Random Tech Questions you want answered.

Ego Man wrote:

Is there a way to record YouTube videos for later use? I’d like to save a few of my Son’s high School football games for him to have years down the road

On macOS I use MacX YouTube Downloader.

Works great.

Kurrelgyre wrote:
Fredrik_S wrote:

I have used this tool before.

This Python tool is well liked, plus it's not only for YouTube and it doesn't derive ad revenue from you using it.

youtube-dl, the tool so good the RIAA tried to kill it with a DMCA claim a couple years ago.

I use a browser extension called Open With, which I use to send my current tab's URL to youtube-dl with a one-button click.

*Legion* wrote:
Kurrelgyre wrote:
Fredrik_S wrote:

I have used this tool before.

This Python tool is well liked, plus it's not only for YouTube and it doesn't derive ad revenue from you using it.

youtube-dl, the tool so good the RIAA tried to kill it with a DMCA claim a couple years ago.

I use a browser extension called Open With, which I use to send my current tab's URL to youtube-dl with a one-button click.

I have a cron job using youtube-dl that regularly downloads specific channels/playlists of content to my Plex server so my young kids can have a highly curated and controlled YouTube experience without the ability to watch content I don’t approve.

A recent youtube beta feature is starting to let me pick which channels my kids can see in the official youtube kids app tho so maybe youtube is finally getting their act together.

pandasuit wrote:

I have a cron job using youtube-dl that regularly downloads specific channels/playlists of content to my Plex server so my young kids can have a highly curated and controlled YouTube experience without the ability to watch content I don’t approve.

That's fantastic.

pandasuit wrote:

I have a cron job using youtube-dl that regularly downloads specific channels/playlists of content to my Plex server so my young kids can have a highly curated and controlled YouTube experience without the ability to watch content I don’t approve.

Before doing something like that, I had the folders for each channel/playlist served as RSS feeds, so that iTunes could sync new "episodes" to my devices for me and automatically remove the watched ones each time I plugged in.

Kurrelgyre wrote:
pandasuit wrote:

I have a cron job using youtube-dl that regularly downloads specific channels/playlists of content to my Plex server so my young kids can have a highly curated and controlled YouTube experience without the ability to watch content I don’t approve.

Before doing something like that, I had the folders for each channel/playlist served as RSS feeds, so that iTunes could sync new "episodes" to my devices for me and automatically remove the watched ones each time I plugged in.

Plex does a good job of letting them know which ones they have watched or not by user account.

my cron job currently deletes old videos after 30 days. my kids know to watch new ones as they arrive and not assume they will stay. in a handful of cases i copied their favorites to a different folder that does not have a TTL on the files but that is really rare.

PuzzleBound wrote:

I'd like to learn how to build websites for my various coding side projects. Anyone have any recommendations for resources that can help me on that journey? Books, tutorials, anything that can help give me a framework to get started? I could read through search results on the topic for days but recommendations from real people seems like a better place to start.

If you're considering paying a provider to host and manage a WordPress site for you, as suggested, you might also consider Squarespace. Probably for comparable cost you won't have to manage any WordPress plugins (which can take nontrivial effort), and get an integrated site editor that worked really well the last time I messed around with it. You don't necessarily learn how to make websites this way, though.

If you want to futz around with learning how to make websites, I think you could do a lot worse than playing with Glitch. Glitch is an online tool and community that hosts lots of project templates and shows you the code that runs them. You can "remix" anything you want, to make it your own, and they give guides that help get your feet wet. For starting (again) to learn React I found having something I could immediately start banging on rather than a blank slate helped. You can use the free account for hosting but if you wanted to use a custom domain name, you'd need to upgrade to the/a paid plan.

Here's "a simple website starter" on Glitch.

PuzzleBound wrote:

I'd like to learn how to build websites for my various coding side projects. Anyone have any recommendations for resources that can help me on that journey? Books, tutorials, anything that can help give me a framework to get started? I could read through search results on the topic for days but recommendations from real people seems like a better place to start.

Maybe I’m misinterpreting your goals here but I took this to mean you have coding side projects and you want to build websites that explain those side projects. If you are trying to build websites as frontends for your side projects that is something else and my suggestion is not necessarily ideal.

