Main Line Commodore User Group

Newsletter


June 2011 Issue 349

VILLANOVA UNIVERSITY, ST. AUGUSTINE, ROOM 210

MEETING STARTS - 09:30 -- JUNE 11th


UPCOMING MEETING

MAIN MEETING TOPIC: LAYERS (digital image editing)

It seems every year we do at least one session on managing graphic images. We have again asked Layton if he would lead a discussion on this topic as he and Joan are our graphic specialists in the group.

The subject this time will be on the use of layers, what they are, why they're useful, when to use them, what applications feature layer support, and examples of their use. Most likely, Layton will be using the renowned Photoshop utility and possibly some other utilities for his demonstration. But, you don't have to have Photoshop. There are other less expensive utilities.

If interested, you can familiarize yourself with some of the terminology and concepts of layers before the meeting by taking a look at the Wikipedia website at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Layers_%28digital_image_editing%29

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ANNOUNCEMENTS & REMINDERS

1) Club membership entitles you to receive a hard copy of the newsletter and access to our email list server, which is run for the benefit of our members. Please do not hesitate to post club and computer related notices and problems to it. If we can't solve your problem remotely, we can be alerted to it ahead of the monthly meeting where more hands-on may help resolve your problem.

2) A few of the regular attendees usually partake of lunch at the Campus Corner Restaurant near the intersection of Routes 30 and 320 just off the Villanova University campus. So, after the meeting, why not join us? It's an opportunity to get more help and to discuss our common interests.

3) Help MLCUG go ``Green''. We issue this newsletter by both electronic means through our email list server and in hardcopy format. If you find yourself not reading the hardcopy, PLEASE inform John D, the editor, so that you will only receive the electronic version.

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LAST MONTH'S MEETING

Attendance: 10 people in all attended the meeting on Saturday, May 14th.

Main Meeting Q&A: We began last month's meeting with our normal round of questions and announcements. Among the questions and announcements:

Main Meeting Program:
John M led the main presentation this month. The presentation focused on how to capture Internet video. Specifically the focus was on capturing YouTube video using browser add-ons for IE & Firefox. Both add-ons were named Download Helper, but not from the same developer. Both add-ons can capture video from websites other than just YouTube. However, neither add-on will capture all video from all web sites. This is because some Internet video is in a DRM format like Microsoft's Silverlight or other equivalent DRM & protected format that allows the video to be streamed, but renders capture a difficult process at best.

Other information gleaned from the presentation is that sites like YouTube often make video available for capture in different resolutions and file formats. The most ubiquitous is the Adobe Flash format (.flv). The second most ubiquitous format is the H.264 MPEG (.mp4) compatible format which plays well on devices like Apple's i-devices. The higher resolution files are better for large screen displays. Along with higher resolution comes larger file sizes. On the other hand, lower resolutions are often a better match for small screen devices like the iPod Touch & the iPhone and eat up less storage capacity on these devices.

A description of the Download Helper add-on for IE can be found at: http://ie-downloadhelper.com/

and it can be downloaded at: http://ie-downloadhelper.com/downloadpage/

The IE Download Helper requires * Internet Explorer version: IE6, IE7, IE8 or IE9 * Windows version: 2000, XP, Vista or Windows 7

NOTE: To use IE Download Helper with IE9 requires that you install version 3.2 or later.

A description of the Download Helper add-on for Firefox can be found at: http://www.downloadhelper.net/

and it can be installed at: https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/addon/video-downloadhelper/

The FF Download Helper requires * Firefox 3.0 - 4.0.*

A WORD OF CAUTION John M pointed out one of the potential pitfalls of downloading software these days. On the download pages of the above add-ons there were many download links. These links were often bigger & more prominent than the link for the software itself, often causing confusion for the viewer & the possibility the viewer would click the wrong download link and potentially download and/or install unintended software. At worst, there is always the possibility of accidentally installing MALWARE. So, be VERY vigilant when downloading any software from any site. It is very easy to be confused & click the wrong download link these days.

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MEETING COMMENTARY

John M presented 2 very generic download helper browser extensions - one for IE & one for Firefox, the 2 most dominant browsers on the market today. Only one of these browsers, Firefox, is cross platform compatible.

Apparently generic download helpers don't exist for the 2 other prominent, but less dominant browsers - Safari & Chrome. I spent a short period of time searching.

Personally, I do a fair amount of YouTube viewing & downloading. For this site I have my favorite download extensions for Safari & Chrome. I am presenting them here. The one for Chrome can also be used with the GreaseMonkey extension for Firefox. So, I will be providing a link to the Firefox GreaseMonkey extension too.

