Just recently I found a very good post how to create your own live demo video with Windows Media Encoder
. John Howard did put on his blog
a useful post about the preferred settings for a good encoding experience. The main thing is to get the small videos of your computer screen is that you need to set as resolution 800x600 and 16 bit color depth. This is also a very good choice if you want to share your video in a meeting room with a beamer since most of them do not support more than 800x600. After digging a bit further I did find out that I have installed on my Windows XP PC a movie editing software with since Service Pack 2. It is called Movie Maker and resides in your Program Files directory. I have installed so many programs on my PC without knowing anything about it! Scary ... Armed with these tools it is really easy to create a live demo for some presentation which will never fail. No more: "Hm it worked always before". What is even cooler that now everybody can take the demo home and watch the steps at the time he/she does need it. You do not have to do brain surgery to remember what the heck this guy did tell you three weeks ago in his demo to get this thing working. Just open the video and watch it again. This could really become a new trend since it is so easy to create a video demo this way. I found it much easier to show it live than to write (nobody reads it anyway) documentation and later people call you just to ask the question which was answered at page 95 of your famous (though unread) document. Next time I will send them the link to the demo video.