determine the hard drive warranty expiry dates, I use these links:
Seagate: support.seagate.com
Western Digital: websupport.wdc.com

If you use other brand drives, you can probably Google up the relevant link pretty easily.

Here is a blank copy of the Numbers spreadsheet, and a version done up in Excel for you non-Mac users.

An additional thing one can do is to add a reminder in your calendar a month before the warranty is up to check the drive.