Pencil – An open-source GUI prototyping tool that’s available for ALL platforms…

I first noticed Pencil on Freewarefiles.com

Pencil is a free drawing program that helps users to create mockups on their PCs. Its friendly graphic user interface provides ready access to a collection of built-in shapes that can be used to create interfaces for both mobile and desktop platforms. The prototyping tool is available for all platforms.

If you want a powerful but free drawing program, then Pencil is a good choice. Even beginners will find it relatively easy to use because it works on the “What You See Is What You Get” (WYSIWYG) basis.

SOURCE: Pencil Project

A FREE Open Source (Powerful) Video Editor That Is Easy To Use

Here is a video editor called OpenShot, that will give you the ability to edit those videos you take using your smartphone.  OpenShot is a Linux, Mac, and Windows based software application that offers many transitional effects and recognizes nearly all media formats out there (including video, audio and image files). Through experimentation of my own, I found OpenShot quite user-friendly and recommend for the computer user’s at home.

Features

  • Cross-platform (Supports Linux, OS X, and Windows)
  • Support for many video, audio, and image formats (based on FFmpeg)
  • Powerful curve-based Key frame animations
  • Desktop integration (drag and drop support)
  • Unlimited tracks / layers
  • Clip resizing, scaling, trimming, snapping, rotation, and cutting
  • Video transitions with real-time previews
  • Compositing, image overlays, watermarks
  • Title templates, title creation, sub-titles
  • 2D animation support (image sequences)
  • 3D animated titles (and effects)
  • SVG friendly, to create and include vector titles and credits
  • Scrolling motion picture credits
  • Advanced Timeline (including Drag & drop, scrolling, panning, zooming, and snapping)
  • Frame accuracy (step through each frame of video)
  • Time-mapping and speed changes on clips (slow/fast, forward/backward, etc…)
  • Audio mixing and editing
  • Digital video effects, including brightness, gamma, hue, greyscale, chroma key (bluescreen / greenscreen) , and many more!

SOURCE: OpenShot Video Editor 

Go Incognito with Firefox…

Mozilla Firefox

Did you know that Firefox, the choice browser of the tech community has a Private Browsing Mode built into it?

If you are a Firefox user and you are using Firefox version 3.5 or higher you can easily switch from normal browsing mode to private browsing mode. Many of the other popular browsers also have a private (incognito) browsing mode that you can explore.

When you are normally browsing the internet, Firefox remembers the web sites you have visited, your user names and passwords, your browsing history and more. In other words these browsing morsels become a profile of your browsing habits and of you. When you switch to the  Private Browsing Mode in Firefox, these browsing morsels are not collected and stored on the host computer.

Using Private Browsing Mode, to protect your privacy, is handy when browsing the internet from a friend’s computer or at work. In reverse, you can switch the browser into Private Browsing Mode when someone else is using your computer to prevent extraction of or review of your personal morsels (such as user names, passwords, history, cookies, etc…).

To get into Private Browsing Mode, go to the menu bar (at the top of the browser), click on “Tools”, then “Private Browsing Mode” [ see video ]. You can also perform the hotkey combo of  Ctrl + Shift + P on your keyboard to turn Private Browsing Mode “on or off” .

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Personally, I prefer using the hotkey combination to quickly go in and out of Private Browsing Mode. When you enter the Private Browsing Mode, Firefox will graciously remember any pages or tabs that you have open, so that when you exit from Private Browsing Mode, you are right back where you started.

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You can also depart from Private Browsing Mode by going to the menu bar, click on “Tools”, then “Stop Private Browsing”.  You can also leave Private Browsing Mode by simply closing Firefox, as well.

In a Private Browsing session, Firefox won’t keep any browser history, search history, download history, web form history, cookies, or temporary internet files.  However, files you download and bookmarks you make will be kept. [ click here to see details ]

You can tell when you are in Private Browsing Mode by looking at the Title Bar at the top of the browser window.  It will reflect “Private Browsing – Mozilla Firefox”. Downloading files or saving bookmarks is not affected by Private Browsing Mode.

If you are at another PC, I strongly encourage that you use Firefox and the Firefox Private Browsing Mode to protect your privacy.  If Firefox is not available on the host PC you can use Mozilla Firefox, Portable Edition and run it from your flash drive.

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