You could host a static site very easily on GitHub Pages. If you aren’t completely into learning all the HTML/CSS/etc you can save yourself a bunch of time by generating the site using a tool like Jekyll and some Markdown. Depends on how much you want to learn making websites vs how much you just want websites for your projects.

pandasuit wrote:
PuzzleBound wrote:

I'd like to learn how to build websites for my various coding side projects. Anyone have any recommendations for resources that can help me on that journey? Books, tutorials, anything that can help give me a framework to get started? I could read through search results on the topic for days but recommendations from real people seems like a better place to start.

Maybe I’m misinterpreting your goals here but I took this to mean you have coding side projects and you want to build websites that explain those side projects. If you are trying to build websites as frontends for your side projects that is something else and my suggestion is not necessarily ideal.

You could host a static site very easily on GitHub Pages. If you aren’t completely into learning all the HTML/CSS/etc you can save yourself a bunch of time by generating the site using a tool like Jekyll and some Markdown. Depends on how much you want to learn making websites vs how much you just want websites for your projects.

This is exactly what I started doing for mixolyde.net. It's a markdown site in github pages.

I miss the good old days of right-clicking a page you liked, save all, and changing the copyright name to yours.

I'm having issues with games not starting due to the Carbon Black security suite (Ubisoft Connect, random other games). But CB is company-enforced, and I do 90% of my job on my gaming PC for various reasons.

So I'm thinking of creating a new Gaming partition, to boot up when CB blocks access when gaming. Is there a way to "clone" the current Windows 11 installation into a separate bootable partition, and go from there? Or should I start from scratch and "reinstall" the games (relink installations to the various gaming apps)?

I would probably setup a work VM in a situation like that. It is pretty easy to clone a drive to another drive, but I have always been pretty reluctant to mess with partitions on active drives.

Rykin wrote:

I would probably setup a work VM in a situation like that. It is pretty easy to clone a drive to another drive, but I have always been pretty reluctant to mess with partitions on active drives.

Further research indicated that a dual-boot has its own challenges, as work policy also enforces Bitlocker - meaning I would have no access to the main partition's data when booting the other. So I would have to carve out not only space for Windows itself, then linking to the game installation files already there, but actually separate everything and split my resources in two.

Fastboot needs to be disabled as well, and hibernation or improper shutdown causes file corruption issues that apparently grow over time.

So yeah, I'll be looking into a work VM, I have a VMware Workstation license I could use. It remains to be seen whether I can deploy the Workspace ONE Agents in that VM - from which everything else flows, and how it would impact productivity otherwise.

Or I can look into ways I can connect my work laptop to my home office setup and ditch the work environment from my own PC.

Yeah we can only connect our work laptops to the VPN. So I managed to link it with my home monitors and keyboard/mouse/headset, and just toggle back and forth. Instead of a dock, which were going for $150ish, I made my own setup. Have to click 3 buttons to switch, but it works well.

USB 3.0 switcher
My HDMI switch isn't available anymore, but it was $10... 2 in, 1 out, toggle button. Something like this.

For under $60 I have a setup that will switch with any laptop/desktop instead of a laptop specific dock for 2-3 times the cost, that probably won't work whenever work updates my PC the next time.

As it turns out, Carbon Black is not (yet) part of the managed Workspace ONE environment from corporate, so I just uninstalled it and replaced it with my Sophos Home subscription Sophos occasionally causes issues as well, but at least I have the admin rights so I can add the game app library folders to the exception list. Problem solved!

If you're comfortable installing a new ssd perhaps just putting a separate install on a separate drive is the answer when CB is enforced?

Summoning Goodjers who know anything about laptop power banks...

Son may be getting an end of financial year gaming laptop on sale. Something with a RTX3060 or 3070 card in it. Power intensive.

But he is concerned it may drain battery too fast to last a day at school. So he is thinking of adding a laptop power bank.

Any recommendations/comments? I'm wondering if he'd bother lugging another 2 kilograms of mass around in his school bag all day but he said he's up for it.

Most gaming laptops also have integrated graphics. There's typically a setting you can change so that the system uses the lower powered integrated graphics instead for day-to-day stuff which helps with battery life.

But he'll have to remember to change the setting when he wants to game.

You can probably have the geforce panel auto-select I think as well. Never really looked into it.

That said, I still don't think those gaming laptops are going to last very long, even when running on integrated graphics.

Yeah, I'm pretty sure all laptops should be able to click or right click the battery and change power settings based on performance, life and balanced and set it to do different things when plugged in versus on battery.

