Ever have one of those moments? You know the one: When it's so difficult to teach someone how to accomplish an everyday task in a particular application that you up and grab the keyboard and mouse yourself and just get 'er done, as it were. Isn't that frustrating? Doesn't your passionate rage for simplifying the art of attaching files to email terrify your coworkers, friends, and loved ones? Wouldn't you like a better way to show someone how to accomplish desktop tasks, one that doesn't actually require you to get up from your chair or, better yet, even pick up a phone?
In a move that's sure to sooth the savage beast that's been identified as a computer expert by his or her flock of advice-seeking peers, the Web app ScreenToaster is a perfectly packaged solution for showing people how to get stuff done on a PC. It does this by taking a live video (complete with audio, if you so choose) of whatever it is you're doing on your desktop, straight out of your Web browser--no additional software installation is necessary, save for a requisite click on the "accept" button for a piece of Java.
But surely the app can't be just that easy? There has to be another catch! Only, there isn't. You don't have to sign up for the Web app in order to use its recording functionality, which is ideal for those that want to give things a test run before spending time crafting the perfect how-to video. You can even select what portions of your desktop you actually want to record--ideal if you don't want your coworkers to see you surfing Maximum PC in a side window. When you're finished with your masterwork, merely create an free account on ScreenToaster to unlock the service's distribution features.
With but a click of the mouse and a few extra keystrokes, you can save a Flash-based version of your video on either ScreenToaster's site or YouTube. You can also download your movie as a .mov or .swf file, which is especially useful for those who want to keep an offline archive of their video advice for future use.
Every Thursday, Maximum PC picks a new Web App as its favorite of the week. Have a Web App that you can't live without? Twitter David Murphy @acererak with your latest suggestions.