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I swear, my kids are smarter than me. And that’s not just a stupid proud parent speaking. If anything’s wrong with the computer, or I need software help, I turn to them, because both of them have surpassed me in education, in some areas. If it’s any consolation to my ego, I’ll always best them in maturity.

Here’s an example of how savvy the next generation is. I was using Camtasia, a free screen capture tool. The audio came across alright, but the video kept giving me a black screen upon playback. I googled the answer and the main solution was to turn off my graphics accelerator. Mind you, I didn’t even know I had one, til I looked at my system tray.

Lo, there, among the icons, is well, a graphics card icon from Intel. Poked around the control panel, and found Display settings and a little slider to turn the accelerator off. Turned that off, rebooted, and still… black screen. Tried turning it off in lesser degrees, but nothing worked. They say that when one loses something, it’s always in the last place you look. The last place I looked was Youtube.

This user was discussing loss of audio while using Vista. I wasn’t having either of those problems, but then he uttered the magical word: codec. In his squeaky pre-pubescent, high-pitched voice he said “you have to make sure you’re using the right codec.” Now that little tweener sent me on the right path. I tweaked the video codec, and voila! Camtasia started recording video for me.

Thank you, to the thirteen year old kid on Youtube who supplied that hint.

Part two. I played with Camtasia for a good long time, and decided, if this is a good thing, there must be a better thing. Never satisfied, I went a hunting again. I found Ask Toolbar, a Firefox plugin with the same “Ask” branding as “Ask Jeeves.” It’s not only better than sliced bread, it is better than chocolate.

You can visit any HTML site that imbeds flash video, and it’ll suck that FLV right out of there, with the push of the “save video” button. But install with caution. It does not have trojans or any such, but some users object to the other shades of its features.
It works like a charm for me.


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