View Full Version : Ubuntu Systems Administration Screencasting

February 24th, 2008, 04:58 PM
Deletion of topic.

February 25th, 2008, 05:19 AM
Moved to the cafe.

Have you contacted the Ubuntu Sreencast team ?


February 25th, 2008, 05:25 AM
On that note, it would probably be best to assist the screencast team in their endeavors instead of starting the whole thing from scratch. Personally, I usually employ the theory that if something isn't broken, then it doesn't need to be fixed. Additionally, I'm a strong supporter of FOSS, so I would always like to see things stay free and community-based. Take a look into the link that bodhi posted, and see what you think after that. However, good luck, no matter what you choose to do :)

February 25th, 2008, 05:04 PM

No. I haven't. Honestly, I have seen a few screencasts. I hear you, but honestly it is not the type of quality that I personally learn well from. http://www.trainingspot.com will show you an example of what I am trying to do. Some of it doesn't help regular users. I am NOT going to recreate the wheel, but everything should be improved upon if possible. I hear mkoehler on FOSS, I support FOSS and GNU heaviliy, BUT you know what...there are NO tools out there as efficient as Camtasia right now. I will make the videos in Flash and Ogg, but I work 12 hour days and I just don't have the time to sit there tweaking something for hours to get it to work the way I want it to work. For me it is about efficiency, OpenSource is great, but who cares if the tool that is used is not production efficient.

I know what it takes to learn Systems Administration. It is a BEAST! I am a graduate student, I am certified and did my undergraduate degree in IT, but it took me years to learn concepts that are just all over the place on the net. Yes, this is the nature of the IT beast, but it can be easier!!!! Employers here in the US are paying 80k USD/yr - $150k USD/yr for Red Hat Certified Engineer's or Novell Certified Linux Engineer's who have mastery of SUSE Enterprise 10 Server or Red Hat Enterprise Linux or RHEL AS 3/4/5 (usually with a Bachelor's Degree or Master's also if you are not certified). I have the knowledge. I want to share it and trust me...I think charging $5 for regular folks and $20 for companies for Sr. Systems Admin videos is MORE than fair. Most of the hands-on will be free. Ubuntu Server and Ubuntu Desktop training will always be free. I will not go against the community objective of Ubuntu for any reason. No matter the complexity of the server installations or Desktop productivity. Let me ask you this, when is the last time that you saw a structured and easy to view GIMP, or OpenOffice screencast???!!!!! And honestly, I am not doing it for a profit. I am doing it for my graduate degree (which I want to benefit the community instead of just myself), spread Ubuntu, and help people with their job search skills. If someone can't understand that...wow...they need to understand that nothing is totally free.

Basically, I am going to use some paid for training's (RIDICULOUSLY PRICED AT OVER $150-1500 for some!!!), my knowledge and condensing it into real-world use to help people become more employable and learn the technology. Plus, I want people to contribute. It has to be high quality though. Many of us work in IT and those of us that do can make better quality screencasts (to view).

mkohlear, I am sorry, but I think that this is the way to go. I sincerely value your suggestion, but many of the Ubuntu Screencast video's are very poor quality (to view). And personally, I don't like downloading at times. I just want to view it in the Firefox browser and be on my way with my day. Everyone will have an opinion that I welcome personally, but I am targeting quality, EASY TO VIEW, and relevant content. I am trying something new that I have NOT seen on the Internet anywhere for free or $5 bucks. Shoot...UNIX is quality, but we sought improvement through the use of something easier (Linux) and more efficient. Now, if you have some pointers on screencasting tools that are just as efficient as Camtasia. I am ALL EARS! =)

February 25th, 2008, 05:19 PM
Tell us how you really feel :twisted:

Hey, I hear what you are saying and I agree with what you say and admire your dedication.

One of the reasons why those courses you speak of are so $$ is to pay people to put them together rather then having to do it in their free time (after slaving at 12 hour / day jobs / careers).

