Deane has blogged before on screencasts. We’ve even done a short cast on ez Publish using Camtasia Studio, which is a great product. But I needed to do a short screencast on how to hook up a VPN with Windows yesterday, and didn’t have Camtasia handy, so I went hunting for a quick alternative.
What I found was Wink, a freeware screencast generator. Wink takes a somewhat different approach than Camtasia. Rather than recording video and compressing it into a flash movie, it takes screenshots (either timed or driven by mouse clicks and keyboard input), watches mouse movements, and then makes a flash movie that displays the screenshots and animates the mouse movements between them. This actually makes for a pretty compact flash movie.
There’s an easy interface provided to edit your screencasts (you can take out your typo corrections, for example) and add pauses, instructions, and back/next buttons. The one feature that might be missed is the lack of audio recording, but I found a couple of ways around that on the Wink Forums.
There’s a Linux version too, and I put together a quick screencast of one of my favorite features of the latest KDE version to try it out.