Monday, 21 March 2016

Recording Computer Images for Classes

After a lot of experimentation, I found out that the best technique to record computer images is not using one of the commercial pieces of software that are currently on offer, but a digital camera, transferring it all to the computer, and then reformatting, if necessary. 

Today, I needed to satisfy the demands of Google and upload movies that respected their limits in terms of size, so that I had to grab the resulting recording from my digital camera and use Movie Maker to get the needed reduction. With the second movie, and I am talking about the blog post that precedes this one, I had to convert the image to e-mail format, what stole a bit from the item quality but kept it all inside of the limits in terms of size. 

I now consider the computer to simply be another world object, so that we can record what goes in it in the same way we record other things. The evolution of the techniques for building screens and machines now allow us to do this sort of thing. It gives a lot of work, and it is very hard to do it if we are on our own, but it is feasible, and you can see the good results on the previous post, inside of this same blog. 


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Visual Basic with MS Excel: a Button, a Label, and a Field

VB seems to call fields Text Boxes and Buttons Command Buttons. Basically, all is found inside of the Toolbox

We will now tell you how you can quickly write a routine to have something pleasant on your screen.

First, you start a new sheet in Excel, then you activate the Developer's Tab. After you press the button Visual Basic on this tab, you should see the VB interface. Once you are in it, you have to press the second button to the bottom of your ribbon at the top of the page if you have a standard installation. By clicking on that button, you will have access to four options: User Form, Module, Class Module, and Procedure. Click on User Form to get an interface where the user will be able to interact with your program in a very friendly way. You will then use the Toolbox in order to be able to select the option Text Box. Go to the rectangle that appears in front of you when you press User Form and Mouse Over it in the shape you want the user to see the button. Give this box a Control C + Control V sequence of clicks in order to have a perfect copy of the field inside of the rectangle. Now organize it nicely. Select Command Box in the Toolbox and Mouse Over the rectangle again to again create the shape you wish. Select, in last place, Label in the Toolbox, and repeat the actions. 

Now, Mouse Over the Button, and Label to activate the writing and change it into whatever you like, so say Transfer and Result. 

You now have to go to one of the edges of one of the items, so say one of the fields, put the mouse over it, and wait until it gets activated, when you will then click on View Code. That is the same as Edit Code, actually. 

You'd better click over the edge of the Button because that is where you will insert all the commands you need for this routine. In this way, you will end up inside of the right Sub

VB, when inside of Excel or in general, has default names for each one of those items. It will call the first field TextBox1, the second, TextBox2, the Button CommandButton1, and the Label, Label1

With this, type whatever you notice that is not in your program when you get the code in front of you considering the lines below. You will notice that, just like Cobol, VB declares variables at the top. It just uses different words to do that. String for alpha elements and Integer for numbers. You will also notice that it always gives you the first and the last line of the Sub you see below. Just take advantage of that and change names of the elements only if you have plenty. The way it concatenates strings is by adding a commercial and in the middle, as you can see below. The Caption of the Label ends up appearing over it when you execute the program. 

Dim Sum As String

Private Sub CommandButton1_Click()
Sum = TextBox1.Text & TextBox2.Text
Label1.Caption = Sum
End Sub

=> You don't need to tell me what I already know: That this page is worth millions. I know myself how much I struggled to find good material on the Internet to simply do this sort of bullshit. I will still see if I manage to add a video that can be well understood to put here for you, since that is another problem. I went through several and did not think they helped much. I ended up relying more on written material. 

Here you will see the result: 

And here you will see a few inside images:


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Saturday, 19 March 2016

Visual Basic with Microsoft Excel and Programming

You can use the VB resource inside of the own MS Excel to build macros, but you can also do a lot of damage and a lot of good with it outside of Excel. 

Bradley Paul Neal (his name is spelled out here because I suffer true atrocities since the end of 2001 for denouncing ALSO him) once showed me how to hack Yahoo accounts and get passwords. He then entered VB through Excel and made a perfect copy of the Yahoo main access page. 

He edited the page because, at least until 2002, it had an open code. He then changed a few lines (less than five, perhaps just one) and showed me that the person would think that the computer had a problem and they would be filling out the fields. On the first time already we would get the password stored in an Excel file that would, later on, be picked through a disk by him. I actually found an Excel file with my name on it, marcia.xls, exactly in the way he had described to me that he did, when I was sharing a room with Shane and Robert at VUT, and I then took that file to Judith Cook as a material proof against him. 

