A favourite of
your webmaster is Atmosphere ( Ambient Soundscape Generator ) which
does just what its name suggests. It lets you generate all sorts of soundscapes
which can run as long as you need - complete with random sounds to maintain
variety. I use it as a relaxing background sound when working. The "Lite"
version is free from
- scroll to the foot of the download page to find it. If you enjoy it as
much as I do you may even be tempted to buy one of the more fully featured
Want a shot of the presidential helicopter taking off from the White House?
How about Niagara Falls? A Nantucket sunset or a Malibu one? Short full-sized
clips to use as cutaways or background for green-screen trickery - requires
signing up but costs nothing at -
Stock Footage For
Give your video that "old, scratched film" look in Final Cut Pro or Final
Cut Express with the
CGM Aged Film
LE plug-in - totally free.
Software - animation/drawing software for Mac OS X, Windows, and
Linux. It lets you create traditional hand-drawn animation (cartoon) using
both bitmap and vector graphics. Pencil is free and open source.
2D Animation - allows you to create cartoons inclusing sound. For
Windows, Mac and Linux.
Editing systems produce an AVI or MOV file of your movie. You can burn those
to a DVD but they will not run in a normal domestic DVD player. You need
a DVD authoring program which will prepare the standard folder and files
make your movie play on most set-top boxes.
DVD Flick is
simple to install and use as well as being very effective. You can add additional
custom audio tracks, subtitles and a menu. It is totally free.
Or check out
Maker where the free version offers all you may need.
A startling number of computers have little or no protection against computer
viruses. Even Apple machines - long considered relatively immune - have become
targets for the bad guys. In the past viruses might wipe files or corrupt
your system. Now they are more likely to steal you identity, credit card
and bank details - or to make your computer part of a worldwide network which
can be used to send spam mail or carry out denial-of-service attacks on
There are several good commercial packages to protect your system. There
are also pretty good tools.
- Anti-Virus - the free version lacks a firewall, spam stopper and
a few bells and whistles, but there is nothing to match it for the price!
There are more comprehensive paid for programs from the same company.
Firewall - a good, robust firewall to keep the bad guys out of your
Ad-Awareis so good it has been adopted by Google. It finds tracker cookies and
other threats to your privacy. There is a free and various paid for versions.
PDF Reader- much smaller and faster than the Adobe PDF Reader
- for Windows.
free from Pinnacle and makes it easy to assemble video, stills and music
into simple movies - ready for viewing, upload to YouTube and so on. It is
for Windows XP (SP2) and Windows Vista.
is a free simple editing program for Windows and aimes mainly at AVI files.
Windows Movie Maker- for XP. This may be on your
PC already, if not you cannot get it from Microsoft any longer, but you can
get it here. Allows easy assembly of video footage into attractive movies.
For those on Vista or Windows 7 try the
- bundled with most Macs this is a powerful editor for simpler projects.
How about a very temporary email address? Use it get activation
keys for new software without the follow-on sales emails. Use it to post
a single question to a web forum. it asks for a real email address and how
many hours you want the temporary one to last: 3, 6, 12 or 24.
Dragonfly - a web-based room design program intended to help people
choose their furnishings. But it can also help you send details of a location
to other people on the film team, help you plan lighting and camera angles