I suggest you start small and collaborate, for example with your LUG. My LUG is wanting to put together a few screen casts as well, for example, and also some online courses.

I think we are more effective if we work together, so check it out ;)

February 25th, 2008, 06:25 PM
Yeah, I guess I sounded a little rough...:) Enthusiastic!~ Well...yes, indeed. I was going to start small. Definitely. I got it all planned in already. I like your idea also. What is your LUG url?

February 25th, 2008, 06:31 PM
Well, it is not "mine" ie I don not maintain it, I just help out :)


If you like, PM me and I can put you in touch with some of those who know much more then I ;)

February 25th, 2008, 06:54 PM
One question please :

So what is so efficient about Camtasia? I'm not that familiar with it other than having watched videos that were made with it.

February 25th, 2008, 08:00 PM
BUT you know what...there are NO tools out there as efficient as Camtasia right now. I will make the videos in Flash and Ogg, but I work 12 hour days and I just don't have the time to sit there tweaking something for hours to get it to work the way I want it to work. For me it is about efficiency, OpenSource is great, but who cares if the tool that is used is not production efficient.

Have you tried running gtk-recordmydesktop? Took me 15 seconds to install and 10 seconds to learn!

As your initial response was quite frank, I'll also be frank. I am not meaning to be harsh here, just realistic and provide feedback.

1. Were in February! Site under construction till June. A bad idea. Ok you have bought your domain and want to get something out there but you need a designed and qualified page there, even an under construction one. If you want a business to take your seriously, then anyone seeing that I am afraid will skip past quicker than you can say "mouse click". Make that page look inviting, put some information about the background and what you will offer in terms of the courses.

2. Unless you have permission from RedHat, Novell et al, covering anything in the Red Hat Certified Engineer (5) course or Novell Certified Linux Professional COULD land you in very deep water. While they may use OpenSource software, the courses are NOT free to use. $195 for RHCE. Reproducing course material, which I am assuming you have through your degree, is something to be avoided!

3. Seeing as I am the IT decision maker within my company and have budgetary responsibility, tell me why I should buy $20 course from you and not have a course which may lead into a certification program? $20 with you or $200 with RedHat and certification at the end of each course! If a CV lands on my desk and says completed https://www.onlyhelping.com/ courses, I am going to think "So! When did you take any RHCE?"

Last financial year, I spent over 5,500 on training for my staff. If the courses are of real value, I would suggest you up the price. $20 is throw away money in training terms and could well undermine what you are trying to do

4. http://screencasts.ubuntu.com/ stream!!! They have flash versions.

February 25th, 2008, 08:02 PM
Here is the website:


Well, for one, it takes me 5 minutes to edit what would take me an hour to do with compression rates, etc under Linux. The tools just aren't there yet. GtkRecordMyDesktop looks like crap when I do videos in it. Yes, I can tweak it, but I don't have time for that. You can publish in many formats and the load of the videos can be very, very quick. I keep pointing to www.trainingspot.com and www.learnvisualstudio.net for examples. Look at the videos! They are great.

Some people would be like..."oh, but it is proprietary!" Who cares!? Look I am about efficiency. Price is helpful too, but when you are working. You just need something that works. And the reality is that at times the tools you are using need work. I like the Ubuntu community concept. I spend days on Linux. I am truly fascinated by the technology, but it has a ways to go. I am looking at it like this. Vietnam went OS with OpenOffice. Germany, Brazil, Italy, China, and other regions of the world are embracing OS. Company's are jumping on the band wagon, but developers that are "PAID" to develop tools is where the heart of some development across platforms sticks out. How can we get there with mediocre training and just an ideal of making it work. Shoot...even Shuttleworth was intelligent enough to realize that if he wanted Ubuntu to be a success, people have to be paid.

