Intro to MacOSX for First-Time Users

In a partnership between Obbie’s Help Desk and Youtorial Market, I’ve just released a series of instructional videos on basic Mac usage called Introduction to MacOSX for First-Time Users. However, to call this product a “series of videos” doesn’t do justice to the teaching platform for which they’re built.

The Youtorial Player is an application that presents its content from a corner of the screen to walk you thru computer tasks. The content includes a video capture of the instructor’s screen accompanied by his/her voice describing and explaining the task. The content developer (i.e., I) can program the display of text and links in a box below the video, and I can make chapter breaks and “pause points”, where the presentation pauses to give the user time to try things out.

Given my extensive experience training users new to the Mac, the high praise I’ve received from those users and their supervisors, and the availability of purplearth’s production facilities and experience, I thought this was something I could do and do well, so last fall I submitted a demo video to the Youtorial people and was given a “Go.”

The course is targeted to two types of users I’ve regularly worked with over the years: those that come to the Mac from the Windows world, and those who are new to computers entirely (The prerequisite for the latter group is the ability to type and use a mouse). It starts at the Desktop of an account opened by a new user for the first time, and takes the user on a tour of the system and its workings, then goes on to guide the user thru personalization of his/her system.

Many parts of this course are based on lessons I’ve taught to users seemingly hundreds of times over the years. For twenty bucks, you get over two hours of lessons, which is a better hourly rate than you’ll find anywhere. There’s a 25% discount for the first month, so you can get it for fifteen dollars if you BUY NOW!  😉

In the future, I’ll be developing a follow-up course for Mac Administrators, and a course on basic Mac applications (iTunes, Safari, Mail, etc.).

I’ve seen what other publishers charge for tutorial videos, and I can confidently say that I’ve produced something that is a lot better and more useful than many products costing much more. So if you or someone you know is grappling with adjusting to the Mac way of doing things, send them here.

UPDATE (2013/03/21): All of the links to youtorial market no longer work… they went belly up without selling a single download. I still have the original videos, so I may do something with them at some point.

Whirling Rainbow – Halloween 2010

We have a tasty Halloween treat for all of you tricksters out there: two hours of non-stop music from here, there and everywhere… something old, something new, something weird and something blue.

Many Celtic traditions recognized this holiday as the beginning of the new year, so we end the show with the countdown from the Grateful Dead’s New Year show in 1990-91. This is not to be missed.

Use this music for your party, or to just get into the spirit of the night preceding the Day of the Dead. For more information about Halloween, also known as Samhain (Sow-in), check out this website.

Whirling Rainbow is produced by RoZ and engineered by Obbie. We hope you enjoy the show and we appreciate your comments and feedback.

Listen here.

The playlist is here.

Happy Halloween!

St. Stupid Day Parade video

Five years later.

Our first “published” video is now out on YouTube. (An iPod-compatible version can be downloaded here.) The St. Stupid Day Parade is an annual event put on by the First Church of the Last Laugh, and it’s a colorful costumed spectacle that mocks consumer culture and the corporate power structure in the heart of San Francisco’s financial district.

Speaking of podcasts, RoZ has been producing a music show for about six weeks now. It’s called Whirling Rainbow, and if you like interesting music that’s new to your ears, you should check it out.

After Mardi Gras

The following is the transcript of A Different Reality #602 – After Mardi Gras
Listen to the 34-minute ‘podcast’ here:
Broadband (46.3 Mb mp3) … Dial-up (5.8 Mb mp3)

Here is the channel file for A Different Reality:

Lassiez les bon temps rouler… let the good times roll. If only. Ever since Hurricanes Katrina, Rita and Wilma hit, the good times have not been rolling for many of the people along the coast of the Gulf of Mexico. Most of the major damage that occured along the gulf coast and inland for 100 miles still hasn’t been fixed. During the week of Mardi Gras more people were evicted from their hotel rooms across the country. Some people who’ve been offered jobs in New Orleans can’t go because they don’t have anywhere to stay. Read on

The Next Wave

The following is the transcript of A Different Reality #508 – The Next Wave
Listen to the 32-minute ‘podcast’ here:
Broadband (44 Mb mp3) … Dial-up (5.5 Mb mp3)

Here is the channel file for A Different Reality:

Our last show was a reaction to the immediate aftermath of Katrina and the abandonment of the people of New Orleans. In this program we reflect on the horrific and heroic things that have happened since. We’ll talk about things that everyday people are doing to take care of each other, the variety of ways we can each take part in the recovery, and the competing visions that are out there for rebuilding and resettling the Gulf coast region.

And shouldn’t this parade of hurricanes be enough to motivate our leaders to do something serious about global warming? We’ll talk a bit about where they’re at with that.

Read on


The following is the transcript of A Different Reality #507 – Nyawlins
Listen to the 28-minute ‘podcast’ here:
Broadband (38.4 Mb mp3) … Dial-up (4.8 Mb mp3)

Here is the channel file for A Different Reality:

1) The Place

We pulled out our pictures of New Orleans the other day. RoZ had some from when she was there in 1988, and we had a bunch from when we went there together in ’98. Seeing these photographs while hearing the post-Katrina news coming from that city was hard, knowing that some of the things we were looking at were under water.

In a past life, I used to travel the country selling underground newspapers on the street, and in that life I worked in New Orleans several times. Most of my time there was spent in the French Quarter, which is the part of New Orleans that newcomers and outsiders tend to gravitate to. For most of us who have never lived there, the French Quarter is our image of New Orleans.

Read on