Oh, well, that is an evil use of the tool, we could say. 

If you want to do some good, however, you will probably want to start working by entering the developers' mode. The first thing you will need to know, in this case, is how to get into the developers' mode. So, here you have the how to do that: Developers


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Wednesday, 16 March 2016

Voice and Powerpoint

You probably have faced the situation of not being happy with the recording you have for your Powerpoint presentation. It is not very easy to find a way out of that.

Basically, Powerpoint creates an icon and gives you the opportunity to give a name to the recording for each slide, so that you can use that resource a bit better than you currently do: Name all recordings in a unique way. Then use the search button from MS (the rectangle that is found to the side of the MS button) to find the file. Click on open file location after right clicking over the name, which will appear at the top of the rectangle that is built over the MS button after you press enter on the search bar. 

You then convert the file, if necessary, or you record the message using the Voice Recorder from your computer. You can even use iTunes to rename the extension of the file, as we have explained here earlier on (will give you a .wav). You then drag the file to inside of Audacity and perform at least these actions: Leveling, Noise Reduction, Equalizer, and Normalizer. This sequence, per se, will give you a much better quality of sound. You then must export the file to be able to insert it in your Powerpoint presentation. You will use the resource Insert Audio in this case. 

Audacity is a free program. 


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Embedding Movies in POWERPOINT Presentations

Ever had problems with it?

Today I faced the ultimate in these regards: I even had a .wmv, but THE THING would not cooperate. No, sir: It kept on telling me that the codecs whatever. 

Oh, well, Google comes, Google goes, and I found something of interest that came from the own Microsoft (yes, sometimes it works as it should! MS). Shame it did not work as they said it would, so that I went to the page they told me to visit, for third parties' CODECS, and downloaded absolutely everything that seemed to be even remotely related to my problem. I then installed everything, even something with the Communist flag on it, with no fear (what we should never do), and..., and...: Yes, that's right, FABULOUS OLD NOTHING!

I finally dug to the right side of the Google Universe and found a gem, which I should only tell you about in exchange for a few thousands, but, given my existential situation, going on for so long (more than fourteen years), I decided to give it away: All, second choice, XP Codec Pack, and, if your problems are of the same type, you should be just fine (the MS message was install codec or Apple product x). 

These guys have all codecs inside of this single batch file, so that you click install and it all works as if you had a Genie. 


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Tuesday, 15 March 2016

Free Conversion II: Movies

Sometimes you just need to convert .mp4s to .avis, right? The problem is then finding a reliable program through which you can do that. Once more, most of what is available is going to cost you.

I found this website, however, where you can convert all for free and the output is of reasonable quality. It is probably not acceptable for most of what you want to do, but if you are going to use the movie in a Power Point presentation, for instance, it should be something. 


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Itunes and the Miracle of the Free Conversion

So, I had this musical file in .m4a shape. My computer was going crazy and there was no way programs would converse. They finally decided that .m4a was too advanced for them in an incredible programs insurgency. 

And now?

Google goes, Google comes, and I watch: Jee, it is going to cost me a lot if I want to be serious about this.

Finally, a friendly approach: Just use Itunes!

I had Itunes, I did not pay for it, and I converted it all in a way that all my programs became happy, and therefore in a way my computer became OK again. 

We change a setting only, but mine was already to what I wanted, and Itunes converts to .wav upon receiving the order to import music from somewhere. After that, all you have to do is right clicking on your musical item and choose Create WAV Version.

Wow, what a miracle in terms of simplification and costs!

I am thinking of putting a virtual basket here, so that you can tip me as you save money (one for each three bucks you save because of my hints?). 


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Monday, 14 March 2016

Power Point and the Sound Icon

If you have ever faced the situation of wanting your sound icon to disappear from your Power Point presentations, then you will find value in this information.

Due to the clever programming systems in place these days, most of the things done in IT are object-oriented. In this case, you can drag items from your screen quite easily: Just click on the sound icon and drag it to the edge of the screen where the slide is. This will suppress its image when it comes to both .pptx and .wmv presentations, so that you won't see the icon in both cases (movie and slides).

You could also go to the right rectangle of your screen, where you see the list of extra elements on your slide (if you have it on) and right click on the arrow. In this case, you will see the option Hide the Icon. Just tick that box. If that doesn't work, you can reinstall your Power Point. Notwithstanding, you may be a victim of hacking and malware, so that reinstalling the program won't work. You should then run good anti-hacking and malware programs over your version of Power Point. 


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