I am doing it for the love of Linux RHEL, SUSE, and Ubuntu and Job Training. So, if I can do something I love, make a little money, and still push Ubuntu. So be it. I am sorry, but Camtasia has the editing tools I need, the published formats are much more developed and just better to use, the screen capturing is more developed and just quicker. The only thing I have found close is on a Mac, but I am not going to go there. I can probably VM a Hackintosh, but I don't have time for that. VM RHEL, SUSE, and Ubuntu. Flash some real-world job skills and bam...let it loose on the wild, wild, net. :guitar:

February 25th, 2008, 08:15 PM

I hear you, but the reality is, that is the problem. These high price courses. Now, I could avoid RH, Novell fee's by using a clone CentOS, OpenSUSE and bam...all of the topics are covered, etc. The site says Under Construction. =) :) I am working on the quality of the video's. And I am sorry my friend. I have used GtK RMD and you know what...it is NOT very good at all. Period. For me anyway.

And since I also manage budgetary compliance, etc. I will tell you this, I can care less what training a guy does, if someone provides me a link to the RHEL site to authenticate his RHCE then, so be it. THAT is what counts. Build a box, troubleshoot it, control the command line, setup LAMP, do some network monitoring, get some work done. You don't master these skills in a training course for a week or two weeks long. I KNOW!!!!!

Who care's how much you spend on training and who provided it if the quality sucks. Some of it is genuinely good, but too much of it is overpriced. Price does NOT mean quality. You should know this. Your argument works against you. Micro$oft OS is definitely more conducive to many work processes. You will find more training and many times higher quality. Does it make it better than the use of Linux? No... And actually, I would rather put out there how long it takes to go live with a site than have a never ending "Under Construction" page.

I know where you are coming from though. Actually, I am putting this out there for ideas. (Which, I sincerely appreciate in feedback.) Look at www.trainingspot.com (http://www.trainingspot.com) and tell me if we have screencasting for Ubuntu that is this quality. If not, sit back and watch what June 1st will bring. Trust me...I know you will be back. :)

Plus, just FYI. I am not looking to build a "course/teaching for profit" website. It is only donations, etc. The $20 is for hugh company's, DOD, or a University, etc. Free or $5 for Sr. Admin video stuff just to keep the site running. Maybe this will give a little insight. I am not in it for the money. However, the knowledge must and SHOULD be spread. Not just for people that can pay it or a company that can afford to pay $5000 pounds a year on staff training. =)

February 26th, 2008, 04:32 PM
Fantastic_UK. I realize that this is correct. I have decided to focus on Ubuntu, CentOS, and OpenSUSE. I am not about to pay anyone jack for something that can be trained and is FOSS. Thanks for the input though. Seriously, after my research. I see what you mean!:)

February 26th, 2008, 09:07 PM
Firstly, apologies for the rather long post. I just wanted to be clear about what I am posting. Please don't think I am REALLY trying to shoot down your idea here, I'm not. Rather put it into context an give some advice that will allow you to make this happen. Please read through carefully. You might not like what you read at first, as with my other post, but if you try and look objectively, then I am sure it will make more sense.

Employers here in the US are paying 80k USD/yr - $150k USD/yr for Red Hat Certified Engineer's or Novell Certified Linux Engineer's

I want to provide high quality tutorials that don't have these ridiculous prices that training providers charge!

Ridiculous in your eyes yes, but to a business who's IS infrastructure will rely on the lead network sys admin, it's a price that could well mean the difference between a qualified 100% uptime and a functioning business, or outages and in-effective IS systems which cripple the business and reduce productivity.

And since I also manage budgetary compliance, etc. I will tell you this, I can care less what training a guy does THAT is what counts. Build a box, troubleshoot it, control the command line, setup LAMP, do some network monitoring, get some work done. You don't master these skills in a training course for a week or two weeks long. I KNOW!!!!!

If your going to present an idea, try and refrain from making contradictory statements. :)

There are a lot of very knowledgeable people out there, most of the can run a small network very well and a lot of guys who can do what you describe. But, at my previous position, my dept was responsible for over two billion pounds() of transactions per year. Due diligence would have to lead me to appoint someone who I was confident would be able to handle any and all situations presented to them. Certification from leading suppliers helps me make that choice.

