About Me

This is the personal blog of Don McAllister, the host and producer of ScreenCastsOnline.

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oops! Powerbook in Microsoft Ad


Never Enough Storage

Granted, few people really need 1 terabyte of storage. But it sounds cool--sort of like you could be running a ballistic missile tracking site in your den. Besides, humans continue to show that they can come up with ways to gobble up hard drive space.

One-terabyte drive to debut later this year | CNET

It's my considered opinion that 1 terabyte will not be enough for the average "home" in the very near future. Broadband distribution of HDTV, hosting of DVDs, HD Home Movies......

Hmm, lets just say HD shall we!

Now is a good time to be a storage vendor, but what we really need is an efective way to manage and backup all this content.

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Coming Zune?


I subscribed to the Zune newsletter back on the 22nd July - It's now 14th August and I've not heard a peep! They're really building the buzz ovr at MS?

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Mac OS X It's only been one week since Steve Jobs showed off some of Leopard's features, but already it's being reported that a beta copy of Leopard given to developers at WWDC may have been leaked to BitTorent and possibly other file-sharing networks. "[Apple] is likely to take a very dim view at the leaks. A similar incident last year saw Mac OS X 10.4 released without authority online. Apple tracked down and litigated against the developers responsible for the leak." Suppposedly Leopard has also shown up on certain FTP sites, and various blogs have begun discussing unannounced features.

MacSlash | Leopard Already Leaked

It's a technology preview not a full blown copy of Leopard. So what does it matter if it gets into the hands of non developers?

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Reasons to be Cheerful

Many weeks ago you asked in one of the screencasts what reasons people had for not becoming an Extra! subscriber. I had considered responding several times, but I never did. Now that I have become an Extra! subscriber the point seems moot -- but I'm writing this anyway. I apologize in advance if this rambles on in places.

First -- what do I like about ScreenCastsOnline?
- The screencast format is an easy and efficient way for me to learn about Mac topics of interest
- The screencast video quality (free version) is very good
- The screencast audio quality is excellent
- Your production values are very high
- Your commentary strikes the right balance of relaxed but not too casual, prepared but not over-rehearsed. Well done.
- The topics you pick are usually things I'm interested in.
- You present a good 20+ minute usage of the program, striking a balance between "the basics" and more advanced usage tips

Nothing is perfect, of course. Things I would suggest for improvement are:
- Increase the volume (loudness) of your audio commentary. I always have to turn my Powerbook to full volume when listening to a ScreenCastsOnline episode.
- Have a list of upcoming shows. I'm not saying it has to be a schedule, but a "Coming soon!" type of list would be good.

Ok. I like what you're doing, and you are producing a quality show. So why don't I subscribe?
- The "Just Some Guy" issue. Most independent podcasts are produced by one person in his/her spare time. (ie: "Just Some Guy"). Many people start a podcast and either stop producing it when the show becomes a chore, or worse, keep producing it even though the quality of the show drops drastically. There is no guarantee a podcast will be sustained.
- Future direction : I have no idea that you won't produce a series of screencasts on topics I'm not interested in
- Qualifications : Do you know enough about a topic to explain it properly?
- Extra! benefits : My Powerbook screen is only 1024x768, so 1280*720 HD screencasts don't do me much good.
- Ad free content : It's a movie file so I can just skip the ad, or cut it entirely if it bother me that much. Plus, there aren't any ads right now anyway.

Now, I did become an Extra! subscriber. What changed my mind?
- You had produced many shows. Each show had very high production values. I found most of the topics interesting.
- You had decided to do this full-time. That took a lot of courage. I *did* want to have that "nice warm fuzzy glow" that comes from supporting one of the pioneers of a new medium. I think that ScreenCastsOnline could be one of the podcasts that makes it. Good luck to you!
- The DVD of all screencasts is included.
- The Extra! section in each screencast does have added value.
- The "Enhanced Desktop" version is better quality than the free version and is usable on my screen size.
- The "Elgato EyeTV DTT" screencast. I was impressed you had Elgato sponsor the screencast, offer a prize, and offer a discount to current EyeTV owners.
- The August "MacFormat" magazine : A co-worker had been to Britain on business and brought back a copy of MacFormat for me. There was a special screencast on the DVD, and a special offer of $20US. It was a sign! :-)

So, with that I decided to take the plunge. I'm looking forward to many great screencasts. I do appreciate how much work they are to produce. You have to pick a topic, research the app(s), prepare a script, set up demo accounts, capture footage of cats (if needed), capture the screencast, capture the audio, add cursor spotlighting, edit the whole thing, prepare several movie files, preview the movies for quality assurance,, then post it for all to enjoy. I probably missed a few steps too. It's not as simple as turning on a microphone and pressing a button.

You have a quality show. Keep up the good work.


ps: Not that I'm in the Witness Relocation Program or anything, but please don't mention my name if you blog/post/podcast/screencast about this.

More Details on ScreenCastsOnline Extra!

I received this unsolicited email today from a ScreenCastsOnline Extra! member and thought I'd reproduce in full (Name omitted by request). "Nice warm fuzzy glow" factor works both ways!

Much appreciated.

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