Life versus performance is a staggering difference. On my laptop with integrated GPU, it is the difference between 3.5 and over 9 hours.

On one with a gaming gpu, it will probably be the difference between just under 2 hours and 8ish. (you can probably disable the discreet gpu to boost battery life)

Also, plugging the laptop in for as little as 15 minutes can net a handful of battery %. I think it only takes a little over 3 hours to charge my laptop to full. So 15 minutes is about 7% or so.

If it's 3 hours to full then one hour will probably get you to 60-80%. The rate of charge depends on how much energy is already in there.

We've reached the limits of my knowledge on the subject, but that should be enough to summon someone who knows what they're talking about to come correct me.

fangblackbone wrote:

On one with a gaming gpu, it will probably be the difference between just under 2 hours and 8ish. (you can probably disable the discreet gpu to boost battery life)

Definitely do the research on the model he is getting but this is the way many of them work. It used to require a reboot to swap between iGPU and dGPU and it may still be that way. Used to manage a guy who had a crazy huge MSI Titan with a desktop grade GTX 1080 in it and he had to connect to power and reboot to use the 1080.

Bfgp wrote:

Summoning Goodjers who know anything about laptop power banks...

Son may be getting an end of financial year gaming laptop on sale. Something with a RTX3060 or 3070 card in it. Power intensive.

But he is concerned it may drain battery too fast to last a day at school. So he is thinking of adding a laptop power bank.

Any recommendations/comments? I'm wondering if he'd bother lugging another 2 kilograms of mass around in his school bag all day but he said he's up for it.

Yes the power will probably not last all day at school on a gaming laptop. A lot of schools have plenty of places to plug in though, so this may be a non-issue. If he can pick the model, he should look for one that has Optimus (Nvidia) or Switchable Graphics (AMD) so that the discrete power hungry GPU will power down and switch over to integrated graphics automatically when not in use. Also for portability and to fit on desks / tables at school he should go for a 15" model instead of 17".

For a powerbank, I have good experiences with the Anker Powercore, and they make high capacity models for charging laptops. Just have to make sure whatever laptop he gets is chargeable over USB-C / Thunderbolt. Notebookcheck.net is a good place for thorough laptop reviews, including battery tests.

Thanks for the feedback! I'll definitely look at the Optimus os Switchable Graphics options.

He says most of his classrooms have the power sockets at the back of the room or none at all (I guess he's not one of those kids who like sitting at the back all the time). Thus we'd have to assume he'll need a solution that has enough juice for ~ 4-5 hours of use during the average school day.

I'm at this turning point for both me and the boy (grade 7) - he's been ok with the i7-7700k and AMD RX480 desktop I built in early 2019 for gaming; I've got a similar build from early 2020 with a GTX 1060 that I'm upgrading with a RTX 3070 (once I buy a darn case big enough to fit it).

So basically I can get his tower another year or two of longevity with the card swap, but his circa 2014 Lenovo office laptop is struggling at school. In that context, I was thinking of skipping the Chromebook/office laptop replacement for him, and giving him a gaming laptop to cover both future school and gaming needs.

Makes sense. Take a look at the HP Omen, Lenovo Legion, and Dell G series for decent midrange options.

Keep an eye out on Best Buy for open box gaming laptops.

For example:

ASUS - ROG Zephyrus 14" Gaming Laptop - AMD Ryzen 9 - 16GB Memory - NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3060 - 1TB SSD - Moonlight White

open box for $788 in fair condition.

I cannot imagine how bad something would be to rate a "fair" from Best Buy...

Not sure, but I'd be willing to ask least look at it.

astralplaydoh wrote:

Keep an eye out on Best Buy for open box gaming laptops.

For example:

ASUS - ROG Zephyrus 14" Gaming Laptop - AMD Ryzen 9 - 16GB Memory - NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3060 - 1TB SSD - Moonlight White

open box for $788 in fair condition.

They don't exist in Australia

I take your point though, how tech tends to get a discount especially on refurbishment. That said, I've always leaned towards new tech (at least warranty tends to be easy to claim on).

Also, it's amazing how wildly prices can vary - the Omen is just over $2K AUD and the Lenovo Legion 5i Pro is over $4.4K AUD (despite having half the storage of 512GB and half the RAM).

I hate shopping for laptops for that very reason.