The reason that employers "understand" a RHCE or Novell certification programme is that they can provide a quantifiable, measurable and audited level of expertise in certain key areas. The reality, in the cold light of day, is that any of the above qualifications denote an measurable aptitude. RHCE is one of the hardest certification programmes within IT. It has a huge price tag because of what it offers both the candidate and any employer.

Not really sure of your "business model", I use that phrase in it's loosest sense ;) but, and I am guessing here so please feel free to correct me, if your selling a single tutorial screencast at $20, 10 screencasts and that's $200. I can buy a certificated module from RedHat for that price!
If it's say $20 for the whole set of screencasts, why would someone pay the $20? What is it that makes spending the extra $15 worthwhile over signing up as in individual and just saving myself $15? Is there added support. Will they be downloadable for future reference? Will you send out additonal information that isn't available for the $5? Now I might be confusing what it is that you are proposing. But your second post seemed to be making a direct comparison with RedHat, Novell and Canonical training provision.


If what you are providing is training, it needs to be structured and needs to provide a detailed and consistent level of outcomes, I.E. that the users after buying a screencast/module from you would somehow be able to indicate that the skills acquired can be measured. A post screencast test page for instance. If they answers the questions correctly, they get a pass email!

I personally would stay away from the approach that you are offering "training". You wont be able to match the BIG GUNS for in depth knowledge, support, course material and backup. Instead, think of presenting your site/service as a handy reference guide system that can be accessed via the web. Once a user has an account with you, they will be able to access the screencasts whenever and where ever and for as many times as they wish.

You have to remember that you need a Unique Selling Point. There are already a few free Linux screencasts on the web and a LOT of free tutorials. The depth of information needs to be a lot higher for anyone to justify any spending on this. You mention quality and referred to Camtasia! The quality needs to be in the information delivered, not the pixels per screencast ;) I would make PDF's of key points within the presentations so that they can be printed. Even in 2008, the paperless information age is still some time away.

I know a lot of people seem to recoil at the idea of "charging" for anything surrounding Linux/GNU. However, companies like CYGNUS, VA Linux/sourceforge have perhaps laid the pathway for others to follow. Linux is still in it's infancy in terms of wide spread adoption. As more and more companies, large and small adopt Linux as a platform, the investment will be in people, knowledge and support, not the software, OS and ancillary applications.

I wish you all the best in your endeavour.

February 26th, 2008, 10:48 PM
fatality_uk I will tell you this. I sincerely appreciate you taking the time to illustrate everything below. And it is for these ideals that I have decided to focus on donations instead of selling anything. You are correct, it has to be original vice what is already out there to really draw attention the way it needs to.

My niche will be the Sr. Systems Administration level that is just hard to find and most times a person really learns from co-workers on the job. I haven't seen any Tivoli Storage Management, NetAPP, Veritas NetBackup with the Server Systems administration out there. Much less being free.

I have decided to push the same quality, make it FOSS and then rely on the donations for the content. I am really taking my time designing a good website that is credible and indicative of many quality corporate websites. This way the "eye candy" is there and if angel investors want to jump on later when the traffic is there. Great!:) However, people have a serious thing for free and the option to donate. I have decided to use CentOS vice RHEL due to the possible backlash and a clone will be just as efficient as RHEL but without the support of Red Hat, the RPM structure, cron and scripting, etc it is still the same with little variation except for branding. I am working on a business model for it now. Since I see it will have to be totally structured like I do everything else. It is generating a LOT of interest which kind of surprised me a little in the 3 days I have posted it to the forums, emails, etc. But, please let me know what you feel. Your sharp viewpoint has a high value with me.

I NEVER LOOK DOWN ON criticism! I need it. How can I tell if I am doing something jacked up. =) I am working at a large financial corporation also, so I know exactly what you mean. So now I have to work on my "niche" !:)