Safari Extension https://github.com/jonathanboom/YouTube-video-downloader-for-Safari

An understated description of the extension can be found here: http://jonathanboom.tumblr.com/post/690834005/youtube-video-downloader

Google Chrome Extension http://userscripts.org/scripts/show/62634

This script also works on Firefox when used with the Firefox GreaseMonkey extension which can be found here: https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/addon/greasemonkey/

Many of the scripts that work with the Firefox GreaseMonkey extension also work with Chrome. For a more complete list of scripts, check this link: http://userscripts.org/

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MEETING RELATED LINKS

This section contains web links related to some of the subjects we discussed during our round table discussions and main presentation.

BDRebuilder - is a software to shrink a Blu-ray with all menus and extras using the x264 Encoder (H264 video). Backup Blu-ray to a DVDR(also called BD5 and BD9) or a BDR. Remove unwanted audio tracks, extra material or just keep the main movie. Backup Blu-ray to a single MP4 file (profiles for iPad and iPod) or a MKV file. Requires ffdshow, Haali Media Splitter and avisynth. This is NOT a decrypter. http://www.videohelp.com/tools/BD_Rebuilder

Windows 7 SP1 - Learn how to install Windows 7 Service Pack 1 (SP1) http://windows.microsoft.com/en-US/windows7/learn-how-to-install-windows-7-service-pack-1-sp1

Internet Speed & Quality Testing MyConnection Server (MCS) - The MCS web framework delivers a solution to test bandwidth capacity, true TCP throughput speed including Gigabit, data flow quality, access restrictions, packet rate limits, as well as routing and peering problems.

MCS incorporates testing solutions for critical time dependent applications such as VoIP, Video, IPTV, video conferencing. http://myspeed.visualware.com/index.php

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INTERNET TV

Boxee - A lot of your favorite shows and movies are already available on the Internet. Boxee is a device that finds them and puts them on your TV. It's easy to use and even better, there's no monthly fee. http://www.boxee.tv/

Hulu - is a "corporate sandbox" loaded with content from NBC, News Corp., Sony, MGM, as well as their various subsidiary channels like FX, Sci-Fi Channel and so forth, offering anything from full episodes of Battlestar Galactica and Buffy to SNL Digital Shorts and an entire Russell Crowe flick, Master & Commander. It's Flash-based, it streams, just like YouTube, and it's ad-supported, with bumpers and "commercial breaks," just like the TV it's trying to ape. http://www.hulu.com/

WWITV: World Wide Internet TV - Your Portal to watch live and on demand online TV broadcasts. This site is designed to enable users of personal computers and other consumer electronic devices to easily find and access streaming media content over the Internet. http://wwitv.com/

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SOFTWARE WORTH A LOOK

Hulu Desktop - is a lean-back viewing experience for your personal computer. It features a sleek new look that's optimized for use with standard Windows Media Center remote controls or Apple remote controls, allowing you to navigate Hulu's entire library with just six buttons. For users without remotes, the application is keyboard and mouse-enabled. Hulu Desktop is a downloadable application and will work on Windows, Macs, and Linux. http://www.hulu.com/labs/hulu-desktop

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DIRECTIONS FOR ST. AUGUSTINE CENTER MEETING ROOM Meetings are in the St. Augustine Center at Villanova University. The regular monthly sessions meet in Room 110.

Enter from the ITHAN AVENUE main gate, then proceed to the upper level of the 2-level parking building adjacent to the St. Augustine Center, on the Ithan Avenue side of the building. NOTE: maps on our web page - http://micug.org/

 MLCUG Meetings Schedule        Steering Committee Meetings
 	June 11				June 15
	July 9				July 13
	August 13			August 17
EDITOR: John W. Deker, Jr. 2210 Lantern Lane, Lafayette Hill, PA 19444-2211
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MLCUG LISTSERV:		for members only...
OUR WEB PAGE:		http://mlcug.org/
PUBLICITY:		Position OPEN!
VILLANOVA SPONSOR:	Prof. Frank Maloney, Dept. of Astronomy

MLCUG STEERING COMMITTEE;

PRESIDENT: John Deker 	        610-828-7897	
V.PRESIDENT: Al Gottlieb  	215-793-9725
TREASURER/SEC: John Deker 	610-828-7897	
WEBMASTER: Peter Whinnery 	610-284-5234	
DATABASE: Layton Fireng	        610-688-2080
AT LARGE: Tom Johnson		610-896-2434	
AT LARGE: Wendy Emery		215-765-3328
AT LARGE: Nelson Schrock	610-834-0117
AT LARGE: John Murphy		610-935-4398